Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 1337

What a difference a few hours make. This morning was so slow and uneventful that I wrote a letter to my Luddite, historian sister who still refuses to use the Internet. Writing letters on paper that actually travel through the mail is becoming a lost art. I'll have to admit I'm losing the knack myself. My problem is that I can never think of anything to say that I haven't already said on the blog. I keep thinking that if I could just convince my sister to read the blog, I wouldn't have to write these redundant letters.

After I mailed my letter, I began to look for a way to attach a quick release plate to my heavy-duty Miller tripod. What a dummy I am. While I was measuring things so I could order the right sized plate, I discovered that my tripod already had a built-in release plate. I've been using this tripod for over ten years and had never noticed the little button that releases the attached metal plate from the top of the fluid head. Until today, I though the plate was permanently attached. If I'd noticed this handy feature back when I was shooting a lot of corporate videos, it would have saved me a lot of time.

I was convinced that the entire day was going to be slow and uneventful until my calm was disrupted by the screech of an extreme weather alert on the television. The dogs know what these weather alerts mean now, so their storm phobia behavior immediately escalated to DEFCON-1. After I confirmed on the iPad weather radar that a bad thunderstorm was indeed headed our way, I did what I could to calm Dot and Dash. Storms didn't used to bother Dash at all, but he has learned his fear of bad weather from watching Dot. Ironically, Dot wasn't scared of storms when she was a young dog either. She acquired her storm phobia from watching Petey, an older Dalmatian we had before Dash joined the family. Petey's storm phobia was so severe that I can understand why it left a strong impression on Dot. One day during a storm he completely destroyed the carpet in the bedroom, trying his best to dig a hole straight to China. He didn't make it to China, but he did manage to scratch his way all the way through the plywood sub-floor under the carpet.

When the storm arrived, I got under a big blanket with the dogs and huddled with them for at least thirty minutes until the booming thunderclaps began to subside. I don't know why this works, but it usually does. Maybe since dogs are pack animals, they feel more comfortable huddled together with their pack in a cave. It took me a while to discover this simple solution to storm phobia, but I go straight for the blanket now whenever I hear a storm approaching. Now that I don't have to worry about a leaking roof anymore, a thunderstorm is just an excuse to go take a nap with the dogs.

I take my car in for service tomorrow to get the harmonic balancer I order a few weeks ago attached. Hopefully, this will finally cure my engine vibration problem. If this new part doesn't work, I don't know what I'm going to do. I need to keep the Defender running another two years until the new Land Rover Defenders hit the market. I'm going to be real disappointed if Land Rover decides not to re-introduce the Defender 90 to the United States after all. I've been looking and I still can't find anything else I'd be satisfied driving.

Emma is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day