Lily and Mochi

I have been pretty terrible at updating my blog for the past three or four years.  I know I say this often, but I’m going to rectify that with a little life update post right now.

LilyPretty much everyone that reading this already knows about Lily, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi that Sam and I picked up on June 7, 2013.  She was born on March 17th, 2013, which is the day St. Patrick’s Day fell on that year.  Her breeders called her “Patty” because of this (yes, I know it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day).
She was 8.2 lbs when we got her (most of it ears, probably).  We picked her up when she was 11 weeks old, which means she was a little bigger than most puppies are when people usually pick them up (~8 weeks).  We would’ve gotten her earlier if it were possible, but it wasn’t, and it certainly didn’t deter us.

When we first started looking into getting a corgi, I didn’t know that there were two breeds: Pembrokes and Cardigans.  Lily (as I mentioned) is the former of the two, which is the most popular breed.  Apparently there are around 20 Pembrokes to every Cardigan.  We picked getting a Pembroke I think mostly based on their popularity and that they’d be easier to find.

I wanted a tri-color at first (white/black/tan, etc), but I wasn’t really super picky about that.  The more I looked at pictures of puppy and adult corgis, the more I liked the tan and white color combination and changed my mind as to what I would prefer.  I don’t remember if Sam had any preferences regarding whether the puppy was a boy or girl, but she also wasn’t particularly concerned about the color.  So though I had my preferences, color wasn’t strict, but the sex of the puppy was (the men in my family swear that girl dogs are easier to train and are more well-behaved in general, and they’ve had plenty of dogs).

LilySam happened to find a breeder that had one girl left in tan and white, which was exactly what we wanted, if we’d been given the choice.  I’m certain Lily could’ve been any color and we’d have still wanted her, but that’s just the way it happened to work out!  The breeder was trying to figure out if she was going to make “Patty” a show dog, and I think she probably would’ve had she not been “mis-marked”.  Show dogs have to be marked a certain way or they’re not eligible to show, and puppies’ markings are a bit hard to discern when they’re young.  It turned out that Lily’s face is half tan, half white, and definitely not symmetrical, so she was considered mis-marked.

That means that breeder had one extra unclaimed puppy right at the time that Sam reached out to her, which in the corgi world, is very unlikely.  You typically have to put your name on a waiting list and be willing to wait half a year or more to get an AKC, purebred corgi puppy not from a puppy mill.

LilyLily is now a full grown, 23.5 lb spoiled brat dog.  She’s a little small for an adult female corgi (I think they’re usually 25-28 lbs), but she’s very majestic when she’s not sleeping.  She listens halfway-decently to commands in the house, but at the dog park or around strange people or situations, she generally doesn’t care what we have to say to her.  She loves other dogs, and these days, she’s well-behaved enough to be left in the house for a while without worrying about her.  Lily has a very sweet, playful personality, and like most corgis, she’s very loyal and constantly wants to be around us (or at least in the same room as us).

Interesting tidbit about Lily – most Pembrokes have their tails docked soon after they are born as part of a tradition that doesn’t really mean anything anymore (corgis are herders and originally their tails were docked so livestock wouldn’t step on and injure their tails; these days I think it’s only still done as tradition of the breed).  However, I think Lily is a natural bobtail, as there is absolutely no trace of a tail anywhere on her butt, whereas with most dogs who’ve had their tail docked, there’s a little nub.

After we had Lily for a while, we knew we wanted another corgi.  This time, however, I was pretty adamant: I wanted a merle blue Cardigan girl.  Sam, luckily for me, is just not picky about that kind of stuff, so she was all for it.  This is, without a doubt, the most sought-after Cardigan combination, so out of the already hard to find Cardigans, a blue girl would be even harder.  We put our names on a breeder’s waiting list back in May of this year, expecting to get a puppy around January if the breeder had a mis-marked blue girl (as popular as blue girls are as show dogs, there’s not a large chance the breeder would give one up unless it was mis-marked or they were lucky enough to have two in the same litter).

Sam reached out to this breeder again a couple of months ago to check and see if anything had changed, and everything was still on track for him to have puppies available in January.  However, just a week or two later, he reached out to us with news that one of his breeder friends had a blue girl available the very next weekend because someone had to back out due to some very unfortunate circumstances involving a family member.  Sam reached out to that breeder, she sent us pictures and info, and we immediately knew we wanted her.

MochiThe breeder called her “Star,” and she was incredibly mis-marked in probably the best way possible.  About three-quarters of her face is white, with a black ring around her right eye and a patch of brown and merled blue going back to her ear on the same side.  Her left eye is brown and her right eye is three-quarters blue and a quarter brown.  It’s super cool, and I absolutely love heterochromia in dogs (and in general it’s pretty interesting).  Of course, most of her body is merle blue and white, but she has a splotch of brown on her back feet and a band of it around one of her front legs.

We named her Mochi (yes, like the Japanese pounded rice snack).  The day we picked her up, October 3rd, she turned 9 weeks old (her birthday is August 3rd) and weighed 7.1 lbs.  Her front paws are about as big as Lily’s, and so are her ears, even though she’s so little.  I think this is due to the breed difference, as Pembrokes and Cardigans do vary just a little in physical appearance since they are technically separate (yet very closely related) breeds.

MochiCardigans supposedly are slightly less friendly to strangers than Pembrokes, and (again, supposedly) have a few other personality differences from Pembrokes, but I have yet to be able to tell the difference.  Perhaps it’s because Mochi is so young and we’ve only had her for a little over three weeks, but the way that she interacts with us and the people that have met her seems incredibly familiar to how Lily acted.  Although, I must admit that neither Sam nor I can remember if Lily squirmed quite as much when being held at Mochi’s age, and Mochi definitely barks a bit more than I remember Lily barking when we leave her alone in her crate.

Because Lily likes and gets along so well with other dogs, I never really had any doubt that Lily would have issues with another dog in the house.  She was at first very suspicious, and spent most of the first day doing various things that apparently “asserted her dominance,” according to the Interwebs.  By the second day, though, a lot of that had already faded, and they started playing and doing all of the fun things that dogs do together.  Lily is a very kind big sister to Mochi, or at least I like to think.  Sometimes she bites Mochi’s tail when they’re playfighting, which is kind of funny since Mochi can’t do that back.

Lily and MochiOne of the benefits of having a young adult dog while having a new puppy is that Lily is a good babysitter for Mochi.  With Lily, we had to constantly pay attention to her because we were all she had to play with.  Anyone that’s ever had a puppy probably knows how exhausting that is.  As cute as they are, they’re a handful, and though I’ll miss Mochi being tiny, I do look forward to the day where she stops biting everything and peeing in the house.  It’s nice to be able to leave Lily out when we go to the movies or whatever and not have to worry about her destroying anything or feel bad about having to keep her in a crate.

Anyway, so now we have two dogs, and it’s pretty great, because dogs are the best.

Grad School FFFFFFUUUUUUU

Sometime back in late March/early April of this year, I randomly decided I wanted to go to grad school, so I scheduled an appointment to take the GRE, studied 45 minutes for it, applied for the ISDS masters program, and now I’m back in school. I thought I was done tagging posts with the “college” tag, but I guess I have another two and a half years of that (if my poor blog lasts that long).

Anyway, I haven’t updated in a while (surprise, surprise), so it’s catch up time. Back in July, a good bit of my family flew to North Carolina to spend a week at my brother’s cabin. It’s pretty awesome up there (except for the spotty cell phone coverage :P).

That’s me on Chimney Rock. The view was awesome. :)

That’s the sunset over the lake my brother’s cabin is on. Yeah, it was really pretty.

I got to fly in an airplane, ride on crazy curvy mountain roads, swim in a mountain lake, and go white water rafting; all things I’ve never done before. It was pretty awesome. If I ever get to go again, I want to take my car so I can drive on those roads. :P

I’ve been writing a good bit lately (for fun, not for school/work). I’m just shy of 40,000 words on “Business As Usual,” which I’m trying to get to novel status (50,000) during editing. Also, I decided I don’t like that title. :

My web hosting expires in about 27 days, and I don’t think I’m going to renew it. My friend James offered to host my site for me, and since I don’t really use it as much as I used to, I may just take him up on the offer and save myself some money.

I recently posted this on Facebook and on reddit (where I got my highest upvote count ever), so I’m going to put it here too so anyone that still reads this can watch it and get all nostalgic all over it with me.

What would one of my updates be without random embedded YouTube videos of music I’ve been listening to? In case you haven’t realized it yet, I like electro-*anything*, and these videos are proof.

Electro-post hardcore:

Electro-pop:

-Philip

Hackensack

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything of linguistic substance, but lately I haven’t had much to post about besides Evey.

First of all, Katy Perry’s MTV Unplugged live CD is absolutely amazing. I love her voice so much. She did a brilliant cover of a Fountains of Wayne song, and the entire album has a “lounge” feel to it. It’s really worth checking out if you appreciate beautiful singing.

Anyway…

Yesterday I hit the 400 mile mark on Evey. When I got the car, it had 20 miles on it from the factory and the PDI at the dealership, and I took a picture at 22. The odometer reading grows so quickly. :P Come tomorrow, I’ll have owned her for a week, and I couldn’t be happier. Every time I walk up to it, I smile. There’s liking your car, and then there’s this – finally having a car that I once called a dream car. I just flat out love this car. It’s so much fun to drive. :D Everything about it is fantastic, right down to my switchblade key. I think between the Camaro and the Chevy Volt, GM is really looking up (Chevy Volt > all hybrids).

Last week was pretty awesome. I took off on Wednesday to pick up my car, and then I had the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving to enjoy it.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope everyone had a good one. I usually make a post about being thankful, but I guess I’ve just been neglectful of my poor blog lately. :( We had delicious food (duck and deer, mmmm), and I have plenty of leftovers in my freezer right now. The rest of the holiday was spent with family and friends.

Now, it’s Christmas time and I guess I should be happier about that, but I really enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. :P The tree is up at my parents’ and I put up a little one at the apartment, though I only turned on the lights once.

Other than that, I’ve been watching way too much anime and playing Starfox 64 a good bit. :)

I need to get back in the habit of updating this thing regularly, because I hate making this catch-up posts where I have to condense a bunch of crap into something readable (or slightly readable :P).

-Philip

Mother’s Day and Camaros and More

Went to Sam’s on Saturday for a while. She was having a graduation/birthday party, and I’m always looking for something to do! Took some pictures, had a good time until my stomach started hurting, so I left. I blame the sushi I had on Friday from Drunken Fish.

My Saturday was actually sort of “FML” except for the party. None of the KFCs are accepting the coupon for the free grilled chicken (you can get a raincheck, but that wasn’t going to help me right then), and I’d spent enough eating out last week already, so I went to Subway hoping to use the last of my gift card on something only to find out that their gift card machine is broken. So I had breakfast at like 11 AM and then nothing to eat until 8 PM because of my stomach feeling awful and random fast food places being a bunch of jerks.

Had a pretty awesomely lawl-ful time on AIM late on Saturday night though, and that *almost* made up for it.

For mother’s day, my family went to eat at Café Dominque in Houma. It was amazingly delicious and probably one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.

As we were on our way, I recognized the back of an orange car, and thought it looked familiar. “No way,” I thought. My family was in the truck, so I said, “Is that a new Camaro?” And as we got closer, it WAS. A brand freaking new orange 2010 Chevy Camaro with black racing stripes. The orange and the aqua blue metallic are my 2nd choices for color, in no particular order, so that made it even cooler that I got to see it in a color I liked. I mean, I’m sure there will be a ton of them around soon, but I’m hoping to be able to afford a rally yellow one before they’re as saturated as Mustangs (which I still like) or Chargers (which I still hate, though the new ones do look better). :P

YES PLEASE.

-Philip

Samsung Camera #3…Go!

Thursday was my birthday, and hooray for birthday money. With it, I ordered a new point and shoot digital camera. More on that in a bit.

My mom cooked gumbo and the family came over and we had a good time eating gumbo and Mr. Ronnie’s king cake (Mr. Ronnie’s has the best king cakes ever. They’re big donuts) and socializing. I wanted to do something with my friends in Baton Rouge, but all of them seemed to be busy or out of town. Oh well, I’ll have to have twice as much fun next weekend at Samantha’s Team IS party. :D

Anyway, on to the camera.

That’s it – the Samsung TL34HD (NV100HD). It’s an ultracompact point and shoot with some pretty awesome features. Its 14.7 Megapixels are overkill, but it’s slightly thinner than my current camera (about ~.78 inches) and takes 720p videos, which was one of the must-haves when I was shopping for it. I love Samsung quality (they’re my second favorite consumer electronics company, after all; I’m sure you can guess who #1 is), and in following my camera tradition, this will be my third Samsung digital camera. I’ll have more to say about it when I actually get it in.

The only concern I have is that the format it encodes the video in is kind of…funky. QuickTime with Perian installed plays the videos just fine, but they don’t seem to work in iMovie. This was the case with my old camera too, I think, and it’s definitely supported now, and has been for a while since I shot all four Team IS movies with it and edited them all in iMovie. Anyway, I’m hoping whatever weird codec it uses will be supported soon, but in the meantime, if I need to edit the videos, VLC can very easily transcode them, albeit with a slight loss in quality.

I also ordered an 8 GB Class 6 SDHC memory card for it. Not much to say about that!

I have more to say, but I’ll save it for later (unless I forget :P).

-Philip

Oh the Pictars

Here’s a bunch of pictures I’ve taken since Christmas Eve. Enjoy. :D

My brother’s family got a new puppy for Christmas. :D It’s a teacup Maltese, and it’s really small and cute. :3

I’ve been having this hat for a long time, and I really like, but I hardly wear it.

Mini muffuletta tray from Rouses. Most delicious picture of the bunch.

Opening presents! :D

You can’t prove this isn’t a full-screen video. That’s all I’m saying. :P

Before.

OH NO.

After. The install wasn’t quite as solid as the one Will did (he installed my previous head unit), but it works and it’s still pretty good for my first head unit installation. :D

If you’re interested in looking at all of the pictures I took from Christmas eve until today, check out this link.

-Philip

Post-Gustav

So Jackson, Mississippi was…um, “interesting,” to say the least. Ask me about that on AIM/in person if you haven’t already heard those stories. Good times.

We came back to Michelle’s house on Tuesday morning since they were letting people back into St. Charles Parish, and then Michelle and I tried to go to Houma and got turned around. We tried again on Wednesday and then got turned around again. I knew they weren’t letting people in until Friday, but I still wanted to try because I was hearing stories of people getting in.

All of this time, I couldn’t get in touch with my family so I didn’t even know where they were, but I finally got in touch with them later on Wednesday, and my neighbor had just gotten into Houma and told me that Highway 311 was open, so we set off to try to get into Houma again.

Thibodaux was open, so I planned on going to LA 24 (Main Street) from Highway 90 and telling the cop there that I was going to Thibodaux, but there was no cop on that side of the street, though there was one on the other side. Instead, there were just a bunch of traffic cones. So, after deliberating for a few minutes, I decided to cut through the cones. Sure enough, for whatever reason, the police weren’t blocking 311, they were only blocking people from getting off of 90 onto 311, so I went right on into Houma.

I wish I would’ve thought to charge my camera, but I didn’t, so I don’t have any pictures, but by Wednesday, it wasn’t really that bad. It was absolutely ridiculous that they were keeping people out of Terrebonne Parish until Friday just because of the power being off. When we got there, the crap was already mostly out of the roads and stores, like Rouses, were even opening back up.

My parents’ house just had roof damage and no power until Saturday evening, but my brother got some water in his dining room after the roof leaked (he actually lost a crap-ton of shingles). My sister’s house was alright too, just missing shingles, same as my parents’.

We got a bunch of water, a couple of tarps, and a bunch of MRE’s, which is fantastic, because I love those things, and they’re fun to open just to see what random goodies you get. :D

Michelle still doesn’t have power, but they’re been running off of her dad’s generator at their house, so they’re okay. We watched Rambo 2008 at their house on Saturday night, even. Gory movie++, hahaha.

So, I went back to Baton Rouge last night. Smooth sailing, though power is still out at a lot of places around here, my apartment is good and it’s so nice to not hear the whining of a generator all day and night long (though, you know, thank God for generators >>). :P

Had a pot roast and vegetables MRE for lunch today. Yummm! :D

-Philip

Engagement Party & Finals & Mojave

Sunday, Michelle’s parents had an engagement party for us. It was kind of a meet and greet for everyone that was in the wedding and family members that hadn’t already met. It was good times, and I really appreciate everyone coming. :D

Today I have my Security final. I’m not worried about it, but I will miss Terry. He was a great teacher, probably the best at LSU.

Saturday I have a History final. Not too excited about that. I need a 68 to pass the class, which would be fine, except the exams are essay questions so they’re really hard. D:

I really feel the need to rant here about Microsoft’s “Mojave Experiment” and how absolutely retarded it is, but instead of going on a full 1,000 word essay like I probably would, I’m going to keep it short.

Microsoft is awful at marketing. Windows Vista is a great operating system, despite its flaws, yet instead of showing people what it can do in their commercials (a major criticism of Apple’s Get a Mac ads, also), they show that they can trick people into saying they like Vista? Seriously…what are they thinking? If they’re going to tackle Vista’s bad reputation, how about this: fix the problems that everyone complains about with your operating system! Not everything people spread is FUD…some of it is true, after all (Flip 3D is crap, Vista still doesn’t do some form of defragmenting on-the-fly, “lol extra menus!!11!”, moving/copying files still seems slower, etc). I mean, I know a lot of it is overblown garbage, but you don’t overlook real problems too.

Even Steve Ballmer didn’t make excuses when questioned about Vista at the All Things D conference; instead, he opted to say that they’d have tackled compatibility better, amongst a few other things I’ve since forgotten. Granted, he’s an awful, awful CEO, but Bill Gates was sitting right there and I didn’t see him correcting Steve.

So, in conclusion:

DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS

Mojave Experiment = fail.

That is all.

-Philip

Soap and Stuff

You guys know those soap dishes that don’t have holes in the bottom of them? I think those are the most genius invention ever, if a soap company invented them. They collect water, which makes the soap mushy and it gets used up faster. Way faster.

I hate those things.

Anyway, last week I went to work for 11.5 hours on Monday, then took the rest of the week off. I got my taxes done at the Houma library on Tuesday morning for free (after waiting two and a half hours), but I’ll be getting a pretty decent refund, plus that rebate we get this year just for doing our taxes.

Tuesday night I went to Michelle’s, and I’ve been with her ever since, which has been nice. Becca had her picnic on Saturday, and that was nice. I honestly wasn’t looking forward to it because it was technically a cosplay picnic and it was supposed to be a bunch of people from MechaCon’s forums (and there was the possibility that Nick would go), but it ended up being mostly people I knew, and when there was convention discussion I just ignored it (and even though Nick did go, I just ignored him too). So I ended up having fun. I took pictures that I’ll post when I get around to it.

We spent Easter with my family in the morning and afternoon, and had dinner with Michelle’s family that night at Copeland’s (and apparently Al Copeland just so happened to die yesterday too :|).

I guess that’s a pretty decent recap. I really need to start updating more regularly again. :

-Philip

We’re Only Liars, but We’re the Best

My weekend was pretty good. I skipped class on Friday…class being Visual Basic and Marketing, since I was done with my VB homework and Marketing is rarely really important as long as you have the notes (which I can get from Jonathan). Instead, I went to Michelle’s and got to sleep late. :D

Michelle and I went to Houma and ate with Keith and Becca on Friday at Bogwalk. It was pretty good, but kind of expensive for how much you get (even though we split something, so it wasn’t expensive overall). I guess that’s to be expected of seafood.

Saturday, I bought new flip-flops that I really like. :D They’re plaid and leather, though besides the plaid, they’re pretty similar to the last two pairs I had.

My mom hurt her back last week too, so my she ended up finally having to go to the hospital on Sunday. She came home a few hours later and I think she’s feeling better now.

Anywho, right now I’m sitting in Visual Basic taking pictures of the code for my homework, which is extremely helpful and makes my assignments so much easier. I think know I failed an ISDS 3120 exam on Thursday. It was really brutal, so now I’m kind of relying on our presentations to pass the class. D:

In other news, I think the Apple Store at the Mall of Louisiana is opening on Thursday and I’m seriously considering skipping Project Management to be there when it opens. :O

We’ll see.

-Philip