Giving thanks and the Dog.


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DSCN1171In truth this is the best time in my life and the list of things I am thankful for is really long.  Today is about the dog.DSCN1172

Thanksgiving week seems like an appropriate time to give thanks to the universe for my constant friend and companion.  The dog is not my dog, he is the family dog.   I imagine he sees me as the big guy (alfa), Daughter, Son-in-law, and Son as his older brothers and sister.   The old lady lives with us and the dog sees her as an old pup he is charged with caring for when everyone else is a way. We (daughter, Son-in-Law, Dog, and the old lady) share a house.  It is the only place he (the dog) has known as home.  He is not the first dog I have been lucky to have had as a friend, but life has blessed me with the opportunity to spend more time with him than any dog before.  I love all dogs and have had the luck of knowing a wide variety of breeds.  I have also had a lot of cats.  Before we picked the dog we did a lot of research as to what would work best for our home and our new member.  At the time we had a much busier home.  I was working full time and my hours could go very long and both of the kids worked and attended college.  But the old lady was home and he would not be alone.  We choose Old English Bulldog as the best choice.  We got him with he was but a pup.


It was a full day, round trip, to pick him up.  Right from the get go he was great.  He sat in Daughters lap the whole trip home.  So very curious and gentle.  Sort of gentle. He chewed on everything.


Dog is a spirited fellow.  He was a challenge to train and his breed requires training.  He requires training because he is very stubborn, smart, and a natural alfa male.   Because of this you must continue his training throughout his life.  Constantly reaffirming him to self-discipline himself, teaching him he can control his urges.  In the last six years I only hit dog once, OMG I felt like shit for days afterward.   We were playing and he got carried away and accidentally snagged my little finger when going for his toy.  Nearly took my finger off.

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Having a friend like the dog requires a lot of commitment, to caring for him, loving him, playing with him, and training him.  For instance, Daughter does yoga (so do I).   In the early years when she would lay flat on the floor Dog would see this as an moment of weakness and feel compelled to play (rough) and dominate her.  It’s in his genes.  Daughter was not completely in love with him and it took her awhile to establish “the rules.”


Contrary to what is said about his breed the dog is easily excited and a bit high strung.  He grew fast to a very strong (pure muscle) 65 pounds.   If you are interested in this breed you should do your homework.  They are a challenge to train.  In my opinion the most important thing to be able to do is to understand why the dog does what they do.  It is very rare a dog is “bad.”  They are always just being a dog and doing what dogs have done for generations.  Once you accept that premise it gets a lot easier.  Still grabbing hold of 65 pounds of muscle and holding it (lovingly and gently) until he calms down is no easy trick.  Just ask Daughter.


As an example of a couple of things we do.  Son-in-law always has the dog earn his dinner by obeying a couple of quick commands, sit, paw, etc.  We always have treats and as part of the normal day will allow him to earn them and we are generous with them as praise when he is behaving.  As a matter of general daily activities not just special ones.  When people come to the door the dog greets them with loud warning barks, he is very intimidating and we want him to be that way.  This is his house to protect.  Yet when we are at the door we point to a spot back from the door and he knows that is the que for him to move back, to get quite and sit.   He keeps himself in sight of the door and his posture is one of alertness.  Once the front door activities are completed we, always, praise him and give him a treat.   When I play “get the toy or fetch” with him I will sometimes, when I see he is really worked up and ready to burst due to his desire to get the toy, command him to “leave it.”  I then will take the toy and touch his nose with it.  It takes a great deal of restraint on his part not to grab it from me.  He knows he could if he chose to, he is quick and strong enough to do it. But he knows he is not to grab for it, that he is to leave it alone.   I then praise him and his reward is I toss the toy and continue to play with him.  This is so he can build up trust in his ability to be patient, he knows he can do it.

20150323_155538Simply put he is a rough and tumble guy who needs constant reminding, by loving training, what the rules are.  One last point.  He is not a toy.  He is a person/dog that deserves, demands, respect.  I have seen him aggressive. Once in response to an aggressive dog off their leash and once when someone walked up on me quietly and without my knowledge.  Nothing bad has ever happened when he has been aggressive.  But I sincerely would not want to be on the wrong end of his aggressiveness, EVER.


One of the old 007 movies had a character with steel teeth and really strong jaws.  The dog has jaws of steel.   Both my children had tough times with teething.  The dogs was worse.  The dog’s teething lasted nearly three years.  He chewed on everything including the wall corners and base boards.  He chewed a hole in corner of a wall in the kitchen, and several corner baseboards had to be replaced.  Shoes, socks (he loved socks?), and a whole lot of other crap. Plus I lost a lot of sleep staying up with him rubbing his gums and fighting his feverish teething.   That has all passed.  He still loves to chew, he needs to chew, and we have a case of chew toys we well stocked for his use.  It is hard to find ones that are healthy, safe, and will last more than an hour.   But we manage.   He can “kill” a new basketball in about 20 minutes, flat as a pancake.  Once he has “killed” it he carries it around for a couple of days to show off.

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House breaking was no real big deal.  He is a very fussy guy and does not like to mess his house up.  When we go on hikes he prefers to go deep into foliage to do his business.  This can present a challenge when we try to bag it for the trash.  Still, we have had accidents.  Normally small one related to him having stomach issues.  They are down to about once or twice a year.  The worst one involving a really bad case of EXSPOSIVE DIARREA.  I am not exaggerating, it is an image I wish I could forget.  I mean cleaning the carpet is one thing but the walls, yes the walls.

2014-12-25 12.01.16He has allergies.  His is a handsome guy but he requires a lot of work to keep his itching under control and medication for his allergies.

Having a dog is like having a really smart (and stubborn) three year old who never grows up, just older.  Honestly, while I do see the dog as my great friend I also understand it is my job to be his best friend and protector.

I went over all the above so you can fully understand I am not some star eyed dog lover.  I do the work.  More importantly I am thankful for the opportunity to do the work.

Ludo asleep on dads bedThe dog’s room is my room.  He and I were close while I was working and then a couple of years ago I retired.  Bulldogs are social dogs.  They do not like being alone.  The dog is no exception.  When others are home he will wonder about the house as his interests drive him.  If one of us has food he will not be far away.  On return from going on a walk with one of the kids he will track me down to say high and make sure I know he is back.   Even on those cold rainy early mornings when I am still in bed.  When he and I are the only ones around he is always at my side.  He always greets me with love and a happy face.

1050 My son came over a couple of days ago and dog went nuts.  He loves seeing my son and knows he is family, another brother.  Such love.  A while back I was pretty sick for a while.  I had a really bad day and he was noticeably upset and would not leave me.  I had to comfort him and calm him.   It was very moving to me.

2012-11-30_17-39-11_80720141219_143504Dog loves to go on walks and to ride in the truck.  He loves to watch people.  I have an ottoman under the bed room window that he sits at and watches the neighborhood. Dog also like to watch TV.  Daughter will leave it on and we will come home to find him sitting on the couch watching the TV by himself.

He likes to look and see everything around him.  When we go places with views of valleys or other panoramic views he will stop and look intently at it for long times as if he is trying to soak in every inch of it.  Again, he so loves to watch people.

Thankful?  Yes.  Each day I wake up and see him a smile comes to my face.  I am not, by nature, a person who easily or very often feels alone.  I like my alone time.  Yet each time he seeks me out to say high or wants to be scratched, walked, or is simply looking for a warm lap, I am moved.

I have been given several gifts I do not believe I deserve.  One of these is the dog.


Bullies are real and dangerous.


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stop-bullying-sign-k-7052I moved around a lot as a young child.  A different school almost each year until I got to high school.  I learned a lot about bullies the hard way.  Not a fan.  By the time I got to high school I was kind of an anti-bully, I took pleasure in pulling bullies down.  Not the healthiest attitude but what can I say.

The last decade our society has taken a turn to the positive regarding bullies.  All kinds of bullies.  In the fifties (when I was born) in many parts of the American society it was still acceptable for a husband to beat his wife and for parents to abuse their children.  I am not talking about parents administering a spanking, I am talking about child abuse.  It was acceptable.  People turned away, it is his wife, and it is their children.  So it went.

I am proud of our society and the strides it has made regarding many of these issues.  Is it enough.  In my opinion, no.   I really do not know if we as humans will ever evolve to the point that bullies will not exist.  I doubt it.

Bullies are relentless in there pursuit of ways to “punish” those who do not honor there wants and beliefs.  They enjoy the feeling of power and self-righteous indignation that washes over them each time they are able to dominate.  Yes dominate, bulling is a symptom of a sadistic and often time narcissistic personality.  To me it is also reveals a person as a coward.  Often times very fearful of change and uncertainty.   Each time they are able to ‘dominate’ or control it reinforces their delusion of control or the rightness of their actions/belief.  That is the insidiousness of their actions, each dominate success encourages them to do more and more of the same.  This is why they always go off the deep end.  They have no reasonable limit.  If you need examples just open a history book, any history book.   Or just listen to the news, islamic state (ISIS)!

This is the foundation of all persecution, religious, race, gender, political, cyber, and financial. Not a fan.

Since bulling is not going away anytime soon we need to be diligent in protect all of our society from it.  We must accept it exists and will not be tolerated.   Citizens United v. FEC really fucked up our society.  It opened a door that is going to be hard to shut.  A lot of horrid things have taken place in American history, things we can atone for by not letting them happen again. Slavery, child labor, the list is very long.  I suggest we move away from focusing on just the American past and take a long hard look at the history of humans.  It is a sobering thing to attempt and it is not for cowards or the timid but it needs to be done on a regular schedule.

As a society we have laws we have put forth to protect and promote our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Yes it needs to be amended and update as we learn and grow as a people.  As part of the support of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we no longer, in our society, quietly accept that those with the most guns and bullets will set policy, to tell us what we believe or how we will live our lives.   Nor will we allow the most physically strongest.

Ultimately history will show Citizens United was not about free speech but about the repression of free speech.

We have replaced bullets with money……… The following article of Mother Jones is good example of bulling and the tactics of the bully of today.   These are not new tactics.  Bullies have very few new tactics, they are always the same.  Find a way to dominate and control and sit back and enjoy the rush.

Government shutdown explainer: Planned Parenthood, sequester loom as issues.


As with the other shutdowns the majority of American people do not support this. This is another great example what happens when both houses are controlled by one party. It’s also an example of politicians being more interested in getting reelected and/or promoted then supporting the people are  paying their paychecks. They have little regard or consideration for you and me. Do your homework the accusations against Planned Parenthood are nonsensical and have no factual support. So much of what Planned Parenthood does has nothing to do with abortions. I do not agree with restricting access two women on the subject. Regardless of your beliefs Planned Parenthood serves a lot of other issues and there are ways to negotiate through this. If these gentlemen feel the need to change the law then change the f****** the law. They have control of both houses WTF. These accusations against Planned Parenthood have been perpetrated by falsifying and manipulating conversations with good people trying to do the right thing the right way. These are radical antiabortion terrorist you have no understanding but anything but they’re suppose it cause. The sad, the very sad part of all this is these politicians are using these people’s beliefs, beliefs they do not truly believe in to advance their political careers. No matter what the cost to the rest of the nation. We have two groups one motivated by delusions of grandeur the other by delusions of grandeur and greed. We need to roll back the control money has over our government so that our voices made once again be heard.

This is clearly nothing but grandstanding for political favor and press. Pure unadulterated bullShit!

Mixed Message – Media is a MESS!


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In this photo taken May 20, 2015, Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., poses for a portrait before an interview with The Associated Press in Washington. For Democrats who had hoped to lure Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a presidential campaign, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders might be the next best thing. Sanders, who is opening his official presidential campaign Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont, aims to ignite a grassroots fire among left-leaning Democrats wary of Hillary Rodham Clinton. He is laying out an agenda in step with the party's progressive wing and compatible with Warren's platform _ reining in Wall Street banks, tackling college debt and creating a government-financed infrastructure jobs program. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)donald_trump_108984675_1






While I am thoroughly amused at the national media’s attempt to cope with the public’s response to Donald and Bernie, it really is not funny.  It is indicative of the corruption and disconnectedness of the media from you and me.  They are as much under the influence of the 1% as our politicians are.  There are many things that make Donald and Bernie stand out from the political pack.  The one that strikes me the most is their independence from the 1%.  Yes Donald is part of the 1%, which frees him from the rest of them. This scares the hell out of a great many people, people who currently hold controlling power over this nation.


Mark Leibovich is the chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine.  Mark wrote the book “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — plus plenty of valet parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital.” It came out 2013.  When it came out I read it and was astounded by his candidness and frank portrayal of his peers.  I strongly recommend this book to everyone no matter what your political leaning be.  Even if you just skim parts of it you will be better armed to understand what is going on with the media.  During the 1980’s I was closely associated with people in the circles Mark discusses in his book.  I saw and heard first hand similar stories.

I have a few TV journalist/analysts I watch with some frequency and I must confess I have been very disappointed in their efforts to minimalize the political rebellion in this nation.  Now I am not entirely naive.  I realize this has been going on for a long time and have grown used to a certain level of partisanship.  I have developed a small amount of tolerance to such things.  I had to or I would have broken far more televisions than I have.  Recently these journalist/analysts have gone way beyond my tolerance.  They seem to be doubling down on these practices as if we are oblivious.

It is a very short step from journalism to propaganda.  So many of our national new media outlets move back and forth from journalism to propaganda.  Some more than others.

A fair example of this was reported by Adam Johnson of AltreNet.  I will say I do not think CBS was as bad as Adam indicates in his article but then again I have developed a tolerance. On the other side I do watch this show and have seen them softball many others.  Often giving them the floor to push their agendas without much if any scrutiny. After one such “interview” Rose commented he and the talker were close and he was looking forward to their next lunch. If you listen to Jay Carney you should note he never directly answers the questions put to him and the TV/Journalist do not press him.  His basic line is Amazon is the same as everyone else and if people did not like it at amazon they could leave.  WOW!  To minimalize the issues of employees is such bullshit.  From a person who has only worked there a few months.  Gee, I wonder why they hired him? You think maybe they got a heads up this artical was comming?  I do. There are so many other ways they could have responded to this. Constructive and respectful ways. Unless it is true and they have no intention of changing anything.  I worked as an IT professional and manager for forty years and have seen all these tactics used.  It is part of the culture, a culture of doing more with, and for less.