darkoshi: (Default)
Struggled with washing machine. Finally got clothes successfully rinsed and spun dry around 2:15am. Hung them up to dry. Decided I need to buy a new washing machine. Went to bed at 2:30am. Had a hard time falling asleep, even though I had been very tired around midnight.

I set my alarm for 9am, but woke up before 8 and couldn't fall back asleep. Got up, washed, dressed.
Dialed in to 2 Skype meetings for work, then drove to work. Uneventful day at the office.
Around 4:30pm, Qiao called to say the dogs had both gotten out of the yard, and he was walking around looking, but couldn't find them. That was unusual, because all the other times they've gotten out, we've found them right away.
So I left work early to help him look. As I was driving up his driveway, Zorro came ambling out of the bushes from the neighbor's yard. Shortly thereafter, Serena was found a few houses away - a kind neighbor had found them both sitting in the street, but had only managed to coax Serena into her yard, for safety.

Then I found the spot were Serena had dug out under the fence, and reinforced it. (Even though there are still many other spots that need reinforcing, which will require at least a couple more boxes of 12" metal stakes (and hopefully not more fine-mesh fencing too)).

Then I found out that Zorro had gotten herself all muddy. So we drove them to my house so I could give them both a "bath" (with hose and bucket of soapy water) quickly before it got dark.

Now it's 8pm, and I shall do 2 more hours of work from home, to make up for leaving work early.
darkoshi: (Default)
Our little dog is apparently able to climb chain-link fences again. Sometimes even in the flat sections, not only at the corners which I already blocked off. With my own eyes, I've only seen her climb half-way up the fence like that, but she's gotten out of the yard several times without there being any holes dug, and that seems to be the only answer. Unless she's climbing trees and jumping ::eyeroll::

So I embarked on an endeavor, attaching 2-foot tall sections of 1/2" mesh fencing onto the entire length of the chain-link fence, in the hopes that she won't be able to get her paws though the smaller mesh, and therefore won't be able to climb it anymore. It's probably not enough to keep our big dog from climbing or jumping, but so far the big one has only gotten out 2 times, and only together with the small one. So if the small one doesn't get out, I think the big one won't have any desire to do so. Hopefully.

But before I could even finish that project, she's started digging a lot again. So I have to reinforce the bottom of the chain-link fence more, too.

That's at Qiao's place. My place is a whole 'nother project, cuz she's gotten out of my yard twice too, lately, apparently by climbing as well.

It's enough to make one despair. But so far, I've been an almost bottomless pit of optimism. Along with some hysterical laughter, yesterday, over the image of this cute little dog staring at me with her head turned slightly to the side, silently saying "aren't I wonderful?". And over the thought of how all the many metal stakes, bricks, and rolls of mesh fencing (it seems like tons) we have deployed so far, all because of this little 20 pound dog.

Eclipse Day

Monday, August 21st, 2017 10:24 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
It was partly cloudy here today.

I got to see a lot of the partial eclipse. A few minutes before totality, a big cloud moved in front of the sun, so I didn't get to watch that most special part. But I did get to experience the sky darkening (not nearly as dark as in the middle of the night; more like shortly after sunset), and the temperature dropping, and the wind whipping up, and a few cicadas starting to buzz, and part of the horizon looking pink.

It was very similar to a big thunderstorm building up. That's what the dogs seemed to think, anyway, as they rushed for the porch and pawed at the front door to be let inside. I let them in and then us humans remained outside to watch.

One curious thing is that the partial eclipse started with the moon entering the upper right portion of the sun, and ended with the moon leaving the upper left portion of the sun (when viewing generally southwards for both). That's not what I had expected. Maybe I'm mistaken about what direction I was looking when it started.

Many people here in town did get to see the totality; it just depended on where one was, and where the clouds were. But in some areas, it even rained.

My neighbor was visiting a relative at the hospital this afternoon, and she told me that a lot of the hospital staff went outside to view the eclipse (but staff who were needed inside stayed in). She said that the Emergency Room remained open, but the normal operating rooms were closed for that time period. That answers one of the things I had wondered about.

Click to enlarge...

korean island walk

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 03:35 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
This is so cute.

Very good dog crashes every street view shot of this South Korean island

If you explore the map, the island itself is lovely too, beautiful ocean views, fields, a wooded path with interesting things along the way... there's a cool silvery monument in one spot along the path. I haven't found a way to link directly to that location. But (looking at the overview map), it is right near where the path along the east side of the island forks in the middle.

The island is called Jukdo.

(After more wandering along the map-path) This island is like a video game! One page I read said the island has only 3 families; another page said it had 2 inhabitants. And that the island has no running water, that rainwater must be collected, or it must be brought over from the nearby larger island of Ulleung.

But judging by the map-photos, it must be a somewhat popular tourist destination. There is a small building at the southern loop of the path, which appears to have bathrooms. There's a wood fence along the path, with many little rest/overlook areas and picnic tables/benches. There's another building with signs in front, which may be a restaurant. There are signs/markers along the path (in Korean, so I don't know what they say).

Ah, now I feel I must post some screenshots after all.

darkoshi: (Default)
Last week, the dogs were at Qiao's place. One night, they were barking and digging by the A/C unit, but Qiao couldn't see what they were after. The next day, Serena caught a young opossum. Qiao got it away from her and put it outside the fence. At first it played dead, but later it was gone, so it must have been ok enough to walk away.

A few nights ago, Serena somehow got out of Qiao's yard. This is the 2nd time she's done that, with no signs of disturbance along the bottom of the fence. She must be climbing out. At my house, when she was younger, she used to be able to climb the fence at the corners, until I put up extra fencing there. In another spot, she was able to climb the fence while bracing her backside against a wood fence which was parallel to it for a short section - until I blocked off that area.

Now I've put up extra fencing on the corners of Qiao's yard. But there are also some trees right along the inside of the fence - I still have to decide what to do there. She may be using the trees to help her climb too. In the meantime, the dogs are staying at my place again.

Tonight, I sat down outside on the driveway, to take in the night air and sounds for a bit. Serena was wandering around behind the garage. I glanced to my right, and saw something move. There was an animal shape on a low branch of the nearby Juniper bush... with a skinny hairless tail. My first thought was "Rat!" (it was the size of an adult rat) - I jumped up and back away from the bush. Both dogs jumped into the bushes after it, and Serena caught it almost right away. My next thought was, OMG maybe it's another baby opossum! I yelled at the dogs and ran after Serena and picked her up until she dropped the animal. Sure enough, a young opossum. I struggled to get both dogs inside the house, so they couldn't go after it again. Then I went to check on it with a flashlight. It was breathing and had its eyes open. I didn't see any bleeding wounds. So hopefully it wasn't badly hurt. I just checked again, and it is gone. Hopefully it will find a better place to hide now. I'll keep the dogs tied up tonight, just in case.
darkoshi: (Default)
The day before yesterday, there was a tickle at the bottom of my leg, and I found a flea. I grabbed it, and unsure of what to do, held it in a stream of water at the bathroom faucet for a long time. Then I let the water wash it down the drain, and ran the water for a while longer. I was afraid it might still be alive, and might jump back out.

In the past when we had cats, I remembered submerging any caught fleas into a cup of water mixed with dishwashing liquid to drown them.

Yesterday evening, it happened again, in the same bathroom. I don't remember ever finding fleas in the house before*, so I believe it was the same flea. This time, I took it to the kitchen, dumped some water and dishwashing liquid into a plastic container, and held it submerged in that for a while before letting go.

(Feeling the flea struggling in my grasp. Trying to drown the poor thing a second time, after it survived the first traumatic attempt. I'm such a bad person. Life is so cruel. I don't like killing, but fleas are one of the few things that I long ago decided should always be killed, because of the severe misery they can inflict on other beings, and because there's no way to peacefully coexist with them.)

This morning, the flea was motionless at the bottom of the container. But now I don't trust dumping it down the drain again. And I don't want to dump it in the yard. So I considered dumping it outside the fence, to be on the safe side.

But first... how long does it take a flea to drown? The answers given on this page are rather scary:

Can dish soap really be used to kill ticks and fleas?

Now I've decided to leave the flea soaking for at least another day.

*Our dogs have been at Qiao's house the past week rather than here. But I've been going over to feed the neighbor's dogs this last week, while they were away on a trip. One of their dogs had a bad flea problem in the past from what they told me, so I think the flea must have jumped on me while I was in their yard. Although I didn't notice their dogs scratching much while I was there.

week in review

Sunday, March 26th, 2017 11:38 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Driving into the parking lot at work on Monday, I noticed the low tire pressure warning light on. There was a nail in my tire. I got the hole plugged at the service station nearby, but they recommended getting the tire replaced as the hole was close to the edge. So I the next day, I got the tire replaced at the Toyota dealership. The price seemed reasonable; I was surprised by that. The "advisor" who handled my case was cool... very gender variant looking. At first she struck me as a butch lesbian. Then I wondered, why did I assume that? Maybe he was FTM. Or maybe they were non-binary like me. His/her/their business card was stapled to my receipt. They have a gender neutral name! Later I wondered if they staple their card to everyone's receipt, and if they were as tickled by my gender variance as I was by theirs. And I wondered if something they had jokingly said early on could be considered flirting.

The waiting room at the dealership had many noises. Two TV's on, tuned to different channels. Kids shrieking and crying. Music playing. Vending machines humming. I had brought my work laptop to do some work while waiting, which I did, but the noise was distracting and stressful. Next time, it would be good to bring my noise-cancelling headphones.

The little fig tree didn't react well to the snow we got a couple weeks ago. The leaves withered and dried up. The pink magnolia reacted similarly. I hope they recover.

On the way to work, another company has a row of trees by the street. I saw them pruning some of the larger trees one day. It was after the trees had already sprouted leaves. (They surely didn't expect to trees to sprout so early this year.) Now when I drive by, the ones that were pruned are all bare, while the other ones still have their pretty green leaves. I hope the pruned ones recover too.

Yesterday I washed the dogs.
While I had the hose unfurled, I also washed the green algae and dirt off of one side of the garage.

I went to Best Buy to see if they have any quiet/silent wired mice, as the scrollwheel on my mouse at work is messing up, even after me taking it apart and cleaning out the dust. I didn't see any particularly good ones at Best Buy, so I ordered 2 from Amazon that were specifically advertised as being quiet. Two, because the one looks good and practical, but the other one looks awesome and lights up. And maybe the way the scrollwheel is on the latter, I can turn it further in a single swipe. I'm sure I'll need another mouse anyway, sooner or later.

I replaced the clear glass lampshades on the ceiling fan light fixture in Qiao's den with some translucent/milky alabaster glass ones, to reduce the glare. I also bought 2 colored LED light-bulbs (green and pink - Qiao chose the colors) to put in the 2 sockets which face us when watching TV, to further reduce the glare, as even 40W bulb equivalents up there seem pretty bright. The colored bulbs, even though they are only 3W each!, are still brighter than I expected them to be.

I raked some of the yard. I washed clothes. I vacuumed, and washed dishes and dog collars. I cleaned the tub using 4 different cleaners, and it's still not as clean as I'd like (I wish I had written down how I got it so clean last time). The "tub grip" (gah, they've increased the price by 50%!) that I applied to the floor of the tub to keep it from being slippery is very good in that regards, but it traps more dirt than a smooth surface would. Ecover used to make a tub/tile cleaner that worked very good, but it's not sold here any more. I'm not sure if a similar one I found on Amazon has the same ingredients or not, but I may get it anyway to try. Because I want my darn tub to be spotless! Then again, I read something about using dish washing liquid mixed with vinegar, which I may try first.
darkoshi: (Default)
Our vet advised us to give our dogs delmopinol-containing chews to improve their oral/dental health. They are fairly expensive, so I wanted to see if they've been shown to really help.

I didn't find any third-party dog-based studies on the chews. The OraVet site itself claims the chews reduce both plaque and calculus, based on their own clinical study.

But I came across something odd while reading about delmopinol and chlorhexidine, both of which are active ingredients used in anti-plaque mouthwashes for humans.

Dental plaque is: "a biofilm or mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth. It is a sticky colorless deposit at first, but when it forms tartar it is brown or pale yellow..."

Dental calculus, aka tartar is: "a form of hardened dental plaque. It is caused by precipitation of minerals from saliva and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) in plaque on the teeth. This process of precipitation kills the bacterial cells within dental plaque, but the rough and hardened surface that is formed provides an ideal surface for further plaque formation. This leads to calculus buildup, which compromises the health of the gingiva (gums)."

So, it sounds like calculus can't form without there first being plaque.

But if I'm understanding correctly, according to studies, using delmopinol or chlorhexidine mouthrinses reduces plaque, yet leads to increased amounts of calculus. How can that be?

6-month use of 0.2% delmopinol hydrochloride in comparison with 0.2% chlorhexidine digluconate and placebo. (I). Effect on plaque formation and gingivitis. (1998 study) :
"Delmopinol showed 22% lower plaque index scores than placebo after 3 months (p<0.01) and 13% lower scores after 6 months. The corresponding figures for chlorhexidine were 38% (p<0.001) and 38% (p<0.001) after 3 and 6 months, respectively."
"Both active solutions showed an increased amount of dental calculus in comparison with placebo."

Staining and calculus formation after 0.12% chlorhexidine rinses in plaque-free and plaque covered surfaces: a randomized trial (2010 study):
"CXH has proven in many clinical trials to be effective in reducing the formation of dental plaque and preventing gingivitis. However, calculus formation seems to be increased. "
This particular study showed that teeth with pre-existing plaque had more calculus formation after use of chlorhexidine, compared to teeth without pre-existing plaque. But it didn't compare the amount of calculus formation on teeth exposed to chlorhexidine vs not exposed.

Plaque formation and gingivitis after supervised mouthrinsing with 0.2% delmopinol hydrochloride, 0.2% chlorhexidine digluconate and placebo for 6 months. (1998 study):
"Delmopinol and chlorhexidine exhibited lower scores of the mean PI [plaque index ]and the BOP [bleeding on probing] percentage than placebo, both at the 3-month and 6-month examinations."
"Chlorhexidine showed lower scores for plaque formation and gingivitis development but higher scores of supragingival dental calculus (after 6 months) and tooth staining than did delmopinol."

Maybe the mouthrinses cause plaque to be transformed into calculus faster than otherwise. That's the only explanation I can think of for there being less plaque and more tartar. Then again, the delmopinol is supposed to keep plaque from sticking to teeth, so why would it also result in more tartar?

It sounds like both still result in improved oral health, at least.
But I wonder. For dogs who don't get tooth cleanings (for removing the tartar), is it still a good thing?

This document has some general info on oral care for pets, but is missing some of the references which might give important details:
Top 5 Tools & Techniques for Oral Home Care
Brushing their teeth daily would probably be best, but I can't see me doing that.
darkoshi: (Default)
I replaced my refrigerator's evaporator fan motor, because the old one was intermittently squealing, and I had a feeling it would stop working altogether in the near future.

I should know better than to start a task like that at 9:30pm when I have to get up for work the next day. I finished around 2am. The new motor and fan are working, and are sounding good.

Much of my time is spent looking up information on the internet, to make sure I do it right. Sometimes I find useful information. Sometimes I don't, and decide to bite the bullet and do it the way I think is best. Some of the time was cleaning gunk out of the freezer compartment, while I had all the shelves removed and out of the way. A good bit of the time was deciding how to handle the wire connections, since they were different on the old and new motor.


When I order stuff from Amazon, I often have it delivered to my mom's house, as delivery people are sometimes scared of the dogs at my house. My mom was telling me of a package that had been delivered. She said the return label said it was from Amazon Fulfillment Services. Then she asked me if it was something sexual. LOL. She's fluent in English, but it isn't her native tongue. Maybe she's been wondering that every time I got a package from them, and finally asked.

Today she tried to convince me that people in the South pronounce Augusta (Georgia) with an "N" in front, like "Naugusta" or "Nugusta". I've never heard it spoken that way (unless they are saying "in Augusta"). But she says everyone here pronounces it that way. I'm still dubious. There's a North Augusta on the South Carolina side of the border. Maybe some people refer to North Augusta as Nugusta? But I didn't find any mention of that online.


This weekend, I:

- mowed my lawn
- washed out my garbage bin as had gotten gunky inside. I don't like stinky garbage cans. I took a photo of the bin's number, so that if it happens again, I'll know whether my bin was accidentally switched with the neighbor's or something. (Although it's mainly for curiosity's sake. I wouldn't actually go up to the neighbor and say, "Hey, I think our garbage bins were switched, because mine was clean inside, and this one isn't.")
- did more work on securing the fence against Serena at Qiao's house. This involves a lot of brick moving, and some pounding of stakes. It's about half done.
- cleaned Qiao's shower stall in order to apply tub grip to the floor, and then did the latter.
- watched Dirk Gently
- did some yardwork at Qiao's house
- turned on the heater for the first time this season and let it air out with the windows open.
- replaced fridge evaporator fan
- ordered Culture Club tickets - they are scheduled to play in Augusta in November

Other things I need to do soon:

- look up info on the non-presidential candidates for the upcoming election
- choose a doctor for myself


Friday, July 29th, 2016 01:41 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Even in this 100+ degree weather, the dogs sometimes lay out in the sun as if it feels good.

Today Zorro did it again. At first I was going to tell her to go in the shade or come back inside with me. But then I thought, why not? and tried it myself for a few minutes. The sun was so bright, I had to shade my eyes with my arm. But it was very nice. Nice warm sun on my skin. Pretty green leaves rustling in the tree. Blue sky, white clouds.

cicada molting

Sunday, July 10th, 2016 12:51 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
When I went to bed last night after 3am, Serena was outside barking at something. I told her to hush, but she kept at it. I figured she'd stop soon. A few hours later I woke up, and she was still barking, or again barking. So I put on shoes and went outside to check.

She was chewing on something. Uh-oh. I fetched a flashlight. She was sniffing at a cicada shell on the ground. Maybe she ate a cicada? But wouldn't that be buzzy and unpalatable? She started barking at something else in the same area. On a thick blade/root of grass, were another 2 cicadas... or rather one cicada and one shell. I didn't want her to eat that one too, so I detached and carried the blade of grass to a safer place (on top of the trash bin) out of Serena's reach. The cicada was motionless the whole time.

I petted Serena to calm her down, and went back inside. Before I even got back to bed, she was barking again, in a different part of the yard. I opened the window and told her to hush. She ignored me. I turned the volume up on the sound machine, though her bark being a higher pitched noise, it didn't help much to cover it up, and went back to sleep. At least her bark is quieter than Zorro's and doesn't carry as far.

Later after getting up, I checked the top of the trash bin. The live cicada was gone; presumably it made a safe get-away.

I got to thinking - the live cicada had been much larger than the empty shell. Yet it must have just molted last night from that same shell. How does that work? I wondered why the one I moved hadn't simply flown away. Are insects in a stupor state after molting, making them easy prey?

Here is a Cicada Molting video. The part about 2 minutes in where the wings start to unfurl & extend is fascinating.

This animated gif shows the same process, though with much less detail.

Cicada Molting/Eclosing Process - this page describes each step of the process. It explains why a just-molted bug might not be as unpalatable as I had imagined.
"The Soft and Chewy Cicada Teneral Stage, Yumm!!"
The teneral stage is that stage in a Cicada's development where the Cicada has just finished carrying out it's molting process but it is still relatively soft. Like the consistancy of a newly molted soft-shelled crab. ... It's at this stage where the Cicada is most vulnerable.

A comment on the same page mentions that nymphs begin to emerge from the ground to molt, when the soil reaches a certain temperature. So maybe many nymphs emerge around the same time. I sure hope Serena didn't eat a whole bunch more. I like hearing the buzz of adult cicadas!

I still plan to post some cicada and katydid sounds that I recorded.

I often hear cicadas up in the trees in my yard, but not katydids. Katydids must prefer more wooded areas. I noticed several times while driving home from work at night, that I could hear katydids singing most of the way along the ride home, from the parking lot at work and along the main streets. But as I near my neighborhood, the katydid sounds decrease, until finally there are none at all to be heard. There are only the cricket and other night-time insect sounds. In spite of there being a good amount of trees around here.

boom boom boom

Monday, July 4th, 2016 11:58 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Fireworks noise. At least one of my dogs has been acting like the world is coming to an end, and she doesn't know what to do. I had to put them both outside earlier because the small one's non-stop barking at the noise was starting to drive me batty, and I had to cook the vegetables. Otherwise I wouldn't have time to cook them til next weekend, and they'd go bad.

Interestingly, outside (probably in the garage), she stopped barking.

I went outside to check on them a little while ago, and to look at the fireworks which were getting louder. Going back inside, they forced their way in the door with me. Inside, the little one started barking again, in between running around. They both appear to have calmed down now.


I succeed at many things, but I feel like a failure too.
The table's a non-stop mess of stuff.
I recorded mediocre audio of the cicadas and katydids (that is what the night-time tree critters are) on Thursday/Friday, but didn't have time to edit/post it.
I put up curtain rods for my mom. I put up a shelf in the kitchen.
I wanted to finally switch to the new laptop. Like the last times, I only managed to finish the "backup my data" step. Now it's almost 1am and by the time I'll have time for it again, I'll have updated a bunch of files again, so I'll have to start back over at the "backup my data" step.
I cooked the dang vegetables and made a salad with most of the cucumbers.
We went to the Santee again on Saturday. Road trips almost always leave me with headaches, and this was no exception.

I took a shower. I made lunches. I vacuumed. I washed some clothes. I swapped some light-bulbs. Oh. The boxes. I need to decide what to do with all the old incandescent bulbs. It's not like I'm going to start using them. So I might as well give them away. But should I keep some maybe, and if so how many, and which ones?
I cleaned out the cooler and washed the dog food bin.

My internet has a sporadic speed and connection problem but I don't have time to deal with it. Is there a way to determine/prove that it's a provider problem versus a modem problem? I'm afraid if I call TWC about it, they'll say that since I'm using my own modem instead of leasing one of theirs, that it must be due to my modem.

I need to sign up with a doctor but I don't have time to deal with it.

I need to start going to bed early enough to get enough sleep. but i don't but i don't


Sunday, March 6th, 2016 10:49 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I made a batch of "Pistachio and Rosewater Cupcakes" (sans frosting) today, but forgot to add in the pistachios. They taste great anyway.

Pink magnolias abloom:

Me back in January, suited up for using the angle grinder:

A sunrise last month:


darkoshi: (Default)
Before Serena was put on the thyroid medicine, she'd never let us know when she needed to go outside to relieve herself. If we picked her up and took her outside, she'd only rarely go. Usually she'd climb back up the porch steps right away, waiting to be let back inside (especially on cold days). She wouldn't come back down, even when I patiently stood next to the grass calling for her, trying to get her to change her mind.

After having started the medicine though, and it still seems amazing to me, she actually tells us that she needs to go outside - though we still have to watch and listen for it. She may simply come up to me and wag her tail. Or she may run from one room to the next in an upbeat fashion. But then if I go to the door, she'll quickly follow as if yes, that is what she needs.

I have to go outside with her. Otherwise, she often just drinks from the water bowl outside, and then stands in front of the door waiting to be let back in. But if I'm outside with her, and especially if I walk down the steps to the grass and wait, she'll now walk around and go potty.

A few weeks ago, the vet decreased her drug dosage by half as her thyroid level must have been getting too high (which is something I had wondered about, as Serena seemed *so* hyper and puppy-like). Since then, Serena has become more subtle again about needing to go outside, but still is much better than in the past. I make sure to walk to the door every so often and ask if she wants outside. And I make sure to go outside with her.

These last few days, I've been watching her and Zorro in the yard, and have been amused.

One day when she seemed to need to go so bad (jumping up on the door from inside as if trying to push it open), I watched her walking purposefully around the yard, sniffing here, sniffing there, trying to find the perfect spot. She kept on walking, changing direction, sniffing more, moving on. And I thought "She must feel like I do in my bathroom dreams - having to pee so bad, but not being able to find a good clean toilet!"

When both Zorro and Serena are outside, often, one will pee, then the other will come sniff it and go in the same area. Then the first may come again and sniff, and go again on top.

Today I watched Zorro squatting, trying to take care of business, but Serena kept coming along and sniffing at her behind, apparently before Zorro had even finished. (Zorro's probably thinking, "Oh please leave me alone and let me finish my business in peace!) Serena even lifted her leg right there and started peeing before Zorro was done. So then Zorro walked away and squatted somewhere else, but Serena followed her again. No peace.

possum, dogs

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 02:14 am
darkoshi: (Default)
About a week ago at daybreak, Zorro was barking at an opossum in a tree. It looked young to me, and scared.

I tied both dogs up by the front porch to allow the opossum time to escape, and went back to sleep. Later, the opossum was gone.


The thyroid medicine seems to be doing Serena a lot of good. She is much more active than before. When I take the dogs for a walk, I no longer have to walk slower for her, nor carry her when she gets tired. She pulls on the leash as much as Zorro now - like she did when she was younger.

Serena has lost a lot of weight, and looks more like she did when she was younger, too. Now you can tell that she's a pug mix rather than a full-blooded pug. She also seems to be completely shedding her old coat of fur and growing new fur. She's even regrowing hair on the top of her tail, which had been bare for as long as I could remember. Her nose is back to normal too.

After 4 weeks of being on the medicine, the vet rechecked her levels, and said they are on the high side of normal, which is what they like to see for dogs on the medicine. The vet will check her again after another month.

be deep be deep

Monday, December 14th, 2015 01:23 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Hmm. Bought a box of holiday cards to send out to relatives. Was planning to write a newsletter along with them like I did last year. Looked through my DW entries to get ideas of things to write. Not much there that I feel like using. Culture Club, trip, flood, house. Hmm. Maybe I'm just too tired right now.

Due to technicalities which I learned about on Thursday in regards to our new time entry system, I have to work tomorrow (or rather today) even though Friday was supposed to be my last day. But then I'll be off.

off off, off and away. away away. to the looney bin.

Reading through the year's DW entries reminds me of things I wanted to do but never finished. Or never started. Just like things around the house. Unfinishedness.

I've got a medium-sized flat rate box with a few gifts in it to send to my brother and his new girlfriend. The small sized box was way too small. But the medium one is way too big. There's so much empty space that it's been sitting here all week. A simple job turned into a difficult one. What should I use, to fill the empty spaces? Should I send more gifts? Should I pack it with air bubbles? Too hard, too hard. Then I thought that I should get the cards out first. But that's not easy either.

Well I did marginally clean off the table. Some of the bills and mail.

I washed the dogs today, as Serena's legs appeared to be caked in mud, and it was a nice warm day for it. But the mud didn't come off. It's this strange sticky stuff. Her fur is coming off in small clumps. But there's new fur underneath. She's got a vet appointment tomorrow, for follow-up on her thyroid issue. More on that in another post.


Sunday, November 15th, 2015 11:39 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Words with Friends. Qiao exclaimed: "My highest score is lower than your average score!"

Usually only Serena sleeps on this bed. This time, Zorro got to it first.

Serena's thyroid levels were low, so the vet put her on medication for that. She also had a yeast infection in her ears which required treatment for a week.

the weekend work

Monday, October 26th, 2015 12:20 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Yesterday I washed a section of the garage wall that had gotten moldy, with bleach. Boxes had been pushed up right against the wall, not allowing enough ventilation. This is the 2nd round of bleach on it, as after the first round a week or so ago, it still smelled musty from somewhere. I hope there isn't mold on the inside of the wall. It's plain unpainted plyboard.

Then, as I was doing bleach anyway, I mopped down (up) the sun-room ceiling too, as it had accumulated a bunch of mildew spots from the frequent moisture in there.

I looked up info on adjustable beds, as Qiao is planning to get one. Currently he switches back and forth between the bed and the recliner at night, trying to get comfortable. His foot hasn't been hurting him much the last few days though (hallelujah!).

Today I washed the dogs. They really needed it.

Then I tried to figure out why the kitchen sink drain was suddenly (since yesterday) making glug-glug-glug noises, even though the water was draining fine. Suspecting a blockage in the drain vent, I got out the ladder and went up on the roof to check the vent. There wasn't anything blocking it up on that end, and water I poured into the vent seemed to be draining fine / not backing up.

While up there, I cleaned out the sun-room gutters. Zorro chose to stand directly in the path of the falling dirt and debris. It occurred to me that I had just gotten her all nice and clean... Yelling at her didn't help any, but I finally managed to sweet-talk her into moving away.

I debated whether to go to the hardware store to buy a drain auger. I had tried pushing some cable wire down the vent, but it wouldn't go further than the bend at the bottom of the vent. But I didn't really want to go to the store.

I left the kitchen faucet running and checked the drain pipes in the basement. They were vibrating from the glug-glug-glugging. After a while, there was a change in sound - a larger rushing of water as if someone had dumped out some water into the sink. Whatever had been clogging it must have unclogged itself, as the glugging noise was gone.

While in the basement, I saw that water had leaked in during the flood-storm. It was absorbed into the dirt and didn't look too bad, but I carried a fan down there to help dry it out.

After the fact, it occurred to me that I could have simply tried using the sink plunger instead of going up to the roof and down to the basement.

I took advantage of the remaining daylight to cut down a branch that had cracked in the storm and which was leaning down on the shed. I had to use the extendable pole saw, with it extended to the maximum height.

And I washed 2 loads of clothes/towels, and made brownies. Finally.

Next, sleep-sleep-tired-tired.


Sunday, October 11th, 2015 02:51 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Qiao: You can let the dogs in here.
Me: Nope. I don't want dog hair in this part of the house. Especially not in my bed.
Qiao: Wait, this is my bed.
Me: Any bed I sleep in is my bed.
Qiao: Oh, that's where Serena gets it from. The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree!
[referring to Serena's tendency to take over any big sized dog bed we put out for Zorro]
Me: My little acorn. She makes me proud.