Slagathor the Viking dog

Hi All,


Slagathor the Viking dog, Master and slayer of all he surveys and servant to none

If you want the full doganese version of it, it is “Slagathor the Viking dog, Master and slayer of all he surveys and servant to none”. That’s what he would have us believe his name is. His name is “Earl” to us. I was dragging down the West Tamar Highway this morning behind a most determined dog who didn’t walk yesterday because Steve went to town to do the shopping. He spent most of yesterday running around barking at both real and imaginary creatures and he is most definitely one of “those dogs” that needs a decent walk every day.  Bezial was limping around today so he got a day off and as a new convert to walking every day, I volunteered to walk Earl. I think a lot when I walk alone. Earl isn’t much of a conversationalist and prefers to sniff and pee so I allow my mind to wander where it will. My mind tends to wander all over the place and I got to thinking about what Earl would call himself if he was given the choice. I immediately remembered a cartoon by Mr Gary Larson, kind of the cartoon crossover between the animal world and everything else, a most entertaining maestro of the scientific pun and lord of the intellectual laugh.


PLEASE don’t sue me Mr Larson…I am a geek like you!…no really…I am!

It’s Tuesday, we both passed our first Adobe Flash unit and we don’t have anything to do today (study wise) because we have both completed everything that we can (that our lecturer will release to us…he is more of a control freak than I am!) in advance so today belongs to us. Steve wants to use the P.C. today because he is going to try to sort out our unused laptop so that I can use it while I am at my daughters house this weekend. Off again you say? Yup :o). It turns out my ex-husband is coming to Melbourne to celebrate his 50th with the first batch of kids. Not a bad option since they are all adults and most of them can pay their way. I got roped in to look after Qi and the house while the girls are away and will be absent without leave again. The problems come when you realise that the girls don’t have “television” as we know it in their home. They don’t actually watch free to air or pay TV! They spend too much time online and watching more than enough old movies to open their own dvd store from their home. They have dvd’s everywhere and lots of old dvd’s on a well stocked hard-drive. The problems come from narf7 and her bolshie desire to keep that part of her (well stocked) brain that could be dedicated to learning how to operate technology free for things that actually interest her. This weekend I am going to HAVE to learn how to use that little black box of theirs that contains the magic treasure. I am going to have to (gulp…) learn to use the remote control!


Steve has been messing around watching YouTube tutorials about how to make infra red images without an infra red camera. He recently purchased an infra red filter but has very kindly allowed me to fill the rest of this post with some of his creations using Photoshop.

Not only that, but I have only just recovered and regrouped from the last visit to the girls in the RSS Feed Reader context. I don’t want to spend another 2 weeks trying to regain control. Qi doesn’t like to walk without Bethany (my youngest daughter) and so walking the dog is out of the equation. What’s a narf to do in an empty house with no telly and a slothful dog? Bring her own…THAT’S what! Steve is the technological brains in our house. Not only is he the brains trust, but he is actively able to update his brains trust, he is interested in how things work, he is the most stubborn mule born since mules were given that moniker AND he enjoys it. What more perfect partner for a bolshie narf7 who could care less about remote controls, television and most technology. I use technology to deliver me “stuff” that I want. Information…knowledge…like number 5 from last centuries wonderful movie (when they knew how to make wonderful movies 😉 ) “Short Circuit” narf7 “needs input!” Steve came up with a great idea to keep me from resorting to forcing the dog out on a skateboard that involves our unused laptop (almost pristine condition…can anyone say “vista operating system?” 😉 ), my exponentially increasing RSS Feed Reader that I have named Audrey 2 (“FEED ME NARF7”!) and narf7… spending my days reading blogs, pinning and occasionally running around the house to activate the dog.

sid mouth

I really love this little image. Its a study in greyscale and it looks like a charcoal drawing

All of this involves me having a laptop, at my daughters, that will work. Not as easy as it might seem because that laptop has to plug into their internet service AND work. Our laptop is even more bolshie than I am. At least you can occasionally get me to change my mind through explanations and guilt (guilt works the best…) but our laptop is a product of its operating system and Vista plain and outright SUCKED folks. We bought the laptop for me to write a book. Steve has delusions that I have talent. I am under no such delusions and know that everything that comes from the tapping fingers of narf7 comes from the myriad collection of motley muses that cohabit my brain. I KNOW that the moment I sat down to attempt to write a book, a short novella, a short story, an ESSAY those self-same muses would go shtum. They are like our laptop…bolshie to the core, revolutionaries every one and prone to fits of incredible temper followed by months of stilted silence. All I can say is that it is lucky that there are so many of them because at least 10 of them are sulking at any given time. I wouldn’t want to upset the delicate balance and equilibrium that seems to have settled into my brain between muses output and narf7 input and so that bolshie laptop remains somewhat pristine and it even has a mouse…


You can create some awesome images by simply inverting an image but this one took a lot more work. Doesn’t it look like a snowy vista with a river in the middle? It’s actually a warmish day in a park and those ripples on the “water” are actually melted tar

I won’t be here when you read this. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it! I will be (hopefully) reading blogs and pinning like a maniac (imagine a crack addict in a room full of free crack…sad but true) and organising my RSS Feed Reader, my Pinterest boards (now that I know how to use them) and the laptop. Consider narf7 a pig in muck this weekend :o). I might have to leave the dog behind to go for a walk but I will bring her back treats and will spoil her rotten. My daughters will be in Melbourne and I will be stuffing their dog full of meat and bones…MEAT AND BONES! I won’t be allowed to look after Qi again for a while because I corrupt her. I am like a dog virus. The girls just get her thinking that she is a small human (she eats what they eat) and suddenly “grandma” bursts onto the scene loaded up with raw meat and bones and all hell breaks loose. It won’t be that bad…I can’t actually get the raw meat in time but there might be bones…


This looks like some sort of alien planet.

I am typing this while a free PDF downloads. I love finding free recipe PDF’s and this one had 92 pages of wonderful looking gluten free recipes. I also love finding new blogs to subscribe to and read. While I am at my daughters I will be flensing my RSS Feed Reader. I am just about to download the new version of FeedDemon 4.5 that bypasses the need to synchronise with Google Reader. By the time you read this Google Reader will be staggering around on its last legs. It will have 1 solitary day to live and if you are still reading your feeds through Google Reader, it might be a good time to run…yes RUN folks…off and sort out a new reader because as of Monday July 1st, Google Reader shall be no more. I am luxuriating in the thought that come Monday I won’t have to wince when I open my RSS Feed Reader, indeed I will be positively glowing. I foresee a July where all of the blogs that have stopped sending out feeds, where blogs that have stopped giving good content and where blogs that aren’t pulling their weight have been eliminated from narf7’s RSS Feed Reader…”I have a dream!” folks…and it’s positively blissful :o)


The Tamar River on steroids or crack

Bored of reading about RSS Feed Readers yet? I will give you a break now and will change tack. If you wanted to get that free Gluten Free PDF by the way feel free to go here and get it…


The same image but treated in a different way. It’s really amazing what you can do in Photoshop

Have you ever had one of those “DUH!” moments when you have been pondering a problem and suddenly the answer rolls into your addled brain and it really IS like a light switch goes on…well I have had 2 of them in a week. My first consisted of me fretting about the state of a woollen round rug that we keep in front of the fire. Steve and I watched a television program about how wool is an amazing product (yeah…I know…scintillating…) and in the program we learned that wool is actually fire retardant…it doesn’t burn folks! They showed a mock up bedroom inside a shipping container that they filled with woollen bedding/toys/clothes etc. and one full of manmade fibres and the manmade fibre bedroom went up in flames and the woollen bedroom didn’t. Simple as that. What better to put in front of Brunhilda (who is prone to hissy fits when you toss wood into her) to stop the sparks than an old (inherited) woollen rug? The problem was that Steve is less than careful about banging off bark, dirt and anything else that wood contains onto this rug and as I am the sweeping freak (at least 3 times a day, we don’t use the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis) he could care less about bits on the floor…someone else makes them “go away”…so I had a problem with a fringe around the edge of the rug constantly trapping and filling up with woody crumby bits that I had to extract by picking up and shaking the rug…no easy sweepy fix to that one. We had another fringed oval woollen rug (also inherited) near the back door to try to catch the dirt and for Bezial to bask in the sun’s rays. It too managed to hold and trap dirt, dust, dog hairs and woody crumbs. I was perplexed to say the least!


The green of the trees has been turned to pink in this image and they now look like they are flowering.

The rugs are quite old and worn and the fringes were in various stages of decomposition which also added to my angst. While I was standing next to Brunhilda I suddenly had that “DOH!” moment…if the fringe was making me twitch so much, why didn’t I just cut it off! 15 minutes later the fringes were gone, the rugs looks neat, they don’t catch bits anymore and narf7 is a happy camper. A very simple fix that required me to actually think about the problem and see it for what it was. I needed to simplify the problem and stop complaining about it in my head before I could actually deal with it. I just had another “DOH!” moment at 4.30am precisely. I was working through my RSS Feed Reader that I have just updated. You have a single solitary day to update your feed reader folks before Google Reader goes defunct on your derrière (if you are using Google Reader that is…). I thought that I was protected because I downloaded FeedDemon 4.1 but it turns out the owner of FeedDemon has decided to call it quits but before he goes out with a Googly bang, he has most magnanimously decided to allow FeedDemon to go on in Perpetua without him and he has even more magnanimously deigned to give us the Pro version that up until now you had to pay for and now it’s free! Kudos sir! If you want to take advantage of this new FeedDemon 4.5 version that is entirely independent of Google Reader (which 4.1 wasn’t!) feel free to read my last post which is just a repost of Mr Bradbury’s own blog post and gives a link to the download for FeedDemon 4.5


This is a motion blur image but given the Steve treatment its a study in pink and aqua. Steve just said “It’s Barbies Bridge” 😉

Now we can get back to the reason for “DOH!”2…I have an exponentially increasing amount of non-dairy kefir that is threatening to blow up our fridge. It is one of those products that I need to think more about as to how I am going to use it. I can’t heat it or its beneficial probiotic bacteria and fungi will croak. I don’t want that! I want the benefits of this wondrous mix and so I have been trying to think of ways to integrate it into my diet. It is freezing cold here in Tassie at the moment (no surprise there folks, we just hit the winter equinox and we are a hop, skip and a jump away from Antarctica…) so my spring and summer green smoothies are no longer as tantalising as they were when it was warm to hot. I was pinning a recipe for some wonderful blueberry, mango and coconut ice pops when suddenly I thought “why don’t I freeze my non-dairy kefir and make ice blocks!” That way I can store them in a freezer bag in our larger freeze and they can be used in smoothies when it gets warmer and by then I will have a huge supply of them that I can keep going…what a great idea!


This is one of my favourite images. I just really love the colour combinations. Who wouldn’t want a lavender tree fern?

I tend to be one of those people that hang onto a problem and work at it from all sides. Steve is exactly the same. I am sending this post from my daughters thanks to Steve being clever (and most stubborn) clogs who has managed to get our bolshie laptop to toe the line and do what it is told. It was no mean feat folks, this plastic mound of diodes and plugs is plain nasty. Not only has he forced it to do his bidding but he has stuffed it full of my personal shortcuts and all kinds of programs that I can use to while away the hours till my daughters get back on Sunday after flying to Melbourne and visiting with their brother and his Texan sweetie Kelsey who live there and their father who is just about to turn 50. If you ever find this blog Robert and you read this post…Happy Birthday and no hard feelings :o) and yes…I have LOTS of wrinkles ;). I will be clearing out my Pinterest Boards and RSS Feed Reader and will most likely be using the Wii fit (the dog refuses to walk with me…) and playing Zelda and Animal Crossing till my eyes are as crossed as the Animals are. Steve waited till I went to bed the other night after spending the whole day trying to get the laptop to do his bidding. He knew that I would tease him about his stubborn refusal to leave the stupid thing alone and after I went to bed he snuck back to the P.C. (after telling me he was done with it for the night) and sorted it out. Once Steve gets hold of a problem he never lets go till it is solved. Hopefully he is like that about us…I am most definitely a “problem” that isn’t going away any day soon 😉


This image is a little disconcerting. Bezial looks like he is an elongated sausage dog but really he is sitting down and most of what you can see behind him is shadow. He is telling us all to “Move along…nothing more to see here folks”…I guess that’s Bezial’s way of saying “see ya later!” He never was a very convivial dog 😉

I am in the process of organising photos and images for this post. It’s early Wednesday morning and I am just about to wrap this post up for the day. We already have a pilfered Larson image (someone else pilfered it first so does that make it alright?!) and a doctored image of Slagathor the Viking Dog. Now I just need to find a lot more. I know that my daughters have a prehistoric version of Photoshop on their desktop P.C. that I should be able to resize images with so I might head out and pound the pavement a bit when I get there on Friday and see what I can take some pictures of. No doubt there will be pictures of Qi in various stages of dog-eyes when I have finally tired of chasing her around the house with one of her toys and there might be more photos of the contents of the girls cupboards. I am fascinated by the amount of weird and wonderful ingredients that they have managed to amass! I am amazed and envious! I might take a few photos of the girls rat and Madeline’s Indian Ringneck parrot Taylor. Taylor hates EVERONE AND EVERYTHING. The rat doesn’t like me much either so I might have to feed him via a chopstick through the bars of his cage but he will get fed girls! I might just have to get creative about it ;). Ok, that’s it…that’s all for today folks. Its Saturday evening, I have no doubt been pinning and cleaning out RSS Feed Readers all day and I have probably scheduled this post to post itself. Have a fantastic weekend and think of narf7 categorising her brains out and loving every single minute of it…why oh WHY didn’t I become a librarian…I would have been in career choice heaven! 😉