“Shudder” – My friend Tina

August 8, 2014 at 8:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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In my last blog I mentioned how living out of my home while its being re-mediated has allowed me to meet new friends like “Gofo” the horny old Gopher tortoise. I thought I’d introduce you to two more new acquaintances. You’ll meet “Shudder” this time.

Shudder is Tina the tiny rabbit. I’ve nick-named her Shudder because when she first met me she shook and shuddered when I got close. Tina lives in a huge asparagus fern in the front yard where we’re staying. The first time I saw her, she was hiding from the Geezer who’d walked around the house one way while I went around the other. Shudder was less than half the size of other rabbits I’d seen. She had to be very young, not much more than a baby. I walked up behind her and got within two feet before she realized I was there.

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I said, “Hi, I’m Sandy. I’m a Golden Retriever. I want to be your friend.”

Shudder earned her nick-name right then. She vibrated like a banjo string, her ears stuck out at odd angles, her eyes were wide and her nose and tail twitched. She said in a terrified voice, “You’re not a Golden Whatever, you’re a dog! I know about your kind. Go away or I’ll hurt you!” Tina covered her eyes with one tiny paw and pitifully swung the other in my direction.”

“A Golden Retriever is a dog. It’s just the type dog I am. I’m not a rabbit dog … I’m a duck dog. You don’t have anything to worry about. Let’s play.” Each time she’d head for the fern I’d get between her and her home. I call the game block the other animal unless I play it with humans. Then I call the game block the dumb butts. Finally, Shudder tired of the game. She froze, put her paws up in a prayerful manner, and implored, “Make it quick, please!”

“Make what quick?” I asked.

“Aren’t you going to eat me?” She asked.

“No. I don’t eat my friends! Where did you get such an idea?” I laid down in the grass and rolled to let her know I wasn’t going to harm her.

“My momma told me dogs eat rabbits, cats too. She told me not to trust anyone.”

I reflected on that for a couple minutes, before saying. “Generally speaking, she’s correct. But, hey, I’m Sandy, the most unaggressive, but protective dog in the universe. If I’m around, I’ll keep you safe. But if I’m not, you better hide if you see some other animal. Besides dogs and cats, snakes, racoons, eagles, owls, hawks, all would make you lunch. You’d better hide if I’m not here. By the way, where is your mom?”

Tina began to cry, “She left one morning and never came back.” I consoled Tina and promised to look out for her. I hope she grows fast enough to be safe on her own. Anyway, we play every morning when I go out for my constitutional. I sure do love little kids.

 

Sandy

I’d like to meet you! Go “Bluegrassing” with me.

January 23, 2013 at 8:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Get out your toe-tappin’ boots!  The Geezer is taking me with him this weekend.  We’re going “Bluegrassing.”  Yep, I can hear the banjos strumming and the mandolins humming.  I’m going to the Yeehaw Bluegrass Festival with my human and Mrs. G.  I’m excited, I’m just a country dog at heart.

The Yeehaw Festival is one of the best bluegrass music events held in Florida AND the US.  Nothin’ Fancy, Pine Mountain Railroad, Lorraine Jordan, Florida Bluegrass Express, and many more super groups will appear.  It will be going on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Yeehaw is about an hour south of Orlando right off the Florida Sunshine Parkway.  It’s easy to get there.  If you want more info, go to  http://www.yeehawbluegrass.com.

Ya’all come I’d like to meet you!

http://www.dlhavlin.com

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July 3 – The song says, “You must have been a beautiful baby.” I was! I was!

July 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, fishing, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 21 Comments
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"YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL BABY"

My human was listening to some really old music on his hi-fi. Major old. It was so old the plastic cover for the CD has iron hinges that creak when it’s opened. I mean, U-2 is dated, and the Grateful Dean ancient. But these bands… I’m almost sure they were exhumed from an archaeology dig, maybe Pompeii, or some place in Israel, or the Calusa Indian site here on Pine Island. No electric, you say. Come on, you humans haven’t figured out how the Egyptians did what they did. You know back when they were civilized and built more than they burned.

Anyway, the bands had names like “Guy Lombardo”, “Artie Shaw”, “Glenn Miller”, and “Count Bassie”. I’ve tried getting some meaning out of those names, but the thought process has turned up zero. I figure Count Basie is royalty from one of those small monocracies in Europe, maybe Liechtenstein. Oh, and maybe Artie Shaw painted in his spare time. That’s pure guess.

One of the songs they played was, “You must have been a beautiful baby”. I knew that before the Geezer told me what the title was. Back then you could understand the words when they sang. I guess there were a lot of distractions in the cave. He added, “That song certainly applies to you, Sandy. You were a beautiful baby!”

“Was I?”  I love to hear the Geezer talk about something I already know. Makes him feel good.

“You sure were.”

“That’s nice. You know I can’t see myself. The mirrors are all mounted incorrectly in this house.” Humans are an inconsiderate lot. You’d think they’d be more obliging to the other species in their houses.

“Well, we can take care of that.”

“You gonna relocate all the mirrors?” I got excited for a second.

“Oh no, I got lots of pictures,” he said. The old boy picked out an album and began showing me what I looked like in my frivolous, innocent youth. I WAS a beautiful baby. I’ve decided to share some of these with you. Hope you enjoy them.

Mrs. G and me at four weeks - me not her.

When I picked the Geezer and Mrs. G

The decision is made!

Me with my mom, Breeze, and my brothers

Mom and I were close

Nap time with my bros.

That was a long, hard day!

Yep, it sure was.

I'm on the left with my #1 bro at 10 weeks

Saying goodbye to my mentor/breeder

Goodbye Momma Breeze!

Visiting my older sister "Gracie" at 17 months

I'm the one with the tongue out!

The Geezer, his friend Randy, Gracie and me

And that marked the sunset of my youth and the beginning of my blogging career-so Walla, a beautiful sunset.

See you again soon. Oh, a PS. I’ll be accompanying the Geezer on many of his book signings for his new book, A Place No One Should Go. I hope I’ll meet you at one of them. Check his website for info on the book and in the near future he’ll post book signing dates and locations there.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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April 20 – Reincarnation – it explains a lot, from canines to politics

April 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, Humor, life, News, Politics, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 14 Comments
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     There was a meeting of the neighborhood Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society yesterday.  Most of our members were present due to a large yard party for all the “snowbirds” (Human folks that live in Florida in the winter and travel North in the summer.) who were getting ready to depart like a flock of geese.
     Of course, over half our Society’s members accompany their humans on the annual migration.  Sparkle the Irish Setter commented, “Well, I’ll be looking forward to seeing you all, next fall.”
     “It seems as though I’m always moving.  I bet I did it in a previous life,” Lucy the Cocker Spaniel moaned.
     “You guys believe in that shit?”  Peter the Pointer saw the blank stares and added, “Reincarnation.”
     “Oui.  I certainly do.  I can even tell you about at least one of my previous lives.”  Our French Poodle, Fifi, is into all the metaphysical stuff.  “I was a Doberman ten lives ago, serving in the German Army.  I received metals and was a bonified heroine.”
     “Huhh!” Sarge scoffed.  His German shepherd blood was aroused.  “Yeh, Fifi, was your uniform a toto?  What did you have for rations?  Champagne?  Escargo?  Did you have a maid to dress you in the morning?  You couldn’t have learned to be as snobbish as you are now in fifteen previous lives.”
     Peter said, “I’d pay to see you in a hand-to-hand combat drill.”
     There was a chorus of laughs.  Fifi stuck her nose in the air and walked away in a huff.
     “Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  I remember a previous life, too,” Manny the chihuahua said.  “I was the personal companion to Santa Anna, the great Mexican leader.”
     “Uh-huh.”  Sarge didn’t look convinced.  “Were you his guard dog?”
     “Oh yes, si, certainly.”
     Peter asked, “If somebody tried to attack old Santa Anna, what was your plan?  Bite them on the big toe?”
     Laughter ensued.
     “Oh no.  I was a mastiff in that life.  I was a mucho grande dog.”  Manny tried squaring his shoulders and looking large.  
     Before Peter or Sarge could humiliate the little guy, Opie our Scotty and resident scholar interceded.  “There is a possible scientific explanation for reincarnation.  At least, in the same species.  DNA.  It’s the building block of life.  The potential to hand down memories through parental lineage is certainly a possibility.”
     That made us all think.  Some could rationalize the theory.  Some stared at Manny, visualized a mastiff, and had trouble s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the reality.  That would make for a difficult parental “chain.”
     “Sometimes, I do think I remember things– Well, I might have been Rin Tin Tin in a former life,” Sarge said.
     “Yes, I’m believing that.”  Fifi had rejoined our group.  “And I believe elephants can fly and will be jet propelled if they eat enough beans and cabbage and drink enough beer.”
     Sarge growled and Fifi snarled back, so I decided to change the subject to humans, something we could all discuss without ruffling neck hair.  “Well, I can certainly see that possibility in my human.  The Geezer probably descended from Mark Twain.  They’re both writers, have a strong awareness of human behavior, and a good sense of humor.”
     “Oh, and my human probably has Lady Godiva in her blood line.  She loves to go naked.”  Sparkle was doing her best to support me and lead the conversation in another direction.
     “Oh.  Oh.  Oh.  I bet I know who my human’s great, great, great, great, great, grand-mother was.”  Manny was so excited I thought the little guy would pop like a firecracker.  “She has to be descended from Catherine the Great because all she wants to do is fu–“
     “Hmmmmmm!” I interrupted.  “No exposing family secrets here.”  I did another switcheroo.  “Wouldn’t it be fun to guess who famous people are reincarnated from?”
     “I can see General Petraeus being the reincarnation of Alexander the Great,” Opie said.
     “Oh.  Oh.  Oh.  How about Queen Elizabeth the II being the reincarnation of Queen Elizabeth the I?”  Manny was getting it.
     “I bet both Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin had a common ancestor,” Lucy quipped.  “Attila the Hun.”
     Everyone laughed except for Heintz, the neighborhood mut.  He said, “Well, that explains a lot.  Both Bush and Obama must have the same ancestry.”
     “How’s that?” I asked through my giggles.  Heintz was serious.
     “That’s easy.  Trace them back through Nero, you know, the guy who fiddled while Rome burned, to that famous Greek leader.  What was his name?”  Heintz scratched his head with his rear paw hoping to stimulate his cerebral cortex.  Or maybe a flea.
     “Plato?” I suggested.
     “No.”  Heintz kept scratching.
     “Socrates?” Sarge asked.
     “No, no, no.”  Suddenly Heintz’s eyes shone and he stopped scratching.  “I remember.  It was the king of the city-state of Bankruptkus, Idious the Imbecile.”
     Not one of us spoke.  First, none of us are Greek scholars.  Second, it was too logical to refute.

(Thanks to Lady Marilyn Kaye, one of my readers for the inspiration)

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www.dlhavlin-author.com

April 9 – My tale (tail?) of morning destruction.

April 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, food, Humor, life, Media, News, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 12 Comments
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     Though I’m nearly the perfect dog, I must admit to one failing.  My dog-gone tail.  It gets me into trouble continually though I do my best to control it.  Sometimes I think it has a mind of its own, for the darned thing just does what it wants, when it wants, and I have no control over it.
     Mrs. G calls it the feather duster of doom, the Geezer says it’s a wrecking ball operated by a terrorist, and I have to admit the results of its innocent wagging might create a call to reclassify it as a weapon of mass destruction.  Its claimed more knickknacks than a two-year-old toddler, spilled more milk than the cats can lap up (and we have two of them), has swept money off coffee tables and under furniture, and has decorated numerous pieces of cake and under food items left on end tables.
     You would think humans would be wise enough to realize that more careful placement of items they’d rather not place in the trash is necessary.  That’s what canine logic would declare as an imperative.  Humans… not so much.  Remember we’re talking an inferior species here.  There are many points you can use to prove this, but let me suggest you look at any TV news broadcast as evidence and listen to the yapping homo sapiens politicos.  The result?  In the end, not much happens.  If those idiots on both ends of the political spectrum were canine “leaders” we’d gather them all up, dig a large hole, and bury them.  That thing humans call voting certainly doesn’t seem to work.
     The reason for my comments is what happened this morning.  The Geezer fixed one of his special breakfasts for he and Mrs. Gator.  Eggs Bokeelia.  Now, being a well-trained human, he fixed my breakfast first.  But, I have a hearty appetite, and I’ve learned that if the humans aren’t at their dining table, they’re more likely to share what they’re eating.  That’s particularly true if I stand at attention and stare intensely at what they’re shoveling into their pie holes.
     Rather than eat at the kitchen bar, they chose to watch TV and deposit the dishes crammed full of Eggs Bokeelia on the coffee and end tables.  Since they sat on opposite legs of the “L” created by the couch and recliner, it was only prudent I locate my body in the middle where I could quickly present my food entry point to either the Geezer or Mrs. G. 
    As another reminder of what kind of species we’re working with here, humans just don’t learn from history.  The Geezer KNOWS what happens when he feeds me a treat, the tail goes on automatic full wag.  He broke off a piece of toast and snuck it to me as Mrs. G was focused on the TV.
     The tail’s response was predictable.  To have my food receiving end by the Geezer, my food removal end was positioned by the apex of the “L” and the end table Mrs. G’s breakfast sat on.  Swish, swish, swish, swish, my tail spread Eggs Bokeelia on Mrs. G’s banana, her coffee cup, and coated the wood surface with Bokeelia sauce.  When Mrs. G said, “Sandy!” my focus was on the possibility of additional charitable contributions.
     I quickly reversed the positions of my ends, my tail remaining in wag over-drive in anticipation of Mrs. G’s donation.  Unfortunately, The Geezer, his mental gears rusted by age, foolishly had placed his cup on the coffee table.  One mighty sweep of the tail turned over the cup sending coffee flooding over “Southern Living,” “National Geographic,” and a half-dozen more magazines resting there.  The return swish sent the mug off the table to the tiled floor.  Hint, the tile floor is tougher than ceramic cups.  It was smash town.  Thousand piece city.
    The Geezer quickly arrested the movement of my tail.  He removed the Eggs Bokeelia from it, looked at the remains of his creation mournfully, before Mrs. G warned, “Don’t you even think about it.”
     Can you believe the audacity of humans.  They had the nerve to banish me to the bedroom!  Can you imagine them blaming me for their lack of gray matter?  Well, at least, the Geezer did a poor job of removing the Eggs Bokeelia.  As the Geezer cleaned up and recooked breakfast, I finished his tail cleaning job while sequestered.  Yum! 
     Since you wouldn’t know what Eggs Bokeelia is (It’s the Geezer’s concoction) I’ll share the recipe.  Try it, you’ll like it.  
     For Eggs Bokeelia. See below:
1 – start with half of a toasted English Muffin, as fattening as you wish to make it – wheat or whatever.
2 – heat a slice of ham in a skillet then stack it on the muffin – (a thin slice of tomato is okay for ham haters)
3 – place a slice of america cheese on the ham (or whatever)
4 – cook one egg, sunny side up, over-easy, or poached (if you like to go to trouble) – it goes on top of the cheese.
Top the stack with Bokeelia Sauce which is:
2 – tablespoons of mayo
2 – tablespoons of butter or I Can’t Believe or (you know the drill)
4 – green olives w/pimento diced finely
1 – Tablespoon of finely diced mushroom
1 – Tablespoon of finely diced onion (you can substitute garlic if you’re brave)
Nuke for 30 seconds in ‘wave (or heat over campfire, stove, et al), stir and spoon over stack.  Makes enough for four.  Yum-Yum.

Enjoy!

March 28- Camping, another reason canines are smarter than humans.

March 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Books, Camping, dogs, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 11 Comments
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     Every time the Geezer goes off on one of his jaunts with his fellow fossils, I lose access to the computer.  That means no blogging.  I hate that.  The old boy has been on an extended fishing, camping, canoeing, and bull-shitting trip.  When he returns, he looks and acts like a well chewed shoe.  Typically, he lounges around, complaining about the aches and pains he’s garnered after ten days of strenuous activity his ancient body doesn’t normally experience.  That means a dark monitor and a keyboard in “Rest-in-peace” mode.
     He’s finally resuming his normal (for him) activities, including lighting up the computer.  I’m back at the keyboard.  All’s right in the world.
     Camping.  That’s one of those things wiser species, like canines, find hard to understand.  Humans make such a fuss if they lose power in their houses for a couple of hours, you’d think someone had revoked their constitutional rights.  Yet, they voluntarily wander off to the woods and profess to enjoy the privations to which they expose themselves.  And, they call Homo sapiens an evolved species?!
     After allowing the old boy a few days to recuperate, I decided to ask the Geezer about the mystic fascination camping holds for some humans.  “Hey, Geezer, why do you go on camping trips?”
     “Why, to commune with nature,” he answered immediately.  That meant he was sure of his answer or had given no thought to the matter, which, with humans, is often one in the same.
     “Don’t you commune with nature when we take walks or when we go in the boat?”  I knew I had him there. 
     “Yes, but it’s not the same.”  He looked annoyed.  He usually does when he knows I’m about to make him look really foolish.
     “How’s it different?”
     The Geezer squirmed.  “Well, you get to hear the whip-poor-wills at night, feel the chill of the morning breeze, see the stars and moon, cook out in the open, lots of things…You know, roughing it.”
     I didn’t know, but telling that to a human that was as fruitful as peeing on one of those electric flower garden fences.  I asked, “Hmmmm, if roughing it is what you want to do…” I hesitated, baiting the trap.  A wiser species would have recognized the ploy.
     “Yes?”  Zap!  The trap sprung and the Geezer was where I wanted him.
     “You say you like roughing it, but why do you take all that stuff with you?”  I watched the expression on his face.  It’s what the Geezer would call a shit-eating-grin if he observed it on others. 
     “Give me an example, Sandy.”
     “Well, why do you take all that kitchen paraphernalia?  What about the tables and chairs, cooking stove, and that sink center that opens into quarter-mile long food processing center?  Wouldn’t it be rougher to sit on the ground, cook over a fire or eat cold food, and prepare what you eat right on mother earth?”
     “Yes, but…”
     “What about the cot, the air mattress, the sleeping bag, and the tent?  Wouldn’t it be cooler, couldn’t you see the stars better, couldn’t you hear the whip-poor-wills more easily, and wouldn’t it be rougher is you just slept on the ground?”
     “Yes, but…”
     “How about the screened room you haul along…”
     The Geezer quickly interrupted me, “Ahhh, sand flies.  Mosquitoes.  The little bastards can make it miserable out there.”
     “But, isn’t that what you said you wanted?  Isn’t rough and miserable pretty much the same thing?”
     “You just don’t understand.  Say Sandy, would you like to take a ride in the boat?”  The Geezer changed the subject when he realized he’d been out-thought, outmaneuvered, and defeated.  I’ve seen humans do that a lot.
     “Sure,” I said.  Then I wagged my tail and let him know that I didn’t wish to embarrass him further, insuring I’d get my boat ride.  Unlike humans, we canines know when not to rock.

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http://www.dlhavlin-author.com

March 3 – An item humans should consume less of!

March 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Books, Current events, dogs, Humor, life, Media, Politics, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 4 Comments
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     “Mind if we go down Quail Trail?” one of the Geezer’s friends asked as we took our morning stroll.  Bob, a human, and Lucy, my cocker spaniel buddy, were accompanying us on the AM constitutional the Geezer and I take daily.  It was unusual for that particular gentleman to select Quail Trail as part of his morning walk.  One side of road was densely wooded and housed a large number of snakes, something that sparked  unreasoning fear in him.
     I was sure it would evoke a question from the Geezer, which it did.  “Aaaa, Bob, you sure about that?  This warm weather has the snakes active and crawling.” 
     “Absolutely!”  Bob was staring at a couple approaching us on the normal route we took each morning.  “I want to avoid Madelyn and Mark.  Those assholes drive me crazy!”
     The Geezer just grinned.  I spoke to Lucy in Doganese, “What’s the story on him?”  I twitched my head toward Lucy’s human.
     “Politics,” she snarled.
     That explained it to me.  The eight-letter word seemed to make idiots of other-wise rational humans.  Not that many humans are thinkers under any condition.  The species is afflicted with all sorts of mental inadequacies.
     Bob tugged on Lucy’s leash, heading us toward black snake city.  Yep, we made the turn down Quail Trail.
     “Didn’t Bob and Mark used to like each other?” I asked.  “I know they’d fish and go to football games together at one time.”
     “Used to is the operative statement,” Lucy woofed.  “It started before the 2008 election.  It’s gotten worse and worse.  My human is a Lie-bore-ral.  That Mark person is a Con-stern-native.  They never even used to talk about politics.  Now, that’s all they do.  No, not talk; shout.”
     “That’s too bad.”  
     Lucy shook her head like she would if she had ear mites.  “I know what causes it; it’s TV.  And radio.  They have all these political gurus on shows that specialize in making one side mad at the other.  Bob repeats what he hears from Mathews, Madow, Marshall, and Maher.  Mark quotes Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Levine.  All they have to do is mention one of those names and it’s like waving a red cape at a bull, or forcing a teenager to listen to Guy Lombardo music, or giving one of us a rubber steak for supper. 
    “Yep, I’ve seen it at my house.  The Geezer actually threw a towel at the TV one time,” I said.
     “Oh, is the Geezer a Lie-bore-ral or a Con-stern-native?”
     “I have no idea,” I said, lying as hard as I could.  Even a canine with a lot less dog-sense than I possess knows not to stick his or her tongue in that mouse trap.
     About that time we’d walked a hundred yard down the road.  A gentle breeze carried the fragrance of Sneaky B to the receptors in my nose.  Sneaky B is a large black snake, a full five foot in length, an inch-and-a-half wide, with a cranky personality.  My nostrils told me he was nestled in the weeds growing on the side of the road.
     An evil idea hatched in my sometimes devious mind.  I stretched my leash out as far as it would go, herded Sneaky B toward the road, and gave one loud bark to send him slithering onto the pavement…right in front of Bob.
    “Oh, shit!”  Bob hopped back, jerking poor Lucy around as though she was a rag doll.  He took a couple of running steps then froze and cursed again, this time using a long string of vile human incivilities.  Lucy was giggling between gasps for air that the snatching of her collar had caused. 
     I was laughing too, but at Lucy and her human.  They were a funny sight.  What I couldn’t figure out, was what Lucy thought was funny, when she should have been mad.  I asked, “Hey, why are you laughing?  You ought to be pissed at Bob.”
     Lucy said slyly, “Oh, he’s pissed or pooped enough for both of us.  Look at his shorts.”
     The light tan color of his Bermudas was turning a much darker shade in the crotch area.  I asked, “Did he?”
     “He sure did,” Lucy confirmed.
     I shook my head and watched Sneaky B slide back into the weeds at the side of the road.  As the snake passed, he hissed, “What’s his problem?”
     “He’s been feasting on too much politics.  It’ll give humans problems directly or indirectly every time.”

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www.dlhavlin-author.com 

 

 

February 7th – Super Bowl Party withdrawal!

February 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, food, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 7 Comments
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     Wow, I sure missed it.  No Super Bowl party at the Geezer’s house this year.  True, I’m only a moderate fan of professional football, the college game lifts my tail higher, but missing all the traditions that have gone with past Super Bowl days, left me with a hollow feeling inside.
     Ah, Super Bowl party – How do I miss thee?  Let me count the ways!
     1. I miss all the folding chairs the Geezer and his missus put up in the living room.  They provide a major league obstacle course when I chase the cats.
     2. The Geezer always fixes his special recipe barbecue for the Bowl party, and each time he does that, I get the bones from the beef and pork roasts he uses to make it.  This year I got deboned.
     3. I missed Matilda, one of Mrs. Gator’s friends, who always complains that it’s too warm if the temperature outside is over 74 degrees, or complains that it’s too cold if the temperature outside is under 74 degrees, or complains that it’s too boring if the temperature outside is right on 74 degrees.  I don’t know what that has to do with the ball game, or the cost of girdles at Macy’s, or the likelihood that Tim Geithner can count to twenty without his shoes off, but she does it anyway.
     4. I missed Uncle Seth, who is an elderly gentleman, whose hands shake a bit, that tend to sprinkle the floor with snacks, that allow me to entertain those bored with the game by impersonating a vacuum cleaner.
     5. I missed the arguments between two neighbors I’ll call Frick and Frack.  They give their expert opinion on the previous play, what should have been done, etc., etc., etc.  It’s funnier than a rerun of an old Abbot and Costello film.  Frick thinks a safety invert is a player with a nipple problem and Frack thinks that kicking out the end has to do with sticking a shoe up someones butt. 
    6. I missed Matilda complaining about the half-time show.  Well, I’d have to give her a pass on this year’s extravaganza.  Where are the Grateful Dead when you need them?
    7. I missed the Geezer’s annual inspirational collection of keys from select guests, followed quickly by each contributor’s salute to “Ralph” as one by one they wander off to the restroom to spend time in meditation and call his name.
    8. I missed all the ladies leaving the room midway through the 3rd quarter to discuss… anything but football.
    9. I missed the Geezer’s friend, Mac, trying to induce me to drink a bowl of Budweiser.  I always act like I don’t know how to lap it up and he always demonstrates.  It provides some levity for the folks whose team is behind.
   10. I miss the Geezer opening everyone’s envelope with the prediction of who’d win the game and what the score would be.  He usually wins.  It’s not because he’s that good; it’s more like the rest of them are that bad.  Last year one man predicted the team that would win.  Brooklyn wasn’t even playing in the game.  Or the league.  Or the sport.
   11. I miss the sighs of relief from Mrs. Gator when the last guest leaves.
   12. Most of all I miss all the wonderful left-overs!  It’s better than a trip to the Shiesskopf butcher shop.  Onion dip, pretzels, halves of barbecue sandwiches, potato chips, the list never ends!
     Oh well, there’s always next year.

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http://www.dlhavlin-author.com

January 29 – When a dog isn’t a dog

January 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 3 Comments
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I’m Back!!

     Gosh, I didn’t think there would be so many of you that missed my little stories and would take the time to let me know.  I’ve resolved to begin blogging again and keep it up on a regular basis…if the Geezer doesn’t hog the keyboard too much.
     Speaking of hogging, there’s a new pet in the neighborhood.  She’s a pot-bellied pig.  I’m not sure why they call her that because I’ve never seen a pig that didn’t have a pretty good sag in her undercarriage.  Her name  is Hermione.   She tells me she’s named after a Harry Potter character.   I don’t see the connection unless it’s the “pot” in Potter, but then you never know with humans.  Their minds work in strange ways.   
     Hermione’s human walks her on a leash, just like she was a canine.  In fact, the first time I saw her it was a from a great distance and I thought she might be an English bulldog mix of some sort.  The legs and body were right, but the head was all wrong.  I happened to be walking with Lucy, the cocker spaniel who lives two doors down, and, who is the ‘hood social director and snob.  When I asked if she knew who the new dog was, she quickly informed me, “That thing is definitely NOT one of us!”
     “Oh?  Who is it?”  I asked.
     “It’s a what!  That, Sandy, is a pig!  A filthy, loathsome creature!  What IS the neighborhood coming to?”  Lucy was clearly incensed.  In Lucy’s case, that doesn’t take much.  She once threatened to call the police on Heinz, our ‘hood mixed breed, for indecent exposure when he appeared in public wearing a thin, racy collar.   Lucy screamed, “We’ll have none of those thongs worn in our neighborhood!” 
     Hermione seems like a good sort to me, though she speaks dogganese with a heavy Jersey accent.  She likes table scraps, unrestrained rolls in the grass, and laughs at the stupidity the humans we own exhibit.  We have a lot in common.
     Lucy still refuses to speak to the newcomer.  She’s narrow-minded.  I guess that’s an understatement.  Her mind is so narrow it can slide under a door with weather-stripping attached.  Anybody who doesn’t look like she does, sets her off.
     Talking about looking alike, have you ever heard that pets pick humans to own that look like them?  Hermione certainly did.  She selected a human that has a rather flattened nose, a round face, squinty eyes, and is…shall we say…rotund?  When Hermione and her human walk down the street, they take up more space than the school bus that makes a twice a day trek down its pavement.  Walking behind them, one wonders if there should be feathers attacked to their tails.  There’s enough waddling going on to make a dog seasick.  I think it’s rather quaint; Lucy thinks it’s revolting.  Lets face it, Lucy is prejudiced.
     Such things as fur color, blood lines, where a dog visits on their sabbath, and what their political philosophy is doesn’t bother me.  Well, I’d be less than truthful if I didn’t admit I don’t like someone trying to cram their ideas down my throat.  I look at my canine brethren as equals.  Well, unless they do something illegal…or they’re from New York City…or Slimywood, that’s what we neighborhood canines call Hollywood.  I mean, a dog has to have some standards.

September 11 – Why Labor Day? How about No Labor Day?

September 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Books, Current events, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments
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     Labor day is over, thank goodness.  It’s a holiday that marks a lot of changes where I live.  For example, hurricane season is about half over.  Hurricane season is something you feel a lot better worrying about as it goes away, rather than the dread of facing the season’s start.  Its one of those least worst situations; like voting for a politician in an election. 
     After Labor Day, cool weather is on the way.  Hooray.  Anticipating that makes me smile.  Human’s think they suffer in the heat.  They moan and groan like a bunch of puppies whose mother has decided to shut down the milk bar for a while.  I’d like those two-legged complaint machines to walk around in a full-length fur coat like mine, during August, and watch them swelter.   
     Ahhh changes!  We’ll have less rain, less mosquitoes, less humidity, more camping trips, more people returning to the ‘hood, and more time outdoors. 
     It marks change all over as I understand.  Other parts of the country see changes in their weather, kids go back to school, and humans change what they wear.   People are getting ready for elections that they hope will make changes.  Why, I’ve even noticed that some folks sigh and become more business-like in everything they do after Labor Day.
     I’ve wondered, why do they call the holiday Labor Day?  No body works on that day.  Why not call it No Labor Day?  Or something more appropriate like, Things Are Going To Change Day?”  The name didn’t make sense to me.  Human’s do many strange things, like throwing away perfectly good bones or driving four blocks to the store for a loaf of bread, then spending a half hour on an exercise machine to lose weight, so little they do surprises me.  Or should…….
     Though I should have known better, I decided to ask the Geezer, “Why do you humans call the first Monday in September, Labor Day?”
     The Geezer grinned, “Lets see, Sandy.  The simplest way to explain it to you is that its a day set aside to honor the working man.”
     I hate it when someone who isn’t any more intelligent than I am “talks down” to me!  You know, like when a politician speaks to you humans.  I fired back, “Oh, how about working women?  How was it set aside?  Did you do it with a bulldozer?  Crane?  What?”
     “Sorry Sandy.”  The Geezer had his I stepped in it this time look firmly affixed to his face.  Unlike a politician, the Geezer is smart enough to know when he’s insulting the individual he’s addressing.  “I owe you a decent answer.  You have to know a little history to understand why they named it Labor Day.  Mind?”
    I sat down, swept one paw across my chest and bowed at the same time.  “Proceed,” I said and resigned myself to one of the Geezer’s long-winded dissertations.
     “It originated back in the 1880’s.”  The old boy changed his look to his Geezerpedia countenance.  “There was a lot of turmoil between labor, business, and government.  Trouble boiled over and some union people were killed by government forces.  Grover Cleveland was president and he wanted to defuse the strife.  He quickly ran a bill through Congress declaring a holiday to recognize “the contributions that labor makes to our country.”  Eventually, the September date chosen was one celebrated by a New York union.  It became the national holiday we celebrate today.  It was supposed to be day of rest and relaxation.  Parades and speeches were a big part of the celebration in its early years, but they’ve faded.  The picnics, sporting events, and the last hurrah to summer just evolved.”
     “That makes sense,” I observed.  “Well partly.  A lot of the things you humans do on that day aren’t rest and relaxation.  Running in races, swimming, playing volleyball, and things like that are…. strenuous.”
     “Remember what Mark Twain said.”  The old boy likes to quote Twain.  The writing giant is one of the Geezer’s favorites.  “Work is what one is obliged to do and play is what one desires to do.”  The Geezer did his best to look literary.  “That’s why sitting at a desk doing accounting is considered work, while risking life and limb in a strenuous effort to climb a mountain is considered play.”  The literary aire faded and he looked like plain old Sam Clemons when he added, “That’s probably not the exact quote, but you can go to Tom Sawyer and look it up if you want.”
     I nodded and smiled.  The more time I spend around humans, the more inconsistent and difficult they are to understand.  Straining the Geezer’s meager mental machinery wouldn’t enlighten my old friend.  How do you explain to unthinking creatures that resting means going to a big cushion and laying down, not cashing cats in the hot sun?  The strange thing is that the species can make up clever tidbits, like that Twain fellow did, that almost make sense of their weird, irrational behavior.  Marathons?  Football games?  Parades?  Yard work?  Badminton?  Is that rest?  You think?
    The Geezer did try to placate me and I appreciated that effort.  To a degree…..   I started to make a snide remark, to tell him that he was sounding like a politician, but I couldn’t do that.  There are some insults you just can’t inflict on a dog or even on a human.

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www.dlhavlin-author.com

 

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