31 July 2023

To Euthanize?

Last Wednesday I was walking "Chico" our Chihuahua-mix on a leash.
I knew he needed a bathroom break and didn't intend to keep him out long because the ambient temp was HOT. I felt a tug on the leash and turned around to find him lying on his right side on the concrete, motionless. Not breathing.
I quickly grabbed him up and started rubbing his chest. Breathing resumed, but something was still wrong.
He seemed confused, and his rear legs didn't seem to be working properly. I walked him into a shady area near a tree and he tried to hike his leg, gave up on the idea, and peed while standing on all four.

Back in the A/C he acted more normal but behaved as if he was exhausted. I'd seen this kind of behavior before in a former girlfriend's (old) miniature poodle who had frequent epileptic seizures. That dog finally had an event he never recovered from. The rest of the day Chico was listless, and although not interested in food, he did drink water.

Thursday morn, he seemed normal. Sara Jean let him out for his morning "takin' care o' business" and he was fine until his buddy the neighbor's dog showed up. He then repeated the "falling over onto his right side" scary behavior.

This time he didn't recover so quickly. More confusion, and attempts to stand him on all four legs was impossible- his back legs wouldn't support him.

This dog adopted us as an adult so we have NO idea how old he is.
The Vet's best guess is that he's 13 or 14 yrs old. But he's been so spry 'til now we're slapped in the face now knowing age has likely caught up with him. And us.

Now it's Sunday. Eating has resumed, sorta. He drinks every few hours. He can shakily stand and walk on all four but pees while standing. No pooping so far. He "fidgets" constantly.
We are dog lovers. We've been on-and-off in tears knowing what we are facing here... if not right now, certainly in the very near future.
This dog is an extension of my body when I'm not moving-
At my left side when I'm in the recliner; snuggled into the crook of my legs when in bed. I feel his warmth ALL DAY.

We went down this same road with our Lucy some years back. I'm not sure we've fully recovered after all these years from that experience.

Why do we do this to ourselves?
Remind me... what is the definition of insanity? :>(

28 July 2023

Our neighbor has a flock of chickens and provides us fresh eggs at a very reasonable price.
We also get, at NO COST, the benefit of knowing when it is about 0400 hours +-.

He had a beautiful Rooster like the one pictured above.
I say HAD, because our neighborhood also abounds in Raccoons, Opossums, Coyotes, and Foxes.
Those critters are devious, and hungry.
The beautiful alarm clock disappeared, but has been replaced by one that looks like "Foghorn Leghorn."
You might need to research that name if you're not near my age.

26 July 2023

Bugs In The Bed !

Happening more frequently now-
At 3 A.M. she sits bolt upright in bed.
Her rapid intake of breath tells me she's frightened again.
"What's the matter Honey?"
She's looking at her pillow-

I sweep my arm where she's indicating and say, "See, there's nothing there."
"No honey, look. There's nothing there."

Still frightened, she stares down at her pillow for a while, confused.
Eventually the bugs disappear. She lays back down and quickly goes back to sleep.
My heart is pounding.
I lie for over an hour thinking about how I don't like what I see in our future.

24 July 2023

"Then Came Bronson"

Wow, was I excited when I found out this series was going to air!
I imagined the show would be similar in scope to "Route 66" with Bronson riding the Harley Sportster all around the country, (I have a bunch of seat time on the Sportster), taking the starring role away from the Corvette in Route 66.
Close. But no cigar.

The problem for me was "attention to detail".
I never saw Buzz and Todd trying to compete with the 'Vette in a World Rally competition!
Bronson not only rode the Sportster on the highway, which it was perfectly suited for, but with it he supposedly competed in Motocross and other similar events-
Enduros. Hare/Scrambles. Hill climbs.
And those of us that truly knew bikes could tell instantly that Bronson no longer was straddling a Harley Sportster!
What a shame... all the producers needed to do to keep the series credible was have Bronson borrow a bike from someone on which to compete at the different locations.

But still, I watched.
And sometimes gagged.

21 July 2023


This is the opinion of an outsider.

Yes, Artificial Intelligence may be a big factor here. But it ain't the only one.
In my lifetime Hollywood has ALWAYS been synonymous with quality movie-making. Now and then, some foreign movie maker would come up with a product that hit the charts here in the U.S..

Now, our Hollywood studios are trying, apparently, to turn out stuff that won't offend anyone.
"The Little Mermaid" is a hybrid fish/human of color.
"Snow White and the Seven Magical People" is just... sad.
Many experts I respect are willing to talk about how the "Star Wars" series of movies is just... crap;
A "Silk Purse" turned into a Sow's Ear.
And in this environment the people that make movies stop even producing this substandard entertainment.

Other than Artificial Intelligence, there are some BIG factors that might come into play here:
"Bollywood" is now producing entertainment that more people are talking about. And something that I was unaware of until the past weekend-
Nigeria is now an entertainment market that is bursting at the seams.
Who knew?

Much of the stuff we now watch is produced in Canada. You might be surprised to find how much of the stuff you consume has been produced in Vancouver, B.C..
As I said, I'm no expert on these matters. But it seems to me this strike comes at a very dangerous time.

When the "Horseless Carriage" began to be a real thing, the folks making Buggy Whips lost the majority of their market. Time, technology, (and markets) move on.
I think these writers and actors now find themselves living in "Interesting times!"

14 July 2023

The Man With The Plan

Yep, it's HOT.
So hot, the world will likely end by August 15th, 2023.
(Or maybe the 16th at the latest.)
But we want to be comfortable until we die and slowly mummify.

Until a couple years ago Big Bubba lived in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Regular readers may remember we once spent a while there and saw 123 degrees F. reported as the high temperature.
Yeah, it's a dry heat.
So is your oven.

His home A/C system couldn't handle that kinda heat. It ran ALL DAY LONG and would not cool his upstairs bedroom to the point he could sleep well. Together we went to Lowe's Home Improvement and I purchased, and together we installed a small window unit to cool his bedroom.
For about a year this worked satisfactorily.
And then KAREN from the Homeowner's Association noticed the unit hanging out his bedroom window... (which took some doing because it was on the side of the home), and wrote to tell him that was against the rules and would have to be removed.

So what now?
How to cool his bedroom to comfortable sleeping temperature without the assistance of a unit that pisses Karen off hanging out his bedroom window?
The answer to that question is shown in the photo above.
That's 10,000 British Thermal Units of cooling power shown there brothers and sisters!
(Make manly grunting noises here.)

It resides in the center of the room being cooled with a hose that exhausts the hot air to the outside of the home mostly without having anything visible for Karen to complain about. If she notices the plate that holds the (nearly invisible) hose in the window, that plate can be easily removed and the window closed while the unit is not in use, then repositioned at night when Karen is home drinking her Cabernet, not irritating her neighbors.

It worked GREAT. The unit was surprisingly affordable; worked FAR better than the window unit; and served the additional purpose of providing White Noise for my son which he needed anyway.
It was so efficient we noticed, since cold air is more dense than warm, that conditioned air from his bedroom actually did a decent job of cooling the downstairs of his home.

So now we are enjoying pretty high temperatures here in the Midwest. Our Air Conditioner here at home now runs virtually all day trying to keep our home comfortable.
So yes I'm old. But this old dog still learns lessons.
We just bought a unit like Big Bubba's for $400. Our plan is to set the whole-house thermostat at about 75-80 degrees and use the unit to cool our upstairs bedroom with hopes we'll see the same results we saw in Arizona to our living area downstairs.
Amazon will deliver the unit in a week.
Stay tuned. I'll letcha know how it works.

04 July 2023

Majority Rule

I like to think I'm "normal".
I like to think I'm part of a "majority".
I like to think I make the world a better place for my fellow travelers.

On this Independence Day I'm saddened to realize none of that may be true.