Tori the Timid Doberman


Tori the Timid Doberman

I would refer to him as Tori the timid Doberman because he was afraid of thunderstorms, snowplows, trash trucks, and occasionally things invisible to the human eye. After I came home 3 days in row to discover that he had collapsed the bed on top of himself trying to squeeze under it, I started keeping him in a kennel if I was going to be gone for more than a couple of hours and there was a chance of thunderstorms or snowplows or trash trucks or invisible things. It was hard to gauge the probability of the last one.

He would be very sad when I “denned him up” (it was den, not a kennel, but I don’t think he was fooled) but when I came home, oh my. He would be bouncing up and down and pawing at the kennel. I would take up a position to the side of the kennel because when I opened it, it was like when they release a bull out of the chute at a rodeo and I didn’t want to get trampled. He would bound around the living room then run down the stairs, crash into the front door, run up the stairs, bound around the living room again, back down the stairs to crash once more into the front door. People may be smarter, have greater depth of feeling, and build cool stuff but nobody does a “You’re HOME!! Happy Happy Joy Joy!!” dance like a 90 pound Doberman.

He was also a cuddly Doberman.


Pet me. You know you want to.

He would walk up to me while I was washing dishes in the kitchen and lean against me, placing his head against my hip, demanding to be petted.



He was a vigilant watchdog.






And would patrol constantly against the ever-present squirrel menace.



He liked to ride in cars but he wouldn’t hang his head out the window and bark. He liked to sit in the middle of the back seat, casually looking out the window, and occasionally staring at me in the rear-view mirror.


I can vacillate between a weepy over-sentimentality and a cynical skepticism. Dogs tend to push me toward the weepy. Tori the timid Doberman died early Saturday morning.

Some people will talk about rainbow bridges and all dogs going to heaven. I don’t know. I do believe that nothing good is ever really lost and he was a good dog. In this 14 billion year on-going science experiment there is a small data stream involving a timid Doberman who can do a Happy Happy Joy Joy dance like no one else.


Remember to take time to roll in the grass.







And don’t forget to watch some sunsets.


Morning Notes

From Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.

[Sebelius] thinks she’s offering the excuse that she was given an extremely difficult and complicated task and given one-third the necessary time to do it. But that isn’t as exculpatory as she thinks, as it means either A) she and her team misjudged the time needed by FOUR YEARS B) someone within the team knew it would take four years, and was ignored or C) she knew it would take four years all along, and was overruled by her boss, the president.

There’s no “innocent mistake” option here. This was either epic incompetence (meaning both the Democratic Congress that passed this bill and the administration that promised to implement it simply couldn’t understand how much time it would take to set up the system) or epic dishonesty (making promises they knew they couldn’t keep, but felt were necessary to ensure the political health of the administration).

From Reason, Sheldon Richman talks about the government and press using the threat of default to get what it wants.

Now that a deal—postponing the “crisis” for a few months—has been worked out, the parts of the government that closed are open, the government credit card has a new higher limit, and the world has been saved—for now. Again. The pundits will thank the “grown-ups in the room” (of which there are none), and it will be back to business—which is to say, spending, taxing, borrowing, and coercing—as usual.

Would default have been so bad? For all the times that word was uttered, it was rarely defined. Strictly speaking, it refers to a failure to repay a debt. A late interest payment is not a default. At any rate, the national government each month takes in roughly ten times more tax revenue than it is due to pay in interest. It’s true that, since the budget is in deficit, the government wouldn’t have had all the money it would have had if it kept borrowing, but it would not have had to miss an interest payment on its bonds. Yet the night the world was saved, reporters were still talking about the danger of “debt default.”

Does the USDA Have Too Much Money?

This question is suggested by USDA Wants Campus Ambassadors to Talk Peers Out of 3am Taco Bell by Bridget Johnson at PJMedia. “The USDA has also launched the MyPlate on Campus partnership ‘to recruit college-age students to become campus MyPlate ambassadors.’”

If you want to sign up to be a government propagandist to your fellow students, just go here My Plate on Campus to register. You’ll get to download the Training Module which tells you how to eat and how to instruct others how they should eat.

Yes, it seems creepy to me but even aside from the creep factor, is this a good use of government funds?

The Training Module is the standard government “My Plate” boilerplate on nutrition. It still contains the blanket admonition that everyone should reduce sodium intake, although most will not benefit.

I also found out that cream and butter are not dairy. Huh.

But should we be spending government money on this? Is dietary information unavailable from other sources? Of course not. There are a huge number of diet resources, plans, web sites, books, whatever out there, some good, some bad.

Is information from the government better than information from other sources? Well, as I mentioned above, their salt intake information is out of date. They seem as influenced by fads and politics as anyone. See What the Government Tells You to Eat May Be Killing You from Radley Balko at Reason, Egg on Their Faces at City Journal. These articles question the low-fat, high carb diet recommended by the government.

From the City Journal article:

Researchers have started asking hard questions about fat consumption and heart disease, and the answers are startling. In an analysis of the daily food intake of some 350,000 people published in the March issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found no link between the amount of saturated fat that a person consumed and the risk of heart disease. One reason, the researchers speculate, is that saturated fat raises levels of so-called good, or HDL, cholesterol, which may offset an accompanying rise in general cholesterol. A few weeks later, researchers at Harvard released their own analysis of data from 20 studies around the world, concluding that those who eat four ounces of fresh (not processed) red meat every day face no increased risk of heart disease.

According to Scientific American, growing research into carbohydrate-based diets has demonstrated that the medical establishment may have harmed Americans by steering them toward carbs. Research by Meir Stampfer, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, concludes that diets rich in carbohydrates that are quickly digestible—that is, with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, white rice, and white bread—give people an insulin boost that increases the risk of diabetes and makes them far more likely to contract cardiovascular disease than those who eat moderate amounts of meat and fewer carbs. Though federal guidelines now emphasize eating more fiber-rich carbohydrates, which take longer to digest, the incessant message over the last 30 years to substitute carbs for meat appears to have done significant damage. And it doesn’t appear that the government will change its approach this time around. The preliminary recommendations of a panel advising the FDA on the new guidelines urge people to shift to “plant-based” diets and to consume “only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.”

So the government may not be the best source for the most up-to-date information.

The government diet program is also infested with crony capitalism as in Chuck Schumer’s lobbying for Greek yogurt to be added to the school lunch program when one of the biggest producers of Greek yogurt, Chobani, is based in New York State.

Greek-style yogurt is more expensive than other comparably nutritious yogurts. The USDA has to pilot this program in only four states—New York, Arizona, Idaho, and Tennessee—because the bureaucrats don’t know if they can get such a highly perishable item to schools that are situated further from the yogurt distribution centers. And most important, there is one particular state and one particular business that stand to benefit from a big increase in Greek yogurt sales. Those would be New York State, where most of this yogurt is produced and Chobani, which sells the most Greek-style yogurt in the U.S., is located. All of which explains why the biggest manufacturer of Greek-style yogurt spent tens of thousands on lobbyists and worked so closely with New York’s Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer to try to get this pilot program off the ground.

Why not eliminate an program of such dubious informational value, save some money, and de-crony and de-creep government ever so slightly?

Prosecution or Persecution

The Dept. of Justice has told congressional investigators that they targeted Aaron Swartz because of his political views on copyright reform. DOJ Admits Aarons Prosecution Was Political Via Instapundit

The actions of the DOJ against Aaron Swartz reminded me of the case of Siobhan Reynolds, a pain treatment activist critical of the government’s aggressive prosecution of doctors working with chronic pain patients. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway used her position to punish Siobhan Reynolds for her political views. Read the whole thing in an article by Jacob Sullum at Reason

The capricious and relentless nature of these prosecutions is rather frightening.

Phone Battery Life

This is a good article talking about extending the battery life of your smartphone. It’s directed at iPhone users, but I’m sure most of these would work with any phone.

One of the items is to turn of the location function on apps that don’t need it. I went through the apps on my phone and was surprised to see how many of them had a location function and had it turned on. I don’t want Angry Birds knowing where I am–they seem quite angry. I’ve noticed that, since I’ve turned the location function off on many apps, the phone seems to run much cooler and I think it’s lasting longer.

Another item mentioned here and that I’ve read elsewhere is that, to extend the life span of your battery-driven device, let it run completely down occasionally.