Monday, February 4, 2013

A New Kind of Bark Collar

Our dog likes to sleep with us.  He's a little guy, a Cairn, and he's a very good sleeper.  If he does get tired of being with us, he knows to hop down and get into his crate.  When he sleeps with me, all's well--I'm a very light sleeper, and I don't tend to sleep in late.  When he sleeps with our 14 year old?

All bets are off.

You see, our boy is home-schooled.  As a result, he may sleep until 10 or 11 am.  How late he sleeps determines how late in the afternoon he's still doing school work. It works for us.  Doesn't work so well for Charlie, our Cairn.  You see, he expects a trip outside around 9 am or so.  And that's when the whining starts.  And then the crying.  And then, maybe twenty minutes in, the flat out barking.  And then maybe, MAYBE, our boy will awaken.  I was blue-skying the other day, and I came up with it--THE solution.

A Bark Collar for our boy.  Just strap that bugger around his neck and every time Charlie barks, our boy gets a shot of citronella up the nose (not going to electric shock our boy--heck, I wouldn't do that to a dog!).  Seems to me our boy would learn quickly that the dog whining precedes the barking, and that's when it's time to get up.

No, I won't really do it, but it's a very satisfying idea.

I was thinking today about my sister's high school class ring.  It was a silver thing, with a red stone, and she lost it along with most of her other possessions when she made a quick, middle-of-the-night exit from her awful company quarters in Wendover, Nevada.  This was--gosh, almost 27 years ago.  She figured the ring was gone forever.

A few years ago, I got a call.  Out of the blue, a woman in the Pacific Northwest asking if I knew a woman with my sister's name.  It's a rare name--only one in the country, no doubt, so I knew she didn't have the wrong number.  I said yes, she's my sister, but she doesn't live here.  The woman said, "I'm going to tell you a story--it's going to sound strange, but bear with me."

Okay.  That's a good start, I like that.

She goes on to tell a story about how, 20 years earlier, she and her family had moved into an older home.  The house didn't appear to have ever been remodeled.  After living there for almost 15 years, they'd decided to remodel the basement, which was their teenage son's "area."  Upon tearing out the walls, one of her son's friends found a ring.  A class ring.  He pocketed it and said nothing for months, finally confessing one night and returning the ring to them.

Thing is, the ring wasn't theirs.  They had no idea whose it was, only that it had a name, the high school name, and the year 1978.

They did a cursory phone search, found no number matching my sister's name, and forgot about it for a few years.  While cleaning, she came across the ring again, and decided to give it another shot.  This time she found me.  Did I think this was my sister's ring?  I gave her the name of my sister's high school, and the woman said, "Oh, my God.  That's right.  How did it get in our wall?"

How DID it get in her wall?

I put her in touch with my sister, and she returned the ring a couple of weeks later.

But how did it get inside her basement wall?  A thousand miles from where it had been lost?  I understand my sister's former employer may have auctioned off her possessions, that maybe whomever wound up with the ring then went to the Pacific Northwest.  But how did the ring wind up in the woman's basement wall?

Cue ominous chord, huh?

Dinner's about ready--roast beef and light provolone on low cal/low carb bread.  Melted so it's happy and cheesy and crispy.  Plus a salad and steamed peas.  Dessert'll be smoothies with frozen blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas with almond milk.

Ooh, speaking of fruit, our boy had his first dragonfruit last night.  Was easy to open and scoop, but the flavor was very mild--seemed it would go great in smoothies, but I'm wondering if the fruit was under ripe or if it's always very mild?  It was the white fleshed variety, not the pinkish.  Anyone know?  He also had a rambutan.  I love getting him exotic fruits.  Makes us both happy.

That's Rambutan

Dragonfruit, which can be scooped out, cut up, then served in the hollow shell. 

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