Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Inappropriate Barking

In Knitting News, I've worked over 100 rows on each Girlfriends Cable Sock. I'm so close to the toe shaping it isn't even funny. Which means I've entered that black hole phase where no matter how many rows you knit you don't seem to be making progress. Still I predict I will finish at least one tonight.
The pattern calls for a short row toe, which I'm going to stick with since I am more sanguine about short row toes than I am about short row heels.
As opposed to the toe shaping for my Joy of Charlene Socks, which started on the sole and hook around to the instep, these start on the instep and hook down to the sole. I will have to be careful about my tension when I'm kitchenering it shut as a tight spot in that area would probably be uncomfortable.
My issue with short row heels is that I always end up with holes along the diagonal meter line where the decreases/increases/wraps are. Looks fine on the needles, opens up on the foot. Although I'm pretty sure I'm executing them properly, I have to imagine it is something in my technique that causes this. Happily, there are other heels in the world.
(end knitting content)

In Puppy and Air Conditioning News

Baru is scared of the new condenser.
Sadly, this does not surprise us. He is a spooky puppy.
When Hubby was traveling to Colorado last month (ha! see I didn't mention it so you wouldn't know pups and I were home alone) he met a man delivering newly graduated guide dogs to their new owners. They got to talking dogs and Hubby mentioned Baru's neuroses. Spooky/jumpy, chases his tail, dumb as dirt. The man said there has been some research that shows these traits are indications of a neurological disorder.
The good news is we didn't do anything to cause it. The bad news is we can't really do anything to cure it.
We've always thought Baru had a small head. And we've always wondered at how different the two dogs were since we raised them the same.
The man said the tail chasing is a sign of anxiety and the best course of action is for the Alpha to comfort the dog and try to distract him with a toy or other activity. Fortunately, Baru doesn't chase his tail compulsively and it hasn't ever bothered us really, so we've never disciplined him in an attempt to make him stop. Knowing what we now know, we would have felt bad about having yelled at him—poor thing can't help himself.
So we weren't surprised when he started barking at the strange, new thing is his backyard. Sigh. But it doesn't mean we have to like it, or put up with it. The trick now is finding an appropriate way to get him used to it. For instance, when I let him out at 6 am today, not even thinking of the new unit, he started barking his head off. I'm sure the neighbors loved that. So I went out on the porch, which seemed to settle him. Then, of course, Samson came downstairs, so I had to stay on the porch since we don't want him peeing on the new unit.
I've informed Hubby that he has to get a barricade erected ASAP because I don't have time in the morning to babysit the puppies while they are doing their business!

What? How did the new condenser come about?

Well, after the expensive quote from the first company Hubby filled me in a little more. He said the technician who came to the house was nice, but the lady he dealt with on the phone a few days later (the one who gave him the quote) was lacking in customer service skills and gave him the impression that our job wasn't worth enough money for them to bother.
So we called a second company. Hubby said the man who came from that company seemed to be someone in charge (so no potential for dealing with rude office people). That man took the time to explain the economics of the situation, i.e. it would cost almost as much to replace the coil as it would to replace the entire unit. He also pointed out that a new unit would be more energy efficient than our old one and probably quieter. (Quieter it is, cost savings are yet to be determined.)
So he came back with three quotes, all much more reasonable than company #1, and we decided to replace the entire unit. It took this long because they were out of stock when he was at the house (which he explained to Hubby up front). Then yesterday our new condenser was installed.
Hello, air conditioning. Good-bye, economic stimulus check.

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