Monthly Archives: June 2008

Automatic Cat Box Redux

Save your money:  Here’s an update (make sure to read the customer rant).  Hat tip to Northern LS.

Meet Terri

Uncertain ancestry:  Terri clearly has a lot of terrier in her, but who knows what else.  Her fur is more like sparse, wiry hair, and she is curiously bare on her undercarriage.  For all I know, there could be a little Chinese Crested in the mix.  She has a brindle pattern with dark ears and a big spot on her lower back.

Terri Guren

Yesterday evening, I take her for a walk over to a park on the far side of Givat Ram.  It is a place where dog people hang out, and that evening proves to be no exception. There is a small group of people accompanied by a large German Shepherd, a Pug, and a few in-between mixed breeds.  I can tell that Terri wants to play, but she is unsure, and the German Shepherd looks a bit aggressive.

This morning we head out in the other direction.  I keep Terri on her leash until we get to the open expanse that leads to the Karmiel Trail (the part that goes around the Rabin neighborhood).  She trots happily, doing her business and never getting too far away from me.  Partway along the trail is another park, and we meet Donny, a massive Lab mix with a scull the size of a basketball.  “Is he friendly?” I call.  His human assures me that Donny is a big marshmallow.  I give Terri the nod and she takes off.  Within ten seconds, the two dogs are best friends, tearing up and down the park like lunatics.  It is the first time that I have seen Terri in a full-out run, and I am astonished as she actually becomes airborne.  She reminds me of those little dogs who run the complicated obstacle courses. 

After an energetic romp, we part ways with Donny and continue our walk.  We eventually get home muddy and tired.  So much for yesterday’s bath!  Terri has a long drink and I have to coax her to eat (she still only wants to eat if we hold the food in our hands). 

Return of Miss Doggie!

I have another kid:  We find the little doggie again today!  No lost chances this time—she’s already been to the vet, had her shots, a check-up, and the start of a flea treatment.  She then picked out a snazzy red collar, a new water dish, some treats, and a rawhide chew toy.  She’s been eating well, and she was a very good girl as I gave her a much-needed bath and brush.  Her name is Terri (yes, she’s a terrier of some sort, so go ahead and groan).  She’s full grown but skinny, so we’ll probably plumpen her up a bit from her current 7.5 kilos.  Keep in mind that Nadine weighs about 7 kilos! 

Stay tuned for Terri pictures!

Punctuationally Challenged

Another one for the Hall of Shame: Loyal reader SG from sunny California shares this revolting sign with us.  She eventually went in and tried to explain the problem to the shop owners.  “I doubt that they ever understood,” she says, “but they eventually removed the sign.”  One small victory for literacy!

Watch those apostrophes!

Still Alive

Had you wondering, there: I know, it’s been a long time, but life sometimes gets in the way of our plans.  My back is still mucho sore, and I dove straight into teaching and work when I got back.  Oodles to do.  Meanwhile, the cease fire is still shaky, though the weekend papers were filled with pictures of kids in S’derot and surrounding areas playing outside.  Would that it was that simple.

The latest on the saga of the Bum Back was my GP doing a bit of acupuncture.  Trouble is, to get to the effected area around the disc, the needles have to go in between 5 and 6 cm.  Yikes!  I admit it: I yipped and yelped like a Yorkie.  The doc surely now thinks that I’m a wimp, but damn!  “Oh, you’re sweating on your back,” he noted.  “That’s an excellent reaction.”  Reaction, my ass.  I was having a hot flash at the time.  Isn’t life fun?

Meanwhile, no sign of the sweet little doggie.  I am so sad when I think of What Might Have Been.  The dog that Almost Was.  I am starting to think that Nadine crept downstairs and opened the gate during the night.  She did seem particularly smug the morning after the dog disappeared…

The Almost Dog

Sweet lost pup: Yesterday is the first day that I drag myself out for a morning walk.  My back is still killing me, but my doctor gave me the go-ahead.  It feels odd; my stride is short and my pace is slow.  it certainly doesn’t seem like my normal walk. 

Anyhow, my neighbor and I spy a cute little dog towards the end of our loop.  She is sitting all alone in a parking lot.  She is very thin and dirty, but looks otherwise OK.  Small, some sort of mixed-breed terrier.  She doesn’t need much coaxing to follow us home.  Later, I take her over to the vet and he checks her for an ID chip.  (None.)  The poor little thing is quiet, sweet-tempered, and adorable.  By that evening, I have already decided that I want to keep her.  I get her settled down for the night and she seems happy, but in the morning, she is gone.  (Our yard is not small-dog proof.)  I walk along the same route this morning, looking for her, but no luck.  Very sad.

Flushed with Success

I want one: Northern LS alerts us to this amazing invention, a must for all cat lovers.  Note that this is another fine Israeli invention!  Be sure to watch the video.

Yes, I’m still alive: I know that my long silence has had a few of you wondering if I had been arrested, hospitalized, or kidnapped by aliens.  None of the above, I assure you.  Put it down to the wear and tear of travel.  My back is still causing me agony and I am still recovering from the trip.  Will try to post Philly pics soon.

As Kosher As We Wanna Be

In the Old Country:  My sister Tracy lives on Long Island (pronounced “lon GYLAND,” dontcha know).  The community of Great Neck has a very large Jewish population, and shomrei shabbat doesn’t go well with East Coast summer temps and high humidity.  At least at home, people can show up to t’fillot looking like total shlumps.  Here, suit and tie seems to be expected.  Talk about a shvitz bath.

Looking forward to a dairy-fest for Shavu’ot.  More later…

Adios, Philly!

The end of another great Summit:  We wrap things up in Philly on Wednesday evening.  I have the bad luck of pulling one of the deadliest conference time slots: after lunch on the last day.  It is the last educational session (before the closing session), and many people have already left or are off doing last-minute shopping or sight-seeing.  I expect about 15 people in my workshop, and am tickled pink when I end up with SRO.  People are sitting on the floor, standing at the back, and crowded in and around the doorway and out into the hall.  For once, all the AV works perfectly, and it is a lively session that generates a few more usability enthusiasts.  

The conference experience is completely different for board members.  For example, I only manage to take in two sessions the whole time.  Most of my time is spent working on board-related stuff (meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings, interspersed with shmoozing the trade show vendors).  Every time I step outside my hotel room, I have to be “on”—ready to field questions and chat with members, who can clearly identify me by my tag.  I’m not complaining.  It is just that I don’t get to actually attend or enjoy much of the conference.  But finally it is all over and I can head to the train station.

It is raining and the cabs have disappeared.  One of the hotel bellmen takes pity on me and drives me to the station in the town car, plus helps me manhandle my luggage inside.  With my back in full flare-up mode like this, I dare not lift anything heavier than a paperback!  The Red Caps inside take over, and I am comfortably seated on the train in ample time.  And how.  We end up sitting there for almost an hour while they try to fix the brakes.  Eventually, we pull out and arrive at Penn Station in NYC about 50 minutes late.

At this point, all the Red Caps have vanished, so two other passengers help me with my luggage.  I end up taking the wrong exit out of Penn Station, and find that I have to get the luggage up and down several flights of stairs to get to the taxi stand.  The place is deserted, but a large, drunken street person insists on helping me, and seriously mauls my luggage in his attempt to get it up the stairs.  He actually ends up helping me right to a cab, and I’m happy to hand him some money.  

Looking forward to a low-key day or two. 

I Need a New Spine

Well, maybe just a few discs:  My back chooses to go out on me at the worst possible time.  I am going through the conference in a haze of pain that astonishes me.  To add to my general comfort, there is a fire alarm last night after midnight.  The hotel has a PA system hooked up through the speaker phones, so we get announcements blared out at us.  Turns out to be a false alarm, but for about 15 minutes I sit there, dressed and clutching my purse, waiting for the order to evacuate the building.

The certificate course is now behind me; most of the students seem pleased and no one throws anything, so I guess it is OK.  The conference officially opens with a very controversial panel discussion, and then the governor of Pennsylvania opens the expo hall after first telling some very entertaining stories.  Turns out that not only is the guy Jewish, but he’s a darn funny public speaker.

Gotta go ice my back.  Think good thoughts for me!