Via Tim Blair comes news of the biggest freakin' dog I've ever heard of, an english mastiff named Diesel, that weighs in at 140kg. That's 308 pounds. Holy mackerel, a 300 pound dog? I've seen some pretty big dogs in the 160 or 170 pound range but nothing that even comes close to 300. I didn't even know there were breeds that grew that big.
"I feel very safe walking with him at night" his owner is quoted as saying.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the company I work for now, Banner Creations, is moving to a new location. We have surplus fabric yardage that we would rather sell off than move to the new location so if you are an artist that works with fabrics or a theatre group that needs fabric for sets or costumes we may have a deal for you.
I don't know jack about fabric but I'm told "There are a variety of colors of satin, bengaline, polished cotton, lame, glitter organdy and more. Most fabrics are 54 inches wide and are going for $1.00-$2.00 per yard." Which is a good deal I guess.
If you are interested you can contact Rachel at 612-871-1015 or email her at rachelw(at)bannercreations.com
Tensions are rising in the fair Twin Cities. Twice yesterday at work I was treated to bitch sessions about the weather. Last night I went down to the corner bar for dinner and got the full whine from another patron. What's the beef? It's been hot and humid lately, with six days in a row at 90 or above and more to come over the weekend. "It's global warming" my friend at the bar said, "I should sue Bush".
Now I have no problem with people remarking on the weather, I do it all the time myself. "Hot out there today". "A little humid today". Those are normal parts of conversation. But bitching about six days of 90s? Good grief, I don't want to hear about it. There is a phenomenon that explains this and it's not global warming......it's called SUMMER. It happens every year. This summer has so far been warmer than last summer. BFD. I laughed in the face of the lawsuit prone gentleman above and then proceeded to mock him mercilessly for being the pansy that he is, much to the delight of the bartender.
It turns out in bar whiner's case that Monday through Friday he goes from his air conditioned house, to his air conditioned car, to his air conditioned office and so on. Then the weekend comes around and shock of all shocks, the heat on the golf course is unbearable to him.
Here's a clue pal: get out of the AC once in a while and you'll get used to it. And for heaven's sake don't bitch about 90 and sunny to someone who just got back from Iraq or someone who actually has to worry about serious weather like, say, a hurricane. Relax too, after all in about two months you wont see even 80 degrees for another six months or so.
Wretchard from the Belmont Club has come out of the......no that's not right.....has identified himself. This makes no difference to me though I was curious who was behind some of the most interesting and well written analysis on the internet. If you're not reading his stuff on a regular basis......your loss.
Like a lot of places, if you visit a cabin or resort in northern Minnesota you are likely to come across a library of forgotten books. Books brought from home or left by visitors that never seem to make it back to their point of origin. I think there must be some cosmic law that compels all Readers Digest Condensed book volumes to find their way to one of those two places before they die.
If you look closely though you can occasionally find, if not gems, then at least some very interesting books. The one I found last week was To Bear Any Burdenby Al Santoli, published in 1985 and the topic is the Vietnam War. Santoli interviewed 48 Americans, Vietnamese, and Cambodians from all sides about their experiences before, during, and after American involvement there and he put their own words into chapters in chronological order. It's not a scholarly history and it's not intended as such. It's more like a compilation of testimonies and is a pretty easy read in a way. What is not so easy is the frankness in which some terrible things are described. The good, the bad, and the ugly are presented, from the post WWII French colonial era through the refugee camps of the late 1970s. The statements on Vietnam in the 1950s and the fighting between the communist and non-communist nationalists were particularly enlightening to me.
Santoli says in the introduction, "In no way do we claim to represent the whole story. But we hope to bring to light some of the complicated realities that have often been overlooked. Please allow our truths to be a part of the larger discussion". I think Santoli accomplishes his goal as far as the book goes, though I don't think all of those truths have ever really made it into most public discussions of Vietnam. Which is a shame really, because the history of Southeast Asia in the last half of the 20th century is complicated and this book brings that out well. There are lessons there that are relevant today, not just on the battlefield but on how politics in America affect the battlefield far away.
This book can still be found used on Amazon via the link above. I can't call it a must buy but if you're interested in the history of Vietnam it's worth your time, whether you buy it or find it in your local library.....or borrow it from a friend's cabin.
I'm back from a mellow weekend near beautiful Embarrass, MN. A friend of mine has 75 acres in the woods there and we had a great time just hanging out, with the nice weather, shooting off fireworks and grilling food, and yes, some alcohol was consumed. The mosquitos were about as expected, persistent but tolerable and there were fewer ticks it seemed than a few years ago. I managed to get some sun without getting a burn that's going to peel for a change. Maybe I'm getting smarter in my old age. It was also a great place to let my Lab Sam go crazy and indulge her terrible addiction.
This is my dog:
This is my dog on Stick:
Disclaimer: No catfood was consumed during the taking or posting of these pictures.
I haven't written much about it but I am actually working these days, at a banner company in Minneapolis named Banner Creations. My Dad is a co-owner(but he's not into the daily operations) and he asked me to come on to help them get moved to a new location in northeast Minneapolis. I've been doing that part-time now for a couple months and it's been kind of fun getting everything organized. Banner Creations is a small company of about 15 employees and has been around for 16 years. They've had their good years and their tough years and like most companies, technology changes have had a big impact. The transition away from the old silk screen method is almost complete and that is part of the reason for the move.....it's a chance to reorganize the business around the production methods we will use from now on.
My Dad wants me to come on full time and help manage some aspects of the operation. I've been very impressed with the people who are there and the quality of their work. The banners and custom fabric jobs they produce are very cool and some are staggering (to me at least) in size. What I can bring to the party is some planning and work process experience they can use and let other people focus on sales and direct operations. We'll see what happens.
We have a job of about thirty banners leaving the shop today for two events this weekend. Military Appreciation Day is July 3rd for the Twins and the 4th for the Saint Paul Saints. The banners are for a group called Operation America Cares that sends packages of toiletries, games, or other things that help ease life for troops overseas. The Saints link above lists the type of items you can bring to the game(s) to donate if you're so inclined.