Breaking the Routine

Yeah, I know, that whole post daily about stuff hasn’t been happening which I’m sure is no surprise to anyone. This is mostly because I haven’t really had anything worthwhile to report and I find it utterly depressing to post essentially the same status update repeatedly. Also, hunting for a job is a soul-sucking pit of despair that I figure no one wants to be burdened with my constant whinging on about.

Nevertheless, Brooke asked for some Uschi antics and there just so happened to be a funny thing I’ve been meaning to share.

In my experience, guide dogs really thrive on having a solid daily routine.1 It’s actually one of the few things about Uschi that is very shepherd-like because she very often makes it her mission that we stick to the predetermined schedule. Most notably when DST ended she started trying to drag me out of bed an hour earlier much to my chagrin.2

Of course, she wouldn’t be Uschi if she didn’t get distracted by everything so I have a few cues that I use to prod her along in our daily activities. And sometimes when I forget to use them I find her monitoring the neighborhood from her vantage point on the back of the sofa or, more commonly, flouncing around the house with a toy. I hadn’t realized how she had come to expect these things until the other day.

We had taken a short walk around my neighborhood and Uschi had stopped a few times to attempt to relieve herself before finally doing her business. I’d sort of given up prodding her along with the usual guide dog handler cue of “get busy” because clearly it was pointless and I knew she understood this walk was for exactly that anyway. When we returned home I removed her harness and leash and she started to run off in the direction of her crate anticipating her morning breakfast. Usually I prod her on with a cheerful “breakfast time!” as I take off my boots and coat. Instead, I said “get busy” and I probably wouldn’t have caught it if I wasn’t looking at Uschi exactly as it came out of my mouth.

She whipped her head around to look at me, which may have caused her to lose momentum in her bound or she was trying to skid to a stop anyway. But she wiped out on the hardwood floor in the dining room and spun around in a full circle before jumping back up and sitting down in that exact spot. It was truly one of the most hilarious things I have ever witnessed, but rather than immediately collapse into giggles I quickly amended my “command” and sent her running off to her crate again.

I know, you’re probably thinking that dogs don’t understand English so there’s no way Uschi could have thought I wanted her to do her business right there in the middle of the living room. And maybe you’re right, but then you weren’t there to witness the utter bewilderment I caused with a simple slip of the tongue.

Also, and not entirely related, but I was typing this up while Uschi was eating her breakfast this morning and honestly it is really unnerving to witness a dog devouring a bone-in piece of meat. Especially when it’s within earshot. Or, at least, I find it unnerving and I admit this might be in part due to the fact that I don’t eat meat.

  1. Daily routines are a pretty common thing for working dogs of all sorts and even pet owners benefit from having a schedule, especially if they have multiple pets.
  2. At least she isn’t as bad as Yara who pretty much constantly expected me to be five minutes earlier than I was for anything. She’s mellowed a bit in retirement, but she does still try to herd people out the door if she thinks there’s a chance she’s going somewhere.

Bitch, Please!

I’d say I was interrupting this blog for a some kvetching, but then I’d have to actually be posting in some regular fassion for that joke to go anywhere.

Anyway, perhaps it’s because I can barely maintain an online presence at all, let alone keep blogs and social media updated. Maybe it’s that I’ve never really had a “theme” for my blog. Or maybe it’s just a sign that I’m just getting old and crotchety. But damn I really can’t stand it when people I follow need to repeatedly inform me via their updates that they actually post somewhere else. And I don’t mean announcing to your readers that you have a blog on Tumblr or an active account on YouTube. But if the majority of your posts on my feed are just to “remind” me of that other place you are perhaps you should take stock of some things, like my potential interest in your blog about growing beans.

Don’t get me wrong, beans are really interesting. Heck, maybe I actually found you through your avid posting about beans. But if I’m actually more interested in your shoe collection or, I don’t know, you as a person, then chances are I couldn’t give a horse’s hairy patoot about your obsession with beans. I’m not saying that’s carved in stone or anything and certainly you want to let your followers know of things you post on that you’re interested in that they may also be interested in. And it’s the Internet after all, there probably is a niche somewhere for people who like blogs that are solely dedicated to posting about other blogs that are about totally other things. Unfortunately, I’m not in that niche and it just aggravates me every time I have to see it. And guess what? I won’t be creating an account at some random blogging or social media service just to follow you either. No. Not going to happen. Stop trying to advertise it. I don’t care. I don’t want to care. Honestly, I don’t even want to have half the accounts I already do have!

[EDIT: To clarify a point made on Twitter, I don't have anything against people who import post across platforms. Though, I admit I do find I end up skimming a lot when people do that. If you're going to be posting the same thing in multiple places or you want your various followers to see the things you are posting in other places, I have no issue. When you need to tell me to follow you all over the intarwebs to see those things, though, then you're just being annoying.]

Which, marginally related to this, I really wish people would stop abusing the messaging feature of the accounts I do have. Over on the right there’s a list of the accounts I am more-or-less active on. Plus, there’s a link in the navigation to email me and, of course, being that this website is a blog there’s an active comment system. So, you know, I’m pretty easy to reach. That does not, however, mean you should use more than one of those methods to get your message to me.1 Why? Because I got it the first time. Even if I’m nowhere near my computer! And my desire to respond in a manner that is not ripping your head off is directly proportional to how often I had to read that same message.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled semi-dead blog. ;-)

  1. With the exception of any family members because you are entitled to try and reach me however you choose. Especially if it’s important!

Alsatian

Haven’t had much in the way to report on the goals, but it’s been a week since I started New Leaf and I have done a LOT in my town.

Day 1

I started playing New Year’s morning and was enthusiastically greeted by Mathilda, Flip, Doc and, of course, Isabelle. I picked a town layout that has Re-Tail, Town Hall and the Event Plaza just right from the entrance to Main Street and the Train Station, so I chose to build my house basically within that cluster. Nook sets up a tent as a temporary home until your down payment is paid, which is a pretty minor 10,000 bells. I couldn’t do most of the first day stuff because it was a holiday and Isabelle was planted in the Event Plaza, but she gave me my first piece of furniture: a zodiac horse. Between selling fruit, the ore rock and the money rock I made more than enough to cover the cost of the tools available and the down payment. I also made a perfect Snowman and started a bingo game.

Day 2

Since my first day activities were blocked by New Year’s, I spent my second day doing all those things. Isabelle has a ton of advice to give and completing them nets you a bunch of handy items like non-native fruit and a watering can. Since my down payment was paid, Nook offered to upgrade my tiny house. I spent the day catching fish and collecting seashells to pay off my first home loan.

Day 3

With my first home loan paid, Tortimer, the former mayor of Alsatian, greeted me on my third day and invited me to take a trip to his vacation home on a tropical island. Unfortunately, you have to wait a day after the invitation to actually go, so I spent my day fishing in town again and paid off my second home loan so Nook would upgrade my house again. I also posted on the bulletin board about the town name for any visitors.1

Day 4

I picked up the matching umbrella to my starting cloths at Able Sisters and forgot to show it off the day before. Anyway, after the usual stuff around town (digging up fossils, looking for the money rock, checking stores, etc.) I took my first trip the island and filled my basket full of fish and bugs. I donated all the new catches to the museum and I was still rolling in bells afterward.

Day 5

Once again I spent the day at the island and since I was getting repeat bugs and fish I made a lot more bells this trip. Still I had a few awesome catches, including a whale shark. Also, it was the first time I was on late and it just so happened to be a night that the aurora was visible. So pretty. Oh, I also talked with Isabelle to enact an ordinance for the town.

Day 6

Busy, busy day! First I created a second character, Uschi! There’s just so much to collect in this game that I knew when I started I would want to use all four characters. And I very much wanted to make sure no villagers moved where I wanted to start my apple orchard. Her house is at the very northwest of town, right between the train tracks and the river.

Beautiful town ordinance went into effect. Also started my first PWP: a second bridge. Visited the island yet again so I could pay off all these things. Oh, and finally had enough Play Coins to get a fortune cookie at Nookling Junction. I won a Metroid. And it snowed for the first time in my town and at a perfect time to try and catch one of the rarest fish in the game: a coelacanth! I have never caught one of these in 10 years of Animal Crossing games and I got this one on the fourth catch. Seriously, I nearly fainted.

Finally, I had my first multiplayer experience. Katie of Seabrite came to visit me and we managed one island tour before we got disconnected. Then, I went to her town and shopped, talked with her villagers, and went on another round of island tours. She gave me a toy hammer, which is possibly the most adorably fun thing ever. You can just run around smacking everything, including other players!

Day 7

One week in Alsatian! Had the ceremony for the completion of the bridge. Also, my house was upgraded for a third time and Uschi’s house was built.

I spent the day all over. I visited Holly in Brill and Amy in Tardis and Katie came over again. I also had another visitor that I won’t name since it wasn’t a great time, but it mostly worked out in the end. Amy and I spent a good few hours on the island going on tours and fishing and bug hunting. I helped her pay off her cafe with all the bug money!

Back in my town, I had two deliveries of goodies from new member promos on Animal Crossing Community. I also started gardening thanks to all the island trips and some gifts from my new friends. :-) I got a slingshot from someone and shot down my first balloon; inside was a balloon hat. And Katrina the fortune teller was in town, so I had my first reading from her. Love the glowing design.

  1. I’m sure I’ll babble on about it more in greater detail here sometime.

Three Years!

Portrait of Uschi and me on a white background; Uschi standing on her head in front of me

Today marks three years partnered with Uschi and she still amuses and astounds on a daily basis!

Snowed In

Had a super fun week at Dad’s. Did the holiday thing with family. Ate lots of yummy food. Was entertained by the dogs playing. Went snowmobiling with Keith. Very belatedly took Keith out for his birthday and saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Um, and probably a bunch of other things I’m blanking on. But I’m also glad to be home again, especially given the very wintery weather we’re currently in the midst of.

Anyway, not much to report for my today on my goals. Didn’t bother with yoga today since I got quite a workout with all the shoveling that had to be done. I expect the same will go for tomorrow since it’s currently snowing about quite hard such that it doesn’t even look like there was any shoveling done even though I’ve gone out twice myself and Mom’s also shoveled. Mostly, I spent the day snuggled up under a throw blanket playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf with Uschi curled up beside me doing her best imitation of the most exhausted GSD on the planet.1 Spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to come up with a name for my town. Originally, I was going to go with Mirkwood, since that was my town in the GameCube AC. But eventually I decided on Alastian, which I’ll babble on about another time.

On the job front, I did my usual poking through postings and being totally dejected about the entire process. However, while I was at Dad’s I was alerted to a posting from a local college that interests me very much, so I did get all the necessary paperwork in order to mail off tomorrow.

  1. Interesting how draining a week of nearly nonstop play can be.