Result of the 30 Day Blog Challenge

Ok, so the 30 day blog challenge is over, and here are my thoughts:

  1. I don't have enough interesting to say for 30 days straight. Maybe enough for 2-3  days, but only if I have interesting dreams.
  2. I got fairly lazy on a few of them, and now realise that I missed one day completely. You can see the word count got lower and lower as time went on. Blogging takes time, and I frequently found myself rushed.
  3. Could I blog more frequently? Yeah, and I plan to, but once a day isn't for me
That's it. I'm going to bed now, and I doubt that I will have a blog entry tomorrow. But then again, I may surprise you.

Time Change Equals Routine Change

So we just sprung forward this weekend, which means zombie ground-hog is resurrected for another six months, or something to that effect. At any rate, we've got an extra hour of light in the evening, as opposed to the morning. As such, we are adjusting our routines to take advantage of the extra daylight in the evening.

Before the time change, I would pick Kristie up after work, along with the dogs, and we'd drive to Miramar for a 5 KM run. After we got back from the run, we'd take the dogs for a walk on the beach (no we didn't leave the dogs in a hot car).

Now that the time change has taken effect, I take the dogs on a walk through the Ngaio Gorge to meet up with Kristie at a halfway point. Then, we all walk back home together. After we get home, we take a 20 minute break or so, and then go for an evening run while there is still light.

It will take a while to get use to the extra walk before hand, but I'm looking forward to the affects in the long term.

Here's our first run on this schedule.
5 KM run along the point
After the run.

Dream Big

A while back, I was day dreaming that I'd be able to start up a nutrition podcast with Walter Willet.

Walter Willet is a physician and nutrition researcher. He is a professor and Epidemiology and Nutrition, and he is the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.

I had read a bit of his publications, and watched some of his videos and found him to be brilliant; if you want to know about real nutrition, and not the bullshit diet fads and dangerous nutrition ideas published by many other bozos, then follow his works.

Anyway, back to my flights of fancy. So I had it in my head that I could simply call Dr. Willet up on the phone, ask him to co-host a podcast about nutrition with me (a non-credentialed nobody). I'm pretty sure it could have worked (*cough*...bullshit!).

I did come to my senses, but not before creating a cover album for the podcast that I had envisioned. Although the podcast idea may have been a pipe dream, I thought the cover art was kind of inspired.

Compartmentalised Question

Ok, so last night I had a dream and in my dream me and this other character were talking and the other character made up this metaphor. It took me (my dream self) a couple seconds to understand the metaphor, and then my dream self started giggling about it.

Now, here's my question: Did the real me (the guy having the dream), create the metaphor specifically for that dream character, and did my real brain somehow compartmentalise the meaning, and keep it away from my dream self?


Did the real me simply write the narrative as an author would. Meaning the real me created and understood the metaphor, but I portrayed the dream as if my character didn't understand the metaphor?

Does that make sense?

So if we take the dream out entirely, can part of my brain make up a joke, and the other part of my brain has never heard the joke, even though the other part of my brain made it up?

Too Many Tweets

I came up with this idea yesterday morning as I woke up and realised that the bird song in the morning was getting more and more cacophonous. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that the bird song is getting more abundant as it means that warmer weather is coming. But I do remember a few Saturday mornings last year, when it would have been wonderful to sleep in, but the birds would have none of it.

Is it strange that even though I'm the one who came up with this cartoon, it still makes me giggle?

I'm Looking for Clarity on this Issue

A friend of mine posted an image of a woman in a burka where you could only see her eyes; other than that, she was totally covered in fabric. The caption on the photo was:
Ban the Burka
Like and share this photo
Now we can get onto how ineffective this kind of "activism" is later, but my question is: Why?

Why ban the burka? From what I understand, many sects in Islamic culture command that the burka be worn by women as part of their religion, I am also aware that some believe that the burka is not mandatory. I'll leave that to the Islamic scholars to determine. I'm sure they'll come to a decision in the next couple of days :-|

First off, I know of the plight of many Muslim women. I know that in many places they are treated as nothing more than property. I know of honour killings, and I know of issues where women have been raped, and then stoned because they were raped. Trust me, I get those issues, and I think they are horrendous. But why focus on the burka?

But again, I wonder why are these people focusing in on the burka? Is it because it is a symbol with what they believe is a problem with Islamic religions? And if that is the case, then is it too much of a stretch to think that the problem is with the religion itself?

I don't hear a huge chorus of people calling for a ban on the Jewish yamaka, or a Hasidic Jew's beard or curls. I don't hear for a ban on Sikh Turban (although I have heard about a call for a ban on their ceremonial daggers). If it has to do with protection of the person from their religions, then why not start with banning circumcision? After all, for many people that religious passage is nothing more than genital mutilation?

Look, I am an atheist, and I think the idea of any religious doctrine is ridiculous, but I really am trying to figure out why the burka is a target. I am a reasonable person, and if anyone would like to tell me why we should focus on the burka rather than some of the other religious atrocities, I'd be happy to hear them.

Wellington Street Art Story

Today I went around to a few places not far from work and took some photos of the street art that I like.

Here is the link to the Google Plus Photo Story:

Here are some of the photos themselves.

A Typical Monday in Photos

05:31 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
As I only work a four day work week, Mondays are typically a day to get caught up in housework. I give the house a good cleaning, I do laundry, I make things like our lunch time snacks and home-made granola, etc. If the weather cooperates, I also do some yard work.

Here are some visuals of my typical Monday.

Folding Laundry

Walnut waits for someone to bark at

Rainy days have some laundry drying inside

Dust, dust, dust

Sweep! Hurry! Hard!

Adding coconut to the granola

I want a robotic vacuum

Heating the oil and vanilla extract for granola

Time to make granola

These are called eggs :-P

After dropping Kristie off at work, I will typically get some groceries

A Good Weekend

Angus basks in the sun, on one of his double walks today.
This has been a really good weekend. Not an amazing weekend, but a good one.

We had an enjoyable Saturday where we made some home-made maki (Thanks to our friends Sandra and Jason for introducing us to this dish). We went to a really good movie, and managed to get out for a walk on Lambton Quay for some window shopping despite the rain.

Sunday, we got to get out for a bit of a run. It wasn't the best weather, but it wasn't the worst either. After the run, we hit the farmers market where we bought an amazing cookie from one of the vendors; straight out of the oven! We got some adobo sauce and picked up our fruit for the week as well. Later we had a bit of a nap, and when we got up the weather had taken a turn for the better, and it was sunny and warm. So to take advantage of the great weather, we took the dogs to Miramar for a double walk.

Dinner had to be rearranged as the recipe we were trying stated that while a great meal, it didn't work well as leftovers. Leftovers is how we get our lunches, so that took it out of the running. So we made a lentil faux-meatloaf for dinner instead.

All in all, a pretty good weekend.

The Lunchbox

Aaargh! I've only got 43 minutes left in the day before I have to get this blog entry completed!

Ok, ummm.....think, man think! Something to blog about, something to blog about... Oh, I know, the movie we just saw! The Lunchbox.

What an amazing movie! Not amazing because of action, or special effects, or musical score. Actually, I don't remember any underlying music in this movie. No, what was great about this movie was simply the story and the acting.

So real quick, here's the premise: An Indian claims officer for an unnamed company, getting ready for early retirement, starts getting the wrong lunch box delivered to him. Apparently, in India, there is an entire economy based on delivering lunches to the Mumbai workforce.

Anyway, Saajan, played by Irrfan Khan starts getting lunches delivered to him from Ila, a lonely and neglected housewife played by Nimrat Kaur. Through the passing back and forth of the lunchbox, private notes are passed to and fro to each person, and a wonderful relationship develops between the anonymous pair. What I loved about their correspondence was the fact that because neither one knew the other, there was an honesty and forthright communication between the two. It was almost like kibitzing a therapy session, only both parties were both the patient and the therapist.

Like I said, the story and the acting made this something great to watch. There was one scene where the Ila and Saajan agreed to meet, and you could almost feel the butterflies in Saajan's stomach fluttering around at the thought of meeting Ila.

I really liked this movie, and if you're interested in a good story, I'd recommend you go and see it.

Turtle Evolution is Lazy

This will be a short blog entry, but something interesting struck me while talking to my cousin via Facebook. My Cousin Raymond is a herpetologist, which is someone who studies reptiles and amphibians.

Anyway, Raymond had posted this photo on his page of him holding a massive snapping turtle. After discussing the photo, he told me that turtles had been around since before the dinosaurs, which I found fascinating. Not because they have been around for so long, but because they have remained hardly changed by the forces of evolution, whereas humanity has basically only existed for what? Less than a million years?

Homo erectus, and homo habilis existed around one and two million years ago, respectively. In that time frame we have evolved into something that can be recognisable as our forbearers, but still vastly different. Whereas, from my point of view, a turtle still looks like a turtle, even 65 million years later. Odontochelys, which is a 220 million transitional fossil, REALLY looks like a turtle to me. 220 million years, and other than ironing out the rough bits, turtle evolution seems to have been a bit slack!

Yeah, I know that it is like comparing prehistoric apples to prehistoric oranges, and I know that just because there is not much of a visible difference, doesn't mean that changes haven't occurred, but I just thought it was interesting. 220 million years of evolution for a turtle, and we can barely see the difference, whereas with only 2 million years of evolution, humans are quite different. Damn, we're a bunch of go-getters!

Why We Moved to NZ

So, I got one question submitted on my AMA post last night. No, I'm not counting the one from my sister-in-law that asked:
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
Let's leave comedy to the professionals, shall we Sue?

Anyway. My friend Leigh Anne asked what prompted Kristie and I to move to NZ.

In a word: Edmonton.

Sorry, that sounds really pejorative. But the fact of the matter is, Edmonton is freaking cold man! And don't tell me that it's only really cold for three weeks out of the year. Because it usually starts snowing in October, and doesn't stop until May. Sometimes not until June! And those three weeks you're talking about? That is three weeks where it is below minus 40 degrees Celsius, and that goes beyond cold.

Although I'm being funny...

Really? That was funny? Now who should leave comedy to the professionals?

Anyway, a year or two before we made the move, we had spent an unbeleivable Christmas in Hawaii. When we got back to Edmonton, in January, we were absolutely miserable. If memory serves, it was a long cold winter, followed by a cold wet spring. So we finally just said: forget it!

When we got back from Hawaii, we were knew that we wanted to leave Edmonton so we started looking at all of our options. We wanted to go someplace warm, and someplace that where the political values would align roughly with our own. So we kicked around a few places in our minds:

Hawaii? Yeah, we could afford that!
Austin? An island of liberalism in a sea of conservatives, but a possibility.
Greece? We dodged a bullet there!

Then Kristie suggested New Zealand. Hmmmm...New Zealand eh? After doing quite a bit of checking into NZ, we decided that it may just have what we were looking for in a new home. Warm weather. Well, warmer than Edmonton anyway! At the time, it was into its third term of a liberal government, and even though it shifted to the right when we came here, it wasn't going to go Progressive Conservative any time soon.  It placed high on the OECD in terms of livability (I think Auckland and Wellington were in the top 8 places). So we made the decision to leave Canada.

At the time, Kristie was only about a year into her PhD program, and we knew that we'd have to stay in that winter-hinterland for another two to three bone-chilling years. Or would we? One day, while pining for our new home which was still two to three years away, I spied a job offering that would have been perfect for Kristie with the Ministry of Health. I brought the job to her attention and long story short (too late), she applied and got the job! After a short period of time where we applied for our visa, Kristie was on her way to forge our path in NZ. I stayed behind to sell the house, and get the dogs ready for their travels as well.

Years later, after settling in, we are still finding more and more that confirms our decision to move here! Cognitive Bias? Maybe, but we're still happy. Yes we miss our friends and family, and yes it is expensive getting back to Canada for visits, but we know we made the right decision, and we know we're going to be happy here for many years to come!


Ok, today's blog entry is a bit of a cheat, as it will be quite short, but depending on the traction I get on this one, it will set up my next few blog entries for me.

I have always been interested in doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) blog entry.

So I throw this out to you. Ask me any question you want, regardless of how disgusting, embarrassing, or emotionally scaring it may be, I will answer your question as completely and truthfully as I possibly can.

You Had Me at Poutine

It's poutine Jim, but not as we know it.
So a couple of days ago, Kristie and I broke one of our 30 day challenges. That challenge was to not eat out for the month of September, and we barely made it two weeks, and then we broke down and ate out.

What could have caused us to break with our 30 day challenge? Did our fridge go on the fritz and all the food spoiled? Or perhaps someone came into our house and stole every morsel akin to The Grinch:
“He took the Who’s feast, he took the Who pudding, he took the roast beast. He cleaned out that ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took their last can of Who hash.”
Alas, no. The thing that made us break our vow, was a vile little temptress called POUTINE!

For those who don't know, poutine is a French Canadian dish that consists of Fries, Gravy and cheese curds. It is pretty much a coronary served in an aluminium pie plate, and it is something that, until very recently, didn't exist here in NZ.

We recently came back from a trip to Canada, where we managed to squeeze in one day where we could partake in our greasy trip down memory lane, and it was fantastic. After that, we resigned to a poutine fast for the next two years, until we came back to Canada for another visit.

But what should Kristie and I spy, during a walk to a movie theatre in the heart of down-town Wellington? A sign advertising poutine at a Cajun restaurant called Sweet Mother's Kitchen! What? Poutine in NZ? Surely the world had gone all topsy-turvy. Surely it must be a spelling error, or some Canadian residing here in NZ thought it would be funny to give other Canadians false hope, and hence defaced the sign. But no, upon entering the restaurant, we found that it was indeed poutine.

It was getting quite late the day we saw the sign, and we weren't hungry at all, but upon speaking to the waiter, we found that it was not a regular menu item, and he wasn't sure how long it would continue to be available. Well, there's no way in hell that I'm missing out on limited-time poutine! So the next day, we put aside our 30 day challenge, and decided to partake in gravy heaven.

Now, we've had some experiences in the past where a Canadian dish was attempted by Kiwis, and they have been hit and miss. Pumpkin pie...swing and a miss. Nanaimo bars...home run! And now, was a solid second base hit.

It wasn't traditional poutine in a couple of ways. First, the gravy wasn't the same at all; this gravy was cajun sausage gravy; tasty, but not traditional French Canadian brown and water. Secondly, cheese curds don't seem to exist here in NZ. Which is strange as their dairy industry is such a big part of the economy here. So instead of cheese curds, it was melted cheese. It tasted really good, and if given the chance, I'd have it again, but it was more of a gourmet poutine than it was Canada's national food...after Tim Horton's donuts, that is.

Response to: pro cheerleading should be abolished article

Image from Wikimedia
This is a response to an  article written by Sophia Harris, that appeared on the CBC website. The article was titled: Pro cheerleading 'should be abolished'.

First a little background about me: I am a former male cheerleader, who use to cheer for the Edmonton Eskimos Football team, back in mumble, mumble, mumble. During the years that I was a member of the team, we cheerleaders were known for our athleticism, energy, and dance routines. It was a time that I remember with nothing but fondness. I met some of my best life-long friends through cheerleading, and consider all of them like my extended family. Ok, that is a little about me, now onto the article.

So after reading this article, I have come to the conclusion that there is very little in this piece that actually has to do with cheerleading. She starts off the article with a quote from Mariah Burton Nelson, a former pro basketball player:
Cheerleading should be abolished,” former professional basketball player Mariah Burton Nelson told me. 
“Cheerleading implies that women's proper role is to support men, smile at men and fulfill the sexual fantasies of males,” declared Nelson, who played for Stanford University and in the first women's pro-basketball league in the U.S.
She then goes on to make this comment:
Many women’s pro-sports teams still struggle for recognition. Meanwhile, men’s leagues take centre stage, where women’s main job is to look good and entertain the crowd.
So on one hand, she is arguing against the legitimacy of one female sport, while trying to argue for the legitimacy of another female sport.

Anyway, my thoughts on all of this? Total load of rubbish!

Cheerleaders are a part of the game as a whole, like the players they are there to entertain the fans. They are no different than the opening act at a concert, or the comedians who come out to warm up the audience before the talk show host. They aren't the main reason you are there, but they play a big role in the entire production.

She then goes on make a spurious connection that cheerleaders are prime targets for exploitation; not sexual exploitation, but exploitation in the workforce. I'll get on to my views of the sexual exploitation later. She talks about cheerleaders being paid less than minimum wage, forced to do unpaid appearances, paying for and upkeep of their expensive uniforms, etc. While these issues did sound pretty crappy, the bottom line is, they have nothing to do with cheerleading. These are labour law issues, which is why many of them are going to court. They have very little to do with being a cheerleader, and very much to do with a corporation trying to get away with anything they can, to save a buck.

This leads us onto the sexual exploitation of cheerleaders, being made to where skimpy outfits, or posing for calendars, etc. On this topic, I am of two minds:

First, I have no issue with sexualisation for either men or women. Human beings are sexual creatures and I think that western society could do with some attitude adjustments when it comes to sex and the human body. That being said, the decisions should be up to the individual and not a condition of employment. You want to do a bikini photo shoot, or a sexy fireman calendar? Go for it! But be sure it is your decision, and if you can, get some of the proceeds for yourself.

Secondly, I actually agree that many cheerleading teams are overly sexualised, especially when we're talking about the outfits. Even my former team, the Edmonton Eskimos have the women in very tight and revealing outfits. Now, if the women voted on these types of outfits, then I withdraw my statement, and wish you all the best. However for most teams, I don't think the choice of outfits would be left to a democratic vote. Which to me, this is sending out mixed messages.

When I was a cheerleader, we worked extremely hard to fight against the old cheerleader stereotype. We presented ourselves as dancers, entertainers, and above all, athletes. Part of the process of redefining ourselves as cheerleaders was changing our outfits; something that was appropriate for everything we did. And while it took a little while, we won over the fans with this new style of cheerleading too.

This second point however is my bias. We fought to be recognised as one thing, and it seems that some of the values we fought for, have been over turned by others.

In the end, I thought the entire article was much ado about nothing. You could replace the word cheerleading with the word women or visible minority and make the same arguments throughout the whole piece. Like I said earlier, the article has less to do about cheerleading, and more to do about injustices.

Walnut had been benched. Put me in coach, in ready to play!

via Instagram

Why Does Learning Excite Me Now?

12:20 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
This one is for some of my friends who are teachers. I want you to have a good think about this; you don't have to answer me directly if you don't want, but maybe think of it when dealing with your students.

Why is it, that as a child, I loathed school, whereas I absolutely love and crave learning now?

Since becoming an adult, I am ravenous about finding out how the world works. I hardly ever read non-fiction, and instead gobble up books, magazines, audio/video content to discover...everything!

Actually, now that I think of it, I did enjoy learning back then too, as I delighted in watching shows about science, like Nova or The Nature of Things, etc. It seemed that almost anything they showed on these broadcasts could capture my attention too!

  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Macro Biology
  • Micro Biology
  • Ecology
  • Chemistry
It all thrilled me! And it wasn't like I adverse to reading either. Like many small boys, I found many books on dinosaurs that thrilled me, or paleontology, or other matters of science.

I remember, quite vividly, being in elementary school (grade 5 I believe), and daydreaming that I was Spiderman crawling along the walls and ceiling while my teacher droned on and on about...well, to be honest, I don't remember what she was droning on and on about, because I was daydreaming. I do remember that whatever she was droning on and on about, seemed to have little or no consequence to me.

I don't think that it has to do with the subject matter either, because I can point to many instance where I learned more from a two or three minute episode of School House Rock, than an entire chapter on grammar:

  • You describe it with adjectives
  • Conjunction Junction
  • A noun is a person, place or thing
  • Verb, that's what's happenin'
So obviously, learning about any subject matter can be made relevant to the learner. So why is it, that school was so boring?

I don't think it was the fact that the curriculum was too prescriptive, because as I pointed out earlier, I took interest in so much!

Was it the fault of my teachers? Maybe they were actually just brain dead drones that would spew out exactly what was on the page of the textbook? I really doubt this, as it would paint all teachers with the same brush, and I know there are teachers out there that are passionate about their work, and know that they can and do get through to kids on a daily basis.

Was it me? Maybe I had some sort of learning disability where as soon as my buttocks touched the laminated wood of the school desk, some sort of learning disability would be enabled by the takeup of toxic substances in the seat through hind-quarter osmosis. But on reflection, I don't think so, because I rarely sat in my desk naked.

Or is it much more complicated than that? Maybe the methods we teach children over the past few decades isn't suited to all learners? If that is the case, can we make it better for more people like me?

I'd honestly like to hear from my teacher friends (or anyone with a point about this subject), to let me know their thoughts.

He Ain't My Dog

Since I blogged about Angus yesterday, it seems fair that I blog about Walnut today. Walnut is not my dog. Ok, technically he does belong to Kristie and I, but just as Angus is MY dog, Walnut is Kristie's dog, and he is pretty much the polar opposite of Angus in almost every respect.

Whereas Angus is fiercely independent, Walnut is clingy. He hates it when we have to leave for work, or if we leave him in the car when we dash into the store (no we don't leave him in a hot car). On work days, he will recognise the cues that say we are about to leave. For instance, he knows when we've had our second cup of coffee, and that is the time to start pacing. After Kristie gets out of the shower, he gets a bit more agitated. This behaviour escalates until we give them their "leaving treat" and we head off to work. I'm pretty sure that if he could manage it, he'd cripple us, ala Kathy Bates in Misery, so that we would never leave his side.

Angus is the kind of dog that will often want nothing to do with us, unless it fulfils his needs. Walnut on the other hand seems to live his life to make us happy. Of of Walnut's favourite games is to deliver our clothes to us, pack mule style, when we're doing our ironing. We always do our ironing on the evening before the next day of work. So we'll go into the bedroom, and call Walnut in so that we can lay the clothes on his back, and he delivers it to us in the other room. When we praise him for his help, he is elated! His tail wags, he dances around, he's as happy as an Angus in poop.

Another way that he is different from Angus is that he LOVES to cuddle; not with me, but he loves cuddling with Kristie. On occasion he will cuddle with me if Kristie isn't around, but Walnut's place is in Kristie's lap. I think he doesn't like cuddling with me as much as I'm a fidgeter. If I'm petting him, and I feel a knot in his fur, then I have to cut out the knot. Or if he has eye boogers, I have to clean them out. Ok, I can understand why he prefers Kristie.

He is also vastly different in the way he eats. Angus, although he is slowing down as he ages, pretty much gobbles up his food as fast as possible, where as Walnut is comfortable to self regulate; a couple pieces of kibble here, a bite or two there. He grazes throughout the day.

Let's see, how else is Walnut different... Oh yeah, he listens! We tell him to come, and he'll come, we tell him to stay, and he'll stay, we tell him to get away from that poop, and Angus will check him into the boards to get to it.

Oh, and he's a clean dog! We almost never have to bath him! He's probably got OCD or something, but that dog is never dirty! Whereas Angus will plough through a mud puddle like an advertisement for a 4X4 truck, Walnut would rather build a bridge over muddy water than go through it.

He's smart too! I'm sorry, I know Angus is my dog, and I love him dearly, but he's a freaking idot! Walnut, while not as smart as say a board collie, is pretty smart! He wouldn't be the founder of dog Mensa, but he'd definitely be in dog Mensa. We've been penning them in when we leave the house lately using a jury rigged pen I assembled from laundry racks, and a few days ago, we had to come back into the house multiple times as he had escaped from his pen and started barking at us from the Kitchen.

He's also a very gentle dog. For instance, when we play fight, which is never as rough and tumble as when Angus and I play fight, he refuses even to mouth my hands in play. It is like he knows his teeth can be weapons, and you just don't do that! Which speaks to his demeanour as a whole. If Walnut were a kid, he'd be the geeky hallway monitor telling the other kids to stop running in the halls and to quit rough-housing.

He's a fantastic, loving and playful dog, and I'm glad he is in our lives.

Worst puppy I've ever loved

If my dog Angus, belonged to anyone else but me, I'm pretty sure I'd hate him.

I'm fairly certain that he has virtually no redeemable values:

He stinks

Like me, Angus has a skin condition; it gets quite oily and sometimes gets scaly in places, and he attracts dirt like a white shirt at a ketchup (catsup?) factory. Unlike me, his skin condition is caused by yeast infections; it also affects his ears, and when this happens, he starts exuding a musty odour.

He Eats Poop

Angus started exhibiting this behavour as a young puppy, he would often go outside to poop, and then turn around and gobble up what he obviously considered mana from heaven. Our vet assured us that he would grow out of it. Well, he didn't  Not only did he not grow out of it, he started eating other dog's poop too! And not simply from the ground either! He use to run up to the big dogs in the park as they were squatting to do their business, and he'd start gobbling up the poop as if the other dog's anus was a soft serve ice cream dispenser! To this day, we can't turn our back on him because of his poopy treasure hunting skills!

...oh he also eats mud.

He is a Bully

When we first adopted Angus as a puppy, he immediately exerted his dominance as the alpha. Whenever Walnut would walk by with a toy in his mouth, Angus would bite at Walnut's cheek until he gave up the toy. For the first four months of Angus living with us, Walnut's tail was almost always down between his legs as a sign of submission.

He Craves Attention...and Then Not

I've written quite a few comics about how he will often wake me up at night to go to the bathroom. While I would much rather him go outside than in, I'm fairly convinced the real reason he wakes me up is because he is bored.

If I'm working on my computer, as I am now, he will come over and start scratching at my leg to pay attention to him. If I try to rebuff his advance, he becomes more persistent and starts barking at me. When I finally give in, and go down onto the floor to play with him, he simply runs away and goes to grab a toy.

If his food dish is empty, he will scratch at it constantly until I fill it up; he wouldn't eat any of it, he just wanted to make the monkey dance!

Any time a door is closed (bathroom door, bedroom door, kitchen door, etc.) he scratches at it until we open it; he doesn't want in the other room, he just doesn't like closed doors!

And much much more

I could probably think of many other reasons why I would dislike Angus if he belonged to someone else, but he doesn't belong to someone else. He belongs to me.

Angus is my Dog, and he is my very best furry friend. Maybe it is because he is my dog that I am able to look beyond all of his short comings and love him so much. And I do adore that little bugger! More often than not, when I look at Angus, he puts a smile on my face.

Thanks for Making me smile Angus!

I've never heard of a Pinocchio Tulip

18:53 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

via Instagram

Line flower

18:53 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

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My First Little Chromebook

The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!

Acer C720P
Ok, it isn't THAT exciting, but today was a very exciting day, as I received my first ever Chromebook!


I ordered the Acer C720P touch screen from Noel Leeming a few days ago, but they didn't have any in stock at the time. At the time of ordering, I was under the impression that it would take over 10 days until stock was replenished, but luckily I received it about a week after ordering it. When I ordered it, I requested that the delivery be sent to my work address as I didn't want a computer to be left out in the open, on my porch, if I was at work at time of delivery. Which was exactly when it arrived, while I was at work.

For those of you who aren't into tech, the Chromebook is a new type (first Chromebook was released in June 2011) that doesn't run Windows or a Mac operating system, instead it runs its own operating system called Chrome OS, which is based on a Linux kernel. Unlike Windows machines, the operating system is very small in terms of how much space it takes on the hard drive. Because of this, you don't need the latest and greatest hardware to run the computers, which means that you aren't paying the big bucks for a new computer.

Chromebooks are an entirely new kind of computer. Unlike Apple or Windows, you don't store anything (almost) on your computer. It is all stored and managed in the cloud, much of it managed by Google.

Your email? In the cloud.

Your documents? In the cloud.

Your photos? In the cloud.

Everything is in the cloud. And because much of this information is managed by Google, you can be sure that they will be much better at ensuring your files aren't lost and backed up for you.

I've actually got much more to say on this topic, but I haven't had the best sleeps this week, so I'm cutting tonight's blog entry short, and going to bed.

One Good Thing, One Bad Thing

Ok, today I am giving one good thing and one bad thing. Specifically, one good thing I like about myself, and one bad thing which I don't like about myself. There are many ways I could take this topic, but as beauty is only skin deep, let's keep it confined to physical characteristics.

Ok, one thing I really like about myself is my hair.

Well, that's pretty vain!

Hear me out first.

Let's get one thing out in the open, despite my bravado, and over-inflated sense of self esteem, I realise that I'm not a handsome guy.

Oh, come on Leo! You' know, you're a... well, I'd say...hmmm


Look, I've got a head that is as round as a pumpkin, my neck is almost as wide as my waist. I have no jawline; see the round head comment made earlier, and my chin has decided that since the neck is so big, why bother even trying. BUT. I've got a full, bushy, wiry head of hair! Sure, it's grey, and yes it has more cow-licks that a holstein's udder, but by gum, I've got a nice head of hair!

Ok, that is one thing I like, now for the one thing I don't like. Again, we're sticking with outward appearance here. The one thing that I hate about myself, and if I could, I'd change in a heartbeat, is my skin.

Me and a couple of my brothers all have a genetic condition called ichthyosis. Which is a dry, thickening scaly skin condition. The condition kind of resembles fish scales, which is why it is called icthyosis. The condition will generally worsen in the winter, and clear up slightly in the summer. There are a couple of treatments that can help it, like some perscription topic lotions, but for the most part, it is something that bothered me about myself. But hey...I've got a damn fine head of hair!