Saturday, July 30, 2005

We have Anzac back

The reason my friend took Anzac was as a replacement, companion dog for Hanako because they're other dog had aggression problems so they were forced to put him down. Now Hanako, being a dog and not fully able to communicate with humans, has no idea why her old friend has gone, she just knows he's no longer around and I'm guessing she misses him. So when Anzac, a strange, new dog arrived, she was still pining for her old friend and decided she would not accept this new dog, so she didn't.

For a week Hanako totally ignored Anzac, deespite his best attempts to make friends with her. My friend's parents brought a couple of their dogs around (they have 4 small dogs) and Hanko played with one of them while Anzac played with the other, they all had a great time and played together, except when Anzac tried to play with Hanako and she just turned her nose up at him. She'd play with the other two dogs but would snub Anzac. My friend would go out running with Hanako and Anzac and they'd run side-by-side, but they may as well have been worlds apart.

Hanako wanted nothing to do with Anzac.

So I went to pick my dog up this afternoon, knocked on my friend's door and called out to him and there is ferocious barking from inside house telling me to get the f**k away from the door.

I call out to Hanako and am amazed when a black & white Border Collie head appears at the door. Anzac was so at home at my friend's place that he was protecting it, from me, his owner.

Despite this, with Hanako still giving Anzac the cold shoulder, there was no way Anzac could stay there. My friend said he could see that Anzac was trying so hard to make Hanako like him, and that he was getting depressed when Hanako refused to be friends.

So, we have our doggie back home, but I still need to find a good home for him.

As much as I love him, he needs a family with a house with a big yard where he can run and play.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Goodbye Anzac, you were a good dog

Just before we went to Australia I had lunch with a friend who mentioned that he was in the market for a new dog. Knowing that he'd only recently got a dog I inquired as tactfully as I could if I'd missed some email or message from him. His "new" dog had got out of his yard, and was hit by a car and killed. I asked him if he was interested in a Border Collie.

When I assured him that I was serious about finding a new home for Anzac, he told me he was interested, but he needed to have a new fence put up around his property, and this was before July 4th (which is some kind of celebration here in the USA) and my friend has a party at his house every July 4, with hundreds of people and a band usually in attendance. So my friend told me that a new home for Anzac would have to wait until after we got back from Australia.

Well we got back and I called my friend, and he said that he'd changed his mind, however, a friend of his had to put one of their two dogs down recently and the remaining dog was pining for her companion, so he was looking for a new dog.

Today, my friend took Anzac and I to his friend's house, and he and Hanako, his dog, met Anzac. They got along well, which means to say no-one tried to tear anyone else's throat out, including mine. Hanako is a female Rottweiler by the way, and she apparently doesn't like male human strangers, and there's not too many male humans stranger than me. Now Hanako doesn't attack, but she does growl a warning, which she did at me when I first arrived. I just sat down on the grass to reduce my threat level (which I realize put my face at a very convenient biting height for the Rotty) and let Hanako get used to me being there. Five minutes later my friend couldn't believe it when I was scratching Hanako behind the ears like we were old buddies.

Everyone got along well, Anzac is going to stay there for a few days, and if things work out ok, he'll be staying there for the rest of his days. They have a nice big yard there with lots of room to run around, and Hanako gets walked every evening, which is something I never did enough of with Anzac.

Anzac was whimpering for me as I walked away, and I'm a little sad now too, even though I know Anzac has a much better home now than he did with us. I don't regret taking him from the shelter, because chances are he would have eventually been euthanized, and yeah, he tore up our house and dug up our yard, but I love him a lot. Now he's with a family who will love him a lot, too, he has a lot of space to run around in, and he has a doggy friend to play with.

Goodbye, Anzac, I'm going to miss you. I know you'll be a lot happier once you get over me leaving you, but you haven't been abandoned again, you're just in a much better place for a doggy like you. You just don't realize that yet.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Microwave Ray Gun

So the U.S. Military is testing a Microwave Ray Gun designed for riot control/crowd dispersement purposes. It's supposed to be non-lethal and allegedly causes heating and extreme discomfort to the target within 5 seconds of them being caught within the beam. The sitatuation is meant to go a little like this: "Hell, no! We won't go! Hell, no! Uh...oohh...ouch! Ok! Ok! Enough already! We'll go!"

As mentioned, the "Ray Gun" is supposed to be non-lethal and while causing pain, is not meant to cause any lasting damage to the individuals caught in its beam. However, during recent tests, the test subjects were asked to remove their eye glasses and contact lenses to protect their eyes, and also to remove any metal objects (coins, car keys, etc, objects commonly carried in a pocket by the average person) in order to prevent hot spots from developing against their skin. You know how Microwave manufacturers ask you to not put metal objects inside a microwave? That's what the military were doing; putting people in the path of a giant microwave beam. Don't we hear horror stories about poodles and gerbils being dried (& more) in microwaves by their naive owners? So why is the military doing that to humans?

I think the above mentioned scenario is more likely to go along these lines:

Rioters: Hell, no! We won't go!

SWAT/PD: Excuse me! Can you all please remove your eye glasses and contact lenses, and take any metal objects out of your pockets, and put them all on the ground in front of you. In just a minute we're going to partially cook you with a microwave beam, but we don't want anyone to get hurt.

Rioters: HELL, NO! Go and get stuffed!

I wouldn't be surprised to see Rioters turn up wearing tin foil hats, just to really prevent the Microwave Ray Gun being used against them. No, I don't think a tin foil hat would provide protection from a Microwave Ray Gun; I suspect it would enhance the power of the microwave beams, frying the guy's brain inside his skull. The guy would become a martyr, albeit a stupid, brain dead martyr, or a just plain dead one, but a martyr nonetheless, and the Microwave Ray Gun would never be used again, at least not against people wearing tin foil hats. Which would be everyone. The tin foil hat would become the choice of headwear among all discerning rioters.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Victory will be mine, oh yes, it will!

Before I became addicted to World of Warcraft (I'll admit it, I'm hooked) Liz and I would spend many an evening dueling each other with MSN Messenger's Solitaire Showdown. Last night WoW was being very laggy, several servers & realms were down, so people from those realms needing their fix were migrating to other servers and jamming those up as well. After waiting several minutes to log in to WoW (small complaint, I heard some people waited hours) only to get lagged out then forced to wait to log back in again, I gave up and Liz and I once more had a Solitaire Showdown.

Liz won 5 of the first 6 games but never went out. We usually play several games with the winner being the first person to reach 500, regardless of actual number of games won. So Liz had a good run at the start but she never went out, which nets you big points, usually 80 to 100 per win. After I went out once, then won several more games, we were neck and neck going into the final turn. The last hand I was "this close" to going out. I had just 1 card left to play and I'd be out, but I was blocked with no moves left. I was forced to sit and watch helplessly while Liz went through her cards, getting closer and closer to going out herself. I looked at the scoreboard and while we were both over 500, Liz had about 20 points on me.

"Oh well, tied game," I said, knowing that if Liz gave up now she'd still actually be the grand winner.

Liz would have no part of it and she continued to play several more cards, getting even closer to going out. Then it happened, she made a play allowing me to move one of my cards, then another, and I was out.

"Doesn't matter," said Liz, "I still win."

"Oh really," said I, "that's not what the scoreboard says."

Liz looked at the scoreboard and saw it was true. By going out I'd got the bonus points which put my score above hers. Needless to say that while Liz was happy she'd got her game of Solitaire Showdown, she was not happy I'd stolen the win at the last possible moment.

Victory is sweet, but there's nothing better than coming from behind (get your minds out of the gutters >:) to steal the win.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Letter from Grandma

Dear Kids.

I'm very happy in the new residence you've put me in. This week we actually got to go outside for an hour. Unfortunately it was raining so we stayed on the steps, huddling together for warmth and trying to keep dry. The interns eventually unlocked the door and let us back inside. I guess they were working so hard they forgot all about us. Several of them were a little flushed, and a couple of them had worked so hard their shirts and blouses had come untucked. I don't know what they'd been doing but they sure hadn't been making our beds. In fact I'm sure I made my own bed before I left for breakfast that morning, but it was messed up when I went to change out of my wet clothes. Oh well, I'm old and most likely going senile so don't pay much attention to me.

The lady I play Bridge with came down with a nasty cold. She spent the last few days coughing and sneezing and blowing her nose. Lord bless her soul, those were her last few days; she died this morning. So it's lonelier now, especially as you haven't been to visit for six months, but that's ok, I guess you're all busy with your lives. I've been busy too, I've been learning to use the computer in the Recreation Room; who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks. They even have a web camera which takes very nice photos. I've attached a recent picture of myself, just in case you ever come for a visit. I'd hate for you to waste any of your precious time wondering which one of the old ladies here is me.

You all take care, and write to me soon.
Love, Grandma.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Death never takes a holiday

Maybe it's the passing of time, 14 years have gone by since Jonno died, but I don't seem to recollect getting hit by his death as hard as this. Then again, Jonno was only the best mate in the entire world, Dad was, well, my Dad. I suspect Ghoti is probably harboring similar thoughts to mine, and I'm sorry if this is tough for you to read. I know it's only been a few months since Dad passed away, so I'm still really coming to terms with his death, but a part of me can't help wondering, what if it never gets any easier? What if it's always going to be like this?

I don't want to regret spending the time here in the U.S. with Liz, but part of me still does. Liz doesn't have the best of relationships with her parents (she's an only child so siblings don't factor into it) and when I look at the three of them and how they get on (or don't) I wonder why we spent the last 7 years here instead of with my parents and my sisters, who I was relatively close to. I'm making more money here than I could have made in Australia, and a lot of that is because Liz helped me find opportunities to do just that. But at what cost?

When I went home for Dad's funeral, and again this last month, it really hit home to me just how much had happened during these last seven years when I was not around. My niece and nephew are 10 and 12 years old now. They were just 3 and 5 (naturally) when I left to come here. Collectively, that's 21 years I lost by being here. Then there's my Mum, my two sisters and their husbands to factor in. All people I love a lot.

I know it's impossible, but I really wish I could have those 7 years back to spend with my father. If I'd known (somehow) I'd have asked Liz to wait for me, it's only 7 years, it's nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it's 7 years I'll never have again.

In a way we're lucky, because we got 30 years with Dad that we shouldn't have had.

In 1973, while riding his motorcycle to work, Dad crashed into the side of a truck. Not a little two-ton pick-up or an F-150, but a full on "We've got a mighty convoy" Semi-Trailer. Technically Dad didn't run into the truck, he ran into the side of it and hit one of the trailer's rear wheels. You know how trucks' trailers have pairs of wheels? My father hit the front wheel of the pair, a split second either way and he would have gone under the wheels and been killed. Instead he bounced off onto the side of the road. Sure, he smashed the lower half of his body from pelvis on down, but he lived, and for thirty years we got to personally know the man who was our father, instead of having to find out about him from the others who knew him.

But that's still no comfort, because my father is still dead, and I miss him so much.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


to my Blog's new home.

Please be patient while I play around with the settings for this account and get everything to my satisfaction.