I needed somewhere to hang my head without your noose

I had an argument with a guy a couple of weeks ago over dog rescue.  It’s a subject a lot of people are very passionate about.  But like everything else, few can think outside of the box.

My business coach made me brush my teeth with my non-dominant hand for a month.  It started with him saying “Brush your teeth with your left hand.”  Followed by “Dude, I do that every day”, which was kind of the lesson within the lesson.  Anyway, it really helps your thinking.  Drive home a different way every day.  Start in the grocery store on the right instead of the left aisle.  Whatever.  It’s good for your head.

Anyway, this knucklehead was certain I was a complete idiot because I supported breeders, therefore I could not understand what rescue was really about.  I maintain that he was a complete idiot because he was unable to think outside of the acceptable paradigm for rescue and shelter dogs to take his thinking to the next level.

I think everyone has probably seen My Pledge to Dogs.  I started it a year ago.  I stand by it today.  I got it right.  You see, like I believe that not everyone gets to own a house and not everyone gets to drive a BMW, not everyone gets to own a dog.  If only reputable breeders bred dogs there would be no need for shelters.  Or me with a house full of trainwrecks.  I did not choose these four.  Someone else rejected them.  And now they are here, because it was the right thing to do.

As a sidebar, when I left for Florida, I gave The Brother instructions on what to do if a dog died in my absence.  In theory Miss Cleo could lay down and be gone at any moment, but Dobermans all have the potential to collapse and die from DCM at a moment’s notice.  I don’t have a young dog any more, Bubba is probably 3 or 4 now, Rita 5-7, Norman 8+ and Miss Cleo is 117.  Miss Cleo went to the vet before I left because she was hurking up giant wads of snot.  She got a run of antibiotics even though my vet told me he thought that was quackery to not do at least a chest X-ray.  Well, Miss Cleo took off on The Brother and he had to go running down the street to catch her.  And now she is running around the yard.  I’m not recommending to go directly to quackery but some times horse sense pays off.

Anyway, that gets us to Fifi.  Ch Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici!  Now the best Doberman Pinscher in the country if you saw the Westminster on Tuesday.  This bitch is everything you could ever ask for in this breed.  She is sleek, gorgeous, she moves flawlessly.  She is intense and alert.  And this morning PBE would like to lift a glass to the Fifinator.  Congratulations on a great run!  To the WKC…the Pekinese…really?  And dumping the shelter dog commercials for Purina’s “happy ads”?  Idiots.

 

Godspeed little man

I look at this picture and I know something was up with Ike.  His eyes in this picture are not the eyes I’ve been looking at.

This morning I had Norman and Rita out, Bubba in his crate and Ike in the family room.  Rita hit the French Doors and they came open.  I jumped up in time to see Ike in a very aggressive stance heading out to Norman.  By the time I ran through the house Norman had him down.  Ike was still trying to fight but his ass was kicked.  I sat in the vet’s office crying.  As recently as yesterday I’d had discussions with Doberman guru friends of mine.  I felt something was going on with him and it might be time.  After last week’s acupuncture appointment he’d lost another two pounds.  His eyes were dull.  And it was going to be a small fortune to fix his torn up head.  The vet examined him thoroughly.  She agreed that his behavior was cause to look for something physical.  She noted the wasting that could be Wobbler’s or cancer.  She suggested his flip flop behavior might be the result of a brain tumor, since he was being such a love with us.  I’d thought of brain cancer too.  He’d become unpredictable.  Or predictable in his unpredictability.

It’s always surreal when this happens early in the morning.  I’m sitting here thinking “Did that just happen?”  But my family room is spattered with blood and pretty much looks like a crime scene, so it must have.

I’ll miss him.  He was the only dog I’ve ever owned that could come out in the front yard and not step off the curb.  He’d sit and watch other dogs walk by and not do anything.  He loved going out to get the mail with me.  And he loved me.  I did the best I could for him.  I think his poor breeding finally caught up to him.  So I held him, and I told him he’d been a good dog and that he wouldn’t hurt any more.  And I let him go.

 

 

 

 

There’s a fashion, there’s a fad, some is good, some is bad

Lagniappe

It’s probably been over a year since I’ve done Google Keywords of the Weak Week.  Arguably one of the reasons would be I’ve not been logging on and checking my numbers.  They’re down from the hey day of the Alliance Title debacle and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Title Adventure.    But we can still have fun with keywords.

PBE is the #1 google ranking for the search “patty hauptman santa barbara”.  Woof.  Strangely we are also #1 for the term “swordfish porn”.  Which I’m I little surprised that it comes up at all, although I am secretly proud of that one.  We’re #3 for “mood changing bunny ears”, which is interesting because I don’t believe in bad moods.  I think you choose your mood.  Choose better.    “Flying mosquitoes” is huge.   And then there’s “boylove” which is the name of an image of Beauregard.  You sick bastards that keep googling that should have your junk rot off.

Norman is a big ol’ slice of awesome pie.  Although those towels he’s laying on?  They were originally put down because he took his big 105lb nose and did the nose flip to my elbow.  Unfortunately I had a cup of coffee in my hand and he knocked it out of my hand and all over the papers on my desk, which included four months of receipts.  Dear IRS, I’m sorry I can’t back up my Schedules with actual documentation.  My dog spilled coffee on everything.  So I laid everything out on towels and dried it out.

Ike might be on his end game.  He’s had a couple of incidents where he’s snarled and snapped at me recently.  They seem to be escalating.  I think he’s in pain.  I took him to Dr. Rettig and she said his eyes were different than when she first met him.  I agree.  There’s something going on.  He’s also lost some weight.  The plan is to watch him for now, and hope I don’t get bit.  I think I’m going to have a blood test taken looking for cancer.  And then just make him comfortable as long as I can.  I did tell him that if he snapped at me again, that was his end game.  Choose wisely.

Finally, a little something that bothered me more than I thought it would.  On the AIDS/Lifecycle they provide massages to the cyclist.  You get one on the ride.  They mark your bracelet.  It’s only like a 20 minute massage but honestly, it’s 20 minutes of heaven.  I originally went down on Day 4.  My line of thinking was that it was half way.  About a gazillion other riders thought the same thing and I didn’t get in that day.  Day 4 was torture dungeon day at the massage tent.  Out front was the dungeon master.  He was a hulking man, shaved head, beard, built like a brick shithouse.  He was sweet and kind and explained that they were booked for the day, he was really sorry, could I come back earlier tomorrow.  Not a problem big hulking dungeon master dude.  The next day was Red Dress Day.  Upon my return the hulking dungeon master was rocking a red frock.  Frock is the proper word for what he had on.  It was of a certain style, craft and air of dignity that earns that term.  Red, full length, worsted wool probably.  Same shaved head and beard.  He explained the process for getting signed up that day.  I followed it to a T.  Before we went into the tent, at the changing of the guard as it were, he had us all bunch together and applaud the massage therapists who had been working non-stop, 2.5 patients per hour for five hours so far.  He was sweet and kind and had Doc Martens on under his red frock.

Friday he died.  He had a clavicle injury and had surgery on it.  It didn’t heal properly.  He was going in for his second surgery and had a reaction to the anti-anxiety medication.  He never went back into surgery.  The nurses found him unconscious.  Four days later his family let him go.  A really good guy is gone.  And that makes me sad.

‘Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door

Life is never boring here at the Farm.

About a month ago, before the Ride, I had a mouse.  He was in the pantry and wreaking havoc.  He chewed the bottom off of several bags of flour, not funny.  Crapped on everything and generally made a mess.  I set traps.  Numerous traps.  I never caught him.  Auntie stayed here with the Hellhoundz while I was riding and the fact that the mouse wasn’t caught prior to her arrival weighed heavy on me as I left that morning.  I told her I thought he was gone, it was the truth.  He hadn’t gotten into anything in several days including me peanut butter laden traps.  I was right.  He was gone.

I don’t know if he got stuck and couldn’t get out or became a conductor for that 220 line running down there.  He was done.  That is the back of the pantry.  About two years ago I had air conditioning installed here.  The electrical box is in the pantry.  The guys didn’t fix the holes they cut in the walls and I just haven’t gotten to them.  I put on some gloves but only got half of the mouse.  He was either crispy crittered or petrified.  If it’s the former, I need to have an electrician fix the bite marks in the 220.  And half of the mouse is still in that hole.  Maybe he was too fat from eating my flour and rice to get through the hole.  Who knows?

I threatened my last remaining apricot tree.  It bore no fruit last year.  One tree fell, another was riddled with termites and this one has been fighting for it’s life.  I told it that if it didn’t bear fruit this year it was firewood.  It is currently full of fruit.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  Those apricots are not green, it’s the kitchen light that did that.  It could be a very good year for apricots.  In other news I made a little discovery that I’ll be using in the very near future.

The interesting thing about Bubba is that he doesn’t hold a grudge.  He doesn’t seem to care who he mixed it up with.  He’s fine with Norman again.  Ike on the other hand thought it was a good idea to mix it up with Norman on Saturday too.  Ike’s ear is cut.  Norman is fine.  Ike has this not great thing that he’s developed that involves snarling and occasionally snapping at me.  I was trying to put Norman in his crate and Ike stood in the kitchen snarling and wouldn’t let us through.  I tried to move him to the side and he snapped at me.  I’ve done things to curtail this but he’s had a couple of episodes, this is the only one involving another dog.  I’m taking him in next week for some acupuncture.  My theory is that he’s in pain and grouchy.  If this doesn’t settle it down I’m afraid I’m going to have to let Ike go.  I can’t be afraid of one of my own dogs.  It may be that the pain has gotten too much for him and it’s time to let him go anyway.  I’ll find out next week, but last Saturday was a little unnerving.

This real estate thing is interesting.  If you work hard, you get deals.  The deals might give you a lot of adjida, but I’d rather have adjida and make money than just have adjida.  July could be very decent to me, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

Which gets us to my next subject.  What have we done in this country where it has become acceptable to do a shitty job?  I’ve got a 10 day escrow, I got bank approval on July 5.  The escrow company didn’t ask for the demand from the HOA until July 7.  The HOA’s are in default too and sent out to collections.  The freaking deadbeat collection company refuses to send a demand any faster than 10 days because that’s how many days they have under law.  Escrow should be closing on July 15, could be closing today, but may be delayed until July 22 just because of the collections company.  And I called them and they refused to do any better without an additional $75.  My father used to mock these sort of paper pushing asshats.  I can see him acting that out in my head when I have to deal with incompetence like this.  All I have to say about them is what a bunch of parasites!

I’ve got another deal where I called the HOA three times yesterday and never got a return phone call.  All I want to know is what’s covered by the HOA’s insurance and what kind of policy does my buyer need to purchase.  It ain’t rocket science.  No one bothered to return my phone call.  I return all phone calls within a maximum of 8 hours.  During business hours a maximum of 2 hours.  It’s my personal standard.  Most calls are returned with about 15 minutes, some before a voicemail is left.  The goal is concierge service.  There are people in this business that have yet to return a phone call to me.  There is one big REO guy who I had an entire escrow with and never talked to the arrogant sonofabitch.  His “assistant/mistress” didn’t return phone calls either.  Just for the record, dude, I know your license is restricted.  I don’t remember what you did but eventually I will.  There’s a good chance that information will appear here.  You really need to treat your colleagues with more respect.

And finally, why do dogs fart and then look at their asses as if to say “What’s that noise?”

Looking for a lifeline

I think we’ll keep working on a theme.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since I brought home Ike.  He was a trainwreck of a dog and I almost stopped and put him down on the way home.  I’m glad I didn’t.  He was supposed to be getting three hots and a cot and get let go in a week or so.  Ike didn’t get the memo.  He hit the porous slate and carpet floors here and got better.  PBE readers chipped in and helped him get better through SND and  I appreciate that.  And here we are.

June 18th marked the three year anniversary of Beauregard’s death.  I can just now talk about that one.  A lot of you were with me back then.  Can you believe that you’ve been reading this drivel for that long?  Me either.  But thanks.  I really do appreciate PBE readers.

Dolpyngyrl took that one.  And now she has a Doberman of her own.  Bixby.

In unrelated news, I took and passed my broker’s exam yesterday.  No one, and I do mean NO ONE is more surprised than I am.  I really didn’t feel that I put the time in to it that I should have and felt that it was going to be a trial run.  We were sitting in the break room and several guys said “Oh yeah, everybody takes it twice”.  Everybody but me bitches.  Like the Series 7 you get your results right away.  The way the Series 7 is set up with Morgan Stanley is they pay you to learn the information.  You clean out your desk the day before the test.  When you push that button if you fail, you’re fired.  For the record, when I pushed that test, I scored a 92 on one of the toughest tests that’s not the California Bar.  They don’t tell you your score on the brokers but I assure you the right letter begins with the word “CONGRATULATIONS.”   In all caps.  Like that.

When you check in for the test they take all your stuff from you.  The room is under surveillance.  I had a slip of paper that was mailed to me from them that they didn’t need up front.  I set it on the desk.  They came by and picked it up.  The security is that tight.  The clerk said to me “do you have your cell phone?”  No, I left mine back in the car, I knew I couldn’t bring it in.  “That’s good because you can’t call a life line in there.”  I laughed and then said “If I call a life line, I’m calling my Dad who challenged this test in the 60’s and passed it.  I don’t need the cell phone to get ahold of him.”  And I didn’t.

Count your blessings to find what you look for

It’s almost the end of May and somehow I made it.  I don’t really know how.  And I don’t really know what I did this month besides ride my bike.  I know there were three major events I had to deal with but I can only remember the Doberman Specialty in Vallejo.  How cute is Ike with the puppy?

We didn’t raise a ton of money but certainly enough to buy a couple of weeks worth of dog food for the rescue.

I would like to take a moment to complain about the weather.  Mt. Diablo ride -terrible gusts of wind ruin the descent keeping us to 17mph.  Morgan Territory -terrible gusts of wind keep our descent to 11mph.  Riders are blown off the road at that speed.  Pinehurst on Saturday -descent is ruined because it freaking rains!  Uh, it’s May 30th.  Enough!

I rescheduled my broker’s exam.  I just didn’t feel confident that I was going to pass it.  The jackhole DRE charged me $20 to reschedule the test online.  Really?  Like that cost you $20?  I’m really getting tired of getting it up the ass from the state.  Jerry can you hear me?  I know that’s not his fault, it’s the Governators fault.  Just imagine if this state knew about his little indescretion.  Granted we might have been stuck with Gray Davis, but then again we probably wouldn’t have mortgaged the state to the hilt either.  Just keeping it random real.

What I realized was my head wasn’t into “fee simple absolute” and “ad valorum taxes”.  And if Brown lives in his home and trades it to Smith in exchange for a home that Smith is renting out, can Brown defer the capital gain?  Helefino isn’t an answer.  I was thinking about not getting saddle sores and how long will it take to set up a tent if you haven’t done that ever, and getting the house clean and the right laundry done and how to pack a bag that only weights 40lbs.  We’re allowed 70lbs but I don’t want to haul 70lbs if I don’t have to.

I did set up my return trip.  I waited way too long to do it but it turned out for the better.  The best available hotel the Ride offered us was $99 per night, which is kind of a deal in LA.  For that I got the Westin LAX.  Then I started looking for a car company to rent a car to drive back in.  The best I could do for that was $200.  Add gas to that and I’m probably paying around $275-$300 to get home.  On a whim I looked at Southwest’s site and they had a 9am flight home for $79.  Book it Dano.  The Ride offers bike transport home for $85.  You just have to go to the Cow Palace to pick it up on Monday or Tuesday after the ride.  Done.  Now I did the whole thing for less than the car rental and I don’t have to drive 400 miles.  And I should have my happy ass planted on my own couch by noon on Sunday.    Winning.

Packing is the art form.  They suggest getting these 2.5 gallon ziploc bags from Target and breaking out everything by ride day if possible.  So that’s my plan.  I now have six bags (because on Day one I’ll be wearing that day’s gear) with the day marked on them.  I have been following the weather and I know the climbing, terrain and distance for each day.  I’ve packed Clif Shot Bloks, Sports Beans and Hammergels to coincide with what I should need on each day.  Day 3 is the hottest day of the ride and it features Quadbuster.  I don’t know exactly the route this time, but it looks like we’re going up the Pinnacles?  It’s not a terrible elevation change and I’ve heard it’s a little better than a mile long.  Here’s one of the old routes, they change it slightly every year.  Click that elevation button for some laughs.



Welcome to my silly life

Hello Kittens!  Bonus drive by today.  It’s 16 days until the AIDS ride.  13 days until my broker’s exam and the day before I do a rescue presentation at the NorCal Doberman Pinscher Club’s Specialty in Vallejo.  The good news, I got a couple of buyers into their homes.  The bad news, I’ve barely cracked a book for the broker’s exam and that’s not going to bode well for me.  Somehow it looks like I’m going to get through this May after all.  God williing with my broker’s license.  But that’s the one that’s really worrying me.  Once I get through Saturday I’ll be banging the books until June 1.  Saturday is our last long ride before the AIDS ride and then it’s taper, which is good.  My body is exhausted.  I haven’t been on the sunny side of 4:30am for a month now.  I’m not sure why I’m up now.  I missed a workout yesterday just because.  No reason.  I just couldn’t.  So I didn’t.  I’m not missing cycling work outs.  I was out in the sideways rain on Tuesday.  Weightlifting I’ve given myself a break on.

Yesterday turned into an accidental day off.  I wasn’t completely off, but I sure as hell didn’t do much.  I had a closing and managed to get all of the disclosures to my transaction coordinator by about 5pm yesterday.  I went up to Mutt Lynch Winery, a great little family owned winery who does great things, Bubba got to go for that ride.  They donated a nice package for the silent auction at the show tomorrow, I went to pick it up.  Of the thousands all the wineries I asked, Mutt Lynch did not hesitate to step up and help Doberman Rescue.  They make some very nice juice, I’ve reviewed it here before.  Give them the nod, they’re the real deal.

I came back and wanted to work for the two hours before my haircut but Healdsburg is almost 2 hours each way.  I was beat and dozed off in my chair after lunch.  Except every time my phone got an email it said “Droid” and Ike lost his mind, which involved banging into my chair, trying to crawl under the chair and generally making himself über obnoxious.  Nap aborted I got Rita and headed for my haircut.  Rita was invited because the next stop was the vet.  The glop in her eyes had turned from the normal grey goop to wads of white and yellow ick.  Somehow they know when I get paid.  A c-note later she’s got antibiotics and her eyes are already clear this morning.

The final screw around of the day was some wine fueled jackassery.  About two weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I wanted to be involved in a Twitter Taste Live.  I said yes, but didn’t know if I’d be able to or not.  Little did I know this was a special invite and they SENT ME THE WINE!  UPS shows up on Monday with a bottle of Peter Lehmann Wines 2008 Barossa Shiraz.  I didn’t have to order it or pay for it.  So there’s your disclosure, somebody gave me this wine for free.  I don’t really know who.  That being said, I had to show up and drink it with them and tweet about it.  It always starts out serious with wine notes and then moves on to jackassery.  I will say this Shiraz was wild.  It’s a screw top, that’s ok.  Easier to close since I really don’t drink a whole bottle in a night.  Lots of chocolate on this one.  Others had chocolate in their house and they said it was very good with a 72% chocolate.  My original plan was to make a Farro risotto with asparagus and fava beans since my fava’s are ready to pick.  By 4pm when I still didn’t know where to find Farro, it had become apparent that the dish was to be saved for another day.  Sadly the pairing would have been amazing.  I still might try today to pick up some farro.  Back to the wine.  Tart plums on the front palate which became riper on the back palate.  Chocolate on the finish.  The winemaker, Ian Hongell participated from Australian and the whole thing was part of the thirstygirl project with Leslie Sbrocco.  You may have seen her on the Today show.  Or not. Anywho this Shiraz has a lot of high heat that calms with food.  It’s a lively wine with a lot going on in the glass.  Did I like this one?  You bet Shiraz!

The transmissions will resume

OK, I would say I suck, but I don’t.  I rock.  Here’s the last two days.

Friday I got up early because there was a little red boy that was ready to head up to the rescue.  I hadn’t been up there since I picked up Rita in January 2008 so I thought I’d take a ride.  What I was thinking at $4.07 a gallon is another whole story.  Round trip 354 miles.  I’ve got to say that Toyota just builds a tough truck.  I’ve owned that thing since December 31, 1993 and it’s still rolling along.  Which is why I want to shoot the guy who stole the cat in the face.  Anywho, we got out of here around 8am.  He spent the night here and was quite a nice boy.  He was about Rita’s size and played well with her.  We loaded up and made it to Red Bluff in two and a half hours, staying within CHP tolerances of the speed limit.

He got to play with Pretty Girl when he got there and they did really well together.  We were sitting inside chatting and all of the sudden we heard this screaming outside.  He’d pinned her down.  I don’t know what she did but he just schooled her.  Not a cut on her and they played the rest of the day.

Then another rescue friend had invited me down the Thunderhill Raceway for “a ride”.  I had no idea that she was a coach for a performance driving school.  Arguably the last thing on the planet that I need to know about.  My friend is easily in her 60’s possibly 70’s.  She what?  I’m still working that one out in my head, but she’s been doing it for about 10 years and is quite well respected.   When I got there she said “I’m going to ask Don to take you out.  What would you like to ride in?”  I don’t know.  “You can ride in anything you see here.  How about the ZR1?”  Right there the Queen of Bad Decisionmaking stepped up to the plate.  My little brain was whizzing.  ZR1, the fastest production automobile made in the USA.   For the record it has a top speed of 205.  If I struck lightening and made $10 million in the next three years I still couldn’t own that vehicle because I couldn’t act right and would lose my license.  Yes.  The ZR1.

I felt a little like Cameron describing the Ferrari.

Cameron: The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion.
Ferris: It is his fault he didn’t lock the garage.

There’s a reason I love that movie.  I want to be Ferris.

Don is a big powerful looking man.  Easily 6’2″+.  Shaved head, probably in his 50’s.  Confident.  Yeah, the guy you want to go fast with.  We have to wait, he needs to coach somebody in a Lotus and then ride a couple of laps with another guy, then it’s my turn.  I put on my helmet certain that it’s so tight it’s going to crack my jaw, but it’s point is to not crack my jaw or my noodle.  We walk up to a shiny new, so new you can smell the new outside of the vehicle new silver ZR1.  It’s show time.  Ann leans into the car and points to the handle on the armrest.  Grab that.  It’s the “Oh Jesus” bar.  It’ll help.  It gave me something to hold on to, but by the second lap I knew that wouldn’t matter.

Turn 1 was no big deal the first time around, then we came to Turn 2.  Adventuresome but fun.  The map doesn’t show that between 4 and 5 you come up a rise and dive into the cyclone.  The tires were chattering and there was a little separation from the road there which he corrected by accelerating.  Why wouldn’t you?    By the second lap, I’d figured out that the helmet was for show only.  This car was fiberglass.  We missed one of these turns at 140mph and we were going to vaporize.

That did not give me solace.  I figured if we got airborne and then didn’t come down properly I would be blowing into a straw once to say yes and twice to say no, but Don was an amazing driver.  He’d accerate into turn 2 then jam on the brakes while staying on the gas for the first part, get off of the brakes and we’d shoot out of the turn.  Big fun.  Satiated my need for speed for a while.  Now I want to learn performance driving.

Yesterday was A Day On The Ride.  It’s an event to give the riders for the Lifecycle an idea of how the ride works.  They start with check in, a safety meeting and everybody holds hands and asks their God, higher power, universe whatever for a safe ride.  They word it really nicely.  Not with irreverance like I just did.  And then we hit the road.  There are rest stops just like the ride, lunch just like the ride and dinner when you get in just like the ride.  Only there’s a little something they don’t tell you about this ride.  It’s designed to separate the riders from the pretenders.  My cycling rep told me afterwards that there is nothing this hard on the Ride itself.  If you can do this ride, you can do the Lifecycle.

That’s good news.  7939 feet of climbing yesterday.  Soul crushing.  But I finished it.  My legs were completely blown up by the end.  But I must be in good enough shape because I feel fine today.  I’m tired after two days of big adventures, but I’m not crippled.  Not cripped by going through hairpin turns at 140mph and not crippled by climbing 7939 feet yesterday.  Life is good.  A friend once asked me what I think about when I ride.  Generally I sing to myself.  Yesterday’s song:

I still have $1200 to go.  If you can, please sponsor my ride, every little bit helps.

Get curious, and that’s marvelous

Beyond trying to run a business and saving dogs and riding my bike to LA, and working out, I have some other projects going on.  This next one will change some as time goes on.  In the next month I will add a blog function to it, although it will have several authors and probably not much content actually written by me.  It’s pretty self explanatory.  Grab a cuppa, sit down and check out My Pledge to Dogs.  Then take the pledge.  And live the pledge.  And when some clown in your office says “We’ve got this chihuahua who is the greatest dog on the planet and we’re going to breed her to a weenie dog…”  You send them to the My Pledge for Dogs and tell them that is what responsible breeder behavior is and are they ready for that?  When your friend is looking on craigslist for a boxer because the ABC breeders want to much for a puppy, send them to My Pledge for Dogs. 

No longer do we have to stand there and explain to morons why they are morons.  Tell them when they are able to honestly take the pledge, they can own a dog.

I’m real proud of this project.  It’s about changing the way America thinks.  Take the pledge and forward it to all the dog lovers you know.  It’s time.  Take the pledge.

In honor of George.

Thibodeaux, fontaineaux, the place is buzzin’

Jack Assery, party of one, your table is ready.

OK, I know.  blahblahblah.

Thieves.  These thieves are lucky.  I don’t know that I would have been able to restrain my desire to fire off rounds at them if I’d been home.

These little d-bags stole my catalytic converter.  They unbolted it at the back but then used a pipe cutter to cut my goddamned header because the front bolts were seized.  I want to shoot them all.  I was out of town at The Cult of Red’s Family Reunion (an amazing event that makes me proud to be affiliated with them) when this happened and my dogs were in their kennels while my dog sitter slept.  If my dogs had been in the bedroom with me, I doubt these asshats would have gotten away with it.  I truly believe Ike would have woken up and at the very least given a bark.  I could have gotten off a round or two before they got away.  But finally I have to say something nice about Concord PD.  They caught them.  And they got my cat back.  And they talked Concord Toyota into reinstalling it.  So instead of having to buy a new one at $1200, I bought a new header at $300.  Add another $300 in labor and it’s back out there for these little turds to try and steal it again.  Yes, we’re going for restitution.  There are four of them.  I want every one of them to pay $600 and I want the extra to go to charity because I couldn’t use my truck to rescue any dogs or go to any AIDS Lifecycle training rides because of them.  There are consequences goddammit.

On a lighter note.

Duke is a very sensitive young man.  He’s a bit of a serial little dog mauler.  He went after a Boston yesterday.  Twice.  The little girl was just trying to say “Hi!”.  Duke was trying to do a Sylvester/Tweety bird on her.  We had a very serious discussion about his behavior.  When we got back to the condo Duke put himself on a time out.  I’ve never seen a dog who punishes himself before.  I’m down to the three who belong here and that’s kind of nice.

Prescott is living merrily up in Rossmoor with another old lady.  I thought I might have made a mistake with him.  He was a little younger and stronger than I expected.  I suggested that maybe he wasn’t the right dog for her.  Two days later everything is solved and there are no more issues.  Because Prescott is a perfect dog.

The third time he jumped on me he got a knee in the chest.

Little Sister is doing awesome in Oakland at her new home.  She had a little adjustment period too.  Crates.  That’s all I have to say.  Use crates.

Last I heard, Hannibal had everybody wrapped around his paw in Michigan.

Tomorrow I’m rolling out my new project.  It’s pretty simple and self explanatory.  Oh yeah, and if it catches on like it should it will save our nation $2 billion annually.  Really.  The Wine Dog will save this nation $2 billion annually.  Starting tomorrow.

And you’ll be pleased to know I’ve got a few rants in me.  But today in the interest of time, I’ll boil them down to a paragraph.

Somalian pirates.  The solution is simple.  Hook all 15 of those little rat bastards to the back of the US Navy destroyer and use them for chum on the way back to port.  Then stack up their ransom demand, whatever it was, set it afire and burn whatever the sharks didn’t eat for all to see.  These guys are savages and this is what they understand.  I don’t understand why we have been such pansies about this crap.  We go blow up a bunch of mud huts after 9/11 after waiting 32 days to do anything, and now we let these maggots continue to operate.  They are criminals acting in international waters.  Game over.

Gaddafi.  Or Khaddafi.  Or whatever.  He’s the best argument against what Bush did in Iraq.  We don’t have the man power to get involved in another skirmmish and over throw another crazy guy in the Middle East.  Even though this is the one that really deserves it.   Although every time I think of him I remember that we had a toy ball, I don’t remember where we got it, that my rugby team used to play with before practice.  It was the head of a terrorist.  This was back in the 90’s.  We called it the Khaddafi ball.  Or Gaddafi.  Or.

Wisconsin.  Cheese.  Remember when Reagan broke the air traffic controllers union?  Think we’re better off because he did that?  Nope.  Not a fan of union breaking.  I know the UAW is out of control, but from my experience, the unions allow people to do their jobs without worrying about a lot of other crap that people worry about in their jobs.  Union workers have superior benefits.  Wouldn’t you like to have better benefits?  Work conditions are generally better.  And they don’t find themselves involved in class actions suits for wages not paid.  I’m on my fourth now.  I got the call the other day.

Like The Brother says, if y’all would act right, but you won’t.  So here we sit.

Just for the record, I hear all this bullshit about bad teachers who just go on and on with tenure.  Name one.  Name one goddamned teacher that is so shitty that they need to be fired but can’t be because of tenure.  Name one.  I dare you to.  Can’t?  That’s what I thought.  That teacher is a right wing bug-a-boo and doesn’t exist any more than the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.

OK, not that Santa.