Free to good home

Or rather, free to any home… other than ours…

One (1) cougar, sex/age unknown. Enjoys lamb/sheep. Would be good for flock reduction, deer control (got deer eating your garden? No problem!), annoying neighbors/kids/petty crooks. Very quiet and stealthy, sleeps during the day.

Needs to be taught to finish one meal before starting another.

Yea, so, another year, another misbehaving cat. 3 sheep/lambs in 2 days. We only have 2 left now. A few other folks in the east bay hills have also been visited lately by cougars, might be the same cat, might be his/her friends.

House of Pain; part deux

Our dogs run fast, real fast. And usually in tandem. Which is okay on the flat, with nothing to distract them because they’re usually making faces at each other or generally not watching where they’re going. Unfortunately Andretti learned physics on Sunday evening at about 8pm. He was in movement, forward impulsion. The tree he wrapped himself around….well, it was practicing inertia more than anything else.
The Tree:

The Andretti:

Anyway, they (D and Dretti) disappeared around the side of the house for 2 minutes, TWO MINUTES, and we hear a scream and then loud panicy whimpering. D-Pants comes slinking back around the house looking horror stricken (if that is truely a look dogs can manage). Dretti remains frozen in the driveway, unable to move, whimpering and nervous. I try to get him to move, he drags his right rear leg like it’s dislocated or (gulp) fractured. I can’t get him to move without him sounding like an air-raid siren. So I get to dead lift 80lb of dog and stagger him into the house. Serious. I don’t know where AtH was, but he wasn’t lifting 80lb dogs. Hmmf. I gave him about 15 minutes to see if he could ‘walk it off’ which is the case 90% of the time with Andretti. He wasn’t walking this off. So we piled him into the rolling dog bed and headed down to the emergency clinic where I promptly lost it. After I doped him up. Dretti loves his drugs. Since we didn’t see what happened we had to piece it together with a lot of potentials. This is what the radiographs showed:

The lateral film looks good, but the vd film shows a very clear detatched piece of his hip (upper right wing of the illium). The inside of his right leg is ripped to crap, well, more like abraded to shit.

Everyday the jelly pouch/hematoma in his groin gets bigger and works it’s way down his leg to his hock. The fracture site is high up on his lower back

Now, 3 days later all the bruising is following gravity and heading south. Dretti was on morphine for the first 48 hours, then we switched him out to Gabapentin and Tramadol. It works pretty good, although I’ve had to tweak the doses to prevent dysphoria (or as AtH calls it “trippin’ bad”)

We didn’t see what happened, but after some guessing and calculating their normal running pattern, combined with scuffed tree bark and drag marks in the dirt and gravel. AND watching D and Dretti go back to the scene of the crime daily, well, it may as well be a signed confession.

Lot’s of pain meds, antibiotics, exercise restriction, wound care. I’m tired, so is Andretti. I’m very grateful that it wasn’t worse. He could have ripped his knee apart, he could have fractured the rest of his pelvis, a leg, shit, a few centimeters more to the right and he could have broken his neck. I really don’t think I could have handled a dead Brown Dog. We’re very lucky.

House of Pain: part one

House of Stine has most recently become House of Pain. Canine-style.

You remember the little rescue dog Luna Blue (previously posted in April)? Well, she went into a foster home a few days after I got her, and then came back to the hospital not even 4 days later with a broken leg. The foster-dog-mom didn’t know how it happened, she heard her shriek, and then there she was with a broken front leg.

She was surgerized and plated by one of the best surgeons, and all-around nicest guys on the west coast. Board certified surgeon, the whole nine-yards, the best of the best.

Neato plate, huh?? I told you, Dr. Brown is extremely skilled, as are his techs. Luna pays them in Starbucks and stinky kisses. Obviously they prefer the Starbucks. But Luna is big on the kisses, so they humor her. And change her bandage every 2-3 weeks for me.

She has spent every day since then (April 21st) in a hard splint and strict crate confinement. Here. At Casa del Stine. It’s not that I don’t trust anyone else to make sure she heals, but I don’t trust anyone else to make sure she heals. The instinct is to say “oh, she can come out for a little bit, just a few minutes, she NEEDS to exercise” No, not really. She needed 24 hour confinement, and that’s what she got here. Okay, so at first I was letting her out on a leash to walk around a bit….bad idea. I told the techs (who I work with everyday, who know me and can smell a fib) “noooo, she stays in her crate 24/7”. Oh really, Lisa? Then where did THAT come from???

“Oh, you mean that piece of gravel wedged up into the toe of her splint??? I have no idea where that came from.” Interesting to note that I also feigned innocence when they started plucking foxtail grass seeds out of it as well. Okay, so THEN we went to strict confinement. The last thing I wanted with a non-healing bone was a foxtail migrating into her already compromised flesh and starting a raging infection that can’t be treated (because of the splint) and would endanger the healing bone (potential infection). So, institute tough love on myself. Poooorrrr Luna. At least she’s comfortable in her crate, even if she does want to come out and play with the other dogs. Still, she didn’t heal. There’s just very limited circulation to the area of the fracture. This is typical for Italian Greyhounds with fractures like this. It’s been almost 4 months, in a hard splint, and it’s just now about 95% healed up.


She just got switched to a soft splint. She has a ways to go before it’s strong and solid. It’s almost completely healed, but not strong enough to stay that way without rehab. She’s a fast and crazy little Blue. She wants to move around and act like a fast dog. No can do though. So we clean her kennel twice a day, feed her, pet her, let her spend time with Q (in the crate) and now she gets to go on short walks. I’m hoping to have her into a good, responsible home in a month or two. She’s a wonderful dog, she needs a home with someone, just one or two people, who will love the crud out of her. And keep her from injuring herself again. The search begins.

And then there’s Andretti. Who cannot be left off the injured-list for any stretch of time.

There will be blood…..

Vicious killers, these greyhounds of ours.

Except for this one, he just dresses to kill.

The rules up here at the ranch are thus: you kill it, you eat it. The dogs have been eating a ton of fresh raw meat and gnawing on fresh bones for the past several weeks, and probably planning their next hunting trip. My garden is, not unexpectedly, untouched since ‘the incident’.

Indeed. Life up here is far removed. You’d never suspect these throat ripping canines are actually two prissy show dogs. Ha!

Crotch Humor

Jeremy quoted this too me from the San Francisco Chronicle a couple of weeks ago whilst we were drinking coffee at the Cup and Cake Coffee Shop in the city a couple of weekends ago. It was quoted out of context and although coffee didn’t come out my nose, we did have to wipe it up off the table, I laughed so hard:

“You’re either a beaver lover or you’re not a beaver lover. But it’s brought in a lot of bathroom trade, I’ll say that”

MIKE ABEL, Bertola’s restaurant

In case you’re wondering, this quote was in reference to the Beaver Festival that takes place in Martinez, California every year. Apparently a lot of people show up for this festival, and this particular restaurant owner was commenting on all the business he was getting just from festival goers needing a restroom.

I think it’s AWESOME that the poor sap who got stuck writing this article in the paper decided to have some fun with it by pulling that particular comment to print as a bold-ass 16 font “read this article” quote.

Only in San Francisco.

Federal judge stops a preso at Defcon

“LAS VEGAS — The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), which runs bus and subway service in the Greater Boston area, successfully sued three undergraduate students and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday, preventing the students from detailing the results of a systematic attack on the transportation agency’s payment card system.”

I guess they thought these MIT kids were going to show folks how to break the law. The funny thing is the FBI interviewed ’em weeks ago and looked over their preso and determined it was ok. The MBTA wasn’t happy with the FBI analysis, so they found a judge to issue an injunction. Further funny bit – their preso is already on the conference CD as well as all over the internet now. Final funny: the injunction doesn’t prevent anyone else from given the presentation, so who knows what will happen tomorrow. Given the usual reaction here to the Feds stepping on toes, I fully expect a substitute presenter 🙂

ObWarning: If anyone gets mail claiming to be from CNN.com with links pointing to some ‘video of the day’ or news alert, just delete it. Someone (from Russia?) released a worm which looks pretty realistic that if you click thru, tries to get you to upgrade to a new version of Adobe Flash player. It will screw up your machine (probably only Windows, but..)

Hacking Vegas, 2008

Rob and I are back in Vegas again for Defcon 16. Another year, more info on how full of holes our technology really is. Just finished with a session where folks talked about a variety of medical devices, including implants, which can be hacked because they are accessible wirelessly and have no built-in authentication. Consider an implanted defibrillator that you can hack into trivially and give someone a heart attack – literally. Its pretty sad and scary. The level of technical incompetence in some industries is bordering on criminal.