Dog Days of Summer

Would not be complete without a dog. And so I am introducing the newest member of our household, Heidi.

She is a 5 month old Chihuahua mix. We don’t really know what she is mixed with-Shar-Pei maybe. She’s about half Chihuahua and half the neighbor’s dog did it.

She, along with her mother and siblings, had been dumped at the local PetCo. I don’t know what happened with the mother and siblings, but Heidi was taken as a foster by one of the PetCo employees. The local Chihuahua rescue was set up at PetCo on Saturday so he brought Heidi to hang out with them and hopefully find a permanent home. We saw her, loved her, and went home. We talked about it, cleaned out the living room, and went back for her.

Since we never have laid back Saturdays, she ran around town with us before seeing her new home. She visited F.Y.E and had dinner at a friend’s house. She even got to play with the friend’s horses and chase a few toads. (Which is really hilarious.) There were no puppy accidents at any of the places we visited. Hooray!

After bounding around and chasing the cat, she crashed out in my friend’s living room.

It really cracked me up when she twisted around, but the flash woke her up.

Apparently, her trip all over town and to the horse farm really wore her out. She crashed in the middle of the couch when we got home flanked by Michael and I and the cats. Emerson hisses at her and swats, but he hasn’t been using his claws. He’s just asserting his position as Alpha. I’m sure they will all get along just fine once the pecking order is established.

On Sunday, she found an old landscaping light in the yard which turned into silly antics.

She even ran around with it stuck over her muzzle like that. Sorry the picture is blurry, I was cracking up.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t really stuck. She was biting onto the socket inside the fixture.

After all the playing, it was time for a bath and the obligatory towel snuggle. Not even Ferrule could resist the serious cuddle action.

She has stayed quiet in her crate for each of the two nights that she has been with us so far. We’ve had 2 accidents, but she’s doing very well with that too. We now know that she will only do her business outside in front of an audience. Just letting her out in the back yard is not enough. We’ve also learned that she loves Dad. I’m sure there are many lessons to be learned in the next few weeks.

Isaac is out of town with his grandparents this week and does not yet know about the puppy. He’s going to be so excited. Best. Surprise. Ever.

UPDATE: For those of you on Dogster, here is the link to her page

Keeping People in Context

There are certain people that we all have in our lives that belong in a certain setting.  We fail to recognize them as actual people with lives outside of this particular environment.  Seeing them outside of their standard roles can shake us up a bit.  We recognize them as familiar, but can’t place them without the appropriate context.

Case in point:

A while back, my husband and I started attending a church which we finally joined.  After doing the whole church hunting bit, we had finally found one that we really liked.  (Church hunting sucks.  It’s like going on blind dates with 150 new people every weekend.)  So we started attending regularly and getting to know the congregation.

Week after week I saw this woman who just struck me as someone I knew elsewhere.  I tried to place her to no avail.  I tried to write it off.  I had been a bank teller at a bank in the area for a year so lots of people were familiar from there, but again I was unsuccessful.  I was certain that I actually knew this woman.  That I had some regular business with her.  I snooped around to try and find out her name hoping that would jog my memory.  No dice.  I was unsuccessful in discovering her name through basic detective work.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and ask her name directly.  Which she ever so sweetly told me.

The shock realization embarrassment utter-mortification hit me like 3 tons of bricks.  Rather than introduce myself, I immediately jumped onto to table to lie on my back.  I put my knees in the air to peer at her from the far more familiar vantage point.  Ah yes, this woman is acquainted with my vagina.  I kid you not, I go to church with my gynecologist.

Ok, so I didn’t really jump on the table, but I felt like turning myself inside out.  Which, I suppose, would have triggered her memory about how she knows me.

I’m going to see her today.  We’ve both made the connection at this point.  When I leave the office, she will say, “See you Sunday.”  Thankfully, she sees less of me then.

Youthful Ingenuity

Necessity (or boredom) is the mother of invention.

The neighborhood kids had apparently gotten bored over mother’s day weekend. We had taken a trip out of town, which I will tell you about another time, and came home to this on the front of my neighbor’s house.

Having been cooped up in the car for a while, Isaac had to get in on the action.

I dubbed it ‘Ghetto Ball.’ Everyone agreed.

If the basket comes down with the ball, the point still counts.

The new sport of Ghetto Ball has its first star player.

Even Dad gets in on the action

Not me though. Sports and I don’t get along so well. No, I’ll just worry about where this ball is coming down. Probably my head.

Listen Up! I’m Solving The Mortgage Crisis So Pay Attention

We all know what happened. The big scary mortgage companies forced poor little citizens into buying houses they couldn’t afford. They actually held these people at gunpoint and made them sign up for ridiculous lending schemes. Everyone knows that prospective homeowners are incapable of reading a contract. With so many prospective homeowners suddenly qualified due to creative financing, the evil house flippers came on the scene. There is even a show about those people. All of the activity in the housing market artificially inflated real estate values across the country. And then a nine year old boy picked up the balloon and stretched the valve simultaneously deflating it and making a squeaky fart sound.

The question is, what do we do about it? The liberals think a bail out is in order. Fantastic! Let’s let the government have an even better grip on their quest to put a stranglehold on the free market. Brilliant. With everyone working together towards a common goal we’ll be communist in no time. Of course they aren’t taking the responsible segment of the population into account. Even though I did not get into a mortgage beyond my means, it is apparently my responsibility. Ok, I’ll bite, but what’s in it for me?

Enter THE PLAN (It’s all caps and bolded because it’s that important and great.)

First, the mortgage company reviews the foreclosure risk accounts. Knowing full well that they are going to lose money due to the ever dropping house values, they decide what amount they are willing to just write off the top. If they are smart, this will leave a principle balance that is significantly less than the current market value of the home. They will take this information and lock it away. They will also review the credit worthy mortgage holders and place them on a special capitalist pedestal.

Are you still following along? I would suggest that you take notes, but this is a blog, you can reread for details and there won’t be a test. Well there might be, but it would be open book.

The mortgage company then asks the credit worthy mortgage holders to gather at the round table where they will present an opportunity to rescue the damsel in distress and make a profit in the process.

(Oh yes my Capitalist friends, there is profit to be made in the private sector-but we’ll get into the actual opportunity in a minute.)

The mortgage company will also have a sit-down with the foreclosure risk mortgage holders. Remember that this is a group of people for whom the dream of homeownership is shattering. Not only will they no longer be able to call themselves homeowners, but they will have to uproot their families from a community and find a new place to live. The flood of displaced homeowners has already driven up rental rates in many areas so these people are very much caught in a desperate situation. But the mortgage company has a solution. These people will still have to relinquish ownership of their home, but they will not have to move out. They can continue to appear to be keeping up with the Joneses.

“How is this possible?” they cry from their place of sackcloth and ashes and immediately agree. Appearances are important after all.

Enter the League of Responsible Homeowners. Having been given a credit history, income statement, and newly adjusted loan balance, these knights in shining bank accounts will have worked up an offer. They will take on the mortgage and become landlord of the property. The distressed mortgage holder will become the tenant of the house they already live in. The responsible homeowners will have already decided the terms including monthly rent payment and payoff terms if applicable. They will also have decided which troubled properties they are willing to take on. The foreclosure risk homeowners will then decide which offer works best for them.

Everyone wins and the government doesn’t need to get involved.

The mortgage company wins because they get to unload a credit risk. Sure they take a loss, but it is likely less than they would have lost in a foreclosure. They are now carrying a mortgage for the property with a proven mortgage holder. Their risk is slim because even if the whole thing fails, they can always foreclose on the property later.

The new landlord wins because now they have a new income source. They owe less on the property than it is worth so they have instant equity as well. The former owners are likely to be good renters because they will continue to treat the house as if it were their own. If they have offered the tenant a buyout option, they are even more likely to take good care of the house. Worst case scenario, the renter defaults and is evicted. The new landlord still owns the property and can rent it out or sell it. And they can ride away on their white stallion, banner held high.

The former homeowner wins because they don’t have to move. Their kids stay in the same schools, and the Joneses never know there was a problem. The months of payments that they have missed have been forgiven, and they are now under a rental contract rather than a mortgage. If they signed up for a buyout option, they may even own it again once they get back on their feet. And since they are now free from the mortgage, they can move out with dignity if they don’t.

The market wins too. Yes, the cost correction in the real estate market is inevitable, but this scenario will take it back to the historical ebb and flow rather than a crash. Historically, real estate is a good investment. Housing values drop when the market is flooded with more homes than homeowners. My solution avoids this because these homes don’t go on the market, they stay occupied. Also the adjacent houses maintain a reasonable value because they aren’t standing beside a vacant home in disrepair.

Even the current renters win. Those that have stayed out of the market because it wasn’t the right time for them to buy a house before the prices spiked. Since this prevents a sudden influx of new renters, it keeps the rent prices fair and competitive. Not to mention the benefits for all taxpayers.

Taxpayers win because they are not forced to pay for someone else’s mistakes. No one wins when you just give handouts. Someone pays for them and the person receiving them is not served. Now if the feds will just get out of the way, we can solve this problem ourselves.

Johnny Vegas, Rape, and Semantics

I really never intended to get involved with this one.  Let me give a little history on how I got myself wrapped up in it.

I read this post on The Curvature and it made me ill.  Did Johnny Vegas rape that girl?  In all honesty, I don’t know.  I wasn’t there, and there are many conflicting reports about what happened.  I do think that what he did was disgusting and offensive.  Maybe she was an audience plant.  I don’t know.  But even if she was a willing participant, he was making a joke about assault.  Most all of the reports agree that she was trying to keep her skirt down rather than allow him to put his had up it.

Did Cara over-react?  Maybe.  But I have to agree that IF he penetrated that girl with ANYTHING without her consent, then rape would be the correct term.  Rape is not about sex; its about violence and power.  Women can and have committed it as well.  Sexual assault is also about violence and power.  Penetration would be the line between the two.  So, seeing as how only the girl and Johnny Vegas know whether or not he crossed that line, I can’t make that judgment.  Its still sick and not something that should be joked about.  He has a right to make sick jokes, but everyone else has the right to be disgusted by it.

Since Cara got a lot of very negative comments on her post, she closed the comments and posted this entry.  Some guy, Stuart Campbell, sent her an email accusing her of cheapening the experience of rape victims by creating too broad a definition.  He was belittling and rude to her in the process.  For the record, I don’t consider telling someone that they are on “only the remotest of nodding terms” with their marbles to be respectful discourse.  So I posted this comment:

Cara, I know from experience that you absolutely do not block comments on the basis of respectful disagreement. Thank you for being so brave as to call this one like it is. And that is coming from a think skinned right-wing conservative pro-lifer. Who just happens to be female as well. Speaking out gives us power. It does not mean that we are taking on the mantle of victimhood, it means that we are rising above it. I am certain that there are many women out there that you have encouraged to speak out. Or, as in my case, take a better look at their own past. It’s a very thin line between assault and rape, that line is crossed at penetration. Assault causes substantial damage as well and him calling you an exaggerator only increases the problem. There are a few women that speak out for the sake of attention, but not many. There are many more that never say a word. This guy is showing us why.

I’ve disagreed with Cara on multiple things and have been able to have interesting and respectful and published discussions with her and her readers.  This prompted someone to post the following comment on my ‘Me’ page.  I’m removing it from there, but only because that is not the appropriate placement.  This blog is not focused on these types of issues, nor do I want it to be.

This is in response to your comment on cara’s blog. I do not want or expect it to be posted, but I could not see an email link for you.

This is my comment that Cara decided not to post.

I don’t think it fits in to your description of what she does not post.

Cara,

A few things before I go to bed.

1) I took “sex” to mean “sexual intercourse” and I took that to mean “the act in which the male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract” (Thankyou wikipedia).

2) I didn’t read any where that said Jonny Vegas digitally penetrated the woman

3) My point is, a lesser crime should get a lesser punishment, for that to happen, the crimes need something to differentiate them. Like what they are called.

4) I was worried I might come across as patronising. I am sorry for that, I was just trying to explain what I wanted to say with the least ammount of confusion. Sometimes it’s hard to not to sound blunt and abrupt on the internet. I guess I went too far the other way.

5) As for Stuart’s feelings about victims of rape, I do not know them for sure, I only know what I have seen him write. And I think he cares deeply. And I also think that he’s worried that people will see this incident and will think “what the hell is all the fuss about, that wasn’t so bad”. And I think he is worried that they will diminish what someone who is brutally raped has gone through. (By the way at this point I want to point out that I hate attempting to say what I think he would think, because I will not be able to do it accuratly, and I will probably have got something wrong. So sorry about that.) That’s not to belittle what someone who has been sexually assaulted has gone through either.

6) But yet I will do it again in this point as I hardly think Stuart (or anyone else) is going around giving marks out of 10 for rape. But just as you might say “at least the house didn’t burn down” if your cooker sets fire to the kitchen and ruins 1/2 of the room, if someone was sexually mollested but otherwise unharmed you might think “at least they weren’t raped”.

7) I have beed reading Stuart Campbells work for a long time and I can’t say I have ever noticed any misogynistic tendancies or him appologise for rapists, please can you show me where he has done that? Thanks.

8) I hope you don’t think my last comment was shitty, because all I did was try to explain the comments of someone else and point out I disagreed with you. I don’t think I was rude (I tried so hard not to be that you accused me of being patronising, something I have attempted not to do this time)

9) This is your blog so you are welcome to do as you wish

10) I really need to go bed as I’m tired so please forgive anything that doesn’t make sense (And even if you don’t I’m blaming that any way)

Malc

I did not mean for my comment to be directed at Malc, I meant for it to be directed at this Campbell guy.  Cara gets to decide what she does or does not publish.

Rape and sexual assault are sensitive issues that I really do not want to get into.  Both are wrong and damaging and I think its sick that Johnny Vegas decided to make a joke out of it.

Flashing the Nerd Card

So my bloggy girlfriend is lamenting her nerdiness today. I thought I would come out and say that I too am quite the nerd. While she is recovering from tooth issues, I am going to share with you the DVD collection of the Hast household.

So here is the wide view

The DVDs

But I suppose that really isn’t good enough. Ok, the upper left hand side
Left Side

Yes, that IS in fact the Die Hard box set. Bruce Willis is so hot. Also the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Did you notice Shaun of the Dead? And some Anime because we really are that dorky.

And the lower left hand side.
Lower left
That just says it all doesn’t it? Buddy Christ, yellow submarine, ammo, and a classic Nintendo.

The upper right
Upper Right
Lots more Anime. Can you name the figurines?

And the lower right
Lower Right
Oh look! More Anime! And a satellite speaker from Radio Shack.

In case you have ever wondered, I am a bonafide nerd. I graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and my first job was at a comic book store. I can also quote the entire Phantom of the Opera from memory.

By the way, I am currently writing this on the computer in the living room which is hooked up to the home theater projector. Which means that my nerdiness is being projected on a 91″ screen. Freaking awesome!

E-Mail Death Threat

I got this in my email recently. Thought I should share.

Killing Network wrote:
> Hello,
>
>
> I am very sorry for you , is a pity that this is how your life isgoing
> to end as soon as you don’t comply. As you can see there is no need of
> introducing myself to you because I don’t have any business with you, my
> duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL you and I have to do it as
> I have already been paid for that.
>
>
> Someone you call a friend wants you Dead by all means, and this person
> have spent a lot of money in this venture,This person came to us and told
> me that he wanted you dead and he provided us with your name ,picture
> and other necessary information’s we needed about you. So I sent my boys
> to track you down and they have carried out the necessary investigation
> needed for the operation on you, and they have done that but I told them
> not to kill you that I will like to contact you and see if your life is
> important to you.I called my client back and ask him of your email address
> which I didn’t tell him what I wanted to do with it and he gave it to me
> and I am using it to contact you now. As I am writing to you this mail my
> men are monitoring you and they are telling me everything about you.
>
> Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE?Since all program has been made and drawn
> to kill you. Get back to me now if you are ready to pay some fees to
> spare your life, $15,000 is all you need to spend in this process you will
> first of all pay $8,000 then i will send a tape to you which i recorded
> every
> discusion i had with the person who wanted you dead and as soon as
> you get the tape, you will pay the remaining balance of $7,000. If you are
> not ready for my help, then I will carry on with my job straight-up.
>
> WARNING: DO NOT THINK OF CONTACTING THE POLICE OR EVEN TELLING ANYONE
> BECAUSE I WILL KNOW,REMEMBER, SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU VERY WELL WANT
> YOU
> DEAD! I WILL EXTEND IT TO YOUR FAMILY, INCASE I NOTICE SOMETHING
> FUNNY
> ABOUT YOUR TELLING THE SECURITY ABOUT IT BECAUSE A GOOD LOOK IS OUT
> YOU AT
> MOMENT.
>
> DO NOT COME OUT ONCE IT IS 7:PM UNTIL I MAKE OUT TIME TO SEE YOU AND
> GIVE
> YOU THE TAPE OF ALL DISCUSSION WITH THE PERSON WHO WANT YOU DEAD
> THEN YOU
> CAN USE IT TO TAKE ANY LEGAL ACTION. GOOD LUCK AS I AWAIT YOUR REPLY
>
>
>
>
>

Well damn!  I hope they don’t notice that I told.  Magnum loads are worth a fair amount of cash.  I’ll deliver the balance in lead just as soon as they come to visit.  I’ll know them by their Engrish and constant shouting.  Everyone knows that all hit-men use Hotmail.  Oh, if you want to contact them, here’s the email address: aquadakillingnet55@gmail.com

Today’s Free Shooting Lesson

Because I know that you all are seeking shooting advice from me. So I thought I would provide a pictorial reference.

So, without further adieu….
Good Grip Technique
Here is a demonstration of good grip technique. Notice that the back-strap of my revolver is in the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. This helps with recoil. Very important when shooting magnum loads.

Next
Bad Grip Technique
Bad grip technique. Looks more like the movies, but is not a good way to shoot. This will slam that magnum recoil right into that thumb joint.

And why is that important? So your hand doesn’t end up looking like this.
This is why

Yeah, that smarts. Me, apparently not so smart for this particular range trip.

You know what else I learned that week? I hold my pen in exactly the same place as my incorrect revolver grip. I got to have a daily reminder for seven full days before the next trip to the range. And guess what? I didn’t make that mistake again.