Autumn first run: Leaves

Paul Anater over at Kitchen and Residential Design is running some How-To articles on Autumn, so I thought I’d add at least one more to his growing library. This is about how to survive raking and blowing leaves.

If you have not yet bought a house in the suburbs, don’t! If it is already too late and you plunked down some money on your “dream” that will suck away your every waking minute, hopefully we can help save you a bit of time and anxiety about raking and gathering leaves at the end of summer.

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Risk as a downhill ski run, Bode Miller style

I was reading my Wall Street Journal today, page after page of blah, blah, blah and then I came across this story on page B8. It stopped me dead in my tracks.

I am not following the Winter Olympic Games nor am I really a fan of Bode Miller. I didn’t even read the article, but what I did do is stare at the photograph.* Here’s why.

Notice how much of the ski is touching the surface of the snow. Notice how “off center” Miller’s body is. Now, imagine how that feels at 90mph (I don’t know how fast he is going, but pretty dang fast.)

And it strikes me that downhill skiing is a lot like doing something that you are passionate about. You hurl yourself headlong into it without thinking about the risk. Your actions and reactions are instinctive, you trust in yourself and your skills and when you doubt yourself for a split second or become aware of the cheering (and sometimes jeering) fans along the fence, it all unravels quickly.

You may crash, you may win a gold medal, but if you don’t hurl yourself out of the gate, you’ll never know.

*I kinda stole the photo from the WSJ and they may find out about it and not share the same enthusiasm I have for showing it to you… so, until I get that cease and desist letter, posting it up here is my downhill ski run of the day. πŸ™‚

Things are uneasy, and leash laws are top of the heap

dogleash

Things are a bit uneasy out there with the average citizens. Anxiety is high, people feel they have little control of their own destiny and they are on edge. Know how I can tell? Is it news of the economy streaming over the 24/7 cable news? Politicians screaming from podium microphones? Former governors hawking tell-all-know-nothing-stir-up-hate books? Movies predicting the end of the world in two years?

Nope, none of that. It is even simpler.

They care about leash laws.

And local laws on how tall you’re allowed to grow your lawn. And how long you can park your car in front of your house. And if you need a permit or not to build that on your deck. And if you can legally store your boat in your back yard.

And not so much that they care about these laws, but they hike up their sleeves and don’t hesitate to tell you that you better fall in line. There.

I don’t have any data to prove my assertions, so take them with a grain of salt. But, I sense that when people feel overwhelmed and lose a sense of control over their own fate, they turn to really small things that they feel they have the right to enforce.

Like leash laws.

The most offensive Tea Party sign ever

The Huffington Post ran a story with some slide shows, showing the most offensive signs at the recent tea parties. As I was looking through the slide show, I found the sign that was the absolute, most offensive one of all. And, if the words on the sign weren’t enough to get you steaming mad, consider the fact that it was put up by our own government!

Anyway, here is the most offensive tea party sign, outlined in green.

The most offensive Tea Party sign
The most offensive Tea Party sign

What’s next, no peeing on the fire plugs? Who’s with me, Pee Parties April 15, 2010! πŸ™‚

Obama uses a MacBook Pro?

What Obama's first day photo should have looked like
What Obama's first day photo should have looked like

This photo appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times. Probably others. Thanks Pete Souza, Official White House Photographer. I’m not sure if we can use these photos. Do tax dollars pay for the official White House photographer? Pretty sure someone will slap my paw if I’m wrong. πŸ˜‰

How we are all connected

Today, I heard from a long-time reader who emailed me just to let me know she was still reading and that she had been enjoying the blog ever since she first saw it.

Wow! Whenever I get an email like this, it is truly a humbling experience. Even though the DogWalkBlog gets lots of traffic, when a reader takes a few moments out of the day just to say she enjoys reading it touches. That is what blogging and Twittering and all this stuff is about; one touch, one moment.

I’m writing this immediately after looking at the pictorial spread in the Wall Street Journal. In a sea of 1.5 million people, photojournalists are able to pick out one genuine smile, one face full of hope and one little girl who gives her dad a “thumbs up” with an orange glove.

I aspire to be that lens. Always.

Congratulations, Mr. President

Congratulations, Mr. President
Congratulations, Mr. President

Following that speech, my new resolutions for 2009 and beyond are:
– To reject negative thinking and reject anyone who says, “That is not possible” and seek out those who say “How can we do that.”
– To reject any and all who speak racists comments and to speak up without hesitation, whether friend or not.
– To quit doing what provides no value to others or myself.

Why do we keep eating?

Why do we eat? The simple answer would be that if we did not eat, we would die. But that is not entirely true. Science can provide us with a pill we can take that would provide exactly the nutrition we need — no more, no less — to keep our bodies healthy. Yet, we resist the notion that a pill, taken three time a day, would replace daily meals.

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Joe Biden get a German Shepherd

Stolen from www.msnbc.com
Stolen from www.msnbc.com
Vice President-elect Joe Biden has picked out a 3-month-old male German shepherd from a suburban Philadelphia kennel to bring with him to Washington.

Biden, riding deep with seven black Secret Service vehicles, rolled up to German Shepherd breeder Linda Brown’s home in Chester County, Penn. on Saturday and rolled out having chosen the nation’s Second Dog. From the Shepherd side of this family, we think that is a pretty good choice. Brave, but good.

Read the whole story at MSNBC.com

You suck! Your comment sucks!

You write a blog post and post it. Someone comes onto your blog and has an alternative point of view. But, instead of engaging this commenter in a logical argument, you lash out at him, belittling his point of view and then using sarcastic remarks in subsequent comments. Is that smart?

This happened recently to me. (I won’t mention the blog because that would result in more traffic.) When I first read the author’s post, I thought it was insightful, but lacking in a couple of key areas. After reading the author’s immature response to my observations, I now think the author is a bit immature, perhaps even an idiot. I won’t be back to his blog — not because I got my feeling hurt — but because there is probably not much else I can learn from someone who does not have the skills to engage in an argument without resorting to ridicule and sarcasm.

Attacking a commenter might get you some momentary traffic, but is probably unwise in the long run. A blog works best when there are contributing points of view that are different from yours. If all you want is your friends and family agreeing with you, that is probably ok on a personal journal. But, I suspect many authors want their ideas challenged by the readers who find holes in their arguments.

Any dissenting opinions? If you agree with me, please don’t post a comment. But, if you have an alternative point of view, please share it.

3 things to know about Twitter

Everyone is doing top 10 things or 40 things you need to know about something. That is too much for my canine brain to process.

So, I am starting the Three Things Revolution! Follow me!

Three things you need to know to use Twitter:
1. Get a Twitter account at http://twitter.com
2. Write interesting tweets
3. Follow some people

That’s it. Everything else will flow from these three things. Trust me.

So, to recap:
Get. Write. Follow.