April 13th, 2011



1. Galen was out sunning himself on the porch this morning, as he likes to do. Eventually, he decided he'd had enough, but I was back in the office and not handy for door-opening duties. So he let himself in.

Intelligence is not necessarily a desirable trait in a dog.

2. His other I-am-too-smart-for-my-own-good behavior lately is substantially more annoying. When we're out on walks, he's supposed to sit and wait for permission before crossing a street. (This is a safety measure.) He's quite good at this and knows darn well what he's supposed to be doing, although occasionally he gets confused at oddly-shaped curbs. Lately, he's taken to sitting beautifully and quickly... so long as we are headed away from the house. As soon as we turn around and start walking back towards home, he's all "Okay, okay, so the rule is, first I sit down, then we cross the street? So if I don't sit down, we can just turn that way and keep walking, right? Right?"

Not right.


I figure if I just don't let this work, in the sense of changing my mind about where we are going, he will eventually give it up, because walking, even in the direction of home, has to be better than standing on a street corner for minutes on end, right? Right?

3. The little chickens are seriously into flying right now. Eventually they'll be back to the usual chicken jumping with a power assist, but right now they've got a good combination of low weight and thoroughly feathered wings. I don't remember Norska and Teckla doing this, but these two are definitely going through a stage of I Am a Bird and That Means I Can Fly! Today, I was standing near the brooder holding Phoenix, and Dragon climbed out of the brooder and flew over to my shoulder. Awww, she likes me! (Or she was just trying to stay close to the other chicken, but I'll take what I can get.)

4. The Humane Society Silicon Valley is having a set-your-own-adoption-fee event for adult dogs and cats all month.

5. Speaking of dogs and cats, I must brag on Galen for a minute here. This past weekend, we went over to brooksmoses's place to help clean things, and Galen did very well with the cats. Julie went and hid in the dresser, as usual, but Beatrice stayed out in the main part of the house and remained unmolested for hours. She was a little discomfited when he went to see what the meowing was about, but as brooksmoses said, "I don't know what you're complaining about; you called him." (And he was perfectly polite in his investigation, not even running to get there.)

Towards the end of the visit, Julie came out to see what was what. Unfortunately, the exaggerated cautious slinking was a little too interesting, so Galen stood up to see what it was, and that startled both cats enough that they left the room and didn't come back out while we were still there. I'm amazed they got that far, though -- I didn't think Julie would ever consent to be in the same room with the dog.

Guess What I Just Ate!

We climbed a long time this evening. I climbed many wonderful things, including one spot where I'm not sure whether the move I tried actually worked or whether I found some kind of clipping error in the physics engine of reality.

It turns out that Z Pizza is not, in fact, open after 10:00 on weeknights. Pho Hoa, however, is, and has a perfectly acceptable vegetarian pho. It also has many interesting beverages, including salty plum soda and various fruit smoothies. The smoothie flavors include jackfruit, avocado, soursop, and (drumroll please) durian.

Of course I tried the durian smoothie. Andres says it smells (and tastes) like something out of the compost bin; I think it tastes rather garlicky, with a sort of fruit aftertaste as the garlic fades. The trick is not to inhale while you're putting it in your mouth. I probably won't order it again, but I'm glad I tried it and I finished the whole thing.

I'll have to try soursop next time; I'd never heard of it, but apparently it is in the same genus as the cherimoya, and the cherimoya is a most excellent fruit which I recently had the pleasure of sampling for the first time. Cherimoya is strongly reminiscent of jackfruit (also tasty), with a kind of banana-pineapple thing going on. I bet it makes great smoothies.