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ATM: My Dog is an Asshole

Posted by Stanley
on 12.01.18

I'm having a dog problem. And I'm hoping the Mineshaft can help.

I live in a residential neighborhood in a small city: gridded streets with separate houses on relatively small lots. Our neighborhood (and specifically our property) abuts a set of railroad tracks. And between our backyard and the tracks, there's about 100 yards of woods. The woods run alongside the tracks for a few miles through the city. Short story long: behind our house is a long (but relatively narrow) stretch of woods in an otherwise fairly populated area.

Our dog (whom we shall call Buddy) has, for several years, been allowed to go off-leash in the wooded area. He'll typically go off for a few minutes, staying within sight, and then return. If called/whistled for, he'll usually return. Occasionally, he's gone chasing after a deer or squirrel or something, but those occasions have been rare. And even then, he came back pretty quickly.

(He also sometimes brings back weird bones or comes back covered in foul-smelling muck, but I digress.)

Within the last week, Buddy has switched things up. He's now going on extended journeys into the woods and completely disregarding calls/whistles/claps. He's going away for longer periods: 20-60 minutes. And if I walk into the woods to retrieve him, he reacts like it's a game, playfully pouncing down and then running away.

This shit is obnoxious, and I can't figure out how to break the pattern and regain control. Some other factors to mention:

  • Around once a week, Buddy and I go on long walks, sometimes to a larger wooded area (several square miles with dirt trails through it). There, he runs around off-leash a lot, and I have sometimes run around with him, so there's definitely a precedent for approved-running-around-in-the-woods behavior. I mean, also he's a dog; dogs do that.

  • My wife and I are (imminently) expecting a baby. I've asked some friends this same question, and some people suspect the dog can sense that change is happening and is acting out.

  • Also new this week: there is a fox hanging out in the woods in the back. Which is super cool! I've seen him/her about ten times in the last five days, mostly in the evening. It's also possible there's a juvenile-fox offspring in tow, but I'm not 100% certain. I saw a second set of glowing eyes last night and what looked like smaller fox ears. The fox, being a new addition to the landscape, may be part of what's driving the dog extra bonkers—because suddenly everything out there smells like foxes. (If you're a dog, that is.)

  • There are other parts of the neighborhood where we sometimes take Buddy to use the loo. But all of these other locations also have woods that ultimately connect to the same stretch of woods behind our house. And Buddy has gone running off at these locations, too.

  • No matter where we go, Buddy prefers to do his business off-leash. Buddy will eventually use the bathroom if you walk him around on a leash, but he goes much, much quicker if off-leash.


Uh, probably more things I forgot, but I'll post. Any suggestions?


 

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Guest Post - Wall to Keep Out the Disabled

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.30.18

Bostoniangirl writes: This is utterly predictable, revolting behavior from Trump, but it still strikes me as a symptom of our creeping fascistic tendencies what with further marginalizing an already marginalized group. He gets to combine 2 "others" all at once.

Maybe there's nothing to say other than "Gross", but maybe the Unfoggedtariat has more sophisticated and articulate thoughts.

Heebie's take: The issue at hand is this, that Trump is proposing the following standards for immigrants:

Aliens who seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge, unless Congress has expressly exempted them from this ground of inadmissibility or has otherwise permitted them to seek a waiver of inadmissibility. Moreover, DHS proposes to require all aliens seeking an extension of stay or change of status to demonstrate that they have not received, are not currently receiving, nor are likely to receive, public benefits as defined in the proposed rule.

The op-ed above is pointing out that this hits people with disabilities and families with children with disabilities particularly hard, as we've rigged the medical system to impoverish anyone with chronic conditions or disabilities. I don't know if this is creeping fascism so much as a desire to punish everyone who is not rich and white, per se.


 

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Big kids have big problems

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.29.18

Recently Hawaii and Pokey were watching a show about social media, which was trying to impress upon them the dangers. Points were made such as: if you wear a nice sweater to school, you might get one complement, but on social media you get a hundred likes. But if you drop your books at school, two people might laugh at you, whereas if a video of it were on social media, you'd have a thousand people laughing at you. In another demonstration, they had kids watch a terrible singer and write comments about her, and then they were told they had to read their comments to her face. (She was an actress, of course.) The kids were appropriately horrified to say the mean things they'd written to her face. Dangers of anonymity and all that.

I have an ongoing problem with these sorts of conversations about preventative measures that kids and teens should know. My problem is that the conversation only contains
1) Dangers and
2) Preventative measures,
and ends there.

I feel strongly that there should be a third part:
3) What to do when it all comes crashing down anyway, and that it may crash on people who followed the preventative measures as well as those who didn't.

If you don't have a conversation about what to do when shit goes wrong anyway - someone posts an upskirt video that was secretly made of you, or you did in fact make a poor choice and are now suffering an extreme backlash - then I worry that's when kids think about suicide or get seriously depressed or something.

There's a whole 'nother part 4) about who actually deserves the blame when shit goes wrong, but that point is a much more common discussion point - ie that it's not the girl's fault if she's raped, no matter how drunk or what she's wearing, etc. My point here is that there's a major discussion to have with one's kids around the fact that terrible things do happen despite our best intentions, and that we have strategies in place for asking for help and surviving them.

I think this conversation does not happen because it requires adults to acknowledge that these terrible things might happen to kids anyway. But by leaving it out, we transmit a huge amount of fear of the unknown on top of the actual trauma, when it does go down.


 

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Khmer Rouge Trials

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.28.18

Mossy Character sends along this link, about the war trials for the Khmer Rouge leaders that finally took place. (HOWEVER, Mo Cha left off the commentary, so here is my stumbling attempt.)

The link is unusually well-written. It's very clear and direct and provides enough context for a middling sap like myself. It's basically how the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge atrocities have been ignored and dealt with. It's very frank and straightforward, and offers evaluations of the good and bad without pushing a single overarching narrative.


 

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Dairy Queen In NY

Posted by LizardBreath
on 11.27.18

Who's around for drinks, and where shall we meet? DQ is here Thursday-Sat this week, but I understand Thursday is her best night convenience-wise. I'm off work, so while Fresh Salt is still an option, I'm not lobbying for it as hard as I might otherwise.

I will have long boring legal stories to tell, so anyone who shows up should hope she talks a lot.


 

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Guest Post: A totally uncontroversial one

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.27.18

Nworb writes: Here is a purely silly story which provides the best reason yet for emigration to Canada. "I'm not drunk; I'm just Canadian".

Surely the moment when sports embrace temperance marks the point where they are played for the benefit of the spectators and not the teams?

Heebie's take: Noted:

Each winter the World Anti-Doping Agency publishes an updated list of prohibited substances. Last year it made one major change, though no one really noticed them do it. It decided to lift its ban on alcohol, which had been in place since the agency was formed in 1999.

and

[J]ust how drunk do you need to be to get tossed out of a curling competition? That "extremely" Thurber used really needs some clarification. And it comes, luckily, enough, from the commentator on the Red Deer Classic's live stream, who explains that Koe's team got through "30, 40 bottles of beer and then started doing shots". Which may explain why Koe, sent out a tweet, since deleted, with the hashtag #teamcorona.

and

There is some evidence that a drop of alcohol can actually improve your game if you're playing a target sport. Studies conducted by the physiology researcher Thomas Reilly in the 1980s and 90s found that players actually got better at both archery and darts when their blood alcohol level reached 0.02%. Any higher than 0.05% and it fell off a cliff.

I will say that I did one of those running-pub-crawls maybe 15 years ago, where you run a mile-ish between bars on a pre-determined schedule, maybe 5 miles in all, and I was surprised by how pleasant it was. It was not the pukey-disagreeable combination I expected; rather I felt light and springy and buzzed while running. OTOH, I was in my mid-twenties, and I'm not planning on checking if it still holds up.


 

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Asylum-seekers

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.26.18

This fucking tear-gassing of asylum seekers is beyond the pale (but also par for the course). These are asylum-seekers. I don't know what to say. The par is past the pale.

I guess it's been a little while since we had a WTFuckery thread, but this is the kind of venting that seems due.


 

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