Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hot Puggie

Bucky was up all night last night panting and crying. We tried all the regular tricks, turned on the AC, took him outside (many times!), even drugged him with baby aspirin in case something was hurting him, nothing worked. I slept on and off on the floor with him while he walked in circles around me, begging to go outside every five minutes. He ate breakfast this morning, but no sign for potty. Something is definitely bothering him and he can't tell us what's wrong. We are taking him to the vet later in the morning. At his age (13.5) I just hope we don't have to do anything invasive to figure out the problem. Keep Bucky in your thoughts please.

Update on Bucky: The vet said his back was a bit out of whack which was the source of the pain. She used a chiropractics tool to give his back a few mild shocks. He was better right away. We also got stronger pain medication to ease the inflammation, and a narcotic drug to help him calm down.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Self Guided Tour in San Francisco

On Sunday the guys had an NBA event in the not so good part of the city, so I did some tourist things on my own. First, heading into China Town. I hadn't been to China Town in years, things might have changed.


I wanted to find a hole in the wall place that regular Chinese people visit for their breakfast and lunch. The kind that's always noisy with people shouting Cantonese back and forth, that offers no menu and you have to ask the cook what's in the steamer, that piles dirty dishes high behind the counter and inspires the city health official to draft the next amendment of health codes. After walking down almost the entire length of Grant Avenue, I only found this dim sum resturant. It's very nice tho, white table cloth and all. The place was upstairs and I didn't see it from the street. There was a lady on the sidewalk gathering up crowds to point them the way, rather loudly. Shrimp dumpling was great. Chrysanthemum tea is usually used as part of the medication for clearing internal heat in the summer. My first time to see it served as a beverage in resturant. It tastes delicate and faintly sweet.

Preserved egg and pork porridge. Bill doesn't like the smell of these eggs, so I indulge myself when he's not around.

The dim sum menu. The dumplings were $2.68, but the nice big bowl of porridge was only $1.88. Tea used to be served free in all Chinese resturants, now it costs $1.00.

This musician played Chinese folk music through out my lunch, very romantic. No he didn't play it for me. He was downstairs across the street on the sidewalk, but I liked it anyway.

This little bakery was the closest thing I could find for a hole-in-the-wall traditional eatery. I had one of those little cakes.

The four charactors on the second floor of this building indicated this was the Chinese School, but on this day it's serving as a funeral home for an Elder Master Lee.

Shopping in China Town is a disappointment. Every store sells very similar items, cheap T-shirts, bamboo back scratchers, cloth shoes with rubber bottom that won't fit anyone. The clay tea pots are locked up, and there are signs everywhere "If you break it, you have to pay for it", things like that. I don't know what the tourists get out of all this, but I didn't buy a thing. I don't know how these shops stay in business.

Here are three jewlry stores all having big sale: Lisa Jewelry Co. is having Grand Opening sale, 70% off; next door Vy's Jewelry is having clearance sale; next to that LT Jewelry is having Closing Sale.

I do know the good shopping places. Heading down to Union Square.

Sipping tea under the dome in San Francisco Center was a nice way to round up the trip.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Will learned that RIF equals Reduction In Force and the acronym was enjoined in his brain along with the other killing spell terms like pink slips, axes falling, layoffs, mass firings, headcount reduction, etc.

-- At The End Of The Day, Chapter 3 RIF happens, and it happens to the less fortunate ones, repeatedly. After two years of abuse, political infighting, working nights and weekends while watching my wages tumble with the company, I was quite relieved it was all over. I made a promise not to sue so I could get on with my life. Life as a riffer is quite enjoyable. In the week and half I've been home, I went on a field trip with Henry's class, had breakfast and lunch with my friends, took yoga classes almost every day, and of course, hang out with Henry every afternoon. Food finds its way to me at various times, not good. But I can find excuses. Could I be depressed? Maybe just a little? Here, some chocolate will help. I will burn it all off in my next trip to the gym, om the fat grams away.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trinket the Mouse

Trinket is every bit a mouse. His name came with him from the lady that rescued his parents. He was the runt of the litter. His needle nose is constantly taking him to tight spots, so he could pick up the last bit of crumb. He moves daintily and soundlessly around the house, except for the tag we put on his collar, and in the recent months, his ever more heavy breathing. Trinket is a small sweet spot that melts on you like a pad of butter. Actually he would much prefer licking up that butter. If he licks the butter, some will get on the cold little nose and make him look funny. If you laugh at him because he looks funny, he'd hang his head and tail down, and slink away in embarrassment.

It's only fitting that we were visited by a real mouse earlier this week. A rat actually, as he was fairly large. Couple days later Bill found him dead in the garden.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

GAAA Squares One to Six

Pattern: Great American Aran Afghan booklet
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool (worsted weight)
Needles: US Size 8
General Notes: The pattern calls for different size needles for each square. I'm too lazy to keep changing, so they are coming out in different sizes and I will have to do some creative arrangement and maybe add some extra edging here and there. I have short attention span, so this is the perfect project since I only knit each square once. By the time I'm tired of the same stitch pattern I'm done. I'm knitting in the sequence of how the squares appear in the booklet, regardless of level of difficulty.

Square One: designed by Judy Sumner, rated one of the five most challenging squares. I was on the knitlist when Judy Sumner designed this square and posted about her inspirations and progress with Knitters Magazine. At that time she just retired from her medical profession and was "just a knitter". Her husband had kidney transplant. Donor was her daughter who gave birth to twin girls not too long before the surgery. Judy was very close to the girls, and this square reflects the flowers and bugs and hugs and kisses in a child's life. I didn't mind very much knitting the bugs, since this is the only time and it was interesting to see how they came along. Once I got done with this one I knew I could handle this project without too much trouble. This square came out much smaller than the others.



Square Two: designed by Julie Levy, rated one of the easiest squares


Square Three: designed by Marian Tabler. I couldn't get a good sense of this set of cables. There is a pair of mistakes in the ropes on the sides, but the mistakes match so I didn't bother rip out and reknit the big cables.


Square Four: designed by Meredith Morioka. This is the brightest color that I bought. I hope this square won't stand out too much when all of them put together.


Square Five: designed by Kathleen Carty, rated one of the five most challenging squares. The cable border is knitted first, increase and decrease to form the corners. The beginning and ending edges are supposed to be grafted together, and I was too lazy for that. You can see the sewn edge on the right hand side. The center section is then picked up along the inside edge of the border, decrease at the diagonal lines and finish in the center of the square.


Square Six: designed by Vicki Sever. I like the motifs in this square, but look closely you'll find a mistake in the cross in the lower right corner. By the time I realized I missed the cable I was too lazy to rip out the already finished anchor and heart. I take this as my own design.

Here is a closer view at the missed cable.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bucky in Agility

Dogs on Thursday is doing a special about agility this week. Here is Bucky in Pugtacular 1998, jumping over the last bar to win Best Time in agility. He used to clear our king size bed (with frame and box springs) in a single leap from the hard wood floor. Looking at his little stuck face from last week, you'd never think he was this agile. We've been lugging him up and down the stairs for the last three years, which helped stabilize his neck and back problems. No doubt it's adding to his longevity.
Bucky's left eye seems to be quite cloudy, especially at night. It doesn't seem to impact his vision. Mom gets around with one good eye, puggy can too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Little Piggy That Could

Last Monday night, about 11 o'clock, we got a bunch of emails from parents in Henry's class, warning us that our school might be closing due to a case of suspected swine flu. A few minutes later emails from the principal and superintendent confirmed it. The week before the Santa Clara County health officials had shut down a few schools with confirmed or unconfirmed swine flu cases. The man on TV said that they'd rather be safe than sorry. An unconfirmed case earns students a week off, a confirmed case, two.

Next morning Henry got up to the good news, yay, no school! Through out the morning we got phone calls, emails, and postings on the school website with a variety and sometimes conflicting information. School was to be closed till Monday, but they were also hoping to open on Friday. We were asked to keep the kids at home, away from group activities. The unlucky kid was not in Henry's class, was not in his grade. They couldn't tell us who the kid was to protect his/her privacy, so we'd have no clue how close Henry had come in contact with the suspected virus. Home work was passed out for the week, and teachers planned to be in school in the mornings so parents (sans kids) could pick up material, etc.

Bill went to work on Tuesday, just to be sent home since he's living with someone that had the potential of having come in contact with a suspected case of the piggie flu. We decided to hunker down for the week and enjoy our time together. Our only fear was that Henry might not be allowed to attend his basketball games.

By two o'clock Governor Arnie declared State of Emergency. We are in war!

Less than two hours later, a bunch more emails came in from Henry's teacher and the school officials, school is open! Kids, bring your happy little faces back to school on Wednesday, and get ready for more STAR testing for the rest of the week. Apparently CDC woke up and realized the piggie was only a baby flu, and the County health official dude got tired of seeing school-less kids running around the streets cause they couldn't find anything better to do.

Our resident student wasn't too thrilled about the news. There goes the Swine Break.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bucky Stucky

Sometimes Bucky has trouble dragging himself through the doggie door. This is what we caught him the other night, poking his head through the door, hoping someone would notice him and open the screen door for him. He calmly waited and waited, even when Dad ran and got a camera and took his mug shot.