Barley enters puberty

I think Barley is entering puberty. He’s suddenly become more interested in his bed, in the smells left by other dogs, and his own sexuality in general. Of course, he’s been neutered, so that explains why its happening so late. He’s now over 2 and 1/2, and he’s just catching on to the nuances of reproduction. And in celebration of his personal milestone, I’ve made a short movie.

Applications Sent

I mailed in my application to PSU and sent requests for letters of recommendation today. I developed a fear of impinging upon other’s time, so its always hard to ask for things like letters of recommendation. I was told that’s part of the territory, so hopefully the professors aren’t too troubled.

Now I’ve got to get my second application to the department. This one includes a resume and a personal statement. I was having problems with the personal statement, so I started writing a funny one to warm up. I’m almost tempted to use it because it is interesting, and shows good cause for going to graduate school. I’ll post it after I’ve edited it for crass language.

blackjack strategy card

For no reason at all, I’ve enhanced the blackjack strategy card from I added color coding, and sized it so that it could be printed to a single sheet of paper then folded in half. This way, one side will have single-deck strategy, and the other side will have multiple-deck strategy. Its available in both html and PDF formats. I recommend the PDF version.

I used colors that make sense to me, but if you don’t like them, you can edit the CSS in the html version yourself. I’ve also laminated mine with packing tape to prevent damage from, um, beverages. I recommend you do the same.

Naked Rat

There’s been an odd smell in our house as of late. Its been somewhat unpleasant, and quite embarrassing. Its definitely animal in origin, but none of our pets have done anything. To get a better understanding of the aroma, I crawled under the house today to investigate. It did smell. There’s a sump pump that removes water that collects under the house during the rain, a couple packets of “Mouse Killer” and 4 rat carcasses. I think we have located the source.

naked rat carcass

I was left with the chore of removing them. Quite a job considering the various stages of decay.

Waiting for the tide to turn

My in-laws were down for the weekend, on work actually. However, we were able to fit in some meals and visiting. Michelle’s father and step-mother love beer and pub fare as much as Michelle and I do, so we love taking them to new places in Portland to try out both the fine beer, but also the equally good grub. To our dumbfoundment (?), Doug brought us several bottles of Hopzilla from Grant’s Brewing and Malting in Yakima. A tall order considering the beer isn’t bottled for distribution. Thanks a ton!

Friday night we took them to the Rogue public house which has about as good a collection of excellent beers as you’ll find anywhere. The food is quite good there as well. Sadly, there was a Blazers game on, so it was a bit loud, and conversation was some effort. So we picked up ice cream and went back to our place.

Saturday gave everyone some time to work, in one sense or another. Even Debbie worked on finding some Christmas gifts (its never too early). After everyone was done for the day, we hit up the Hillsdale pub for the Battle for the Belt; a competition among McMenamins’ brewers. For more on the event, see Rooftop Brew. We gave all 18 samples a try, voted, then went to Gustav’s for dinner. Yes, we had fondue again.

Afterwards we looked at photographs from their recent trip to San Diego and chatted away. Even when you’re tired, good company makes you forget.

Siren’s Echo at PCC

Today Siren’s Echo performed at my campus. I was surprised by both the quality of the music and the great emceeing. I’ve not paid any attention to Portland’s hip-hop scene, assuming that it wouldn’t be much. Foolish, yes.

This was a great show and a great break from work. The band combined a great jazz guitar and funk bass and beats with really quick lyrics. I wasn’t able to understand much of the subject, but the delivery was awesome, and they performed very well considering the stage: a fully lit cafeteria.

Apache upgrade bluez

You may have noticed a bizarre message instead of the normal page over the last week or so. I’ve been going through a number of upgrades, and each time I install a security patch, the httpd.conf and default index pages get overwritten by Apple’s generic appache installation. Blah. Sometimes I don’t catch it for a while, like this morning, when it was up for roughly 12 hours. My appologies.

apple put this here


Fondue always gets painted as a fad. I’m not sure why though, because there’s nothing transient about bread and cheese. I love fondue, and its something my family did with some frequency growing up, and Michelle and I continue to enjoy it.

There’s the cheese kind, which is my favorite. I especially like Rhinelander’s cheese of all the pre-made. Its made locally (I believe). My mom used to try and make the cheese from scratch, and it never turned out quite as well.

We’ve also experimented with the hot oil type of fondue, where you dip pieces of raw meat in boiling oil to cook it, then dip it in the sauce of your choice. We’ve only done that once, and once was enough. Open flame in your living room is one thing; boiling oil is another.

And to placate the non-cheese lovers, there’s always chocolate. Its decent, but I’ve usually spent my effort and stomach room on cheese and bread. I just don’t get as excited about the chocolate. Some people get too excited:

Sarah - Fondufus

Barley’s 6 month Checkup

This morning was Barley’s last checkup with Dr. Munjar. His knee looks great, and there’s been no additional arthritic development over the last year. His left hip looks great, and he’s got a strong thigh on that side, but he’s still limping on his right, due to his thigh. The bad news is that he’ll probably need a total-hip replacement surgery someday, but that someday could be quite some time from now. He’s getting enough exercise, and isn’t limited by it, so we’re pleased with that news. We’ll be back for a checkup next year, but in the meantime, we don’t have to do another surgery this year.

If your dog needs orthopedic surgery, we highly recommend Dr. Munjar. He’s very generous with his time, and helped keep Barley “On the road.”