Claire, our 7-month-old Yorkie, is becoming a wired dog. First, she learned the joys of chasing a red laser beam from a pointer all around the house. When she spots it, her feet whir in place like a cartoon dog before she gets traction and sets off for the red dot. When she reaches it, she skids to a stop and wheels to chase it in the other direction. It's a great way to excercise her on a day that is too cold for four-pound dogs, even those with quilted pink coats to wear.

In the last couple of days, Claire has noticed the cursor on my computer screen. She used to wander around my desk, chewing pens and the remote to my Bose, then finally settling down to chew a stick of rawhide in her little bed at one corner. For some reason, she never steps on the keyboard, and she never jumps off to the floor, which to her must appear to be a dizzying drop. But now she has begun stepping between my keyboard and the screen to follow every movement of the cursor. This is a bad habit, but an adorable one for now. I obediently lean around her head to see what I'm typing or browsing for. This morning she stood up on her hind legs to put her nose on the cursor when it had moved to the top of the screen.

Given my geekiness, my imagination wanders to what other Yorkie 2.0 tricks I could teach Claire. I've seen very small cameras you can strap to your head, so I could fit one to her and do a YorkieCam or ClaireCam video blog. I could create a profile for her on MySpace and list her favorite music, which is smooth jazz 104.3, the station we leave on for her whenever she's alone in the bedroom. Sony has announced plans to discontinue its Aibo robot dog, but there might still be time to buy one for Claire to romp with in the kitchen.

You can see my mind's not right after a whole week of bachelor life. One slice remains in foil in the fridge from the pizza Darlene and I had for lunch the day she left for the Virgin Islands to visit her sister. So there's no need to go shopping at Whole Foods for at least another day.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

That Harp Guy of Boulder

Thaddeus "Gaffer" Venar was playing his Celtic harp on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder today. I am still trying to figure out the intricacies of my M-Audio Microtrack digital recorder, so I sat down next to the music and fiddled with the volume levels. My first two takes somehow never showed up on the CF card, so I had to keep coming back to Gaffer asking him the same questions, and he was a good sport. The resulting podcast is really a collage of my time enjoying his music and his intense conversation, which ranged from music theory to corporate mendacity. I used Propaganda to lay some of Gaffer's music beneath his story telling, when in real life he was either playing or talking, not doing both at the same time. Claire added some classical Yorkie barking at the end of one lovely piece, so she makes her return here to the Pod Chronicles after a lengthy absence due to circumstances beyond her control.

Gaffer said he makes far less in tips for his music than street beggars take in, even though his financial condition is just as perilous. Apparently buskers don't do as well on the Pearl Street Mall as beggars, which seems sad. I donated $20 which earned me a heartfelt blessing. But the real blessing was the music, which I enjoyed again in my ear buds as Claire and I continued on our walk down the mall, and yet again here in my den late into the night, as I've been tinkering with the audio tracks.

Here is the podcast:

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

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