25 August 2008

Cuddly fur ball or vengeful beast? You decide.

This is not a dumb animal.

So I’m sitting in the apartment on Sunday night, kicking back and watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics (my crazy Asian brethren really know how to make a visually appealing display) when Madison the Wonder Mutt decides to turn into Devil Dog. This is not an uncommon occurrence for her as she normally gets a burst of energy towards the closing of every evening. When this feeling overcomes her she proceeds to run like a rabid animal through the apartment as if she is herding sheep (or cats, or people). She usually calms down after a few laps and collapses on the floor panting while we watch in amusement at this sudden display of amateur solo dog racing. This night, however, was different. Instead of dropping to the floor in exhaustion, she proceeded to squat down next to the kitchen table and water the carpet near the trash can. Now Madi is a good dog and is relatively house trained. She’s only a puppy and still has her occasional accidents that accompany the fact that she resides in a second floor apartment with limited access to acceptable potty areas. We continue the long and arduous process of training her to be a good dog by disciplining her when she does bad things. Our methods do not include striking her with a rolled newspaper or rubbing her nose in her mistakes as this is suppose to only confuse the animal. I’ve been told that this is the new and improved (and kinder) way of raising animals (just like kids I guess). While I might disagree, I comply with the wishes of the owner and landlord (because she’s hot) and just give the errant pee distributor a good tongue lashing ensuring that it knows this sort of bad behavior is not acceptable. The puppy, thoroughly educated by my lecture, sulked under the kitchen table (obviously to think about the folly of her actions). Convinced that my discipline technique was satisfactory, I went back to watching television. No sooner had I kicked back on the couch did my little fur butted friend emerged out from under the table, marched over to where I was sitting, and proceeded to pee on my foot.

Now, is this the action of a dumb animal? Maybe. While I argue that if she knew that Korean’s have been known to eat a dog or two that she might have reconsidered her retaliatory action, I believe she was just trying to display her displeasure of my style of punishment in the only way she knew how.

Note to self: Start a newspaper subscription immediately.

05 August 2008

A/C no workee

Returning from vacation is never fun. Returning from vacation to a house that has no air conditioning just plain sucks, especially when you live in Texas.

While I was away playing army, a rule went into effect that states new housing have to be more energy efficient and cannot have an A/C unit that is less than 13 SEER. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which means that the higher the SEER, the more efficient the system. It might sound like I’m throwing around my intellectual weight in regards to air conditioners, but the truth is that I’ve just been swamped with folks giving me outlandish estimates and more information about HVAC than I would ever want to know. I just want cold air!
Through this ordeal I've learned that I currently have a York 8 SEER, 3.5 ton unit in the house which is pretty inefficient. I learned that multi-stage variable-speed units can save money by operating at lower speeds thereby drawing less energy, but they can cost a king’s ransom. I also learned that waking up to an 85 degree temperature at 5:00 am is not normal for most of the northern states. I am willing to bet that if a Michigander woke up to a temperature that hot before the sun came up, they would deduce that their house was on fire. Of course I’m not complaining. There’s nothing that will prepare you for a hot Texas summer better than spending a year in the Middle East, although I don’t recommend this as an approved method for hot weather acclimation.

So I wait, sweaty but patiently, for the A/C folks to come out and either revive the green beast or dish out it’s last rites and install a new one. Whatever the outcome, I just hope it happens soon before the water in the toilet starts to boil or my TV spontaneously combusts.

03 August 2008

Tri this

Brian, Ryan, Ken and me at the Steelhead Tri

This is a picture of 4 men who traveled great distances to compete in a race. You will notice by way they are dressed that not all of them competed in said race. A Half Iron Man is no joke. Just ask anyone who has had to exert themselves for over 6 hours for a cheap looking medal and a T-shirt. If they laugh at you, then that means they just finished a race, are in a state of delirium, and you need to get them some water, maybe a doughnut, a glazed pastry, or quite possibly medical attention.

Props out to those of the Canyon Men who competed in this year’s test of strength and stamina. I think next year we should do something less demanding, like bowling.