Thursday, July 29, 2010

Won't be Fooled Again

As Willow will be glad to point out, I've been so distracted lately by our new bionic puppy and by my so-called day job that I can't get started on any new projects, unless forced by practical necessity, which is what happened this week when the power to our TV went off in a lightning storm.

Normally a flip of the breaker switch will fix the problem, but the breakers seemed OK. Sometimes these breakers can go bad and just appear to be OK (this I learned on YouTube) so bought a cheap voltmeter to test them. OK. The breakers were all good, but several power outlets were dead.

I consulted Willow on the problem but she was too embarrassed to even look at me. She knows that I am an idiot about electricity, that I am prone to shock myself and that I tend to stare at wires with a blank fear on my face. In short, I am electricity's bitch and she knows it.

The last time something like this happened (it happened in the garage just a few months ago) I had to call an electrician, a young guy who made me feel like a four-year old. "This will shock you," he said. "Don't touch."

This time, though, I was determined to fix it myself. To be continued...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Blue Pig

Cheryl handed me a ceramic blue pig the other day and asked me if I wanted to keep it. She's on an organizational tear, putting our house in order and tossing stuff out, all because of this reality TV show that goes into some incredibly cluttered homes occupied by some incredibly undisciplined people. And, fearing that we might have some inclination in that particular direction, Cheryl is on a mission, which is good because we have more stuff than we could ever possibly use or need.

The pig looked familiar--it's a pig piggy bank, about 4 inched high, light blue with yellow swirls on it. I sure couldn't see any reason to keep it, but Cheryl reminded me that my mom gave it to me. So I put it on my desk. It's not a pretty pig--I remember now that mom laughed when she gave it to me. And it's heavy with change. This morning I noticed something white though the slot in the pig's back: a folded up piece of paper. So I fished it out. I'm guessing that I was 52 or 53 years old when she wrote the poem for my birthday. (Richards is a health food store where she lived.)

For future reference: don't throw out the pig.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Scary Smart

Still no word from Bingo but I did get a strange email with a header from southern Italy yesterday. Normally I delete these right away but this one grabbed by attention--some kind of code or something that seemed familiar. I thought: maybe it's from Bingo, but then it just didn't make any sense:

confirming that we
brought in nine gallons of
softer water. oil is not stopped.
going to phase 2

Anyway, the new Bionic puppy, Berkeley, appears to be the next generation model, and from what I can see, most of the bugs are out.
(CIA Photo)

I showed the email to Berkeley and she seemed fascinated for the longest time. Or maybe it was the doggy toy on my desk. I continue to be amazed that a species can exist and thrive when its infants are so completely clueless. (I mean humans.)

This puppy is scary smart...

Tomorrow we begin calibration testing on the puppy's electronics. Apparently I still am in the doesn't need to know camp. Then I will mow the yard--at least I'm good at that...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Good Luck, Bingo

Thursday was a sad day for us. Bingo, our CIA-engineered puppy, left home on his top-secret mission, and it will be weeks before we hear any news from him.

We drove him down to one of those huge undisclosed locations that you always hear about. This one sprawls out over several acres and looks, to the unsuspecting passing civilian, like a posh, gated grade school, tucked away and surrounded by dirt roads, live oaks and Florida wilderness.

Just outside the main facility, two other dogs (who looked remarkably like Bingo) paced back and forth, accompanied by civilian handlers just like us, a few of whom we had met before, maybe in Central America (or maybe that was just a dream). Anyway, we all talked for a while, put on our best faces and tried not to get overly sentimental.

Bingo is in the middle
(Photo by Durga Garcia)

The boys wanted to pose for a quick photo. That's Bingo in the middle, hamming it up for the camera. A door opened, and a group of uniformed young people marched into place. Time to go. We said some quick good-byes, and then the three boys climbed into a waiting helicopter and they were off. Who knows what they are all doing now?

To help us feel better, they gave Cheryl a pin and a letter from President Obama. Did I get a pin or a letter? No. But that's OK. I told them I didn't need any letters from the president--I've already got a big stack of his letters (asking for my help, but I've been so busy), not to mention all the phone messages that I haven't returned yet (including that one about the oil). :)

Good luck, Bingo.