Saturday, January 31, 2009

well, usually

Good dog:

A couple trips to our local dog park has turned him into a car convert, almost. On our way out, he's happy to get in. Going home is harder, but not nearly the ordeal it was.

He's considering fetching. He'll do it a little, but he's much more keyed into running with other dogs and any human. Balls are a degree of separation. But he's starting to do it a little.

He's a total love bug. He goes into ecstatic bliss when I rub him on the head, collapsing like a cat (yeesh) with all feet in the air.

For entertainment, he picks up windfall apples, tosses them in the air, and chases them. The only problem there is that he eats them, too.

Bad dog:

I don't think he'll ever like being in water. His fur is pretty thin in places, so in some ways I can't blame him.

He's chewed two power cords -- I'm going to need to buy a new paper shredder. Maybe one day he'll find out that's a really bad idea.

He seems to want lots of stimulation. He'll find cardboard boxes, sticks, plastic bags, anything, and get on a project to drag them to his favorite spot in the yard and tear them up. On my workdays I never know what I'll find when I come home. To my dismay he's "trimmed" the lower half of the feijoa, and I'm worried he'll inadvertently kill my baby lemon verbena, which is only 6" high right now.

Super dog:

He needs an hour of serious running every day, or some running and a decent walk. Last time at the park he met his match in a Jack Russell, who ran and played so long that when we came home, he collapsed for several hours, alternating between the warm sun in the backyard and the cool under the car.


The general concensus is that he's pit, lab, and maybe some Australian shepherd. The white on his chest has grey spots, i.e. ticking. From his narrow shoulders, I thought he was some other terrier, but a lot of people have said he has a pit's head. When he yawns, one can see his jaw at the hinge end is very broad, which also makes me think pit. However, I'm not about to get a DNA test, so it will always remain a mystery.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

dog behavior

I've found he has problems with small enclosed spaces. It takes a huge amount of coaxing to get him into the car. All the happy talking and treats just don't do much good. One time I had to just pick him up and put him in there. He came from the pound -- until now, being in cars hasn't resulted in anything good.

We took a 3.5 mile trail walk today, which he liked, but I when we got home I found a tick on me, so I thought I might give him a bath. He does smell a little, too, though nothing bad. But he wouldn't go into the bathroom: another tight space. Eventually I decided to bag the bath and just get him to go in. I put his dinner there, which made him trot back and forth whining with indecision for five minutes. He finally stepped in a bit at a time, stretched himself out as long as he could go, took a bite, and backed out asap. He repeated this a bunch of times, but each time he stayed a little longer and backed out less.

I may do this with the car, too.

Other than that I think he's starting to settle in. He's started to fetch with some enthusiasm. I'd like to let him *really* run in a big space off-leash but don't yet trust him to come back. Fenced dog parks aren't that big anyway, and there isn't one anywhere in town, either.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

final dog

This isn't Arawan, but another dog I met at the Sacramento County shelter. My friends on Nordinho voted to name him Mavro.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

black is the new hispanic

Have you been seeing a lot more advertisements showing distinctly black people? I have. The indistinct, caramel generic person-of-color is losing space to the United States' self-created minority. Obama may have light skin but the 'fro flags him as not Hispanic, Asian, or Indian. The GPOC is designed to appeal to the largest number of non-white buyers -- the smiling model "could be" the same ethnicity as the viewer.

But now blacks, who are only our third largest minority (behind Hispanics and Asians), are coming to the fore. They deserve and need the recognition that they are a political force and an economic power -- something they might know as a fact, but do not truly believe.

Friday, January 09, 2009

dog time

After a many-year desire and the more recent advice of friends, I'm planning on getting a dog. I've been searching through our local rescue websites and there's a dark lab mix bitch, 7 months old, who seems interesting. Her name's Arawan (and if I adopt her, will promptly be renamed... I mean sheesh, they should at least have spelled Erewhon correctly...) The description of her character seems like she could be suitable for me. The only problem is that she's reportedly not housebroken. I'm housebroken, so she needs to be too!

I'm driving out to Lafayette tomorrow to have a look at her. I'd like a dog that has some potential for finding and flushing, so I'll take a bit of bird wing with me and see how she reacts.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

at the meet

Here's a photo of friends at the meet: A & R (the rare woman dirthawker and her longwinger bf), and my buddy K0 in the weathering yard

R's new prairie -- trapped 6 days prior and already looking confident on the perch

J's peregrine at the pigeon derby

headset followup

Forehead-slapping time.

Apparently there are two kinds of adapters, audio-only (for headphones) and audio+mike (for handsfree headsets). The adapter I bought on Ebay was the former, but was described as a "headset adapter." I just assumed they all had the microphone function. And one wonders if the microgram of metal saved in the audio-only adapter is such a huge savings to the manufacturer that it's worth their while to have two types.

So... I went shopping again. Some of them, though described as headset adapters, say things like "Not compatible with adjustable volume type headsets" or sneak the phrase "audio adapter" in the fine print. To me, that's not plain English. Most employ a common habit with advertising and completely omit saying what the item doesn't do.

Eventually I found an adapter that was clearly described as being meant to connect a phone headset. It costs about twice as much but it's what I need.

Monday, January 05, 2009

headset headaches

Me and headsets are just not meant for each other.

I've had 3 bluetooth headsets in the past 2 years, and none of them have been very comfortable and they seem to be grbling all the time.

I figured this was due to it being bluetooth and tried a plug-in headset. The first one I bought was a total piece of cheap crap, with a painfully hard earbud, a boom mike that was perpetually dropping and the whole thing sliding off my ear like it was made of greased teflon.

After research I decided the Jabra was probably going to be the most versatile: a selection of earpieces and a shape that looked like it would stay in place. I got one through Amazon and my guess was right. It was super comfortable and I could put it on either ear.

The first problem, though, was that the connector wasn't the right one. The Amazon vendor had said it was for a Samsung, but it was the standard 2.5mm connector, not the 20-pin. They refunded me a few dollars to buy an adapter.

When the adapter arrived, I found the headset didn't work -- no sound at all. Having been a computer troubleshooter all my life, it took no thought to try the Jabra with my mom's phone, which did have a 2.5mm. Still didn't work.

The Amazon vendor cheerfully refunded the balance and I bought another Jabra on Ebay. This arrived today, I hooked it to the adapter and to my phone. Lovely -- I heard everything loud and clear, even needed to turn the volume down. Then I noticed this Jabra's voice-command activation button doesn't seem to work. Well, it wasn't that big a deal, it's not like my thumbs have been amputated. To test it, I called K0, and got voicemail. I started leaving a message and got the recorded voice asking if I wanted to leave a callback number. I press the buttons to review my voice message.

No message, just silence. The mike doesn't work. Or, possibly, the adapter connects on the speaker but not the mike. I'm going to have to borrow someone else's phone to test.

But right now I am about ready to wind all these little wiry bits and pieces onto a fireplace poker and slowly heat them until their insulation melts and bleeds.