Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Teen-agers on stunt bikes outside the library, noting my rear view mirror.
"I should have one of those."
Me: It's a great idea.
Teen: Yeah, that way I could see the cops. (Proudly) I got pulled over for speeding. I was going 35 and so was the cop.
Me: That's pretty fast, especially when the speed limit is 25.
Teen: How fast can YOU go? (Nyah-nyah tone of voice).
Me: I guess my average is about 10-13 MPH
Teen (giving me "The Pathetic Old Person" look.) THAT'S not very fast.
Me: No, not in comparison to 35, it's not.
Teens give me The Smirk.
Me: Of course, I just did that average on a 25 mile ride Tuesday....
Teens: (gulping in disbelief) Uh, really?
Me: Yep, and my husband's average is about 16 MPH on a 50-100 mile ride.
Me: Kid, if you can do 35 on big hills for 100 hundred miles, you should be in the Tour De France.
Teens are deadly quiet.
Gotcha, you little bastards!

Runners Vs. Cyclists: An Observation

Picture this.

Runners (doesn't matter what sex but men are usually the worst) wearing really expensive gear (Yeah, I see those $250 shoes and that $150 Under-Armour top and those $150 Nike running tights, bub!):

You can't be bothered to help the lost cyclist AT ALL.


Cyclists wearing really expensive gear (like the $500 Tour De France type, high-vent helmet I've coveted) and riding really expensive bikes (that Trek is one of the high end models, easily over a grand.  Make that two grand.):

You stopped to ask if I needed help.  Not just one of you. Four well-dressed, well-equipped cyclists stopped to inquire if I needed help. The best equipped guy, who's probably getting ready for some Pro-Am thing was so damn nice, I was almost in tears.

I could have been dying in a ditch and the runners would have jumped over me,  yelling at me because my blood is making the road slippery.


Runners are (for the most part) stuck up.  Sorry, but all those rabbits out there, running their brains out getting ready for whatever race they're in (Akron, Columbus, The Towpath) are a bunch of snobs. I've been in races with ya'all and you're a bunch of self-centered buffaloes.

Maybe it's because a bike can break down?  Maybe it's because some cyclists ride in groups or on teams?  Maybe because a Tour De France winner from 1954 can still get on a bike and tootle around at 80 years old?

 I don't know. I like being in foot events (medals, t-shirts, goodie bags, "health" expos, shopping, Oh, MY!) but for the most part, the other participants (unless there's a walking division) are NOT nice people.

Just sayin'!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Navy Yard "Shootings"

I realize this sounds a little harsh and unfeeling BUT.....

A public service announcement to would-be shooters who feel this pressing need to go somewhere public and take down a bunch of people or kids on your way out: 

Preferably just DON'T DO IT.  It's going to just kill your mother. You hate your mom so much that you really want to do that to her?  You are a selfish turd!

But if you are just insisting that your life sucks or you're filled with so much hate, bitterness and resentment you just got to pull that trigger, do us all a favor and just use one bullet.  Preferably on your foot. 

But if you insist you've got to die, then that's your own thing and frankly does not need to be "shared" with a whole bunch of kids and adults.  I'm here to tell you --- you will go to the Great Beyond with a bunch of really pissed off individuals. Their pets that are already at the Bridge are going to give you no end of eternal grief. 

Another thing that's biting my biscuit: is it just me or is anyone else tired of the word "shootings?"  The school "shootings" etc.  

Let's just call it what it is, folks.  How about the Navy Yard Murders.  That's what is was.  Or Murders AND Shootings?  Much more accurate.

It's not like some half-drunk idiot was screwing around with his shootin' iron and capped his friend by mistake, is it now?  

Some guy (or guys) made a conscious DECISION to go in there and open up.  He KNEW he was going to kill at least one person; he was a Reservist, he had to pass firearms ' training I'm sure.  

That is pre-meditated murder, in my book. Instead of "the assailant," screw that P.C. crud. let's call him/her/whatever what they are: A Murderer. 

And why is the media giving this jerk one more second of air-time speculating on why he killed and wounded all those people? Who gives a flying fart? He was a murdering jerk. That's all, game over.  

I feel terrible for his family, especially his mother. 

Let's give air-time to the victims, their families and pray for their healing.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Disney: Mouse Ears

The S.U. and I at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Sept. 7, 2013
Yes, I know.

I got Mouse Ears.

How (fill in the blank)....

a) gauche
b) tacky
c) stupid
d) silly
e) fun
f) cool cuz they're Star Wars
g) why the hell NOT?
Marty, (his cousins) Bella, Sue Ann, Thomas, Me
Sept. 7.2013 Disney Hollywood 

Am I An Idiot?

I think I need to bitch and get head-slapped as well?

For starters, joyously: My S.U. and I had a wonderful vacation at WDW! We had a blast!

Because I've been stressed out before when my step-daughter, M, has stayed with my animals, I was in a real panic about who would care for my animals.  I asked around and prices for people just coming in once a day were really high.  I'm sorry, but $30 for a 30 minute let-out?

I was super-anxious and extraordinarily stressed about this whole thing.  Finally, I got through prayer (thank you, MH) and a "I Think I Know Someone" miracle, a nice gal (MK) about 10 years younger than us who has a son (P.) with Asperger's.  No worries!  Thank you, God and Angels!

They live in the neighborhood and so could come and go to care for the dogs and the best news was MY CAT, Rufus the Magnificent, Lord (Doofus) of the Universe LIKED them!  (No small feat as he really does not like M...which is strange as most cats love her.)  Best of all: so reasonable!

Now, I must preface this with the last time M stayed with us, about a month ago, I came home to 12 loads of stinky (cat piss and moldy) laundry, my house smelled like cheap cigarettes (and for you smokers, you KNOW the difference), the beds were unmade, sheets not cleaned, dirty dishes in the sink and my den (where the dogs are) was a total mess. Mind you, she has just turned 29 so she's not some teenager.  All this chaos was accomplished in 48 hours, which takes some doing. Add on to that she has very nervous (almost frantic), unrestful, unfocused yet lazy energy; is a monologue-chatter-box and is always in a hurry.  She has two modes: Dead-Asleep and The I'm Late, I'm Late! Tornado.

Rufus was so freaked out by that stinky laundry he never went in the basement where his litter box and food was.  We came home that evening from an idyllic weekend by the lake.  He came out from hiding, mewing and crying, and promptly shat on our stairs.

So after this debacle in July, I vowed that Never Again could she stay in my house overnight.

Famous last words, right?

I make ALL the arrangements for MK and P. to take care of the critters.  I'm feeling pretty good about all of this. Then M does the beg/plead thing.  "I'll do it!  I can take care of the animals!!  A. (her boyfriend) and I need to get out of our house; it's so stressful there, we hate our roommates.  Can't we please spend some nights there; we just need to get out of our house.  Plus I have a lot of laundry I need to do...."

Well, call me a softie.  I certainly have been in a similar situation in my lifetime.

Better yet: call me an idiot.  I suppose a real wo/man would have said, "No."

I said yes, she could spend a few nights (not all six) here BUT her laundry could never come in the house.  It had to stay in the garage and be brought in one load at a time.  And no smoking of course.  I did tell MK that if she came and there was more than one load of laundry in the basement, would she please bag it and put it on the front porch? I even told her where the disposable gloves are. I firmly told M. I wanted my house to stay clean.  I didn't want her dad coming home to a dirty house and being stressed out after a vacation!  It's stressful enough that his blood sugar was just diagnosed as too high....he is NOT thrilled.

In retrospect, I should have nixed the whole M&A being able to crash here the night before we left. A while back I had lent M. my old netbook to look for jobs.  I did need it back for the trip as a photo back-up.  Late and last minute as usual, she tripped up the porch stairs, overloaded as is her wont.  (Two trips from the car?  Unthinkable.) The netbook took flight and since netbooks don't have wings, it crashed landed, breaking the screen.  Poor little Elf.

I digress.

Now I am hardly a Home and Garden or Architectural Digest house-keeper.  I leave that to my siblings!  :-)  But I'd like things to stay basically the way I left them.  When I stay at someone's house I do try to leave things tidy and nice.  If I pet-sit, I do their laundry, vacuum etc.  I did ask MK to keep an eye on stuff for me and asked my other friend, ML, as well.   (All these Ms!)  I also told M that MK and P. would be spending a few nights here and that THEY got priority over where to sleep.

Nothing like having some Moms On The Job, so to speak because I got the 411 on how things were really being left.  Ashtrays in my den and the house was starting to stink.  And this is from Moms With Teenage Boys.

Instead of calling M and going through the whole ya-da-ya on the phone, I resorted to Text Messaging.  (I know.  Call me a Coward.)

Sunday: A friend of mine stopped by the check on dogs. Saw ashtrays in den. There is no smoking in our house.  Your last night there is tonight.  MK will need Monday & Tuesday to tidy up the house. 

Now (of course) I get this somewhat frantic phone call at WDW from a justifying M.  "I just brought the ashtrays in from the back yard.  I know not to smoke in the house."

I ask you: why would anyone DO that?  I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.  There is a trash can right there.  I smoked two packs a day. I know the drill.  Empty the damn ashtrays, let them sit outside upside down in case it rains.  There is no earthly reason to bring your full-of-butts ashtrays indoors.  Unless you figure the house windows are open....hmmmm? no harm, no foul?

I guess I should have been more specific.  No ashtrays in the house.  No nothing that has anything to DO with smoking in the house.

We did come home to a lovely peaceful house, thanks to MK.

Of course I did get the whole skinny on the incredible mess that M. left everywhere (but did take with her) and oh, there was the fast food they ate and threw the wrappers in the trash in the den. Which the dogs got into (of course) and made a huge mess of, thank you very much.  (Not.)  And oh, boy was she pissed when she got your text and thank you very much for not specifying exactly which one of us Moms squealed on her.  And when she and A. were here, Rufus hid.  We could only get him to come out when they were gone. Etc.

Here's the kicker, and very weird too.  We came home Tuesday evening and the water heater had broken.  Not surprising (it's 12 years old) just very inconvenient!  We buy a water heater and an installation at Lowe's for the next day (Wed.)  All goes well; the plumbing guy is finishing up.

The phone rings.

Thinking it's Marty, I don't check caller-ID and answer it. It's M. While I'm on the phone with her, the spigot going into the cold water hose to the new tank springs a huge, spraying leak which causes another huge leak in another pipe.  What was a one hour job turned into four hours.

I think I need a serious protection spell and lots of prayers.

Having MK here, knowing she and P. were caring for the dogs and Rufus made our vacation stress-free.  We could enjoy ourselves, knowing that all was well. She was truly a gift from (the) god(s)!

I guess what I'm afraid of is this: if I put my big girl pants on and say No Way to M. ever spending the night here again (pet-sitting or not)...will Karma get me for being "mean?"

And MK, you're hired!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Too Many Cattledogs In Shelters?

I have gotten my cattledogs from responsible breeders, a breed rescue and a shelter.  I have also (briefly) fostered one.

A good point was made that yes, an abundance of ACDs in shelter are geographical.  For instance, in S. Ohio, you'll see many more than say in NE Ohio.

Also, it must be taken into consideration: different shelters have different criteria.
Some take owner surrenders.
Some automatically kill a certain type, look, age of dog.
Some are so antiquated that they kill black animals automatically, because statistics have shown that all black cats and dogs are the last to get adopted.
Some take the stray off the street.
Some only take abused, abandoned and neglected animals.

My Artie is from such a shelter and he is the only obviously purebred ACD under a year (he was 3-4) months they have gotten in ANYONE'S memory (going back 13-14 YEARS!).  He was literally, a rarity and because I was a volunteer there AND had ACD experience they wanted me to have him.  (Lucky me).

Secondly: a lot of dogs that are being labeled ACDs  just aren't.  They are mixes of ACD and something else. Granted there ARE a lot of fine looking purebred ACDs out there, but I'm sorry, if it's mostly body spots, narrow headed, thin-tailed, weedy-legged, pale-eyed it's not my idea of a cattledog; wonderful doggy though it may be.

Third: A responsible breeder will ALWAYS, ALWAYS TAKE THE DOG BACK.  If they aren't dead, they'll take it back. They may, after watching it, caring for it, analyzing and consulting other trusted folks (vets, behaviorists, etc.) about it's behavior etc. rehab it, wisely, carefully rehome it or humanely euthanize it.

Responsible breeders keep track of all their dogs and all the ones I know have spay-neuter contracts.

A responsible breeder microchips their dogs and most hold co-ownership with any intact dogs they sell, say for show.  Twenty years ago, my first cattledogs were tattooed.

When I owned a dog bred by the late, great Deb Clark, if WE (she and us) had decided to ever breed him (which we never did) she had the final say over who he would be bred to, as she knew bloodlines better than I did.  When his hips came back OFA fair, we decided to not pass that on and neutered him.  He was a champion of record and that was enough.

Very rarely does some responsible breeder's baby end up in a high kill shelter.  And boy, if it does, there's going to be hell to pay!

A good breeder doesn't just breed 2 litters a year to the same bitch.

A good breeder has AT LEAST TWICE as many approved homes for even the largest litter they'll produce.

A good breeder doesn't over-breed their bitch either.

A good breeder almost always DOES breed rescue; they help breed rescue in some manner, way, shape or form.

For many of you reading this, The Hershey puppy mill bust where so many ACDs were found is a faint memory.  Note this: ACD people from all over the area converged to help those dogs. Two years ago, over 200 Rottweilers were found in Texas in horrific conditions.  ARC (the national breed club) and devotees of Rotts from all over the country and even Canada banded together to save those dogs. These were BREEDERS and show people for the most part, folks.

If we put a moratorium on breeding:
A) we lose the breed
B) you will never, ever stop BYB*.  Ever.

Can we stop puppy mills?  Absolutely. And yes, it's horrible that even one dear ACD ends up in a shelter.  Yes, the numbers are appalling.  6,000 estimated is too much.

But look at all the Chihuahuas inundating shelters in California, tens of thousands of them are killed every year.

And pits or pit types???  Those poor dogs?  Talk about crappy breeding!  So many of them have bad legs, bad backs, horrible teeth, skin conditions, mental screws loose.  That's what BYB and money grabbers have done, just in the last 15-20 years, to American's Dog, The Nanny Dog, the dog breed that gave us Sgt. Stubby, the most decorated dog in US military history, still. If you talk to responsible breeders of APBTs and AmStaffs, those people have such a tight grasp on where their pups go it puts most ACDs breeders to shame (and that takes some doing.) Plus they must fight the daily onslaught of idiot bully owners and Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), an evil which even touches our beloved herding breeds.

Do not blame the responsible **COE breeder. Talk to them instead.

Rescues, Kennel clubs, National, Area and State breed clubs MUST learn to work together to help dogs and help owners who are overwhelmed, need help with training, in financial difficulties, have severe health issues etc.  We all need to remember that this is not necessarily a "dog problem", this is mainly a "people problem."  If we all band together, instead of flailing each other (and rescue groups are NOTORIOUS for infighting and flailing) miracles can and do happen.

*BYB: Back Yard Breeders
** COE: code of ethics