Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twix - Part 2

Here is the continuation of my Twix stories. You can find this one and all my other Twix stories at my website HERE.
Twix Part II
So, for the most part Twix acclimated pretty well with us and us with her. She does not have some of the fantastic stories that Aikman left us with but she has a few good ones of her own. When we first brought her home it was immediately evident that we were her saviors. We could not walk out of a room without her following us wherever we went. She would curl up in the hallway when we went to the bathroom. She would curl up on the couch when we watched TV. And that is how she was for pretty much the first several months to the first year that we had her.
When she first arrived we were told she had come from another pound in Ohio and that she recently had just given birth to puppies. She also just got spaded so she was not in the best of shape. She looked depressed but she still devoted every ounce of love on us that she could. But then Veronica had to go to school and I had to go work and Twix was left home alone. This would not have been such a problem but she had an extreme case of separation anxiety. So we decided that she should spend the day down in the basement. It was a mostly finished basement and had a TV and a couch, so she could lounge around during the day and if she had an accident it was OK because the floor was tile and it would clean up easily. Other than the couple of pillows I lost to separation anxiety nothing bad really happened. She was already house trained so that went off without a hitch. She would freak out when we left and be in a state of utter exuberance when we returned but we slowly convinced her that we would always come back and the freak outs became less and less. She still bounces around when we return, 5 years later, but we have grown accustomed to it, and look forward to it now, a kind of over the top welcome home.

When we got Twix Veronica immediately set out to find clothes to dress her up in. Unfortunately (or fortunately in Twix’s case) she could never find anything large enough to fit a normal size dog. Everything we found came in mini form for all those mini “dogs”. But she did find a jersey that looked like it would fit her. Well Veronica is a bit of a Bill’s nut and the colors matched pretty well so we got it and squeezed it onto her (see picture). Well over the next couple of days we noticed that Twix was acting strange. It couldn’t be the jersey. Why would it be that? Well after I managed to get the jersey off of Twix she was back to her bouncing around self. It turns out the jersey was so small on her it was suffocating her or something so she couldn’t move. Poor dog. Well we reached a compromise and shredded the jersey to a point that Twix could still wear it and it wouldn’t strangle her.

When Twix had to go out we would have to walk her from the side door of the house to the backyard since the gate was about 10 feet from the house. So we would let her out and she would run around, sometimes we would run around with her. And she would stay outside until she was ready to come in. At that point she would stand next to the gate and look for us in the window where we could see her from the kitchen. Well when the weather started to get nicer we would let her out for longer and longer periods of time. And then we started to notice that instead of wanting to come in she would just stand and stair up into the trees at the back of the house (see picture). After watching her do this for a little while she would start to run back and forth along the fence, all the while looking up. We realized she was chasing squirrels that were running along the telephone wires and the trees back there.
So one day we saw in the store a stuffed squirrel. And we thought it would be a perfect gift for her. But we didn’t want to just give it to her. We wanted Twix to think she caught one of the squirrels. So when we got home we placed it in the fence and let her out. Well she ran around for a little while, did her usual search routine around the yard to make sure nothing was out of place, then she noticed it. She stopped dead in her tracks and slowly crept up to the fence. She sniffed it for a second then ripped it out of the fence and shook it around. That was when it started to be her new best friend and carry it around everywhere. Whenever we came home from being out she would run to the door and greet us then she would go fetch the Squirrel to show us. It became her new best friend. Wherever Twix went, Squirrel went. They became inseparable. She would snuggle with it in her sleep (see picture) and she would just carry it around from room to room. All I could ever thing of was Pookie from the Garfield cartoons.
One of the things that is great about Twix is that she loves to play. She is definitely a fighter as well. So when we fight it is a no-holds-bar, all out fight. She will snarl and snap and anyone passing by would think that she is mauling me, but she has never injured me. She will bite your hand but never bit down. When we first got her Veronica was a little afraid because she never had a dog before so I showed her that it was OK. Twix was not going to hurt her. So I put my hand in her mouth and I grabbed onto her lower jaw. Twix struggled and got my hand off of her but I showed Veronica that it was no big deal. Pretty quickly she came to be rough housing with Twix just as I do.

About a year after we got her we had to take her in to the vet to get some blood work done. Well we quickly realized earlier that she was not the vet kind of dog. She refused to even enter the vet. When I finally coaxed her into the office, it was a struggle the entire way to the scale and then to the exam room. When the vet examined her everything was going ok, until he decided to take a blood sample to test for heartworm. Well even with 2 nurses and I holding her down we could not take a sample. She would not hold still. So the doctor gave her some tranquilizers. We waited a little bit for them to take effect and we tried again, still to no avail. So the vet decided to give her the good stuff, the kind of stuff that knocks you on your ass. We waited a little while and after a struggle that she was still able to put up we finally got the sample. After that we went home and we gave her a treat for being such a good girl, at which point she just passed out holding the treat in her mouth (see picture). That is one of the funniest pictures of her because you can see her eyes are all bloodshot and she doesn’t even have the energy to eat the treat.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Welcome to The Remnant

Welcome to me new home of random thoughts and other stuff that does not have to do with geology. The official title of the blog will be "The Remnant of Dino Jim's Thoughts" but that will quickly be shortened down to just "The Remnant...". Hopefully I will spruce this up a little in the coming weeks. But sit back and enjoy.

"Chandra's X-ray image of the supernova remnant DEM L71 revealed a ten million-degree hot inner cloud (aqua) of glowing iron and silicon surrounded by an outer ring of 5 million-degree gas. An analysis of the Chandra data identified the inner cloud as the remains of a white dwarf star that exploded. The white dwarf pulled matter"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The 306 Greatest Books #83 - Meditations

Note - This review was originally published on my other site "The Geology P.A.G.E." but due to the content I have moved it here and backdated the post.

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Meditations by Rene Descartes. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

Meditations is only the first part of a two part work. The second part compiles the objections and replies that Descartes received to his original manuscript of Meditations, which he sent out to a few colleagues. Within the text, Descartes recommends reading both before making any assumptions about the work. I personally only wanted to read Meditations, so I opted to read a condensed version of the Objections and Replies, reducing the 300 pages down to about 35. Anyway my feeling on the work of Meditations did not change. In general, the work is written in a very abstract way, where one has to reread the sentence several times just to understand what Descartes is trying to say. During the times that I can actually understand his point, I found that he makes a lot of sense. He postulates that if he can make it seem as if nothing existed then he could prove that everything exists; based mostly on the fact that he is a being capable of thought. Most of this I could follow and I would agree with. Although I found his proof on the existence of God rather circular, as several of the objections also said, and I never saw anything in his writing that proved otherwise. In general a pretty interesting work, but I would not be likely to recommend it to anyone. As for the Objections and Replies, I couldn't find anything in there worth reading that would expand on the original work. The objections were interesting but Descartes' replies seemed almost nonsensical.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2009 Personal Goals - April Update

Note - This review was originally published on my other site "The Geology P.A.G.E." but due to the content I have moved it here and backdated the post.

3 Months in and I think I am doing ok with my goals. I am going to list all of the steps in the 3 months so that I can see the progress in one easy location.

1. Finish the first draft of my fiction novel.
Start of 2009 - I have the first 1/3rd of the book written
February 1st - Nothing more written
March 1st - Nothing more written
April 1st - Nothing more written

2. Drop my weight to 167lbs.
Start of 2009 - I started the year at ~185
February 1st - ~180
March 1st - 175.2
April 1st - 172.2

And I have a new goal here. I challenged my wife that I can get a 6 pack (abs not beer) before she looses 20lbs. We'll see.

3. Pay off all my credit cards.
Start of 2009 - I started the year with 5 credit cards with balances and one relative we owed money to.
February 1st - Payed back the relative. Still 5 cards with balances.
March 1st - Payed off 1 card. 4 cards with balances.
April 1st - Payed off another card. Currently 3 cards with balances.

Other achievements of note.
Well when I started staining the bar I used the wrong color stain. So I had to strip the entire bar down and restain it. Currently I have about 2/3rds of the bar stripped and restained and should start on putting on polyurethane soon. I also finished reading Dune: House Harkonnen which is the second book in the first prequel trilogy of Dune (If you followed that then you are at least as big a geek as I am). And I achieved one of my unmentioned goals of getting into the PhD program at the University of Utah.