At least David gets his name on the cover

Two years of blood, sweat, and yelling, but hey folks, my books are finally for sale! That’s right, the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit is hot off the presses and a bargain for you advantage shoppers at only $115.19 on BarnesandNoble.com.

I know you’ve all been eagerly awaiting this since the publication of the ever popular Windows XP Professional Resource Kit Documentation, my first book as writer and project manager.

Get ’em while they’re hot, kids. You know these babies won’t last long.

Hey, will somebody help me register?

It’s not that I want to become a slave to marketing. I mean, being a dog, I will always have limited purchasing power anyway, and I am basically ok with that. Mainly because the Dads more than make up for it. I don’t have to go out and work all day like they do, and then they come home and spoil me, lavishing me with cool fashions like that most excellent camo collar. But I’m not sure about their taste. I mean, you look around the house and there is a certain, shall we say, lack of thematic consistency in the decor.

So I’m fairly sure it’s just a matter of time until they start buying me my own furniture. The taller Dad is always talking about how I’m going to be so spoiled, so I figure that means that sooner or later, they’re going to come home with a nice canine fainting couch and a petbrella for those hot Seattle summer afternoons. I just want to make sure that they pick out good stuff, furniture that really expresses the inner Dozer Jesus Portersmith. So it any of you friends of the Dads would be so kind as to help me get on Ethan Allen’s pet registry so I can pick out exactly which chintz I prefer (it certainly must compliment my gorgeous red hair) and the wood for my sleigh pet bed, I’d really appreciate it.

SS+K’s new website goes live

So a lot of you have expressed interest (or confusion) about exactly what it is I am doing at my new company, and what kind of company it is. Our new website should help clear that up.

I’m eager for some feedback on the design. It’s definitely cool–the navigation metaphor is “microfiche, i.e., a thumbnail of all content is visible on screen at all times–but I’m not 100% sure how intuitive it is. Oh, you need Flash, but you probably already have it. Otherwise, how could you enjoy the hijinx of Homestar Runner and friends?

You MUST click through on “The Work” section at bottom and watch some of the Time Warner Cable advertising. It is just brilliant and hilarious. Or, rather, “brilliant + hilarious” as our SS+K copy style would have it.

I really enjoyed beeting my New York compatriots last week, and the 10th anniversary party was amazing. SS+K’s new downtown New York headquarters is unbelievable, vertiginously perched 30 floors up overlooking South Street Seaport and all the East River bridges and Brooklyn. Our brand theme is “municipal chic,” which you kind of have to see to get. Amazingly, the Bellevue office was able to pick up this theme, as both offices were being built out at the same time. If you click on the “Contact Us” part of the site, you can see a little webcam shot of each office. You might even see me once in a while!

Dozer’s not the only one with a weird dad

I think my father has always secretly wanted to be a redneck. Certainly he doesn’t have the appropriate pedigree–the eldest son of very literary Irish parents, born in New York City and raised in other, equally large and culturally diverse cities along the Mississippi river–growing up he never had opportunity to put a car up on blocks in the front yard or rock on a crickety old front porch admonishing folks to get off his land. (Although, I do recall that he once built a still that blew up or something.) Perhaps that is the lure for him. Or perhaps he’s just a little quirky.

But really, he’s got redneck wannabe written all over him sometimes. He loves those “You Know You’re a Redneck If…” type emails and claims to identify with many of those things. He likes to fish, he’s got a pickup truck, he’s always talking about his pigs and chickens and their antics, hanging out with old farmers, claiming that one of these days he’s going to make whistle-pig pie (which is apparently something like a groundhog pot pie), drinking moonshine and cheap whiskey (ok, you got me there, it’s more like expensive Irish whiskey)… Ok, so maybe he’s more of a metaredneck or postmodern redneck. But he likes to shoot things with an old rifle. Now that’s gotta get him some RN points.

Sunday, for example. I called him to do my duties as the good daughter I am and wish him the bestest Father’s Day ever. So we’re chatting and it’s all nice. But a few minutes into the conversation I hear a clattering on his end, which sounds like the phone dropping, followed by what sound like gunshots, and then an exclamation of “Crap!” followed a few seconds later by “Hi, sorry. I’m back.”

I suppose you can imagine that, as used to him and his sometimes curious hobbies as I am, I was concerned. Hearing your father drop the phone and curse while gunshots are being fired can be a less than calming experience. And, well, to be honest, he’s really pissed neighbors off in the past, so you know, you can’t be too careful. So I asked him, sweetly, calmly, and with genuine concern, “What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m out in the back pasture.”

Translation, he’s hunting groundhogs.

Yeah, the man has some weird obsession with playing God over suburban rodentia, especially ground hogs. I remember while growing up, the crazed look he would get upon finding some new zucchini plant or row of swiss chard in the garden had been digested by a woodchuck. He tried things like bigger and better fencing and putting up plastic owls. They dug under the fence and knocked the owl on its ass. Score 1 for the groundhogs. He took it as a statement. Nay, as a declaration. If it weren’t for my mother’s reasoned argument that poisoning the garden would also render the carefully tended vegetables inedible to their intended audience, I’ve no doubt we would have been finding bloated groundhog bodies throughout the neighborhood.

I also have a memory of a post on the back porch upon which he’d drawn little pictures of groundhogs with X’s across them, one for each kill. He has the mentality of the soldier in Apocalypse Now who wore a necklace of his dead enemies’ ears when it comes to these critters.

So we chat more. There are many things we can talk about. He mentions again the whistlepig pie. There is some discussion that maybe the old saw that anything you stuff with cheese and deep fry is going to taste good might also apply to groundhogs.

A few minutes later, there is a similar sequence of events to the ones described above. Phone drops…shots…only this time, “Got the bastard!”

Happy Father’s Day, Pa.

I lost on Jeopardy, baby…

Whoooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo.

And you can see me lose next Tuesday, June 17. Check local listings, etc. In Seattle, it will be on KOMO 4 at 7:30.

I hope you’ll all still respect me afterwards. I’ll be sure to do an extra-special write-up detailing the mortifications of seeing the show air.

Shameless heartstring pulling

Paulette, did you get this link in an email from theYale Alumni Fund as well? Is it just me, or did you start tearing up– and more to the point reach for your checkbook?! I suppose they just did a good job with it, but I’m kind of paranoid that now I’m 30 the long-dormant Boola9 virus has executed in my OS– which means that the opening strains of “Bright College Years” make me go all vuhklempt and nostalgic. I’m a communications professional AND a former fundraiser, dammit– that should really make me immune to slick marketing like this. But I’m just not.

Another great Adrants find–who knew Okies had blogs?!

Airlines beware: lose a bag and a cute chick from Oklahoma City will bust your ass bigtime. One of the best lines I’ve heard in a while:

now, i would imagine that you’re the kind of multibillion dollar corporation who really wants to know your customers, so let me tell you a little about myself.

i’m 5’8, i’m a college junior, I CANNOT SURVIVE FOR ONE WEEK WITH ONLY ONE PAIR OF SHOES.

Lyndi should definitely meet these girls– if anyone can help them replace their lost footwear, it’s Ryndiberre.

Lifting my leg for “Canine-one-one”

While I can’t, you know, “surf the web” without opposable thumbs for that mouse thing that does not smell like a mouse at all, I can get things read to me. And when the taller Dad read me this Slate article about rescue dogs, I got a little irritated.

I am a rescue dog. The Dads got me from some nice women who run a resuce place up by Burlington; the women had taken me from a breeder in Eastern Washington who raises cattle dogs to be cattle dogs. In a snap judgment that I will work my whole doggy life to disprove, my sister Ayla and I were deemed to small to do the job. So it was either find someone who wanted a pair of farm reject pups, or kill us. (Frankly, I’m more of an urban pup at heart anyway– I don’t even like to walk on grass, much preferring the sidewalk.) The breeder also didn’t do much to introduce us to people, which explains the fact that I really, really like to hang out in my crate. I’m shy, but getting better. Like Saturday, when the nice neighbors and the Dads and their friends (one of whom seems really down lately, maybe I can lick him and make him feel better) were hanging out in the back yard– I liked being part of the pack.

So the guy who wrote this article has a bone to pick with people who rescue dogs, saying that claiming a dog was abused lets people get out of training us. This sounds like a bit of a reach, and maybe he should do a bit more research. Statements like this give me pause:

But many professional trainers and dog lovers have become wary. They often roll their eyes when people explain that their dogs have been abused, seeing that as an excuse for obnoxious or aggressive behavior and as a way to avoid the effort of training. Many also sense a need for some dog owners to see their pets as suffering victims, rather than animals.

A bit facile, don’t you agree?

Take me, for instance. The Dads have a lot of work to do even before they can really train me– I have to get less skittish before I master that whole “sit” thing. (And what the hell is “fetch” all about– always with the ball!) And I’m sure you’ve all heard a bit about my unfortunate accident a couple of weeks ago… I just freaked out a little bit, had some gastroenterological issues, and really wanted to go out. I just didn’t realize that Shorter Dad’s patio was 50 feet up. So I can’t fly– this is the kind of thing you have to learn, but I emerged mostly unscathed and just can’t help but think that it wouldn’t have gone down that way if I didn’t have some anxiety issues. I’ve never been abused, as far as I remember, but just because nobody beat me doesn’t mean I don’t need a little extra help. So I’m a special-needs puppy– so bite me, Slate guy.

Neither of the dads strike me as the kind of guy with a doogie-messiah complex. (My middle name, FYI, is pronounced Hay-soos and has something to do with my birthday being Christmas.) They are busy guys with fulfilling lives– they just happened to see me on Petfinder.com (which the Slate guy treats as somehow nefarious, like a creepy injured-dog dating service) and decided that I looked like a good dog. And I am.

I am sure there is a grain of truth to the article. There are a lot of lonely people, people who need something to love that needs them back. But how churlish do you have to be to pick on people who choose to treat this condition by exercising compassion and care for animals in need? I’m really sorry Slate guy got tackled by an over-enthusiastic rescue dog, and yeah, the dog would probably be better off with a little training. I’m sure that person will come around– some day a shoe will be missing and the next day they’ll start obedience school.

Okies spared

The Nonfamous Mother of Us All, a/k/a The Judy called me last night to tell me she and the family were all unharmed before I knew what had happened. What’s terrible is that this is the same area that was traumatized by an F5 storm 4 years ago this month, just a couple of weeks after I moved here. But what is really amazing is that despite 300 homes and many commercial buildings were destroyed, there were no fatalities and few major injuries. Relatively miraculous, really. And that part of OKC needs all the miracles it can get. One of the biggest areas of damage is the GM plant– especially the paint facility, which is a big customer of my Dad’s industrial hygeine business. But if that’s the closest to home it hits, we’re all thankful.