Elvis Letter of Reprimand

To: Elvis, Beagle-Bassett

From:  Jef & Lesley, Humans

Date:  12/14/2017

Re: Written Reprimand for Destruction of Family Property

This is an official written reprimand for your failure to perform the required functions of your position by destroying your bed.

You have destroyed a total of 3 beds in the past 18 months and have smelled up several sofa cushions in that same time period. On two occasions, after using said sofa pillows, Lesley’s hair smelled like dog.

Since pillows and pet beds are not depreciable assets and in fact are not even budgeted items, this behavior is unacceptable. Pillows and pet beds are purchased to provide optimum service to all family members.

When you destroy your bed and/or sofa pillows, we are forced to make budget changes to acquire replacements.  This entails both an inconvenience for family members, and disrespect for our schedule, and the creation of overtime expenses.

You have received verbal counseling and verbal warnings with extended index finger for this behavior on several occasions. The verbal counseling is not having the impact that we had expected on your actions since your behavior is not improving.

Consequently, this written reprimand is reminding you of the critical importance of your use and care of your bed. Care and respect of household items is a core requirement of your job description.

Continued destructive behavior will result in further disciplinary action up to and including demotion from Senior Pet to Canine II.

A copy of this written reprimand will be placed in your official personnel file where you will also have the opportunity to offer a response that we can attach to this written reprimand.


The Morning Train

Smell is a big thing on the train. There are a lot of them. Some of them are telltale. Cigarette smoke is common; the smell of a heavy smoker is easily detected from the seats behind and in front of the smoker. This morning’s smell was a heavy smoker smell with the addition of something not very common on the 6:30 am train; alcohol. It reeked. My task was to pinpoint it. It didn’t  take me long to trace it’s source to the young construction worker in front of me. He was fidgeting a lot, looking around a lot, he had clearly made the woman next to him uncomfortable. She leaned away from him.

I wonder what he does on the construction site. I hope it’s nothing dangerous. Then it occurred to me that there is not much that isn’t dangerous on a construction site. I wondered how long he could keep his job and continue drinking at 6:00 am. Will today be the day they cut him loose? Tomorrow?  As I watch him exit the train in his hard-hat and boots, I thought to myself, “It’s coming son. I hope you’re prepared.” I suspect he won’t be.

The house, the house, the house is on fire

Years ago, I wanted to run cable tv to the upstairs bedroom of my house. Of course, that costs money and at the time I had none. But I didn’t need it, did I? I watched the cable guy very carefully when I first got cable. He just used a drill to bore a hole through the house and run the cable through. It was just a long drill bit and I had one of those. What could go wrong? Continue reading “The house, the house, the house is on fire”

How a scrolling error could have killed me!

While reading the morning paper I was shocked to find out that the latest US Government study shows that Americans are dying because they don’t consume enough nuts, salt and salty foods: processed meats including bacon, bologna, hot dogs, etc. Holy crap! Really? Lesley has been forcing me to avoid these foods FOR NO GOOD REASON!  I need to get on a bacon burger diet RIGHT NOW! Am I reading this right?

Turns out, I was not reading it right. Scrolling is important.

Plight of the Cardinal

While sitting on my deck this weekend, I was intrigued by the relative ease with which I was able to spot cardinals among the trees. I must have spotted 3 of them in a matter of a minute or two. This has to pose some hazard to them, doesn’t it? I mean, if I can see them, then I know the hawks, falcons and other birds of prey can see them, not to mention cats and kids with b.b. guns. Was this hazard overlooked when they were bidding on uniforms? Were they so focused on style that they didn’t consider the threat it posed to their standing in the food chain?

Not that they’re the only ones to ever experience this irony of style. They remind me of the British Red Coats back in the eighteenth century. I don’t care how good you are with a musket, it’s not going to counter the risk of walking through the New England woods wearing a bright red target highlighted by long white socks. Come on, just where would that not stand out?

And young thugs today seem obsessed with letting their pants hang below their ass which might make it easy to go to the toilet but its got to make it difficult to run from the Po Po. Every episode of Starsky and Hutch I ever watched showed gangstas running down an alley and climbing over a fence. You can’t do that with an ineffective belt.

So here’s to you my fine-feathered friends, I pity your plight. You can fly but you can’t hide.


Sitting in traffic this morning, I felt an ominous sense of disgust, shame and anger all at the same time. I sat in my sedan surrounded by a sea of SUV’s. I don’t mean practical, little RAV 4’s or Ford Escapes either, I mean big, obnoxious, gas guzzling Suburbans, Escalades  and Expeditions.  When will this obsession die?  I am so tired of it.

This is part of the reason other countries hate us. We are gluttonous. We represent only 4% of world population yet we consume 30% of its resources. The U.S. spends more on feeding its food than most countries spend feeding their people. Those Escalades that surrounded me all contained only one person. Gluttonous. Certainly, it’s unheard of in most countries.

I used to own a Mini Cooper.  I was proud of it. It was economical, had a small environmental footprint, and was easy to park. I really felt like I was doing my part. It was also new to the American market so it was unique. I got lots of smiles.  Then it became more popular. It was cute, but not big enough for Americans. BMW is not stupid, they know if they really want to grab the U.S. market they need to make it big. So Americans now have a big Mini Cooper, the Countryman.  It’s about as pointless as a fuel-efficient Hummer.

We’re not satisfied with just driving these gunboats either, we have to add a trailer hitch so when they take up two spots in the parking garage they jut out into the passage way as well.  You gotta have a trailer hitch, or else how are you going to transport your bicycle to the park? And they are too big to fit in most garages so they sit in the drive way or worse, out in the street. That doesn’t really bother most owners since their garages are so full of crap they can’t put a vehicle in there anyway. Most people don’t realize that we are one of the few countries where people actually build houses for their cars.

The Farrier From Hell

*Originally published in 2005

The Thoroughbred we recently bought has been having some issues with his new shoes. He is fresh off the track and is used to wearing only lightweight aluminum racing shoes. Of course he didn’t walk very well in them, so we had him fitted with regular shoes. The problem is he is tripping over them. He is comical to watch, but scary to ride.

Farriers are like barbers; there are bad ones and good ones. And if you use someone else, they get offended. That’s why it was with great reluctance and gnashing of teeth that we decided to let a different Farrier put shoes on Jay. He swore with confidence that he could correct Jay’s problem with (very expensive) special shoes so we said okay. Hey, any opportunity for us to spend top dollar, you know we’re going to take it.  Continue reading “The Farrier From Hell”

A Day At The Races

Just took our dog Elvis to the dog park for the first time.  I had no idea it would be so entertaining.  I also found it mystifying that these animals can run side by side at about 104 mph, crash into each other and transform into a tumbling pile of dogs without getting hurt.  They stand up, look at each other, and take off to do it again.  And again.  And again.

Size and shape doesn’t seem to matter either.  If I’m at a party, I’m probably not going to hook up with the big black guy with the gang tattoo on his neck.  I’m going to seek out the middle aged introvert drinking the same beer I am.  Not these dogs.  The clique my dog packed up with included a Dachshund, a Weimaraner, and a pretty mean looking Pit Bull.  And the Pit Bull wasn’t even in-charge; a little three-legged mix was calling the shots!

At one point, Elvis came up to Lesley and I with the whole pack behind him as if to say, “Hey, these are my friends…bye!”

Great time for everyone.