It’s that time, the birds, the bees, & the manatees.

April 14, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments
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A baby heron stands in front of its nest.

Tis the season. Spring time brings birth in SW Florida. We now have eight night heron nests, two green heron nests and a kingfisher all nesting in the mangroves across the canal. Up higher a red-tailed hawk pair is raising their young. The young night herons are about ready to leave the nest with the others all a little behind. There are seven Osprey nests scattered through our neighborhood, we wake up to their screaming every morning.

The manatees have returned to the canal to have their young as they do each year. We’ve only been able to identify one “baby” this year. There are seven who are spending most of the time in our canal. They come and go. But mom and little one stay there; it is a lot safer than braving the propeller blades they’d face in Charlotte Harbor or Pine Island Sound. Hope you enjoy the pics.

 

This years crop is ready to leave - adult colors are in place

This years crop is ready to leave – adult colors are in place

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Mom Heron is friendly and comes within a few feet to stand on our dock pilings.

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Mom Manatee and baby – BIG baby!

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Papa Manatee out for a cruise on Sunday PM

Spring has sprung!

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Advice – They’re talking about me … So what!

April 6, 2015 at 11:56 am | Posted in Books, Cats, life, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Secrets? Oreo & The Geezer in conference

Secrets? Oreo & The Geezer in conference

Do you ever get the feeling that people are talking about you? I saw Oreo my feline friend and The Geezer in a secretive conversation yesterday. I watched them whisper back and forth, glance around the room, and exhibit all the signs of two individuals engaged in a conspiracy. My vantage point was from under the dining table, a place hidden from their probing eyes.

I just KNEW they were talking about me! What had I done? What was wrong? Had I rolled in something more offensive than normal? Was my breath bad from the garlic on the left-over Italian steak scraps? Was I snoring in my sleep again? Then I considered that it might be something my human could be planning. Was he and Mrs.G going off on a trip? Leaving me behind? Would the pet-sitter be my only companion? For how long? Were they taking me to the vet? Shots? Did I have a mysterious malady? Was it Serious?

After their conversation broke up, I began to stew and fret. What disaster was about to befall me? I spent a sleepless night. This morning I looked at Oreo and the Geezer suspiciously and gave them the silent treatment. To my chagrin, they didn’t seem to notice. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any more. I cornered Oreo and asked, “Old Buddy, I know something is wrong – tell me, I can take it.”

Oreo looked puzzled. He asked, “What are you talking about?”

“I saw you and the Geezer talking about me on the stairs the other day.” I tried to be contrite. “I sorry.”

Oreo laughed. “We weren’t talking about you. The Geezer was asking for suggestions. He’s looking for ideas for things he might give Mrs. G for their anniversary. He said he’d asked you also. You have a case of Canine Paranoidus?”

I remembered he had and I said, “Oh.” Where was my red rubber nose, my pointed hat, huge shoes, and clown make up? I felt foolish.

The Geezer wrote a piece of advice in one of his books that one of his characters gave to another – “It’s not important what others say or think about you as long as you’re happy with what you say and do. You can’t control their judgment … you can only control your actions that they base those judgments on … and, most importantly, only to the degree to which you want.” I have to remember that.

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Ever listen to TV ads? Are humans THAT stupid?

March 28, 2015 at 10:53 am | Posted in Advertising, Books, Current events, Media, TV, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Sandy says - Really?

Sandy says – Really?

 6 is > than 1

Really?

Anybody know how much a thirty second spot costs on national TV? I know they’re expensive even if they aren’t shown at the same time as the super bowl. Just a guess, but it’s probably at least in six figures. I’m sure some unbelievably smart human devises these brief messages composed to indelibly  etch a message on the viewers mind. But really? Are humans that stupid?

A couple of examples should suffice. Let’s start with the one that intends to enlighten it’s human audience about a product you stick up your nostrils. It’s supposed to do wonders for those with nose problems. It has six active ingredients, though the ad doesn’t spend much time saying what they are or what they do. What message does this bit of TV magic leave you with? My goodness – 6 is greater than 1! What a revelation! I assume the Madison Avenue geniuses fashioning this ad believe the majority of humans hunkering in front of their TV’s never made the third grade. Maybe they thought that college professors are teaching elementary schools and those students are learning nothing just like those being taught in universities. Whatever IQ level you assign canines, we know six is greater than one. Who wouldn’t want six treats instead of just uno.

Then there is an ad for something – I think it’s for a car, but the ad missed its mark with me. Maybe with you. If you’ve seen it, can you tell me who the manufacturer is? It’s about a bunch of humans cringing in an office building afraid of drones hovering outside. One human gives advice and, of course, everybody does just the opposite. They run – the drones attack – chaos – but why? The Department of Justice isn’t allowed to use drones to attack us like they said they wanted to, or so they claim they won’t. The superior smart ass in the ad rides off into the sunset as his car’s technology, the car whose name I can’t remember, outsmarts the drones’ technology.

And they pay humans to invent and produce those ads? It’s a wonder the low intellect species has survived this long. But, you can’t cheat evolution. Watch TV news – the way things are going, humans will be extinct in no time.

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Take this Poll … I know it’s early … Animals vs Humans for President in 2016

March 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Books, Current events, dogs, Elections, Humor, News, TV, Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Geezer & I share a Christmas kiss

By word (or treat) of mouth – my choices to out run the front-runners.

Didn’t we just go through the modern version of the Spanish Inquisition? An election? The ballots haven’t had a chance to mold and the news media is consumed by 2016. Humans should revolt and burn down the TV news networks and newspapers and give us all a rest. The idiots incorrectly labeled “journalists” remind me of Shakespeare’s witches in MacBeth … huddling around the caldron chanting “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, Parties Burn and Nonsense Bubble.” Instead of the caldron, their instruments of evil are microphones, word-processors, and polls.

Like their Shakespearean counter-parts they’re up to no good, trying to keep the populace angry, divided, and misinformed. Half the population wants to cut the other half’s throats and all are ready to burn Washington. (That might not be a bad idea if all the politicians and bureaucrats are there at the time it’s made into ashes.)

The information these news folks put out sounds as though it was gathered at a sixth grade sleep-over. It sometimes is a series: one side dares the other, the other side double-dares the first, and the first side double-dog-dares the second, and so on. Think … the tongue-froze-to-flagpole scene in the “Christmas Story.” Of course those actors were more mature. But, remember, we’re talking about humans.

Then there are the polls. You know, those things the media says measure your thoughts, but are designed to shape them instead. They try to make one candidate inevitable and one mission impossible. Well, I’ve decided to give my readers a chance to pick animal competitors for the 2016 Presidency against two of the front-running human candidates. Take the poll and encourage others to do so. I’ll send the results to the TV networks.

Words of wisdom from Dogfucius

February 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 8 Comments
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Words of wisdom from my canine cranium

Words of wisdom from my canine cranium

My human, The Geezer, often tells me how important it is to share our knowledge with others. As a respected member of DOGSA, I’ve decided to impart canine wisdom to my human readers in the hope of advancing that backward species. I will quote the great canine philosopher Dogfucius from time to time.

Dogfucius says – “Human men never complain about rain or snow at a football game, but cannot tolerate a light dew when cutting grass.

Dogfucius says – “Human women have great memory for everything that has been done to offend them, but can’t remember their weight, their age, or the last time they got a traffic ticket.

Dogfucius says – “”It is no coincidence the human spelling for big-shot and big-shit is almost the same.”

Dogfucius has spoken.

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Why do some people hate puppies?

January 28, 2015 at 11:57 am | Posted in Advertising, Books, Current events, dogs, News, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 9 Comments
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Back when I was a puppy ......

Back when I was a puppy ……

The Internet and TV are alive with a controversy. Is being a puppy a crime? Does it matter where you come from? It seems that featuring a puppy in a Go-Daddy commercial that doesn’t strictly conform to a portion of the public’s belief system, is causing all kinds of consternation. I can identify with the star of the commercial; I looked a lot like ’em when I was that age. See my picture above? The poor pup’s debut in the Super Bowl ad is cancelled!

The last ten seconds of the ad were … ah … let’s not call it stupid, but I can’t find a better synonym right now. Who is the advertising agency appealing to, the Marquis De Sade? Those humans on Madison Avenue are supposed to be geniuses. Right? I guess if your hat size and IQ are within a few points they qualify.

With that said, how can a commercial get some folks’ panties wadded up so tight? (Glad I’m canine and don’t wear them.) I came from a breeder. They’re not all evil like the tone of much of the doggie poop I see on the I-net would have you believe. My breeder slept on the floor with my brothers, sisters, and mommy to get us used to living with humans, insisted on interviewing prospective families, and helped match our traits to the house we’d soon call our own.

Think of the poor puppy in the commercial. A career that could rival Lassie’s or Rin Tin Tin’s has been sidelined. The dangers that puppy faced: trains, no planes, but automobiles. Neither rain or sore paws could dampen her or his acting effort. Leave it to snarky narrow-viewed humans to louse things up. Oh well, you expect it from the species.

The decision is made

My humans, the Geezer and Mrs. G at their interview … I picked them.

 

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Color doesn’t matter to canines … Another reason why dogs are better than humans …

January 17, 2015 at 10:23 am | Posted in Books, Current events, Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Sorry, I'm on my soap box today.

Sorry, I’m on my soap box today.

One of the greatest things about being a dog is that we don’t care about color. No, we’re not color blind. We just don’t have the weakness that humans suffer from … over reaction to the shade that something exhibits. They get very emotional about the whole thing.

Take red for example. They give it all sorts of traits it doesn’t have. Humans equate it with stop. Why? Something green like a cactus might mean you want to stop before touching. Red’s the color humans have assigned to be associated with sex. Think about it: Red dress, Red-light district … When a lady changes the color of her night gown from pink to red it isn’t because she’s dreaming of eating chicken soup for lunch.

This is one of those things I could get preachy over so I’ll cut to the most important difference I see between humans and canines AND one of those things that make us so superior to humans.

Like canines, humans come in all sorts of colors and shades. The crazy part is that humans react emotionally to those colors without any logic to what they say and do. Certain colors mean certain things to them and they refuse to look at the members of their own species objectively. Other dogs don’t look at me as a friend or enemy because of my golden coat. White dogs don’t look at black dogs and make a negative value judgment. And the reverse of that is true. What counts in canine relations is how that individual treats us. We don’t want to be denied OR given credit for what we do because we are a different shade than the canine next store. It’s what we do not the way we look that’s important to the way we dogs interact.

To bad humans are slow learners – they could improve themselves if they just watch us more carefully.

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List #3 for Santa … for my canine friends—

December 10, 2014 at 9:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Sandy looking for Santa

Sandy looking for Santa

I’ve decided I’d better get some more requests off to Santa. This is especially for my canine friends.

For Lucy, one of the neighborhood cocker spaniels – access to her human’s birth control pills. She literally needs litter relief

For Boog and Boob the twin beagles three doors down – Voice lessons by some qualified professional. Santa, Think Celine Dion and Frank Sinatra types, not Lady Gaga or Bruce Springsteen clones. I need some sleep.

For Peter the pointer – The knowledge to know that anything long and black lying on the ground should not be chewed on … that includes snakes, hoses, and heavy duty electric cords. Particularly, electric cords. Very, very much, electric cords.

Also for Peter the Pointer – Hair pieces for bald spots acquired from not having the proper knowledge referred to in the item above.

For Manny my Chihuahua friend – Either longer rear legs or the wisdom to stop dating Great Danes and St. Bernards.

Hang in there Santa, I’ve got more coming!

PS – My human will be posting one of his most popular Christmas stories on his blog tomorrow! It’s had thousands of views in the past – Claus and the Consultant. Click on the link on my post or go to http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com

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My Christmas lists #2 – Some tough ones for Santa

December 3, 2014 at 10:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Here’s my second installment for Santa. I plan to mail this off immediately since these wishes will take some time.

#1 – For the store owners and other innocents damaged by looting and malicious destruction of property in Ferguson – Santa how about getting Missouri’s Governor and/or the Federal Government to provide grants to those harmed by the thugs rioting in that city. State and Federal executive branches did little to nothing to stop a predictable disaster and in some cases made it worst by fanning the flames with their emissaries. Don’t we give billions in foreign aid to Middle East countries that hate us? Seems we could re-channel some of that to our Midwest.

#2 – For all the rotund humans I know – Santa ask some prestigious university to develop a “calorie sucker.” It has to be strictly mechanical, not one of those pills that has 45 seconds of a 60 second advertisement explaining the various ways the side effects can kill you. You might start looking at MIT, Santa. I understand at least one of their professors might be looking for side jobs. The guy’s big mouth might be an advantage when testing treated food.

#3 – For those who rely on movies and TV for their entertainment – Santa, please, please, please bring them some actors and actresses who realize there’s more to their profession than being a shill for an agenda and taking their clothes off; writers who don’t keep copying Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Dumb and Dumber, Friends, Twilight, and NCIS; directors who lose the keys to the pyrotechnic locker and don’t try to find a new way for flesh to rot off a skeleton; and producers who never have heard of “reality series” and are more interested in entertaining folks than indoctrinating them.

I know those are tough Santa, but do your best.

PS – Santa check my humans blog for his appearance and speaking schedule – dlhavlin.wordpress.com

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Humans and things, things, things. I glad I’m canine!

October 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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AT LAST! I’m back home. The Geezer and Mrs. G got the go-ahead to move back into our house. That’s good for us all. The Chinese drywall and its destructive properties are gone! The remediation contractor did an excellent job. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. My humans … not so much.

The problem is one of those human stupidity issues. It’s things. Lots and lots of things. Things in boxes, bags, suitcases, and just lose. Things that have to be put away. Things that, “Came out of some closet or drawer, but I have no idea where.” Things that my humans don’t remember acquiring, or storing, or using. Things. Things! THINGS! Our house looks like a children’s playroom after a pajama party.

My canine common sense tells me there’s a logical and practical solution. Throw away the stuff you don’t need. It’s amazing how little you have to possess to live. And, if humans were intelligent enough to learn from experience, this should be apparent to the Geezer and Mrs. G. They just spent the last ninety days living out of a half-dozed suitcases, a dozen boxes, and using just a few items that were in the house where they stayed. As far as I could see, they weren’t languishing in misery.

Somewhere in the very dim recesses of their Neanderthal-like minds, the thought of purging the unneeded and the unwanted flickered through the gray-matter. Just flickered. After the two agreed they probably had items they didn’t need, they devised a “system” for disposing of “stuff.” I knew the venture was sure to fail at that point. Committees and systems are the human methods of talking a lot, doing a lot, and accomplishing little. Their “system” validates my opinion.

The Geezer and Mrs. G agreed they’d review every item they were trying to put away and place it in categories. Stack one was the “we need this and use this” pile. Stack two was the “we probably should keep this item for the future.” Three was the “this is expensive to replace” category. The fourth stack was the “check to see if you think we can get rid of” pile. Number five was the “we probably should toss this” stack. The last accumulation area was designated as “trash.” Three classifications would have been sufficient, but even that would tax meager human intelligence quotients.

The out-come – so predictable. Items moved from pile to pile. They’re still doing that. The Geezer saved the left-handed sky hook from the “we probably should toss this” stack, and moved it to the “this is expensive to replace” category. Mrs. G removed the purple, orange, and green Wigwam-lamp from the “trash” elevating it to the “we probably should keep this item for the future” area. Guess what ended up as the area with the smallest accumulation? Trash.

We canines once again prove how superior we are. Human’s should give up on things like TV. They scream at it and complain that it’s not any good. Why keep it? The things they store on shelves, like knick knacks, they look at when they buy and never again as far as I can see. If they need something, they generally go buy it because they have no idea where they’ve stored it. And clothes … what a waste! Put them on … take them off. I realize the frailty of the human body requires protection from the cold, and in some cases to protect human and canine eyes from a disgusting sight, but very few coverings would suffice.

My things consist of my dish, my pillow-bed, my collar, my brush, and my leash. The last three are for my humans more than me. I’m free to enjoy life. Humans are weighted down by things. Oh well … you can lead a human to water, but you can’t make him drink.

Sandy

 

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