Tag: Grants Pass

Off line for maybe a few days

My iMac needs an upgrade!

I have been having some tiny problems mainly with the Apple Photos app and the good folks over at Ugly Hedgehog were incredibly helpful. This led to me taking my machine into Dick Webster Computers here in Grants Pass for a potential upgrade.

So I am going to republish some earlier posts for the next two days, which I hope will be long enough to come to a conclusion about whether this machine may be upgraded or whether I am looking at a new iMac.

Footnote:

I called in to Dick Webster, a good, local computer repair shop, earlier today. Took my iMac with me.

They told me that that particular iMac cannot have the RAM upgraded to 16GB but they could install a SSD. However, they looked up the Apple Photos app and said there were a number of complaints from others that it was freezing.

I was told to save my money, the iMac was perfectly good and to choose a photo editing application that supplied my needs.

My only outstanding query is whether all the relevant software programs, i.e. the photo editing apps, will run without any bother on 8GB.

People!

What a complex lot we are!

(And that’s putting it kindly!)

I wasn’t planning to publish a post for today. But then a recent post from Patrice Ayme spurred me to so do.

Let me explain.

Our nearest town, Grants Pass, has the wonderful Rogue River flowing through it and alongside it there is Riverside Park. To quote:

Riverside Park in Grants Pass was set aside by our founders for the enjoyment of our citizens and guests.

People come from all over to Riverside Park to watch the majestic Rogue River as it courses its’ way through our city.

As you can see it is a popular place for ducks and geese.

Last Tuesday, we had a contractor completing some new guttering for the house. Terry, the owner of TC Gutters, ran out of the coated aluminium he was folding into the correct shape using a rather cute machine!

Terry apologised and said that he would need to run back into Grants Pass to pick up some more of the sheeting.

He returned a little later and I went over to chit-chat with him.

He was unexpectedly downcast.

Terry, is there a problem?

Paul, when I was in town, down at the bottom of 6th Street near the bridge, there was a flock of ducks crossing the road.

Terry paused for quite a while; I stood there next to him with not a clue as to what was coming.

He sighed, and continued: “Instinctively, I slowed down along with a number of other drivers. But what really upset me was the fact that a few drivers were clearly gleefully driving into the ducks and killing them!

It hurt me to hear that; very much so!

Is it too strong for me to regard those drivers who thought it great fun to drive into those ducks as being evil?

A stock photo courtesy Alamy.

What do you think?

Beware of antifreeze

A very timely reminder!

The other day we went to buy more hay and feed from our local supplier The Red Barn on Upper River Road in Grants Pass.

Tyler, the owner, was distraught having just returned from urgently running his dog in to see Dr. Russ at local Lincoln Road Vet Clinic. The reason being that his dog had eaten some rat poison that he had put out on one of the upper floors of the barn.

Later I was discussing this with our good friend, Jim Goodbrod, also a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and Jim said that so long as the dog is caught quickly and taken to a vet it is unlikely that it would leave the dog with any permanent harm.

However, Jim then went on to say that especially at this time of the year the thing that vets see far too often is dogs who have drunk antifreeze that car owners put into their radiators ahead of the winter season.

Jim stressed that dogs very rarely are unharmed after having contact with antifreeze. Even a teaspoonful was sufficient to kill a cat and cause severe kidney damage in dogs!

So it was essential to spread the word.

No better done than by offering you this video. Watch it! Especially through to the end where Dr. Barker offers clear advice as to what to do if you suspect antifreeze poisoning of your dog or cat.

Published on Nov 23, 2014

If this prevents even a single dog or cat from being poisoned by antifreeze then that’s a win!
So spread the word!

Mathematics Postscript

A postscript to The Conscious, Mathematical Brain

Many enjoyed my republication on the 30th January of Patrice Ayme’s essay that I entitled: The Conscious, Mathematical Brain.

I was talking about how our brains are mathematical organs at our last Freethinkers meeting in Grants Pass and Marcia from our local group emailed me the following:

fullsizerenderYou all have a wonderful weekend.

Changes to the Blog

No! It’s not your eyes! 😉

I should have sent this out earlier to you all.

For a few hours ago the WordPress theme I am using on Learning from Dogs was changed.

The change is necessary to allow a number of eCommerce features to be added to the blog in connection with me being able to sell my book, both in paperback and eBook formats, directly to you good people.

Plus there’s a real bonus.

This theme is mobile friendly.

In other words, everything on Learning from Dogs will be much, much easier to read on tablets and smartphones.

Finally, if anyone is within reach of Grants Pass then you have a warm welcome to come along on Saturday, December 12th. There will be some specials available to visitors only.

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Picture parade ninety-two

Guess what! Now we are ten!

As is becoming our routine for a Saturday morning, Jean and I went in to the Farmer’s Market in Grants Pass. Then, because we wanted to buy some more plants for the garden, we decided to zip over to our local Grange Coop, also in Grants Pass.

The store, bless them, had given over quite a large part of their retail floor area to Shelter Friends, a local organisation supporting animal adoptions here in Josephine County.

There was one dog, a Chihuahua mix male, named Pedy.  He is five-years-old and was found abandoned a few weeks ago here in Merlin.  It felt like a privilege to bring him home.

So to today’s pictures.

Pedy, welcome to your new home.
Pedy, welcome to your new home.

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Hi! My name's Cleo and this is a cool place to live!
Hi! My name’s Cleo and this is a cool place to live!

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Hallo Pedy! Up until now I was the smallest of the pack. Oh, and my name is Sweeny!
Hallo Pedy! Up until now I was the smallest of the pack. So a big welcome! Oh, and my name is Sweeny!

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Within less than an hour of being home, Jeannie was certain that Pedy could meet the dogs nose-to-nose so we all went outside.

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This looks like fun!
This looks like fun!

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Hi Pedy, I'm the bossman around here. Name's Pharaoh and you'll be OK.
Hi Pedy, I’m the bossman around here. Name’s Pharaoh. You’ll be OK.

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Pedy, want to go for a walk?
Pedy, want to go for a walk?

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Another day - another dog!
Another day – another dog!

More news over the coming days!

Caring changes lives

Possibly the most important lesson to be learnt from dogs.

As is the way, a number of separate happenings seemed to be ‘singing from the same song sheet’ in bringing about today’s post.

Earlier yesterday morning Jean and I had a meeting with the executive director of an important charity that is helping the many homeless and disadvantaged young persons in this part of Oregon. For example, Jean and I were told that there were 300-500 homeless teenagers in Josephine County alone (Josephine County is where our home is.)

One of the ideas that was floated in the conversation was how kids are so loving to animals and whether our dogs and horses might help.

Then later, when back home, I recalled that over two years ago I published a post called Sticks and stones.

It wasn’t a long post and is republished now.

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Sticks and stones

I make no apologies for today’s post being more emotional and sentimental. The phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me‘ is well known throughout the English-speaking world and surprisingly goes back some way.  A quick web search found that in the The Christian Recorder of March 1862, there was this comment:

Remember the old adage, ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me’. True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.

So if in 1862 the saying was referred to as an ‘old adage’ then it clearly pre-dated 1862 by some degree. A few days ago, Dusty M., here in Payson, AZ, sent me a short YouTube video called The Power of Words.  I’m as vulnerable as the next guy to needing being reminded about what’s important in this funny old world.

Then I started mulling over the tendency for all of us to be sucked into a well of doom and gloom.  Take my posts on Learning from Dogs over the last couple of days, as an example. There is no question that the world in which we all live is going through some extremely challenging times but anger and negativity is not going to be the answer.  As that old reference spelt out so clearly, “True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.” So first watch the video,

then let me close by reminding us all that courage is yet something else we can learn from dogs.

Togo the husky

In 1925, a ravaging case of diphtheria broke out in the isolated Alaskan village of Nome. No plane or ship could get the serum there, so the decision was made for multiple sled dog teams to relay the medicine across the treacherous frozen land. The dog that often gets credit for eventually saving the town is Balto, but he just happened to run the last, 55-mile leg in the race. The sled dog who did the lion’s share of the work was Togo. His journey, fraught with white-out storms, was the longest by 200 miles and included a traverse across perilous Norton Sound — where he saved his team and driver in a courageous swim through ice floes.

More about Togo another day.

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 One of the comments left to that post back in November, 2012 was from Virginia Hamilton. Her website, Canine Commandos, is about just that: dogs helping youngsters. This is what Virginia wrote:

Our sermon today was about sticks and stones which is perfect timing because my sixth graders are throwing words at each other and it is hurting. So I looked up the phrase and found you. We were shown the video in a faculty meeting and since you tie into dogs I was hoping to find “the answer.” When you look at the website you’ll see out community project where I have twenty schools training in three shelters. One would think that because these kids are so loving to the animals that they could pass that kindness to each other. Any words of wisdom? Also check this out. Thank you, Virginia.

Now I would be the first to admit that there’s a difference between a homeless young person and a gifted young person. Yet the difference may not be so great. In this one sense: that caring for an animal changes lives and what young people, from all backgrounds and circumstances, need to learn is the power of unconditional love.

Not just caring for dogs, horses and cats, by the way.

Wild deer trusting Jean.
Wild deer trusting Jean.

Please find Lucy!

A dear dog has gone missing.

food3

With a sub-title regarding a missing dog, why on earth would I lead with a picture of fine food?

I will tell you.

In the last hour, Jean and I have come back from a meeting with the General Manager of a restaurant nearby in Grants Pass: the River’s Edge restaurant.  That picture is on the home page of the restaurant’s website.

The GM’s name is Missy Clements and she is also the banqueting manager.  Jean and I have previously enjoyed wonderful meals at the River’s Edge and the reason for meeting up with Missy was to kick around some ideas for a future event at the restaurant.

Anyway …..

During the meeting the conversation inevitably led to dogs and Missy, with obvious pain in her voice, explained that her six-year-old Boxer mix, Lucy, had recently gone missing.

I offered to post an item in this place, hence this coming out an an unusual time.

Please do all you can to share this, especially if you are in the Southern Oregon area.  The address where Lucy was last seen was Crooks Creek Road, a few miles North-East of Selma in Oregon; Selma being 20 miles to the South-West of  Grants Pass.  If you have any questions or, even better, think you have some information on the whereabouts of Lucy then Missy has given me permission to publish her email address; that is: clements (dot) missy57 (at) gmail (dot) com

Finally, here is a recent photograph of Lucy.

Please stay alert for Lucy.
Please stay alert for Lucy.

Please hold Lucy in your heart.

Oregon

A dip into this remarkable State.

Just fancied a change from two days of Democratic Deficit. So today’s post is a brief overview of the US State that Jean and I live in, together with our animals, the State of Oregon.

Now it’s easy to look up a Wikipedia reference to Oregon but what really caught my eye was as a result of a recent visit to the local Grants Pass office of the Bureau of Land Management.  We had gone there to purchase a $5 permit that allows us to go on to BLM land and harvest our own Christmas Tree!

In the Grants Pass office were a number of brochures of scenic attractions in Oregon and we picked up one describing the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway.  Just a quick browse reminded us of Oregon’s stunning and dramatic scenery. Just wanted to share some images.

Mount Thielsen

Mt. Thielsen
Mt. Thielsen

The Mount Thielsen trail is described here.

Crater Lake

At a depth of 1,932 feet Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States.  It was formed more than 7,500 years ago when the Mount Mazama volcano erupted and then collapsed back in on itself.

Crater Lake showing Wizard Island.
Crater Lake showing Wizard Island.

As Wikipedia describes the lake,

The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot (655 m)-deep caldera[1] that was formed around 7,700 (± 150) years ago[2] by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. Human interaction is traceable back to the indigenous Native Americans witnessing the eruption of Mount Mazama. There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years. At 1,943 feet (592 m), the lake is the deepest in the United States, and the seventh[3] or ninth deepest in the world, depending on whether average or maximum depth is measured.[4]

Watson Falls

The base of Watson Falls.
The base of Watson Falls.

The website EveryTrail describes Watson Falls:

Watson Falls is the third highest waterfall in Oregon at 272 feet. It is the most beautiful waterfall along the North Umpqua River Valley. You will cross a wooden bridge below the falls that will put you right into the lower rapids with an amazing view of the falls as they roar over the basalt lava cliffs ahead.

Someone who goes under the handle of HikingTheWest posted this video on YouTube about 6 weeks ago.

Oregon Caves

These caves are an Oregon National Monument with full details on the US National Park Service’s website.  That website explains:

Nestled deep inside the Siskiyou Mountains, the caves formed as rainwater from the ancient forest above dissolved the surrounding marble and created one of the world’s few marble caves. The highly complex geology found on the Monument contributes to the unusual and rare plants and animals found nowhere else but here.

A view of the inside of the caves.
A view of the inside of the caves.

There are many good videos of the Oregon Caves on YouTube so do have a browse if you want to.  This one caught my eye, especially as it was filmed in January, 2013..

Rogue River

The Rogue River
The Rogue River

Final sight for today, the Rogue River runs close by Grants Pass, our nearest town to where we live.  Again there is a Wikipedia entry from which one learns that, “Although the Rogue Valley near Medford is partly urban, the average population density of the Rogue watershed is only about five people per square mile (12 per km2).”

Just reflecting on that last paragraph, a simple calculation reveals that the State of Oregon has a population of around 3.9 million people with an land area of 98,300 square miles.  Thus the population density of Oregon is 39.6 persons per square mile.  To put that into perspective, our neighbouring Californians to the South enjoy a population density of 238 persons per square mile!

Jean and I are very lucky to be living in such a beautiful part of Southern Oregon.

The naming of creeks!

Funny old world at times!

Last Thursday and yesterday have seen huge amounts of rainfall in this part of Southern Oregon.  In fact it was a swipe from the massive storm that was featured in a recent Climate Crocks article, from which one can read:

Meteorologist Paul Douglas has more:

I’m seeing some signs of a potentially historic storm for portions of the western USA between Friday and Wednesday of next week as a series of very moist storms push inland from the Pacific. I expect some flash flooding (and river flooding) for the San Francisco Bay Area, but the most severe flooding (and mountain snows) will take place from Marin county into the mountains of northern California and the Coastal/Cascade range of Oregon.

The ECMWF model, which seems to be doing the best job overall in this new weather-on-steroids environment, prints out some 16-20″ rainfall amounts over northern California and southern/western Oregon by Sunday; two surges: one Friday, a second front pushing in Sunday. WSI’s high-res RPM model confirms this as well, which increases my confidence level. The ECMWF model prints out 4-5” for San Francisco, but 8-10” for Marin county, just north of SFO.

The driveway from our road to the house, about a quarter-of-a-mile long, within 300 feet crosses a creek that flows right across our property.  Most of the time it’s a quiet, idyllic place for a dog to play.

BummerCk

But when the volume of water reaches the sorts of proportions that we have seen in the last 48 hours, it turns into a nasty torrent.

bummerck2

Not only that, the driveway across the creek relies on a bridge.  Rather, it did rely on a bridge. But Mother Nature, as always, had her say!
bummerck3

Most, if not all, the wooden support structure that held up the steel platform has been swept away.

So all the well-laid plans for the week-end now on hold as we play Marooned!  At least our dogs are taking an active interest …

Oh, Daddy, that looks expensive!
Oh, Daddy, that looks expensive!

And the name of the creek?

BUMMER CREEK

I kid you not!