Friday, March 31, 2006

Truly amazing

Friday afternoons at the office are usually pretty chilled out. Around 3 or so someone goes to the store to pick up a couple of cases of beer to have on hand for when the crews come in from work. We sit around and discuss how the week went and get our ducks in a row for the following Monday.

This week seemed like any other. As the guys came in, everyone started to get into "chill mode." Leisurely, and with a beer in one hand, they went about the task of making sure trailers were stocked for the week to come. I was out directing what needed to be done when the phone rang.

The call was from a client we worked for a couple of months ago, and he had a complaint that required my IMMEDIATE attention. You see, he had an urgent problem. Birds. Not birds crapping on his patio furniture, not birds pecking at his children, not even birds nesting in his satellite dish and knocking out his reception. No, his problem was with their incessant chirping.

Friday afternoon (and 3 cold beers behind me), I just had to laugh. He was dead serious. It was our fault that we attracted birds to his home. How was it resolved you ask? I've canceled my trip to Austin to see my family. Instead, I'll go to Wal Mart tonight and pick up some over-alls, some fake hay and a broomstick to shove up my rear so I can play "scare crow"in his back yard all weekend. Anyone know where I can get a good deal on some burlap to cover my face? Anyone have a straw hat I could borrow?

After all, the customer is always right, right?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Clean bill of health

Tess made her first trip to the vet today and passed all her tests with flying colors. She didn't even flinch as she was being poked and prodded in every way imaginable.

Now that she's confirmed healthy, you know what that means. Exactly. A cheesy family portrait taken sitting in a patch of blue bonnets! I think its a law in Texas that you have to drag a toddler (or your pets) out in late March or early April and plop them down in a bed of fire ants and take pictures in the sea of wildflowers for posterity.

Neither of them will be wearing a Texas flag bandana or a cowboy hat that's too big. Boots are also out of the question. Don't worry though, my little brother is an attorney and I'm sure he can find a loophole in the law so I don't have to spend too much time in jail for violating the most sacred law in the great state of Texas.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Share and share alike

Unless of course its a rolled up piece of cow hide. In which case, all bets are off.

Lord, please help me when they even up in stature!


Back to the drawing board, literally

Today was my first day back in the office in about 3 full weeks. I've been working in the field about 5 minutes from my house managing a residential project and playing in the dirt. Well, that project is wrapping up this week and its not necessary for me to be on site full time any longer.

I will miss the 5 minute commute, being able to swing home for lunch to play with the girls and getting back home by 4:30 every afternoon.

After a few hours of regrouping, I was able to get back into the swing of things and start crossing things off my "to do" list. Its nice to be back...I haven't picked up a blank sheet of paper in a while.

In the back of my mind all day was little Miss Tess. This was her first full day alone. At lunch, I picked up another 4x4 pen to add on to the one she has been using during the day in anticipation of the mess I'd find when I got home. Lets just say she didn't let me down in the mess department. The added space should give her room to play in one area and leave presents in the other. I'll feel better when I can trust her outside all day.

Tess just doesn't seem to comprehend the question "Why can't you be more like Molly?" I know its going to take another 2 years and 10 months, but the ride will be fun!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Like a duck to water

Tonight, Tess got her first bath. She was in need of one. Her unidentified "crusties" had to go! This is a big step...the first test of how she would react to being in water. After preparing myself for the fact that she might be one of those Goldens who is scared of water, we dove in to the task. She did great. After the actual scrubbing was done, I kept her in the tub and had a 10 minute play session in the water. Look out ducks...we're coming at you from two directions now!

While looking for the bath picture for this post, I found this gem that pretty much sums up the pace at which Molly and Tess play.

If ever I have a back door without nose prints, feel free to smack me!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My trip to the North Pole

What is up with the weather this week. I found a set of bolt cutters and unchained myself from my drafting table and have been managing a construction project for about the past 3 weeks. Its been great being outside playing in the dirt. One, because its close to home and I can swing by my house for lunch and let Tess and Molly out for a while and eat on my back porch, and two, because it is (or has been) absolutely gorgeous outside. Its also nice to be able to make design changes on the fly without having to make a special trip to the site.

Anyway, maybe I'm just a wuss, but today was absolutely miserable. It may have hit 50 today, cloudy, wind blowing all day long and lips chapping. The only thing that would have made the day more craptabulous would have been a hint of rain.

But wait, it gets worse. Today was the day to fine-tune the lighting system. So that means staying on site until it got dark! Even more time in the wind, taking care of the nitpick stuff until the sun went down enough to show where the lights were pointing.

All is well now. After a hot shower and a cold beer, my mind turns to the weekend and all it has to offer!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Attack dog gone wrong

Hey Butthead, that's MY leg. You know me, the guy who brings you food and pigs ears. Save the rough stuff for those evil intruders.

Damn, that hurt. The thing won't stop bleeding! As I type this, I'm having a hard time focusing on the screen. I'm getting very sleepy. Someone call 9-1....

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The sound of silence

Last night when my head hit the pillow, I had no idea what today would bring. Tess gave me the wake-up call at about 6:30 this morning and I was so excited. She's never slept that late. Little did I know, she had risen with a demon in her eye. Today marks the milestone of the transformation between sweet, lovable, snuggly puppy to puppy beginning to feel her oats. My hands and forearms show the telltale signs that there is a set of razor sharp teeth in my life again. I've got every form of chew toys for her to choose, but fingers and toes just taste better I guess.

After eating lunch and running a few errands this afternoon, the demon was still around. "I'll fix this you little turd." The girls and I went for our first walk, and I wasn't going to stop until Tess' tongue was dragging on the ground. I'm guessing it took about 2 miles at a brisk pace to get it done. Molly did well, staying at a heel and Tess running close behind. My fast walk is about a jogging pace for Tess these days.

All my frustration from early morning vanished when we were on the jogging trail and was so happy to have us walking as a pack. Its truly those little moments that brings me the most joy. Both girls are tuckered out. Molly at my feet and Tess asleep in her kennel. The sound of silence doesn't get much better than this.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Aint Skeered

Those who know Molly know that her bones are sacred. For a female, I'd say Tess has a fine set of brass balls! Given all the recent changes in her young life, she's adjusting like a champ. I'd say she's fearless, energetic (in 30 minute bursts) and tonight she even retrieved that duck in the photo. Granted, I threw it only about 5 feet from her, but when she brought it back, she was praised and rewarded in kind.

Updated: You have to click on the picture...I just noticed the dueling tongues!

Monday, March 13, 2006

48(ish) hours into it

Whew...what a fast and furious couple of days!

We are finally all settled in. Tess has explored the house, the back yard and even made an appearance at the weekly cul-de-sac beer drinking/gossip sharing thing that we do. Needless to say, she was a big hit.

Molly is warming up to the new addition. They play well together. Molly is rough enough to let Tess know who is the "boss," but gentle enough not to hurt the little squirt. I'm going to let them sort the pecking order out on their own. It should be fun to watch over the next year.

I'm pretty tired from all the recent excitement. Maybe when the next greatest bird dog is able to sleep until the sun comes up I'll have something better to post.

And for the record, 2 days gone by, 0 urine on the carpet or her kennel...I think I might have picked a winner!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Preparations are complete...almost

Everything is crossed off my list in preparation for the new addition. Every thing except "Go pick out the damn dog." Tonight I had to go get a couple more bowls, the thing has to eat you know, and I found a little mallard that called my name. Four bucks? I'll take it. But first, a test:

Well that went well. She seems reasonably enthusiastic about the duck.

Shortly after these photos were taken, we had a heart to heart. I had to tell her that kind of duck was for little, less seasoned retrievers. She moped around for a while, but when I told her that she was about to get a running buddy and partner in crime, she was all smiles.

Yea Molly, I'm happy too!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

That Snoopy is on to something

"Hey Adam, why must you torture me so?"

Well you see, Butthead, its because I can, and you are a willing participant.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A big step

Tonight I entered in all my receipts from the past few days into Quicken. I had one from Petco. Quicken automatically categorizes it as a "Molly" expense. Tonight I changed it to categorize it as a "Goldens" expense.

I wonder, should I keep them separate so I can lay guilt trips on the one that has been most expensive?

Monday, March 06, 2006


Tonight after work, my routine was pretty much the same...get home, grab a cold adult beverage, go out back and romp with Molly. Like many evenings before, all went according to schedule. When the mosquitoes started to bite it was time to go back inside to flip on the news and take care of the day-to-day tasks. Then, it hit me...I've got to puppy-proof this house!

When I first got Molly, I was living in an apartment filled with all the "fine" furniture I had in college. The puppy-proofing was a breeze. I didn't really care if things got chewed on, peed on, whatever.

Older and wiser now, this new puppy is going to be watched like a hawk. It will not see any alone time with access to the carpet, couches or anything else of value. In other words, I'm going to raise this one right. I got pretty lucky with Molly, she turned out to be a pretty good dog. It only took 3 years to get there. I know puppies will be puppies, so I have the steam vac waiting in the wings.

Tonight's goal is to get the house all cleaned up so I can see exactly what needs to be done. Its kind of hard with a weeks worth of clothes on the floor, junk mail littering the counter and dirty dishes in the sink. I've got my trusty yellow legal pad out ready to take notes on things I need to go pick up prior to this weekend. I wonder if Girl Scouts work on weekdays?

This week is going to fly by. What am I getting myself into?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

OK girls, I get it

Today I had a long "to do" list that involved trips to many places where currency is exchanged for goods or services. It seems like every store I approach these days have young entrepreneurs sitting outside. They all ask the same question..."Would you like to buy some cookies?" Bless their hearts, I know they have good intentions and its for a good cause, but for crying out loud, quit harassing me over some cookies!

At every cookie marketing hub, there is always a parent teaching their child and their friends that its perfectly acceptable randomly ask people if they would like to buy what they are selling. This sort of real-life spam just really annoyed me today.

I can see your vests. I can see your merit badges. I can see the boxes of cookies. I know what your selling. If I want some cookies, I'm familiar with the process of how to go about buying them. STOP ASKING! At the very least, remember that I didn't want any when I walked in the door, so don't ask me again as I walk out. Pretty please?

Legal Disclaimer: None of the Thin Mints resting in my freezer were harmed in the typing of this post.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Its confirmed!

I just got off the phone with the breeder. The weekend after this is when the litter will be able to leave the nest and start tearing up someone else's home. As a repeat customer and a frequent referrer, I get the pick of the litter! It doesn't hurt that I've been hounding (no pun intended) the poor woman for about 8 months either.

Tess is still the name in the lead, but who knows, I might just pull something out of my rear at the last minute.

Forgive me in advance for posting a ton of pictures of the little critter!

Happy Birthday!

On this day 170 years ago, the great state of Texas declared its independence from Mexico. I dare you to read the entire declaration. Its kind of scary to read it and think about its relevance in the year 2006. Maybe we need to have another convention.

I'm wondering, do normal people plant wildflowers in the shape of their state flags, or is it just something Texans do?

Anyway, happy birthday Texas. I will always "Remember the Alamo"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Basilica di San Francesco

Uni-ball Vision Micro on Strathmore 400 series, 120 min. 9 x 11.

I've been in my little studio working on some sketches from my photos of Italy. Its getting kind of boring staying inside, but after work there isn't enough daylight left to go and do some field sketching. Daylight Savings Time can't get here soon enough!

Interestingly, when I typed this, it made me curious to find out when DST started and I found this little gem:

The official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time.

is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle). It modifies time and tells us more about its nature; namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight. It is a saving daylight kind of time. Similar examples would be dog walking time or book reading time. Since saving is a verb describing a single type of activity, the form is singular.

Nevertheless, many people feel the word savings (with an 's') flows more mellifluously off the tongue. Daylight Savings Time is also in common usage, and can be found in dictionaries.

Adding to the confusion is that the phrase Daylight Saving Time is inaccurate, since no daylight is actually saved. Daylight Shifting Time would be better, but it is not as politically desirable.

Screw it...I'm sticking with "Savings" and no one can stop me. And for the record, its April 2nd.

And note to self: Try to work the word "mellifluously" into a conversation very soon.