Saturday, March 31, 2007
HiltonHouse Site Revamped
Sat, March 31, 2007 | link
I've been working on the HiltonHouse
site. It was the
first website I'd ever done, and I didn't realize I needed to make the pictures smaller. It used to take forever
to load. Dial-up users will still have to wait a while, but it's nothing like it used to be.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Who is this woman?
Tue, March 20, 2007 | link
It seems this lady is everywhere and she appears to have achieved maximum market saturation! Just last night I
saw the sam
e woman on three commercials in a row. She's the lady on the Three Day Blinds commercial, some shoe outlet commercial,
some commercial about financing, MiracleGro and , my favorite, the KY Warming Lubricant commercial. So I did an internet search
today and found out that she's Erica Shaffer
. She's apparently a hard working, accomplished actress who's been in films, television series, and does voiceovers
and animation voice dubbing. She's pretty and has a great voice, but come on, advertisers! Spread out the commercials
a little bit. You're gonna burn her out before she ever becomes a household name. Unless, of course you want her
to be known as the "KY Girl"? Here's her website: EricaShaffer.com
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Sun, March 18, 2007 | link
After the prologue, the episode opened with a song that I just loved, but they only played about 30 seconds of it.
So after an internet search, I discovered it was How We Operate by Gomez
. I admit I'd never heard of Gomez, but this song is quite well done. It starts with either a synth or plucked
violin that lays the groundwork. Then a banjo (of all things) starts the melody in a minor key. It evolves into
a rock/pop song with vocals similar to that of Pearl Jam
's Eddie Vedder only a little cleaner. In the middle of the song the melody previously done by the banjo is replaced
by electric guitar. There's also some violin thrown in to add an almost
celtic stye. Very well done.
Check out the media player at the bottom of my Music Links
page for a sample.
In other news, Gus is doing fine. He wants to do too much, though. He so desperately wants to play
ball. I suspect recklessly chasing said ball is what caused his neck injury in the first place. He occasionally
gets stiff, but it's usually after a long nap. We're still keeping him pretty well confined.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Gus is home.
Tue, March 13, 2007 | link
We'll Gus is home now. We have instructions to keep him on "strict crate confinement" for 2 weeks. That's
proving to be very challenging. We were told that he's either to be in our laps, in the crate, or briefly walking around
outside for restroom breaks only.
My wife said he wailed all the way home. Not out of pain, mind you, but rather because he's a bit of a worrier.
He's never traveled well---whines the whole trip, but this time he was hopped up on Valium. After enduring
that trip home, I believe my wife and her mom were ready for a little Valium. Since Gus was still "high", my wife expected
he'd walk around briefly to have his first restroom break. Unfortunately, as soon as she put him down, he darted out
into the woods to play. Nope, no pain there. Long story short, she got him back in, and he settled down after
a few hours. We're having to take him out for restroom breaks on a leash. He's certainly not accustomed to the
leash thing. He's used to being able to come and go and to wander all over the property as he pleases. My wife
calls this "pup-doggin' ".
As soon as we place him in the crate, the wailing ensues. He wants to run and play, but we're doing fairly well
at keeping him calm and in our laps. He doesn't act like he feels bad at all. He's usually a well behaved dog,
but he currently has issues. We're gonna blame it on the drugs for now.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Gus is coming home!
Mon, March 12, 2007 | link
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Sun, March 11, 2007 | link
Dr. Thomovsky just called and said that Gus is still doing fine. She said they'd probably
have to move him into a smaller kennel since he's being a bit too active (sounds like my Gus!). She expects
he'll be ready for dismissal early this week. It's a good thing my wife will be off for Spring Break to quell his activity.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Sat, March 10, 2007 | link Dr. Stephanie Thomovsky
called this morning and said Gus is continuing to improve. She suspected he was being a "drama king" as he was
crying and whining, but his gait and body position were not consistent with actual pain. My wife confirmed for her that
yes, Gus can be the nervous type and that much of his behavior now may just be separation anxiety. So, they're going
to just give him Valium and change his pain meds from IV to oral. She's supposed to call us again tomorrow with another
Friday, March 9, 2007
Fri, March 9, 2007 | link
For almost two weeks, now, Gus (the 8 year-old red dachshund pictured above) had been having severe neck pain.
One minute he seemed perfectly fine...able to lick his own butt (I suppose that being the epitome of dog well-being).
While the next minute he'd have rippling muscle cramps in his neck causing him to wail, and he was unable to move his neck
even a little bit. Nothing seemed to comfort him. He's a very active, hard running, dog who basically has
the run of the woods at his leisure, so we were in hopes that this was just a temporary malady, as he's no stranger to the
occasional sprain or laceration. Therefore, we treated him with Rimadyl
, (kind of like ibuprofen for dogs), which only helped a little, if at all. So after about 3 days of this sporadic behavior,
we took him to our veterinarian. She did an x-ray of his cervical spine that was essentially inconclusive. The
doctor said two of his discs were "kind of close together" but otherwise nothing overt. A simple x-ray not being the
optimum scan for occult injuries, the next step would be a referral to a neurosurgeon for more specialized testing (i.e. CT
scan under sedation, etc.). She therefore provided us with stronger pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and steroids, with
hopes that rest and time would serve him well. After about a week of almost no improvement, Gus had to see the neurosurgeon.
Yesterday, my wife took him to Animal Neurology & Neurosurgery of Texas
. After more testing, it was determined that Gus needed surgery. The surgery was today, and Gus is reportedly
doing fine. The hospital is over 100 miles away from us, so the doctors are keeping us well-informed.
I know, many people reading this are probably wondering how someone would spend this much time and expense on "just a
dog". The fact is, our pets are like our family. I'm of the opinion that when you own an animal, you must take
responsibility for that animal. This includes their healthcare. I'm also of the opinion they should always be
allowed to remain true to their nature--being dogs
. For more information about not
like people, see Cesar Milan's website
. If the dog is not allowed to do what it was made to do, then that dog's life is not fulfilling. My wife and
I really had to consider the reason we were pursuing surgery as opposed to euthanasia. If we opted for surgery just
so we could be spared the grief of losing a close pet, that would be wrong. Ultimately, we opted for surgery, because
given the nature of Gus' injury, relative youth, and otherwise good health, the doctor is quite confident that
Gus will make a complete recovery and thus be able to remain an active dog. Should he become infirmed to the extent
that his activity is considerably limited, we will certainly have him euthanized---for his
sake. But, as it
stands now, Gus is apparently doing well, so we hope to be able to bring him home early next week. I'll keep you updated
I'd like to take this time to acknowledge the truly amazing professionalism and sense of caring exhibited by Morton's
Small Animal Clinic in Athens, TX. The doctor and staff have called our home to follow-up on Gus frequently since this
all started about two weeks ago. They are ultimately responsible for getting us in to see the neurosurgeon so quickly.
The same can be said of the neurosurgeon & staff. Not once have we had to call to check on Gus. Dr. Ducoté and her associates
have been absolutely wonderful about keeping us updated. I highly recommend both of these facilities.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Rat's Nest Under the Hood
Sun, March 4, 2007 | link
I popped the hood to my '98 Trans Am to check my oil today and this what I found
. Here's a close-up
. You can see there were lots of leaves. But the nest is mostly composed of little shreds of the composite lining taken
from the hood. There were also many chewed acorns, a bone, hair, fabric, and of course baked rat droppings. I
suspect this is the great rat my wife and I had been spotting in the early mornings as we were each going to work.
He would dart across the driveway as we were leaving. I remember thinking, "man I hope he doesn't make a home under
the house". About 1 1/2 weeks ago, we found our yard dog, Mercy
, eating said rat, so we were both relieved. Little did we know he'd already made himself a "mobile" home, complete
with central heating. Sheesh...
Thursday, March 1, 2007
The Saga Concludes
Thu, March 1, 2007 | link
Well, I hope this whole thing is over. To make a long story short...
The repair man determined the TV was irreparable. It took a long time for Circuit City to come to the same conclusion.
But ultimately, after over 40 days without my TV, Circuit City replaced the TV with an upgrade! It's a brand new 1080p
DLP (upgrade from the 720p). The picture quality is incredible. It has a smaller cabinet but screen size is the same.
This allowed me to lower the center channel speaker shelf so it has the appearance of floating above the TV. Although
I'm not happy with the amount of time it took to get this done, I am quite happy with the TV.