. . . . . . . The Daily Blarf

Monday, July 31, 2006


i'm finally back. Bug and i recently took a trip to Chicago. we met up with amyloo and critter--it was great! it was the first time either bug or i had ever left the eastern time zone, and what an adventure it was! bug loved the Cubs/Nationals game, as pictured above--and the cubbies actually WON!

for those concerned about bug's welfare, the trip to chicago was a gift to himself for making it through goat rehab. but without the letters, calls, and support of folks like you, he couldn't have made it through.

bug on the chicago coastline

on a crappier note, i managed to lose my digital camera on a city bus on the 2nd to last day of our trip. as you could imagine, the mental anguish of losing a $400 camera is almost as bad as the pain of losing several dozen pictures from a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. some *GREAT* photos are long gone, and i hope the asshole who found my camera (and didn't turn it over to the bus driver) really enjoyed them. and i also hope the camera did me one last favor and exploded in the shithead's face. i hope he died from shrapnel wounds. BASTARD! thanks go to Chicago's city bus line for being helpful and professional as i frantically called them on the hour every hour for their lost & found department. and special thanks to amyloo for supplying us with her pictures. still waiting for yours, critter! thanks in advance!!! *hint hint*

some other things we noticed:

1. chicago bums dress nicer than the middle class back home
2. chicago police cars still have the same paint scheme as seen in The Blues Brothers (and i could show with a photo of me standing next to one if I HAD MY GODDAMN CAMERA BACK)
3. wrigley field hasn't changed much either since the movie was made
4. chicago's Shedd Aquarium has some of the same fish i have at home, albiet they are larger
5. stewardesses don't like having drunken goats run up & down the aisles during a landing approach at O'Hare (we had to circle back around twice) (no pictures of that, either.)


after getting home, i got a new camera, which has partially healed the wounds of my loss:

the CANON POWERSHOT SD630! ooooh. ahhhh. ohhhh.
with the cost of the camera, the chicago trip proved a bit pricier that originally planned.


for those of you wondering why it took me over two months to blarf again, let me explain, quite simply, that from May 19th til July 11th, i had 0.00 days off. NONE. if i wasn't at The Job, i was at The Other Job. money was made, yes--but the finer things got tossed by the wayside. i apologize, especially to those of you who got testy from looking at a pic of Betty Ford for over 2 months.

i have no further comment on this matter, for fear of inciting a riot. moving right along to....



i recently learned that the phrase "cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey" didn't start out with the same meaning i grew up with. the humor in it was the mental image of, well, the balls freezing off of a brass monkey. funny stuff. but in reality, it's an old British naval expression. cast iron cannon balls were stacked in pyramids on shallow brass trays called monkeys. when the temperature got really cold, the thermal expansion between the cast iron and the brass was such that the balls rolled off.

what was once a funny cliche just isn't so funny any more. bummer.


and now for a blarf viewership update:

some anomaly in the internet space-time continum has sparked a spike of international page views on the blarf, all stemming from this delightful photo of leah remini. i appreciate the extra attention, but the abnormal jump has skewed my viewership data. and in my internet-challenged mind, i'm subconciously fearing an all-out attack on the blarf. could the International Internet Commie Commandos be conspiring to bring the blarf to its knees and burn it down to the waterline? only time will tell. perhaps they could be appeased with more stolen photos of leah, such as this one:


and now what you've all been waiting for: words of wisdom and brain-shredding trivia from BUG!

Bug's ALL-NEW quote o' the day:

"i'm horny as a three-balled tomcat"

(give him a break, he's got to get back into the groove.)


1: what is the street address of Wrigley Field, as mentioned in The Blues Brothers?
2: what was the make, model, and year of the Bluesmobile?
3: what item did elwood trade the original Bluesmobile for while jake was in prison?
5: what does SCMODS stand for?
4: what illinois county does the city of chicago reside in?
4.5: how hard is it to put a goat on a commercial aircraft?
6: what type of overdose did John Belushi die from?

put answers in the comments. use a #2 pencil.

Friday, July 14, 2006

now that i finally just put up an all-new post, i've taken it down already for something much more important to me. it will be back later.

i'm a dog person, you all know that. my dogs are my lifetime pals. keep that in mind as you read.

i just went to wallyworld today for new bag of tennis balls, since Ringo had managed to lose the last dozen and was always searching the house for one. these were Wilson brand tennis balls--his favorite! dad would always feign annoyance about how Ringo would constantly pick up & drop tennis balls at our feet, making a "THUMP-THUMp-THUmp-THump-Thump-thump" noise every few seconds until we threw the ball for him. dad said it drove him nuts, but i don't think he really minded. if he could only wait until dinner was over, or the tv program was done, it would be fine, but no. Ringo had to have all tennis balls, all the time. all dad wanted was for Ringo to BRING him the ball so he could throw it, but Ringo never really did trust to anyone but me, so he would get tantalizingly close, but not close enough to let dad pet him. as far as Ringo was concerned, he was more than satisfied to just have dad throw the ball and not get within 5 feet of him--endless frustration for dad.

tennis ball hunting

i also stopped at the store tonight for two cases of dog food, carefully picking out a variety of canned flavors, including beef & cheese--another favorite of his! 1/2 a can, on top of a bed of dry dog food, twice a day. just like he liked it. unless the cats beat him to it--he didn't have the guts to kick the cat out of his own food dish. i always busted Ringo's chops about that, but perhaps he was just too nice--he always did want those darn cats to play with him, but they just didn't want to. endless frustration for Ringo.

and he was so nice with the nieces & nephews, too, from the seven year old all the way down to the youngest, who is less than two. never forceful or overbearing, he was always armed with doggie kisses, smiles, and a wagging tail. always looking for someone to play with, he'd run with them outdoors until everyone was exhausted.

the blur

if i was in bed and he wasn't already in the bedroom with me, he'd barge in and leave the door wide open, letting the cool, air-conditioned air out into the hallway as he collapsed in an exhausted heap in his own bed on the floor. i guess he never really understood the concept of energy conservation, so i'd always have to get up and shut the door again. of course, i couldn't be mad, since he just wanted the cool air just like i did. i could often find Ringo snoozing on my bed before i got in there as well. he'd look at me with a shit-eating grin and his tail would go thump-thump-thump on the bedsheets when i walked in the bedroom. of course, a good dog gets to sleep on the bed at least a little bit, so i'd let him stay. he'd sleep there with me until he got to hot, and then he'd clumsily tromp over me on his way to the cool, wooden floor. i always forgave him for that, too.

last weekend, the family went back to our camp for dinner, and of course, Ringo came along too. he had never been swimming before this summer, but after a few tries, he went to the water like a fish. we'd swim together and doggie paddle around the pond. i'd throw a tennis ball and we'd both go tearing after it through the water. he'd almost always beat me to the ball, but he'd also get tired on occasion and want to be carried through the water back to shore, which i gladly did for him, since he was such a good ball fetchin' dog. and then he'd go up on shore and shake off the water next to the family and get them all wet. i think he just wanted to share the fun with them. and lately, every time he got wet, it would rile the residual skunk odor from when he got sprayed several weeks ago. i was getting so used to the smell that whenever i smell a skunk now, i think of Ringo.

still wet from a swim

on the way home from the camp, he and i enjoyed the wind in our hair (and fur) as i drove slowly down our road in the jeep with the softtop down, the doors off, and the windshield folded down. he could get in all the smells that way, with the wind blowing in our faces. i wish i had taken a picture of us together doing that. come to think of it, i have no pictures of the two of us together.

Ringo vs. Will

that dog was all about having fun. if there were no tennis balls, he'd chase something else-- a bone. a stick. a rock. a plastic toy the kids had abandoned. he would even chase after the watermelon rinds i would toss into the tall grass and he'd bring them back to me like he was doing me a favor. one time recently, i decided to let him lap up the drips from the watermelon as i ate it, which he clearly appreciated. that made me think he'd want to carry the rind around for a bit, so i gave it to him without throwing it first and he laid down and ate the damn thing like it was prime rib--never puked it up or nothing. tuff dog. crazy dog. perhaps since he didn't know it wasn't good for him, it was ok, but anyone that can eat watermelon rind and not even burp or barf is a hero to me.

Ringo: rind chompin' champion

as with all heros, Ringo had a fatal flaw. being a border collie beagle mix, he was super-smart about everything. well, JUST about everything. he was never good with cars--i think he was being as friendly to them as he was to everything else that moved. even though we had made progress, especially as of late, i was never comfortable with him around the road.


this evening i got home around 10:45 after blogging all night here at the family store. when i pulled up to the house, i parked across the street because i had the next day off and i didn't want to block in my parent's cars in the morning. Ringo was outdoors and came bounding over to see me as usual. we whined back and forth to each other as we always do when i get out of the car. he was always so talkative when i got home, always whining and howling like he was telling me about his day and asking about mine. as i got out of the car, he took off, waiting for me to follow him to the door. as i rounded the corner of the car, i could see headlights coming down the road, and instinctively called for Ringo to come stand by my side like a good boy. he'd been picking up on that lately, so even though i could hear in my own voice that i was noticably worried, i thought for sure he was still on my side of the road by my car. he wasn't.

he was already either crossing the street, or had finished crossing and was coming back when i called him. i don't know. but i knew when he got hit. it was a sickening sound, and an even worse sight to see your best friend tumble down the road in the shadows behind a car. i screamed, i ran, i knelt beside him. i cried and put my head on the pavement next to him.

he was already gone before i could get to his side.

luckily, it was quick for him. but for me, it felt like forever. it was surreal. so painful. it felt like a dream, like i was watching from somewhere else. was this really happening? or was i in bed, sleeping, dreaming this nightmare? i wasn't. he and i were both there in the road until mom came out, hearing me scream in disbelief. dad came, too.

the deputy in me instinctively took down the driver's name, address, and license plate number, and surveyed the damage to his car as i snuffed back tears. the driver was fine but felt terrible. he didn't see Ringo. i don't blame him. i'm just glad he stopped rather than take off.

i don't really blame anyone, but i wish so badly that i could do this evening over again--i would have come home a minute sooner or later to avoid the car. i would have parked in the driveway instead of across from the house, so Ringo wouldn't have been in the road. i wish i had petted him a few seconds longer to keep him near me longer. i wish i knew where he was before i called him. i wish i could do it all over so badly, but i can't.

mom was upset, too. she said i should bury him in the morning, but i couldn't wait that long. i didn't want to have to wake up to that, so i did it right then. i went from petting him, to howling hello to him, to crying beside him, and to burying him, all within 15 minutes. i had to grit my teeth through the tears to be able to see what i was doing with the shovel. mom and dad helped dig. dad doesn't really get emotional, but he did find one of Ringo's tennis balls to bury with him. i didn't think of that, so i'm glad he did. we buried him wrapped in his blanket and with the tennis ball; i kept his collar. we laid him next to Spaz, my other buddy who we had to put down in the fall of 2004. i had used the jeep's headlights to help see, and when we were done, i left it sitting graveside, almost to keep guard overnight. i had mud and blood on my hands, and i couldn't do anything more except breathe deeply, grit my teeth, and clench his collar and dog tags in my hand as i slowly walked back to the house.


on the way home right before it happened, The Dance by Garth Brooks was on the radio. the corny irony there is the song is about the pain of a lost love but the remembrance of the time spent together. i couldn't recall ever really listening to the lyrics before, but i did tonight. how ironic it was that i'd be feeling that same pain in only a few minutes.

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

--a quaint, corny anology there, but still effective. i hate so much to see him go, but i sure did enjoy the time we had. it was a great eight months together. somehow, in that short time, he packed in so much. he was the best dog i've ever had. i'm so glad i had the chance to adopt him, give him a good home, and love him. i'm so glad he had that love when he went. a lot of good dogs don't get that. even though the memory is horrible, i'm so glad i was able to be there by his side when it happened rather than be gone somewhere and get an awful phone call. i'm glad i got to pet him and make us both happy that one last time.

December 17th 2004 - July 14th 2006

he's gone. quite easily the best dog i've ever had. gone. he was one of those dogs you worry about losing because he was one in a million. i spent every minute i could with him during the last 8 months, and i really noticed that the next morning when i not once stepped on his paw, or let him out the door, or took him for a ride, or heard his tags jingling. he wasn't in bed with me when i woke up, nor was he sprawled out on the floor. and he didn't eat his food today or even bark at the cats or the cows. i expected him to be right there every time i turned around, but he wasn't. it's hard to come home now because i know he won't be there waiting for me. he's gone. Ringo, i hope you and Spaz finally get to meet--now you'll have a playmate forever.

i miss you, buddy. i love you.