My new project

Me and Santa. I think I was about 3 years old.

I have decided to become an even bigger digital hoarder than I already am! I am now going to scan many of our photos. I am not sure what I am going to do with them but we shall see.

Me in Grade 1 with little scrapes on my nose

I seem to be feeling the need to connect with my young self. I am not sure why or what I hope to get out of it. I have a few photos from childhood that I will scan. I hope to get more from my mother at some point.

I think I am about 7 or 8 - the years my life changed dramatically

Deb and I have a ton of pictures from our over 10 years together. Plus we have so many fabulous dog pictures! I am not sure how far I will get with this once all the pictures are scanned and organized. At least the scanner is fast and really good!

Conversations with my Mother – The Taming the Wilderness Edition

Manicured lawn and flowers in the mountains

Many years ago my parents purchased a lot in the East Kootenay. They built a house and then began their long-time project of taming the wilderness. When my father was alive it was a mostly passive project.

The first thing was trying to get the deer to stop eating the flowers they would plant every summer. They put in a fence. However the deer quickly learned to jump it. They made it higher and it didn’t matter. They put blood meal down around their flowers – the deer ignored it and continued to eat their flowers. Then came the electric fence. I am not sure why it was removed but it is no longer there. Finally, my father (who was very smart) rigged a motion detector that instead of shining a light it would activate a sprinkler. That has been the solution that has worked and is still used today.

There were other wild life issues. Wild turkeys tormented everyone by leaving gummy tar-like scat all over the place. The squirrels who found their way into the wood pile were trapped and relocated. There were propane powered carbon dioxide machines that attracted mosquitoes so that they left the people alone. In my father’s time most of the pests were dealt with logically and with minimal violence.

My father passed away in 2004 and my mother is now left to contend with this property in the mountains and all the vagaries of wildlife. Bears have climbed the fences and wrecked trees much to my mother’s chagrin. The worst pests seems to be the skunks and the gophers.

The last 3 years my mother has had skunks in her yard. This year seems to be the worst. She was telling me today that they had trapped one. I asked her what she did with them. She told me that her handyman drowns them. I was shocked. I suggested that they be released back into the wild where they can live without coming into contact with people. I have searched the internet and there are ways to handle skunks. She refuses to even engage in plan that might see them live.

The backside of the 'rockery' no flowers yet

She is even worse when it comes to gophers. She has this area of her yard that she calls the ‘rockery.’ It has lots of big rocks and lots of plants. Apparently the gophers burrow into the rockery and sit up on the rocks and ‘laugh’ at her. At one point, this drove her to buy a pistol with the intention of shooting the gophers. Thankfully someone in her strata association told her it was illegal to shoot the gophers!

I don’t understand why people want to move to the mountains and then impose city order. As the development continues, of course, the wildlife are more and more displaced. For me, the mountains are incredibly beautiful place to be. Why would anyone want to plant grass and grow flowers? I can understand planting wild flowers but it really makes no sense to me try to tame nature. I hope for the sake of all the little animals she gives it up soon.

Home Renovations

We have never been much for the DIY home renovations. We bought this house in 2006 and we never liked the colour of the paint – pastel duck shit green is how I described it. In anticipation of a visit from the mother unit we decided it was finally time to paint. Of course as soon as we made this decision, Deb got sick and I am useless at painting. So Lynn has ended up doing it all and what a fabulous job she has done!

The dining room is now dark/forest green on 2 of the walls and a lovely light grey. The grey is now down the hallway and it looks great. We may add some other colour and/or a chair rail to split up the bigger walls.

It is amazing to me what paint can do! Lynn has done a fabulous job and it looks great. Pictures to follow once the pictures are all back up and the bench is done. Thank you so much Lynn for all of your hard work!

The G-whatever


So the G-8 and the G-20 (wouldn’t that make it the G-28?) are meeting in Toronto. Originally they were supposed to meet in the Muskoka region. I am not sure what changed. They spent huge amounts of money, getting that area ready and then moved it. Maybe they thought the protesters would get lost or something. I am not going to go into the details or harp on the evils of the G-whatevers or the protesters. Instead I would like to offer a plan for how they can hold their meetings in relative peace and quiet.

Antarctica. Antarctica is the solution. There are so many perks to having it at the southernmost tip of the planet. So let’s go through some of the issues and how Antarctica can contribute to whatever it is the Gs do.

1. Access – It would be so easy to control access. Seriously how many airlines fly to Antarctica. True Greenpeace may be able to get some boats in but I suspect the Canadian Navy could be contracted to ensure that no vessels made land fall.

2. Again, because of the isolated location very few protesters could get there. Even if they could get there where would they stay. With temperatures hovering in the -80 degrees Celsius. They are not really going to be staying outside for very long. I suppose they could develop some new ways like new protests designed to keep warm – but I digress.

3. Media – having the event in Antarctica will give them absolute control over what is released to media. They could do a press conference over Skype this would allow the masses to connect and could really be a great as Joe Blow from Buttfuck, Saskatchewan could ask a question.

4. There could also be designated protest zones all over the world. Think about how much jet fuel that would save. All those protesters could hold local events where they could walk or cycle. There would be no carbon off-sets to buy and nothing to feel guilty about.

5. A truly isolated location would definitely help the Gs focus and get some work done. Maybe then they could come up with some creative solutions to world’s problems.

6. One other benefit. When a world leader becomes too old or obstinate there will be plenty of ice floes to use.

Busy Day

Not much to blog about  today. We do have a new saying though about mo mother and we are now acknowledging that she is certifiable. It works for me.

Crap Day

I had a crap day. I feel like crap and I just want to crawl into a hole and cry. Sadly (or maybe no) I can’t do that. I got nothing done at the office because I had too many meetings and now I have to work tonight to get ready for the AGM tomorrow.

So instead of my misery here are some new dog pics!

Zoe enjoying herself
zoe sleeping hard
Sawyer's frog pose
Piper's head tilt
Madison chilling and looking awesome for 17!
A rare photo of Clio looking cute!
And finally, how cute is this puppy!

Are there fleas on thee?

A big ugly flea

Apparently there may have been a flea on Clio today so we spring into motion. Fleas can cause all sorts of problems. They can infest a dog pretty quickly and in a multi-animal home it can quickly get out of control. Here are the flea rules we follow:

1. Many flea products will have you believe that you should treat prophylacticly. Basically they want you to put chemicals on your animals without even knowing if they have fleas. We do not like to expose our animals to chemicals unless necessary.

Typical flea comb with a double row of teeth

2. Check for fleas the old skool way –  a flea comb. A flea comb is a comb with very small teeth. As you draw it through your dog’s (or cat’s) fur you are looking for a couple of things. First of all you want to see if there are live or dead fleas. These are pretty easy to see. If your pet is infested you will see live fleas, dead fleas and flea dirt. The first two are obvious, flea dirt is generally black bit of flea feces and dried blood. Generally, unless we see fleas themselves we don’t treat. If we see what we think is flea dirt then we will re-check for a couple of days.

3. When you comb to check for fleas it is really important to check areas of moisture on your animal. The main areas of moisture are around the eyes and close to the anus. The belly will also give up fleas pretty quickly too.

4. If you find fleas it is important to treat. Fleas can deplete the animal of blood and some dogs are allergic and can develop secondary problems. The Chunk, who is no longer with us, was allergic to fleas. Whenever we suspected fleas we checked her first. We have always had the best success using Advantage for fleas. It works by permeating the skin and killing all fleas within 2 hours. Once the eggs hatch they are also killed quickly. Any fleas that jump on the animal will also die. This means that even if you get the fleas in your carpet they will quickly die without access to a host where they can live.

Healthy dogs can usually come into contact with fleas and not become infested. In particular, raw-fed dogs rarely get fleas. When we moved into our house it was infested with fleas from the cat they abandoned. Once we got the cat into rescue and treated our crew for 3 months there were no more fleas. We have not treated anyone for fleas since January of 2007.

Fleas can certainly infest any dog. Luckily we now have insecticides that can kill the fleas without harming the pet. I do believe that over-treating for fleas is not in the pet’s best interest. We really don’t know what over-use of these chemicals may do to our animals. If you have any questions or concerns about fleas talk to your vet.

Pet Peeve: the Printer Edition

I went today to get a new cartridge for our printer at work and learned some interesting facts about laser printer cartridges. You would think that your printer will continue to print until such time as it runs out toner. We all know the trick of shaking the cartridge to get more prints from it. We were all wrong.

I took an empty cartridge in to get re-filled today. Apparently it was not empty. I asked why it would not print anymore. I was told that there is a chip in the cartridge that limits the number of prints at 5% coverage. So if you have a black cartridge, particularly in a colour printer, with a page limit, there could be toner, a lot of toner, still left in the cartridge. How freaking annoying! What a complete and utter rip off. According to the refill guy I talked to all of the companies do this to some extent.

I find this offensive personally. I feel as though we are not getting the full use of a product for which we pay. A product I might add, that is quite expensive. To add insult to injury the initial cartridge that ships with your printer is designed to only print ½ as many sheets as the replacement cartridge! One company I was told only allows the first cartridge to print ⅓ of the amount.

The cost aside, this cannot be good for the environment. Not everyone recycles or refills their cartridges. So we are, no doubt, filling our landfills with partially used cartridges.I think the only we can mitigate this cartridge planned obsolescence is to refill and recycle them whenever possible. It also really makes no sense to print on draft-quality because the page is going to count whether it uses toner at full strength to cover at 5% or printing it normally. The bottom line is you are not going to get more copies out of your cartridge beyond what they say.

Ruptured Salivary Gland

I haz an owie

Sawyer was showing some discomfort around his head last night and this morning. At first glance it seemed to be his ears. However we had learned from Zoe that what appears to be ears may well be something else. Sawyer had some swelling in lower right jowl area. When the area was shaved you could completely see the swelling. After shaving the area the vet tried to aspirate the area with a needle. He was such a super trooper! Sawyer didn’t even flinch when she tried. She was unable to get anything but said it could just be that it has not had enough time to collect enough fluid.

Right now he is on metacam for pain and inflammation and clavamox to stave off an infection. He also needs hot compresses twice a day. If it gets really big we need to go back otherwise he goes back in 5 days. If necessary they can insert a drain.

He likely got the injury from playing. Given how he and Zoe play it would not surprise me. He is feeling better already and I expect he will be on the mend soon.

I waz brave boy at the vet's

I hate Mondays

I go out of my way not to work Mondays. I have always hated working Mondays. Because of all my medical issues and other things I tend to book those appointments on Mondays. I also do my weekly blood test on Mondays. All of our board meetings are held on the 4th Monday of the month. On board meeting Mondays I make sure that I do not book appointments. This one took me by surprise (although it should not) as they scheduled it a week earlier because of the AGM. I had a lot of stuff booked today plus traffic meant that I did not get to the office until 3:30. It was flat-out busy until the meeting started at 6:30. Anyway, not a good day and more confirmation of why I hate Mondays.