Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Miss Beary.

Crying as I write this.

I guess stress makes me a bit emotional, and I am under a lot of work stress right now.

'Found some pics of Bear on Jim's camera, apparently taken by Chandler who is a good photographer without even trying.

Little White Flags

So we are now set up with the invisible fence for Bum. The fence boys (they were not even 30 years old - mere babies) were very nice, and spent a few hours first installing the underground wire around the pre-determined perimeter, then sitting down with me to go over all of the manuals and equipment, and then out to start Bumble's training. For the next week I need to take him out with his collar and while on a leash a couple of times a day, and walk near enough to the perimeter so that he can hear the warning sound at which point I pull him back and praise him for backing off. After doing it a couple of times today Bum seemed to be making the connection between little white flags and a correction. He will not, however, feel his first actual zap until next Thursday when the fence folks return. Then we let him feel the zap - I think he will respond quickly. He is not fond of any type of correction, verbal or otherwise, as I think he may have been - um - "over corrected" in the past.

As a matter of fact, Bark Off, which absolutely does nothing for my other two dogs, works like a charm on Bumble. I now have one out in the goat shed so he doesn't bark at them. Magical. And its funny how a non-barking dog is a relaxed dog.

So the quest for safe freedom and safe exercise for Bumble is continuing ... I'm excited for him. He deserves to run and play freely. It is worth every penny of the $1649 (gulp). Really it is!

~ a weatherproof portable transmitter like the one we purchased as part of the whole shebang ~

~ an indoor portable transmitter like the one we purchased as part of the whole shebang ~

~ the Lupine collar design we selected ... the best affordable dog collar brand on the market ~

(Beary's Lupine collar ... we decided to not use this one and instead "retire" that style even though we like it so much)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Hymn

I always read the teeny print at the bottom of the hymnal page while singing in church - it is amazing how old so much of the music is. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and one of my favorite hymns will be joyously proclaimed ...

From Wikipedia
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today is a Christian hymn associated with Easter. Most of the stanzas were written by Charles Wesley, and the hymn appeared under the title Hymn for Easter Day in Hymns and Sacred Songs by Charles and John Wesley in 1739. It remains a traditional processional hymn on Easter Sunday.

The hymn is a variation of an earlier hymn Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, a 14th century Latin hymn which had been translated into English and published in Lyra Davidica in 1708 (and later in 1749 in Arnold's Compleat Psalmodist). In some hymnals, Jesus Christ Is Risen Today is in fact the 3 stanza Compleat Psalmodist version with one or more of the additional stanzas written by Wesley appended.

Many hymnals include both hymns separately. Almost all list Jesus Christ Is Risen Today to be sung to the hymn tune Easter Hymn (either the original from Lyra Davidica or an alternative arrangement by William Henry Monk). Some, such as the Australian Hymn Book, also list that as the tune for Christ the Lord Is Risen Today. However, most list Christ the Lord Is Risen Today to be sung to the anonymous tune Nassau (first found in a late 17th-century German book of sacred tunes), to the tune Gwalchmai by Welsh composer Joseph David Jones, or to the tune Llanfair, by another Welsh composer, Robert Williams. Hymns Old and New (New Anglican Edition - published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd) uses Wurttemberg with Alleluias (attributed to Hundert Arien, Dresden 1694) for 'Christ the Lord is Risen Again'.

1. Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 

2. Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 

3. Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! 

4. Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! 

5. Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! 

6. King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Helping Bumble's Guardian Angel

This coming week we are having an invisible fence installed to keep our Bumble off the leash and away from the road. Although we could have saved money by purchasing similar equipment and then installing it ourselves, having it installed by people who have been in the business for years gives me the peace of mind that I need after going through last fall's tragedy. This busy road leaves no room for error, and I really don't think I could emotionally survive another loss.

I initially sent out a request on the Invisible Fence of Buffalo Niagara website for a free estimate, and was pleasantly surprised by the prompt and friendly phone call I received from Patty the Office Manager to set up an appointment. The owner himself, Mike, then came out to my house on an early Saturday morning, and he immediately made me realize that I was dealing with a professional.

Mike and I walked around the yard, discussing perimeters, and he met Bumble. Now I am not stupid so I realize a lot of his niceness is because he is a salesman, but he really seemed genuine when he patiently responded to my questions, complimented me on my little mess of a dog, and made me feel confident that I will be able to keep my baby boy safe. He also took a lot of time going over the various products and solutions they offer (again, I'm not stupid but) and he made me feel confident. I already wrote about the confidence, I know, but I cannot stress it enough. The price tag is large, but it includes the installation of the wire, the collar, and a couple of portable thingies that I can use at various times to keep Bumble away from different spots, including my koi pond. The big appeal for me is that these folks will help me train my dog. That is huge. So along with the installation appointment, I have 2 additional dog training appointments set for the next couple of weeks. All in all I think that it is all money well spent, although I shall keep you, my dear reader, posted as we travel along this journey.

I am excited. 'A little nervous, but excited.  : )

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Shack

I finally read the The Shack by William P. Young.

I have heard others talk about this book and I admit I was skeptical. Well, it is a book unlike any I had ever read, and it left me moved. It is not religious, but if you have questions for God this is the book for you. God is portrayed in a way that extends across (beyond?) organized religious boundaries, and in this book we are reminded that God is LOVE, and that this love is all around us and and within us. 'Beautiful.

Good Friday

Luke 23:33,34
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


While on vacation I enjoyed so much about the ocean ... when walking I savored the breezes, the sounds of the surf, the birds, the little crabs on the beach, the hundreds of jellies washed ashore ... sadly I left my camera in the condo most of the time. Shame on me.

~ zooooomed from the balcony ~

~ again, zoomed, and this time I included these random beach combers ~

~ no words needed ~

~ perfection ~

~ infinite compositions ~

Myrtle 2011

Beautiful vacation, but glad to be home. We rented a modest condo at the Ocean Forest Villas where we had two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a perfect view from our balcony.

~ full moon with reflection ~

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Map Testing

Okay. So for our public art installment "Schooling Fish" we need an interactive map for the web site. Well, my Flash abilities are very limited, and I did not want to use the monster Dreamweaver to create a page with rollovers and all sorts of stuff that's a pain to edit as we (hopefully) add more fish, so I went hunting (fishing??) for a solution. After Googling around and hitting all sorts of dead ends (not free, not mac, not what we need, etc.) I finally found ZeeMaps. It is entirely web based, so I can edit my map anywhere and update it instantly. So it has a Google Ad (nothing is free) and a link to ZeeMaps - who cares. It functions well and it was easy enough for me to quickly figure out how to tweak it.

Their profile:
ZeeMaps makes it simple for you to create an interactive world map. The map is stored on our server, and accessible anytime, anywhere from a web browser. With a special member password, your group members can also add entries on the map. Upload a CSV file of contacts, e.g., from Outlook, Excel, or ACT!, to mark entries on your map. Specify your own attributes to qualify entries of your map, e.g., phone number, email, and contact. Search for entries using different criteria, e.g., search for all group members who are within 25 miles of New York, or show all houses that are priced between $350,000 and $500,000. Publish a map, including search, on your own website by embedding a few lines of HTML in your Web page.

And I read some pretty glowing testimonials on their site here.

The map below is my testing map, and after it is finished (it still needs photos, etc.) it will be published on the Schooling Fish site. Stay tuned for more from this cool project : )

Monday, April 11, 2011


The nocturnal chorus of peepers in the early spring still gives me butterflies. It is a sure sign that winter is over and spring is really here, even if there are still some snow flurries and frosty nights ahead.

From the Nat Geo site:

Spring peepers are to the amphibian world what American robins are to the bird world. As their name implies, they begin emitting their familiar sleigh-bell-like chorus right around the beginning of spring.

Found in wooded areas and grassy lowlands near ponds and swamps in the central and eastern parts of Canada and the United States, these tiny, well-camouflaged amphibians are rarely seen. But the mid-March crescendo of nighttime whistles from amorous males is for many a sign that winter is over.

Spring peepers are tan or brown in color with dark lines that form a telltale X on their backs. They grow to about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) in length, and have large toe pads for climbing, although they are more at home amid the loose debris of the forest floor.

They are nocturnal creatures, hiding from their many predators during the day and emerging at night to feed on such delicacies as beetles, ants, flies, and spiders.

They mate and lay their eggs in water and spend the rest of the year in the forest. In the winter, they hibernate under logs or behind loose bark on trees, waiting for the spring thaw and their chance to sing.

size, relative to a paper clip

 ~ peeps are not peepers ~

Friday, April 8, 2011

Why Art? 2011

This is the video that will be projected in the hallway at the entrance of the LMC for our Art Show Opening on May 2nd. We are putting together a "Why Art" campaign in response to the cuts to our department due to NYS's fiscal nightmare, and this video will be projected directly on to the students, parents, administrators and community members as they enter the show. In addition, over 100 students and the Art Department faculty are designing and wearing their own "Why Art?" t-shirts to both the opening and to the Board of Ed meeting the following night where we will give a presentation about our department, and where we will express our concerns about the current cuts.

Find our Facebook page "Why Art?" and like us!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


'Going to the dentist today, and his name is Doctor Dick. No joke. But it reminds me of the classic Office scene with Dwight and Mike discussing the possibility that Dwight reeeeally wasn't at the dentist. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Early April Walk on Our New Property

10 unique and beautiful acres in Niagara County where we will be building in a few years ... my first walk with a camera ... unedited photos shot in fading sunlight ...

Bumble on the Run

Today I did it. I took a leap of faith and I let Bum off the leash while we were walking in the orchards.

Losing Bear has shaken my confidence when it comes to dogs that are not safely attached to me with a leash. With Bumble, my fear was less about the road and more about him just running and never looking back, perhaps how he became a rescue dog in the first place. I don't know. But I also know that most dogs, once they see you as their leader that they love and adore, will follow you to the ends of the earth. It has become obvious to me that Bumble has bonded with me, and continues to bond with me as he learns the ropes, so today I did it. I let him run.

I started with a pocket full of treats and him on the leash, and we headed out back to the orchards. We stopped often so he could sit and get a treat, reinforcing the idea that I am simply the coolest nicest treat dispenser in the world. Worth noting: Bumble is highly motivated by food which makes training a whole lot easier. Once we were far enough from the house, I unhooked him. It took him a minute or so for him to realize he wasn't attached, and then he ran. He ran in circles, jumping and sniffing and looking pretty happy but also a bit confused. I called him over to me often, giving him a treat when he sat, and then sending him back to play. Once he realized that he could really really run, he would make huge circles, extending way out to the vineyards and back around, chasing up flocks of birds. He then did mad-dog circles around me with the biggest grin on his face I have ever seen. A couple of times I hooked him back up and we walked a bit together, and then I let him loose again so that he would realize if he was a good boy we could keep playing this game. He was perfect.

I could not be more pleased with Bumble's progression. He has settled into a dream dog, wagging his tail if you so much as look at him, and wagging his whole body if you speak to him. He is a cuddly guy, not able to get close enough, just starving for love. A few issues involve his anxiety when we leave the house - he is clearly a wreck about desertion - but he has improved a lot. He also is nervous if we have anything in our hands, including nail clippers, phone and cameras (makes it tough to get pics) but he is slowly improving there, too. He barks less at the goats and is not mirroring their insanity as much as he once did, but that, too, is still a work in progress.

We got ourselves a winner, and I'm pretty sure Bumble is happy about his new life, too.

Every photo with Bumby is blurry because he never stops moving!