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That Blogging Staple – a Picture of my Dog March 31, 2008

Posted by caveblogem in Dogs, Maggie, Other.
4 comments

It has been a long time since I put up a picture of my dog. Surprising, really, considering how photogenic she is. Click the thumbnail for a bigger version.
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Maggie is a little tired in this picture, having spent most of the day outraged at the squirrels across the street. These squirrels were fortifying their nests with leaves, because it has been unseasonably cold and windy, lately. They are pretty well camouflaged, normally, but when they are carrying a bundle of dead leaves they are pretty easy to spot.

She will be turning two years old in just a couple of short months. My, how time flies.

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How to Fold a Westie December 4, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in DIY, Dogs, how to, Maggie, Origami.
6 comments

A while back I posted a response to the 19 Things Meme that revealed that the header image you see above is actually a picture of a mirror in my house that has little origami dogs standing on top of it, all facing the same direction. Somebody (Diane) posted a comment a couple of days ago requesting instructions for creating these little origami dogs, and I am more than happy to comply.

I have always felt that the West Highland White Terrier (Westie, for the cognoscenti) is the pinnacle achievement in dog breeding. And this easy-to-fold origami stand-in seems, somehow, proof of that belief. No other dog is so recognizably rendered with a sheet of paper (not to mention the fact that for most every other dog you would have to use colored paper) and a few simple folds. They are the platonic ideal of dog-ness. They are friendly, smart, determined, persistent, cute and fun. And they fear nothing.

I didn’t invent this origami dog. I suspect that like many of the more simple diagrams it was invented quite a while ago. But I here render the folding sequence as a public service to those who would beautify the world with more of such likenesses.

Start with a piece of white paper, the thicker the better. I’ve folded hundreds of these out of business cards, while mired in pointless, endless meetings. Business card stock works really well. First find the center by folding and creasing in the middle so that it looks like the diagram below. (Click to enlarge. I am using paper printed with gridmarks to make the folding easier to follow.)

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Then fold all four corners towards the center.

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Then unfold two opposing folds. Fold one outward and one inward, as shown below–near the one-third mark.

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Then fold the whole thing in half. It is beginning to look like a dog already. A headless dog . . .

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Then fold from one corner to the other, one side at a time. This forms the ears.

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Then the other side.

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Then unfold the front legs, which are now tucked inside the dog.

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Finally, you have to unfold the beard, and crease it flat.

It should look like this:

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Notice the resemblance to the real thing (I didn’t have a current action shot of Maggie, who is now a little too big to play table tennis, so I used a shot from last year)?

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Basic Needs May 25, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, coffee, Dogs, memes, Other.
2 comments

I was over at The Moon Topples this morning, checking up on Maht, and I found him doing this old meme that interested me (he got it from Good Thomas, but it has been bouncing around the intertubes for some time, apparently).  You take your first name and query Google with it thusly (including the quotation marks): “Firstname needs” and then hit “return.”  So I decided to do this thing.

My first name is Dane, which narrowed the scope of the answers somewhat.  Most of the sites used the word “Great” before my name, which is nice, flattering.  But I am modest.  The reason I got a Ph.D. was so that the word “Doctor” could be used before my name, thus keeping people from saying “great” all the time.  It was that or find a way to get knighted.  Anyway, there were still 2,500 or so hits.  What do I need?  What do all humans need?

First of all, I need shelter.  Something like half the answers had to do with shelter of some kind:

  • home
  • a New Home!
  • foster or forever home!
  • temp foster or perm home!
  • to Go Home
  • a home by this Friday

 Some were more specific than others, of course, with regard to location or type:

  • a large house with a big yard with a fence at least six feet high
  • home or transport in Missouri
  • home in SC
  • a good home
  • warm sleeping quarters
  • furnished room ASAP

And a few suggested that shelter was not as important an issue as location, which is one of the things that realtors say, too.  But I’m going to have to go with the overwhelming majority on this and disagree.  I may need “placing in Calif Bay Area,” or “to come to Indy,” but I assure you that it still gets cold there at night and during the winter.  And although I might need, after all, “to cum play in hammond, LA,” the playing would end at some point and it would be time to sleep.  The sites that claimed that I need “a place to stay while I am away” are absolutely correct.  At any rate, I have a house, and it is clear to me that I cannot do without it.  And I am thankful for the reminder to count my blessings. 

Next on my list of needs is food and exercise.  There is some disagreement about how much food, though, and how much exercise.

  • 3300 calories, not 6600
  • only a moderate amount of exercise
  • plenty of exercise, at the very least a long daily walk
  • more exercise

For some, the food and exercise weren’t enough, and they would have you believe that I need “a great deal of food and exercise,” plus “careful training when young.”  Well, it’s too late for that now, if so.  But some weren’t specific about exactly when the training had to be done but had something to say regarding how.

  • daily exercise and a persistent trainer
  • firm yet gentle training

Health care is important, too.  And many sites mentioned this need, some more specifically than others.

  • little coat care
  • a lot of preventive care
  • to be scared into going to doctors and the dentist
  • urgent hip surgery
  • special medical care
  • to be registered through OFA-Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

Everyone needs family, too, and some sites hit this theme, even suggesting particular requirements.

  • new family
  • to be treated as part of the family and introduced to as many normal daily occurrences as possible
  • a family who is willing to coach him in developing skills with his peers

Well, new family is always nice.  May I suggest a niece or nephew?  As to the other two, I think my family satisfies those requirements.  Finally, there were those needs that I found more difficult to classify:

  • ID tags and registration
  • to find a cheap car
  • a lift
  • a friend
  • time and patience with someone who already has experiences with dogs
  • to start his Dream
  • TO SING MORE
  • to jump-start his movie career
  • help
  • rescue
  • a Job
  • a Second Miracle
  • to break into Chuck’s lab and pee in his coffee
  • sites to photo odes
  • a wii
  • action
  • Your Help!
  • to do his time to pay for his crime
  • volunteers to help work at our information booth at the Juneteenth Festival this Saturday, June 17 in Penn Park
  • volunteers to help table and hand out literature for 1-hour or 2-hour shifts between noon and 5 p.m. on Sunday
  • to prove his innocence of a charge of sexual assault before he will propose a real marriage to his beloved

Some of these seem like needs and some seem like wants.  It is always hard for Americans to tell the difference, I suppose.  All I know is that Chuck better brew his own for a while.

Visible Dog May 23, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Dogs, Maggie, Other.
3 comments

Maggie she went to the hospital this weekend, which was traumatic for the whole family, of course.  We knew that she has a thing about chewing, but we didn’t realize the danger.  She has destroyed a bunch of her toys, and we usually take them away from her after they start to fall to pieces, except for the rope toys.  These wouldn’t last a minute if we took them away from her just because she was ripping them to shreds.  She swallows a ton of the rope, of course.  But we didn’t realize that it could get all balled up in her system, create a dangerous intestinal blockage.  But now we do.  No more rope toys. 

Anyway, she’s fine.  Here’s a picture of her just before we took her to the hospital. This is her sad face (click to enlarge).

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And here’s a picture of her insides (click to enlarge). 

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Nice that the veterinary clinic provides you with copies of these things.  Otherwise the $1,300 vet bill would seem excessive. 

I’ll post another picture of her when her hair grows out a little more.  Currently, she has no hair on her front forelegs where the IV was attached.  They did both legs because they did the right first but didn’t find a vein there.  So then they did the left. I hesitate to post a picture until she looks less like a french poodle.  Not that there is anything wrong with that. . . .

Take the Picture Already February 26, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Dogs, Other.
6 comments

I don’t have enough time today to write a real post.  And I couldn’t post yesterday because the transformer for my laptop died, leaving me computerless for the day.  Normally I post pictures on my other blog, but there is again something wrong with blogger’s mobile blogging functionality.  Blogger currently ignores all the pictures I post through my cellphone. 

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So you get this picture of my dog today.  Maggie is nine months old now and has perfected her how-long-are-you-going-to-make-me-sit-her-when-I-want-to-play-ball? look.

No Terriers were Harmed in the Writing of this Novel December 3, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Dogs, My other blog, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other, writing.
3 comments

Writing is a funny thing.  People bring their own preconceptions to your work (if you are lucky enough to have readers, that is.)  I just got a comment that was posted to this site on December 1 and for some reason was put into the spam bin.  Maybe that’s because it was posted anonymously.  I don’t actually know. 

At any rate, this commentor took me to task for criticizing terriers in Chapter 13 of the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo and posted elsewhere on this site. 

I applaud his or her bold defense of terriers.  Just to set the records straight, though, I should admit that my West Highland White Terrier, Margaret, pictured below, was the model for that particular character in the book.  She is, as you can probably tell just by looking at her, just the sort of dog that, blinded by a spotlight, would somehow find your leg and try to take you down, somehow. 

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We were playing our favorite game, chase-me-around-the-house-you-out-of-shape-awkward-human, yesterday, and when I lunged for her in the kitchen and missed, she doubled back and ran over my chest.  I was actually trampled yesterday by a dog that weighs less than the laptop I am using to type this. 

Isn’t she adorable?