Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nick Pitera

Apparently, this guy, Nick Pitera, is a Pixar animator who is also a fantastic singer. Seriously, WATCH THIS! It's AWESOME.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mealtime for the dogs

We store our dog food in the garage. The dogs don't really have a set meal time. They eat in the morning and in the evening, whenever we get around to feeding them.

As soon as I make a move to pick up their food bowls, Akela shadows my footsteps, knowing I'll soon be holding food that should, by right, be hers. (Of course, in her opinion, any and all food should, by right, be hers.) Blitzkrieg, on the other hand, goes directly to the spot I always bring the food back to and sits and waits for his meal to be brought to him.

Akela isn't allowed in the garage with me, so she waits just outside the garage door, hoping to ambush me as soon as I come in and take the food. Blitzkrieg remains sitting in the kitchen.

When I bring the food back, I head to where Blitzkrieg is waiting, then tell Akela to sit. She does immediately because I'm holding food. As long as I'm holding food, I could tell her to jump into the Grand Canyon and she'd do it if she thought it meant I would give her my food. Then I set down both food bowls and tell the dogs, "Look here." They have to look at me, not the food, and aren't allowed to eat until I tell them, "Okay."

Training Akela to wait was more difficult than training Blitzkrieg, because Blitzkrieg won't touch his food until it's put directly in front of him. I usually set the bowls about three feet away from the dogs. Even when I say okay, Blitzkrieg will usually just sit and stare at the bowl, probably distraught because it's not within his reach, so he can't figure out how to eat it. He doesn't budge until I push his bowl directly in front of him, at which point you can almost see him looking relieved that using his mind powers to move the bowl closer worked, since there was no alternative.

Sometimes, like today, if I remember that the dogs need food when I'm in the middle of something, I just set the bowls down in front of the dogs and go back to what I was doing. When I do that, Blitzkrieg will start wolfing the food down immediately, but Akela sniffs the bowl and then turns and looks at me with an expression of utter confusion on her face. It's like she's saying, 'I'm looking at you. See? Can I eat now? Am I allowed? What did I do wrong? Why are you walking away from me?' She won't touch her food until I come back and tell her to sit and look at me. Because I feel bad for neglecting to make her earn her food, I sometimes make her do one or two more tricks as well, by which time she starts edging toward the food, like, "Okay, I'm done with this game. Food time."

By that time, Blitzy's almost done snarfing down his food, and when he's finished, he usually circles Akela until she finishes, hoping that she'll leave him a few bites. I guess the food we give him isn't worth getting up for, but the food we give Akela is, even though it's the same food.

When Akela finishes, Blitzkrieg rushes in and licks the bottom of her bowl a few times, just in case there are any invisible pieces hiding from him. Then he'll waddle over to his favorite patch of sunlight (or the air vent if the heat is on, or the bed), plop down, and go to sleep.

Lazy dog.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Darn helpful people

So I guess the red panda was too easy. Oh well, I'm already bored of this game anyway. Also I forgot what I was going to do next, although I remember it was awesome.

So I still can't find anyone willing to hire me, though at this point it's probably because I no longer have any confidence that anyone would want to. It's not that I'm useless, it's just that nobody really needs me. I feel like a hammer might if it were brought to a new construction area where there were already more than enough hammers that were already being used. The hammer would still be useful, if anyone wanted to use it, but everyone already has their hammers.

I thought about being a volunteer firefighter. And by "thought about," what I mean is I tried. Turns out this fire station doesn't take volunteers. They only take paid employees. So I was going to apply, but there are TWO THOUSAND applications already on file. I'm not kidding. There are TWO THOUSAND people lining up to run into burning buildings. So much for that.

So then I decided to volunteer at the wildlife refuge just outside of town. I perused the website. As it turns out, they apparently take volunteers, but the application process is as bad as applying for a job. You fill out the application and send it in with your resume, and they put it in a file and if they need someone and like your resume/application, then they'll call you and set up an interview. And then you have to buy your own uniform. I mean, Boy Scouts makes you buy your own uniform, but at least they don't make you suffer through a stinking interview first.

The problem is that the people in this city are too darn helpful. I'm not kidding. I was driving to Safeway the other day, and I saw flames beside the road and traffic was stopped. It was a bad car accident, and I got there probably less than a minute after it happened. The car was on its side, engulfed in flames about twelve feet tall. By the time I got out of my car and ran up to see if I could help in some way, people had already pulled the girl away from the burning car, there were three or four people tending to her and another person on a cell phone, presumably calling 911. Figuring the best thing to do was get out of the way, I got in my car and turned around and saw two or three other people who had gotten out of their cars and were directing traffic.

It's awesome that people here are so helpful and willing to take the initiative. But it means there's nothing left for me to do. Those jerks.