Sunday, March 13, 2016


A quiet Sunday at home.

I don't know how old Toby is.  His shelter adoption papers simply said 'approx 3 years old'.  That's when we brought him into our lives.  That makes about 14 this year.  It's been over two years since his operation which removed his spleen.  At that point I thought another year would make the procedure worth it.  It's been two and a half.  The strength and coordination of his back legs gets slowly worse every day.  A few weeks ago I put carpeting down the kitchen to back porch stairs.  He mostly slips and slides and falls down on the hardwoods.  He still climbs the stairs up to the bedrooms, at least a few times a day, though a couple of nights I've carried him.  If things progress as they are then we'll probably lose him this year.  I'll never forget finding him in the Humane Society shelter.  He was quiet, but he came over to the bars, sat down, and then leaned against them and clearly said he just wanted someone to snuggle with.

Emma is the sweetest dog ever.  She's the most mild mannered, congenial, friendly dog there ever was.  She absolutely charges at other dogs, but only to say "Hi, I'd like to meet you. Would you like to run and play?"  She tore her knee up last year, a torn ACL.  Since then she's slowed down a bit and well... she now looks a little like a line-backer.  She's now on a bit of a diet, and bounces excitedly in anticipation of each meal.  She's had a few previous owners, and I assume her earliest used an anti-bark collar, because she doesn't bark at all.  In two years I think I've heard her bark twice.  She does talk, but it's a gurgle on inhalation only.  She'll happily tell you about her day and how happy she is to see you if you listen close enough.  She loves to play and when worked up she'll kangaroo box Toby with her front paws (claws) to rouse him to a playful fight, just like a little sister will punch an older brother on the arm.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Windows NSA

I've avoided upgrading windohs.  Generally, because I'm happier with what I know and don't want to learn another system, once again (big sigh).  Just to note; I have a bachelors in electronics and do technical support for a living.

The other morning I'm in my home office sipping my first cup of coffee, when the wife walks in from her office/sewing room and announces that her computer has automatically updated to windohs 10, seemingly without her doing anything.  I know she must have clicked something, but when Bill's cronies don't include any sort of 'no thank you, stop bothering me' button, it's hard to blame her.

I immediately exploded (for me that's appears as a mild reaction since I'm extremely easy going).  I immediately google and find how to UNDO it.  Turns out undoing it is rather simple.  At least at this point, and if you catch it before 30 days.

I do tech support for a living and the last thing I want to do is do tech support at home, especially for the computer illiterate wife.  But I went in anyway, and restored her computer back to win-7.  I then turned off windows updates and downloaded a copy of GWX control panel and removed all windows NSA crapola.

I did the same for my computer, then I went to work and did the same for my office PC and all the computers in my support lab.  I turned off all windows updates, and used GWX control panel to remove all the annoying windows 10 prompts and files.

Now I know what you'll say "by turning off windows updates I leave myself vulnerable to hackers!".  Well here's my argument: Microsoft spent ten years doing security patches on Windows XP... and they then said you had to upgrade to win-7 because XP was still vulnerable.  In other words, no matter what you do your computer is vulnerable.

I turned off all Microsoft updates for one simple reason... I no longer trust them.

Microsoft is pushing the windohs-x upgrade.  Hard!  They're pushing and ramming and cramming it down people's throats completely against people's wishes, and they're doing it... for free.  No matter how I look at this, no matter from what angle or excuse, this goes against any common-sense business logic.  Something stinks.  Something very clearly and very pungently stinks.

I'm not overly prone to conspiracy theories, but there is something very wrong and very dark about all this.

Friday, March 4, 2016

For Sale: 1996 Honda Passport


1996 Honda Passport LX.  Gray with light gray interior.  3.2 liter V-6.  Automatic.  4 Wheel Drive.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Lionel's Tarts

Years ago one of our favorite TV shows was 'As Time Goes By' with Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer.  One of the running jokes of the show was Lionel's (Geoffrey Palmer) obsession with Custard Tarts.  

We recently got hooked on another PBS show called 'The Great British Baking Show'.  It recently featured a contest of baking the classic English Custard Tart.  I was able to get the recipe from their website and tried my hand at them, completely from scratch.  I was quite pleased with the results.

(That's a sprinkle of Nutmeg on top, if you're wondering.)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Philosophy Lessons

Life's been a little tough lately...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Fall Day, CWD

 It drizzled at the beginning and sprinkled at the end, but the rest of the walk was nice.

Toby's not a water-dog, though he loves to splash his toes through 2 or 3 inches and will sometimes go out of his way to traipse through a puddle.
 This is practicing our "stay" command, otherwise all I end up with are butt shots of him heading up the trail or close-ups of a nose saying "what did you want?"
 OK, I've posed, now can we go!
 A good 4 inches around and 6 inches tall.
 Moss everywhere, including my lawn.  But if I kill off the moss I'll probably end up with a mud-pit for a lawn.  But out in the woods in looks pretty.
 A small bright red plant where all else was green or brown.
 That time of year again.
 Going under the elf bridge.
 Dabbling his toes again.
 Enjoying all the things to see.

 A 'Hawthorne' tree.

 A tired dog ready to go home.
Had to get a picture of this guy.  Limping along with one bad leg, but still getting out there to walk his dog.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Just a random blog post to fill the void.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday Drive home

Upon leaving Roseburg Sunday, I did a little sight-seeing.

First I drove up into the neighborhood above downtown Roseburg.  Up Terrace drive, to Summit drive.  Towards the end I came upon a house right in the middle of this neighborhood with seven deer in the front yard.  Just meandering around his lawn, his driveway, sidewalks, around the cars.  A little forked horn and six does and juveniles.  I snapped some pictures with the cell phone, but nothing turned out well enough to show anything clearly.

On leaving town, I drove north on Stephens, then out past winchester and into Sutherlin on 99.  I drove through Sutherlin looking for the movie-theatre RV park people talk about, but didn't see it.  This had put me on highway 138 heading northwest, so I decided to take a scenic drive since I had time.

Out 138 past Tyee recreation area, into Elkton at the junction of 138 and 38.  Then northeast on 38 through Drain and back to I-5.

The countryside out that way is spectacular.  Well worth the extra time to take the detour

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recent Books

My wife chides me for re-reading the same books over and over again, so the other day I bought a couple of cheap books off Amazon.  Kidnapped, written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886, is a pretty fair adventure story about a young man unknowingly cheated from his inheritance by his uncle who has him kidnapped to be sold into slavery in the American colonies.  He never gets to the colonies, but is shipwrecked on the northwest Scotland coast and makes his way back across the Scottish highlands.  I don't know whether this edition is translated, but it reads rather easily like a modern novel.

I tried to read 'Twenty-thousand leagues under the sea', but found it tedious in its repetitive descriptions. This novel is much easier to stay with and is hard to put down.  Makes me want to rent the movies to see how well they match the book.

Weekend October 19th

Spent Saturday raking the lawns and generally cleaning things up.  Watched an old movie called "Flight to Tangier" with a very young Jack Palance.  Sat down for a nap and woke nearly four hours later.  Beth and her friend took Toby and her friends young lab for a long walk and Toby was exhausted.

Sunday Toby said he wanted to go to the dog park even though he had the marathon walk yesterday, so he and I went.  At the dog park he's off leash and can go at his own pace.  We haven't been in over three weeks and he had a good time.  He only barked at a rambunctious four month old cocker spaniel puppy.  The river was at low tide.  Toby's not a water dog, but he loves to splash his toes through 3 or 4 inches of water.

Sunday was drier, and after a nap, I mowed the lawns and put down some fertilizer.  I'm still trying to get a decent lawn to grow again, and not leave me with a mud hole during the winters.  Watched another old movie "Fair Wind to Java" with Fred MacMurray as a swash-buckling sea captian.

Prior to dinner Sunday, Toby was acting very stiff in back, so we dug through the cupboards and came up with an old pain medication from the vets (Vetprofen).  About 15 minutes after one of those he was bouncing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Breaking the writer's (blogger's) block.

While traveling back north I stopped for gas and an early dinner in Albany.  The gas station jockey was chatty and when I said I was looking for a place to eat he right off recommended Pop's, just three blocks further on.

Yeah it was early, but when most of the people in it were older folks I knew I was in the right joint.  A good old fashion greasy spoon.  The triple decker "Honey Nut Roast Beef Melt" with a cup of chili was perfect.  The bread grilled as dark as you can get without actually burning it was the tastiest combo with the thinly sliced roast beef.  Ok, maybe I was rather hungry, but it was good!

Don't forget to try the Cheddar Munchers also!  Deep fried tater-tot like things with bits of cheese and jalapeno, and served with ranch dip.

Monday, May 26, 2014

1 in 85, Memorial Day

It makes me feel like a redneck, ultra-conservative, Republican, right-wing, NRA member, Christian, John Wayne loving, flag waving, founding fathers believin', freedom loving, ....

Took a walk around the block in my neighborhood.  In ALL the 85 houses... mine is the ONLY one flying an American Flag on a national holiday honoring our soldiers who perished in battle defending freedom.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

CWD - May 18th

Seems like it's been a while since we went walking, so it's only the dog park again, but at least we got off our lazy butts.

It was a drizzly morning.  The field grass is growing fast.
The river is high enough, you can't get to the open beach.
The wild roses were in bloom all over the park.  A belated 'Happy Mother's Day' to you mom.
Spotted this little guy in the middle of the path on a tree root.
Took time to take a number of photos hoping at least a couple would turn out, and he eventually stuck his  eye stalks and tentacles out.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day (belated post)

Last weekend as a Mother's Day gift she got her mother tickets to the Portland Opera production of 'The Pirates of Penzance', a Gilbert and Sullivan creation.  Beth, I and her mother went to the Sunday matinee production and then had dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant afterwards.

I won't critique the play here, but will only say... I've seen better productions of The Pirates of Penzance.