Aug 31, 2008

She's NEVER Seen Dogs Behave That Way!!

Friday we went up to Dog Lake (again... time for some new hikes) with Laura and her Lucy Goose. Howard and Lucy hadn't met yet, and we were excited to see how they got along. They both love to play and both have a hard time finding a dog who will play with them as long as they want. Lucy wasn't quite sure about Howard until we got close to the lake, at which time she found a stick and started showing it off to Howard, who fell right into her trap and started chasing her up and down the trail. I have to include this picture too, because look how funny Lucy looks!
and in this picture Howard gets to lead the chase. Note his tongue hanging out the left side of his mouth.Up at the lake, Howard fetched a few logs as usual, and Lucy bobbed around in the water like a buoy. It was rather concerning really, her whole head would dunk under the water, this dog has no natural swimming ability whatsoever. Most of the time she just bounded around in the shallow water though.
video

At one point Lucy was leading the chase with a stick in her mouth and Howard and Sadie tearing down the trail after her. They all went behind some bushes so we couldn't see them, and then we heard a woman shriek, "Oh, myyy Goooooooooaaadddddddddd!!!!" We all looked back and she had emerged from the bushes and was staring at Lucy like she knew death was upon her. Lucy was standing innocently a few feet away staring, equally concerned. Sadie was a few feet away too, going, "Muff.......Muff....." We aren't sure what happened behind those bushes, but we figure either one or more of the dogs plowed into her in their excitement, or one or more of them jumped on her. She then realized that her life wasn't in immediate danger and started muttering loudly, "I have NEVER seen dogs behave this way. Never in my life". It was funny, but also sad. I think the lady was truly terrified.
Have to add this picture too of Lucy and Howard bonding with another dog through a game of three way tug o' war.

Aug 29, 2008

See how Awesome Michael Parkes is

Michael Parkes is probably my favorite artist. I love Salvador Dali too, but some of his art can be a little too depressing for me. Michael Parkes' art is usually colorful and I can't think of any that depress me. A big plus for me is that he almost always paints animals along with his people, and he tends to paint a lot of tigers and lions, which I am a sucker for. Sadly, I don't have any of his prints in my house. They're pretty expensive, like thirty bucks for a poster. But, maybe I need to spring for one.
This one, called Gargoyles, is my favorite.

Aug 27, 2008

Henceforth he Shall be Known as... Howard the Brainy!

Recently I posted a picture of Howard zonked out on the bedroom floor surrounded by scratch marks in the carpet from his long and tedious efforts of digging a den. This isn't just something he does every once in a while. Howard does this without fail every night. He really wants a den there, and in this video I can just see the bubble above his head. First he stares at the ground for several seconds... "Huh? Where's my den? I dug a nice deep den here just yesterday. *wheels churning desperately* Why would someone cover up my den? Who would do that to me? Drat. (Howard says words like drat, he is very proper) I better get started right away digging a new one. I hope Sadie doesn't notice that I lost the old one. That would be sooo embarrassing. Sadie is so beautiful... hey, why isn't this dirt moving? Nothing seems to be happening. I must just not be trying hard enough. I better really put some elbow grease into this. Oh boy... better take a breather. Gee, I hope this is good enough. I sure hope no one moves it again."

video

Also, you can see his white rooster on his left in the video. This is currently his most prized possession. It crows, not unlike the rooster who lives next door crows... alll thee timmmee. Anywho. The toy crows, but it is tricky to get it to crow. It will only crow the first time you grab it just right, after that you have to set it down and pick it up again to get it to crow. This has been a constant source of confusion for Howard. I watch him laying there gnawing on it for 15 minutes or more in a sitting, trying to get it to crow. But, boy, when it does crow, is it worth it! He prances around with pride when this happens, feeling like the king of the world.

Aug 26, 2008

Book Review: The Host

The Host is by Stephenie Meyer, same author as Breaking Dawn. It is about an alien race that has taken over several planets including earth. The description of the alien race, or the "souls", and the planets they're lived on is colorful and interesting. Theirs is almost a utopian society. Any sickness or damage can be fixed as long as the heart is still beating. Anger or annoyance are nearly extinct emotions. When a host body gets old, no problem, just choose the next planet you want to live on and get yourself shipped over there on ice to be reinserted. The one problem the souls have come across is the human race, who occasionally have minds too strong and unwilling to be overcome by the souls. Wanderer, a soul, is chosen to be placed in Melanie's body, but finds Melanie to be fully conscious when she takes over the body. Melanie's memories of her true love are so vivid that Wanderer can't help falling in love with him too. Wanderer finds Melanie's strong emotions to be intriguing, and they go off on a adventure together to find the guy they love. I thought the characterization of both host and parasite was really good. This book has much more to it than just the love triangle, and I found it to be thoroughly entertaining.

Aug 25, 2008

The little known correlation between belly fat and basketballs

Laura sent me this ad that targets... belly fat. And we all know what we get when we lose that pesky belly fat, don't we?? Basketball sized boobs!!! I am totally ordering this right now.

Aug 24, 2008

Fetching OCD

Tim, Monica and I went to Dog Lake on Saturday with the puppies. Tim and I went the previous Sunday too, but I forgot to bring my camera and missed out on some classic Howard footage, so we had to return and capture it. Howard is mostly lab, and boy does the lab come out when he gets a chance to fetch in the water. He isn't always totally into fetching on land, but he seems to have a severe case of OCD when it comes to objects in the water. Sometimes it doesn't even seem like he is enjoying himself, but he feels like he must retrieve. Tim threw out increasingly large logs until he was fetching this one:

video

Sadie doesn't make it into my blogs as much as Howard does because she isn't nearly as goofy, she takes herself very seriously most of the time. So, I had to post this one of her helping Howard pull the log onto shore.

video

Aug 23, 2008

Book Review - Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer is the 4th book in the Twilight series. I loved the first three shamelessly, despite the fact that this series is actually written for young adults and it is pretty much all about love, well, that and vampires. Although, in my defense, I will say that I know lots of women who feel the same way.

Breaking Dawn is about 750 pages long, and for the first 550 pages I was in heaven, longing for the book to never end because I was enjoying myself so much. And then, as far as I could tell, Stephenie quit caring at all about the book. I won't be giving too much away by saying that the family must prepare for a confrontation right at about the time that I lost interest, because, unless memory fails, that happens in all of the previous books too. It seemed like Stephanie was bored with the storyline at that point. Like she could barely bring herself to even finish off the book. All of the preparation for the confrontation felt like Stephenie was sticking to business, plowing through what had to get written with no interest. And by the end of the book, not only had I been bored for the last 200 pages, but I was also annoyed that she failed to wrap so many loose ends up. One of the ends is closure for Jacob's character. She randomly wrote about a fourth of the book from his point of view, which, at the time I thought was great and I loved it, but little did I know the book would not ever switch back to his point of view. It was so strange, I've never read another book where just one random part is written from the POV of a different character. In closing, I will say again, that I absolutely loved the first 550 pages and would recommend them to anyone. Just keep your expectations for the last 200 pages low...

Aug 22, 2008

Fall: Winter's Hitman, or Winter's Parent?

Tim and I had an in depth conversation sparked by my pumpkin barfing blog the other night. I think we were up too late. I mentioned the pumpkin, and told him how it summed up my feelings for fall. And Tim was like, "What??? I LOVE fall. Spring is the one that I hate. Fickle whore." And I was all, "Whore?? No. No No. Spring is innocent. Spring is an innocent child, forming a bond between two adults who despise each other. Fall is just winter's hitman. Winter doesn't want to get its hands dirty, so it sends fall out to do the deed. BAM." And Tim was like, "You have summer and winter totally wrong. They are like yin and yang. Romeo and Juliette. Two kids who can never be together. And spring is so a whore. Running off with whoever bids the highest at the moment. Furthermore, fall is no hitman, fall is winters parent. Fall is the mature one who knows what it wants." Tim even said that he could picture each season and was going to draw illustrations for this blog. I could of course do the same, but I'm betting that neither of us will follow through. Here is what I found on google images that shows what summer looks like. Tim might even agree with me. So, loyal readers, it is time for you to weigh in on this timeless debate. Is fall innocent or evil? Is it winter's hitman? What about spring? Is spring a flirty whore or an innocent child?

Aug 21, 2008

Anniversary Celebrating

Tim and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary on the 19th. Tim got tickets for us to see Big The Musical. I'm not always a huge fan of musicals, but this one was really good. It actually made me laugh out loud a few times and was thoroughly entertaining. The actors were perfect for the parts too. The guy who played Tom Hank's part did an awesome job acting like a kid. We were sitting in the last row, and Tim actually got placed in a fold out chair in a handicapped space. We had some good luck though, because at intermission the usher said she had noticed a couple of seats in the first row that were unoccupied and she said we should take them. Sitting in the first row was really cool.
As a gift to each other we got season tickets to the Pioneer Theater. I'm really excited because this season My Fair Lady and Romeo and Juliet are playing there. The others I haven't heard much about, but they all look good.

Aug 20, 2008

Fall Decorating = BllleeeeeEEEchhhhh!!!!!!!!

There I was at work, dutifully looking through google images to find one to include with my blog on fall decorating, when this pops up:
That pretty much sums up how I feel about fall in general. But, also, I think it is hilarious and couldn't stop chucking about it in my cubicle. I may try to carve this for Halloween. That would be awesome. The guy with the cube next to me must have thought I was slacking off. Well, he would have been sorely mistaken!

Aug 19, 2008

Kitchen Cabinet Doors... Check!

Tim finished the last three cabinet doors, including the door for the pantry. Now he needs to make the shelves for the pantry. Then, all he will have left to do in the kitchen is trim. He still wants to sand down the floor and stain it a dark color to contrast with the cabinets, but I figure the dogs will trash it within like 1.2 seconds anyway while turning the corner in the kitchen at full speed chasing the cats. So no rush.

Aug 18, 2008

Doggie Racism

I am a bit of a doggie racist towards pit bulls, and have been ever since Sadie was mauled by one while we were on a run. She was on a leash across the street from the pit bull's home. It ran toward her with no hesitation and took her down her like it was a freight train. I don't believe she would be alive today, if the pit bull's owner hadn't been a strong guy who happened to be out front with the dog and hadn't been there immediately pulling the dog off of her. Even using all of his body weight he couldn't get the dog off until the collar choked it long enough to deprive it of oxygen. And then it tried to chase her, but she out ran it. After this I did a lot of research about pit bulls, and I found that even on pro pit bull websites it is heavily emphasized that pit bull owners need to keep their dogs on leash when other animals are around. In fact, a few guidelines for responsible pit bull ownership on the overwhelmingly pro pit bull website pitbulllovers.com, such as "never trust your pit bull not to fight" and "always have your pit bull on a leash in public". I don't think it could hurt for any pit bull owner to visit the website (there are also several other pro pit bull websites preaching the same guidelines), because seems closed minded to believe that your dog's breed has a bad rap unjustifiably. Following these guidelines could save your dog from perpetuating the bad reputation of pit bulls.

Aug 16, 2008

Adam's Canyon Hike

Adam's canyon didn't look like it had any trails other than the one we took. We hiked only 3.5 miles round trip, around 1500 feet elevation gain. It was mostly a really easy hike. The first half mile was mostly sand with no shade, poor Howard was trying to pick up all of his feet at the same time because they got so hot on the sand. The last half mile or so was slow going because there wasn't much of a trail and you are forced to hike on a steep slant next to the river in many places. So, overall the hike wasn't too spectacular, but the waterfall at the end was worth doing it at least once. There were a couple of smaller waterfalls too. After we reached the big waterfall, we thought about climbing up further to see if there were any others up ahead, but the dogs weren't able to make it up the small area we would have had to climb through, and there were cliffs on each side, so they couldn't go around. We thought about boosting them up, but Howard acts like we are trying to kill him when we merely lift him into the back of the subaru, so, we weren't sure he could handle being boosted up in a situation where he could actually fall and hurt himself. Howard is not a risk taker. Here they are trying deperately to climb up after Tim:At one point during the hike we passed a couple with a pit bull, and as the dogs were greeting each other the woman said, "Let's hope this is just a friendly sniff session." Like, maybe with her dog there is an alternative? She just hopes each time that it will be friendly and not a fight? Tim even said, "Hope??" Just to make sure we heard her correctly, and she giggled and said, "Yes, hope." I have strong opinions about responsible pit bull ownership (or, uh, irrisponsible in this case). But, that'll be next blog's topic. Anyway, we lucked out this time I guess.
And even though it doesn't relate at all, here is a picture of Sadie after coming in from the back yard, she loves to nuzzle through the dirt back there.

Aug 12, 2008

Blogging Tip - Hide the Blogger Bar at the Top

For anyone who finds the login blogger bar to be disruptive to your template. Go do the layout tab, and then choose html. Right before your tag, paste this in:

/* this section hides the nav bar */#navbar-iframe { height: 0px; visibility: hidden; display: none; }/* end hiding the nav bar */

Aug 11, 2008

Gary and Roger

When Tim first built the second garge, we had a hard time figuring out how to refer to each garage so that we would know what garage the other person was talking about. But we shortly came up with a quite effective soluion; naming them. Gary and Roger, haha, Gar-Roge?? Oh, I am so clever. It works perfectly. "Tim, where can I find a hammer?" "Oh, out in Roger." I have a tendancy to name everything anyway though, logical or not. But, obviously this falls on the locial side, first and second wouldn't do. This dates back as far as I can remember. My dad would take me fishing, and instead of focusing on catching fish, I would play with all of the worms and give them names. I really haven't changed much since then, diet preferences included.

Aug 10, 2008

Mural Under the Deck

There is a patio under my deck and since last year I've wanted to do a mural on the wall of the house there. Yeserday I finally bought some spray paint and tagged it up under there! Here is the inspiration; a painting that I saw on the berlin wall:

Mine doesn't have faces yet. Spray paint wouldn't work, so I need to actually hand paint them on I think. But, I think it feels a lot more exciting under the deck already.

And while I'm at it, here is another painting from the berlin wall's East Side Gallery that I really like:

Aug 9, 2008

Sadie is a Fuddy Duddy, but Howard Loves her Anyway

This is a frequent scenario when they play. Howard runs around like this and gets maybe one good chase from Sadie per 5 minutes of enticing.

video

Aug 8, 2008

Sno Cone Choices, a Window into the Soul?

Every summer I like to get a sno cone a bare minimum of once a week. And this is the deliciousness that I always order:Mmmmm... that's right, bubble gum with cream (ok, they were out this time, but normally there would be cream), extra flavoring please! Ever since I was a kid, I knew bubble gum was my sno cone flavor soulmate. I would never cheat on bubble gum. Tim on the other hand, likes to flounce off with the flavor of the week, whatever looks best at the moment, with no loyalty whatsoever. Pssshhh. Food for thought? Definitely.

Aug 7, 2008

Rock Band Potluck

I'm posting this a little late I guess, but last Friday my work had a Rock Band pot luck lunch. For anyone who doesn't know, Rock Band is a Nintendo game where you have a guitar, drums, bass, and singer. Each band member has to play their part of the song and it shows on the TV how close each person is to where they should be. I didn't play, because I am way too musically impaired for that. I can't even sing Tim a song that I know he knows and get him to identify it. He will just stare at me as I try my hardest to belt out the song true to tune, and then he will name some totally different song. It is only when I can remember enough lyrics to spark his memory that he will recognize the song, never, ever from my tune. But, the game looked like more fun that I thought it would, like maybe even I would try it if I had it in my house for free. It was funny to watch other people try to play, and everyone had a good time. The band members also dressed up, which I was sad to miss out on. Here are a few pictures from the event:
I always love an opportunity to dress myself or others up! (see H Dogg for proof). Last Halloween I dressed as white trash, and wow did I outdo myself. Here I am in all of my glory for anyone who has forgotten or missed out, since that was before I started this blog. I am proud to say that I won second in the company costume party out of hundreds of contestants:

Aug 5, 2008

Work Blog

I got the template working on my blog for work. I think it looks pretty cool. I do wish that the coolness didn't all scroll away when you go down the page, but, they say you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can see it here.

Aug 4, 2008

Oh, Howard...

This picture was a pleasant surprise I found on the camera. I had forgotten that Tim took it. Howard likes to scratch the carpet thoroughly before laying down. He does this outside too, that is why there are so many holes in the backyard. But, inside, he doesn't get discouraged by the lack of actual progress. He digs and digs, with a subtle look of confusion on his face, until he collapses with a loud groan, finally confident that he can find comfort in the cool cubby he has created for himself. It makes me laugh every time. Howard is such a character.

Aug 3, 2008

Silver Lake

Yesterday we went up American Fork Canyon for the first time. We hiked up to Silver Lake, which was a nice walk, nothing too strenuous. It is only about 2.2 miles each way and 1500 feet elevation. The whole canyon allows dogs to be off leash, which is awesome for us. The trailhead is quite a way up the canyon, so the temperature was cool compared to the valley. The trailhead is also right next to a lake and a campground, which was packed. The hike was full of shade and there were lots of flowers along the way.
Here we are at Silver Lake:
After we got to Silver Lake we decided we needed more of a hike, and we had seen a small lake above silver lake on the map. Here is a picture of Silver Lake as we started to hike above it:And here is it from further up with Howard looking quite noble in the foreground:But, if you want to see the lake, and not just the dog, here is a better one. In the foreground you can see a couple of spiky purple flowers that I thought were really pretty:Here is a whole patch of them with Mule's Ear in front. I took pictures of some other yellow and pink flowers, but the pictures turned out fuzzy:The hike up to the second lake was only 3/4 of a mile, but it was very steep, and on the way there we weren't on a trail, not even an old mule trail, as my mom and I have come to know as the faintest of trails that my dad sometimes takes us on. Here I am bushwhacking my way up. There were a lot of wild roses and though they were pretty, I have very scratched up legs and hands because it was so steep that I kept losing my balance and grabbing anything, which often turned out to be wild roses.And here is Tim in front of a cool loner aspen tree:Once we got up the steep part there was a big marsh area that the puppies had a blast barreling through:Here we are in front of the second lake... I can't remember its name and I am too lazy to check:We hiked a little bit above the lake to a spring that we saw, here is he lake from above:
I found a natural lounge chair and took full advantage. The dogs quickly realized what a wise decision I had made and came over to sit on the chair with me. Sadie loved it because it gave her a nice perch where she could look over the area and make sure that no one was going to try any funny business.It didn't take Tim too long to get jealous and relax too. It was very cozy resting for a few minutes with the dogs cuddled up next to us. It is kind of hard to see whose legs and arms belong to who though.
On the way down we found a trail! What fools we had been on the way up. The way down was so much easier. This hike was so much fun and was beautiful. We are definitely going to go back to American Fork Canyon soon.

Aug 2, 2008

Book Reviews: True Evil, Blood Memory, Turning Angel, Third Degree

These four books are by Greg Iles, who I've been into lately.
True Evil is my favorite one of the batch by far. The book starts out when Alexandra, an FBI agent, rushes to her sister's side after her sister suffers a stroke. On her deathbed her sister Grace tells her that her husband murdered her, and Alex has to prove it and get custody of her Grace's son, so that he won't be raised by this evil man. The FBI agent chasing the killer is a typical plot, but this book's twist is the method of murder, which is causing cancer or strokes in undetectable ways. The book details some science regarding this that sounded believable to me and I thought it was a really interesting topic. Anyway, Alex is able to identify the next target, and she has to convince him that he is in danger and try to catch the bad guy. I tend to be an impatient reader, and often I read ahead in books to get the the juicy stuff, but this book was all juicy stuff, so I didn't have that problem.
Blood Memory I had a really tough time caring about, although I can't fairly review it because I didn't read the whole thing, but not for lack of trying. I diligently read more than 100 pages into the book, and still wasn't able to get hooked. This is one that I admit to reading ahead on. The book was just a little too depressing for me, and I didn't care about the main character enough. It is a serial killer book about a string of middle aged men who have been murdered. Cat is a forensic odontologist who is called in to look at bite marks that are on all of the murdered men. She also finds old bloody footprints in her childhood home, and realizes that she may have some repressed memories about the day her father died. It sounds interesting, but somehow I just didn't find that to be true.
Turning Angel I enjoyed. It is about an attorney named Penn. A teenage girl dies in his small hometown and his friend Drew requests his legal representation because he had been sleeping with the teenage girl secretly and knows that this will come out when the girl's death is investigated and he will be a suspect in the murder. I got attached to the main character and involved in this story. I would recommend this one.
Third Degree is about a wife, Laurel, whose husband learns that she has been unfaithful. He is facing some other stresses in his life and flies off the handle, taking her hostage at gunpoint until he finds out the name of her lover. I liked this book because it has good character development. I am usually unable to sympathise with someone who is cheating on their spouse, but from Laurel's point of view I was able to understand her reasons. The end isn't totally believable, and the standoff lasts a little too long to be interesting the whole time, but, overall I liked this book.

Aug 1, 2008

Good Samaritan from Tanner Park

A few days ago we went to Tanner Park, an off leash dog park with a short hike along a stream with lots of pools for puppies to swim in. We went with Monica and Britney, a couple of friends I know from work. I brought my camera, but left it in the car. So, no exciting pictures of Sadie and Howard running around having fun, you'll just have to take my word for it. About halfway through the walk, I noticed that Howard's collar was missing. His collar falls off sometimes when it gets wet, but normally I luck out and happen see it fall off. I looked all over on the way back and never saw it. Today, I got home from work, and what should be hanging on my front door knob, but Howard's collar! It has a tag on it with his address and other information. I really felt all warm and fuzzy that someone would go to the trouble to return it. It was especially cool because Tanner Park is a good 20 minute drive from my house, so the collar went on quite a journey. I didn't get to talk to this person, but, thank you mysterious wonderful Tanner Park stranger!
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