Sunday, December 24, 2006

Kodos at 6 Months

It's been about a month since Kodos first came down with kennel cough (I think at obedience class) but I think he's finally over it. It was initially pretty bad, but cleared up really quickly (for the most part) after a course of antibiotics.

Unfortunately, it didn't clear up completely. Kodos would hack/sneeze four or five times every morning when he first got up from his night's sleep. He wasn't in any real distress, but kennel cough is apparently very contagious, and so we had to keep him home & out of the company of other dogs. This was a big drag, as K is pretty social, and loves to be out & about.

But thankfully, this week we've had no coughing. So we took him on a long walk into downtown Poulsbo on Friday, and stopped off at Poulsbo Emergency Vet Clinic for a quick weigh-in. He was pretty wiggly on the scale, but at the end it declared him to be 80 lbs. So I guess the mutters of "big dog" I was hearing as we walked around downtown are starting to be true. We'll see how big he finally winds up.

In other news, we've tried letting Kodos sleep outside his crate for the last 2 nights. He never really loved the crate, and he's been really solid on the housetraining, so we figured we'd give him a shot. The living room & upstairs are gated off, so he plunks down on the kitchen floor and makes like a speed bump. So far so good--he's 2 for 2.


Watched A Scanner Darkly last night. Very trippy, but excellent. I am not positive that I understood the ending completely (should probably read the book) but it was definitely riveting. I guess there are 2 types of "horror" that can really succeed in horrifying me--the supernatural (as in The Exorcist, which scared the crap out of me) and tales of addiction (as in Requiem For a Dream--one of the most compelling stories I've ever seen I think).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I love Picasa

From Kodos
Just discovered google's Picasa program/service a little bit ago, and love it. You get a program to download, and a web account where you can upload photos, like the above. The program seeks out your photo files (and also watches for new ones coming off your camera). It's got a really nice interface for adding captions, doing little touch-ups (sharpen, brighten, etc.) organizing photos into albums, and uploading albums to the website for sharing.

Very fun and easy for non-photogs like me to deal with.

Anybody interested in seeing pics of my magnificent Kodos ;-) can surf to the "Kodos" link above--it's a public album that I'll be using to store the best of the pics we take of him.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Week 3

We went to see Dr. Daigle over at the Poulsbo Marina vet clinic yesterday--Kodos is doing fine. He had another parvo/distemper shot, a worming & we got hooked up w/some Advantage anti-flea stuff for all the pets in the household. The K-man weighs 25.2 lbs or so (he was pretty wiggly on the scale, so that's probably +/- a pound or so). I actually forgot to ask about changing the feeding regimen, but as the vet seemed happy w/his weight, I'm inclined to stay the course (roughly 3 meals of 1-cup kibble & 1 tbsp canned dog food). He was a big hit at the clinic, naturally. At the vet's recommendation, we're going to wait to microchip him until he goes for neutering (anytime before 4.5 months, if I recall correctly). Next appt. is in a month, for another p/d shot & something involving a stool sample.

The mornings this week have been a bit tough on Laurel & the girls--school started on Weds, which means they're much more rushed & there was much less attention for Kodos (I'm off to work before they get up 4x/week, so I'm no help). He barked & carried on quite a bit--got into a bit of a frenzy. Things were much better on Thursday & then yesterday were just fine, as I was home. We're strategizing how to keep him occupied & reasonably calm on school mornings. I'm thinking of giving him his breakfast in several kongs, to spread it out over time & keep him busy. Hopefully that'll be the ticket--if not, we'll try something else.

Here's a pic I just took of him. Awfully photogenic, don't you think? ;-)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Life with Kodos

Well, it's 2 weeks today that we've had Kodos, aka the K-man, aka K-Rock aka Special K. He's fitting in just fine. I had some wrong ideas about how easy the housetraining would be, and how quickly he would willingly go on leashed walks with me, but I think we've reached an understanding now.

The housetraining is going pretty well. We're crate-training, and I think the crate we have him in is officially too big for him (that is, he could probably go potty in one corner & be able to get far enough away from it to be happy. But he (cross fingers) hasn't done so yet, and after 2 weeks, I'm inclined to trust that he won't. We have the crate downstairs in the kitchen, and that's working well for us. I've been getting up twice a night (and yes it's me doing it, even on commute days) but am going to try and get that down to once/night soon. Actually, given the nice weather we've been having, Kodos has been pretty happy to sleep outside on the deck. That's pretty sweet, until one of the cats decides s/he wants to go out, and they sit on the other side of the sliding glass door. Kodos noticed Suki doing that at about 3am this morning, which caused a bunch of barking. Now, we have neighbors w/dogs that bark (even very late sometimes) but I'd like to not bother them too much, so I pretty promptly went down there & we did an animal exchange (dog comes in, cat goes out). I tried to wait for a 2-second period of non-barking, so as not to encourage the barking. We'll see how well that works out.

So now I'm looking to get the other aspects of his training together--the big issue right now is biting. He is of course used to having siblings to bite, who will bite him back & yelp as appropriate. We humans definitely do the yelping, but we'd really like to be more than chew toys to the little critter.

I've been doing a lot of reading. First the Monks of New Skete's puppy book (which I later learned is really quite out of date (it was published in 1991), and their How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend (much more recent). One of my correspondents on the newf-l list recommended Ian Dunbar's Before & after getting your puppy : the positive approach to raising a happy, healthy, and well-behaved dog. That's looking good--hopefully we can make that work.

Here are a couple of short videos of Kodos--here he's just romping around a bit:

And here's how he reacted to our scooba. I thought it was funny how underwhelmed he was. At the end he gets up & starts barking--not at the scooba, but at our cat who appeared at the back door:

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Welcome Home Kodos!

IMG_3546 (Medium)
Originally uploaded by rpardee3rd.

Today we welcomed home our long-awaited Newfoundland puppy Kodos. Isn't he adorable?

You can see more photos here.

Here's a short video:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The puppies are coming! The puppies are coming!

I have had all kinds of trouble showing people this video of the newf puppies that I uploaded to youtube. Let's see if it works as embedded in this blog post:

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Oy with this fence...

Putting up this fence will surely kill me. Oh, my aching body. I can just imagine what I'm going to feel like tomorrow... Very not good.

Laurel selflessly volunteered to take the girls to girl scouts' camp this weekend so that I can get a jump on my secondary obsession--building just a little bit of fence so that we will be able to contain a dog in our back yard. This obsession is secondary to my Newfoundland obsession, of course. I'd have no use for a fence otherwise.

This morning I woke up bright & early--all alone mind you, and put on the Eukanuba Champions dog show on animal planet. I've been wanting to see a dog show, just to see the different breeds out there. (I was amazed to discover that people really do give poodles those ridiculous looking haircuts you see in movies/television. I wonder if there's such a thing as a flow-bee for dogs?)

That done, I rousted myself, borrowed my friend's pickup and headed to home depot to buy 5 10-foot 4x4s, a premade gate, and 9 60 lb bags of quick-setting concrete.

Now my goal was to get all 5 posts set in concrete this weekend--preferably today. Hoo boy, did I underestimate the degree to which digging post holes is a soul-sucking nightmare that renders you so weak that you're just barely able to type blog posts. I got 2 holes dug & posts set.

Next time we rent the power auger. I don't give a crap that it's just 5 holes. Yes I'm a big sissy-girl. Yes, I'm a weak little girly-man. Whatever. I can barely stand to raise my arms sufficiently to wash my hair in the shower. Thanks to the miracle of modern beer I'm beginning to achieve a certain detente with my body at the moment, but man am I gonna hurt tomorrow. This dog better be my best friend for life, I'll tell you that.

In the course of digging these 2 holes, I have invented the "praise the lord" rock. You will be asking yourself at this point "what the heck is a praise the lord rock? What could he mean? And why is he wasting my time with this phony rhetorical questioning crap?"

A praise the lord rock, is a large rock you encounter while trying to dig a post hole, which impedes your digging and makes a morale-destroying sound of metal hitting rock when you jab the accursed post hole digger into your still-too-shallow hole yet again. The sound is not unlike the cry of the N√Ęzgul. It is a rock that forces you to widcn your post hole more and more, in an attempt to loosen the rock sufficiently to get it the !@$@@%^ out of your !#%@@%$ post-hole, so you can start to make progress again.

When this happens, the hole-digger spontaneously exclaims PRAISE THE LORD!!! I don't care if the digger is religeous or not--it is not a voluntary reaction. It's like those reflexes that are handled right at the spinal cord level, w/out any nerve impulses reaching the brain.

Today I found 3, yes three praise the lord rocks. I almost feel like I've been to church...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Newf Newf Newf!

I have become obsessed with Newfoundlands, those wonderful, enormous, water-loving dogs. The more I read about them, the more convinced I am that one would be a great addition to our family. The only dicey parts are that we'd have to fence in a fair chunk of our back yard, which may be difficult, and our current vehicle (a honda accord) is probably not going to cut it for brining our extended family around. There's nothing wrong with the accord, but it's served us well for seven years now, and so moving it into second place (behind maybe a honda element?) would not offend my sense of frugality...

The fence is another matter however. The grading on our property is such that getting a functional portion of it fenced off is going to be awkward. I'm going to have to do some serious thinking about that.

We went to visit some newfs at the Almost Home boarding kennel yesterday, where Sandy MacFarlane has some beautiful beasts. I brought the camera, but didn't take any pictures unfortunately. What fun! The girls loved the dogs, and vice versa. Simone was a bit squeamish about the "dog boogers" that were admittedly flying around a bit. I guess one got on the underside of her skirt, which was uncomfortable. But she and Annelise both had a great time.

Sandy recommended a good-sized covered kennel to solve the 'not enough fence' problem. Apparently the cover is a necessity, since, such is the breed's love of water, that given the choice between laying out in the rain, and laying under something covered, they tend to choose the rain.

I'm not sure I want to do that. I'd much rather be able to open the back door & let Chewbacca (I've already got a name in mind!) out to enjoy the air, and do his business etc. So I'm thinking about the fencing situation.

Laurel is, sadly, not as convinced as I am. "It's as big as our couch!" she says. "I don't want a dog that's going to make me feel like I need a bigger house" she says. Valid points. But I think we could make it work. Our house is not so small--and it's got a fair amount of wasted space (in the form of a 'play room' (read: big ol' pile of toys) that I think we could reclaim for newfdom.

The other breeds that I like are much smaller (corgis, dachshunds) but they are not nearly as good with children, and Laurel does not like dogs with short legs, so they're out. She nominated the malamute, which I like, but they have been known to kill the cats in the house (this is according to the one breeder Laurel spoke with) and that's a deal-breaker.

This week we watched Transamerica. A-ma-zing performance by Felicity Huffman. I'd heard that it was actually a woman playing the main character--a 'gender dysphoric' man on his way to getting a sex change operation. But midway through the movie I decided I'd remembered wrong--that couldn't be a man. Imagine my suprise on watching one of the special features, when I realized that not only was the character played by a woman--but it was an actress I recognized from other things! Excellent performance, and quite a decent flick as well.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I love wikis

It's been a long time...

I am having a bucket of fun at work with the perspective wiki engine. For those that don't already know, a wiki is a website that you can edit right from within your browser, without the need for any special software, knowledge, or permissions. The most famous wiki is of course the wikipedia.

We put up a few instances to play with--one hosting local restaurant reviews (this will be for consumption by the general membership of my employer--the Center for Health Studies) and another for storing data documentation. It took me just a little bit of work to get it to read user information out of our Active Directory, but it works really slickly. It uses integrated windows authentication so users don't have to log in, and it creates new wiki user accounts (pages) automatically the first time someone visits the site.

It is such a breath of fresh air to work with this thing relative to pretty much any other method I've used for putting information on the web. It's even easier than this blog I think. Formatting is not the forte with this thing, but you can spew information onto pages in no time flat. Very no-nonsense. Highly highly recommended for any place that wants collaboratively maintained web based information.

This weekend Laurel & I both watched Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. I also watched Lord of War by myself. The Enron movie was a tad confusing at the start, as it wasn't really made clear exactly how these guys perpetrated the monstrous fraud that they did. I get that they were (for some reason) allowed to use this crazy method of accounting whereby they could 'count their chicks before they are hatched', and that allowed them to pretty much make up whatever crazy figures they wanted for the analysts. But the whole Jeff Skilling incestuous-phantom-corporation business remains cloudy to me. I suppose I'll have to read the book if I really want to know.

Good flick though. Completely enraging, as you might expect, but still a good watch. I'd forgotten that there was a period at the end where the rank-and-file were prevented from trading their Enron shares, while the uberclassmen were ditching it like the garbage they knew it to be. I'm kind of amazed nobody has Jack Ruby'd these guys yet.

Lord of War was excellent. Really poignant story of a man who has lost his soul. Kind of reminiscient of Goodfellas, in that it had very active narration, and was a story about organized crime. It's almost as good as Goodfellas too. Nicholas Cage like a mofo!