a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: November 2020

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Adding photos to old posts

SUMMARY: Because I tripped over this old post where I said that I would add them. So I spent a bunch of this afternoon adding them. Because I can.
Backfill: Photos for post from November 2018.

Just added photos (after a delay of only 2 years) to this post about Technology. You're welcome.

Old Timey Memories--Rotary Phones

SUMMARY: ...and calling home while traveling... Jeez you're old!

Backfill: From Facebook discussion on sister's page, Nov 24, 2020. She asked: "You know you're getting older if you remember:(Answer below.)" 
Another friend said, "Rotary phones!" I of course had things to say--

Ericsson Dialog in green
Credit: Diamondmagna, CC BY-SA 3.0
via Wikimedia Commons

When I was traveling for work in the '80s, my company had a special service where are you could call long distance from any phone anywhere in the country billed to our company, instead of having to use your own credit card with whatever phone service served the phone you were using (AT&T or such). You could call home or call my company simply by dialing our service's phone number, dialing in the special access code, and then dialing the number you wanted. 

  • My company’s phone number was 408-980-9898 (yes, I just looked it up on an old business card). 
  • The special phone number was probably something like 800-999-8000. 
  • And the access code was, I don’t know, eight digits, And I’m imagining it was something like 77788899.
That access code might have been only my mind recalling the torture of getting most of the way through the special phone number, then the access code, and then the phone number I was trying to reach, including area code, and then misdialing a digit — On a rotary phone. Yikes. I'd get so frustrated. Or else I'd do it successfully and then the phone of the person I was calling was busy, so I'd have to do it alllll overrrrr agaaaaaain later.

If you're my age, you know how long it took to dial those numbers. If you're much younger--- Check out this video; start at about 4:43 (showing why 0, 9, 8 for example, and the numbers as a whole, were so time consuming) .....   

Wellll... not a rotary phone because it has a blank (nonmoving) dial.
But replace it with a numbered dial and that's what even older rotary phones looked like.
P.S. I own this phone. Two of them, in fact.

Top triptych photo credit: Me--from London, Disneyland, and Lawrence Berkeley Labs.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Cooking -- From Someone Who Doesn't Want To Cook

SUMMARY: Pushed into performing a kitchen-food-choppy thang.

On Facebook on Saturday (2 days ago), I posted this:

I am trying to get back to cooking some of my own meals.  Today, inspired by Bev Serafica’s Photo of a lunch served to her by her friend while she’s convalescing,  I made a cheese and veggie omelette. It has been a long long time. 
... a long time since I’ve done much That involves pots, pans, slicing, dicing, mixing.... After my divorce, it was just me for a long time, and I no longer could get excited about cooking for just one person and then eating it and then it was gone. So I cooked less and less often. Still used to make big pots of spaghetti, or chili, or stew, but less and less often. And then I got a renter roommate who was crazy in the kitchen, and so I mostly avoided it. Stoopid, My house, right? But there you go—I realized how much easier it was to use frozen meals or buy sandwiches or Tacos or pizza or Chinese food or whatever. and not have to wash pots and pans and not have to spend half an hour or longer preparing.

So: I’m trying.

In response to my observation that, basically, I don't like the prep and cleanup, and I used to do big pots of things that would provide many meals but basically I don't like the prep and cleanup--so very many of my friends provided--yes--helpful tips on prep and cooking and making big pots of things that would last for many meals.  Yes, there were a lot of good tips that I might make use of at some point.  But really I just don't want to cook. Microwaved meals are So. Much. Easier.

But all of that group participation propelled me into pulling out all the frozen chicken that's been in there a while (some from April when I thought maybe I'd do some BBQing but didn't; some from June when I thought Chip just might have a digestive or intestinal upset or the like so I bought a ton of chicken for him. Used only a very little of it).  And grabbed the assorted veggies that I bought last week with the hope that maybe this time I'd feel like cooking and actually use them instead of eventually tossing their little corpses.

And made my favorite crock pot chicken dish. Good for many meals.  

So, enjoy-- My photo & caption journal of this experience.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Tuesday T-Shirt Tales: Briar's Patch Iditarod Team

T-shirt tales? Because every t-shirt tells a story, don't it.
And I have so very many of them. Shirts. And stories. ---- Whaaaaat??

All T-Shirt Tales

SUMMARY: Revisiting a friend's story

SORRY--I posted this and then took it down again because I had a lot more to add.  Now it's back. 

A woman I met through agility decided to run the Iditarod one year (years after ceasing dog agility). She did. She completed the whole thing, and did not come in last. An impressive effort.  I already wrote about it in this prior post, "Goals and the Iditarod", back in 2008.

The picture is her and her team, practicing around the rim of Crater Lake.

Good t-shirts are always worth getting out and doing things in, sooooo--

The shirt apparently enjoyed hiking with the Merle Girls.
Gathering for a hike with the local Sierra Singles group of the Sierra Club. Oct 2008.

The inspirational shirt makes it to the top of our local Coyote Peak
with the Merle Girls. August, 2009. 

The shirt helps with my note-taking at our photo club's macro workshop.
August 2012.

The lovely shirt appears again, at the old Douglas Memorial Bridge 
across the Klamath River near Oregon. 
This old bridge washed away in a massive flood in 1964
after the heaviest rain ever recorded in the area.
They kept the approach to the bridge and the original bears to remember it by.
May 2018.

The new Douglas Memorial Bridge is about half a mile upriver, with newer, fancier, goldier 
California Golden Bears. 

That same morning, in my hotel in Eureka (CA), I found myself in a selfie mood.

Who says Zoom work meetings can't be fun?
The Iditarod shirt makes another appearance. June 2020.

BONUS FUN FACT: The shirt looks like a slightly different color in every photo. It's really a lovely rich forest green. I gave up trying to get a photo of what it "really" looks like, because it varies by camera and ambient light. The joys of photography. 

>>  Visit the Wordless Wednesday site; lots of blogs. << >>  Visit Cee's Photo Challenge blog; lots of blogs. <<

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Zorro Takes His Own Weight

SUMMARY: Well--Human Mom still has to read the display.
From Facebook on 10/31/20

To weigh any of my dogs--35 pounds to 60--I have always first weighed myself, then stood on the scales holding the dog. In the last half dozen years, my back has disagreed with that strategy. So they mostly go unweighed. And how can a dog survive without knowing his own weight?!

It occurred to me a year or so ago [doh!] that dogs should be perfectly capable of weighing themselves. And that I know how to train dogs. And so I should teach them to do it. All I needed was: internal motivation. I found it a bit at a time over a year or more.

I had trouble getting them to put all 4 feet onto the scales. It was plenty large enough, so I decided that the problem was that it wasn’t high enough for them to consider it to be really “up”. So I started Chip and Zorro getting onto a small stool for the clearer elevation change, And if they could stand on that tiny surface, they should be able to stand on almost anything. I did not pursue this doggedly (heh). But Zorro loved it (treats) and after a while would pop right up with all 4 feet given half a chance even if I didn’t ask him to. Video from February this year, our first day of stool work: 

So I switched back to the scales. Which is much wider than the tiny stool. But it is also a little slippery. 

I signed up for Circus class in Sept./Oct. this year, and I used that as motivation to focus on getting him to “take your weight“ (all 4 feet on without luring or assistance). Then I needed him to get on straight (facing the display) and not touch the buttons to change the display, and stand or sit completely and calmly still so I could get a measurement. This week, finally!  Reliable enough to actually take his weight. I am a very happy Human Mom.