Sunday, June 20, 2010
I've been meaning to make some changes to the blog. Nothing dramatic, just a change of color, maybe layout. There are quite a few new designs available now and the options are much easier to adjust. I've settled on this one for the moment. I find it peaceful.
No blog entries for most of May. Sorry about that. Been a bit busy. I'll sit down and post a review of the past month and get everyone all caught up. It's been quite an eventful May, quite stressful and sometimes difficult.
Tonight is not the night for that though. It's after 10:00 and I've had a busy Sunday (more on that later too). With any luck, I'll have time to add more to the blog tomorrow but for now, hang in there. There's more coming. I promise.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Now, to set up this story we have to go back a week or so to when CC decided to join the YMCA. She's really been enjoying it, taking her Zumba classes 3 or 4 days a week. She decided to add belly dancing to that as well. Great! She took her first class earlier in the week and had a great time so we went out Saturday to get one of those skirts with the coin things on it. You've seen them, it's what belly dancers wear.
It was raining when we left. No big surprise there. We had the occasional storm warning, flash flood watch, whatever. We get those all the time. I'm sure you get them too right? I lived down in San Antonio 23 years and we were always getting flash flood watches and warnings. Got them in Memphis too. That was just a sort of heads up that you should avoid driving in places where the water tended to pool. Don't hang out by the river or creek. Careful at those low water crossings.
We got to the mall early afternoon and got CC's skirt then decided to have lunch. It was raining when we got out of the car but the water was no more than an inch or so in places. Again, the usual stuff. Puddles here and there, a bit of water by the curb. No big deal. Even when we were getting lunch we didn't think much about the pouring rain we saw out of the window. We're at the mall. It's a big parking lot. No rivers or creeks near us. No big deal. Hell the mall isn't even at the lowest point in the area. The land slopes down a bit further. Nothing to worry about right?
Right, well this was the scene when we got out of Macy's.
And the water kept on rising.
This is our car. I waded out to see if it was possible to get it out of there, move it to higher ground. No way that was going to happen.
Of course, we weren't the worst off. Check out this BMW convertible parked right in front of us!
We left the car there and just walked home. Yes, you read that right. We walked home. Of course we had to wade around that big lake in the parking lot and there were several places where the current was moving pretty fast (but not fast or deep enough to be a danger). The police had closed off the mall parking lot and were directing traffic to get people out. Smaller roads all the way home were blocked. People were having a very hard time trying to get out of the area.
When we got home, we turned on the news and WOW!. You had parts of the highway closed due to flooding. At one location they had this great footage of a portable building floating alongside the highway then it smacked into the bridge. A car later floated up behind it and smacked into the back of it and the building just fell apart. Pretty wild stuff.
This morning it was a little better. We called the insurance company and AAA and arranged to get the car towed out of the parking lot. We went to the mall and surveyed the damage. It wasn't bad so much as dirty. All the debris and mud and stuff that was carried by the water was covering everything.
Our car is not looking so hot.
Check this out though. The Macy's exit where we came out Saturday. The water was rising so high, so fast, they actually put up sand bags. Now that's what I call flash flooding.
Right now the problem is we've got more rain heading into the area. A lot of drains are clogged with leaves and branches and stuff so things aren't draining like they should. Several areas have lost power. It's a mess out there. About the only vehicles moving around are the 18 wheelers and tow trucks. City officials have said repeatedly that if you don't have to go out today, don't.
So I guess today we'll kick back here at the apartment, watch the rain on TV and just wait for things to dry out.
If you want to see the rest of the pictures, including shots of the inside of our flooded car, I've posted them online here.
Monday, April 05, 2010
Last week I had a rather interesting pair come through the clinic. We'd gotten a call from one of the animal rescue places here in Nashville asking if we did cats. Why yes, I do cats.
What they brought in were two Persians, one white, one tortoise shell. To say that they hadn't been groomed in a while would be putting it mildly.
I took before and after shots of the white one. This is what she looked like when she came in.
Didn't exactly give me a lot to work with. In general, when cats come in, my options are limited. You don't really STYLE cats so much as you clean them up a bit. A trim here, a snip there. Clip the claws, maybe shorten the whiskers, something like that. And then there's the other extreme, usually reserved for long-haired cats. I'm not a cat owner and I've never had one with long hair, but from working in the clinics, I know a few reasons why they get so messy. Most of the time it's a simple matter of owners not brushing/combing them out regularly. The cat will groom itself as best it can up to a point but if there are knots in the coat, it's up to the owner to remove them. Of course, sometimes the cat gets sick and they stop grooming themselves. In the case of the white one, it was a bit of both.
Clearly she wasn't a very happy kitty when she plopped down on my table. She wasn't mean and never tried to bite me. She was pretty tolerant for the most part, except for the belly. Cats, unlike dogs, really don't get thrilled with the whole belly rub concept. Their loss.
Anyway, after several hours of work, both before and after her bath, this is what she looked like when she left.
Yes, I will admit, she's a little rough around the edges but there really wasn't any way around that. Her coat was in such bad shape I was actually surprised it came out THAT smooth.
Over time, it'll grow back out and assuming the new owner takes care of her, she'll be a happy, fluffy, CLEAN kitty from now on.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, people do bring their cats in to have that done on purpose. Quite a few long-haired cat owners like to have them shaved for the summer. The most common cut is a lion pattern. You save the mane and the tip of the tail. Makes them look like a lion. Me, I prefer the bobcat instead. It fits the hair on most long-haired cats better and it's something different. I mean, EVERYONE gets the lion cut. Having a bobcat cut makes you stand out.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Currently Reading: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
I'm going to miss the Olympics when it's over. For two solid weeks now I've had something to turn on in the background while I did other things. Yes, I could always just turn the TV on to some other station and let it run but when I've got the Olympics on, I can always stop and watch for a little while. The same cannot be said of any random TV station. There aren't any, even with satellite, that show something I'd watch 24 hours a day.
I followed the Olympics quite a bit during the first week but, as usual, once it moves to the second week, I tend to miss bits and pieces more often. It's not that the events during the second week are boring or anything like that. You've got the finals in hockey, there's bobsledding, lots of good stuff. I just lose interest after a while.
So yes, even though I'm losing interest, I will miss having the Olympics.
On the plus side, we'll be heading into spring pretty soon and that means the end of hockey season. The playoffs are always fun to watch. Plus basketball will start their playoffs too. And let's not forget, with spring comes Spring Training for baseball and then baseball season will start. Yes, I know, most of you don't like baseball and find it boring but I still enjoy watching it.
I must say, I don't really have much to blog about at the moment. I've been working at the two clinics and it's been keeping me busy. I had 5 dogs today and three of them were energetic. I don't mind doing dogs like that but it does take longer and it can really try your patience. For the most part, you just have to let them settle down and be persistent in what you're trying to do. If you're shaving feet and the dog keeps pulling away, you just keep at it. Sooner or later the dog will realize that the shaving doesn't hurt and it'll stop pulling away. The trick is keeping your cool until then :-)
And speaking of cool, it's starting to get cool again. What's up with that? We had two really nice days when it was in the 60's. We actually opened up the windows and aired things out. Now it's cold again. Going to be back in the 30's for the high tomorrow and they're talking about snow flurries. Thank goodness it won't be accumulating. I'd hate for things to shut down AGAIN.
Where did the month go? It's already the end of February. We've been in Nashville 2 months already. It seems like a long time and yet it's still just 2 months. 8 weeks. That's all the time we've been here. I guess it's relative. Sometimes a day goes by like an hour. Sometimes a week goes by so fast I can barely keep up with it.
Yes, I'm rambling again. Just opening up the doors and letting things flow out through the fingers.
I'm on twitter now. Not that it matters all that much. There are only a few people following me and at least 2 of them are spam. It's nice to read the tweets from other people though, at least famous people. Not everyone does it mind you, but some actors, writers, directors, etc. have accounts and they send out little messages now and then. It's more interesting when they're in the middle of filming. You get a bit of behind-the-scenes notes; a little glimpse of what it's like to be filming.
CC has a pretty cool little program that lets her update her Facebook status, blog and twitter account all from her cell phone. She just types in a message and it sends the message everwhere. I was thinking maybe I'd get that but I haven't decided. I mean, would anyone really be that interested in me yammering about a barky shih tzu that I'm shaving?
I was reading the news online and I though, "wow, it's pretty boring out there." I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Slow is good. It's nice and peaceful. But a part of me wonders what's lurking in the shadows behind that peace. Is something really weird about to happen? This is especially bothersome with the government. Those idiots are never more dangerous than when they're quiet. It means they're up to something.
I think that's about it. Head seems pretty empty now. I'm going to get some reading in.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
After several slow weeks at the clinic, it became pretty apparent that it's going to take longer than we hoped to build up a steady stream of grooming clients. Originally we'd all hoped that after a month or so, after word got out that the clinic was offering grooming now and after the coldest part of winter that more customers would be coming in. That just didn't happen.
There are several reasons why it didn't quite come together as planned. First off was the rather unusual snowfall we've had up here. In fact, I read an article in the paper this morning that students in the area haven't had a full week of school since January. We've had iced roads, cold temperatures, canceled school and work. Naturally that's going to trickle down to my little corner of the universe. And let's not forget the big giant-killer: the economy. Much as I'd LIKE to believe all the happy numbers coming out of Washington, there are still too many people who are out of work and cutting back on their spending. Let's face it, I provide a mostly luxury service.
Anyway, we can only dip into savings for so long so the need to bring in a little more bacon was getting more and more obvious. I tried to wait it out but that just wasn't going to happen soon enough SO I contacted some of the other clinics again, clinics that were interested the first time I was looking for work, and I managed to land a second grooming job. So now I'm working 3 days at one clinic, 2 at another.
This works out rather well in fact. Right now, neither clinic has enough work for a full-time groomer. However, if I put the two together, plenty of work. I've even let both clinics know that if there are clients who wish to come in on a day I'm scheduled to work at the other clinic, they're to call me and let me know because the two are close enough together that I can drive from the one to the other and do dogs at both locations. In fact, due to a scheduling problem on Wednesday, I did just that. 3 dogs at one clinic, 4 at the other. It's good to be busy like that.
Of course, the real trick is going to be balancing these jobs once things pick up. Both clinics are staffed with very nice people and they like the work I do. I'd like to keep working for them both but that might not be possible. We'll have to wait and see.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Yeah, I think all this global warming is starting to drive the wings on both sides a little nuts. Seriously, they're losing it. Maybe it's because they've been trapped inside for so long or perhaps if not trapped inside, all they can see is snow, snow and more SNOW. Not that TV is helping them. What's the big news on TV? Winter Olympics baby! More snow indeed.
Just a few examples that have me wondering about the sanity of these people. Let's start off with the global warming crowd. Now, as you're all fully aware, the east coast is getting HAMMERED by snow storms. Two have hit already and many records were set for both temperature and inches of snow. Further, down south they're ALSO getting hammered by snow. No joke. I saw a forecast that was calling for snow down in Atlanta, parts of Alabama, Mississippi, etc. Texas got hit too. Saw some pictures from Dallas just this morning. Rare snow events to be sure, but not so rare that we need to change every aspect of our lives here. It's snow. There's a lot of it. It's cold. Very cold. It happens. Remember back in '76 they had that big blizzard in New York? They even made a board game out of it it was so bad. All I'm saying is that it's cyclical. Some years are warm, some not so warm. We had no hurricanes hit the east coast this summer. Mexico got a BUNCH. And all of this, according to folks on the left, global warming. Yes, that's right, the ONE degree increase in temperatures are now causing record cold all over the US. I've sat through several explanations on how that's supposed to work but I've never been convinced. It just defies logic doesn't it? Plus, there's that whole big "lack of proof" thing.
Then there's Sarah Palin. Say what you want about her, crazy or not, she's the target of yet another liberal rant. Actually there are some right wing nuts on her case too this time. You see, she had the nerve, the gall to jot notes down on her hand before speaking at the tea party convention in Nashville. Seriously, folks are going wild over this. I've seen several articles about it already, none of them flattering, and even the White House spokesman (not a brilliant man by any measure) joined in the mocking by jotting down fake notes on his own hand. Petty. Stupid and petty stuff this is. So she wrote the notes on her hand instead of an index card. So what? She needed some reminders. Again, so what? Hell Obama practically falls apart if he's not able to use his beloved teleprompter. Take that man off book and who knows what craziness will come out of his mouth. And he's the President for crying out loud. She doesn't even hold public office anymore. Never really understood the sort of reaction she prompts from either side. The guys on the right drool, the ones of the left fly into a rage. So much anger and hatred over someone they don't even know. I was thinking about that the other day. Is there anyone out there I hate THAT much? Nope. No one comes to mind.
And finally, a man some of you would call a right wing nut repeat offender, I'm talking about Glenn Beck. I listen to the guy's radio show a few days a week and I'll admit, he can really go of on a wild tangent now and then. Usually though he's got facts to back up whatever theory he's espousing. Even if it's something totally off the wall he'll present some facts, lay out his logic and you can at least follow his reasoning even if you don't agree on the conclusions. So I'm listening on Tuesday and he starts off on a rant about Captain America #402. He latches on to one scene in particular about a rally that Cap and the Falcon come across. It's a pretty standard scene of protesters carrying signs, all the usual slogans you've seen on TV at the tea party rallies and other anti-tax gatherings. Nothing new there. In the story, an evil Cap clone is fomenting dissent out in the heartland and raising an army to "take America back!" Again, this is nothing new. It's the sort of thing White Supremacists tried to do for years. Probably that's where this story will lead. Crazy groups taking advantage of the current environment and Cap will come in and set them all straight. So why are the right wing nuts going crazy over this? How many times has this sort of thing happened to Chuck Norris in one of his movies or on TV? Happens all the time right? Jack Bauer is no stranger to the home-grown terrorist either. But now, since Cap's author is no fan of Sarah Palin and her group, the right wing nuts are freaking out?
So here's my advice to the nuts on each wing: medicate. I don't care what you use, but you folks need to seriously chill out. Both sides, hit the pubs or on the left, grab some weed or something. On the right, I dunno, go meditate in church about it all. Just chill out for a bit and stop freaking out so much. If you've got enough time and energy to freak out over this stuff, I'll have to put you all to work shoveling snow. Don't make me come out there!
Friday, February 05, 2010
- 1946 (12/28) Bankrupt Miami Seahawks franchise of All-America Football Conference moved to Baltimore. Bob Rodenberg headed purchasing group and the team was renamed "Colts" via a fan contest.
- 1947 (2/10) Cecil Isbell named head coach. (9/7) Colts won inaugural AAFC game, defeating Brooklyn Dodgers, 16-7, before 27,418 fans at Baltimore Stadium. (9/28) New York Yankees defeated Colts, 21-7, before a then-record Baltimore crowd of 51,583. Colts placed fourth in Eastern Division with 2-11-1 record, while drawing 199,661 fans.
- 1949 (12/9) The National Football League and the AAFC reached a "peace" agreement and the Colts were assigned to the NFL for the 1950 season.
- 1958 (10/26) Rookie DB-Lenny Lyles had 101t KOR vs. Washington to become first player ever with two 100t+ KOR in same season (other was 103t vs. Chicago 10/4). (11/2) Colts recorded first shutout, 56-0 over Green Bay, marking their sixth straight win and setting the club record for largest margin of victory. (11/30) Colts clinched first Western Division title, 35-27, over San Francisco before second straight record crowd of 57,577. QB-John Unitas tossed a scoring pass in a 23rd straight game to set a new NFL record (QB-Cecil Isbell, 22 games, Green Bay 1941- 42). (12/28) Colts defeated the New York Giants, 23-17, at Yankee Stadium in "sudden death" game for World Championship. Weeb Ewbank and 12 players from "The Greatest Game Ever Played" eventually became NFL Hall of Famers.
- 1969 (1/12) Colts dropped Super Bowl III to New York Jets, 16-7, at Orange Bowl. (5/17) Colts, Pittsburgh and Cleveland joined AFL teams to form American Football Conference as the NFL realigned for the 1970 season.
- 1971 (1/3) Colts captured the AFC Championship by topping Oakland, 27-17. (1/17) Colts won the first AFC-NFC Super Bowl, 16-13 over Dallas in the Orange Bowl on K- Jim O'Brien's 32-yard field goal with :05 remaining. Don McCafferty became the first rookie head coach to win a Super Bowl (later matched by San Francisco's George Seifert in Super Bowl XXXIV)
- 1984 (3/28) Colts in Indianapolis. (4/18) Season tickets offered for sale and overwhelming response yielded 143,000 requests in two weeks.
- 2006 (9/10) The Colts posted a 26-21 win at the New York Giants in the first NFL contest pitting brothers as starting quarterbacks, Peyton and Eli Manning. (1/21) Erasing an 18-point deficit with a 32-point second-half flurry, the Colts captured the AFC Championship with a 38-34 victory over New England. Manning (27-47-349, 1 TD/int.) scored on a 1t rush and guided the club to 17 fourth-quarter points. Indianapolis had second-half scoring drives of 76, 76, 67, 59 and 80 yards. The final drive concluded with a 3t rush by Addai with 1:00 remaining as the club produced the largest championship game comeback in NFL Super Bowl-era history. Indianapolis knotted the contest at 21-21, 28-28 and 31-31 before the final gamewinning drive. The club's berth in Super Bowl XLI followed those earned by the franchise in Super Bowl III and V. (2/4) The Colts earned a fourth World Championship in besting the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. In a contest played in steady rain and 67-degree temperatures, the Colts overcame a 14-6 second- quarter deficit. Led by Manning (25-38-247, 1 TD/int.), a rushing attack that produced 191 yards behind Rhodes (21-113, 1 TD) and Addai (19-77) and a defense that surrendered only eleven first downs and 265 net yards while helping produce five turnovers, the Colts out-scored the Bears 23-3 over the game's final 41 minutes. Manning teamed with Wayne (2-61, 1 TD; 53t) for the club's first score. Rhodes tallied on a 1t rush midway through the second quarter, and Indianapolis would not relinquish the lead. Vinatieri added field goals of 29, 24 and 20 yards to boost the club's lead to 22-17 late in the third quarter, then DB-Kelvin Hayden's 56t interception return early in the fourth quarter provided the final points. Manning became the first Colts Super Bowl MVP. Addai (10-66) set a Super Bowl reception mark for a running back. The victory marked the club's first title in 36 years, the last coming in Super Bowl V against Dallas, 16-13 on January 17, 1971. The franchise won NFL titles following the 1958 and 1959 seasons.