The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Today's Daily Parker

Parker gets more comfortable at the dog park every day, but he still has a ways to go. Then again, maybe I'd be apprehensive if a 60 kg (130 lb) rottweiller were chasing me. I don't know if I'd hide under a picnic table, though:

He recovered nicely (the rottweiller is actually a very sweet dog), and made some new friends.

Today's Daily Parker

I weighed Parker this morning and discovered he's put on some weight. Since September 1st he's gone from 7.7 kg (17 lbs) to 10.9 kg (24 lbs), a 41% increase in 33 days. At this rate he'll exceed the volume of the Universe in just a few months:

Here's the "before" shot from the Wright Way Rescue website (taken when he was probably 8 weeks old) and the "after" shot (taken Saturday afternoon):

I wonder how big he's going to get. My guess: 25 kg (55 lbs).

A Big Day for Little Parker

When we got Parker just over a month ago he was timid, to say the least. He would whine and whine if one of us left the room, apparently not realizing that we were still part of his life or that he could just follow us into the other room. He was terrified of cars zooming down our block. The first time I tried to take him for a walk, a runner came towards us; Parker got so spooked that he yanked the leash out of my hand and retreated behind a neighbor's bushes. He couldn't negotiate the stairs on our back porch, so we'd have to carry him up and down.

A few weeks ago, I led him to the dog park across the alley. A few dogs ran toward him and he hid behind the dumpsters outside of our back fence. The dogs had him cornered on two sides. The horror!

These days, Parker isn't afraid to be in a room by himself or even the back yard by himself, and he runs up and down the steps like a pro. And today, since I'm working from home and it's possibly the most gorgeous October day you could imagine, I decided to try the dog park again.

I'm happy to report that Parker made two new friends: Rocky, a huge, slobbery ten-year-old Golden Retriever who can bark loudly even when he's holding a softball in his mouth, and Cocoa, a sixtyish-pound four-year-old of indeterminate breed. Parker sniffed and let sniff, he ran towards the dogs at least as frequently as he ran away from them, and he only occasionally took refuge under the swingset when Rocky, who outweighs him probably 6:1, got too personal.

Not only am I proud of the little guy, but I'm grateful to the big guys for tiring him out.

"Kip Hawley is an Idiot"

A passenger at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee got detained by the TSA last week because he insulted the TSA's director:

A Wisconsin man who wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a plastic bag containing toiletries said he was detained at an airport security checkpoint for about 25 minutes before authorities concluded the statement was not a threat.
Ryan Bird, 31, said he wrote the comment about Hawley—head of the Transportation Security Administration—as a political statement. He said he feels the TSA is imposing unreasonable rules on passengers while ignoring bigger threats.
A TSA spokeswoman acknowledged a man was stopped, but likened the incident to cases in which people inappropriately joke about bombs. She said the man was "a little combative" and that he was detained only a few minutes.

I recommend everyone write "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on their toiletries bags. Sadly, though, the TSA will still spend billions protecting us from shaving cream without actually making flying safer.

(Thanks to Anne for the article.)

Today's Daily Parker

Isn't he sweet? Notice, if you will, two things: First, this is what he looked like after going on a rampage that involved two rugs, a paper bag, and every hand and foot in the house. Second, in the lower right, you can see a hole in the blanket. Three guesses who put the hole there.

We still love him though. At least 80% of the time.

Taking passwords to the grave

CNet raises an interesting problem: what happens if you die without telling anyone your passwords? It could be a real problem for your heirs:

"He did not keep a hard copy address book. I think everything was online," said [San Francisco poet William] Talcott's daughter, Julie Talcott-Fuller. "There were people he knew that I haven't been able to contact. It's been very hard."
"Yahoo (his e-mail provider) said it wouldn't give out the information due to privacy laws, but my dad is dead so I don't understand that," she said.

One solution is to use a secure password storage facility, like Bruce Schneier's Password Safe, and then put the master password in trusted escrow like a safe-deposit box or your attorney's office. Of course, you'll have to keep up with this, because you'll change your master password at least every three months, right?

Much to atone for

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Observant Jews will spend the day in shul, but of course they will have to walk there since it's a high holiday. Humor, however, is permitted. Therefore, if you're Jewish, today you can pun but you can't ride.

Cubs finish season at the bottom

The Cubs did, in fact, win yesterday, but so did the Pirates, which ensured the Cubs would end at the bottom of the National League with 96 losses. That's one shy of the number of seasons the Cubs have played since their last World Series win in 1908. Management hasn't yet fired Dusty Baker—that should come this afternoon—but I believe this was his last trip back from the mound as Cubs manager:

But this is always a gratifying sight, even if it really didn't matter much:

And hey, they did win a game in October. That doesn't happen very often.

Until next year, I guess.

Today's Daily Parker

Two-for-one today. First, yesterday Parker had some play time with our downstairs neighbor's dog Jackson. All of us, including our neighbors, hope they play together more often, because both dogs were tuckered out and slept like angels the rest of the day.

This photo shows Parker before he figured out that he outweighs Jackson 3:2:

Earlier yesterday Parker visited my office. Does he look guilty to you? He does to me. But maybe that's just wishful thinking. Note how far he had to travel to get something that he should have been chewing: