Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Good Readers You Are! Yes You Are! Read On.

Before we celebrated DoN Poetry Month, I wanted to clean out some Tupperware that was taking up some room in the Brain Fridge. So here are some little bits of This-n-That--leftovers of Thought Casserole and IdeaRoni that have to go before they get green and fuzzy.

After reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle years ago, I became fascinated by dog training. I studied up on it--all kinds of it--and watched videos online of various techniques. Especially fascinating to me was the method known as The Woodhouse Way, which has been the subject of some controversy. Anyway, as I studied, I eventually formed a method of my own that made sense to me. (Why, I have no idea.) I must be prescient, however, for dear Zydrunas, Jared and Sam's dog, is now a star pupil of The Nance Method and a Very Good Boy. He (and Jared and Sam) are well trained in The Basics, which makes Everyday Life so much easier for everyone. And yes, I do happen to have a picture of The GrandDog.

Remember my rant about dog beds? Not too terribly long after that, I went to my favourite local grocery store and closeout mecca and found dog beds stacked to the ceiling (almost), and they were of wonderful quality, comparable to the hundred-dollar ones. For less than fifteen dollars. Yes. That is correct. So. I immediately purchased two because previous to that, just days earlier, I received via text message the following picture:

Sigh. This was obviously before my training. This is after:

I had occasion to reread an earlier post of mine and was horrified to note a glaring subject-verb agreement error. How mortifying and how terribly common, too. Stuff like that makes me afraid that, little by little, all of my SmartyBrains are slowly leaking out of my head and trailing off into the ether like old radio waves. Pretty soon I'll be using random apostrophes, saying "have went," and spelling probably like this--prolly. Remember way, way back when I swore I'd never send text messages or use the word text as a verb? Sigh. Those were the days. Back then I had Real Standards. I'm so afraid of what I've become. This, below,  used to be me!


Finally, I am sorry that I have been neglectful in my blog-reading as of late. Despite my best efforts, my life got quite busy there for a bit, and some odd things presented themselves and had to be sorted. I am spaced out on getting used to new migraine meds and haven't quite been myself. Better not to tap away in someone's Comments when I'm not sure what I'm saying. I promise to catch up soon.

I'm looking forward to Poetry Month, but for those of you who are decidedly not, I promise to  write other things as well.

(Isn't the comic at the top of the post so immediately identifiable as M. Crawford's from The New Yorker?)


  1. Your granddog is a beautiful animal-- and I'm sure that with your guidance will become the best behaved doggy on the block. Look at those sweet eyes.

    The cartoon is perfect. Reminds me of my father who could not tolerate misplaced prepositions. Ever. [Hadn't thought of that in years.]

  2. Sly Zy: he lost it
    And tossed his bed into shreds
    Till Nance tamed his ire

    So, of course, what we all want to know is how you managed this feat, and what The Nance Method enTAILS. This reminds me of The Dog Whisperer: WWCD, What would C├ęsar do?

    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Ending a sentence in a preposition: not the worst thing I can think of. But that's because I do it a lot. (It bothers me far more that people say "If I would have known" --- or write "alot" as one word, lol.)

  3. I honestly don't mind the preposition thing. I'm also likely to split an infinitive from time to time. My theory is that these rules are foolish and based upon Latin rules, and don't necessarily work well in English. I'm prolly just lazy. ;) What I dislike is when people simply omit the preposition, as a way to solve whatever awkward sentence they were coming up with. Of course, I can't think of any examples right this second, but trust me, I've heard it quite often.

    Subject/verb agreement, however, is indeed important and I am mortified when I find that I've made such an error, which happens far more commonly than I would like to admit.

    Your granddog is indeed a sweet looking thing, and I hope that he knows how lucky he is to have been found by your boys. And that they know how lucky they are as well. A good match in dogs and humans is a beautiful thing.

    I'm sorry your new meds have made you feel spacey. Hopefully you'll adjust soon and be back to your normal self.

    I'm looking forward to poetry month. I'm deciding if I'm going to follow the rules (assuming that the rule is one a week during the month of June), or if I'm going to break out and just post as many as I darned well please. We'll see what happens. I have four picked out now, so it's a matter of whether I wish to expand on them or not.

  4. j@jj--I know I said one per week, but I might do more, too. It depends upon how I feel and how much my readers tolerate. I want to do a few of my own favourites, and I want very much to accommodate the readers who offered me a poet in Comments as well.

    My personal bugaboo has become the Dropped Infinitive. It's very common here in NEO. It occurs in speech, mostly, so it's dialectical. "The rug needs vacuumed", is a perfect example. Rather than turn it into a gerund (The rug needs vacuuming), the speaker drops the entire infinitive phrase "to be" and simply uses the verb alone rather than its verbal phrase. Grrrr.

    Thanks for your encouragement. Part of my problem was a grand failure to read directions carefully and to follow them exactly, a failing at which all of my former students would gleefully snicker and sneer vengefully. But I am back on track now, I hope, and things should soon straighten out. (That "out" is an adverb, by the way, and not a preposition.) :-)

    Ortizzle--Listen, I was tickled so darn silly if my writers could write "If I would HAVE known" rather than "If I would OF known" that the grammar issue of perfect tense vs. past tense yada yada yada has become a non-issue with me in both spoken and written English for Time Immemorial. I know I should be run out on a Language Rail, but there it is. Mea Culpa. LOL.

    The "alot" non-word, however, still makes me wince.

    The Nance Method is big on voice tone, absolute follow-through on basic command until desired outcome, intervention btw dog and undesirable stimulus, and positive reinforcement with praise and high value treats. I don't believe in shock collars, rolled-up newspapers, or attempts at so-called "shaming." At its core, TNM is all about understanding a dog's basic thinking and using it to facilitate training. Dogs are pretty much like toddlers. I assume that and go from there.

    Nice haiku. Z continues to have a bit of the separation anxiety. Not knowing his history Pre Cleveland Kennel Death Row, the boys are working very hard to be patient, and trying to make Z understand that they always come home to him. It's hard on everyone.

    Ally Bean--I know! That dog is such a lovey. He gets so excited to see me that even with the command "Off," he cannot help himself and knocks me down at least once when I come over. Usually it's when I am getting on the floor to spend time with him. He is so joyful that he can't stand it.

    My father went to college on the GI Bill after his service in WWII but left after a short time. He felt disoriented there after what he had seen and done overseas. He did continue a sort of self-education for the rest of his life, however, reading deeply in a great many fields, especially philosophy and religion. He worked in the steel mill, and he used to come home and chuckle about some of the Malapropisms coined by his colleagues. He didn't get steamed by any, just amused. The thing he hated most was crassness and vulgarity. I'm afraid I could be a disappointment to him every now and then in the vulgarity department. Luckily, I made up for it in other ways.

    I visited your site and read a few posts I missed. I wanted to leave a comment on one, but comments were closed. That'll teach me! Not to worry, I told myself; there will be more coming, and I'm sure I'll have something to say about those.

  5. My last two tries at commenting on this post both failed. Never mind the subject-verb agreement thing, not being able to run your electronic equipment is far more of a jelly brain moment.
    I seem to remember a comment from you about my granddog posts saying that you were a cat person only. Hmm.
    Hope the migraine meds mess clears up soon!


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