Saturday, February 16, 2019

Lego Pet Shop

My latest Lego build was the Pet Shop. Kit 10218.  2,032 pieces.

It is assembled on 2 separate bases. One for each side of the duplex.  Although connected at the base of the buildings, the split base makes it a little tricky to move.

Still, it was a fun build. Pet shop on one side.  Office or apartment on the other. I like the touch of having a display bin in the front with a ball and bones.


Front with display bin, mailbox, father and daughter bike lesson.
Back with cellar door, garbage cans and a rat, plus a rooftop garden.

Top floor, looks like storage for the apartment, but roof top garden.
Small bedroom above the pet shop.  For the owner maybe?

Second floor apartment being painted, spiral stairs on left.
Kitchen or break room with straight stairs on right. 

First floor pet shop on right, apartment on left.


The inside of the pet shop.  Cat to the left playing with the rat tail, fish at upper right,
and the barest bit of the dog in the kennel bottom right

The two roof tops.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Les Ballet Trockedero de Monte Carlo

Last weekend, we went to Chandler Center for the Arts to see Les Ballet Trockedero de Monte Carlo.

It’s an all-male ballet where the men do all the on pointe dancing.  Which I guess is not supposed to be possible. Or at least not believed back in 1975 when the troupe was created.

While we waited for the show to start, we read the program, which we almost didn’t pick up.  There were faux biographies of all the “female” dancers with names like Dumbchenko, Laptova, Namethattunenova, Leftova. Very creative and entertaining.  Plus real biographies of the dancers, most classically trained ballerinos.  

None of us have seen a real ballet – unless you count the bits I’ve seen in old MGM musicals.  But this was impressive.

From our seats we couldn’t see house right.  But the rest of it was sublime.  Excellent dancing.  Enough humor to be entertaining.  All dance-based humor.  Non-verbal.  Like bumping into each other, a foot sliding out of position for a background dancer, an arm out of place.

From the audience reaction, I would say some attendees actually understood ballet.  There was applause for different moves, like sequential pirouettes.  Just watching the dancer’s spin made me dizzy.  I can’t turn around even once.  One dancer did at least 10 spins.

There was a weird, humorous modern dance bit in the middle, with two performers doing various odd sound effects for three dancers.  One sound effect was accomplished by the performer laying on his back and gargling.  Maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious.

And an enchanting bit based on the Dying Swan where the dancer comes out to perform, shedding feathers from the tutu the entire time.

No idea how they manage to get the feathers to not fall all at once, or not at all.

Overall, very much recommend it if you get a chance.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Lizard stained glass panel

It's been a long while since I've done any new stained glass.  Painting is quicker.  And less painful.  ("paper" cuts from glass and copper foil, burns from the solder if you aren't careful).  And it's easier to fix mistakes in a painting.

But there is nothing quite like the look of stained glass art.

I kept track and this one took me 27 hours to complete from design to putting the hooks on. It's a 20" x 30" panel consisting of 100 pieces. 

I made this one for my office window.  Then realized it didn't look good there and moved it to the family room where it gets more light.

It's a two piece project.  The wall and leaves are one panel.  The lizard is separate and soldered over the top.

In hindsight, I probably should have made the glass behind the head clear.  When lit from behind, it makes it look like his head in in shadow. However, a friend told me that "To me, it looks like the lizard is headed into the foliage so its head is in shadow.”  I like that.

Against a white wall.  I may still move it back here. 

Without sunlight


With sunlight behind it


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Do dogs have names for themselves?

Two of my favorite comic strips are The Other Coast by Adrian Raeside and Dogs of C-Kennel by Mick & Mason Mastroianni.

In them, the dogs frequently call each other by name. Their human bestowed name.

How do they keep their human names straight? Dogs with multiple owners have had multiple names.

Bogie was a found rescue, so, of course, had another name although I don't know it. Angel has been known as Peanut, Tiny, and Angel by her various humans. In both cases, I kept the name they came with, but I have changed a dog's name before. 

Even dogs that have only had one owner have multiple names. 

For example, Bogie is Bogie, Bogie Boy, Baby Boy, Baba, and Dude. Angel goes by Angel, Angel Girl, Angel Baby, Baba (it's a multi-use name), and Pretty Girl.

Do dogs just shrug and somehow figure out what their humans call them?  I had a friend who was a pet psychic tell me that they know because you are thinking about them specifically. It's as good an explanation as any.

Do dogs have their own private name, shared only with other dogs?  A mother dog has to have some way to differentiate her puppies?  Doesn't she?  If only puppy 3 is biting too hard while nursing, would the mother dog just yip at all puppies?  Seems ineffective.

When Bogie introduces himself, does he tell the other dog his name is Bogie?  Or does he tell them his name is Lord Tall Who Reaches Cupboards?

Well, that wouldn't have been a puppy name. That's a grown up skill.

Maybe it's more like Smell 04526 With Dark Spots?
Smell 04526 With Dark Spots





Saturday, January 19, 2019

It's the little things in life - literally

So I wash most of my dishes by hand.  Yes, I know that dish washers are more efficient, but I have to wash the dogs' bowls out twice a day anyway.  So I wash up mine as well.

I stack the drying dishes in the left side sink.  Not sure why it bothers me to have a rack on the counter, but it does. 

Previously, I would angle the dog dishes, then layer my dishes around those.  Made it impossible to get to the dog dishes for the next meal.  And it looked really messy.

But I found a small in-sink drainer.  It fits perfectly into the sink well.  There is room for the dog dishes, a rack for my dishes, and even a cutlery holder.  (The ceramic knife always goes up top so I don't accidentally grab it.)

Much more organized.  Satisfies my need for order. 



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mountain Oasis painting

For January, there was only one painting we wanted to do.  Well, two, but no time for the other.  It was a fun class and I really liked the result.

The instructor painting had "M" birds, but I went with a sprinkling of stars instead. 



Done at The Brush Bar

Friday, January 4, 2019

Best New Year's Eve in several years

New Year's Eve is one of my least favorite holidays.  Of my last 6 dogs, four have been freaked out by fireworks.

And boy does my neighborhood like fireworks.  This year they started around 7 and went to 12:15.  Last year they started at 5:30 and went to 1:30.

Yeah, I don't get much sleep on January 1st.

Currently I have two dogs.  Angel is the Belgian Malinois/Great Dane mix and is almost 12.  Bogie is a Great Dane and is 7 1/2.

In year's past, I've had to hold Angel (all 100 pounds of her) and reach to pet Bogie.

For some reason, in 2018 Angel decided fireworks no longer bothered her.  Yay!  Going deaf?  I don't think so.  She can still hear the pantry door open from outside.

I don't know which of the several things I did helped Bogie this year, but he did better than he has since I got him.

1. I increased his evening dose of CBD oil in the hopes it would calm his anxiety.

2. I kept the door closed to keep him from running outside to bark.

3. I put a series of movies on with the volume louder than usual.

4. I sat on the floor with him most of the night, petting him, and holding him tight when he tried to jump up in response to an extra loud boom.

Mostly I think the solution was 1 and 4. 

There were definitely fireworks.  I could hear them, even over the TV.

But Bogie was a lot less stressed.  And that made me a lot less stressed.