Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chow chow chow

Currently Reading: Between books. I'll start something new soon.

I haven't been doing very much that would qualify as exciting so instead I'll be writing about more mundane things today.

I had a rather good Monday. I told CC when I got home that you know you've done a good job with a dog's haircut when the owners pick him up and can't stop squealing about how CUTE he looks. Ok, I will grant that the dog in question was picked up by a father and his 3 daughters and the younger ones were probably pre-disposed to squealing in delight but even the older one joined in so they must really have liked him. I can't say that his haircut was anything special really. It's not like I created a work of art. But I can say for certain that he looked MUCH better leaving than he did arriving and, well he sure was a cute little guy.

I also had a chow in Monday. Chows are always an adventure. You never really know what you're going to get with them. Some are absolute angels, like the chow-lab mix we have named Joey (I've mentioned him before). He acts more like a large pomeranian. Other chows, well I'm sure everyone remembers the story about the chow that bit me (sounds like a title of a really bad James Bond ripoff movie doesn't it? The Chow That Bit Me!)

Monday we had a new one in and she falls somewhere between the two. Her name is Zoe and her owners are friends with one of our regulars who suggested they come see ME. Yeah, that feels good when someone recommends you by name. She must really like how I cut HER chow Granny if she's sending me more business. Still, you have to appreciate the irony of me being sent MORE chows seeing as how one bit me. But I digress.

Zoe, as you can see, has a little bit different coloring than you usually see in a chow. She's got blond hair which would suggest she's part something else. Given the texture of her hair, my guess would be she's part golden retriever. Her owners came in wanting a sort of blend cut for her. She goes outside a lot and comes back in just COVERED with nasty stuff. This time of year there are a lot of little seed pods and pine cones and burrs and you name it. Long hair dogs that like to romp through the brush this time of year can really mess up their coat.

Given Zoe's color though, I thought she'd look fabulous as a lion so instead of jumping right to the blend, I first stopped her cut at the usual lion pattern and took a few pictures. Isn't she cute? Since this cut was destined to be a blend though, I had to leave the body a little longer than for your typical lion cut. Her coat in true lion pattern would be about half that long. Still, I got good pictures and showed them to the owners, just in case they feel like having her done lion-style some time in the future.

But to be fair, the blend cut that she ended up with also looked pretty good too. It's more bear-like of course and works well with her chow features. Personally I like the lion look better for chows and poms but they don't pay me to do the cuts I personally would choose. Here's how she came out in the end. Still cute I think.

I've actually been catching up a little bit on the movies lately. Right before CC left we went out and saw the new Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie Forbidden Kingdom. If you haven't seen it and you're a fan of either of them or of Kung Fu movies in general, go check it out. It was very well done I must say and even though you can pretty much predict all the major plot turns (especially if you've seen a lot of movies out of Hong Kong) it's still an enjoyable show.

I also caught Cloverfield on dvd last night. CC has a membership at Blockbuster online and a list of movies she wants them to send, one at a time. When she's out of town, like she is now, I go in and edit that list a little bit so they send movies that I'd like to see that she really isn't interested in.

Cloverfield, in case you forgot, is the monster movie. They had great trailers running of this giant SOMETHING attacking New York City. When you tear it down to the basics, it's really just a different take on the old Godzilla movies (note, the OLD ones not that newer remake). And in many ways it resembles the Korean movie The Host.

What made this one a little different from the others is that it was shot with hand-held cameras and done entirely from the point of view of the people on the ground. The basic story is that a guy is going away to Japan because he's been promoted at his company. During his going away party the giant monster attacks. The rest of the film is them trying to find out what's going on and get out of New York. Again, this is done entirely with hand-held cameras and that's my only real problem with it.

The camera jerks around a LOT obviously and while it does give you a really good first person perspective, it made me pretty dizzy. I'm actually glad I didn't see this in the theater because it would have been MUCH worse. At least at home I could look away or pause for a bit, let my brains settle down a bit and then resume. Thing is, if it weren't for that jerky camera motion, I'd watch this movie a few times to catch all the little things going on in the background. I'd certainly have bought the film instead of renting. And you know, it didn't have to be done that way. The movie was strong enough to stand on its own without the gimmick.

If you get a chance, and if you like monster movies and aren't prone to motion sickness, you may want to check out Cloverfield. It's a pretty good ride.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baseball, Bunnies and Baseball

Currently Reading: Tai-Pan by James Clavell

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've sat down to blog so there's quite a lot of ground to cover. The sad part is that it took me two or three weeks to have enough for one blog entry. But not to worry, enough has happened now so I can finally pass on some good stories.

First up, baseball! CC and I went to see the Redbirds play last week. It was a WONDERFUL day out. The high was probably 70 to 75 tops, in the sun. We had great seats and plenty of food. This was one of those vendor deals where a vendor to CC's company rents a block of seats and some patio space and they have a catered lunch (baseball food not snooty people food) and you get to see the game as well. Unfortunately we didn't WIN the game, which is pretty normal for me actually. I've seen maybe 4 games now and I don't think I've ever actually seen them WIN. I must be some sort of jinx. We still support the team anyway. CC and I both got shirts. I also got a hat and she picked up a bag.

Monday is the day we get new stuff at the store. There's always a big truck and quite often some smaller ones or FedEx or UPS or DHL trucks that arrive too. The last two Mondays we've been getting a lot of BUNNIES! It's hard not to get warm fuzzies when you're holding a bunny. I mean, it's a BUNNY! It's sort of like, you can't NOT have fun playing with PUPPIES! Right? That's some kind of universal I think.

We've been getting some really CUTE ones lately. This guy here, fluffy, furry, brown bunny. He lasted about 4 days before someone bought him. He hardly even had time to get used to the place. And then there's this little guy here with the brown eyes. He was around for about a week, tops.

When they all first arrived there was some serious stress in the cage though. Our current guests weren't all that thrilled about having to share with three NEW guests. Since it was a slow day in the salon and they were a little short handed in the store, I played the part of bunny bouncer. Actually it was more than that. Earlier in the day I had to stop a fight between two hamsters who had apparently grown sick of each other during the long trip from wherever they came from. They were still in their little hamster shipping box when they started swatting at each other. I had to step in and put a stop to that.

Then we had this one here. I know what you're thinking. Just a harmless little bunny isn't it? But I'm telling you, that's the most foul-tempered rodent you ever laid EYES on. It's got a mean streak about a mile wide! It can leap about . . . Sorry, got off on a little Monty Python tangent there. Anyway, this one is, well evil seems a little TOO strong but then again at the same time I had to serve as bunny bouncer mostly BECAUSE of this one. She just wouldn't play nice with the other bunnies and for a while there we were thinking she'd have to be separated. She calmed down eventually though and decided to tolerate the other bunnies. That didn't improve her mood any though. I heard yesterday that this supposedly cute, sweet little bunny took a chunk out of Tanya's finger while she was cleaning the cage the other day.

Now that I think about it, she might be related to THIS rabbit.

Had a pretty busy Sunday this week though not really by choice. The other groomer seems to have over-estimated just how many dogs I can handle in one shift. Now, Sunday is a short day for me. I get there at 1 and I'm off at 6. Five hours. If the dogs are small, I can handle five or 6 depending on what kind of hairstyle they want. More if I'm doing just baths or shape-ups instead of the full shave. This week though, I had four, count them FOUR chows to shave out plus a bichon. Keep in mind these chows haven't been clipped since last fall and we're now smack in the middle of the heavy shedding season. It's more like shaving sheep than a dog really.

Needless to say I ran a little late. The last two I had to do in near dark. The lights in the salon shut off at 6 and there's no way to turn them back on (it's all computer controlled out in San Diego). It wasn't TOO bad at first because the lights were on in the store but then THOSE lights shut off at 7. I must be getting pretty decent at this job because I was able to shave out a black chow in the dark :-)

One last thing . . .

For some reason this song popped into my head Sunday night so I spent a little time on Monday digging up this video.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Check it out!

Currently Reading: The Aeneid by Virgil

Look what I got! Yes, I know smart ass, it's a baseball card. But look what KIND of card it is! Ok could you at least PRETEND to be excited? I'll explain why it's so cool.

This is an Ichiro Suzuki card. He's playing center field now for the Seattle Mariners. He's easily one of the best players in the game today and a pretty decent guy all around. WELL, this card of his, you see that white patch there? This is what they call a game jersey card. That white patch is part of an actual game-worn Ichiro jersey. How cool is that? You've got to hand it to Topps, they know how to increase the value of their product.

Yeah, I know, to anyone else it's just a little swatch of white fabric but to those of us who follow the game and all, it's a whole lot more :-)


Currently Reading: The Aeneid by Virgil

This is about the biggest dog we have coming through the salon. Her name is Katie and she's a real sweetheart but she is HUGE. Have a look for yourself.

The tiles on the floor of the grooming salon are 1 foot by one foot so if you count them out, from tail to nose, she's easily five feet long! And she's not even stretched out. When she stretches, she's even LONGER.

If you count from her shoulders down, 3 feet at least. Probably a little more because her legs are slightly bent. This is a BIG dog.

Oh yes, CC's still in Manila. She'll be back on Sunday, the 9th. No other adventures to report at the moment.