Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Theo's World

A dog's life is unbearably tragic.

The dog didn't know why he had become separated from his first pack. They seemed to have simply wandered off and lost their way without the aid of his keen tracking abilities.

Humans are kind of stupid that way.

He didn't think about them all that much anymore- dogs live almost entirely in the present - but foremost in his mind was always the intrinsic understanding that a pack containing humans was a fragile and delicate thing. Humans need nearly constant guarding and protection. They have a poor sense of direction and become lost without canine companionship. And they blunder through life heedless of the constant danger surrounding them. He knows he isn't alpha dog material. But at least he isn't an omega dog (he has successfully proven his superiority to several recalcitrant water bottles who now accept that their place in the pack hierarchy is firmly below his). And his duty is to his pack and he knows he will never let down his pack again. Ever.

The alpha male is a terrible hunter. He leaves the house every morning, all alone despite the dog's daily protests that the world is a dangerous place. Thus far, he has returned every evening, safe and sound.  But the dog knows that each day his alpha is taking a terrible risk.  And the day may come when he is abducted by a school bus, set upon by bloodthirsty deer, sniffed at by *other dogs*, or any one of a thousand other threats the dog cannot even imagine. Even though he appears to be an adept tracker and fighter, the alpha rarely manages to find food. The dog has never been able to understand that.  Theres a woods outback teeming with chipmunks, squirrels, and birds. If ONLY the alpha male would take him along on his daily hunting trips. He's CERTAIN he could catch increase their food stores.

 "The Agony of Resignation" Digital Photograph by Julie Courtwright - October 2013

The hardest part was getting used to his new pack mate. A good dog knows that to survive and thrive the pack must grow. But when the alphas brought home a new puppy, he knew immediately there was something wrong with it. It didn't smell right. It didn't understand that it was supposed to conform to its place in the pack hierarchy. And it had a *terrible* speech impediment. The dog was not cut out to have other dogs under his command.  But the odd deformed cat puppy was now his responsibility.  He tried his best to train it, but he has come to accept that the cat puppy will never be capable of fully pulling his weight in the pack. It would never bark at the deer like a proper dog, or guard the foolish humans from recklessly wandering the world without proper backup.

But life with a human pack is worth *every* hardship. Even without the rawhide bones and belly rubs, walks in the woods and the cozy bed he lets his pack mates share (except the cat puppy), the dog knows he is fulfilling his deepest purpose. He knows he is a *good boy*. And that is the highest standard any dog can aspire to.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Business Update

There is *News* in my quest to become a professional crafter and small business owner: It took two attempts but I have successfully registered "Geek Chic Knits" as a trade name with Fairfax County. Huzzah!

Now, on to the next set of paperwork, which I believe should be the Business License and Tax Number Registration.  Lets see how many tries it takes to make that one go through...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A walk in the Purr-ambulator

Gilly is an indoor cat. And we have a pretty small apartment. Its not surprising then, that every now and then he makes a break for the great outdoors. Usually, this takes the form of him bolting out the front door under our feet and making us chase him all the way up to the top of the stairwell.

Its four flights up.

Eli and I really do not appreciate this little game as much as Gilly does.  The little jerk...

One time when Gilly got out, our upstairs neighbor was coming home from a late shift and Gilly managed to slip into his apartment without his notice. He locked his door, turned around, and voila! a cat he had never seen before was sitting in the middle of his living room, acting like he owned the place. The situation was rectified pretty quickly, but ever since then, those neighbors have been convinced our cat is some sort of minor demon.

"For lo, orange tabbies are born into trouble as the sparks fly upwards..."

Since then, I've tried to find ways to cure his wanderlust without terrifying the neighbors or having to make mad dashes up four flights of stairs. And plus, I don't actually want my cat to be living in a haze of mind-numbing boredom for his whole life. What seems to work best is a walk in the "purr-ambulator.  I put him in his harness and leash,  pop him into the laundry cart, attach the leash with a carabiner so he can't escape, and take him for a ramble through the woods. Yeah, that's right.  I'm the crazy lady who takes her cat for walks in a stroller.

I can't quite tell how he feels about these excursions. From his expressions it appears to be a mix of fear, over-stimulation, and extreme fascination. Kind of like a human on a roller coaster. But he usually doesn't try to escape, and he usually doesn't meow pathetically (unless I stop the cart for more than a few seconds). And usually for a few days afterwards he'll hop in the laundry cart when he sees he heading for the door and then glare at me expectantly. I take that as a sign that at least I'm not committing any sort of animal cruelty. And it does usually stop him from trying to bolt out the front door for a few days. 

Today was a gorgeous day.  Almost like spring despite what the stupid groundhog said. So we went out to the golf course and watched people chase little white balls around for a while. Gilly seemed to sympathize but I wouldn't let him join in. And we watched the flocks of birds migrating back from warmer latitudes. And we watched the squirrels waking up from hibernating trying to figure out where they buried all those nuts last fall. And afterwards Gilly took an especially heavy nap on the recliner. But he didn't try to get out the front door when he woke up again.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Life Lessons I have learned from playing way too much Civ V

Like many nerds, I play way too much of a computer game called Civilization V. Its a history based game where you play as a leader of one of many global civilizations and you can win based on global domination, scientific prowess, diplomacy, or culture. I highly recommend it - its got a lot of educational value. Honest! *wink*

1) When attempting to take over the world, it is first necessary to have a first rate interstate highway system.

2) Nice Dictators finish last.

3) Mahatma Ghandi is a bastard.

4) Beware of Germans bearing gifts.

5) Never underestimate the power of Fertilizer.

6) Ignore scientific advancement at your own peril.

7) Chopping down all your forests to achieve your short term goals is a really bad idea.

8) Its all fun and games until someone completes the Manhattan Project.

9) Don't use the city states as resources. Unless you WANT to get into a fight with every other country in the world at the same time.

10) Distance, not fences, makes good neighbors.