Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday. First Day of Spring Break.

--I wrote this yesterday, and then got up to have dinner with the family before watching movies. I apparently never hit Publish. So consider yourself on Monday, 3/11/2013, when reading what follows:

--I slept in this morning. It was glorious. I was awaken late in the morning in that bestest of ways: my co-worker called me to tell me that he had some money for me from an off-duty gig that we had worked together recently. (Yeah, the definition of "best way to be awaken" seems to change, with age.)

--The sun is brilliant, and the wind has died down. A long-sleeved shirt or a sweat shirt still feels good. This is the best part of the spring.

--It's really green, out:
--The cattle and the verdant field make me think about this amazing talk given by an ecologist, about how to stop desertification, using more cattle.

--My elder daughter has been trying her hand at composing music for the French horn, this week. More impressively, she's writing duets. For a couple of days, I'd find pieces of paper like this lying around:
But she since has downloaded a composition program called MuseScore, which allows her to put it up much faster and neater, including multiple instruments. I haven't complimented the results, yet, because I've not heard anything that I much care for, yet. But I am impressed that she tries this stuff, and she's not even a week into it. I'm looking forward to hearing a piece that I'll love for its own merits.

--My 10-year-old daughter decided to bake blackberry muffins, this morning. I've had worse mornings than drinking coffee, listening to one daughter arrange a duet for herself and her friend, while my younger daughter pulls muffins out of the oven and serves them with hot butter, as the sun streams in the open doorway.

--We cleaned the house. When I pulled the rug out of the sun room to sweep and mop under it, I expressed with dismay that "we could just about grow tomatoes in here", while looking at the dirt on the tile where the run had been (for just a few weeks. Yeah. Should be pulled weekly. It's a big heavy rug, and a chore.). My younger daughter looked at me oddly, and pointed out that we are growing tomatoes in the sun room. We've got a flat of tomato puppies by the window.

--I have a big industrial strainer mop bucket. It's oddly comforting for me to use it and clean the tile throughout the house. When I used to work at an eatery 20 years ago, mopping was of course one of the many jobs around the place, and no one much cared for it. I never minded it. It was a necessary task, with immediate results. No one bothered you when you mopped. Now, on my big ceramic floors, I just try not to fall on my butt.

--Today's cleaning agent: Fabuloso Citrus Fruit. Now, with baking soda!

--My younger daughter employed a school project, this afternoon. She had made a solar oven out of a pizza box, some foil, and some black construction paper and plastic wrap. She put some wienies in it to heat up. Unfortunately, the Family Cat (Oliver, the fat one) was impressed at the hot meal of meat just laid out for him. He came in with his nice hot hot dog. My daughter went to spank him, but I stopped her. How could he be expected to do otherwise?

--A neighborhood border collie has been worrying my daughter's show rabbit in the hutch. It was bad enough when she was pacing back and forth in front of the hutch; now she has taken to chewing on the frame of hutch:
My younger daughter decided to deal with the matter by painting the lower frame member with a paste made with cayenne pepper. The bratty neighbor kid whose family owns the border collie protested that this would hurt her dog. When my younger daughter told me about this, I rolled my eyes, wondering what she would think of the fact that the last time I saw the dog doing her thing, I borrowed my kid's Red Ryder BB gun, and bounced a BB off the dog's butt. (Sadly, this bit of operant conditioning alone wasn't enough to convey to the dog what I'd hoped to convey.) But we don't mention that to the neighbors, because people aren't always rational about their pets. Put a cigarette out on their kids' faces, and it's no problem, but kick their biting dog away from you, and they lose their minds.

--Fresh Brussels sprouts with roast chicken and baked potatoes tonight. I used to only be able to get down Brussels sprouts by imagining them to be cabbages, and myself a giant. But now, I guess they're okay, with butter.

--Root beer floats for desert, which is funny, because I just wrote that I almost never buy sugar soft drinks, and then later today I bought a two litre bottle of root beer.

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At Tuesday, March 12, 2013 10:24:00 AM, Anonymous Mad Rocket Scientist said...

Not sure how it is any concern of theirs what your daughter puts on her rabbit hutch? It's not like their dog has a right to bother the rabbit. Hell, I'd setup a paintball gun on motorized stand with a motion tracker and let it work.

At Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:56:00 PM, Anonymous LabRat said...

Yeah, if the neighbor kid needs a perspective adjustment, might want to ask him why it's not fair to "hurt" his dog with the cayenne paste but it IS fair for his dog to terrify your daughter's pet. Rabbits are prey animals, being trapped in a cage while a canid bites at it isn't good for it, to put it mildly. Bunnies can actually keel over from stress alone, they're not really built to weather stress they're unable to flee from.

Pepper doesn't seem to hit dogs as acutely as it does an unconditioned human. I've never had it be terribly effective as a deterrent substance. As homemade dog-yuck brews go a mix of bitter apple and lemon juice worked to stop Kang from self-operating the tap, but a scared bunny is a more enticing reward than a drink of running water and that may not work either.

At Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6:38:00 AM, Anonymous Kevin said...

My goddaughter fixed up some brussels sprouts in a way that sold me on them forever. Slice them in half, lay them out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add a little pepper and garlic, and roast in the oven. Delish.

At Wednesday, March 13, 2013 4:30:00 PM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said... third favorite berry. After tomatoes and peppers, of course!

The pepper paste couldn't hurt the collie when its in its own yard, right? So, no problem.

At Tuesday, March 19, 2013 9:46:00 AM, Blogger Kristophr said...

That rabbit counts as livestock in Texas.

It is fair, under Texas law, to kill that dog if it tries to repeat this action.

You may need to use something other than a firearm in city limits.

Alternately, you could just collar the dog, and give him a ride to the animal shelter, and tell your neighbor where he can find his animal. Most towns have an escalating fine for repeated leash-law violations.

At Tuesday, March 19, 2013 9:18:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Uh, yes, Kristophr, I am intimately familiar with that particular bit of Texas law. And I agree with you that I legally could destroy the animal.

But part of being a responsible gunowner, and member of my community, is not saying, "can I shoot him now? Oh, good!" I know you understand this, because you suggested non-lethal methods of dealing with it. But understand: I generally like my neighbors. I do not wish to alienate them.


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