Posted by: David | March 22, 2008

Spring Ain’t Sprung …

 … Yet. Not here in the lakes region of New Hampshire.

Ice on the crabapple trees in New London.

Our backyard is still very snowy. Oliver at lower right.

He’s looking a bit scruffy. Needs a haircut and a bath.

So I’m giving you all a break from the B&W nostalgia trip. And since moonbeam and Wendy have asked about the dog, I’ll catch you up on his activities.

The pony got a good clipping.

This is how much hair came off the pony.

So Oliver got his 2008 Town of Bradford dog license in the mail today. Oliver is dog #110. I think I’ll start calling him “Dog One Ten”. The new licenses are little bone-shaped colored aluminum tags. Prior years the town gave an aluminum band that one used pliers to clamp around the collar. At least those didn’t go jingle jangle jingle.

He was a little busy this morning.

He’s digging a snow tunnel to Squirrelville.

Industrious ain’t he? He spent a good 45 minutes on this project.

He’s biting the snow for some reason.

This is his second major snow tunnel job. The excavations are right underneath the bird feeders. The snow is super deep there from being shovelled off the roof. We put about 200 lbs. per year of black oil sunflower seeds through the feeders and the birds drop a lot of seeds. So the squirrels, chipmunks, and ground feeding birds clean up. Oliver watches all this action from the windowsill and trembles. Sometimes he really goes nuts and running from windowsill to windowsill whining and shaking. That’s what he was doing before going out to work on tunnel #2.


  1. But maybe the squirrel — or wasn’t it a chipmunk? — down there now is terrified. Somebody has to be down there for Oliver to try so hard.

    That’s a lot of snow you got there. (This sentence is me imitating an imaginary US university professor, one that I do not know personally, but have construed from written evidence). When all this begins to melt, won’t you get flooded?

    And when can you finally start planting? My geranium is going to blossom now and my Begonia has already three blossoms and they are by now permanently outside.

    I’m sure all the rodents are QUITE terrified of Oliver. He is Genghis Kahn, Hitler and Stalin all rolled up in one Rat-Hating-Machine!

    Nice job imitating the US syntax. From your frequent critiques of academia I have to wonder where your PhD is from? Myself, I never completed a degree, but I love working at the small college where I’ve been for that last decade.

    Congratulations on your flowers going outside permanently (or did you mean until next winter?) 😀

  2. That’s a lotta work for a little dog, considering. What cannot be captured on film: the lingering “snow” cover is incredibly dense and hard this year — a marginally-porous ice-pack that is still a foot deep, plating all wild ground. It is dismaying. Oliver is an inspiration, though. I should post a pic of my peppermint plant, also permanently outside. Dead of frost, of course, but still: permanently outside.

    Yup it is, and just for the reason you mention- the snow is so very hard. You can walk on top of it without hardly ever breaking through. Plating everything! It IS dismaying, like a mini ice age. On my way home from the dump this morning I had to navigate this glacier coming out of someone’s driveway onto the roadway.

    Ollie remains thwarted in his hard-wired vendetta against all non-canines (including but not limited to all unmanaged felines). Poor little guy. I hope he gets something this summer or he will truly go MAD I tell ya!

  3. Homer: Hmm.. crabapples…

    They do look deee licious all frozen up like that, huh?

  4. I was not trying to imitate the syntax, but the……eloquence.

    I do not have a university degree, but a translator diploma. However, you don’t need any university studies to work as a translator.

    The curse is not on all academia, but on the humanities. Have you seen their publications? Do you know how they work?

    Well cantueso, I’m surprised as you seem so erudite and well-read. In my returning-to-school dreams I’m taking fun art classes, but I usually have lost my schedule and don’t know where I’m supposed to be. Can’t argue with you on the fuzziness of the “humanities” as you call them. But can’t read that stuff either.

    Perhaps it’s time to read Mr. Frankfurt’s slim volume?

  5. This post should win some sort of cuteness award. The captions are hilarious, though I wish you’d lay off of Dog 110 a little. If he’s digging in the snow for 45 minutes, you know it has to be for some very intelligent, important reason.

    You have a PONY? A snowy white pony, that sort of looks more like a horse? Oh my gosh! Does Romi know?

    Yes, that’s Justice, my wife’s Arab cross mare. She’s pretty old. Snowy white pony makes it sound romantic. We’ve always had equines ever since the daughter got her shetland pony at age 8. His name was Jackson. My daughter’s Hanoverian Thorobred lives on our farm too. His name is Buddy. He’s a dork. Do you have any idea how much these things crap? Here’s a post from back in November with more horse info.

    What I’d like to tell you about is how I used the snowblower behind the barn to throw the manure and bedding out to edges of the corn and punkin patch! THAT was cool!

  6. All your pony needs is a horn stuck to her head and you’d have a unicorn. Is it a she? Where was all that pony hair? Did you shave her.

    I wish I could borrow Oliver and let him chase after my squirrel. We have no snow. He’d save energy because he wouldn’t have to dig. He could just run and catch.

    Yeah, we get that unicorn comment a lot. Justice is a mare, and she was very fuzzy with her winter coat. My wife clipped her with the sheep shears and a special attachment. Now that she’s been clipped she’ll have to wear a blanket if it gets really cold.

    Oliver would be in doggy heaven chasing your squirrel! He calls them ‘rat bastards’ too!

    Alas, I too am afraid to drive over that bridge, having done it once a couple of summers ago.

  7. Pretty pony. At first glance, I thought he had snow in his stall! 🙂

    Pssst… don’t tell Oliver there’s no squirrel under there. He can smell it, and by golly, he’s going to dig till summer if he has to, to find it.

    Yes it does look like snow. She gets very furry in the winter. They need the insulation. I truly hope that Oliver “gets his bones” this summer. He’s a little hard to live with now.

  8. Could just picture dog one ten quivering and running from window to window. We used to have a cat who used to sit and stare at birds for hours and sometimes would just quiver for long periods. I am with Cantueso…what happens to all that snow when it melts….does it just turn to mud?

    Hi Magik Quilter and thanks for your comments 😀 Our cat is way too cool to quiver, but she is an excellent hunter. The only prey that Oliver has ever had the pleasure to mouth was caught first by the cat, whose name is “Hunter”.

    I forgot to answer cantueso’s question. She had some incredible ideas for snow removal methods a while back. But the answer is yes, it turns to mud. We have a whole unpleasant month between winter and spring’s true arrival that we call “Mud Season”. It can be a real bad thing! This year the nights have gone back below freezing so the melt is going gradually. I hope it stays that way. Sudden warmup = floods and mud. 😦

  9. I loved all these photos, loved seeing all the March Madness that spring brings to my beloved New England. And thank God you’ve given us the Oliver Update, I was having withdrawals. He looks excellent and even though you say he needs a bath, I believe he’s just looking stylized and will start a new trend, like Don Johnson’s five o’clock shadow on Miami Vice.

    I have a theory about his tunneling activities. I think he’s making a squirrel trap, so that when the squirrels are in that tunnel looking for seeds he can sneak right up behind them and have them cornered.

    Thanks for saying so Wendy! Ollie had a pretty nice easter. We didn’t have any young children over to the house so the dreaded inflatable rabbit was not brought down from the attic. Oliver seems to really hate all inflatable toys. This rabbit terrified him last year, even though it sat dumbly in a chair all day, ignored by all the children.

    My wife will soon give Ollie his spring haircut, so I’ll post some pix of that. He seems to like his scruffy look. Says it gets him more drinks when he goes cruising at the local feed store and transfer station. I’m his wingman. 😉

  10. To David:

    To Joanharvest you said: “He calls them ‘rat bastards’ too!”

    Isn’t it “rogue”? Rogue bastards?

    Joanharvest wrote that her “wasband” referred to their resident pesky squirrel as rat bastards. Though not used so much nowadays, “rat” was a mild all-purpose insult, often having different shades of meaning in different subcultures.

    “Rogue bastards” certainly conveys the same meaning, but the expression “rat bastard” is used more because it flows better as a curse, (almost onomatopoeia but no). It’s more fun to say, like CRAPSTACK!

  11. The scruffy look also draws more ladies, you know.

    One hates to see one of those otherwise good-looking guys wearing socks that fit the shirt and a tie that fits the socks and shoes that fit the tie just to remind passers-by and people at work that he is solidly married.

    Very funny comment cantueso 😀 Before drawing too near to that scruffy but wife-coordinately-dressed fellow, one should check that he also doesn’t need a haircut and a bath. 🙂

  12. As I am not the horsey sister, I always admire that barn! It is a beauty. And here are a couple of random comments thought about over the last many posts. First, how nostalgic of you to share your younger days after protecting them like a closely guarded secret over the past 30 years !! Second, I loved the hats and the oh so still still-lifes. Third, the snow is like an arctic tundra and I doubt it will melt at all at this point. Fourth, in answer to the question about where the snow goes when it melts — why we drink it of course — straight to the well!! Finally, as homework before the bar mitzvah (can he possibly be that old!!!) you must watch Keeping Up With the Steins. And make sure that old comedian knows we are wishing him great mazel!

    Thanks Carol. FYI, the trigger for this nostalgia was the Nikon Coolscan IV EDfilm scanner that I’m borrowing from work. Plus the memories that are returning as I look at some of the images. That “close guarding” is nothing more than my generally taciturn affect.

    Thanks for that teacherly reminder about the hydrologic cycle! And for the movie recommedation.

    I’ll pass the mazel wishes along to both of the old comedians.

  13. Aww, how cute.

  14. I learnt “rogue” from the Bush-Condoleeze constellation there.

    I would like to take some of these photos as thumbnails for my sidebar. I would not keep them there for more than a couple of weeks, because later I would like to put stats there that I discovered yesterday.

    I do not think that on the sidebar I can turn pictures into links, though I will try, since prefab pictures do come with a link. — I know I can add a text reference. A tiny-url would direct the viewer straight to this page here; or should I rather put in your home address?

    We use the term “rogue” in IT to refer to undesirable software, code, or malicious users on the network. It’s a fine word.

    Please help yourself cantueso, whichever way works best for you. I’m honored! There will be more photos coming, I’m sure you know …

    I’ve left 3 comments on your blog today and yesterday that for some reason have not shown up. Can you please see if they are being moderated or stuck in the Akisment spam? Thanks.

  15. I enjoyed your video recommendation about bullshit

    Since I had never seen any muppets I had to wait until yesterday evening to get a good connection. I have what is called broadband, but it is often slowed down and then not good for film or music.

    However, I would not want to read a complete book about bullshit. I can produce it a dollar a mile:

    I never read any book about psychology, not even one. Yet once I wrote a paper for somebody who was in trouble and could not get her degree. I wrote it without even checking a psychology book, and it got accepted and she got her degree. It was about methods used to assess progress in therapy. It was at a good Swiss university. I did it in the evening after work in about a month on an old Olivetti, even crying. I am not a good typist.


    That’s very funny! Dollar a mile is a good price! It reminds me of some of the papers I wrote in my short college career for a class called, yes, “HUMANITIES 110”. At least I got to read the Iliad. Yuk!

    I bought that Bullshit book as a gift for my dad. He wasn’t especially impressed.

  16. The first picture is my favorite. It’s beautiful.

    I don’t get to see snow often. I know it’s a pain for the people who deal with it all the time but I love it. It’s always so pretty. I recently froze my butt off playing in the snow in Omaha 🙂 I must have taken 50 pictures.

    Thank you Lucky! 😀 I don’t mind the snow that much but this winter was just a bit much. Not much I can do about it except move it out of the way. Makes me feel like an ant sometimes.

  17. 4 comments from you were on Akismet! And complete with their avatar. I have seen people on the WordPress forum ask about that. I think you have to ask at “Support”.

    Mulleweg is very proud of his Akismet which, technically, seems to have been a real achievement. It should not fail like that.

    Thanks for fishing them out of the filter. It must have been some kind of error, as my comments didn’t even have any hyperlinks. I’ve fished comments out a few times but usually the filter works well. Good job Mulleweg!

  18. I cannot read the comments now, because I am at work, and though there is lots of leisure time, it is better employed less thoughtfully.

    Do fewer thoughts in one’s head help with translating? [I’m trying to guess what ‘time better employed less thoughtfully’ might mean …

  19. Are those pics for real? I.E. do you seriously have a fucking pony or are you just messing with me?

    I must know this.

    Well Romi, she isn’t a “fucking pony” per se, but an Arab cross. And yes, we have little red horse barn with Justice, the white one, and Buddy, a brown Hanoverian Thorobred(my daughter’s horse). You can see a picture of him on this post from last summer. You know I would never mess with you, except for a laugh!

    I actually do not recommend giant pets AT ALL. My women are horsey girls.

  20. “time better spent less thoughtfully”, I was told long ago by a poor Spaniard who had been working from about age 10 on, that one either had to work or to think, one cannot do both.

    So while at work you should not try to think.

    I got stranded here because you seem to have removed the category “cloud”. I just discovered that on my template I can have the categories as a dropdown “menu”. Can’t you? Because without that menu, how can I find the garage construction posts again? I had just got to where the workers were moving in.

    Apologies, it never occurred to me that one might use the category cloud to navigate. It doesn’t seem like there are many choices for the display of this cloud in my template. I put it back for you.

    Thanks for explaining the thinking while you work remark. I agree, mostly. My work tends to involve a lot of thinking, or remembering anyway. That and a lot of web surfing for “solutions”.

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