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    an idyllwild weather clam!

    Our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam thinks that it will rain again today.

    Tuesday 22 August 2017
    Currently at 4:54 AM 57°

    Up to the minute now-casting provided by: Idyllwild Weather Clam Mega-Skyview Ultra-Precision Doppler 160000 Super Computron Forecast in Full Spectrum HD

    Entries in dogs (25)


    A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villany



    Banjo the dog was tied to train tracks by a fellow in Mecca, CA suffering from dementia according to this article in Riverside County's newspaper of record. He was saved by an alert train engineer, but what lessons can be learned here?

    Easy. Living in Mecca will make you a little daft. Obviously.

    Your pal,

    - bob


    The Most Vile Human Being In Idyllwild*


    There's another dog poisoner running around on the hill at the moment. His latest victim is not expected to survive the night and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't freaking out about it. The news came to me on Facebook and I wrote a comment, as you do (even though that may be the dumbest way to work out your feelings about an event ever in the history of human interaction, or non-interaction):

    I would very much like for this person to be found. An arrest made, wherein this person is provided all of the legal protections that the law allows. For a psychological evaluation to be conducted, and lawyer to be at this person's side for his defense. Don't get me wrong, I do also wish bodily harm on this miscreant, but a conviction might send a stronger message. Hopefully.

    But this isn't what I initially wrote. I was a teensy bit more furious...

    I would very much like for this person to be found. An arrest made, wherein this person is provided all of the legal protections that the law allows. For a psychological evaluation to be conducted, and lawyer to be at this person's side for his defense. Then I would suggest that he be presented in a coliseum where mountain lions might remove his limbs in a terrible and violent fashion, but while he is delirious from the pain and loss of blood his final wish is granted - a last meal...

    But I was worried about what the broader audience might think. They might judge! On social media!

    - bob

    UPDATE: From Facebook, "Jack's dog was up walking, and ate something this morning, temperature spiked last night. Good news, but not out of the woods yet, since he was told that they did not think the dog would make it." Did you know that keeping a mountain lion on retainer is surprisingly affordable? Must be the off-season.

    Mountain Lion Spotted! Still Checking For Pumas and Cougars...


    My part-time, next door neighbor called last night to let me know that when she drove home from her cabin on Sunday, she had to make a panic stop halfway down the street to avoid hitting a mountain lion. "I don't know if you leave your dog out overnight (I don't because she'll bark at rustling leaves and nobody will get any sleep), but I'll bet that mountain lion would have no trouble climbing your fence."

    I have a couple thoughts about this. The first would be that she must not have been that worried to wait until Tuesday. Maybe it looked sickly or sort of unmotivated. The second is that despite the delay, I still took time out of my evening last night to lose my mind over every tiny noise inside or outside. But my biggest concern isn't that the nice kitty will climb the fence…

    Your pal,

    - bob


    Gladiolus? Better Than That, We're Tickled Pink!


    It's time to clean out the card on the camera for the weekend, and I thought you might like to see pictures of flowers and a grinning puppy dog. The mild weather has done wonders for the late Summer bulbs and having the place to herself again is doing wonders for the girly dog's disposition.


    The pictures are pretty good, but I'll try to get more words out very soon.

    Your pal,

    - bob


    Storm! Watch! 2010! - Frame Of Reference! Edition!



    I had heard on the radio that the Sheriff's Department would like for motorists to call 911 if they see any rock slides, which I did on the way to work (not in my lane, thankfully). If my ancient Motorola feature phone had been able to obtain a signal at the point of the slide, I would've reported it there, but no such luck. Once I did get a signal, I pulled over and called the helpful and not at all twitchy 911 operator.

    "How big are the rocks?" she eventually asked. "About the size of a German Shepherd," was my helpful reply. Then a long pause...


    - bob



    Be prepared.

    A series of storms are set to pummel my little town (and to be honest, the rest of the state) all week, but I'm taking no chances. I've created a series of channels and ravines to divert water away from my back door, I've laid up enough wood in the house to last for a week, and I've had a chat with Mme. Puppy Dog about how the moisture falling out of the sky is harmless and shouldn't deter her from using the facilities. The latter argument has fallen on deaf but pricked up ears, which suggests to me that she cares that I'm speaking, just not that concerned with the content. Before you suggest that dogs are perky, bounding idiots incapable of recognizing human speech, why must we then spell out w-a-l-k and c-o-o-k-i-e? Yeah, I thought so.

    So once again, in the consequence- and largely history-free mind of my dog, I'm to blame for this downpour. These storms, clearly, are my invention, having conjured my very own El Nino current in the Pacific, for as far as she knows, this hairless ape is all-powerful (I do control the light, heat, and food—my power knows no bounds), so why not the skies?

    After we get our two feet of snow (!) this week, I'll think about letting it dry out for a while, but in the meanwhile, go outside and stop looking at me like that.

    - bob


    Happy December First!

    Mme. Puppy Dog

    The little girly puppy dog is sick. Could be the religious extremist** in town poisoning dogs to remove the demons on earth, could be that she ate something bad while in the desert. It's hard to know at this point, and while she didn't eat at all yesterday or her breakfast this morning, she looked well enough that I decided to head down to the Festival of Dirt this morning.

    I suppose I should be honored that the Indian Wells Police Department thinks my elderly Jeep Grand Livingroom can go as fast as they say it was going this morning, but there's a reason that Lidar is pronounced "LIE-dahr."

    Stupid Tuesday, indeed.

    - bob

    ** Thanks to frequent commenter KC and her finely tuned lingometer for pushing me in the direction of using "extremist" instead of "fundamentalist." There's a huge difference between the two, but I think the former is much more accurate in this case.


    But If You Call In The Next Thirty Minutes

    Oh sure, just keep grinning...

    It would be reasonable to assume that my puppy dog idles away the hours in the forest idyll that is the Damp Dog Lodge while I toil away at the Festival of Dirt. You would expect that I would endure the lengthy and dangerous commute, the oppressive heat, and at times, the weapons-grade ignorance that comes with my job in order to provide this particular animal with the lavish lifestyle to which she has become accustomed. But now I feel betrayed.

    You see, I have obtained secret photos detailing exactly what she does while I'm away and I am mortified.

    That's right. Apparently, my dog is actually running a call center out of my house during the day. (explains the cases of nutralite vitamins. - ed The beef flavored multis are starting to make more sense too.)

    - bob


    Urgent Warning - Puppy Alert

    This just in from the Press-Enterprise breaking news blog:

    TRAFFIC UPDATE: Puppy Alert along NB I-215 near UC Riverside
    6:49 AM Tue, Jan 20, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)
    Posted by: PE News

    Watch out for the puppy: It's poised to join commuters along I-215 near UC Riverside.

    The critter was reported standing in the center divider at 6:15 a.m. along the freeway's northbound lanes just north of University Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol website.

    —Richard Brooks

    Executive takeaway: Watch out for the puppy. Got that?

    - bob


    This Amazing Year! - Not Any Mutt

    Now is the only time you can make a chilly dog joke. Uh oh, time's up.Friends,

    I've been telling people that I've adopted a little black dog. When they ask "Oh, what kind?" I've had to sputter out something about a mix of something and something else, the speculation ranging from Shelty to Bull Terrier (all absurd). Turns out she's a member of a proud and weird breed called McNab (no, not that one).

    Here's a little bit from the Dogster site (Who knew? Borrowing from the Friendster concept, can you "dog" somebody? If not, why not? Discuss.):

    McNab History:
    It is said that Alexander McNab, a rancher who relocated to California from Scotland in the mid-19th century, developed the McNab by crossing his Scottish-born Border Collie with various shepherd dogs.

    That's right, the breed is California-native! That certainly counts for something, although it must be noted that she's not an ultra-liberal as many might suspect. Nor is her collar made of hemp. More...

    The Look of the McNab:
    The McNab is an athletic, small or medium-sized dog with a short, black coat that usually has white markings on the muzzle, chest, feet and tip of the tail. Its distinctive, triangular ears are either pricked or flop over. Its tail can be naturally bobbed or long. The McNab is also distinguished by its cat-like feet.

    People who know McNab Shepherds, McNab Cattle Dogs or whatever you might wish to call them can be a little fanatical. A little more background on Mendocino's own Gregor Mendel from Hawk Stock Dogs...

    Alexander McNab and his family left Glasgow, Scotland in 1868, came to the United States of America, and settled in California on the ranch known as the McNab ranch in Mendocino, California south of Ukiah. They brought one dog with them, but it died soon after they arrived. In 1885, Mr. McNab returned to the Grampian Hills in Scotland for the sole purpose of getting some of the dogs he was used to working (with) [sic]. He purchased two dogs, Peter and Fred. He brought Peter back with him. Fred was left in Scotland to have his training completed, and was sent to America later. Fred was strictly a lead dog; Peter worked both lead and drive. These two dogs were bred to select shepherd females of Spanish origin which were brought to this country by the Basque sheep herders, and that cross was called McNab shepherds because Mr. McNab perfected this breed of stock dogs which would head or heel.

    So, there you have it. Peter and Fred went catting about and from them, eventually, came this happy and well-adjusted girly dog.

    Happy? Sure!
    Scots hooked up with Spanish hotties that can head or heel? I've just made it icky, haven't I? Sorry about that.

    There you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about the McNab Shepherd. It is an amazing year so far, isn't it?

    Your pal,

    - bob

    BIZARRE FOOTNOTE: If you hate yourself, have unlimited bandwidth and feel that you don't quite have enough blood flooding out of your eye sockets, please feel free to take a look at Donovan McNabb's personal website. Horrible Flash movies combined with Donovan the businessman and purple copy detailing how super and also ultra-great Mr. McNabb is. After viewing this exploration of one man's hatred of the web and your eyes, please take the lesson to heart and remove all of the Flash nonsense from your own website. Thank you.


    Special Friday Webcam Feature!


    I know I'm boring you to tears with discussion of the dog fights at my house (you're no michael vick. - ed True. I don't even have a teevee mom to offer my coworkers soup.) so I've added a camera to take interior shots of the Lodge.

    Maybe something exciting will happen! The chances are fairly low though since it snaps a photo every twenty minutes, it's unlikely there'll be any action to see.

    But hey, it could happen. (what if something does happen? what's the point? - ed Blackmail, of course.)

    - bob

    UPDATE: I deleted the picture link in this post because it was "live +/- 10 minutes" and causing confusion. Let's face it, there's enough to be confused about without that, don't you think?


    Calm Down!

    Nervous Nellies,

    That's some kind of tincture!
    My vivacious writing partner has read the stories I've written here on the dog fights at the Lodge and reminded me of Rescue Remedy. It's flowers, people! Okay, a little more than that, but a few drops in their water bowls means that everybody is much more relaxed. How relaxed? Mr. and Mrs. Goon took a nap after an hour or so. Smelly Lola has started to refrain from challenging Mr. Dog to whatever it is she's challenging him to. Playtime? Fighting? Dominance? Who knows.

    Speaking of calming, I had to pull over yesterday and take some shots of the sunrise. There's a turnout on Highway 74 near a place called Royal Carrizo.

    There are thumbnails here, but if you click on them you'll see a full-sized image in another window. Those files are huge though, so a broadband connection would be a good idea here...

    Some sort of sunrise.
    This one may be my favorite, but I'm a sucker for the shrubs in silhouette.

    Ahh, let's all calm down.
    No more fighting, just a little growling now and again. I'll take that.


    - bob


    Why? Oh, Why?

    Little Furry Buddies,

    You've got questions! Here's one from our cherished commenter KC:

    Whatever did you do to deserve THREE dogs???

    Intriguing! Well, there are two spotty dogs better known as The Goon Squad who need a place to stay while somebody goes on holiday.

    Photo taken while driving. Do not attempt.
    There's another little black dog who also needs a place to stay. My sister rescued Lola from a shelter in San Diego a very short time before she was to be destroyed (your sister? -ed Of course not, she has her papers and all of her shots.). My sister then found out that the allergies threatening to blow her head to smithereens were largely brought about by said puppy dog. Since she's also moving and I'm not, I've decided to take her in.

    Oh yeah, about the fighting, the goons have been terrified of Lola's high-energy, open-mouthed bullying. I left them alone today while I tended to one of America's favorite non-profit disasters (dying servers, multiple power failures!) and fancy this; they're getting along better now. There was actual play going on between them. Can you believe it?

    What could I have possibly been worried about?



    Speed Fest!


    This is going to be a big photo blort, so pardon the lack of commentary. It's been a long weekend, but I thought that the pictures needed to go up right now. By the way, you can click on each picture to see a larger version in a new window...

    What he needs is a helicopter.
    A bigger smile you'll not easily see. What he needs is his very own helicopter. Thankfully, they have plenty at the newly christened Naval Base Coronado. I remember when it was North Island Naval Air Station. The link still shows up on the google, but it redirects a couple times now. Enough geekery. On to the real reason we went to Coronado...

    You knew there would be an AMC connection...
    Vintage auto racing on the airstrip. It was Fleet Week and each of the last seven years, there's been a race out there at the air station. Big names show up...

    Okay, that's the only way to get it done.
    That includes this guy, who tops off his radiator with bottled water. Fancy!

    Cold sandwiches again? Lucas toasters!
    ...and these ladies who dine while staring at the rear end of an MG. Charming!

    Damn women drivers.
    ...and this woman who spends her weekends beating up on the guys.

    We didn't watch too much racing because it was way too loud for a certain someone, despite the earplugs. Saturday was full of practice and qualifying anyway, so there wasn't too much on the line. Lots to see though, and that turned out to be enough.

    The big story today was also transportation related...

    Photo taken while driving. Do not attempt.
    All three dogs are now at the Lodge. They didn't hate each other during the drive, but they sure hate each other now and I'm not really sure how I'm going to handle it. More later (if I'm not mauled in my sleep).

    Your pal,



    Sooper Toosday Joonior

    Dear Friends,

    Today was absurd, but the weekend in America's Finest Most Run-Down Clearly Done Dingiest City was good fun. I managed to convince a very cute girl to try Indian food, which went well. What else would you expect at India Palace? It's worth trying if you're in the neighborhood.

    I dropped off the pups with their keeper on Saturday. They immediately forgot about me and went about their business of checking the perimeter of The 1912 House. Expected, but sad nonetheless. My thoughts about rescuing my own dog bubbled back up to the surface until I remembered that my day at the Festival Of Dirt combined with my commute would keep me away far too long. Not what you'd hope for if you were being rescued.

    More tomorrow, when the need for sleep shouldn't be so dire. Thanks for hanging in there.

    Your pal,



    Liveblogging The Democratic Debate...

    Who am I kidding? Boring.

    How about some crappy cellphone pictures instead? Here's a nice shot from a few weeks ago of the sun setting over my neighbor's house...

    sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
    As you know, the dogs hate the chilly weather up here. Not surprising, since my yard is essentially their playground AND bathroom. Here's that girly dog waiting for me to make the snow stop falling...

    oh gawd, how I hate you
    And from the big fat charity place preparing for a fundraising event, a labeled box...

    cylindrical flora containers
    Care to guess what was stored in that box? Makes the "it's it's its" battle seem petty, doesn't it?

    Your best pal ever,

    - bob

    P.S. Commenter inky, send me an email with the subject "Clam!" about your transportation problems. It'll be fun!


    Tuesday Is The New Monday


    Thank you for your indulgence over the long holiday weekend. I took a trip to America's Finest Mediocre Ramshackle Urgently Requiring Remediation Spy Satellite Landing Site of a City to pick up various puppy dogs and to see a certain cute girl. You'll be pleased to know that all of those creatures, furry and otherwise, are doing well.

    This is being posted fairly early in the morning. 3:30 rolled around this morning and seemed like a perfectly reasonable time to get started. All of the things I really need to take care of today need to happen before 8:00, so the early start should help. By the way, is there such a thing as higher high beams? The Mighty Dakota's less than dazzling displays of illumination left a lot to be desired this morning. That, or it was really freaking dark.

    - bob


    What Time Is It?: Late April Edition


    This gloable whirming thing is really getting me down. I've done everything—burning raw coal (from the open pit I've started digging in the backyard), dragging out all the old aerosol cans from the garage and taped down the nozzles, fed the dogs beans and kielbasa (a phenomenally bad idea, btw)—everything I could think of to pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. No luck. It's still chilly up here.

    What does a fella have to do?

    Three inches of snow predicted tomorrow night. Spring, yeah sure.

    Your pal,



    Easter Weekend Pictures Of Things


    Mister and Missus puppy dog started the weekend staring. Staring at flowers...

    ...staring at your humble photographer...

    So when we trundled down to the desert, they were locked in the backyard at the parents' house and I took my Dad down to the car show (on his suggestion). Here are some pictures of that...

    For instance, here's a picture of Dad not even remotely considering getting himself a motorcycle.

    And here's a shot of a Jowett Jupiter in a state where you can observe where motor oil is likely to puke out (read: everywhere. It's British.)

    How about the nicest flame paint ever? Can anyone say "Jeepster?"

    By the way. Exactly one black man showed up and he brought the stereotypical Cadillac low rider, replete with trunk-filling battery pack, hydraulics, and fake convertible vinyl top. Does anyone even do this anymore?

    Neat pinstripes. Um, Jeepster?

    Other neat stuff...

    The owner of this Corvette has his (her?) priorities. The car was falling apart in front of us, but the elaborate eagle mural on the hood, the tape stripes on the engine accessories (!), and the general yellow spray paint theme should look nice on the back of the tow truck.

    Here though is the shamble-rific rat rod. Plywood floor AND firewall! The owner is still alive, so make your own judgements.

    Your pal,



    What Is It, Girl?

    I don't know which is more disturbing, that tainted moist pet food is killing dogs and cats, or that a company called Menu Foods Income Fund actually makes IAMS, Eukanuba, Nutro and almost every other brand. Here's a little something from Nutro's copywriters that rings a little hollow today:

    The MAX brand philosophy is simple. We constantly strive to provide better ingredients and better nutrition for better health at an affordable price. Every MAX product is 100% natural. We use only high-quality ingredients. No chicken by-products, no ground yellow corn.

    Who's this "we"?

    - bob