I couldn’t figure out why the dog videos generated so much traffic until one kind commenter noted it had been on Flickr’s blog. By now her 15 minutes are over, but it’s very amusing to see that the wider public appreciates her penchant for logs.
Today’s short hike in Desolation Wilderness was primarily for the dog’s benefit, as she’s not seen much in the way of long walks for some time. As evidenced by the video, she had a lot of pent-up energy.
While many people were celebrating this historic election, I spent today fighting with a slow and surly computer. It’s become such an issue that it makes the most rote work tasks take 5 times as long, leaving me with days of high unproductivity (an anathema in my family). After a particularly frustrating morning I dropped the laptop off at the fix-it place with explicit instructions to do whatever it takes (remove Microsoft Office? Blow it up?).
As a result I’m working off an old computer of N’s. It’s equally slow, and the Internet browser has taken to freezing up and crashing at highly inopportune moments, like when I’m trying to grade my online course assignments. Suffice to say my stress levels have skyrocketed, despite ample amounts of red wine. I’m beginning to believe it is more me than the computer, seeing as how these issues appear to be following me from machine to machine. At this point i wouldn’t be surprised if it followed me to a friggin’ ABACUS.
The dog is slinking around the house thinking that my explosive cursing is aimed at her. Her innate guilt is amusing but off base tonight. For someone so reliant upon computers and the Interweb, I’m not loving what I do for a living right now. Culinary school actually sounds quite appealing.
Friday night Tahoe got hit with a winterish (for October) storm, one that left trails in awesome condition and the mountains a light shade of white (a few inches, not the 16 I’d heard predicted above 9,000 ft). While I was too ill to enjoy playing outside Saturday (damn stomach bug), I was able to let myself get excited for winter and skiing as I worked at home and felt generally feeble.
And since we’ve accumulated 2+ cords of wood from the trees we had removed from our property this summer, there’s no need to hold back on keeping the wood stove cranking. Which is what we did yesterday and again this afternoon, much to the dog’s delight. It didn’t take long before she was splayed out in a puddle of dog by the fireplace, pink nose and all. Lucky for her, N, the resident fire builder/manager, doesn’t have much in the way of business travel this winter.
It was only Monday last I looked. How did it become mid-September already?
The wind from our Labor Day trip to Mammoth must have pushed the time by all the quicker. It’s quite versatile, that wind. Not only did it exfoliate my face with the help of the pumice that’s native to Mammoth, but it kept thing exciting at our hotel, the Tamarack Lodge, by rattling windows and trees and gusting to ridiculous speeds (I heard 95 mph on the local weather).
Despite the unusual weather, it was refreshing to get out of Dodge for a weekend and enjoy some cooler temps, different scenery and see old friends. N had spent Saturday morning doing maintenance on the Ski Club Lodge (a keeping it real quonset hut perched on some prime Mammoth real estate), so we stole a few hours in the afternoon to do a short hike. That meant Mammoth frontcountry, which is polluted with people, many of whom have no clue about hiking etiquette. N had words with some retards who insisted on cutting the trail, and the idiots acted contrite but continued to do so until he caught up with them again. However, there was a lake within short distance which meant the dog could swim, so we suffered stupidity for her needs.
She amused the various groups of Japanese tourists (there were many) who weren’t familiar with a dog prancing with a log.
Most people just hike to and from the lake, but we continued another half hour up the trail to the Mammoth Crest, which is well worth it for the views.
The best part of the hike was the descent – it took only 20 minutes to descend what took an hour to climb, and got us back to the Tamarack Lodge in time for cocktail hour.
Yesterday I took the dog out for a run, since her energy levels had rebounded exponentially since our 19 mile hike on Saturday. It was hot, which meant I did the ‘jogging shuffle’ instead of my slightly faster paced ‘fast jog’. I don’t force Soleil to heel when I’m this slow – it would drive both of us insane. Instead she meanders about, sniffing and marking, coming back to me to make sure I’m still moving, but rarely does she stand still.
So it was with a bit of puzzlement that I saw her standing off the trail looking back at me during one particularly steep and painful hill climb. I wasn’t sure why, but the answer became clear when I saw a mountain biker whizzing towards me at a good clip. Soleil, usually known more for her stupidity than her intellect, must have internalized some of my ‘heel’ commands at actually figured something out. Who knew?
It’s amazing what a huge payoff dog training has in the long run. (Isn’t that right bro?)
The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival is one of those great cultural festivals that blends the words of the Bard with the beauty of Lake Tahoe. It’s something we try to attend once a year, if only to picnic on the shore of the Lake. This year’s comedy production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and in an effort to add realism to the performance, the production announced it was seeking a dog to play the role of Starveling the Tailor’s dog. On a whim I sent off a few choice pics of Soleil. Earlier this week I learned that the photos made an impression, and our not-too-bright (and certainly not literate) dog had been selected to audition next week.
While the notion of Soleil on stage getting her 15 minutes of fame (and love) is amusing, I’m not sure I’m going to go ahead with the audition. It’s a lot of schlepping – 3 performances a week for 5 weeks – and I’d be required to drive her to Sand Harbor (about 60 miles round trip) and stay until 10 pm each night. I know that parents drive that distance and more for their blood children, but this is a dog of questionable pedigree we’re talking about here.
However, the great story that this would make almost negates the gas and time. And since no other grandchild in my family has made it that far as an actor, I’m really tempted to go ahead with the audition. It’s a week away, so I have ample time to reflect on this until then.