Sunday, May 30, 2010

Little Guy

Yesterday while hubby and I were walking the pooch we came upon a stray dog. He's smaller than our dog so I called him, "Little Guy." Since he was in our subdivision at first we thought he was lost, particularly because he had a collar, but he had no tags and now we think he's probably a stray. He's very old (probably 14 or 15 I'd guess), thin, losing hair on his back and tail, walks stiffly, it looks like he has cataracts, and I think he may have trouble hearing, too. When we found him his toenails were so long he could barely walk. We wonder if he was abandoned because he's old, as terrible as that thought is. Yet he's a very sweet dog: We brought him home and fed him, and hubby was able to clip his toenails so that helped, at least. Our backyard is fenced in (for our dog) so he's safe there. Our dog was interested in him at first but since he isn't playful she just ignores him now, which is fine.

Little Guy was quiet at first but now he wants to be with us and we're not letting him inside, so he's been barking; he barked off and on for a good portion of the night (keeping us awake) and he's been doing the same through the morning. I don't blame him but unfortunately there's nothing we can do about it, we just have to hope he quiets down on his own and our neighbors don't lynch us in the process.

Our subdivision has an e-mail list so I sent a message to it about him, but we aren't surprised that we haven't had any responses. We aren't prepared to keep him so we'll take him to the animal shelter as soon as we can; of course it's not only a weekend, it's a holiday weekend, so we won't be able to take him to the shelter until they reopen on Tuesday. We have to take him to the county shelter and we live at the edge of the county; naturally the shelter is all the way on the other side, about as far as it can be from us and still be in the same county (about 25 miles away). Naturally.

Getting through the next two days is going to be tough (hopefully he'll quiet down and we'll get some sleep). The thought of stray animals always breaks my heart and makes me sick to my stomach. I hate the thought of taking him to the shelter where they'll probably end up putting him to sleep, but we know it's the right thing to do. At least he'll be taken care of and die humanely there, rather than starving or being hit by a car. In the meantime we'll deal with the inconvenience and keep him safe, fed, and give him attention when we can, which I guess is the best we can do.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's in a Name?

I'm trying to come up with a name.

One of my projects for this summer is to put together a WordPress blog. This will be a professional/personal blog: It'll be a personal blog since it won't be sponsored by my (future) employer (whoever that turns out to be) and I won't be representing them, but I'll be discussing professional topics related to the field of technical communication. So I'm trying to come up with a name for my new blog. In doing so I'm considering several factors:
  1. The URL must be available. To simplify searching the blog title and the URL should match. When I know the name of a site I often type it into the address bar directly rather than search for it through a search engine. Using my name as the URL is definitely one way of identifying the site with me, but these days it's more common to tie the URL to the name of the site and identify yourself on your blog in other ways.

  2. The name should reflect what I'm talking about. This is tricky. I'm planning on talking about technical communication, but that encompasses a broad range of topics and I haven't narrowed it down to individual facets of the field yet. Which tells me I should probably think about this more before I start my blog, including coming up with a list of tags I intend to use.

  3. The name should reflect my personality. Personal branding is a big concept these days and this blog will become part of my personal brand. In my mind, how this works into the title is in what types of words I use. Does my title include an action verb? Alliteration? A made-up word? How I put the words I choose together can reflect a little about who I am.

  4. The name shouldn't be too long. One word probably isn't enough for me but 16 words is definitely too long. There's a happy medium out there, I just have to find it.
I read quite a few technical communication blogs (see the sidebar on this blog) so I've seen plenty of good examples and I've come up with a few ideas that are definite possibilities. I haven't come up with that one, magical, "This is it!" name, though, so I'm still thinking. But soon I'll settle on a name, register the domain, do some design work and be off and running. Ultimately, while the name may catch people's attention it's the content that will keep bringing them back. That's where the real fun begins.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More Pics

I thought I'd post a few more pictures I've taken of things around the house lately. Everyone likes pictures, right?

My roses are doing a lot better this year; last year some of them got blackspot and lost most of their leaves. This year I gave them some food and medicine, which seems to have helped. The large rose in the foreground was pretty resistant to it last year even without treatment and this year it's gotten even bigger with lots of blooms. The one in the background isn't nearly as big though it has had some blooms, so I'm happy.

This little rose was given to me in the hospital when I had surgery last year. I planted it and it's done very well this year with lots of blooms.

I've planted herbs in a planter on the deck for a couple years now and this year they're doing really well; giving up on seeds and starting with small plants definitely helps. I've got more thyme and basil than I know what to do with. See that chive in the background? (It's on the right behind the tall basil.) That is from a seed—from two years ago, I think. It's dormant in the winter but now it just keeps on growing and won't quit. Nice for the rare time we want a chive.

We miss having a garden. We had a small one in California but here in North Carolina we chose a house with a backyard full of trees and there's nowhere to put a garden. We really miss tomatoes, so since the deck is the one place that gets sun we thought we'd try a tomato in a pot. As you can see it's doing really well! It has over a dozen tomatoes-in-progress on it now and lots of flowers so we're expecting a good crop. Fresh tomatoes—yum.

This is a baby bluebird. (Well, probably a juvenile bluebird, more accurately.) Since I got home from church today I've been watching this little guy and his (or her) sibling come to our suet feeder with their parent. They're really cute.

And, last but not least...

It's toading season! I found this little guy at the bottom of our deck steps; I've seen him there several times lately so I think he lives there. Since I name all of our toad friends I've named him "Hoppy." We have to make sure we (and the dog) don't step on him when we go down the steps. It's always nice to have a resident toad.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


My handful of regular readers have probably noticed I haven't posted anything new lately. No, I haven't abandoned this blog, until recently I've just been too busy to keep up with it. Since defending my capstone project almost a month ago (wow, has it been a month already?) I've completed my last project for my other class, gone to the other side of the state for a meeting, finished the semester, cleaned the house, travelled to Dallas for a conference, and had hubby's parents come to visit. All of the activity overloaded this poor introvert's circuits so I've now spent the last week recharging by staying home and trying to remember my name. I've also attempted to catch up on things that inevitably got left by the wayside while I was running from one thing to another, though I've come to the conclusion that my feeling caught up on everything that needs to be done may be as elusive as my winning the lottery. (Particularly since I've never bought a lottery ticket in my life.)

To make up for lost time I thought I'd post a few random pictures I've taken of things over the past few weeks. I'm not an avid photographer by any means, but I remembered to bring my camera along most of the time and occasionally I even remembered to use it.
An otter at the Asheville Nature Center. I can't tell you how many pictures I had to take before he finally posed for me this way. That little guy books!

The Hyatt Regency Dallas, where the conference I went to was held.

Results of strawberry picking with hubby's parents. Strawberry pie, anyone?