needing a punishing robot
Monday, April 9 2007
It was a sunny day, but not especially warm. For awhile now it's been rare for temperatures to rise even as high as the 50s, which is making this into an unusually cold April. In the past two Aprils I was out there with a jackhammer at this time of year, digging drainage ditches through the driveway. It wouldn't be pleasant enough weather for that sort of work now.
Still, it was good enough weather for cyclists, particularly the kind who are hard core enough to attempt the climb of Dug Hill Road's southmost mile, which rises 430 feet over that distance (for an average grade of over 8%). That mile mercifully begins to level out at our driveway, but at that point the exhausted cyclist is often made to endure yet another ordeal, a black forty pound pit bull hurtling towards him or her at a speed that couldn't be outrun even if the cyclist hadn't just climbed such a hill.
As cycling weather renews in earnest in April, particularly on long sunny days beneath cold crystal-clear skies, the dogs can frequently be found sunning themselves in the driveway. This puts Eleanor (and it's only ever Eleanor) in a prime forward position to attack. I didn't expect any cyclists today, but sure enough one materialized and Eleanor gave chase, in the end sort of dancing in front of and otherwise getting in the cyclist's way. I shouted for her to come back as always, and the cyclist didn't even seem all that mad, but I realized we'd have to get more serious about this problem or else something bad is going to happen: somebody is going to get hit by a car or someone is going to file another complaint with the Hurley dog catcher. So I resolved to buy one of those underground dog fences, the kind that causes a shocker collar to fire if approached too closely. In the past I've tried using a radio-controlled shocker collar, but that's impractical unless somebody is sitting there in the yard, remote in hand, waiting for cyclists. I need something that doles out its punishment completely automatically. I need a punishing robot.
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