New Meal Plan

Rocky gets powerful hungry over night. When Rocky wants fed, Rocky gets shouty. Painfully shouty if he’s within a foot or two of your ear. So what can we do to get Mr. Fancy Pants to sleep through the night?

Greyhounds for Dummies has plenty about proper feeding but not what to do about a colicky baby wanting fed in the middle of the night at age 4. At least he doesn’t want nursed!

So, brilliant idea, divid his ration in 3 and give 1/3 right before bed. The bedtime feeding prompts a bedtime loo visit. This works pretty well as I have to wait for sinuses to settle after brushing teeth. So I brush up, then feed Rocky. Missy was offered food but it ended up in Rocky so Rocky gets three squares and Missy gets two.

So far, so good. Mixed wakeup times. He’ll ambush me returning from the loo some mornings. Today, he slept in until first light and then some. So we’re calling this change in husbandry a partial success.

Mister Fancy Pants

Image taken by the author and manipulated in Apple iOS Photos of the Bovver Boys courtesy of their social media minions.

Rocky has made great strides in his house manners. We continue to work on treat taking, table manors are largely down when I’m at the island counter, and he is getting the hang of moving about the house. He’s caught on that Missy won’t be bullied to change beds.

He’ still a shouty git. He still wants brekkie at 0400 but waits to mug me after a loo visit. He still wants his tea around 1530 but can be distracted into waiting until 1630 or so. He’s still working on meeting trades and has yet to catch on to the notion that trades are not Blighters of Zombies. Maybe Zombie Squad HQ has a training for that.

So why is he Mister Fancy Pants?

Rocky with big muscles flushed (pink)
Mister Fancy Pants

His ticking makes him look like he is wearing yoga pants! This is an iOS 13 Apple Clips manipulated image that exaggerates his markings and coat texture. In boring reality his bum looks like this.

Rocky showing off his yoga pants while watching Squizzer TV

So that it?

No, he did something stupid so Missy give him the nickname for a Twitter post. Her social media assistant has forgotten the specific incident.

Apple iOS Clips App is a lot of fun

Clips App can process new camera images or video clips to apply various transformations to them. I’ve done a couple of things where I’ve grabbed a promising photo off of Twitter, filtered it, and posted it back as a comment on the original post. I modded an image of @NormTheCairn. Later that day both #BovverBoys were posting photos for me to render for them. I like the “Comic” filter.


The Bovver Boys posted this image on the occasion of friends day. I suspect it is a paste up but it is one of their better efforts at getting both of them into the same image. So I saved it to my iPad and had a go at it.

Bovver Boys before Comic Rendering


This image is the result of cropping and applying the color version of the Comic transformation. There are monochrome, pen and ink, and various color transformation filters. I keep coming back to the color Comic filter.

Bovver Boys Norm The Cairn and Rupert after comic render and crop

This may be a good technique to try for #ZZST storyboard collages. The ZZST artists make these up using Zombie cartoons as a base layer and clipped images of the brave Zombie Squad war fighters participating in that Saturday’s event.

What to do with My CARES Act stimulus payment?

Magnaplanar LRS Stock image courtesy of Magnepan.

The CARES Act, in an effort to keep US residents whole during the early days of the SARS-COV2 pandemic, gives each tax payer and social security recipient $650 to spend as they will. Not needing it to make ends meet, I decided to direct my stimulus grant to a US company that makes things here in the US and was able to continue operating during the state’s shelter in place order.

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Dismal Gardens Makeover

Photos taken for this post.

The front beds were getting out of hand. The beloved former owner of Dismal Manor worked for Naval Facilities Command. Every construction project ended with surplus landscaping material, some of which found its way into the Dismal Manor beds without regard to what it would be when fully grown. The result was a row of Leland Cypress that would eventually close the side street, a row of ligustrums behind them, and acuba planted under the carport canopy. Over the years we have been removing this wrong plant wrong place material. It was now time to do some right plant, right place planting.

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Updated Hookworm Protocol

Hookworm image courtesy of the NIH Public Health Image Library #5205 and in the public domain. Used by permission.

Recently, I wrote about treatment of medication resistant hookworms in former racing greyhounds. Since that article was published, new research has been published and American Animal Hospital Association recommends a new treatment protocol. I’ll describe the new protocol after the break.

Continue reading Updated Hookworm Protocol

Thoughts on the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article describes the understanding of COVID-19 here at Camp Dismal. It is an attempt to help my readers understand the dynamics of infection spread and protective practices.


For authoritative answers to common questions, please consult the following websites having researched verified information about the disease.

  1. WHO public information portal.
  2. US CDC public information portal. May be tainted by US politics.
  3. Johns Hopkins University tracking site.
  4. Virginia health department tracking site.
  5. A run through the math of disease spread
  6. A wonderful video showing the form of the model, simulation runs of the model, and how public actions affect model parameters and the spread of the disease.
Continue reading Thoughts on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Vidar Invades Camp Dismal

Vidar photo is a stock image kindly provided by Schiit Audio.

FedEx beat its delivery promise to bring Vidar to Camp Dismal 2 days early. So we had an unboxing and installation, both fairly trivial and got to have a first listen playing the Thile-Mehldau eponymous duet record and Judy Collins In My Life record. The Judy Collins record features her beautiful voice singing Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and other songs with an electric backing. Vidar pairs nicely with my Dhalquist DQ-10s and has been a perfect gentleman since arrival.

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Thoughts on National RESILIENCY

Featured image: Dominoes Falling, courtesy of Creative Commons license grant CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This started out as a draft of a note for Senator Mark Warner, one of the Democratic Party brain trust working on the 2020 campaign strategy. Thinking before the pandemic was that the campaign would focus on a return to normalcy. Post-pandemic, it is clear that many elements of national resiliency need a major overhaul.

Our government has suffered from two things, potentially related. First, one of our national political parties has been using a strategy of divide and conquer to keep power to itself for oligarchical purposes. This includes campaigns based on fear of them.

Second, our social programs were developed individually in this hostile environment to treat symptoms rather than in support of essential governmental and civic resiliency objectives.

At every point on our journey to our current resiliency system, one party waged a two pronged fear campaign — fear of communism or now socialism, whatever that is, and fear that they, people not like us, might get something that we didn’t or cause us harm more directly.

The resulting difficulty of passing coherent legislation has led to a patchwork of well-intentioned but buggy programs. This patchwork is full of gaps and special cases making it difficult for the patchwork to support maintenance of national resiliency and unable to support many of us whose occupations do not permit a secure standard of living. For these purposes, a secure standard of living includes safe housing, essential health care for chronic and acute diseases and trauma, retirement security, and economic during earned income interruptions.

This post makes the argument that we need to take a step back, change our policy from one of aiding individuals ad hoc to one of achieving a resilient government and society that can survive foreseeable challenges by aiding individuals in a holistic fashion. It is largely about keeping domino chains from topping.

Our Congress’s response to the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak has been largely ad hoc. In spite of Congress’s “best” efforts, it has largely missed the mark by slow delivery of ad hoc relief measures that treat individual economic effects of the pandemic. The economy is far too complex for such a strategy to be successful.

Rather relief needs to enter the economy at the same points from which economic activity originates and flow through the economic networks that service normal transactions. Where possible, relief should permit the individual transactions that would occur if isolation measures were not in place. Normal emergent flows would support most of the economy.

This article considers the characteristics that promote societal resilience. How we go about achieving these characteristics is a complex undertaking that will emerge a bit at a time. Much of what we need already exists but needs refinement and protection from schemers. But essential elements of individual and familial security require an overhaul and processes that now require legislative action need to become automatic.

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Ampzilla’s Passing

Last week my beloved Great American Sound Ampzilla amplifier overheated. The lounge began to smell of hot linen. At first, I thought my sense of smell had gone wonky again. My sinus allergies can cause strange smells from time to time. So I took some antihistamine and started the air-con fan to filter out any particulate that might be about. A half hour later, the smell was still about unabated so I started checking for overheated electrical things in the lounge. I found Ampzilla with a high case temperature and no air flow up the chimney. Very odd since the fan is a Rotron Boxer powered off the line. What to do, have Ampzilla refurbished or purchase a modern replacement? More after the break.

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Camp Dismal Meal Plan

Rocky has spent the first four years of his life on the farm, in training, and at the Jacksonville track racing kennels. Rocky arrived “rough as a cob and full of piss and vinegar.” He was a big fellow willing to test limits. And the only useful companion skill he had was good lead and door manners. So Rocky was starting from a pretty low training baseline but with sound temperament, intelligence, and desire to fit in. He had so much to learn, where to begin. You sort of figure that out as you go along. The adopter’s guides present things in an order pleasing to book editors. Your hound may have other ideas about what should be learned first. This article recounts how Rocky adjusted his eating habits to Camp Dismal norms.

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Lifestyles of the not so rich and not so famous