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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   Labrador disaster
Sunday, July 29 2007

Homesite is my text editor of choice. It's what I use for all my coding and writing. Basically, if I'm creating with a keyboard, I'm probably in Homesite (although I might also be using Trillian, Thunderbird, or typing in a web form). I've been using Homesite since December 14th, 1997 and see no reason to change. Today, in an effort to lessen my distraction from the flock of new eye floaters, I changed the color scheme of Homesite so that everything would be white (or silver) on black. It was such a big change that initially I had trouble working. All the once-familiar functions in my code libraries now looked alien and I had difficulty finding things. The color coding had also changed radically. Now my text seems to glow, often in neon colors. In time, though, I think I'll grow accustomed to working this way.

Some friends from city stopped in at our house for the night on the way to a week-long vacation in the Adirondacks. These were Linda, Adam, and Michelle, part of the Ray and Nancy crowd. Adam and Linda had brought their dog, Libby, famous for an insatiable appetite and the chaos resulting from the pursuit of sating it.
We met Penny and David at the Rosendale Café for dinner, bringing Sally and Eleanor along, but leaving Libby locked up in the larger of the two basement guest rooms. We sat out in the back of the Café in that new patio area they built on the cracked foundation of an old out building. We let the dogs run around free, and they mostly stayed out of trouble. Somebody else had also brought a dog, a little guy who resembled a large caterpillar, and he was also running around free. At first we thought the little dog's name was Geoffrey, but it turned out it was actually the much less exciting "Meschugga." (Geoffrey turned out to be the name of his human dad.)
There was much interesting conversation at our table, including some concerning recent Rosendale history with the owner of the Café when he came by. There's always much to be said about that gay couple that swept into Rosendale on a gentrification mission, hoping to turn the village into the de facto capitol of "the Swish Alps." These were the guys who opened the hip Cement Factory restaurant and the disrespectfully-named Alamo (a Mexican restaurant), as well as a WiFi-equipped laundromat, and then closed all these ventures down just as suddenly, leading me to write about tumbleweed blowing down Rosendale's main drag.

When we returned home, we found Libby had somehow busted out of the guest room in which she'd been confined and there were bloody paw prints everywhere. Then I discovered why: she'd managed to knock a ceramic doggy bowl off the kitchen's center island and it had smashed to smithereens all over the kitchen floor. Libby had eaten all the cat food in the bowls atop the various tables and devoured four of the five Trader Joe's everything bagels that had been in a bag atop the kitchen island (a loss that would take me a day to put behind me). The blood was evidently from an injury sustained while stepping on the shards of broken ceramic.
In the basement we discovered that Libby had punched out the screen on the screen door of the guest room, which had allowed her to slip outside and then back into the house through the pet door.
It was fairly easy to fix the screen and sweep up the ceramic shards, although we kept finding bloody paw prints in places farther and farther afield from the kitchen.
The moral of all this is as follows: if you get a Labrador, be prepared for the many trials and tribulations that result from an absurd and pathological interest in food. Seeing Libby's behavior, all I can think is how blessed I am to have dogs with other, more nuanced interests. I know Sally, for example, is obsessed with chipmunks. But I take some comfort that this interest is an abstraction for food that, in the end, she doesn't even want. On the few occasions she has actually killed a chipmunk, she lost interest the moment it was dead.

On a somewhat tangential note, I should mention that houseguests always manage to surprise me with the little differences their habits have with respect to my own, which I like to believe include a fairly-obvious set of ecologically-minded behaviors. I shouldn't be surprised when I see them tossing clearly compost-worthy trash into our conventional trash can (though I am). But should I be when I notice that they never once turn off a light when they're the last person leaving a room? Turning off the flow of resources that are no longer needed seems like a basic Acting Locally 101 sort of habit, though evidently it's possible to make it into one's 30s without ever developing it.

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