Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Well, Christmas is almost here and other holidays seem to be sprinkled around this time of year:  Chanukah and Kwanzaa spring to mind.  So I guess all religions are causing their believers stress.  Happy days indeed!

Yes, I am a grouch.  Yes, I am a non-believer.  Please don't bother to tell me how wrong I am; plenty of people have done that already.  I was probably rude to them in return.

We are having a Christmas eve luncheon with our daughter today.  She is all excited about going on a trip after Christmas so we'll get to hear lots about that later today.  Then on Friday we will have friends coming to visit for a couple of days.  It's been a long time since we've been together and we are looking forward to catching up with them.  Of course having guests means extra cleaning, planning special meals, etc.  Lots of fun!

Every day when I drive into town (we live in a sort-of subdivision a couple miles from the center of town) I see three or four flags or banners calling for re-electing President Trump in 2020.  It makes me feel like I don't belong here at all.  The President is just so foolish, so self-centered, so bad at being the representative of our country.  Of course, I have trouble liking any of the Democratic candidates but Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence are just disgusting.  I remember hearing in 2016 how happy the people of Indiana were that Mr. Pence was being taken off their hands.  It is the only argument I can imagine that makes not-impeaching President Trump a good thing. 

Speaking of the Democratic candidates, wow, what a bunch of losers!  And the front runners are mostly old.  Don't get me wrong, old isn't automatically bad but Bernie Sanders is 78!  I mean the average life expectancy of men in this country is only 76.  Let's be darned careful about Bernie's running mate because we're probably going to inherit him or her.  Then again the Democrats all sound like they think socialism is what our country needs.  I can't think of a better way to lose the election.  I do like Tom Steyer and Pete Buttigieg but neither has any federal governmental experience.  Elizabeth Warren has experience but she is 70.  Oh well, the Russians will probably give the election to Trump anyway!

So, have a Merry Christmas, happy Chanukah or joyous Kwanzaa!  On to 2020.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Something different

We've been doing a lot of international travel since our beloved pets died 6 and 7 years ago.  The dog had a cancer that was operated on several times and it just got to the point where she would still be in recovery at the time a new eruption would be found.  The vets just could not get all of the cancer out of her.  The cat just died of old age.  We took the opportunity and traveled via cruise ship a lot but also just taking a month and visiting Italy or Australia or wherever.  Well, that's over now!

Saturday, Nov. 30,  we went out to lunch then thought we would stop by the local animal shelter to see if they had any new dogs that we hadn't seen before.  Long story short:  we brought home our new dog!  It's a weird dog for sure.  It doesn't pull on the lead much when you are walking it but it is totally untrained.  Of course we don't know what it's previous owners called it so we can't call it by name.  However, it doesn't know any of the common commands:  come, sit, stay....  He doesn't even know how to play.  If you bounce a ball in front of him, he watches you but has no real interest.   We were told that it was found out in the desert abandoned and covered in stickers so it was shaved!  They said they thought it was a year old and starving.  On Wednesday we managed to get in to see our vet and she suggests the dog is more like six or seven years old and we believe her to be correct.  The dog just doesn't act like a young dog.  Also, he weighs something like 57 lb (25kg) and while you can fell his ribs they aren't sticking out as though he was starving.  So anyway, here's a photo of Ollie our new dog.
According to the animal shelter, Ollie was shaved in late September or early October and his coat is still not growing out.  The vet suggested that the follicles might have been burned and the hair may never recover.  At any rate, he looks like he was shaved last week by a drunk who didn't know what he was doing!  There are little tufts of hair here and there but large portions of his coat has hair that is perhaps 1/16th of an inch (1.5 mm) long.  We'll see.

He is pretty smart and he definitely responds to food!  He's learning his name, sit and come.  He is a long way from perfect but it's coming along.  We have a crate for him to sleep in since he isn't house trained at all.  We put him in the back seat of the truck and took him on a trip to Las Vegas that worked out really well.  There is a restaurant/bar called BJ's that has a small outdoor area and they said having a dog out there was just fine.  He was really good just waiting for us by our feet while we had lunch.  We are already thinking of our first trailer trip with him!

When we flew to Norway to take that North Atlantic cruise something happened to my back and I've had pain ever since.  Before the cruise we would walk around our neighborhood about 2.5 miles (4 km) 5 or 6 times a week.  I still can't walk a tenth of that distance without severe pain.  Just shopping in the grocery store can send me for more ibuprofen.  The doctor sent me to Physical Therapy but after 10 visits I've had only minimal improvement.  They are going to try dry-needling which sounds like a semi-copy of acupuncture.  It would be cool if that worked!  However I'm scheduled to visit a orthopedic specialist the first week of January.  Should be lots of fun too. 

So, that's all the news from around here.  Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully I'll manage to update this before but if I don't have a Happy Holiday - whichever you celebrate!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Not a lot going on!

Well, we managed to make things calm and comfortable at home again so there isn't a lot to report.  Well, a little.

Went to our daughter's in Las Vegas for a Thanksgiving luncheon.  It ended about 3 pm and we headed off home.  That means going up through a 5,400 ft pass (1,600m) and, since it was raining in Las Vegas, it was snowing on the pass.  The bottom line is that we've never driven the Escape in anything over rain.  As it happens, it turned out really well!  We'd be stopped and giving the gas a little touch, the car moved ahead very easily.  Since the traffic was moving at about 1 mph, that worked going up hill.  Coming down, we gave the car ahead lots of room but braking was never a problem either.  So, we're thrilled!

Other than that, it's a quiet time.  We are looking for a dog to make our house stinky again but it's a work in progress.  We'd really like a shelter dog but we'll see.  Sorry for the short update but it's quiet around here!  Take care.