My Novels

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Daily happenings

I really don't write in this journal as often as I THINK about posting! Procrastination often leads to outdated thoughts (or even forgotten ideas) and I need to stop this behavior. I should write something, even if brief, every day or at least every other day. Maybe I can get motivated soon!

We had a few nice moderate days, for a southern summer, and I enjoyed walking the dogs and biking every afternoon. It's heating up again, with high humidity so I have to wait later and later each day.

I am reading another good novel by Thomas Cook, "The Interrogation." I started browsing in the large print section of the local library and I'm finding books there which are not stocked in regular print. A bonanza, since I have read every available book by my favorite authors in the regular print section.

The selection of DVD movies are increasing also, and I find at least two or three each time I've never seen. Summer TV season is horrible, and these movies are a good replacement.

Of course, it promises to be a long, hot, ugly summer with politics, heat, soaring gas prices, the economy in the toilet and weird, freaky weather. The latest on the weather, including the midwest flooding, is the rare "dry storms" in California where as many as 8,000 lightning strikes have ignited over 800 wildfires. Apparently these dry storms do occur, but usually later in the summer and not with this kind of dangerous lightning. I would say it's global warming, but instead I believe it's a combination of humans using fossil fuels AND the earth's precession. The thing is, how much global warming could change the precession, increasing climate changes too, is something I wonder about.

In matters of health, which are becoming more and more of a joke every day, here's a comical but insightful article to read: Achieving Wellness, Whatever That Is

An excerpt:
There are so few good belly laughs in health care these days. What a pity I am likely to be the only person on the planet to enjoy the guffaw-laden, if slightly unnerving, experience of reading Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Dr. Nortin Hadler’s new books in tandem, taking careful notes.

Both are practicing physicians who have made second careers interpreting medical principles for a lay audience. Both consider themselves experts not only in illness but also in wellness, that shimmering grail of our time. Both have combed through all the latest studies and are now pleased to provide you, the average healthy adult, with guidelines for staying well.

Both muster science, statistics and a judicious smattering of personal experience to present, with no small fanfare, completely, utterly, diametrically opposite advice.

I spent a few days looking at cars, thinking about trading mine off and getting a newer one. But I couldn't find anything I was crazy about, and since mine is a good car, gets great gas mileage, decided to wait.

One feature I'd been looking at was a vehicle that had a larger storage area so I could take my bike places; and an area for taking the dogs with me to the park, etc. However, I learned I could buy a "dog barrier" to put between the two front bucket seats, and thus confine them to the backseat.

After seeing photos of a barrier, I came up with my own "invention." This is a tip for those who want to do it themselves: If you have a dog crate (and most dog owners do) just take the removable middle barrier and attach it to your seatbelt buckle holders on either side of the car with bungee cords and it works like a champ.

Here's a photo of what mine looks like:

Matching bungee cords would have been better, but what the heck, I had these already.

I had a throw that fit perfectly over the backseat, and put some old cushions in the floor for the dogs.

And that's your lesson in thriftiness and creativity for today! LOL

The great part is the dogs LOVE this, don't try to get over the barrier and even Oscar has nearly stopped whining. I am working on training him to ride quietly, using a small spray bottle of water. I'm determined to have well-behaved dogs, and it's a challenge to train them. Unlike cats, dogs quickly understand commands and already these know the words: Go! Walk! Car! Sit! Treat! Stop! (Well, Oscar has a little trouble with the Stop! when it concerns whining with anticipation.) Bed! And more day by day. Cats can be coaxed sweetly; dogs do better with firm commands and rewards (like treats).

Next I will buy a bike rack for the back of my car, in order to take my bike to a wonderful biking park near a lake within the city. The biking/walking trail is paved, winds alongside the lake through tall pines -- sloping inclines, curves, looks like a FUN ride.

I'm outta here for today...

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