Pup/date of a Four Month Old

We marked our two month #adoptaversary this past weekend, and made some general observations that despite her continued small stature, the pup has actually grown quite a bit since she came to live with us. I went looking for an app or a website or even a blog plugin to document all this stuff, and then I figured that routine updates here on significant milestones is probably just as good, maybe even better, than any of those things. So, on the four month birthday date, here is another pup/date… even tho it’s only been about ten days since my last.

wize wee wak so fur?

The weather has been generously warm, at least for a January. By warm, I mean it has been hovering around freezing for the last two weeks or so. This is warmer than the expected average temperatures of this time of year, which generally hover around holy-shit-it’s-cold-out degrees. The benefit of this relative warmth has been that we’ve worked our way up to walks as long as three kilometers with the pup. In fact on Saturday we ventured out further than we’d ever taken her, putzed through the neighbourhood for over an hour, and explored some of the local trails. She was in a state of well-earned tired by the time we got back home, though that tail never stopped wagging.

ridin in dat big squarry weel box

Since I last wrote we’ve been on a couple casual car rides. The odd thing about having a new puppy during a pandemic is that (a) if it wasn’t for the pandemic we likely wouldn’t have had a chance to have a puppy and (b) we don’t go anywhere (literally… like nowhere) ourselves so we don’t have a reason to get in the car and train her to be a good passenger. Still, we had a trip to the vet about ten days ago for some of those final puppy shots, and then on the weekend we thought it would be nice to enjoy the warm weather (see previous blurb) and go for ice cream. The pup rode nicely in the backseat without too much fuss or getting carsick again… tho still didn’t get of her own any ice cream.

gud mornin hooman

In the last two months we have established a respectably rigid sleep schedule. I’m imagining this will relax a bit as the pup grows older. We all go to bed at the same time. A routine has been set up of taking her outside, leading her into her crate, removing her collar, settling her with a small treat, and turning down all the house lights. Then in the morning, I have my alarm set for about 6am, and I let her outside, fill her dishes, make a cup of tea, and we play for 30 minutes to an hour until everyone else wakes up. (As the weather warms and the sun rises earlier, I’m hoping this becomes a dawn walk.) All in all though it makes for a fairly settled pup who hasn’t been awake in the middle of the night in six weeks.

Pup/date of a Sixteen Week Old

She’s been with us for going on nearly two months, and life is anything but routine. That said, our work/life routine has started to settle back into the pandemic-lockdown-normal once again, which is to say that over are our two weeks of unstructured slothing around the house with literally nothing to do but eat and ponder life. The pup has continued to grow bit-by-bit and tackle new skills brought on by more challenging requests.

c’mere a minitt

We have this fun game we’ve been playing. I ask the pup to come see me so I can pick her up or lead her somewhere we need to go. She runs around like crazy avoiding me and hiding, bum in the air and tail wagging, so that I can’t. I’ve introduced a brand new game to her over the last couple weeks called “Co’mere!” It’s simple. I say come here (which comes out more like “co’mere”) and if she walks up to me and let’s me take her by the collar she gets a treat. I admit, it’s less fun than the old version, but we’ve had a great time actually going to other rooms in the house.

wuk wuk wuk treeeet!

Walking has not come naturally to the pup. The pup’s pal (we’ll call her S) who lives a couple blocks away is only about a week older than she and S has been tackling walks of three or four kilometers for a month now. We on the other hand enjoy sitting on the asphalt and contemplating a walk rather than … y’know … actually taking one. I did some research and discovered a loose-leash training strategy to encourage heeling and walking. We’ve been testing it out on short strolls for the last week (and luckily the weather is cooperating!) She gets a lot of (tiny) treats, but we’ve had some solid 8/10 quality walks this past week.

ring-a-ling hooman

A couple weeks ago we hung a bell at the back door. The idea is that the pup learns to ring it when she wants to go outside. Training hasn’t been as tough as we thought it would be, but it has taken the full of those two weeks to get her into the habit of understanding that ring-a-ling means that the door opens and she can go out. It’s only been in the last two days or so that we’ve hit a milestone of deliberately pawing the bells (followed by a sly glance back to us) to show that she gets the signal. Trouble is, as we train this we want her to ring to go out to do her business… but she’s figured out that we’ll let her out no matter whenever she rings. In a word: playtime!

Reading | Prelude to Foundation (Asimov)

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1988)

I’m sticking with a strong science fiction motif for this year’s reading list.

So far, at least.

When Prelude to Foundation was first published I was in the seventh grade and was about to have my mind blown by the writings of Isaac Asimov. I went through a personal friendship renaissance in junior high and ditched the kids I’d been hanging out with for a few years to find a whole new friend clique that would define the remainder of my time in education all the way through University and beyond. One of my new junior high pals (who is still the guy of think of whenever someone mentions “child genius”) remembered my November birthday and tho we’d only been friends for a couple months gave me a crisp new paperback copy of The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov and said “read this, you won’t be disappointed.”

(…or however teens in the 80s spoke. I assume all my memories of this time period have been overwritten by binge-watching episodes of Stranger Things.)

Thus, I was introduced to the worlds of author Isaac Asimov, whose books became the de facto science fiction yardstick by which I measure all robot-based or space-based literature.

It’s also very likely about the same timeframe in which I came into possession of the first edition hard cover of the novel Prelude to Foundation which I found on my bookshelf as I was thinking about what to read next.

As it was, I had just in the past hour plucked my way through the concluding chapters of Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem. Over the week I’d been reading that particular tome, I had ordered and received the third and final book of the trilogy and was pondering the trio of books on my shelf as I united the first with its companions. The Three-Body Problem had gripped my attention as the pandemic holidays of the 20/21 season wrapped, but reading about the impending doom of the human race (at the hands of a nearby alien culture slightly out-competing with us for our precious resources) demanded a break between instalments.

The word “Foundation” caught my attention.

Talk about a worthwhile re-read. Why? In parallel to all this reading, I’ve just binge-listened the whole of the 1973 BBC radio adaptation of the Foundation trilogy for what is likely the tenth time through. The eight episodes are a mix of “someone just invented synth sound effects” paired with solid British acting, but if you can tune your ears past the cacophonic clash the underlying story is still the genius work of Asimov brought to life in one of the few dramatized versions of his work worth its salt.

And then there it was, the prequel (or specifically the Prelude) sitting on my bookshelf as a first edition hardback novel I’d bought when I was younger than my daughter is right now. I’d certainly read it then, but unlikely have I touched it since.

I have however steeped myself in the breadth of Foundation stories frequently since.

Plucking through the official introduction and backstory of Hari Seldon, the character-who-is-barely-a-player in the main series, but who is also the man whose action set the course of the whole tale in motion, that instantly seemed like a fantastically interesting prospect for my second read, NOVEL.2021.02, of this year.

A Blog Divided

This is my first post of the New Year.


Planning two weeks off gave me the impression that I would be super-productive and that I would write, read, play, and focus on some new things. Instead, I watched a lot of television, sat on the floor with the dog for hours at a stretch, and bounced between lazing around to eating back to lazing around.

It was not a total loss. I needed the break.

I did set my mind to the purposelessness of the last year though. I got to thinking about all the pointless work that I didn’t accomplish, and as I’ve done in years past, I vowed to focus on new projects and new things.

Blogging was high on that list. More blogging. Because as decidedly untrendy as it is right now in the era of tiktok superstars and youtube channels, I am very cozy in spilling words into the internet and I think I can keep focus on it for a while.

But I had this dilemma.

I want to write serious, long-format, in depth and wordy things on this space. And weeks can go by without me having anything long-format-worthy to write about. Also, long-format takes a long-time to put together. It is a worthy goal, yes, but it simply does not allow me to push forward with the catharsis of free-form blogging that I am aiming for.

I’ve tried this sort of thing in the past.

A couple years ago (and this links back closely to how I wound up owning the pixelazy.ca domain) I decided I was going to do a daily photo with some associated blogging. I would be a daily photographer and write about technique and style and… blah blah blah. That worked for about two months.

A few years before that I concocted the idea of long-form blogging around randomized topics. I had an A-list and a B-list and by merging one idea from each (at random) I could write some long-form bit of inspirational text about whatever poked through the veil of that mashup. That was swell and I held on, again, for a couple months. But it was hellalotta work.

Four days ago on January 1st I kicked off a different daily blogging project. See, I own this other domain where I had planned to write about cast iron cookware (long story involving beer, but read the “about” page if you are interested.) I didn’t ever do much with it, but I own the domain: castironguy.ca

So… what to do with a domain where I claim to be a guy who is really into cast iron cookware??

Here’s my take.

After all, what better single object to sum of my philosophy of life than a beautiful piece of iron that improves with care, attention, and food.

What I’ll be writing here on this blog may not be exclusively about cast iron cookware, but it will certainly come up. Maybe it even all connects back somehow. And I suspect the type of people who would be interested in reading my ramblings, likely are the same folks who cherish a good camp cookout, too.

The Cast Iron Guy

Over there I will write, simple short and daily, about things that inspire me to be positive, live well, eat good, and be the best sort of person I can be.

Over here I will write, less frequently and as the mood strikes, about things that I create, learn, play, think about, read, and work on.

It is a blogger divided.