Intelligent Dogs and Perfect Pork Loin May Cause A Thunderstorm

I have created a monster.

Or I have broken my dog.

You see, intelligent dogs are wonderful, but they learn better than you expect.  That includes learning you, your actions, and your environment.

There are many stories about people teaching their dogs hand signals because they’re deaf, and they work out admirably.  If you watch a dog “acting” on a television show, they’re merely performing an action based on a trainer’s hand signal that is made off camera.

On the other hand, my dog knows that if I say OK out of the blue, something is about to happen.  I tend to use this as a “clear the decks, I’m about to say something” noise word.

If I sit at my computer, which I do for far too much time, I have to be careful where I put my feet.  Not that he wants to sit under them, but he listens for my feet sliding across the floor.  That means, at least to him, that I am getting up.

If I am getting up, something will happen.

It’s a small house and my own kitchen-desk-door route has a lot of things that are interesting to dogs, and I do like to cook.

A Lot.

 

If I’m in the kitchen things sometimes fall to the floor and a snack happens.

There’s also the Psycho-kinesis effect.

If Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM) stares long enough, food magically appears from the refrigerator.  The food then magically lifts itself from the plate and onto the floor.  It is at this time when the food can be scooped up and gobbled down.

It’s all quiet, and not very Lab-Like.  Labs have a genetic mutation sometimes that their hunger never shuts off.  It would be better off if we as humans would stop breaking dogs and engineering traits like constant hunger and flat faces into dogs, but that isn’t something that will stop today.

I do have a lunch ritual.  I have convinced him that if he does not beg, he does get a treat.

Recently I made a BBQ Pork Roast.  Take three pounds or so of Pork, marinade overnight in Barbecue Sauce.  Cook at 225F (low and slow) for about 2 hours or until internal temperature is at 145F.  140 is the lowest temperature according to the USDA for Pork to be “done” these days, and I slipped and went up a bit.  However, I simply turned off the oven, and made the side dishes in the microwave.  About 10 or 15 minutes later, the internal temperature was 155 and I was ready to have lunch.

Some of the best damn pork I have ever had, frankly.

4 ounces for me, 1 ounce for Rack.

But if he hovers, he gets nothing.

He really loves pork, so he’s made the connection of not to stare.  We have a routine that must be followed.  When the food gets set down, he gets up from the corner, walks over and sits down.

Just like that.  Automatically.

One of those boundary issues happens next.   He looses his mind.  All at once.

Gently he sits down but is levitating.  Magically he glides closer as if he’s floating on air.  Snout gets within inches of the plate.  There are a few morsels of perfectly prepared pork loin sitting there.

He only does this with Pork.  Chicken he doesn’t like as much.  On the other hand, if it is not Pork, I tell him Not For Dogs and he backs down immediately.

I’m making his entry fee higher each time.  More and more tricks.

He knows how to say “Yes” by nodding his head, I did say he was intelligent.  But now, I ask him.

“Do you want some pork?”

I get The Look.

“No, answer me, yes or no?”

I don’t think he likes being taught.  I put my finger on his muzzle and say “Yessss” in an exaggerated tone while pushing down a bit.

He didn’t really respond.

Try again “Yeessss” , pushing down.

Hmmm we’re not getting this.  Foot comes up off the ground and he waves it around thinking I want to shake.

“No, I didn’t want Foot.  Do you want some pork? ‘Yesssss”?”

Eyes dart back and forth.  Some minor movement detected.  I accept that as a “Yes”.

“Funny, you’ll break your neck nodding up and down like a bobblehead at the back door but you won’t say Yes for your favorite!”

Head cocks to one side.  “Oh sure, just be Cute”

Foot comes up, then other foot.  “Here, have your pork”.

May as well give in, he knows he’s getting it.   “Just step back a little, you’re too close and it is My plate after all”

I get to smile a small smile, he’s understanding even if he doesn’t do Yes predictably.

Fortunately that pork loin has another week and a half worth of lunches.

Except when I need to exercise the Jeep.  Then he loses his mind because he wants to come along for when I go out for a Ride! in the Car! to get Lunch!.

Shower, primp, and prep for being out in the public, I’m being watched.

Get dressed, and he’s winding up.

Pacing from back to front door.

Looking in at my sitting on the edge of the bed, pulling on my boots, he’s weaving between my legs and the bed.

“You’re not making this easy” as I scritch his back and his back side.

He’s wiggling around and bouncing, trying to convince me that he needs a sidekick.

At this point I know I can either take him with me by saying “Go wait at the front door” or “Sorry Rack you get to stay home and watch the house”.

But only on Saturday and Sunday.    Any other day and he’s fine with it.  Doing his job of guarding the corner and slacking off.

Lots of slacking off.

Rides in the Jeep are where he’s overexcited, drooling onto the tan fabric, and absolutely rigid in the passenger seat.

But it’s all in having a dog that is just about as intelligent as your average second grade honor student wrapped in fur.

Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Just, someone, please, cover me.  Lunch is coming, and Pork is happening.

I recently went to a vegetarian restaurant and a woman said she recognized me. But I had never met herbivore.

Yep. This one threw me. It kind of came out of left field.

 

Can somebody please tell me how to calm someone down who’s had too much to drink?

At first I asked him if he finished the bottle, and he only got more pissed

I asked him if another one would make him happy, and he just kept screaming.

I jingled his keys in front of him and told him he wasn’t allowed to have them, and he practically ran out of oxygen from yelling.

I told him he should go to bed and he just stomped around trying to be intimidating.

And then the straw that broke the camels back, my wife came home and he tried to grab her breasts.

 

All of this over some stupid formula, nobody told me having a baby would be this tough.

And if life were just this simple, right?
My wife and I wear the same size shoes. We’re solemates.

I have CDO. It’s like OCD but in the correct alphabetical order

I may like this one simply because it’s using my name.

Ok, cute joke too.

 

Bill walks out into the street and manages to get a taxi just as it comes driving by.

He gets into the taxi, and the driver says, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Dave.”

“Who?”

“Dave Smith. He’s this guy who did everything right. Like my coming along when you needed a cab. It would have happened like that to Dave.”

“There are always a few clouds over everyone,” says Bill.

“Not Dave. He was a terrific athlete. He could have gone on the pro tour in tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star.”

“He was something, huh?”

“He had a memory like a trap. Could remember everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine, which fork to eat with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and I black out the whole neighborhood.”

“No wonder you remember him.”

“Well, I never actually met Dave.”

“Then how do you know so much about him?” asks Bill.

“I married his widow.”

The Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Recipe Fit For The Bathroom

First the recipe. 

I have been using a couple recipes for this for the last couple years.  About 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to a large mug of coffee, about 24 ounces.  It’s added right as the coffee poured into the mug.

A Little Goes A Long Way.

This one will work well, it’s adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, and this is one of the most widely quoted recipes  for Pumpkin Spice that I have found.  I usually either double or half the recipe depending on what I need it for – hence the “adapted”.

To a jar you can seal the top of, add the following spices:

3 Tablespoons Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Allspice

1/2 Teaspoon  Ground Cloves.

Stir the spices until mixed, seal jar, use as needed.

Now about that Bathroom I’m blathering on about.

I have used that spice mix in coffee, and dropped a little in some bread once or twice with differing results.

But it also works well for making soap.  In fact, I liked this stuff so much I will use it to make up a batch of soap with it.

I got the idea from my friend Craig in Atlanta.  He likes dark and bold soaps, and challenged me one day.  He suggested I make up a Coffee based soap.  We batted the idea back and forth and I came up with the idea, I think it was me anyway, to make a Pumpkin Spice Coffee Soap.

I was afraid of this stuff.  And I still have to make that only Coffee Scrub Soap.

Everyone said to make the soap outside, lye plus coffee makes some horrible stench that will drive you away.  You always add the lye to the liquid before adding that to the oils in that order.

So I did the math.

It turns out Coffee can be substituted for Water at a 1 to 1 ratio.  I made up a standard soap with a frozen coffee slug as the water, and mixed it out on my front porch.  I added it to the oil mix, and stirred it until trace.

Mixing in the normal 1 Tablespoon to the Pound of soap gave me something that looked like a gritty Brownie in size and shape.  I allowed it to cure for a month, and I had six bars and three testers.

I was shocked when I finally sampled this stuff.

It smelled good.  The Coffee did make the lather look tan to brown, but it smelled spicy and did clean just as well as any other blend without staining the tub.  Using the Pumpkin Spice Mix as a grit was not too abrasive, and there was no burning like I was warned could happen with anything like Cinnamon against “tender” areas of the body.

The bonus was that the scent did not linger after rinsing.

I’ll be making this again later, but this time just the Pumpkin Spice.  Making the Coffee into Ice Cubes takes up time, and I can make up a batch of soap in about a half hour.  It’s a fun little diversion in the middle of the afternoon.

 

In case you’re curious, here’s what it looks like once it’s packed into the molds with the soap recipe to the side.

Mind you, I didn’t have a line of Suburban Soccer Moms waiting in their SUVs this time, because I promised to share the recipe for the spice mix – at the top.

Why shouldn’t you tell a joke about an unsharpend pencil? It has no point.

Fred and Mary got married

Fred and Mary got married. But they can’t afford a honeymoon, so they go back to Fred’s parent’s home for their first night together.
In the morning, Johnny, Fred’s little brother, gets up and has his breakfast.
As he is going out of the door to go to school, he asks his mom if Fred and Mary are up yet.
She replies, “No”.
Johnny asks, “Do you know what I think?”
His mom replies, “I don’t want to hear what you think! Just go to school.”

Johnny comes home for lunch and asks his mom, “Are Fred and Mary up yet?”
She replies, “No.”
Johnny says, “Do you know what I think?”
His mom replies, “Never mind what you think! Eat your lunch and go back to school.”

After school, Johnny comes home and asks again, “Are Fred and Mary up yet?”
His mom says “No.”
He asks, “Do you know what I think?”
His mom replies, “Ok, ok, tell me what you think!!!”

He says: “Last night Fred came to my room for the Vaseline and I think I gave him my airplane glue.”

What happens when Winter arrives? Autumn Leaves.

In a crowded city at a bus stop, a beautiful young woman was waiting for the bus. She was decked out in a tight leather mini skirt, with matching tight leather boots and jacket…

As the bus rolled up and it became her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step on the bus.

Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver, she reached behind and unzipped her skirt a little, thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg.

Again, she tried to make the step onto the bus, only to discover she still couldn’t!

So, a little more embarrassed, she once again reached behind and unzipped her skirt a little more and for a second time attempted the step and once again, still she could not raise her leg because of the tight skirt.

With a coy little smile to the driver, she again unzipped the offending skirt to give a little more slack and again was unable to make the step.

About this time, a big Texan that was behind her in the line picked her up easily from the waist and placed her lightly on the step of the bus.

Well, she went ballistic and turned on the would-be hero screeching at him, “How dare you touch my body!! I don’t even know who you are!”

At this, the Texan drawled, “Well ma’am normally I would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kinda figured that we was friends.”

Save a Pet’s Life, or a Person’s, and Learn CPR

My morning walks sometimes take a weird turn.

I was wandering around town following the dog.  It was about 2 hours before dawn, normal for us.

I was decidedly allowing my dog, Rack the McNab Superdog (TM) to lead.   We hit the south end of town and were in a parking lot near the park there.  He just veered off to the right to head into the neighborhood there and slowed down wagging his tail.

There I saw, approaching us, my neighbor, Juan.  We greeted as normal, which is to say he was excitedly starting to tell me a story.

“I just about lost my dog!  He was laying there dying!”

Yes, that’s a bit dramatic for just before 6AM.  It turns out his dog had either swallowed something or really had just decided to cross that damn Rainbow Bridge on his own.

What he told me was that he picked up “Bear” and performed the Heimlich on the dog followed by chest compressions.

“That is just what my first aid training would have told me to do with a person, I’m glad you saved him!”

Long story short… Bear is alive because someone knew just what to do.

That happened with my nephew, Jon, when he was around 4 years old.  I was at their house.  He ate “something” and it got caught in his windpipe.  Of course being a kid, he ran out of the room and upstairs.  I came calling after him.  He was getting wobbly and blue in the face.

I ordered him (yes, ordered.  That command presence can be very useful!)  to turn around.  He fell against me.  I put my fist into a ball and applied pressure just under the rib cage.

Well, with a gush of air and a splat, the offending piece of food ended up stuck on my Mom’s grey wall paper on top of the stairs at her house in Cherry Hill.

My nephew is still alive to this day.

You can do this to yourself.  I did.

Watermelon with seeds are wonderful.  Without seeds they taste like a basketball.  Trust me, I’m from New Jersey.  I bit off more than I could chew and it got stuck in my windpipe.

Relax, don’t panic, relax your abdomen, and push sharply on your abdomen.

The fruit popped out of my windpipe immediately.

Whenever possible, I always have maintained my Red Cross First Aid training.  If you get a chance to take it, don’t blow it off, you may be that guardian angel that someone or someone’s pet needs to survive.

Oh and skip the rawhide “treats”.  That stuff is evil and stuffed with questionable chemicals.

It is leather after all.  Would you like to chew on a handbag?  A shoe?

When your dog goes to swallow the “treat”, it may form a plug in their throat or windpipe and if you aren’t watching, you’ll be left in tears as your trusted friend makes that trip across the Rainbow Bridge.

If you do know CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, the actions are similar on a dog or a cat to what you’d do to a person.

Choking, see if you can clear the windpipe or the throat of any obstructions, and if not, apply pressure to the abdomen.  There’s a one page PDF here from the SPCA explaining exactly how.

As far as CPR is concerned the instructions are to place your hands on the ribcage and do chest compressions at the rate of 20 per minute, or the speed of “Staying Alive” then two rescue breaths into their nose.  A Better explanation can be found here on the Red Cross.

They all recommend after an issue like this to get your pet to a vet for an exam since they can’t talk.

My nephew Jon didn’t need a vet.  Nor a doctor.

Why does Atheist Jesus have low self esteem? He doesn’t believe in himself.

So since yesterday’s rude joke was about a marriage and beer… why not follow it up with this one.

Anyone have a “Fine IPA” handy?

A husband and wife are shopping in their local supermarket.

The husband picks up a case of Budweiser and puts it in the cart. “What do you think you’re doing?” asks the wife.

“They’re on sale, only $10 for 24 cans” he replies. “Put them back, we can’t afford them”, demands the wife. They carry on with their shopping. A few aisles farther on, the woman picks up a $20 jar of face cream and puts it in the basket.

“What do you think you’re doing?” asks the husband. “It’s my face cream. It makes me look beautiful”, replies the wife.

Her husband retorts, “So does 24 cans of Budweiser and it’s half the price.”

I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister.

The rule of the day is never ask rude questions if you don’t want a rude answer!

A conversation between a man and a woman

Conversation between a man and a woman. She asks him 5 or 6 questions that he answers quickly and easily. She, however, will remain silent after answering a question asked by the man:

woman: “Do you drink beer?”

man: “Yes”

Woman: “How many beers do you drink a day?”

man: “Three”

woman: “How much do you pay for each?”

man: “$ 5, tip included”

woman: “How long have you been drinking?”

man: “Ehm … more or less for 25 years”

Woman: “So, if each beer costs you $ 5, and you drink 3 a day, it means you spend $ 450 a month, which is about $ 5,400 in a year.

man: “Right”

-Women: “If you spend $ 5,400 in a year, without considering inflation, you have spent $ 135,000 over the last 25 years.

man: “Right”

Woman: “You are aware of the fact that if you did not drink beer, that money could have made you profit, maybe in some bank that would generate interest, and after accounting for the compound interest of the last 25 years, you could even buy a plane?

man: “Do you drink beer?”

woman: “No”

man: “Where is your plane?”

Who gets your digital pictures when your gone if nobody can find them? Back up your data.

Who knew FPL would be responsible for my thinking this through.

I take a lot of pictures.  I mean a LOT of pictures.  Anyone who dabbles in Photography does.

The last time I looked, between video I shot, intermediate edits, final edits, pictures, and so forth of things that made it through my hands, there are gigs worth of them.

Just a ludicrous amount.

I like looking at my pictures.   Some of you do out there too.  This blog is photography heavy.

My dog, my family, trees, birds, my engine bay of the Jeep.  Just things I like, just things that caught my eye.

Others may say that they’re boring.  After all, how exciting can it be when my dog even yawns at me.

I know many of you out there are exactly like me.

We have our family pictures.  Birthdays, Weddings, Thanksgiving pictures.

If you’re old.  Well ok, over a Certain Age, if you’re being kind, you even have them on paper.

You know, actual Photographs.

Believe it or not, they will last longer.

Why do I say that?  Think of it this way, there have been house fires where the “Family Album” or the wedding album of Aunt Grace and Uncle Jeremiah back in 1910 in front of their flivver featured prominently on the fireplace, survived.

A Flivver I have been told is a Ford Model T where as a Jalopy is an old car from that era.  Jalopy is still used if my arteries to my brain have not hardened and I am not halucinating due to lack of blood flow.

Oh look!  A Shiny Object!

Ahem.

So what about that wonderful digital thing, the digital camera.

Great things aren’t they?  You can take them anywhere because they’re smaller, a little more sturdy, and even these days fit on the back and front of most cell phones.

Give me a Digital SLR any day, they’re much more flexible, and you can get removable lenses.

No, I mean it if you have a spare…

Never mind.  Some day…. Hmmmm….

Anyway.  You have your beautiful DSLR that took the award winning photograph that went viral.  It’s really a weed but looks like a giant flower.  It could be the dimple in your two year old’s cheeks.  Even could be your dog playing.

All those thousands of pictures.

Remember that fire I was talking about?  It doesn’t have to be that drastic.

I had a friend.  Had.  He passed away.

His pictures won’t be making it back to the family.

They were on a computer because he was as gadget mad as I am.

Half of his pictures were undoubtedly on his phone.  Those pictures that were left on his phone are lost forever.  By now, his iCloud account has been purged along with whatever photographic treasures that he had set aside.

Family may want those, are you sure that picture you took might not better be used as a memory of you once you’re gone?  You’ll need to make sure you put it where they can get to it.

The remainder were splattered between a number of laptops that I maintained for him remotely.

He came up here once and I dropped his pics onto a CD-ROM.  Remember those?

They won’t survive a fire but having one here means that a few of his memories will escape onto facebook for whatever good that may bring.

In my case, I found out that I had a problem.

My power here is shoddy.  Sitting in the living room chair, lights dim, power may surge and hum, relays snap on and off and back on again.

I get up from the chair and turn off the breaker on the air conditioner…

 

Yes, it is October, yes I am in Florida, yes I will be air conditioning my house to 24C/76F in January, it’s part of the deal.

… and wonder what I lost.

This all comes out of a data recovery project.  How I preserve my pictures is to have them on an “external hard drive”.  Since I have an android phone, I can copy them to my server or my laptop with ease.  Specifically that is why I don’t have an iPhone, whether or not it is safer on their iCloud or whatever i’s have been left for access and not poked out with a pointed stick.

Just look to the //router/share/pictures directory and have at them.

Why was it a problem?  Those pops and snaps.  Any time your computer or your hard drive is subject to power irregularities, your data could get ruined.

So why am I suggesting keeping them on a fragile hard drive here at home?

For redundancy of course.

Sure you could get an account at one of dozens of online storage sites, but there’s a certain something about keeping the data close at hand.

Yes, even for my pictures of my dog.

I cleaned out the corrupt files, lost much less than I expected, decided that I really did not need that third copy of a linux operating system I stopped using years ago, and gave “the rug” a good vacuuming in order to get rid of the chaff on the hard drive.

So consider once you’re gone, your family won’t have those little pictures.  I’m beginning to think that history will be at a loss as a result of what made it so much easier to share memories.

Even if the Fotomat is long since turned into a couple extra parking places after the whole Film Photography thing went almost completely away.

I THINK the drug stores still do film processing… maybe not!