Tag Archive | food

Octoberfest – some canine observations


The Geezer with the smiling fraulein from the Octoberfest.

The Geezer with a beautiful, smiling Fräulein from the Octoberfest.

I always enjoy going along on the Geezer’s book adventures. Last weekend I had the opportunity. He attended an “Octoberfest” in Sarasota, Florida that was a number of things. First, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Its organizers are an enlightened crew that understand that canine presence adds to any festivity. I became a major point of interest in the Geezer’s booth; a celebrity in fact!

The Celebration was a bit of Munich transplanted to Florida’s west coast. The authentic garb many of the participants wore livened the festivities. German food and pastries added a yum factor and there was an abundance all types of beer to wash it down. The sounds of music was non-stop and had me looking for Julie Andrews and Christoper Plummer. The traditional folk songs made me try a four-legged polka from time-to-time. Beer steins were everywhere, smiles were on most everyone’s face, and tossing beer kegs was a big time game.

It was hot! I’m going to speak to the event organizer and see if some Bavarian temperatures can also be imported next year. Of course, the hot temperatures meant some patrons reduced the clothing wore to a minimum. In many cases, this was a good thing – least ways, the human males seemed to enjoy it. There were some individuals that would have been best served to have dressed themselves in fur like I do. Most of these wore fashions from the “Two Sizes Too Small Mall.” I’ll write a whole blog post about my visit to that shopping area.

Come next year this Octoberfest event is one to add to your list of “got to go to’s.”




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If you’re missing your nuts, things can be difficult.

The last several days have been one big bore for me.  No walks.  No sitting on the dock.  Nothing outside except bathroom duties.  It was all because of hurricane Isaac. Rain, wind, rain and more rain.  It even restricted my opportunity to blog…due to the weather the Geezer was camped at the computer keyboard, his rear serving the same purpose as a concrete barrier at the end of a road.  I couldn’t get around it.

Before the rain and winds descended on our southwest Florida house, the Geezer and Mrs. G ran around the property like a bunch of mice that had just been told a rumor that a cat was on the way.  I guess I could have gotten to the computer then, but I’d have felt guilty if I hadn’t stuck close to my humans to provide moral support.  The old boy and his wife did a credible job until it came to the most important part of all, putting up the shutters.  That furnished me a few chuckles and an example of human male mental inferiority to we females.

The attempt at erecting the shutters was a real Abbot and Costello comedy routine.  (For the very young, Abbot and Costello were a comedy team famous for their “Who’s on first” baseball gag.  Rent it if you haven’t seen it.)  Mrs. G kept asking when they were going to put up the shutters, but the Geezer said he wanted to postpone it for as long as possible, hoping that the storm would miss them all-together.  When it was absolutely, positively, impossible to postpone longer, the Geezer sorted out all the shutters by window location, laid them out on the ground so they could be lifted into position, moved the ladder from the garage to the starting point, AND went to get the hardware.  And went to get the hardware.  And went to get the hardware.  He couldn’t find it in the place HE KNEW he stored it.  The Geezer made several trips back to the same place, hoping it would magically appear, but the hardware fairy’s union was evidently on strike.  When Mrs. G asked what the hold up was, it pained the Geezer to confess, “The nuts and bolts aren’t where I put them.”  He did what any human male in such a position would do, he passed the buck. “Where did you move them to?”  Mrs. G snorted, rolled her eyes and said, “Come on, let’s start looking where they’re not supposed to be.”

Since they’d moved lawn chairs, tables, lanterns, hose racks, garbage cans, etc., etc., etc., inside every storage area available, they had to remove them to do a thorough search.  After four hours of lifting, moving, fuming and not finding, Mrs. G. suggested, “We’re not going to locate them in time.  We’d best go buy some more.”  After doing a nut and bolt count, the Geezer headed out to the local hardware store.  When he tried to purchase what he needed, the clerk looked apologetic, but she said, “Gee, I’m sorry, we sold out two days ago.”  The folks at the next five stores, all large chains, were less kind.  He got the same treatment “Arnold” got in Jingle All The Way when he was looking for a special toy for his son’s Christmas present.  (Again, rent the movie)  There were more snickers and snide comments than he could take.  After the final visit, the Geezer announced to Mr’s G and me, “Everyone’s sold out.  We’ll just have to hope it doesn’t get too bad.” An hour later the TV announced the storm was not coming close enough to do damage to unshuttered windows.  That proved one of the Geezer’s favorite sayings, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

Mrs. G was kind and suggested that as soon as the storm passed that the Geezer should buy more hardware…when the stores restocked…and before the next storm struck.  She could have done some nose rubbing, but chose not to.  Sorry, I’d have had to do a little if I had been in her place.  Of course, we females would never make such a hardware error.  We ladies are always careful we know where the nuts are.


Why are Dog Days…Dog Days? Do I smell a human? (Plus Hush Puppies)

Why do humans call those hot miserable days we’re experiencing now, dog days?  I’d really like to know.  It certainly isn’t because we canines enjoy the heat and humidity.  I’m sure some forms of animal life enjoy it.  Lizards, frogs, toads, and snakes?  That’s a guess.  I don’t know many frogs or toads and my command of the Lizarddi language leaves much to be desired.  I know some snakes… and I can converse with them well enough to know I don’t trust anything they say.  The only creature more deceitful is a umanas politicius.
Humans derived the name, but why?  Is it because we canines suffer this time of year?  Horses suffer as much.  So do cows, pigs, even cats.  My talks with Oreo, my feline half-brother, and Buddy, the horse that lives a couple blocks over, have confirmed it’s not because they like this summer roast.

Possibly, the name just sounds good.  “Lizard days of summer,” doesn’t have a lyrical lilt like “Dog days” does.  Neither does pig days, or toad days, or so on.
They could have called this time period, “miserable human days,” but this suggests they may have some slight responsibility for their own discomfort.  Humans loath taking responsibility for anything.  The “Blame Game” is their favorite past-time.  Don’t believe that?  If you can suffer through an evening of watching human TV news and advertisements during this political season you’ll know I’m telling you gospel.

If you think about it, humans use animals to describe all kinds of things they don’t like…”Good weather for ducks,” translates to more rain than they want… “Horse feathers (or shit)”, for lies they’re told… “Sneaky as a cat,” for anyone who manipulates them…”Bird brained”…referring to their low IQ associates… and my personal favorite, “Dumb as a dog,”…talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Some humans are lovable, however.  Oreo and I have been helping entertain some of the Geezer’s human friends and children/grand- children over the last two weeks.  BO and Randy were first, followed by Big Den, Little Den and Natalia.  We weren’t home much…in fact the computer was off for thirteen days.


Me and Oreo taking it easy after entertaining

     To keep my promise to Randy and Bo, here’s the Geezer’s recipe for hush puppies I snuck out of his book.

The Geezer’s Light and Fluffy Hush Puppies.

Stuff you need to make them:
1 cup hush puppy mix – (Dixie Lily or Autry’s are fine)
1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs
1 tablespoon minced garlic  (powder will do in a pinch)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 stuffed green olives finely chopped.
3/4 cup of water

What you do:
First- Place mix, flour, chopped onion, pepper, salt in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly.
Second- Add water, eggs (no shells please)…stir thoroughly…again.  If he batter is too “grainy,” add a splash or two of water.
Third- Add the chopped olives and garlic…guess what?  Stir thoroughly again!  Set batter aside for twenty minutes.
Fourth- Heat vegetable oil 1″ deep in a skillet, etc. to 350 degrees.  Use a tablespoon to measure and drop the batter into the grease.  Cook until golden on both sides.   Yummy!



June 30 – Rome, Athens, Dublin, Cairo…It could go to a poor dog’s head!

     If you wondered why no scratchings the past few weeks…I’ve been traveling.  The Geezer decided he couldn’t be without my advice and counseling for three weeks, so I got to go on a combination book introduction tour and vacation.
     The places we went!  The things we saw!  Dublin!  Cairo!  Athens!  Rome!  And that was all before we left Georgia!  Well, we didn’t stop in all those places, we went through them.  Well, that isn’t exactly correct, we were close to them…..  Errrr, truthfully, we saw their names on road signs.
     Where we did go…and stop…was impressive to a canine like me.  There were the big places:  Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Louisville, Ann Arbor, Cincinnati, Lexington, Knoxville, Asheville, Columbia, Hilton Head, Savannah, Jacksonville and Gainesville.  And the little places: Elizabethtown, Coldwater, Ludington and Eatonton.  I’ve got some great stories about many of them.
     I met fascinating people like Lance, Edward, Sarah, Ranger Lee and the man in the art studio in Chattanooga.  Of course, we visited old friends and relatives:  D3, Natalia, Bo, Denny, Dorothy, Chet, Betty, Tom, Jim, Judy, Pete, Sandy ( a human version), Orson, Martha, and Jeanne and Bob.  I’ve got lots to tell about them.
    We visited Chickamauga the oldest military park in the US.  If we had stopped and bought just one bottle at all the wineries and distilleries we passed, the Geezer would have enough alcohol to last him until the year 2114.  (He’s not much of a drinker.)  And, at the Tennessee Welcome Station on I-75, I met Romanski, a handsome male Golden Retriever.  It was love at first sight.  We ran, we frolicked, we panted together, then we had to part.  I gave him my URL, but you know how those summer romances are – they never seem to work out.
     The trip has given me an inexhaustible supply of information to write about.  Like Joel Chandler Harris’ home, Eatonton, Georgia and the fine people we met there.  I have some great recipes to pass on in the weeks to come.  And I’ll tell you about the Civil War battlefield we visited.  And the people at the Geezer’s high school reunion.  And the motels that we stayed in that had water dripping from leaks in the ceiling, fights in the parking lots, exploding coffee makers, and on, and on, and on.  And the Geezer’s fishing in Michigan.  Yes, there are three things that are inevitable…death…taxes…and…the Geezer fishing if there is a body of water larger than a bath tub near him.
     Ahhhhh, I’ll have to wrap this up.  The human’s are starting to unload the car and I need to be there to supervise.  You know the species.  They’d probably leave my pillow and dish until last, like my things are less important than their suitcases and the cooler.  The amount of patience required to deal with humans!  I have to keep murmuring under my breath, “Be kind to inferiors,” so I keep my cool.  Thankfully, I reassure myself that…at least my humans aren’t of that slowest and lowest humanoid subspecies of all, humanus politicianus.



April 24 – What a computer hog looks like!

     There’s all kind of excitement around our house these days.  The Geezer has a new book that’s being released at the end of this month.  Mrs. G is busy on the phone, taking and making calls to people and places regarding the novel.  I worry that the old boy is so busy he’ll strip a gear; he’s racing around like a cat stuck in room with twenty mice and the poor feline can’t decide which to catch first.  He’s on the phone with his editor, then he races to the computer, he pounds on the keyboard, then it’s back to the publisher, you get the drift.
     I really shouldn’t give a Russian rat’s rump and wouldn’t if it didn’t interfere with some of the things I like to do.  Mrs. G doesn’t fawn over me as much as usual, but I can give her my “poor dejected dog” look and she’ll stop what she’s doing and make over me.  The Geezer cuts our morning walks short, spends a woefully short time playing the games I train him in and is less likely to sneak a hot dog out of the refrig for me.  I can live with these things.  But, the lack of computer access to write to you on my blog, upsets my stomach like a chocolate, jalapeno and dill pickle pie.
     Have you ever seen a picture of a computer hog?  This is what one looks like!  


     Trying to get to the computer to write my blog makes arranging a marriage between a Rabbi’s daughter and the son of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood a simple task.  First, the Geezer suffers from a bad case of fattassia.  (pronounced:   fat – tass – ia)  Trying to nudge his more than ample carcass from the over-burden office chair is mission impossible.  I’ve tried the normal tricks to dislodge his butt from in front of the console:  barking at the door…faking like I have to go out, dropping my tennis ball at his feet indicating I want to play, going to the window and whimpering like I do when the neighbor’s twenty-five-year-old daughter is sunbathing au natural (believe me, this usually works), but, so far…….
     I even tried something new and inventive.  The Geezer hates the political wrangling that’s on TV now; it makes him mad.  Using my superior canine logic and applying that to the fact he normally races to the TV to turn it off if such garbage appears– that’s no matter what he’s engaged in (I didn’t know it was possible to use toilet paper that fast.)– I skillfully DVR’d several alternating TV ads featuring Obama and Romney.  When I played them, he didn’t budge from the seat.  He simply put in earplugs, vomited in the waste paper can and cussed a lot.
     What can a poor canine do when faced with removing a massive ass from its resting place?  I would try dynamite, but the risk of damaging the computer would be too great.  Besides my compassionate side would bar this action, though the old boy could use forty or fifty pounds blown away.
     If you’re wondering how I got this opportunity to write to you, let me say two words – “Exlax pie.”  Oops!  He’s coming back.  Time for me to go do some more baking.



March 23 – Are all humans unappreciative? Or, just the ones I know!

     “It sure is frustrating,” I agreed.  I was sitting next to Sarge, the German Shepherd.  We were waiting for Opie to bring-to-order a meeting of the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society with one of his Scottish brogue laden ‘woofs.’  “I have to admit, I’ve had it happen to me.  Even the Geezer and Mrs. G are completely unappreciative, occasionally.”
     “You do something you think is really good and what do you get?  Sandy, I’ve been relegated to the rope.  They’re tying me up in my own yard.  All I did was growl and show my teeth to some strange human that was trespassing on my turf.  How was I supposed to know she was the water meter reader?  She wasn’t carrying a sign or wearing a uniform.  She could have been something terrible like an Al Qaeda terrorist or…or…or one of those Occupy Wall Street people.”
     “You scared her pretty badly.  Didn’t you tell me she tried to climb a tree?”
     Sarge got a sardonic grin on his face.  “Yep.  It sure was funny watching her try to slither up that coconut palm.  She only got high enough to leave her big, soft butt at a perfect biting position.  It sure was tempting.”
     “Sarge!  You wouldn’t do such a thing, would you?”
     “Oh, no, Sandy.  What kind of a canine do you think I am?  Besides, my human showed up at that second, frothing at the mouth with his underwear all tied up in knots.”
     “I’ve had it happen to me…I’ve had it happen to me!”  Manny our resident chihuahua was eavesdropping and said excitedly, “Humans don’t appreciate what we try to do for them.  Why, one time it was raining out.  I had to go.  You know, number two.  Well, there’s this big potted plant in the living room.  It was turning brown and looked like it could use some fertilizer.  I endangered my life and limb by climbing up in that tall flower-pot.  Just as I was finishing, my human came in and yelled at me!  It scared me so bad shit went everywhere.  I shook more than usual for a whole week.”
     Sarge looked dubious.  “You sure you just didn’t want to get wet?”
     Manny’s eyes opened wide with a, not to genuine, look of innocence.  “Oh, no, no, no!  I was just trying to be a service.”
     I shook my head.  Sometimes, Manny has to be Manny. 
     Sarge surprised me when he nodded.  He knows our little buddy is always full of…well…bull shit.  He said, “I guess you could be right, Manny.  My cousin Rookie lives with this really cool human named Tricia.  He says she’s normally sooooooo nice, but…even nice humans can be irrational.  Like one time, he was left alone with a tennis ball.  Tricia is always having to go find it so they can play.  He thought he’d just carry it around with him.  It’s unbelievable she got so upset when she took him to the vet to have it removed from his stomach.  And, another time Rookie and Tricia were playing with the hose, spraying each other with water.  The phone rang in the house and his human went to answer it.  Then she went insane, just because Rookie carried the hose into the house following behind her, so they could play in the living room.  He was just trying to save her a few steps.”
     “So true.”  Fifi our prissy poodle joined the conversation.  “I try to keep my human in proper fashion.  If she wears a pair of shoes, or a dress, or panties that aren’t chick, I immediately remove them from her wardrobe by chewing them to oblivion.  Do you think she appreciates it?  NO!  Chewing that fake leather and polyester is horrible.  The sacrifices I’m willing to make.  But, instead of being rewarded, I’m chastised.”
     Heintz, the neighborhood mutt walked up.  “Tell me about it.  I take home all kinds of gifts.  You think I get any thanks?  Hell NO!  Rabbits, squirrels, birds, all fresh killed or barely alive.  I mean, I’m bringing food for their table.  They yell…and then comes the real insult.  They throw my hard work away!”  
     “I know.”  I couldn’t resist adding my own tale.  “Both the Geezer and Mrs. G are getting a little heavy.  Well, that’s true of Mrs. G.  The Geezer’s getting a lot heavy.  Anyway, they were watching TV the other night while eating their suppers.  A neighbor came to the door and they both left their meals on the coffee table.  There were terrible things, dangerous things on their plates.  Steaks dripping with cholesterol.  Potatoes smeared with butter and sour cream.  Squash covered with cheese sauce.  I wondered if they had a death wish.  I hoped if I’d have the fortitude to face those dangers.  I DID!  I made them disappear.  All of it!  I was so proud.  I stood there, wagging my tail in anticipation of all the praise I’d receive for me helping save them from the horrors that had been on their dishes.  They screamed at me!”
     Sarge put his paw on my shoulder and said, “Poor Sandy.”
     “Uh-uh-uh-ummm.”  Opie got our attention.  “The subject for today’s meetin’ of the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society is how can we be doin’ more for our human friends.”
     Sarge yelled, “Motion that we adjourn the meeting.”
     “Oui.  I second the motion,” Fifi said.
     I’ve never heard such a chorus of barks…or seen a more confused look on Opie’s Scottish face.



November 24, Thanks for the sole coming off a shoe???

     Ahhh.  There’s nothing like the smell of Beneful in the morning.  Or Purina.  Or the occasional hot dog, fresh from the microwave.  The Geezer always warms them up for me.  It’s not really needed, but if that strokes his human sensibilities, who am I to deny him.  Beneful.  Oh well, you have to give thanks for what you have.
     It’s Thanksgiving morning; the Geezer, Mrs. G, and Oreo are moving much slower than usual.  I’d say its the holiday, but that usually makes them busier.  Not this year.  They’re going out to visit friends and relatives.  The canine translation – no turkey left-overs, no assorted snacks snuck to me off the table, no potato chips dropped while watching football.  I’ll spend a quiet day at home, catch up on my sleep, and play “chase the cat” and “chase the dog” with Oreo while my humans are out visiting.
     Thanks Giving.  What a concept.  I think we all should do that every day, after all, each day we get up is better than the alternative, right?  However, everybody gets too busy to remember to take the time.  The Geezer told me that’s why some humans called Pilgrims started the festival, though Abe Lincoln was the first to make it a national holiday.  I guess hard times like wars and bad economies make us miss what we don’t have and make us appreciate what we do. 
     I wondered what my little family would take the time to be thankful for, so I decided to ask.
     “Oreo, what are you thankful for today?” I asked my cat half-brother.
     “That’s a no-brainer, Sandy.  I’m thankful that humans remain dumb.  Think about it, all we have to do is look cute and be friendly and…viola!…they feed, house, and pamper us.  I haven’t even chased a mouse since I came here.  I’m a freeloader.  I haven’t the slightest thought of working.  I do nothing.  Nothing.  Sandy girl, I hope humans never wise up.”
     I didn’t have the heart to tell Oreo about the “Occupy” movement and ruin his holiday.
     Mrs. G came by, whistling as she walked.  I asked, “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving morning?”
     She thought for a few seconds, smiled, and said, “The sole has come off the Geezer’s old Top Siders.”
     “I don’t understand.”
     “That means he’ll finally allow me to throw them out.  That means I won’t have to turn the exhaust fan on when he leaves them in the bathroom, or spray them with air-freshner continually, or give excuses to neighbors when he leaves them on the porch like “There must be a dead animal in the area.”  I won’t have to hold a scarf doused with perfume over my nose when I put them in his closet.”
     “Surely you’re jesting, Mrs. G.  They don’t bother me,” I said.
     “Yes, Sandy, but you like the smell of road-kill.  Think, have you ever seen a roach or even an ant in the Geezer’s closet?”
     I had to agree with that. 
     The Geezer was sitting in his recliner when I sashayed in to see him and asked, “What are you giving thanks for today?”
     “Why I can think of three things quickly.  People like my new book.  I have the perfect wife, dog, and cat.  And…and…and…and…”  He looked embarrassed.  “I kind of forgot the third thing.”  He looked perplexed until an ancient lamp-lighter lit a kerosene lantern in his cranium.  A look of enlightenment on his face, he said, “I remember.  I’m getting new shoes.”  After a few seconds pause, he asked, “What about your Thanksgiving thank you?”
     “Living here with you and Mrs. G is all a grateful canine could ask for.”  Do I know how to play the game or what?  The Geezer sprung out of his recliner like a seventeen year-old, not a seventies senior.  It was triple treat time.
     Actually, I’m thankful for a lot besides my family, though they are my greatest blessing.  I’m thankful for the neighborhood canines in the Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society, the cooler weather we’re having, and most especially – all of you who come to visit me.  Oh, and that the Geezer can’t find the fake antlers and bells he likes to put on me when we walk this time of year.   They got buried under one of the thorn bushes outside…ho, ho, ho.  Wonder how that happened?

Happy Thanksgiving, all !!!