Thursday, August 21, 2008

(Almost) Unexpected Arrival!

It would seem that I waste no time... only a few months ago I was getting married to a mortgage and now... two daughters...

...HAVE A BIG LITTLE BROTHER!!! Dang it, I knew I should have been using birth control!!! But seriously, meet the new addition to my household: "Pepper" is a seven-month-old, sixty pound lab/German shepherd/great dane mix who came into my life on unexpectedly short notice.

I had been wanting a large dog for a long time and now that I've bought a house my lifestyle no longer involves potentially inhospitable, transient living situations. Still, I was not even planning on looking for a dog until next year. The circumstances around his arrival are strangely coincidental: a couple months ago I saved a big indoor dog crate from the dumpster (it was being thrown away only because it was a bit rusty) and just last week I purchased a large, outdoor chain-link kennel in preparation for the dog I was planning to look for next year (planning ahead is my strong suit). I have maintained for the last few years that I really want a German shepherd or a mixed-breed with German shepherd in it. The day after purchasing the kennel (keep in mind that this purchase and the dog crate were not known to anyone in my family) I received a call from my mother telling me that a friend had a beautiful german shepherd mix puppy that needed a new home because his current family was moving into an apartment which does not allow dogs. I was apprehensive at first but decided that this was a sign and I should at least visit the dog to evaluate him and consider whether or not I am truly ready for such a commitment. He turned out to have a great personality and a good foundation of household manners/training already in place so I decided to take him.

He is a bit of an awkward adolescent puppy who has more growing to do, even considering his generous size at seven months old. Because of his youth and rapidly increasing size he comes off as being a bit dopey and clumsy and he is in need of some polishing on his training, especially in areas of spacial awareness, but he seems to have been raised in a good home with caring owners who gave him a lot of the basics he needed to be a good family pet. He is seemingly intelligent, great with children, gets along with other animals, knows a few commands, seems to have no aggression issues (even with food & treats) and is housebroken.

Again life smiles upon me!
More proof that unexpected events are not all bad!

Friday, August 01, 2008


It is not often that I write about a piece of software on my blog, but I just felt I should drop a mention of Pidgin (for Windows, there are also versions for Linux and BSD)! For those who aren't familiar with Pidgin or it's defunct predecessor, GAIM. They are instant messaging clients which are capable of connecting to most of the major instant-messaging networks at once. I have one of the latest releases of Pidgin running on my home computer and it currently connects to instant messaging services by Yahoo, AOL, MSN, MySpace and Google all at the same time, and unlike GAIM it seems to have no issue with additional functions such as file transfer. Pidgin is free, open-source, has no advertisements or spyware, and it condenses all your instant-messaging accounts into one program with a clean interface. It isn't without it's minor bugs but I have been very pleased with it so far. If you are running a Windows machine I would highly encourage you to try it as an efficient alternative to having multiple, clunky, adware/spyware-infected instant messaging clients running at the same time.