Monday, April 25, 2011

Computer death

Tragedy and horror, my laptop died last week. I thought it had a virus so Gene took it to be fixed, but alas, my hard drive failed. Fortunately, my "tragedy" was loss of time with my computer, not loss of information. I had my photo and music files backed up. I'm sure some things will eventually occur to me as lost, but the only thing I can think of at the moment is my resume, and by the time I need it again I probably will need to rewrite it anyway. I have a new bottom of the line laptop! Yay! It's much faster than my old bottom of the line laptop. It will suit my needs perfectly.

I got busy and preoccupied and stopped feeding birds for several years. When we were at Palo Duro Canyon, they had a blind set up near some feeders with colorful identification cards. I was surprised at how much Logan enjoyed identifying the birds. He stayed with me at the blind for a long time rather than running around hunting lizards with Kaylin. As soon as we got home I bought some new feeders. It's only been a couple of weeks, but we've enjoyed the front yard feeders so much I expanded and put up more feeders in the back yard. The entire family is enjoying the birds. Tiger sits by the window for hours, hunting and clicking at the birds. Duncan prefers the chipmunks and squirrels the birdseed attracts. Logan loves the goldfinches and we get a lot. Every so often I'll hear "OOOOOOOOOOO" look up, and the feeder has two or three bright yellow finches. Kaylin likes the chickadees and titmice. My favorites are the woodpeckers. So far we've had downy, red bellied, flickers and yellow bellied sapsuckers. I hope we somehow attract pileated. I've only seen one pileated woodpecker in Peoria and it was in my yard. So maybe...

We have a LOT of squirrels and they were cleaning out my main feeder daily. My problem is that I like the squirrels almost as much as the birds, so I didn't have the heart to chase them off. (But I did always think CH CH CH and laugh. Yes Mom, I'm laughing at you :) I read that safflower seed is a natural squirrel deterrent. I've had it in the main feeder several days and the usual birds come for it and the squirrels don't touch it. I put corn and sunflower seeds on the ground for them so their fat butts don't starve.

Some crazy woman at obedience really ticked me off and I'm torn about whether to go back or not. There is a main person who runs the class and then several helpers. I think the helpers are unpaid volunteers, but that's just a guess. Anyway, this one lady has taken a particular dislike to Duncan. Last week, she took him from me and was trying to force him over and over to lay down. He kept refusing and she was getting really nasty about it. She was saying nasty things about him to both me and other people in the class. I have talked to the main teacher multiple times about how I'm bringing Duncan to this class to get him used to other dogs and help with his terrible distraction issues. The more I work with him, the less likely he is to sit or down and stay. When he's distracted by dogs/smells/people he is NEVER going to behave. He is most definitely NOT a Lab who lives to please his owner! She agreed that the class is great for him and that I can participate in this fashion. She has been very encouraging. The other woman cannot accept Duncan's behavior. She's the one who proudly showed me up by "training" Duncan to down when he desperately wanted a treat she was holding. Last week, she wouldn't give him back. The main trainer kept yelling at her to give me my dog back but she wouldn't. Finally, the main trainer went over and physically removed Duncan's leash from her hand and brought him back to me. I bet she wasted 20 of 60 minutes of my class! Forget that! Oh, and then she walked around next to me telling me how awful Duncan is. Especially forget that! Seriously! I'm surrounded by purebred Labs, shepherds and border collies the owners have had since they were puppies. I have a crazy young adult terrier mix adopted from the shelter. I know nothing about his background or where he was most of the first year of his life. I'M willing to give him some time to come around! She can keep her perfect show dog. I want Duncan!

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