Take me to the river, drop me in the water.

As an ex-whitewater river guide, River has taught me many things, possibly even more once I stopped guiding. So this is one of my main metaphors for this project. And I have some things lines up, like meds (!), time, and almost a bit of clarity. Drop me in the river dammit, because I know how to navigate and survive WITH holding on to a sense of wonder and awe while I’m in it.

Now (here comes Mr. Excuse) if only this neuropsych testing report would go away so I could just focus on this proposal…hard to cook and run a river, so having two big things at once is a reasonable cough excuse.

But I’m all for nudging others if in fact I can get nudged, too! Let’s have substantial (all??) portions of our proposals done by Monday, August 31, 2009. I’m done with my Internship on Friday, August 28, so I’m allotting a day or so to party and recover. It’s the least I can do after being torn about this year.

By the way, I also do not know what the final form will look like either. Qualitative is the direction I’m leaning, but if I can do a quantitative project, that would be cool, too. I haven’t done one full-bore before, and I’d like the experience. Of course, the best dissertation is a DONE dissertation, and I also have the option of doing a program design/evaluation that would line up what I would do with data, but by proposing a program, I don’t have to actually carry it out. A bit more work on the front end (proposal) but a great project nonetheless, and it might be something I can actually implement (like my own little business plan).

Ok, start paddling. “All ahead!”


Time to Sell My Klipsch RF-3 Speakers?


It may be time to part with my babies. The house we moved into this past November had a surround sound stereo set-up already in place. Some of it was built it, and rather than take it apart to sell it, it might be time to sell the Klipsch’s.

They are RF-3s in pretty damn good condition. They are currently boxed up (original boxes) from our move, so unfortunately I’m going to have to take them out to take pictures of them.

One of the grilles has some broken plastic pieces. Sounds like this has happened to others. The grilles stay on fine, but if I were keeping them, I’d try some sort of super glue or epoxy to get them back to new. Other than that, I don’t even think there are scratches on them.

This sucks because the NAD receiver that I had paired with them went perfectly. NAD is really warm, and the Klipsch’s are a bit stronger on the high end. I guess I should sell both.


It’s going to be hard to part with these.

Sweet baby jeebus, Samson’s ears are lookin’ good!

Whether it’s the weather, the new pills, the new drops, a bit more time outside in the dry cold, less cleaning in the nooks and crannies with Q-tips, more love and patience as my mind/body system comes down from constant overload, or some cosmic intervention, SAMSON’S EARS ARE GETTING BETTER! His ears are getting back to that soft pink color and the brown beasties are going away. Even his belly looks nice and light pink.

I am ashamed to admit how much this makes me less tense. I actually feel better. It is crazy talk but it’s the truth.

Why? Less time schlepping gross, brown gook every other day. Less awful smell every time he shakes his head. Fewer Q-tips. No grossness being rubbed on furniture and floors as he tries to itch. Samson is happier, too.

It dawns on me that he’s been off his phenobarb for over a week, too. Maybe THAT was the magic piece. I’m sure it all contributes to this joyous occasion. 😉

So what is he currently on?

1) Temeril-P has worked in the past to bring his system under control, but I always worry about how much it taxes his liver. The most recent time he was on it he entered the land of peeing inside. It was during the move to the condo before the house, and we were on the second floor. It was hot, he drank a lot of water. Whatever. I was going to put him back on it but the new vet was out of it and I didn’t want to wait until he got them or didn’t want to pay shipping and wait for 800-ped-meds.

So the vet gave us straight prednisone. I guess I didn’t know the “P” of Temeril-P was prednisone, but that’s what he had. Supposedly stronger, so one little white pill twice a day.

Samson also got Simplicef since his ears had some blood (small ulcers) in them at times. I think it’s an antibiotic?

2) Ear drops that we recently used were called Zymox Otic. Nothing seemed to be really happening. The vet told us about Synotic, and I said, “Of course I’m trying anything to end this misery for all of us.”

A drop or two in the ear canal once each day, a good massage of his ears to get it deep where no Q-tip can reach (the canal makes a right turn in a dog…did you know that?), and that’s it.

3) Less cleaning. The vet told me the first time, and I didn’t listen. I assumed that I’d be doing it less because the redness and brown grossness would be going a way a bit. Since it wasn’t going anywhere and it continued to ooze out of his hear, I kept cleaning it. Once a day or twice a day. It would get that bad that quickly.

4) More love. More time just hanging out with the pooch. We also went out for our first night walk (I love them, especially in the winter) in our new neighborhood. Actually, we crossed into the next neighborhood where the houses were some of the largest and nicest I’ve ever seen. I’ve been able to just hang, with at least one ear flopped open, maybe some easy blowing into his ear to dry it out.

We’ll see how long it lasts. We’ll see what happens when spring rolls around (I know that’s a long way away) and there’s less frozen-ness all around.

But for now, it’s happening! What a Christmas gift, eh?

Moral of the story: It’s completely depends on your dog, so just keep at it.

Update on Samson’s ears: The quest continues…

Nasty, smelly when he shakes his head, tender to the touch when he itches them or I am cleaning them…


Trying new things and getting nowhere really. He’s obviously got a pretty chronic case. Maybe, if I have time, I’ll post exactly what drops and other things we’re trying to do. It’s costing a lot of money and we’re all unhappy with it.

Maybe we’ll have a deep freeze winter, there will be no allergens outside, the food we’ve picked is fine, and the little gross brown nastinesses decide to leave.

That would make is all happy.

ANYONE finding anything that makes a dent?!?!

Cell Phone Mystery – Will It Be Solved This Year?


I also pulled the trigger on cell phones. The reality is that we cannot afford to jump in the iPhone game right now. And with all the gripping about service and performance, I think it would be smart to wait until the next iteration.

Actually, I just realized the “new” iPods might be introduced tomorrow, so we’ll see about play devices.

I went for Blackberry Curves for each of us. Sure we’ll have the $29.99 per phone charge added on, but I basically got the 2 phones, 2 skins, 2 8gb cards for about $154. I can’t complain.

I’m sure it’ll be great, and staying with Verizon is the smart thing to do here. Everyone says it’s the carrier to have.

Thanks for all the feedback on this site and the great world wide webage.

I’m pulling the trigger…

It’s time. The mighty Samson seems to be doing a bit better in terms of the overall allergy picture, but his ears are still a mess. I can’t keep up.

He’s responded positively to Temaril-P in the past, and I just ordered some. Time to nip this smelly, gross ear funk in the butt. Samson also seems to have a very sensitive spot just inside one of his ears. It’s heart-wrenching to hear this 75+ pound ball of yellow love yelp like a little puppy, even when you just pet that ear.

The move to New York may have helped a bit, but he’s also inside much more than he used to be in New Hampshire. Regardless, it’s time to use some “medicine,” and this time, it’s strong medicine.

Side note: his rear right knee isn’t doing so hot. He’s had TPLO surgery on both rear knees, but this one is never really gotten him back to tip top shape. Too much arthritis and such. He needed some of the shredded miniscus removed, so that doesn’t help any. I’ve heard clicking back there a couple times over the past few weeks.

And he’s only 7…. 😦

Dog ears that still smell

So Samson’s ears are still funky and getting worse. What seemed to be a “new” funk appears to be the usual yeast, brown, gross funk. Allergies have crept in, his immune system gets taken for a ride, and it’s itch itch itch.

I need to stay on top of cleaning them frequently. Temaril-P has worked well for him in the past. No itching, no scratching. Side effects include a slightly lower energy level (but not that noticeable) and a reduction in shedding. The shedding issue is actually quite nice as there is less yellow lab dog hair all over our house, our clothes, etc. BUT, when it’s spring leading to summer and his winter coat is still falling out, I don’t think it’s the best time to halt that process. Not sure if this is a common side effect or something I’m just making up. In the past it seems like this is what happens all the time, so I don’t think I’m making it up. It sure does relieve the itching.

I have another concern. He takes phenobarb (low dose) and the last thing I want is more drugs in his system that might tax his liver and system. He’s just about 7 years old and high maintenance enough (2 knee surgeries, a 4-night stay in the hospital, allergy-free dog food, etc.). Cleaning his ears is definitely a pain and takes a decent amount of time to do it right. With 2 boys two-years old and under, time and energy are a precious commodity.

But I don’t want him to itch this bad. It also gets a bit old watching and listening to him grind his tongue (ear muffs) in and around his butt (one of his itchy places). Sounds like a suction cup or something. Yes, gross. Grosser than just reading it, that’s for sure.

So we’ll see what’s next. We’ve used some drops on top of cleaning them, and that has kept things at bay in the past, but we’re just holding off the inevitable until we deal with the source, and dealing with the source pretty much includes just taking the Temaril-P since we won’t be moving until the end of the summer (and no guarantee that will work either).

Any luck? Is your lab or other type of dog allergic to everything under the sun? Any ways to combat this without drugging up your loved, 4-legged family member?