Sunday, December 29, 2013

First tattoo

I was married to a biker.  I was married to a long-distance trucker.  You would think I would have gotten a tattoo before now.

But really, I couldn't think of a subject or design that I wouldn't tire of in a few years.

Until now.

A friend suggested paw prints.  My dogs are my world.  So it seemed fitting.  Nor is it likely that I will ever not have a dog.

So a couple weeks ago I got this to commemorate my last 6 dogs.  The colors match the dogs.  The orange and green toe on the upper right represents his ever-present carrot toy.

The tattoo wasn't nearly as painful as I expected.  So I will probably get another.  

As soon as I can decide on a design. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Everyone needs a friend like this.

I don't know what the antonym is for "photogenic", but I'm it.  I've never like a single picture taken of me.

Until Thursday.  Thursday was the holiday party for work.  One coworker brought his camera and shot pictures of everyone.

When I saw mine, I actually liked it.

I said so, to George and Joel.  I said, "Either Kumar is an amazing cameraman, or I am getting more accepting of the way I look."

George said, "Or you're getting better looking."

Now that's a good, and clever, friend.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bogie is making a lot of progress

As Bogie and I were walking back down the street towards home this morning, something caught his attention in the yard of a corner house.  

This is where he chased a cat shortly after I got hurt   That time I let go of the leash after No didn't faze him, afraid of getting hurt again . He chased the cat until his leash got caught under a car wheel.

Today I yelled No, not expecting much.  

He didn't ignore me.  He didn't jump the wall. 

In fact, he aborted in mid-jump, twisted, stumbled, and scrambled to regain his footing on the sidewalk by my side. And we resumed our walk. 

I was so proud.  

Later we ran errands in the car.  When we got back to the house, I parked in the garage and opened the back door to the car.  This time, I didn't make the Stay There motion when I opened the door.  Waiting is one of those actions that are supposed to be implied.   

Bogie started to get out of the car.  His front feet hadn’t even hit the floor yet when I said, Ah, ah, as Shawn taught me. 

Bogie scrambled to get back into the car, pushing back with his front feet to get his hind end back into the car.  Where he waited for me to say Break before getting out of the car. 

Again, incredibly proud.

I'm so pleased to see that the time and training are paying off.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I'm not in my car

Not surprisingly, after reaching 250,000 miles, my Mazda needed a little maintenance work.  The garage couldn't get it done in one day, so I rented a car. 

As I got into the rental to drive away, I wanted my sunglasses.  

Which were in my car.  In the shop. 

I drove past the convenience store near my house, planning to buy this week's lottery tickets.  And I realized I didn't have my lottery play slips. 

They were in my car.  In the shop.

I drove into my subdivision, planning to pick up my mail, and realized I didn't have my postal box key. 

It was in my car.  In the shop.

I pulled into the driveway and stared at the garage door.  I didn't have the garage door opener either. 

It was in my car.  In the shop.

I hadn't realized how much I counted on the objects I need being accessible.  Until I didn't have them. 

I was thrilled when I got my car back.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Interpreting personalized license plates

My commute isn't horrendous compared to some, but I do drive 26 miles each way to get to work. That drive can become tedious, especially when traffic is slow.  I watch for personalized license plates and try to figure out the why behind the choice.

My own license plate is STNDGLS.  Since I get asked what it means, "Stained Glass" isn't as obvious as I thought.  The why is because I create stained glass pieces.

I have a friend who with a cat (and now two cats) who chose the license CATPERSN.  That is to explain that she is definitely not a cat lady.  Another friend has BLUCHEEZ, to indicate on his blue car that he is a Cheesehead from Wisconsin.

But therein lies one of my quandaries.  In order for his license plate to have meaning, my friend has to always have a blue car.  That isn't as big a problem as those that are model specific.  If your license plate is MYREDZ, do you get a new personalized plate when you get a new car?  What if the new plate you want isn't available?

Some plates need supplemental information to interpret.  DOXNMOM confused me until I saw the dachshund stickers in the window.

There are the plates that seem to indicate the car was a gift 4MYGSPS or 4 MRBOO.  Wouldn't Mr. Boo be a cat?  Would I want to drive around announcing that my car was a gift?

In Arizona, we get a lot of transplants from other states.  It makes me think that perhaps they are not fully committed to living here when they have a license plate like OMAHA or PA2AZ.

FUCHSIA on a black car doesn't make sense, but MIDNYT3 on a black car does. IMAHACK would seem to be a great plate for a taxi, but this was on a pickup.  Maybe Hack is his last name?

Some plates seem to reflect the driver's interests, business, or personality:  YOGAMUM, SCRAPY (which I'm assuming is for scrap-booking), REPIPE1, GOGETTR, or STELRS94 (Steelers fan?).

Other plates seem to be related to family; TWNSNUS and CNDOUBL while others just seem to be names: CAYC, RFAELA, MYERS, HIGGNSN.

Most license plates are hard to decipher if you don't know the person. For example, FINE4US on a compact car.  Are they self conscious or proud of their vehicle choice?  I hope MI CASA on a compact car doesn't mean the driver is living in his car.  Is SLAYYER for a fan of the band, a reference to a video game, or something else entirely?

TWO CHE is punny.  NEATHUH on a fancy sports car amused me. MYCOFFN worried me.

Mostly, personalized license plates entertain me and keep my commute interesting.

Monday, December 9, 2013

D'oh moments

I keep having these "light bulb" moments where I realize that my approach to a problem is all wrong and the answer is simpler than I realized.

Maybe everyone has that.  Or maybe I am slower to see the best answer.

For example, the irrigation.  Once again, one of the sprinkler heads broke off in the lawn.  This is the hazards of having two big dogs that like to run figure 8's in the grass.  Sometimes the sprinklers take a direct thrust from 80 pounds or more of turning canine.

I noticed this 4 days ago when I had neither the time nor the energy to change the sprinkler riser.  I turned off the irrigation, resigning myself to hand watering everything until I could fix the problem.

It wasn't until today, when I was watering trees (which are always hand-watered) that I realized I didn't have to forgo the automatic watering on the orange jubilee if I just shut off the times for the lawn.


I want a visible red nose on one of my outdoor lighted deer.  I had a set of small oval bulbs I bought last year to use, but the oval bulbs didn't fit in the sockets of the small LEDs on the deer.  I rigged up a contraption but it burned out quickly.

A small red LED bulb was a partial solution, but it just wasn't bright or large enough to satisfy me.

This year I found some nice round LED bulbs.  I took the strand apart and tried to wire just one of the bulbs to a plug.  But it kept burning out.  I had a white strand that I could swap a bulb in, but the white round bulbs would ruin the pattern of lights on the reindeer.

For some reason, it occurred to me to try the round bulb in the socket of the small LEDs on the deer.  It fit!  It lit!  The easy solution. But it took way too long for me to consider trying it and cost me a disassembled light strand.


These are two examples that happened just this weekend.  I have these moments at least once a week.  And when I do, I swear you can see the cartoon light bulb above my head.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sherlock Holmes versus Mr. Spock

This past week's Elementary episode seem intent on reminding us that Sherlock is not necessarily a nice or socially competent person.

I think the show's producers want to ensure us that associating with Joan Watson will not have a softening effect on the exalted detective.

It occurred to me that the very aspects of Sherlock that annoy people are the attributes people like in the Mr. Spock character – his strict adherence to logic, his dispassion, and his intellectual brilliance.

In Spock these are acceptable because he isn't human.

Sherlock is expected to have human feelings and emotions.  The fact that he doesn't engenders pity, scorn, and anger.  

His Watson companion, in any incarnation, is given sympathy, and is viewed with puzzlement for the willingness to associate with Sherlock.  The Star Trek universe was more military, where you just learned to deal with the people stationed with you.

Spock is accepted for being who and what he is.

Sherlock is accepted only for the results he produces.

Poor Sherlock.