Dog torture; Mind melting puzzle

• I mentioned in my last post that I had bought a bark control system for my dogs that seemed to be working pretty well, which is true. I also mentioned that the guy on the phone suggested that I remove the battery from the collar from time to time so that the animals didn’t learn that it was the collar that was shocking them, which is totally false.

I know enough about electronics to know that it is possible to make a very small battery do very big things. Through the use of a capacitor , the charge in the collar is able to deliever a much larger shock than the 6 volt battery ever could (of course that is just talking about voltage, which is only potential energy, not even addressing the ampere [which is the measure of flow of electrical energy. The latter of which is a more acurate measure of how much electrical energy is needed to actually kill you]).

The aforementioned capcitor is a battery in and of itself. It holds the electrical charge, but at often higher levels than the battery which provides the power. That is the basis of most electronic equipment in use today, not to mention why the cover on the back of your television says that you should never open the set, it really could be fatal. I can’t find any specifics on capacitors (mostly since I am trying to find vague references to fatalaty rates due to idiotic handling of such), but there has to be a reason why a somtething as small as a watch battery can be fatal.

I spoke to a friend on the phone trying to research this and found that the basic reason that the capacitor delivers more power is that it is ready to use. A battery gets its power from a chemical reaction that can only deliver so much energy per second, what the capacitor does is to suck that power out of the battery, over time, and release it in a single blast. So, while the device might still only have six volts of potential energy it is able to release it far more quickly, which can produce far more amperage, which actually hurts in the case of the dog collar.

What I completely forgot to take into account was the fact that the capacitor can hold its charge for a very long time (which is why your television says you should never take the back off of it). It is entirely possible that an electrical system that hasn’t had power for days or weeks will still have power in the capacitors. Poor puppy.

Getting back to the collar itself. The neighbors that live behind us have been in the process of moving out for the last couple of weekends, of course the dogs don’t like anyone that comes near the fence unanounced, so they bark like killers. My wife suggested that I put the collar onto the younger puppy, Zelda, but that I take the battery out first so that she wouldn’t get shocked. It really did seem like a pretty good idea at the time, but then again I think my brain might have been AWOL.

Zelda, as is usual, didn’t even set foot outside once the collar was around her neck. She came in and took up the better part of the underside of my desk. She was not barking, but she was panting pretty heavily from all the running around and barking. I heard the little collar make a beep (which is the only saving grace of the device) to let me know that she had just been shocked, even though she had not barked and the battery was sitting on the desk next to me. It seems that the collar (which is activated by vibration) can not differentiate between panting and barking.

Not only did she get shocked by the collar for no damn reason, on top of that she was having weird shivers whenever I touched her for the next couple of hours. She seemed to be thinking that it was me that gave her the shock and not the collar. She actually went in and stayed with my wife for the remainder of the night, she was afraid of me. I am pretty sure that was not the purpose of the collar when I bought it. She didn’t bark the rest of the night though.

I know that I have previously mentioned that I tested the collar on myself before ever putting it onto one of the dogs, but seeing the way she acted after getting zapped for no damn reason, I am beginning to think that the electrical collar might not be a good idea. It works extremely well when the dog actually barks, which they know they shouldn’t be doing in the first place, but, when it shocked her when she was laying at my feet, she had no idea what she had done wrong. I guess that is why the guy said that they should only wear the collar when “something that you know is going to make them bark” is about to happen.

When the people at P.E.T.A. find out that I am using this device on my dogs, however, I may have to change my story…or not… Once Zelda starts making the house payments she will be free to do to me as she wishes. Of course she won’t be able to treat me in an inhumane manner since humans are also a part of the Animal Kingdom, albeit the most vicious, vindictive, hatefull part…

• The friend that I was on the phone with sent me a couple of complex math questions, neither of which I even tried to figure out. One other thing that he sent me was this image:

All you have to do is count how many men you see in the image, then do the same once the top half of the image makes the switch. I don’t want to divulge just how long I have spent trying to figure out where that extra guy comes from, or where he goes, but I must say that this is one that has been teasing my brain for a long time. I have tried counting heads, feet, hell even noses (at his suggestion) only to find that the number is simply never the same in the second frame. I can clearly see where they are cutting some of the feet in half, but they don’t result in more or less little figures. I can see where they cut some heads in half, but they don’t result in more or less little figures. I can clearly see where the extra guy appears when the panels change, but I can’t figure out how in the hell the creator made it so. Well, I guess, there it is…proof of God…I haven’t found the answer, therefore it was a magical, mystical, omnipotent being that created the unsolvable puzzle…That, or it will take me a few days…

Come on GOD, bring it!

It seems to me that I should have really pissed of P.E.T.A. and the Catholic Church by this point, if not I am not doing my duty.

If I was into raping prepubescent boys I might be able to plug (pun intended) the church a couple more times, but having sex with children just seems wrong, no matter how much rich entertainers disagree. I do wonder though why Michael Jackson was not even considered when the papal vote went down. Sure he isn’t a Cardinal, but, he has had sex with more children than the rest of the nominees combined, isn’t that the benchmark?

Now, to piss people off for the sake of pissing them off (so you don’t think I am discriminating), Star Trek sucks! Star Wars sucks! If you don’t understand why they suck you have probably never had a job, but are always looking. Your hair-style has been the same for at least twenty years. Your only “real relationship” is with an online partner (who is probably a fat, ugly man that outweighs you. Unless, of course, you are the fat, ugly man trying to hook in that little hottie chick who happens to be a fan of either series, in which case you are hooking up with a smaller man who thinks he is hooking up with that elusive star trek/wars hottie…That hottie does not exist…)

I wanna piss more people off but I am out of ideas…

Relatives; Dogs; Bit by .. Something

•I have long maintained that I do not want to use force to train our little puppies. Your description of a puppy may differ from mine, though, since one of our puppies is several years old and weighs in excess of 50 pounds. Even our younger puppy is over a year old now and she weighs roughly 40 pounds. Of course they are not puppies in the view of most of the world, but they are my (our) puppies, and as such they do not deserve to be trained inhumanely. They may be animals, but they are my animals…Test your lipstick on lab rats you sick fuck!

All that being said (even noting that I made the dogs sound a bit smaller than they really are), they are not perfectly behaved. The first dog, Warlock (aka Sporslook, Slooker, Stink-Wagon) is pretty well behaved and will come to any of the names that my wife invents for him. He rarely ever barks, and when he does even I get out of bed to see what is going on. There is usually something big happening if Warlock barks.

My dog, Zelda (who is only known as my dog since my wife sprung Warlock from ‘Dog Jail’, thus keeping him away from immenent death, leading directly to a bonding of sorts), who is only my dog since she wandered under the fence one night and the wife wouldn’t let me kick her to the curb to see if anyone came looking for her, is not so well behaved.

Zelda (whose name was chosen because it was the last name on the last page of a pet naming website) is a spunky little dog. She simply proves the addage that it is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. I weigh almost 200 pounds and I sometimes back away from her. When she is in a bitchy mood, stay away from zelda.

We had previously tried to use a non-harmful bark control collar to keep her from barking, the one in question was a collar that sprayed a bit of citronella towards her snout. She eventually began to like the citrus smell, and learned how to aim it at Warlock (who doesn’t like any smells) to keep him away from her. She was clearly not learing anything from that collar, which was thankful, since she ate the thing the next day…

I bought a new collar for the dogs, from the website. This collar does actually shock the dog though, so there were a bunch of questions that I wanted to ask the people at petsafe before I put it onto my dog. My email went unanswered over the weekend, but by Monday they had not only replied to my email, but also recommended that I call them for “better service”.

After several failed phone calls I managed to get into the queue for the petsafe products. Less than ten minutes later I was actually talking to someone that worked for the company (not someone who works for a call center in India. If you don’t appreciate that then you have simply never had a problem with a pc, tv, vcr, dvd player….) who asked for the model number. I happened to have hte model number handy, since the faulty device was actually in my hand. He walked me through how to test the device to make sure it was working (which it was), then he walked me through how to test the device on myself to see how ‘shocking’ it really is.

Ideally I would have liked to have been able to test the device around my own neck, the guy told me that there would be no way that I could simulate a dog’s barking though. He works for the company that invented the device, I just think I can bark as well as a dog; whose information is more likely to be true? So I simply sated myself by making the collar shock my finger. The guy warned me in advance that “the animal has far thicker skin, as well as a lot of hair to go through before the shock takes place”. Damn Right!

The electroshock collar is working pretty well so far, but it has made the more vocal of the dogs spend most of the time on the floor by my feet. This, as the guy told me, is normal behavior. He said that you need to remove the battery from the collar from time to time when you send the dogs outside, else the dogs will start to fear the collar instead of being afraid to bark. Since making them stop barking is the entire point I will try to do just as he said. It is a bit difficult though, especially when you see that little puppy getting zapped….

She has seemed to learn pretty quickly though. She knows that if she is barking in excess, and then I throw the collar on her (which she welcomes) that she better not bark. Unfortunately she usually doesn’t go outside much when the collar is on, I can understand that since it really does give a good zap when activated, but is she actually learning anything? Only time will tell.

• Some of my relatives from Oregon are coming to see me tomorrow. Some of them I have seen as recently as last year, while some others I have not seen in more than a decade. Said visiting family members wanted to make sure that we could include all of the family that are in the Arizona region, so I suggested that we all meet at my house. This makes it so that us poor people (myself, my mother and my brother) don’t have to drive very far to make it all happen, which is a good thing all around.

The problem was that this meant the wife and I had to do some impromptu ‘Spring Cleaning’. Our house is certainly not filthy, we don’t just ignore trash piles and step over them, however, some areas of the house are cleaned far less frequently than others. The dogs’ room for example.

I don’t care what level of training your dog has, if you tell him to “clean his room” he will invariably stare at you like you are an idiot. Which is probably justified, I mean dogs can learn commands and be very obedient, they can’t actually think though, and don’t understand commands that they are not conditioned to understand. That meant that I had to do it…

I started to clean the dogs’ room, which was a full two trash bags of garbage, pretty late at night. This was partially because I hate the task, as well as being drunk enough that I really thought it would save time in the morning. As it turns out, one, or both, of those reasons were faulty.

The first hour or so of operation ‘clean up the dog room’ was going pretty well. I removed at least a couple of garbage bags full of trash from that room during the first couple of hours. Yet I left the door open to the outside while I was doing it. It started to rain.

For reasons that I would soon understand, the dogs started to go ballistic. They were chasing some imaginary foe all around the room, even had that foe cornered in a little metal can. Of course they knocked over a couple of knick-knacks along the way. I still thought that they were the dogs crying wolf, until I saw a little, cheap, porcelain statuette in my coin jar. As I reached for it, thinking that I was about to use it as a focus point for a verbal scolding of the dogs, something bit me.

I got bit by the thing that you see on the right. While it is difficult to judge the size of the culprit in the photo, I can tell you that the diameter of the can is six inches. The rodent covers the full six inches even with his back curving around the can. All of that is not even including the tail! The mouth of that vermin was able to open up far enough to give me a wound that is just a bit over a half of an inch from the top bite mark to the bottom bite mark. Not to mention the fact that it hurt really bad, and bled profusely.
I am pretty sure that I said “ouch” at least once. Ouch being the most mundane of terms that I used…The poor photo can be attributed directly to the fact that I didn’t want to get anywhere near that thing ever again. I will tell you that it really, really hurt…

Country Thunder; Games

The virus that is Country Thunder descended on our little town again on Thursday. To be fair, I really shouldn’t call it a virus (not only becuase that is disrespectful to viruses either), since it really does pump a ton of money into the local economy. While the event is in town for those four days every single restaraunt in town is filled to capacity most all the time, every store that sells food, water, liquor, ice, sunscreen, etc. is frequented by hundreds of people who are all to willing to part with their money. I suppose it really is a good thing.

The real problem with the event, in my eyes, is that it runs 24 hours a day for those four days. There are not performers on stage all the time, but the event is set up as a four-day campout type thing. If you have paid for camping you get a wristband that lets you come and go as you please over the four days. If you just buy tickets for a single day you get a wristband that lets you come and go as you please for a single day. The astronomical prices that they charge for refreshments at the event leads the people to leave a couple of times to go get them at better prices, then return to the show. It is all good in theory.

The problem is that a lot of the people who are camping at the event (since they are allowed to have alcohol within their RV’s) wake up horribly hungover, then do the ‘hair of the dog’ thing to take the edge off. After they have finished yesterday’s alcohol supply, they drive into town to buy today’s alcohol supply. I am sure these are all seasoned drunks that can hold their liquor pretty well, but the last thing a town this size needs is a bunch of half drunk cowboys heading to town for more beer.

Thankfully there have not been any accidents resulting from this so far. I fear that there will be though. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but the festival has a twenty year lease on the venue and the odds will have to eventually catch up. Of course not everyone that attends the festival drinks liquor, many who do drink probably wouldn’t even consider driving after drinking, but there is gonna be that one guy…

My only point here is to say that there should be a rule about coming and going from the event. If you are camping there you should be able to come and go during the early morning hours, maybe even up to the time that the music starts playing. If you are not camping there you should not be able to enter until just before the music starts, then once you leave you can’t come back in (again, to be fair, they might have this stipulation already for people who only have day passes, I didn’t really research this extensively).

I have only noticed a couple of people coming into the store that had obviously been drinking, they did smell of alcohol yet seemed pretty coherent. The majority of the fans show up early in the morning and buy a lot of beer, one group bought 3 30packs of budweiser! They did have the four day wristbands though, so I can assume that they are gonna sleep it off out there. As it should be. I guess the folks out there are handling it pretty well.

I would just hate to see this financial windfall for the community destroyed by the one jack-ass that tries to drive home drunk and kills a minivan full of children. Note that I think a lot of people are driving home drunk, just none of them has yet to cause an accident. When that does happen (it will) there will be statewide news coverage, if not nationwide, since this event is also held in Wisconsin.

Upon further reflection about this issue I have found that I kind of like the way that they are handling it. The people who buy the four day camping passes are the ones that are likely to get horribly drunk every day of the event, they are also the ones that can sleep it off right there. The people who buy the day passes are more likely to be people/families that just want to see one particular band and that’s it. So, in the grand scheme of things, the day pass people are likely in no worse condition than the people who leave major sporting events, hell probably in better condition than most of them, since it is damn hot outside (94 fahrenheit today), and they are walking around all day. You would simply be amazed at the price a drunk will pay for a pint of water, after a few beers, on a very hot day.

…Yet…There will be that jack-ass…Eventually.

• Check out this Fun Test that my mother sent me. It is so deceptively simple that you may miss a couple.

In My last post, which did not display properly for the first couple of days due to missing html tags (so the top all looked the same if you had clicked to it again, but it would have been several paragraphs longer). I talked about the game Chuck, but I failed to link to the actual page, so there is your link.

As I mentioned in the other post, the first and fourth events in the game I do not know how to do well. I can chuck the guy over 100meters nearly every time in the first event, and can get about 40 of 50 stars in the last event. The second and third events are the ones that I am really good at. The photo you see here is my best yet on the cannon stage.

The third event is also pretty simple since there is an actual goal. The fourth event you have to get all fifty stars to get a good score, so I understand that one at least. The first event, however, I really don’t know what is good on that one. My scores are in the 100-110meter range, I don’t see a way to improve on that score, and it doesn’t really tell you how far the best players are getting. Try that first event, let me know how you do, and tell me if you get an “incredible” dialogue when you make the throw. I am currently wondering how I can shave out 300,000 more points to get onto the leaderboard.

Leaving your car running; Games

First off today is a bitch about gas prices. Not a traditional bitch about them either, we all know that the price is too damn high so there is not point in ranting on that subject. What I want to bitch about are some of the most wastefull people on all of the planet: The people who leave their cars running while they go into a convenience store to “pick up a few things”.

The biggest argument that the people who do this have is that it takes more gas to start the vehicle than it does to leave it running for five minutes while they are in the store. This has been debunked so many times that I am not even going to look for one of the thousands of reports that did the debunking. I am also not going to go into people leaving the car running for a few seconds because they forgot to grab a letter that they wanted to mail, that is something that we have likely all done at least once and it only take a few seconds. The people that I am going to rant about all seem to fit a certain demographic, and I see it far too often.

If there is a vehicle left running in the parking lot of the local convenience store, I am going to guess that at least 90% of the time (and I have no evidence whatsoever to back this up, only my own personal experience) it is either going to be a diesel truck or a really old car/truck. I notice it, and it sticks out in my mind, because it is always the vehicle with the most horrid exhaust fumes that gets left running.

I am sure it is possible that some people leave smaller cars running when they go into convenience stores, say to keep the AC on so that their child or pet doesn’t get extremely hot, or to keep the heater running when it is really cold. I don’t even think that that is all that wastefull. I can understand the practice when viewed in a very specific light. That light just never seems to be the one I am viewing when I see the vehicles that are running in the parking lot.

The vehicles that people leave running in the parking lot are usually older cars, like from the ’70’s, that are lucky to get 8 or 10 miles to the gallon in the first place. They are usually junked-out, shitty cars that shouldn’t be on the road in the first place. These cars (which I call them for lack of a more descriptive term) would not be legal to drive in several states, most metropolitan areas, regardless of state, and anywhere where they make vehicles undergo emissions tests before they are registered. They are likely driven by people who have more fingers than teeth (depending on their prowess at woodworking), and should be taken off of the road both for the foul smell that they emit as well as the horrible fuel economy.

I am being a bit hypocritical here as I did once own a 1963 Ford Galaxy, however, it had been impecably restored. Even with its 352 engine and an automatic transmission it got better gas mileage than the vehicles I am calling into question. There is a pretty big difference between a fully restored ’69 Camaro and a ’73 Chevy Truck that has had no work on it except bondo: One works as well as it did the day it rolled out of the factory, the other works occasionally, usually billowing black smoke as it goes.

This whole rambling and pointless story is due to the fact that I pulled into the Circle K pparking lot last Thursday and noticed that the gas price was currently at $2.33 a gallon. There was a newer Diesel truck sitting in the lot with the engine running, as well as a ’70’s Chevy truck also idling there. I was annoyed by that. I was far more annoyed when I went into the store and saw the two drivers (trust me they were the ones; they were both dirty and smelled really bad) trying to chat up the cashier. It is just so aggravating!

It has made me think, though, that maybe I should start printing out little labels, maybe business card size, that say something like, “Thank you for leaving your engine running. Your wasteful nature has already killed over a thousand Americans in Iraq. Their only job was to secure the oil fields so that you could leave your car running all day long. I am sure that the dead soldiers (and their families) appreciate your wasteful nature.”

•Online games!

Due to a missing html tag several paragraphs of this post were not visible on initial posting.

My online gaming had been confined to for quite some time (not counting diablo II). Then, Flux, of sent me a link.

The link that he was trying to plug was the BMX Ghost game. I tried that one, even got some of the boards done, but hated it. This screen shot is from a completely different game, the name of the game is ‘Chuck’. You just throw around this guy, and he moves as he should, your movements being requisite, and it makes him fly all over the place. Three of the four events you are literally just throwing around a little crash test dummy, the fourth (second in order of play) actually can use skill. The photo that you see here shows you the exact place the you have to have the mouse cursor to get the “Incredible shot”, which will follow. The smaller mountain in the background (just below the ‘x’, is the important spot).

It must be noted that you can do three shots in exactly the same place and get three completely different results. The body doesn’t ever fly the same way twice, sometimes the head will strike first like a javelin, other times the entire torso will hit making the shot count as far less accurate. Still, it is a heck of a good time.

The rest of the ‘Chuck’ game is pretty much hit and miss. You want to let go of the “spacebar” while you are still moving the mouse left to right, if you let go too late you fall short, if you hold on too long you fall short. The distance is seems to be related directly to how fast the mouse is moving when you let go of the spacebar, so make sure you don’t run out of mousepad before you huck chuck.

The angle of the throw is also quite important in the first event. I have found that if I hold chuck with his feet barely touching the floor and move the mouse up about an inch while travelling to the right I am able to get the longest throws. This does make him bounce off of the ceiling occasionally, but that doesn’t slow him down nearly as much as repeated bounces on the floor. The third event you have to land him as close as possible to a flag which is easily reachable in a single throw. You can try to high arc him or do a soft throw, but it seems easier to just throw him pretty hard and bounce off the tree that is twelve meters past the flag. The tree slows progress quite a bit so the rebound isn’t quite as you would expect but it still has yielded me more throws within one meter of the flag than any other approach. Who would have ever thought that throwing around corpses would be so hard?

The fourth event you have to collect all the stars on the screen in three throws. I have never gotten all of them. I think my best is 40(I think there are 48 total), so I am not gonna comment on that one.

The leaderboard for the game shows a few people who have scored over a million points, while the rest of the leaders are in the 900,000 range. My best so far has been just over 400,000, so I really suck at the game. The thing is that on this one I don’t care that I suck. It is just so much fun to pretend that you are throwing around Dubya -or insert any person of your choosing- that it more than makes up for my ineptitude.

If pretending that you are throwing around the leader of the free world makes you uneasy, just remember that there are leaders, from many countries, that have died from much less than a little intellectual competition. Bring it on. Of course, Dubya might be the only leader that would consider the game intellectual in the first place…


Sometimes being the resident computer geek in the family is a bad thing. In a couple of previous posts I bitched about my mother-in-law’s computer, and all that I had to do to get it working again. In this post I would like to bitch about my mother’s computer and all I had to do to get it working again, but even I am sick of hearing about it at this point. Suffice to say that it took me about six hours to get her computer working, involving completely removind her old hard disk and CD Rom, replacing them with other (used) components, followed by countless hours of trying to find both drivers for some of the components as well as trying to troubleshoot the error messages that I was getting after I installed the new OS. I plan to make all of the .dll files, as well as the drivers, that I found public here in the next couple of weeks, since they just took so damn long to find. I could understand that the drivers for a particular modem might be hard to find, while I can’t understand why when a lot of people experience the same missing .dlls when installing windows 98. It took me a couple of hours to find all of the .dlls, and one of them came prepacked with a trojan! I downloaded all of the files with my new system, scanned for viruses, then saved them to a floppy which I used to transfer the files to the system I was trying to rebuild. As I said, I plan to post all of these files on this website, since I found at least a dozen posts from that were needing exactly the same files, and the only one I found had a trojan on it. I did take the liberty of saving the file as a stand alone, which should make it show up as an actual .dll when you see the file. Again that is all in the future. Near future, hopefully.

• In semi-related news, I am trying to help out my neighbor as much as possible around the house. Her husband is currently in Iraq (not on vacation), and she rents from my boss. –(this is totally aside, but, this may also be why I am not gaining as much wealth as I hoped to. I want to help people when they need help. If my personal knowledge can save them from calling a ‘professional’ to fix it, that will likely save them hundreds of dollars.)– I had to fix a shower in her master bathroom, it took about an hour longer than it should have, but that was directly related to what they had done as a ‘quick fix’ for the problem. No details will follow; It is fixed and I asked only that she pay for the parts.

On my way out the door I was apologizing about not getting over there sooner, mentioning that I had been working on my Mother’s PC. It seems I should have just kept my mouth shut.

You know how they have a ‘poster child’ for damn near everything these days? I found the ‘poster child’ for pc’s. The subtitle should read, “This could happen to you.”

Okay, so in defense of this person, they do have McAfee Antivirus installed, but (and a big but), they don’t have a current subscription to it. Meaning, in a nutshell, it scans the pc for viruses that were out in 1999 and no further. That is sort of like wearing a condom today to make sure you didn’t get a disease from that hooker next year, it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense and no one, in their right mind, would believe that they were protected.

I was not able to actually run her pc in the current state. I had to use ‘selective startup’ to get to a point where I could download a program to get rid of most of the bots. Thankfully, none of the spyware was that bad, the bad ones coming from porn sites, of which there were none on her pc. I did only a quick look at her pc. I ran only “adaware” and “hijack this” on it. She still has tons of stuff in her system tray (when you hit control-alt-delete) that I don’t recognize, but don’t want to fuck with…I think I have just realized why the techs always want to blank your pc: They don’t know either. They can set it back to factory standards, but they don’t know how to clear the latest malware. Maybe I am as good as them?

I dunno. I have made every PC that I have ever faced work again. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes it takes hours. Well, even that is not true, since my mother’s old PC is sitting by my feet (boot sector virus), and I can’t seem to make that one work. If only I could find a website that gives me the flash bios for her motherboard…