Monthly Archives: January 2011


I haven’t written about Jasper much lately, so I think it’s about time for a Pupdate.

I apologize for not having a picture. At the time of this writing, I am snuggled down on the couch with both dogs, so I can’t be bothered to uproot myself to get a camera….oh wait…I HAVE a camera…on my laptop…hang on…ok…here:

Jasper at 9 Months
Jasper at 9 Months

So not as high quality as an actual CAMERA photo, but it will do. He was moving a lot too…trying to steady a laptop while holding a wiggly Boston is not easy. Notice how his tearstains have diminished? I don’t know why they were more noticeable as a puppy. He had his nine month birthday the other day. We took him to a pet store and let him pick out a toy…a stuffed jack-type shape.

Jasper is a nut. He LOVES my perfume. It doesn’t matter what kind…my own creations or commercial…he likes to sniff and lick my wrists. I try not to let him lick so he won’t lick it off me, as it wouldn’t be good for him and defeats the purpose of perfume, which is necessary with a Boston as I’ll get to in a minute. No other pet we’ve had, except for long-departed Natasha the Cat, has liked perfume. Most dogs and cats I’ve had really don’t like human perfume at all. Dogs especially prefer natural animal odors, and the stinkier the better. I don’t know what it is about Jasper, or Natasha for that matter, that makes them like the sweet smells.

Jasper at 9 months
Jasper at 9 months
Stan and I always kid around about what the animals would do or be if they were human. This will vary greatly from puppy/kittenhood to the time they are an adult. As a puppy, I always said Plato would be either a musician or a demolition expert. By the time he died, I realized Plato would’ve been the next Stephen Hawking. When he was younger, he would stare at my art, which would cause him to spin around, stare more at the art, and spin more. We said he was contemplating stars going around in his head. We were watching a Discovery show with Stephen Hawking at the time Plato was dying. They reminded me of eachother in a strange way.

Jasper has the makings of a musician and demolition expert as well (especially demolition of office supplies and personal care products such as emory boards, carmex tubes and unused feminine hygiene products). Jasper is a very musical dog, but his musicality is more in terms of what he does with squeak toys. He LOVES squeak toys, and makes great rhytyhmic sounds with them. Plato actually HATED the squeaker and would try very hard to remove the device from all toys that contained it. Plato’s musicality came more from his own voice…he used to sing as he whined. He sang so well until we boarded him for a few weeks one year (while taking Hieronymus with us…bad mistake–never, ever ever separate the pack…either board both or take both with). He was so lonely without Hieronymus, when we came to pick him up, he was practically hoarse from barking so much. He never sang right again. If Jasper and Plato could’ve known eachother when they were both young, Plato would be the singer and Jasper would be the musician. Jasper also clucks like a chicken. Sometimes we call him Chicken Dog.

Jasper is also an artist. We gave him some toys that were made of colorful synthetic rope. He shreded the rope, which created such beautiful fiber art. Hieronymus, named after Bosch, was supposed to be the Art Dog, but his vision was way too bad.

Jasper is a very social dog, loves to meet new people, very submissive with new dogs…very unlike Plato in that way. In other ways he reminds me so much of him….the way he “moops”, the way he “oofs” (must be universal Boston Terrier noises)…and the bad gas. Actually, as far as external body odor, I think Boston Terriers are the absolute best smelling dogs there are. You can put your nose right up against their body and they will smell so good…no doggy odor. Even Pugs, which are also very clean smelling dogs, do have a certain “Pug odor.” But not Bostons. Their short coat and lack of wrinkles probably help in that regard. However, do a search on “Boston Terrier Gas” and you will find that they are probably one of the smelliest dogs in that regard. They are very gassy. This is why I like need scented candles and perfume. But I’d much rather have a clean-smelling but gassy dog than a low-fart dog that has that constant doggy fur stink.

I just wish Jasper and Tim could’ve known each other as well as the other dogs knew Tim.

Spooty Spoot

Ironic that Obama would go to Wisconsin after the SOTU where he mentioned biofuels and high speed rail, both of which have been quashed by Scotty the Boxer. Of course everyone knows about the HSR and Walker, but wait, there’s more. He’s also ordering a biofuels project stopped in Madison. And he also doesn’t like Wind Energy either.

But on a whimsical, unrelated tangent, Obama said that, coincidentally, a piece of Sputnik crashed in Manitowoc (where he was speaking today) back in 1962. Ironic that the SOTU mentioned Sputnik, as in Moment. And then he goes to Manitowoc. Weird.

When I first moved to Colorado, I knew a Chihuahua named Spooty. Spooty peed and barked all the time. Spooty was owned by an old lady who lived next door to us. I didn’t like Spooty all that much, and he didn’t seem all that friendly. I suspect Spooty was named after Sputnik, because he was just about that old. Spooty’s owner’s grandson lived there too and had a beagle mix named Peaches. Peaches was the first dog that became my friend, but only through a chain link fence. I think Peaches liked my company better than her owner, who she seemed scared of. I wish I could see Peaches now that I’m a dog owner. Weird how we miss animals from our past, even if they weren’t our own.

Also, Manitowoc is one of those places in Wisconsin that I wish I could live if I could live anywhere and Stan’s work and finances weren’t a problem. I would live right on the lake. Anywhere on any body of water in Wisconsin would be wonderful. For now, I’ll just settle for being between a couple of them.

Not So Ornamental Mental Illness

Mugsy “Pretty Boy” Ryan will give the response to the SOTU tonight. Hooboy. Another embarrassment from Wisconsin, right (yes, RIGHT, as in Wing) alongside Scotty The Boxer Walker. Whatever happened to the Progressive Dream? Mugsy looks like he’s right out of a 30s gangster flick. Could’ve starred in “Public Enemies” but they probably didn’t want to make it look too real.

But how ’bout ‘dem Packers? Ya, you betcha.

Anyway, I was thinking last night about mental illness…(speaking of whacko wingnut politicos)…But seriously. Last night as I was dozing off I was in that state where you’re still awake but you start to dream. You are not asleep, at least not totally. Part of your mind is still awake, yet the other part is starting to dream. It’s a strange netherworld. And it got me thinking…what if schizophrenia is actually just a condition where you can dream while awake? Have psychiatrists explored this theory? I have some pretty crazy dreams, and if I experienced them while awake, I would no doubt be labeled as schizophrenic. But because I can say “I dreamt that”, I’m just a person who has vivid dreams…and one who can remember them as well.

I also sometimes talk or scream or shout or cry or flail about while dreaming. My grandfather, my mom’s dad, actually would sleepwalk. He was under a lot of stress at his job during WWII, and one time he got up at night, grabbed a kitchen pot, and waited at the back door for someone to come through it so he could bonk them on the head. That’s the story, anyway. I’ve never sleepwalked…just talked and shouted a lot. As of late, I mostly just cry and flail, with an occasional yell at very inappropriate times. (Like when I yelled “Just kill me now” because I was having a bad dream about my parents while Stan and I were staying at a family-run motel in Batavia, New York) My father used to yell and talk in his sleep, so if there is a genetic component for it, I probably got it from both sides. If it is somehow a “learned” behavior, then I only got it from my dad. Now if sleepwalking/talking/outwardly expressive dreaming is either created by nature or nurture, (as opposed to it occurring spontaneously due to stressors or something external), then it is understood within a culture. If there is no expressive dreaming within a culture because there is either no genetic component or behavior to pattern after, and someone from that culture were to encounter someone who sleepwalked/talked, would they not think that person mad?

Just wondering. Would be a question for Psychology 101, but I’d have to time travel back 30 years or so.

Twilight Zone

I am having such a weird day. It’s indescribable. I felt like I’ve walked into a weird bubble of time where its DNA is all rearranged. Of course there’s the Keith Olbermann firing. You can’t tell me that this has nothing to do with Comcast taking over when I was terminated from (say it in a creepy Boris Karloff voice) “Alistair Video” back in 1985. I was “let go” just so coincidentally on the Monday following a Friday when I was casually discussing with my coworkers how I believe Man created God. One of them was a moral-less hillbilly girl, the other was a Born Again. Both were young mothers and not very well-educated. Undoubtedly the Born Again, who was sort of “in charge” of the skank and I (she was the “foreman”), told the person above her how I didn’t believe in God, which undoubtedly influenced the decision to terminate me. Of course one could say, last hired, first fired, although they wanted to make it perfectly clear I was not being fired (and I was able to collect unemployment, but not from that job because I had only worked there 6 months…sneaky, these employers). But they did say that they felt I wasn’t too happy there, which was why I was being let go. Of course I wasn’t happy there. The wages sucked, the co-workers I had to work with had the intellect of a soda can, and there was no opportunity for any creativity whatsoever. I only took the job in the first place so I wouldn’t starve and I could pay rent. The only benefit, and I am not making this up…this job had NO benefits whatsoever, was one could take home a VHS movie and a portable Video Player every night. This was 1984-1985. But I digress. Keith Olbermann. Right. Anyway, as much as I sometimes hate my cable company, Charter, at least they’re not Comcast.

I couldn’t sleep too well last night…I know it is silly to be effected by the ending of a news show, but I am. It’s like a dependable constant in your life. But I nonetheless woke up and did normal morning things like feed the dogs and get packages ready to ship, and restart my Bryce rendering from the night before. After I got the important errands out of the way, I sat down to work on a Photoshop document while my Bryce image was rendering in the background. Then I couldn’t access any menus. Nothing. I waited…blue screen. Heart leaps into throat, nausea takes over my body. Dammit…not again. The irony is I was just remembering the summer of 2002 and how I was creating a lot of Bryce images back then when I accidentally erased my hard drive and I had felt like my life had just ended. Damn, that was an awful moment.

Fortunately, it wasn’t another computer failure. Just some glitch. I do not know what happened…system overload? Kernel panic? It did take a long time to start up, which left me in a state of horror for longer than needed. When I went back to resume my Bryce render, it started from the place I had left it last night because I hadn’t saved it before the crash. But it started rendering the image differently. The lighting was different. Most odd. I saved that file under a different name and reopened the original file. Same thing. I even tried opening an old file I had been working on last night–the precursor to the large file I was rendering–and the same light effect was missing from that one too! Thinking the crash effected something on my computer, I tried rendering the original file on the computer upstairs. Same thing. Completely unexplainable.

And then I realized I hadn’t gotten any email. None. I had not gotten any email on my computer that crashed since 8:48 in the morning when I checked it–not even SPAM. Later, after much analysis of the matter–sending myself emails, checking to see if there was something wrong with my domains–I find out my computer upstairs had been automatically retrieving all the email. That’s where all my email was going. But why? I have “Mail” set to be Offline for all my accounts except for one…one that is on that machine only. Why would it suddenly change to put all my accounts Online?

Weird. Some weird ghost in the machines.

I’m rerendering the Bryce image. I went in and altered it anyway. The file has some glitch because when I click on the Materials editor on one grouped object, Bryce crashes. So maybe it’s a cursed file.

There’s just some weird things going on in the zone right now.

Hmmmm…just rethinking weirdness in my life…Back on the day I was terminated, we had a houseguest who was the same houseguest we had when Hieronymus fell down the stairs. Dude had some seriously bad karma or dharma or whatever it is…at least as far as we are concerned. Some people it’s just best not getting back together with.