Monday, June 29, 2015

I am very confident

Sometimes she sleeps - Bliss!
Today is Georgia’s first day in dog school. This was not a happy occasion for either of us and she reaffirmed that if she does not want to go somewhere then the only way to get her there is to carry her. It is  not easy to open a door carrying a struggling 40 pound dog. 

I hope the day is not as bad as the start. At dog school - which is called ‘Bark Tutor’ - she will learn the commands for sitting and lying down and dropping things and leaving things and walking with a slack lease.

Well I never imagined gay marriage would happen so soon in America either so I suppose anything is possible. 

So tomorrow she will know where she is going. If she has a bad day today then tomorrow I will have to truss her up with gaffer tape just to get her into the car. 

John and Antonio are coming tomorrow to do repairs. These are the types of repairs that I cannot do. That is - you need more than a hammer. 

We have a very old house and occasionally it creaks and groans and great cracks appear. Antonio is an expert at fixing these. Of course he can never match the paint so cannot paint just the repair but has to do the whole wall.

I have bought a new weed eater. 

My existing electric weed eater - which cost $40 so you cannot expect much  - was just like every weed eater I have ever had.  It does not dispense eating line the way they say it should so I spend an inordinate amount of time delving about in its gizzards to get the line to poke out so that I can eat some weeds. 

I did this for the umpteenth time on Friday and on the last occasion I failed to put it back together properly so the whole damn thing disintegrated and the spool of line disappeared into space and is probably by now in Minnesota. 

My new weed eater is battery powered so I do not have to drag a power cord behind me all the time. It is also supposed to be an excellent line feeder. And there is only one line -  so no matter what happens it just has to be easier. 

But I have read quite a few Amazon reviews and am very confident. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Some strange things happen

It has been a pretty amazing week here. First the Supreme Court threw out the Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act- and then they ruled in favor of gay marriage.

Holy Snapping Turtles.Who would have thunk it!

So all those with Obamacare subsidies are very happy and all the gay people are very happy. We are in a very gay neighborhood so there is a festive air here with lots of gay pride flags fluttering.

The conservatives of course are ranging between incandescent and apoplectic. I don’t watch Fox very often but I have this week just to see them raging and spluttering and foaming. It is wonderful. 

I wonder if this will affect the troglodytes who infest the Australian parliament?

Our Indy governor says he is very disappointed with the gay thing. Well he would wouldn’t he because he is a homophobic dickwit. 

In the meantime 4 July is fast approaching so we are girding our loins for a week of festivities and fireworks. I imagine the hospitals are gearing up for the inflow of blind and maimed people and pet owners are getting ready to sedate their animals and lock them up. 

Surprisingly - there are some states that do not permit the sale of fireworks. Guns yes - fireworks no. There are limits to the way in which you can kill yourself and each other. 

 Some strange things happen around here.

I will put out our American and Australian flags on our flagpole to show what loyal residents we are and how much we enjoy filling out the 6,000 page tax return each year for Uncle Sam.

My friend Paul - who lives in Iowa and has a partner in Indy - is retiring next week and is moving to Indy. He has bought a house in Indy which he is going to use for a workshop and a place where he and I can shoot the breeze and talk about dogs. 

He is also one of those men who can do things - properly. You know - like installing new doors and building things that do not look like they have been built by a blind man using a baseball bat. 

He will be most useful for some of the things I need to do here at Wishard mansion.

He has a black lab - just like us - so there will be two men, two dogs and a coffee machine siting around in his man and dog cave. He also has a cache of Iowan hooch. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Be careful of blind Iowans

Georgia has settled down nicely. The cats not so much. They refuse to  believe that their very own home could have been invaded by a giant black beast - so keep coming downstairs - only to chased back upstairs by the giant black beast.

But they do seem to have taken it in reasonably good spirit and have not punished us by defecting in shoes or on pillows - yet. It is not as though they are confined to a shoe box. They have two whole floors including a balcony so they can go outside and watch the giabt black beast galloping around in the garden. 

I have booked Georgia into dog school for next week. Cate would like her to learn many things but mainly not to drag her around the streets when she takes her walking. Cate would like a well mannered dog that trots by her side - waits to cross streets (after looking right and left) and does not chase birds, squirrels and rabbits.

Good luck with all of that.

Cate has a dog advice squad (DAS) at work and gets all manner of suggestions about all manner of dog related things. Much of this is sound advice - gained from  many years of experience. A member of the DAS has sent me links to dog toys I should have so I have sent orders to Amazon. 

In the meantime I have spent some time putting Cate’s dressing room back together. I was changing a battery in the smoke alarm and accidentally leaned on a rack containing 37 dresses (I counted them). This collapsed into a great heap on the floor. It turns out that it was fixed to the wall with drywall plugs. In the process of collapsing it tore large holes in the drywall which I had to patch. It is now more solidly anchored - but I will make sure I do not lean on it again.

In the meantime - in this surreal world in which I live - this happens (from the Huffington Post). 

“In a move sure to leave gun safety advocates scratching their heads, Iowa is issuing gun permits to the blind.

The permits allow legally blind applicants to purchase weapons and carry them in public. Per state law, any attempt to deny an Iowan these rights based on physical ability would be illegal, reports the Des Moines Register.

"When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don't necessarily think eyesight is necessary," said Michael Barber, a blind man interviewed at a gun store in Iowa last month.”

Excuse me? I don’t think eyesight is necessary?

Well if I was a blind Iowan I would get one of those sawn off shotguns from Indianapolis. I mean with one of those you just have to hit something. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Perhaps I am there crazy one

I have dug my way thru the enormous pile of mulch. I bought much too much and a lot of the garden will be hard to find once Cate spreads it. Georgia just loves it and has such fun burrowing in it. 

It is hard going at the moment because we are getting 90 degree days followed by thunderstorms and tornado warnings. 

I have been trying to wean Georgia off chasing and eating sticks. I am sure the amount of wood she digests cannot be good for her. So I bought some tennis balls and these are successful - so far -unless she starts to eat them.

She has decided that 6.45 was not early enough in the morning so now wants to get up at 6.15. This is not what I want to do at all but does not appear to be optional.

I used the Traeger for the first time last night. (I did not do the pork last week). Lenny gave me his go to rub recipe and I cooked a leg of Aussie lamb. It was just brilliant and I am hooked. 

Sometimes I think I am going crazy. 

In response to the recent massacre in South Carolina the Indiana state government has reacted quickly and changed the gun laws. As from 1 July it will be legal to own a sawn off shotgun as long as it is manufactured by a gun maker. You are still not allowed to buy a shotgun and saw off the barrel yourself. This has to be left to the experts. No I have no idea why. 

Incidentally - why are people in his country shocked and surprised when there is yet another mass murder? This is inevitable in a place where there are so many guns available to so many people - and there are so many crazies. 

Our idjit Prime Minister in Australia - you know the one who says that coal is good for Australia and is our future - has developed an intense dislike for wind farms. He says that they are ugly and noisy and cause health problems. As opposed to coal fired power stations which are beautiful and quiet and good for the environment and should be covered in chocolate and put in Christmas stockings. 

The idjit is going to appoint a ‘wind farm commissioner’. His job I expect will be to prevent the addition of new wind farms and arrange for the dismantling of the existing ones. Perhaps the RAAF could use them for target practice. 

I guess the next step will be to adopt an American state policy and start fining people who generate their own electricity with solar panels. No I am not making this up. There is an organization in America (Alec) - sponsored by the coal industry - that lobbies state governments to impose fines on people who generate their own electricity. Arizona and Oklahoma have signed up and there is a monthly fine for people who dare penetrate this atrocity upon those hard working coal miners. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cats are easier

Cate has been to Warsaw and today is going to Frankfurt. She is unhappy about missing all the fun here but I told her that Georgia is not going to run out of energy so she will be bitten and licked quite substantially when she returns.

In the meantime the mulch people are delivering 10 yards of mulch today. This is the second load - the first time I had no idea how much I needed so ordered 4 yards. This proved to be nowhere near enough. 10 yards is a lot to move but I have more time now as Georgia likes to get up very early.

I am reading assiduously about the care of dogs and today ordered a pair of nail clippers which are apparently the best in the universe.I have also ordered a hose which I can attach to the shower so the we can give her baths. 

All things considered - cats are much easier animals to wrangle.

In local news some Republicans are up in arms because the Pope has told the world the people are responsible for global climate change and must do something about it. 

They have suggested that the Pope stick to the God stuff he knows best and leaves the climate change stuff to the scientists. 

Hang on - they don’t believe the scientists either. 

I was mesmerized last night by the National Review’s report of Donald Trump entering the presidential race. Apparently they are not keen. 

The report reads inter alia

‘Donald Trump is in the race. Donald Trump may be the man America needs. Having been through four bankruptcies, the ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste since Caligula is uniquely positioned to lead the most indebted organization in the history of the human race.

Donald Trump, being Donald Trump, announced his candidacy at Trump Plaza, making a weird grand entrance via escalator — going down, of course, the symbolism of which is lost on that witless ape. 

But who could witness that scene — the self-made man who started with nothing but a modest portfolio of 27,000 New York City properties acquired by his millionaire slumlord father, barely out of his latest bankruptcy and possibly headed for another one as the casino/jiggle-joint bearing his name sinks into the filthy mire of the one U.S. city that makes Las Vegas look respectable, a reality-television grotesque with his plastic-surgery-disaster wife, grunting like a baboon about our country’s “brand” and his own vast wealth — and not see the peerless sign of our times? On the substance, Trump is — how to put it gently? Oh, why bother! — an ass.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It will be fun

I just can't decide what to dig up next 
I was busy collecting dog poo today in my special red dog poo bucket which I got from Lowes when Cate rang me from Geneva to ask me how her dog was going. She was interested because she was standing beside lake Geneva drinking a glass of champagne and had a few moments between canap√©s.  

I told her it was going really well but that Georgia was really looking forward to her return so that she could take on the walking and poo collecting duties.

I took Georgia to the vet for her first checkup yesterday and she is well except for displaced knee caps which will probably require surgery in due course. No surprises there. 

Apparently this is one of there many hundreds of afflictions that can assail Labradors. 

The things the vet told me were even more terrifying than the stuff I read in the Labrador book. 

So I rang the pet grooming place that I liked the look of because it had an A rating on Angie’s list. I only use people who have good Angie’s list ratings. The man said he did not have an opening until 15 July - which is a month away. It looks like I will be the bather and nail clipper person.She has had baths before so I am sure it will be just grand. 

We tried to give the cats a bath once - not our current cats but cats we had a long time ago. They were only kittens but they fought like wild tigers and we never did get the blood off the kitchen walls. We have never ever contemplated bathing cats again. 

Georgia yowls whenever she cannot see me - except at night time  when we go to bed. So I have to spend a lot of time downstairs doing things. 

Well I cant spend all my time downstairs and it will take some time for Georgia to get accustomed to being on her own so I thought I should buy a baby Mac so I could work in the kitchen. I raided my piggybank so see how much I had stolen from the housekeeping and I had just enough to buy a MacBook Air -so I did. I must say is the most elegant piece of Apple machinery I have ever seen. Much better than my earlier generation MacBook Air

Now it does not have a USB port and I said I needed one and the Apple man asked me what for and I could not think of a single thing. I am sure hundreds of Apple engineers debated endlessly about the USB thingy and I am happy with their decision. 

However - just in case - Apple has made a thingy that converts a USB-C port to a USB port and I bought one of these for an extraordinary amount of money. 

Locally things took a lurch into the grotesquely lurch surreal today when Donald Trump announced that he would be running for President. This is all going to be enormous fun. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

She will eat anything

We are making progress. For reasons which now escape me - because it was clearly insanity at work - I put Georgia's crate in our bedroom.

I had some delusions that when Georgia was in there at nite the cats would feel safe and come to visit us.

This was a gold plated act of stupidity on a Herculean scale so I moved the crate downstairs after the first nite.

This works much better. Georgia has all the ground floor and the cats have the top two levels and the basement. They can get to the basement down the back stairs without encountering large slobbering dogs.

They have started to come back to the bedroom and I woke up this morning at 4:00 AM with Sissi sitting on my head.

I have discovered that Georgia will eat anything at all. She likes leaves and sticks and is quite partial to mulch. She likes pepperoni pizza and just loves Vegemite toast. She is not so keen on scrambled eggs and bacon.

I have not tried her on Anzac biscuits but have no doubt she will love them.

I am getting lots of excellent cat wrangling advice from Geneva. Apparently I should not allow Georgia to jump on me and bite me.

Well the only way I could achieve this would be to cut her head off - so I will let Cate solve the problem when she gets home.

Georgia has also added a new dimension to the concept of keeping a house clean. I may just put down straw and hose the living room out once a week.

Today I fired up Trevor Traeger and let it run for an hour as per the manufacturers instructions. It roars like a blast furnace.

I have a Boston Butt in the fridge and tomorrow am making a rub and then smoking it to make pulled pork. Georgia and the cats will love this.

Friday, June 12, 2015

All is going as planned

It’s like having a very small child – except that the child weighs 40 pounds – is as powerful as a mountain lion - licks me all over constantly – bites me regularly – and howls like a banshee when she cannot see me.

Even when I am with her she sits and looks at me and whimpers. When I ask her what is wrong she pounces on me and starts licking. I am permanently wet. I have ordered a rain Poncho from Amazon.

Of course Cate left town as soon as Georgia arrived. She knows a goat thing when she sees one. I am now getting really useful dog wrangling advice from Geneva.

Make sure she sits when you tell her to (Yeah sure)

Make sure she doesn’t jump (Yeah sure)

She has met the dog next door and they are having a fine time. They run up and down the fence and bark and sniff. They are trying to dig holes under the fence.

She really likes the back garden and the new mulch – and especially Cate’s plants and flowers.  She is excellent at spreading mulch and particularly good at moving it from the back garden into the house.

I have told her there is another 10 yards of mulch coming next week and she is very excited about this.

The cats are totally discombobulated.  I have managed to get them to come back occasionally into our bedroom but they spend most of their time on the top floor. Monika hides behind the sofa in the top bedroom.

All is going according to plan.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A chance for gold

The first night went as well as can be expected. We discovered that Georgia chases cats and we have seen very little of them since she arrived.

She loves the back garden and spends a lot of time out there.

She does an enormous number of pees and her poos are the size of sea otters. I have bought police tape to put around these until we can get a bobcat to move them. 

I took her for a car ride to Petco and she had a fine time. We bought a bed for the cats. I am going to need a lot more than this.

We went for a walk so that she could spend hours sniffing everything in the neighborhood. She chased a squirrel and nearly dislocated my arm when she took off. I was yelling at it to get up a tree but the stupid thing ran along the footpath with us in hot pursuit. 

I am entering her for the All American Labrador Farting Competition. She will be a certain medalist and could be a chance for gold.

I have spent the day with her to get her settled. Tomorrow I will need to spend a lot of time on cat therapy.