My brother takes pictures

As I think I’ve mentioned before, my brother periodically flies to far flung places and builds houses.  For charity.  He gets to work with cool tools and learn interesting languages and see really neat stuff.  Usually when he gets back he send us a link to a photo album of his exploits.

We just received this link the other day.  Some of the photos are really outstanding.  As he said, it is a work in progress, so not all of the captions are in place yet.  But I highly recommend that you look at it.



Poor, pathetic puppy.

A week and a half ago, specifically Sunday June 19th, we noticed that there was something wrong with Rerun.  For those of you who know Rerun that’s a pretty general statement.  He’s a weird little dog.  Specifically, this time he had a foot problem.  He’d apparently managed to impale a toe or get bitten or something.  Either way, it wasn’t pretty.  His second toe on his front left foot was approximately three times the size it should have been and he had licked/nibbled on it to the point that hair was missing.

Knowing Rerun’s temper, we muzzled him, wrapped him in a blanket, and functionally hog tied him to keep from hurting himself.  He thrashed, growled, probably swore, and tried, despite the muzzle, to eat whatever human body part got closest to him.  Despite all of this we managed to bathe his paw in hydrogen peroxide, clean it, and drain the infection out of it.  Because it looked like, at minimum, an allergic infection, we gave him a weight appropriate dose of Benadryl and decided to call the vet first thing in the morning.

We called when they opened and they had an opening at 11:15am.  By the time we got there is was clear that he was feeling a little better, but his toe was still quite swollen.  The vet, one of the newer members of the practice took a look, inspected all of his feet, and upon finding out from us that he was a self nail trimming dog, opined that it was most likely that he’d split his nail to the quick while chewing on it and that’s how the infection had gotten in.  When she showed me that there was, um, infected fluid, coming out from under his nail, it made total sense.

We came home with a scrip for pain meds, 3 weeks of antibiotics, and the Cone of Shame.  That’s right, Rerun got an e-collar.  This immediately turned him into a Zombie Dog.  He came in the door and refused to move.  He just lay down wherever was most inconvenient and remained there like a rock.  A rock with Sad Puppy Eyes.

Naturally this required pictures.  For posterity, of course.

The Cone of Shame
"Daddy, please take this off. Please???"


"I keeeel you."
"Take another picture and I eat your face."

If you look closely in the photos you can see the swollen toe on his front left foot.  It looks MUCH better now and he’s clearly feeling better, though he still HATES the e-collar.  If I can get any more photos without inducing him to kill me in my sleep, I will.


Hotel info!

Geoff and I made the hotel room block reservation with the Holiday Inn in Brookline today.  Please, before you call them, check out the details on the wedding web page.  We got a special rate because of the number of expected guests, so this is not a rate that I can publish online.  If you’d like to know the cost per night, please email one of us or call the hotel.

You can start making reservations as of tomorrow, 6/29/2011.  Additional details are on our wedding site.


My first trip to the Harbor Islands

Geoff here – I had the chance to go to Fort Warren for some history programs and to meet with some of the staff and talk about Civil War history and living history.  It was just me this time, but I hope to bring Kelly with me sometime because I think she would love it.

24_Sally port from parade ground
The fort's main door from the inside

Especially since this year is the 150th anniversary of the outbreak and the first year of the Civil War, I have been trying to get back into the world of Civil War history.  The people I spoke with at Fort Warren were really great, and several of them were highly encouraging.  They seemed to be interested in possibly having me come out there sometime to do some talks.  How awesome would that be?

It was particularly meaningful for me to be at Fort Warren this month.  It was on June 13, 1861 that the 11th Massachusetts Infantry, the “Boston Volunteers”, were sworn into the Federal service there at Fort Warren.  For those Beaulieus that may be reading this, this was the unit that Moses Beaulieu joined.  So it was somewhat personal for me.  For those of you who have never seen it, here is their recruiting poster that I found.

Recruiting poster for the 11th Massachusetts

I took a lot of pictures, but I don’t want to put too many here.  If you would like to see the rest of my photos (and the Harbor Islands are really beautiful if you have never seen them) from my day trip we will be putting them up in an album on Shutterfly.  Once I have the link I will post it here.

Oh, and speaking of dumb

A restaurant here in Massachusetts decided to turn away a group of diners because some of them had service dogs.  At a restaurant called Bamboo in Dedham, staff decided that a group that included several people with service dogs could be refused service.  The police were called in, and unfortunately, the police sided with the restaurant.  How this is remotely compliant with the ADA is beyond me, but these days, businesses seem to be getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a lot of things.  It will be interesting to see where something like this will go in the courts.

At any rate, this little local chain, like Upper Crust, will be one that Kelly and I avoid and encourage others to avoid.


As if I needed another reason to hate flying

The TSA, an organization rapidly on its way to becoming both a punchline and the most-hated Federal agency in the country, has committed yet another mind-bogglingly stupid act.  This time, they have forced an elderly cancer patient to all sorts of humiliating search procedures, including forcing her to remove her adult diaper.  How does this make anyone safer?  It certainly does not make anyone’s travel experience more fun.  This sort of thing is why I have decided I will not fly domestically anymore.  It’s either driving or the train.  And it is positively infuriating to see this sort of thing being condoned by so many people who should know better.  This is security theater, in the truest sense of the term.  it is an utter waste of time and resources, and it makes ordinary people mistrust the people entrusted to protect them.  It does not make flying more safe, it makes airports more unbearable.

The answer is, and always has been, better intelligence.  Have we made the creation of more interpreters in Arabic, Farsi, Pashtun, and other relevant languages a priority?  Not really, no.  In fact, until recently the policy of the government was to be more afraid of interpreters that might be gay than they were of the terrorists.  And we continue to collect huge piles of raw data that sit sometimes for weeks or months with no one looking at it because there is simply too much for the overworked analysts to do.  The data is useless unless someone can actually examine it.  Most of the time, that sort of data can be used to show trends and patterns.  It rarely if ever has everything all wrapped up in a neat little package like TV or the movies.  Just grabbing all the e-mails and tapping all the cell phones the way was done with AT&T is such a colossal waste of time it makes my head hurt. It’s not like by grabbing all the Tweets in the country the government is suddenly going to find the one that says “Terrorists Abdul Johannsen and Ali Ibn Humperdink are going to bring a suitcase bomb onto U.S.A. Airways Flight 2112 on December 25th.  Merry Christmas infidels!” And profiling of the most completely asinine sort has been policy, rather than behavior profiling, which is not only what is done in places like Ben Gurion airport in Israel, but is  what we already do in the FBI and other crime analysis units around the country.  And it works, people.  IT WORKS.  So stop trying to reinvent the wheel, and stop trying to insist for political expediency that the square wheel you invented really is better.