Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Cha Cha Cha Changes

Just a quick note to share today. Lots of changes around here causing car work to be set aside for a bit. Fair warning: no car content today.

Dog Daze
puppy needs a name
With the departure of our last child from the nest, Boo and I thought we now have time for a dog. While true, a new puppy takes up a considerable amount of focus, and that pulls time from other optional (and sometimes not optional) things. On 23-October, we went to a rescue adoption event at the Tanasborne PetSmart, where dogs and cats rescued in Texas were made available for adoption here locally. Why they need to come here from there, I didn't quite catch, but there were lots of people and many animals. In fact, the woman in front of us in the queue had driven from Eugene that morning, explaining that there simply are no shelter adoption animals in the valley, and she either had to get a dog from a breeder or drive up to Hillsboro. Who knew? Clearly, she did; she indicated that the store hosts an event like that about once a month and they are always that busy. She arrived mid-afternoon to the last one and the depleted selection did not include her new family member.

The scene was pretty crazy for the uninitiated: on either side of this 5 meter wide area, there were crates lining both sides. In the 15 meter long aisle in between, were maybe 40 humans, some potential adopters looking as a family for a new member, as well as volunteers helping people handle the animals and learn about them. One dog barked most of the time, and the dogs we interacted with were all a little traumatized, quiet, reserved, trembling. They had arrived that morning in a trailer from Texas, so it was to be expected. Boo and I took a couple (one at a time) outside of the venue to a grassy area behind the store to see if that helped them settle a little bit. We hoped to get a sense of the underlying personality, but with that much recent and arguably still-ongoing trauma, how could it? We visited with a few dogs, and this one black with white splotches puppy attached himself to us. And we to him. He trembled pretty much the entire time we were getting processed, but once we were in the main store looking for dog owner products, he started to settle down. He even fell asleep for a short time while one of us was carrying him. I guess removing the animal from the trauma for 30 minutes or so, if the animal is young enough, is enough for him/her to settle.

A few hours later, we're home, with a crate, a bunch of puppy stuff and a 3 month old puppy (name has not presented itself yet). So, there will be potty-training, and other training happening. He has been very responsive already. The day before, I had thought that my Sunday was going to be spent installing seats into Hapy while Boo worked a 12-hour shift at her new hospital job. Instead, after a night of sleep interrupted by scared-dog whimpers, it was spent going in and out my backdoor with a little puppy, followed by light playing or resting. Crazy how that consumes all your time. Even something as simple as eating a snack or taking a leak are perilous as puppy-bladder accidents happen quickly.

Boo Job Change
I just alluded to a change in Boo's employment. After years of working in specialized clinics (Pulmonary and then Cardiology), she took a new role at the hospital. If there is a "hood" in Portland, that's the hospital she is at, working a floor gig. This new role will be fewer hours per week, but they bunch all together. I mean... before, she worked 8 hour shifts monday-to-Friday, like an office worker. Now, she works 12.5 hour shifts (with a lunch break, its 12 hours paid with overlaps for shift changes) on any day of the week, but at least its daytime. Even with more time available in a week, any life schedule change has an impact as lives re-settle into a new pattern. 

Construction Junction
Before we got the puppy, we had started a plan to remodel some sections of our upstairs. The master bathroom was originally designed for one person, for example, and the laundry is in the far corner of the garage, about as far away from laundry generation as possible and still be in the house. We would like to resolve both of those issues, but that's a big scope. So, this work will be done in phases, and will mostly be completed by Boo (and specialized subs) with a little help from me but, nothing happens in a vacuum, and if one of us is swinging hammer, the other must be minding pup.

Getting Out
Bruxton Trestle
Last, Boo and I have discovered a shared enjoyment of hiking. This intersects well with life with a dog, as well as aligns well with a lifestyle change we have been making where we get up earlier, go to bed earlier and consume very little, if any, alcohol. Still, this means that time I would have spent during a weekend day wrenching on one of the projects may be consumed by a hike. We experienced the same slow down on projects where we were hitting the snow a lot, and that was a positive family-health tradeoff. Also, now that we're all vax'd, we have returned to hanging out with our musician friends more. I don't think that will have a meaningful impact, but time is fixed and consumption is cumulative. Before you know it, there isn't any left.

I guess, I needed to think this through so I don't become discouraged when projects are not moving forward. I know that Zed is effectively stopped due to cold/wet weather preventing painting anyway. I could probably do a thing or 2 on Oliver, but I really would like to get him through DEQ/smog before I invest any more time or money into him and the smogging won't happen until the nicer weather returns (there is a failed seal/leak where water can creep in under the windscreen). I expect I will be helping G on Nemo when he drops by, but my only real open project is Hapy's seats. Those seats and the related noise abatement might not be installed for a while. Time will tell. Perhaps the pup will like hanging out in Hapy as much as Boo, Schmidty (the kitty) and I do.

That's it for now. Over the years, I have forecasted a significant reduction in my car and posting activity only to re-appear in the next week or 2. So, I am sure you are taking this statement with a few grains of salt. I would if I were you too. Still, if I don't get back for a while, have a nice holiday season. If you can, give the gift of time and experiences, especially to yourself. While memories fade, material gifts fade faster.

Thanks, as always, for following along-

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