Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Friday, March 21, 2008

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I know that over the last few years my hearing has decreased a bit. Either that or the entire planet is mumbling. But I'm married to a drummer, so I always felt as if my hearing was pretty good, comparatively speaking.

Then I found this website. It allows you to test and download ultrasonic ringtones. Adolescents and children hear a lot better than people over thirty, at least a lot of them do. That means they can hear sounds in higher frequencies. Some stores are using ultrasonic sounds to keep teenagers out. And apparently, some teenagers are using ultrasonic ringtones so that they can hear their phones ring but the adults in their lives--teachers, parents--can't.

The website has a series of tones you can test, starting at one that almost everybody can hear, and moving through tones that lots of people can hear, and then on up the scale to stuff the dog can hear.

I can hear 8, 10, and 12 kHz just fine thank you. But when I hit 14.4 kHz, for all I knew the file wasn't working. On repeated tries I've found that sometimes I might hear something, but it might just be that I know other people are hearing it. One of my office mates, Steve, had his teenaged daughter at the office. She could hear all the way up to 18.8 kHz or 19.9 kHz. I find it all very strange. I can't wait to try it on the dog.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Star-- er, I Mean, Food-Crosssed

I work in LA, so Bob has never actually met any of the people I work with. I fly out to California every week now. There's not a lot of reason for people I work with to come to Austin. Except, maybe, the SXSW Interactive conference.

Steve Peters is coming for a panel tomorrow, flying in tonight. I'm leaving for LA tomorrow morning--leaving the house at 6:45 am. (My commute sucks.) But that means that we have a few hours overlap and Steve can come and meet Bob and Hudson. (Steve is a fellow fan of golden retrievers.)

So I had to cook. Pork tenderloin in a garlic honey glaze, potatoes roasted in duck fat, and roasted green beans. For desert, a Tres Leches cake, a Mexican cake that is soaked in condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk or cream. It sounds like a soggy mess, but it's more like cake that comes pre-ice creamed.

But then I get an email from Steve. His plane is delayed. He's not getting in until too late to come see us.

I'm sorry Steve. So is Bob (although Bob is grateful because I don't cook nearly as much as I used to and he got a fairly good meal out of the deal.) Here's hoping you get here sometime. I hope to cook for you when you do.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Doggy ER

On Saturday, we were tossing the ball and Hudson managed to bite his tongue. We had a house full of guests. The band was jamming. A couple of us non-musicians were supposed to go get bbq. So we waited while Hudson wanted to continue to play.

After twenty minutes he was still bleeding. It wasn't excessive, and frankly, he really didn't care, but it was, you know, gross. Having Hudson is like having an adolescent jock around the house, ever so often you're going to have to make a trip to the ER. So I put an old sheet in the back of the Subaru and my friend Linda and I took off for the doggy ER.

Did you know that there's really not much point in suturing a tongue? It turns out that the sutures bleed. But tongues heal pretty quick, and while we were at the doggy ER, he stopped bleeding. He started up again, but then he stopped again. What they gave me was soft canned food, antibiotics, and doggy downers. They called them pain pills. But it was clear that Hudson was not particularly concerned about pain. The vet explained to me that if he got excited, his heart would pump more, and he could start bleeding again, which while not even remotely life threatening was, as I said before, gross. (The back of my car looked, at this point, a little like something out of an episode of CSI.)

Doggy downers did not actually have much visible effect on Hudson, but after everyone had left, I coaxed him up onto the ottoman and chair where I was sitting. He's a little worried that if he gets up there he'll get in trouble, but he is always willing to be convinced. Usually he plops down and then plays, 'I'm gonna bite your hand.' He's soft mouthed so 'I'm gonna bite your hand' is mostly a way to interact. But Saturday night he got on that comfy chair sprawled next to me and zonked.

It was charming. Someday he's going to be a big lap dog. But not for awhile. I suspect there might be a trip or two more to the doggy ER before we get to the stage where he can lie still and have his ears scratched. At least, not without doggy downers. I'm not in a hurry or anything. But it was sweet.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Postmodern Comment on Daily Life

It is amazing how a simple edit can take a banal comic like Garfield and make it something quite moving and fascinating.

(From Thumb Drives and Oven Clocks)