Monthly Archives: January 2008

Random Crap

I’ve listened to evening talk radio more lately than I have before.  It’s been more difficult to listen to the day time hosts this past week.  One thing, though, is that it is very entertaining.  I love to listen to the wingnuts argue with each other.  And here in Houston, there are plenty of Ron Paul types to mix things up even more.  I’ve always known why liberals never worked on talk radio.  The format is the antithesis of what a liberal would really get into.  It’s also fairly marginalized — largely an older demographic, with others like me, who listen because we haven’t moved to the next technology (I’m waiting for the next jump, for the same reason that I push my little Chevy S10 everyday).  I’m certain that wingnut talk radio will be phased out, by technology — not their ideas or stances.  It’s another facet of humor to listen to Hannity and Limbaugh rail about whether talk radio is dead/useless/ineffectual.  They are already toast.

Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal is still in hot water.  I don’t know, but I think that the mess in the DA’s office is slowing down the procecution of cases, including Joe Horn’s.  Jared Woodfill and that ninny running for county judge are claiming they ran him out of office, but Rosenthal is still there.  (BTW Rosenthal is a Republican.)

Charles Kuffnerhas been following the possibility of down ticket voting this fall and which candidate helps or hurts.  At this point, I figure Harris County will go Dem.  The louder Republicans shout that they cleanse their own, the more authoritarian they sound, and when it doesn’t actually happen (Rosenthal, Craig) the more ineffectual they appear.  In a year when the GOP is blowing up, I don’t see any reason for anyone to vote them back in, no matter how many times John Cornyn gets on the radio.

On the puppy front, it looks like I will have them for a bit longer.  SNAP will only sterilize 3 month old pups.  (It has to do with rabies shots.)  I can’t really take them to an adoption day until they are fixed and have their rabies shots either.  I got in touch with the person at friends of Barc and I may be able to get the pups in to the last day they have the space in Highland Village.

Work is very busy and quite tedious.  My classes are pretty good.  I gave a test today and the cheaters knew that they were cheating and were embarrassed.  I guess telling them that I knew they were cheating on the last test and writing NO TALKING!!!!! on the board worked, mostly.

Question Of The Day

Rudy “9/11″ Giuliani’s presidential campaign: the enormous gamble of a strategirizing genius or the most hilariously arrogant dumbass stunt in US politics?

Halp!

I work for the queen of assigning stupid busy work, but what she gave me today has to be the all time really stupid busy work.

The city is accepting applications for what they call mini grants for neighborhood improvement projects.  My boss thinks this would be something interesting for our students to do, so she forwards a blank email to me with an attachment that turns out to be an image of a logo.  I do a little searching since she can’t be bothered to send me the information, and find that the mini grants are intended to help community groups with some (not all) of the funding for a beautification project.  The applications specifically requires that the applicant explain how the mini grant funds will be used to leverage other resources (funding).  (It actually uses both terms.)   After several maddening email exchanges, it looks like I have to come up with an interesting project for our department to apply for a mini grant for and count our students as ‘resources’ and with an international ‘flavor’!

I have no ideas.  Well, I have a couple, but I don’t think they’ll fly.  I thought that the students could collect all of the packaging from the little snacks they bring from home, make it into a ball and call it a sculpture — title “International Trash”.  Then I thought the students could make clothes from the snack packaging and we could have a fashion show, called, you guessed it — “International Trash.”

Too harsh, I know.  But I can’t think of anything.  Plant some flowers?  There’s already landscaping.  Pick up trash?  Right, I’m going to ask the city for a grant for international students to pick up trash — much less ask my students to go out and pick up trash.  The boss liked one of the suggestions on the application: “Hold a recycle art contest.”  Okay.

Any ideas?

P-up-date

We took the puppies to the vet today for their second round of vaccinations.  The Wellness Center was packed and we had quite a wait.  We let them walk a bit on their leashes two at a time in the far corner of the parking lot.  They were very good and all took a tinkle.  I carried Olga with me back and forth as I checked on our place in line — she has this very proud manner about her — she holds herself up very straight and puts one paw on my shoulder.   When there was finally enough space in the waiting room, we moved the cat(!) carriers in — right across from a big 7 month old blond lab.  His name was Diego and he came over to give the puppies a friendly sniff.  While the other three were quiet, Murphy barked barked barked at him.  It was pretty cute — especially since Diego didn’t mind.

At their first vet visit, Emiliano weighed in at about 10 and 1/2 lbs., Olga and Murphy were around 10, and Polly was 9 and 1/2.  Well, this time, Emiliano was 17.6, Polly was 16.5 (and she peed on the scales — again), Olga was an even 16 and Murphy was 15.7.  OMG.  They’re all fine.  They were so scared, though.  Polly was shaking so much that she rattled the examination table.

Back home, they were very sleepy and crawled right back into their crate — even Olga.  My mom and sis came over later in the afternoon and got to see them for the first time.  My mom really liked them — they were still a little snoozy.  My sis claimed that she wouldn’t be able to let them go.  As we were petting and holding them, we noticed that both of the boys’ fur seems to be curving up into a ridge along their backs — it’s kind of cool.

One other very nice thing happened today, too.  When my old pup Gretchen had arthritis, we got her a set of wheelies.  (My pics of her are trapped on my old laptop which has died — again.)  She didn’t get to use her wheelies very much, but those walks were up there with some of the most memorable.   There was the one time when, despite the manufacturer claims that wheelies won’t tump over, Gretchen proved that, yes, she could – one second she was rolling right along and the next — plop — onher side with one wheel spinning.  Then there was the walk when the entire park was covered in little white flowers and Gretchen smelled every last one of them.  And the funniest wheelie walk of all was when our old black lab Buddy was running in circles ‘chasing’ Gretchen in her wheelies in the parking lot of the park.  The lot was virtually empty, but one poor guy in a pickup managed to slowly roll toward and run smack dab into a light pole.  We’ve always thought that it was because the pups were such a strange sight that they distracted him.  Poor guy.  I’ve always wondered how he explained it to his insurance company.

Anyway, a couple of years ago, I loaned Gretchen’s wheelies to my sis because her old dog Thunder was having trouble walking.  They didn’t really fit — Thunder was taller than Gretchen — but my sis tried them on him several times and had stored the wheelies away after Thunder died.  Well, today she brought them back home.  Gretchen was a great dog.  She was my best friend for more than 15 years.  There wasn’t any of the alpha dog stuff with her — she and I were the pack  — we went almost everywhere together (she even found me in the grocery store once after I had hooked her up outside — everyone knew her, so it was no big deal, just funny).  I miss that pup.

Someday, hopefully far in the future, Dora may need the wheelies.  She’s got a bad back leg — it’s smaller than the other and bends in the wrong direction.  Also, she’s about the same size as Gretchen was.

Wow, this turned out to be a lot longer than I had planned.

The Warmest Spot in the House

 . . . is the puppies’ room.  I took the pictures and then left them out to chew on their chewies — then there was a crash.  Then had knocked down a fold-up table that was leaning against a bookshelf.  Even Olga, who up until now wasn’t so keen on getting in the crate, ran in with her sister and brothers.  The past week they have been a little stir-crazy because it’s been too wet to take them out to their pen, either in the morning or evening.  They’ve got room to run around, but it’s nothing like going outside.  Perhaps tomorrow they can try out their collars again, and even make a go at walking on a leash.

Pictures!

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Emiliano with a chewy in the crate.  I washed their toys and had put them on one of the tubs.  Emiliano and Murphy moved the toys into the crate — but not before Polly had gotten the green toy.  The boys got that one too, eventually.  Emiliano has gotten long and lanky — long legs and a long body.  His coat is smooth and sleek.  He’s a handsome boy.  He has a very sweet disposition — when I feed them, he’s very excited at first, like the others, but then backs off and comes back to the bowls when the others have calmed down a bit. 

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Murphy!  He’s still a little butterball.  Murph is very emotional.  He’s happy and you know it.  He’s mad and you know it.  He’s frustrated and you know it.  He loves you and you know it.  He tangles with Olga in the crate and neither of them win.  Here, he’s finally gotten his own chewy.  It takes some time for that to happen.  You know exactly where you stand with Murph.

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When the boys get chewies, they go in the crate.  The girls get on the couch.  I don’t understand why, but the boys either won’t or can’t jump up on the couch.  The girls own it.  They get their chewies and park themselves at one end or the other, and chew chew chew.

Olga is perfect.  She is smart and does that little head tilt when she’s trying to firgure out what you are telling her or what is going on.  She doesn’t like the crate much anymore, but goes in reluctantly nevertheless.  The girl has focus.  Had she been born in a different country or region, she would make a perfect herding dog.  I still think she needs to learn to work or play with a focus.  She can jump and has great control.

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Polly is a funny girl.  She sticks with her sister, but she really has personality plus.  A funny thing happened this week — Polly’s fur started curling!  I tried to get a pic of it, but no luck.  The fur along her back is curling up.  It makes me REALLY want to know what all of them will look like when they are grown.  Hopefully, I can adopt them out to friendly people who will send me a picture or two.  Polly is a very special little girl.  She can be assertive when she needs to be, but mostly she’s just a cutie (and she knows it!)

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I love these puppies!

John Edwards on Letterman

That works.  Edwards is a regular guy.  He played off Dave well.  The commercials had shown a couple of the good moments, but there were others — including Edwards pointing to his accent.  The audience response was good as well, especially when Dave asked about Kerry endorsing Obama and Edwards pointing out that Kerry would have been a much better president than the one we have now.

The man is right for our country now — think about it.

MLK Day

There were two parades here in Houston today, one in the morning downtown and on this afternoon on Allen Parkway.  The two sponsoring groups had disputed which one should get the parade permit in the past, but solved it between themselves.  Nevertheless, one of the wingnut radio station here has as their ‘Question of the Day’:  Do you think Dr. King would approve of the annual fight between the two groups that hold MLK day parades in Houston?  Stupid loaded question.  This is the same station that has two hours of Joe Pags yammering on in ignorance, saying, as a man in his 40′s, that he doesn’t remember what the problem with establishing the holiday was.  And it sounds like the stupid will continue when Michael Berry gets his turn at 5:00.

Of course, I braced myself for the stupid first thing this morning by reading Letter from Birmingham Jail.  (There is a link to the pdf file on that Wiki page.)

Also, Sean Hannity bragged on his show today that he is basically the permanent MC of the MLK Day dinner of CORE(Congress of Racial Equality).  I’ve heard Hannity berate Barack Obama because the pastor of his church has a publication which gave an award to Luis Farrakhan.  Well, it looks like Hannity’s friends at COREsupported Idi Amin and gave him a lifetime membership.  But no one will ever get to ask Hannity about that.

Puppies’ Clean Room

I spent the morning reorganizing and cleaning the puppies’ room.  While I was doing it, I decided to register them with GetMeHome.comand test out their collars.  The heartworm treatment we got at the vet included tags with numbers for Get Me Home, a lost pet locator service.   This is something that their new owners will be able to use, too.

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Polly’s collar is pink, Olga’s black, Emiliano’s blue and Murphy’s red.  They tried to chew on each others collars at first, but were then pretty good about them, except that Olga tried (unintentionally, of course) to strangle Murphy a couple of times.

They seemed a little bewildered at all of the space I made for them.  When I gave them some new little chewies, Polly, Emiliano and Murphy got right back into their crate.

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Such big paws!

Olga stayed outside.

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Cleaning up really wore them out — especially the vacuum cleaner.  Whenever I turned it on, they piled on top of each other in the corner across the room or tried to cram behind the toilet.

They are such good little puppies.

Amazing Race Finale

I haven’t kept up with blogging about this like I had wanted to and now it’s almost over.  (Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so terribly wrong about every episode.)

I want TK and Rachel to win, but I doubt that will happen.  Christina (mostly) and her dad have been on a roll and can seemingly do nothing wrong.  And the previews make it look like Nick makes a big mistake.

But what do I know?

The big girls are ready.

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I’m Taking Bets

As of this weekend it will be just one year until Bush is out of office.  I think it’s time already to start taking bets as to how thoroughly he will screw this country before he pulls a Salinas.  It would make complete sense, don’t ya think?

This proposed stimulus package — unfortunately backed by Dems in some ways — we’ll have to see how it shakes out — but I want to see if Bush pushes through.  He’s set to screw this country like it never has been before.

So, what are the bets?  Will this stimulus package basically be the equivalent of the devaluation Salinas left Mexico with?  Will Bush trot off to Paraguay after his term is over?

ADDED:  How will you spend your $800 rebate?  Bernanke sounds just like Chavez — throw a bone to the little people — they will spend it.  And that will fix the economy.  Give $800 to a rich guy, he’ll just put it in a savings account and then the stimulus package won’t work. . .  unless you let them do a big write-off, so they can get a big tax windfall, then the economy will be ok until George can escape.