Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 715

I feel like I'm competing in a very weird marathon. I've got work stacked up through the end of December that keeps me busy every single day. It's not like the old days where I had five or six high paying jobs every month and had the rest of the time to myself. The world has changed. Now, I have tons of tiny little jobs that pay virtually nothing individually. To make the same income I made ten or fifteen years ago, I have to keep churning this stuff out like a factory.

The continual stream of website updates, quickly written 400 word articles, and down-and-dirty video production is tiring. I no longer have the luxury of really thinking about what I'm doing. For the most part, I put my brain on autopilot, rush full speed ahead, and then correct the inevitable mistakes in the revision stages. Sometimes the final result is surprisingly good, but the effort is seldom fun. For most of my career my work really was fun. Where did that go? A few of my friends still tell me that their work is fun, but I don't believe them because they're all on Prozac.

Five or six years ago when I was still doing gallery shows, I had this vision of myself spending the rest of my life wandering around taking cool looking pictures and then displaying them in galleries and museums. After my first two gallery shows, it became obvious that this experiment was more of a hobby than an avocation. I got lots of complements at the gallery openings, but weeks later at the conclusion of each show, there were very few of the red dots that indicated a sale next to the pictures. At one memorable show, I actually spent more framing the pictures than I made from selling them.

If the market went up 400 points every day, I wouldn't feel so gloomy about the mechanics of earning a living. I could live quite nicely if every day were like today. Unfortunately, when I wake up tomorrow morning, I have a strong feeling that the world will still be broke and living beyond its means. If Angela Merkel sneezes, or Italian bond rates keep climbing, today's gains will evaporate in an instant. Hey, American Airlines went bankrupt today. I used to work on the American Airlines account when it was one of most successful and highly respected airlines in the world. How the mighty have fallen. Probably the only thing left in five years time will be the Apple stores, still selling iPads at full price in vacant shopping malls.

Belle is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 714

While the days outside continue to get shorter, my day inside seem to be getting longer and longer. It's hard to put my finger on exactly why it takes me so long to complete my work these days, but I've got my suspicions. I'm convinced that clients are more demanding than they used to be. Many have had to deal with staff cutbacks and don't have assistants like they used to. I become the assistant instead. Social media eats up a lot of time too. Clients continue to ask me how they can use Facebook and Twitter to build their business. I tell them it's easy. Just spent several hours each and every day posting new and interesting information that their customers would like to read. This usually shuts them up fairly quickly.

It's easy to post a picture of your cat, but it can be quite difficult to engage people day after day forever. I could do a lot better job of managing my own social media world, but I don't have the time either. I don't even have a receptionist to dump the social media duties on like most of my clients do. Personally, I was much happier when none of these things existed and you just took people to lunch instead.

How irritating. My iPhone decided to ask me for a new password today. What's was wrong with my old password? I had a nice password that was easy to type and remember on a little screen and now Apple is asking for a complicated combination of characters and numbers using both upper and lower case letters, just like the banks, web hosting companies and brokerage houses do. These passwords are almost impossible to remember. Some places are even demanding that you change your password every few months and don't allow you to reuse an old one for over a year. Enough is enough. When will this madness end.

At least walking the dogs is still simple. We went out a little earlier this evening to avoid the coyotes. The dogs had fun. I had fun. No password required.

Petey is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 713

Winter is definitely on its way. It almost got down to freezing last night and this morning the dogs needed to wear their cold weather coats for the first time this year. Dot and Dash are never eager to put the coats on, but always seem glad to have them once they're outside with a cold wind blowing at their back.

The cold wasn't the only peril we faced today. On our evening walk, we came face-to-face with a coyote. As the days grow shorter, I see coyotes frequently in the evening. Few of them ever get as close as the one we saw this evening though. We were within ten feet of the coyote when I initially noticed it at the edge of a clump of bushes. Dot and Dash immediately started growling and I quickly changed course and led the dogs down to the shoreline where it was less wooded.

I wish the dogs would simply ignore wild critters, but they seldom do. If they want to get excited about seeing a bunny or a squirrel, that's fine. I think they should just keep their mouths shut when we see a coyote however. Leave the coyotes alone and they'll leave you alone I tell them, but I don't think they get it. I guess I'll just have to walk Dot and Dash a little earlier in the evening. You seldom see coyotes until right around sunset. I've already been bitten by domestic dogs. I certainly don't want to find myself in the middle of a scrap between my dogs and a pack of coyotes.

In between our morning and evening walks, I sat at my computer and wrote. I managed to finish several articles and worked on making arrangements for an upcoming business trip to Houston. It looks like I'm going to be busy through the end of the year. That's good! With any luck, the company may even make a profit this year. You'd think that the company would make a profit every year, but any money that comes in usually disappears very quickly in the form of health insurance premiums, utility bills, and equipment purchases. I envy the dogs sometimes. I don't think they realize how effortless their lives really are.

Scooter is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 712

Once again, our favorite dog park was closed due to bad weather, even though it was a beautiful Fall day with clear blue skies as far as you could see. I'm beginning to think it doesn't matter what the weather is like on government holidays. The city just doesn't want to bother to unlock the gate, especially if the regular staff isn't working that day. Since the good dog park was closed, we went to the poorly maintained dog park in our own neighborhood. This park is virtually always open, primarily because the locks on the gates are all broken.

We certainly didn't stay long. We never do. Within five minutes of our arrival, we witnessed two dog fights and the owners didn't even seem to care. I read in the paper recently that the city is going to spend over a million dollars refurbishing this park in the near future. I don't think it's going to make any difference as long as the same irresponsible people keep using it.

I didn't feel like doing yard work this afternoon, so I stayed inside and got my clogged large-format printer working again while I wrote several new watch articles. I was planing to upload some additional images to iStockphoto and put up a Christmas tree as well, but these items will have to wait. No excuses. I just ran out of time.

With Thanksgiving out of the way, it's time to start thinking about Christmas shopping and maybe make a futile attempt at decorating the house. I used to send out a ton of Christmas cards with hand written messages every year. I stopped doing that several years ago. Nobody seems to send Christmas cards through the mail anymore. There are lots of animated e-mail messages, but that's about it. The only real cards seem to come from insurance agents and car dealers.

Spots is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 711

It was one of those gray Winter days where you keep thinking it might snow. Of course it rarely does snow in Texas, but we still probably spend more time anticipating the white stuff than the rest of the country.

This morning we went up and photographed Holly and Belle, the two newest Dalmatian Rescue dogs. Both of these females had been used as breeding dogs in a puppy mill before we found them. They weren't well socialized and had probably spent most of their lives in a small cage. The bad thing is that situations like this are common. The good thing is that dogs are very resilient, and within a few months, Holly and Belle will be playing with other dogs and trusting their human companions again.

I went up on the roof this afternoon to sweep all the water off before the weather gets colder. I definitely don't want the standing water turning to ice. Ice on a flat roof like ours is a recipe for a leak. Heat from inside the house heats up the lower layer of ice and melts it, while the ice on top stays frozen. You can't just chop away the ice with a shovel, because the tar and grave roof is very fragile and a misplaced shovel blow could create a hole that would let lots of water inside. Getting the water off the roof is difficult at this time of year anyway, because the Red Oak and Pecan trees in the back year are all shedding their leaves. When it rains, the leaves on the roof form little dams which keeps the water from draining. When I get up on the roof to clean things up, it looks like a bunch of miniature Beaver dams.

I'd like to go out and support Small Business Saturday on days like this. I've always liked to buy things and I can think of several deserving small businesses that could use my money. The only problem is that there just isn't much money left over any more. As soon as December rolls around, the real estate taxes on two houses become due again. Yikes! I can't believe how high these taxes have become. Real estate values have plunged in recent years, but cities and municipalities are fighting tooth and nail to hang on to their tax base. I'm still paying taxes on the boom years, even though the boom is definitely over. Sign of the times, I guess.

Pepper is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 710

The day goes by quickly when you get up late. I thought I'd get a lot done today, but by the time the dogs were walked and everyone had finished breakfast, our vacation Friday was half over. While Janet went shopping, I decided to catch up on my writing. I did manage to finish the monthly assignment for my writer's group, but that's as far as I got. No watch articles today. The day wasn't a total loss though. I got the vacuuming done and paid a few more bills.

Black Friday has never been a big deal to me. I can't imagine staying up till midnight, just so I could go to Target or Wal-Mart and fight with other bargain hunters over a few specially priced flat screen TV's. I still prefer to do my buying online and let FedEx deliver the stuff. I actually did make one Black Friday purchase today, but it certainly was no bargain. I've been needing a microphone boom pole for an upcoming job, so I went to the B&H website and ordered a nice Gitzo carbon fiber pole. Hopefully, I won't lose or break this one.

We admitted two new Dalmatians into the rescue program this week. I'm going to try to get up to The Velvet Snout this weekend to photograph the newcomers. We need to get them up on the website soon. There actually haven't been many dogs available to adopt this Fall, but that's a good thing. It means there are a lot fewer Dalmatians languishing in animal shelters than there used to be.

Our own Dalmatians aren't languishing anywhere. They are both fast asleep on their dog beds. It's weird. Dot and Dash seem to enjoy the beds during the day, but when night arrives, they have to be right in the center of our own bed. The new mattress is nice, but it certainly hasn't provided any more room. Two grown dogs take up a lot of the real estate.

Hard to believe it is almost December already. It's almost time to put up the Christmas tree again.

Dot is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 709 - Thanksgiving

Janet walked the dogs this morning while I went down to the lake with a camera to capture some early morning images. Janet loves walking the dogs, but rarely has the time, so holidays are hers. As I watched the fog lift over the lake, I couldn't help but think how pretty our little neighborhood is. Just about all the pictures I take are within two miles of home.

Cooking hasn't been a holiday tradition with us for a long time. We usually go out to eat and try to find someplace new and interesting. This year, we went to someplace old: The Pyramid Room at the Fairmont. It's been years since I've been inside the Fairmont Hotel. They've completely remodeled the place. The Thanksgiving brunch was excellent. We had champagne and stuffed ourselves. I highly recommend the smoked seafood salad. I had the traditional turkey and dressing as well, but the seafood salad was my favorite. It takes a lot less food to fill me up these days, but I did leave a little room for dessert.

Since it was a holiday for the dogs as well, we decided to take them to the dog park after our dinner. The weather wasn't great, but since the dilapidated, muddy dog park in our part of town was open, we figured all the city dog parks would be open. Wrong! We drove all the way up to our favorite Wagging Tail dog park in North Dallas, only to find that it was closed. Dot and Dash weren't happy about this and howled all the way home. They don't hold a grudge though. When we managed to find an open park on the way back to the house and let them out, all was well again.

I'm glad most people get tomorrow off from work. Maybe I'll get a chance to catch up on some of the projects I haven't finished yet. On the other hand, maybe I'll just sleep in late like everybody else.

Maggie is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 708

There was a beautiful ground fog that covered the entire park when I took the dogs on their morning walk. I could tell the fog was lifting rapidly, so I tried to grab a few pictures with my iPhone. You might know this already, but Dalmatians aren't very good as photo assistants. Every time I would frame a shot, one of the dogs would tug on the leash and cause the camera to move. I managed to get one or two good shots, but by the time we got home again where I could grab my good camera and leave the dogs behind, the fog had lifted.

I got a letter from one of my annuities today saying that they were no longer accepting new customers because bad economic conditions, low interest rates and other dark clouds on the horizon were making it impossible to provide a future return on investment. The letter concluded by saying the company was still strong and would continue to meet all obligations to existing customers. This wasn't all that reassuring however. You can definitely see the writing on the wall. The entire world economy has become a house of cards, and I still don't think many people realize how serious the situation has become.

One thing I've started to notice is that the bad economy is making just about everyone a little grumpier. More people are honking their horn at other drivers. More companies are asking employees to accept new responsibilities without an increase in pay. Loyalties are being tested everywhere. I think just about everyone I know would throw me under the bus in a New York minute if it meant they could hang in there a little longer.

There's still plenty to be thankful for though. I need to remember this on days when the market drops hundreds of points, like it did today. Hey, I still get to take a walk through the woods with my dogs every morning instead of fighting rush hour traffic. I'm not making nearly as much money anymore, but at least my house and car are paid for. There are literally dozens of things that could have a serious impact on my health, but so far none of them actually has. Things aren't all that great, but I count my blessings that they aren't really that bad either.

Tomorrow is a holiday and we get to sleep in a bit longer. I hope somebody remembers to tell the dogs.

Petey is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 707

I don't really like to fast before going in for a blood test, so to reward myself, I usually go out for breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant as soon as the test is finished. Today, my breakfast was closer to lunch because there were two fat people ahead of me at the lab and the technicians were having trouble finding a vein. The nurse never has trouble finding my veins. They're right out there on the surface.

By the time I got to the Broken Egg Cafe, I was hungry. I ordered a hearty skillet breakfast filled with mushrooms, bacon, ham, eggs and cheese, and then went home and fed the dogs their rice cakes for lunch.

I'm sure that Dot and Dash would have preferred trading places with me for breakfast, but the vet says that I need to watch their weight as they get older. Nobody is telling me to watch my own weight. I just don't seem to gain weight.

I took Dash along when I went to take some new employee pictures for a veterinarian client this afternoon. Taking Dash with me saved a trip, since he needed his antigen shot today anyway. He seemed a bit miffed when he had to stay in a crate while I took the photos, but all-in-all, he was pretty well behaved.

When the photoshoot/vet visit was finished, I took Dash home again and went to the pharmacy to pick up the prescriptions that weren't ready yesterday. A trip to the shoe repair shop and the health food store on the way home completed the day's errands and it was soon time to take the dogs on their evening walk. It's amazing how a few little errands can eat up your entire day. I think I'm terribly slow until I venture outside the office. It's then that I realize that everyone else is even slower than I am.

I usually drive down to Dealey Plaza on November 22 to take pictures of all the conspiracy nuts who gather here on this day to talk about who really killed John Kennedy. I didn't have time to make the trip today and I wasn't even doing anything important. It's kind of sad that the trivial mechanics of day-to-day living have consumed just about all the time I have.

Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 706

I had my annual physical exam today, which meant I didn't get much else done. I don't know why doctor's visits always have to take so long. I've never been to a doctor yet where I didn't have to wait in the lobby for at least twenty minutes. The physical exam always seems to take longer than a normal visit too. You sit in the lobby for a while, and then you sit in a succession of small rooms while waiting for each individual test to be completed. By the time you actually see the doctor, you are usually in such a hurry to leave that you forget to ask the questions you've been puzzled about all year.

When the exam was completed and I finished picking up my new prescriptions at the pharmacy, the day was over. All I had time to do was take the dogs on their evening walk.

It's a good thing that I walked the dogs when I did too. It had been drizzling all day, but shortly after we got home, it started raining in earnest. If memory serves me correctly, this is about when the rainy season starts in Dallas. Sometimes it starts a little earlier, but November is never very nice.

Today was a waste, but I doubt that I'll get a whole lot done tomorrow either. I have to go for more blood tests at the doctor's office in the morning. In the afternoon, I need to take Dash to the vet for his antigen shot. I promised to take some more employee pictures tomorrow as well. It looks like the weekly writing assignments might have to wait until Wednesday.

Probably the only good thing about being at the doctor's office today is that I didn't have to sit and watch the stock market implode again on TV. I'm beginning to wonder if this will ever end. Even my doctor is starting to worry about the economy. When a doctor starts to worry about money, you know things are bad.

Ranger is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 705

I tried to figure out what was wrong with my car door today and eventually got it to close and lock again. That's not necessarily a good thing though. If I take the car to the dealer tomorrow and they can shut the door, they'll just tell me that nothing is wrong and won't bother to fix anything. How many times have intermittent problems failed to show up when you take your car to the dealer? It happens all the time to me. Land Rovers are notorious for intermittent problems too. Janet had a similar problem with the door on her car last Summer and even made a movie with her iPhone to demonstrate the problem. Of course, when she took the car to the dealer, they wouldn't accept the movie as proof. They said they had to be able to replicate the problem themselves before they could fix it and, as expected, the door was working fine on the day she took her car to the dealer.

Luckily, we made it up to the dog park today with no door mishaps. You could tell that Dot and Dash had cabin fever from being left alone most of the weekend. They both raced around like they'd never been off leash in their life. Dash was particularly playful and made several new friends today. He's still fearful when there are lots of large dogs in the park, but today there was a nice mix of mid-sized dogs that he seemed to approve of. He had a great time racing around chasing other dogs and being chased in return. He was even able to hold his own with some super fast Vizslas.

As the day progressed, it got darker and darker and eventually it started to rain. Fall is definitely here again. The ground is already a carpet of fallen leaves and the trees have all turned. It wasn't a very colorful Fall this year. I'm sure our hot Summer drought has something to do with it. A lot of leaves didn't turn red or yellow at all this Fall, because they'd already turned brown and died earlier this Summer.

I tried to catch up with some of my website updates this afternoon, mostly because I know I have a lot of watch articles to write next week. I'm really glad it's a short week, since most people get Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving. That probably won't stop them from dumping something on my desk just before they head off to their own turkey dinner though.

Puppies are our Dalmatians of the Day

Watch of the Day

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 704

It was another long day of pet photography. I think we photographed even more dogs today than we did yesterday. The two day photo shoot is over now and most of what we did has already blended together in my mind. I know we had pizza for lunch yesterday and sandwiches for lunch today, but I've already forgotten many of the dog's names. There were big dogs and little dogs, calm dogs and nervous dogs. Some dogs were scared of Santa, while others wanted to lick his face and chew on his beard. A few dogs were impossible to forget. There was the gentle blind sheep dog who seemed completely comfortable wandering around until he bumped into something. There were the two Great Danes today who where so large that it was difficult to get them in the same small room with me and Santa. Most of the dogs were surprisingly well behaved, but then there were always the Dalmatians to contend with.

I'll have to go do the grocery shopping tomorrow, since there hasn't been much time to take care of the weekend errands yet. I can't decide whether to take all the photo equipment back to the storage warehouse. Right now the stuff is cluttering up the hallway, but it seems pointless to take everything back again when there are still several more of these fundraisers to go. Probably, the house will remain cluttered with Santa Paws stuff until the end of the year.

It wasn't as much trouble to get in and out of the car through the passenger door as I thought it would be. I still need to get the door latch fixed on Monday though, or eventually this strange mode of entry will just become normal. I didn't have any problems with the door flying open again, but then I didn't even try to open the door today.

We'll take Dot and Dash to the dog park tomorrow. They deserve a nice outing after being left behind two days in a row.

Jasper is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 703

There's nothing remotely glamorous about pet photography. Big dogs knock over your strobe lights. Little dogs pee on Santa's lap. Pet owners almost universally think their dogs are better behaved than they actually are. Spend the day photographing dogs and I'll guarantee that you'll come home thinking that mowing the grass or cleaning the house is a piece of cake.

Today we embarked on the first in our annual holiday marathon of Santa Paws photo events. Santa is tired. I'm tired. All the volunteers are tired. We got some good photos though, and all our customers seemed happy. You'd think these events would get easier, since we've done so many. Unfortunately, they seem to get harder every year. We're all a year older. The equipment seems heavier and the dogs seem more unruly.

Luckily, I didn't have to take the set down tonight, since we're going back to the same location tomorrow. Nothing got broken today, but I did lose one of my SD memory cards. These expensive little cards are super easy to lose, because they're about the size of a postage stamp. It's amazing that you can store 32 GB of information on something the size of a stamp. I still remember when 5 GB hard drives were larger than a shoe box. These huge old drives were impossible to lose though. I've still got a few collecting dust in the storage warehouse.

On the way home this evening, the door latch broke on my Defender 90 and the front door sprang open while I was driving down a major freeway during rush hour. I had to continue driving another 35 miles holding the door shut with one hand while I tried to steer with the other. This isn't easy to do in a manual transmission car. Whenever I needed to change gears, I had to either let the door flap open again, or turn loose of the steering wheel for a moment. Mostly, I let go of the steering wheel, because I didn't want another car on the busy highway to rip my door off as it was passing me on the left. When I got home, I finally managed to get the door to shut again, but I don't trust it now. I'll probably just leave it locked and get in on the passenger side when I return for another day of pet photography tomorrow. Unfortunately, I won't have time to go to the Land Rover dealer until Monday.

This has really been a long day. I don't think I'll have any problems getting to sleep tonight.

Puppies are our Dalmatians of the Day

Watch of the Day

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 702

I went to a seminar today outlining the advantages of upgrading to the new Avid Media Composer 6.0 software. I probably should have stayed at the office and continued to work my way through the growing stack of website updates, but I needed to get away for a while. By going to the seminar, I could imagine for a little while that I was a real filmmaker again. I've made my own films before, but these days I mostly occupy myself doing what other people want. A lot of this stuff isn't important, or even necessary, but I get paid to do it. Every time I see one of those posters that says It's better to fail at something you love than succeed at something you hate, I think it's all a lot of BS. If I followed my heart, or followed my passion, or whatever you're supposed to do these days, I wouldn't make any money at all.

I'm so self absorbed as it is, that following my own drummer would probably just lead to early insanity. Truthfully, doing mildly disagreeable things is what keeps me connected to the world. I may not understand why these things are important, but learning how to do them on time and within budget does give me an understanding of what other people value.

When I walk the dogs everyday, I realize that they'd be a lot happier running free. They love their walks, but I'm sure they both think that things would be even better without the leash. Maybe so, at least in theory anyway. The reality is that a big city is no place for a dog to be off leash. In Dallas, dogs like Dot and Dash would be run over by a car within five minutes. Maybe I'm on a leash too. I'm certainty not running free, but then I'm not causing any harm or doing damage either. Life is a trade off, for dogs and for people.

On the way home I stopped by the storage warehouse and picked up the things I'll need for tomorrow's photo shoot. Somehow, everything seemed heavier than the last time I used it. Once upon a time, I photographed fashion models, but times have changed. As long as the dogs don't bite me, or pee on my set, I'll be fine.

Puppies are our Dalmatians of the Day

Watch of the Day

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 701

So far, the entire week has felt like Monday. Even though the week is already half over, today still had that muddled, unfinished quality that I usually associate with Mondays. Luckily, most of today's work involved doing repetitive tasks in Dreamweaver and Photoshop. My brain wasn't operating on all cylinders, but that didn't stop me from resizing photos and cloning web pages.

I don't know if my shoulder is ever going to heal. I thought I was making good progress with my exercises, but this morning Dash tugged real hard when he saw a rabbit and dislocated it again. I kind of dread all the pet pictures we've got scheduled for Friday and Saturday. With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my left wrist and a dislocated right shoulder, I don't look forward to holding a heavy camera all day.

I got an e-mail today saying that Avid Media Composer 6.0 is available now. Seems like I just got the 5.5 release a few weeks ago. I was almost certain that I'd get a free upgrade since I bought Media Composer so recently, but I was wrong. I should have waited one week longer to buy the software. As it stands now, I bought just a little early to qualify for a free upgrade. Damn! No wonder I got such a good deal on Media Composer. They already knew there was a new version ready to be released.

The dogs had to wear their sweaters to training class tonight. I had on a pretty warm coat as well. A cold front blew through around suppertime. By the time we got to class there was a fierce wind blowing and the temperature had dropped twenty five degrees. This is probably just a taste of what's to come. Some of these Winter classes feel more like a test of endurance than a test of our dog's abilities. I've turned up the furnace a bit, so at least it's still T-Shirt weather inside the house.

Alvin is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 700

Some days you're lucky, and other days you aren't. I certainly didn't stumble on a four leaf clover today. The big event of the day turned out to be fixing the toilet in Janet's bathroom. I thought this would be an easy job, but when I went to turn off the water at the shut off valve, I discovered that the valve had rusted and was frozen in the open position. I've learned from prior experience that it's not a good idea to go pounding rusty water valves with a hammer to see if you can get them to move. It's pretty easy to break the valve and end up with tons of water all over the place. I had two choices. I could call a plumber. Or I could try to fix the toilet without turning off the water. I opted for option number two, since I couldn't deal with the dogs barking at a plumber for several hours.

After a trip to Home Depot for supplies, I did manage to fix everything, but it was weird to be working with a wrench and a pair of pliers in a tank full of water to remove and replace the broken parts. Lord knows how long this repair will last, but I bet it will last as long as the repairs done by the last plumber I hired. Maybe I need to start using Angie's List or something. It's really getting hard to find good help.

The rest of the day was spent doing routine website updates. I guess this is the high tech version of fixing toilets. It would be nice to have something exciting to work on, but people don't seem to want to pay me to get excited. They pay me to do things they don't really want to do themselves. If I want to do something fun, I generally have to spend my own money.

Honey is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 699

I went up to the Fry's store in Plano today to pick up one of the last available Panasonic SDXC Memory Cards in the area. I guess a lot of stores are discontinuing these cards because nobody wants to pay this much for the extra speed they offer. At any rate, when I went to look up the location of the store on the Internet, there were five comments below the location map that all essentially said "Don't even bother to go to this store because they have the worst service in the universe." I went anyway, because they were the store that still had the memory cards. Sure enough, the service was just as terrible as everybody said. I went at 2 PM when there were very few people in the store and it still took me over 45 minutes to purchase the memory card. Then, when I got home I discovered I had actually bought a used store demo, instead of a new card.

I got all the footage I shot yesterday logged and burned to several DVD's for the editor on the project. I offered to edit the video myself, but I'm kind of glad that nobody took me up on my offer. With all the Dalmatian Rescue Santa Paws photo shoots I've got scheduled for the rest of the year, I really don't need anything else on my plate.

My watch client is starting to sell watches on Shop NBC, which is a lot like QVC. They asked if I'd be interested in being a guest presenter on the show. Sure, I'd be interested, but I don't know if I'd be all that good for sales. I ought to recommend Janet as a presenter. She can sell anything.

The dogs are getting fairly relentless about their evening walk. I was trying to get a press release finished this afternoon when Dot and Dash decided that they'd rather take a walk instead. The both started barking and slapping me with their paws. It wasn't long before I abandoned the press release and got their leashes. I still got the job out on time though after we got back.

Puppies are our Dalmatians of the Day

Watch of the Day