April 30, 2016

Light Rain Is The Main Activity Today

It's hard to believe it's May already, starting tomorrow. Time flies in retirement ... really flies. Since shorts and t-shirts are the normal wear in the spring and summer, it's easy to tell when the temps are not near 60°. Add in a light rain that you can hear hitting the tree leaves and you can almost tell today is going to be moving slower than slow.

Stella walks in slo-motion to begin with and as you see later, she didn't change that this morning. With it 54° and any kind of moisture, Heidi will move off the couch today only to eat lunch. Going outside for any reason will be optional and not a sure thing to bet on. This photo of Heidi is this morning before I apply the Wounded Warrior Ointment.

With all the windows open and the sound of rain, Sadie nor Stella were real excited about going outside but they did. It was their typical stop and check the air before stepping off the concrete. They may have a high threshold for pain but no way are they going to get their paws wet if they don't have to.

Stella curled around the corner of the house as close as possible to keep dry ... but she had breakfast and has to dump her tanks ... she never does that in the yard and will have to go in the field, based on her standards.

They decided the wet yard wasn't that bad, plus the light rain had let up so they ventured on for a Saturday morning security check of their yard. You never know what may have shown up while they slept last night. Stella decided the best place to scratch was behind the two trees ... I almost didn't see her there.

So now Stella has to make a decision. It will be one she thinks about and then may or may not go into the field, depending how wet it is. I was happy to see her step a few feet inside the field and do what she needed to do.

Still thinking if she is or isn't going to go in that tall wet grass. I wasn't paying attention this morning looking at the photo, I already see two of them that should have been cropped.

Sadie doesn't understand what all the excitement is about today. You can tell from the photos so far, the morning is jumping with action and high energy.

Just like when camping, when you have to go, you have to go.

Now this is the first move where Stella is going to 'quietly' wander off and attempt to go on her own walk. She will act like she is just doing normal exploring but will gradually drift further away with dreams of veering left for the walk or maybe straight ahead into the woods.

Her tail is dead center in the photo.

See ... slowly slipping away.

She hears me say one word "Stella" and decides she will head home. No trotting or running though ... it's too wet. So walking as if she can't make another step she starts her slow trek to the house.

Sadie still wondering where's the excitement for today ... is this all there is?


And slower

She's back but not real thrilled the morning walk is called off until further notice. The weather radar shows the chances of hitting the trail today is slim to none.

My cabinets and refrigerator tell me it's time to head to town replenish the food supply. There is never a good time to do that on Saturday and I'm not sure why I waited that long this week to do it. Like I said at the start, days fly by when retired and it's Thursday just like that.

I have seen no ill effects of the computer warning pop-up I had yesterday.

Good news on the tick situation ... I have not found but one dead tick on Sadie a few days ago, nothing on Stella since giving them NexGard to chew. I have pulled off 5 ticks on me during that time. Maybe it was because I stopped counting them made them go away? :)

It's one of those days where I feel like changing blog templates, colors and fonts. It's a good thing that Blogger doesn't have the same number of possibilities as WordPress. At times I feel like going back the the tan color the blog use to be ... but that is just me looking for something to do on a rainy Saturday morning.

I almost forgot ... I have more posts so far this year in four months than I did in all of 2015.

Very green here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

April 29, 2016

Heidi Skin Update & A Lazy Friday

I realize this post is pretty late, at least for those not on the west coast. When you are a night person, with a hour siesta in the late afternoon, you end up wide awake at 10:33pm and wanting to write a blog post. Before I start my rambling I'll go straight to an update about Heidi's skin.

These photos were taken today after her lunch. I think you can see a change in the color of skin, it's not as red and irritated like it usually is on those rear hocks. The skin all over is soft and supple and it's starting to hang like normal basset hound skin, only a lot of it doesn't have hair. That hair may not grow back.

Last spring vet #3 he didn't think any hair would grow back on her rear legs, rear paws or rear shoulders. It has but not quite normal thickness. What is improving is the softness of that bare skin and the color.

She does not resist or flinch when I put on the ointment. She didn't when she was getting her bath yesterday and I was trying to lightly scrub off the dead skin in the folds of her skin. Her nails are cut back as close as possible without making them bleed. Looking at the end of the nails the quick blood vessel fills the nail.

The ointment directions doesn't give an exact number of doses to do per day but just says multiple times per day. I've only been doing two applications per day. I think you can see in this next photo, the skin on the rear hock is finally hanging down like normal skin would for her breed instead of stiff and inflamed like it was in the past. Same as the skin on her chest.

The friend that told me about the Wounded Warrior Ointment and shipped two tubes of it to me, said something interesting tonight that I did not know and none of the four vets over the last eighteen months mentioned. She said it takes bacteria seven days to kill, but a fungus can take nine months to a year to kill.

Why do I think it is a fungus? Her skin looks best first thing in the morning. Even now with the skin looking better, it will look it really red after the times she has been sleeping curled up ... all of of that skin is under her and not exposed to the air ... thus becomes moist, at times sweaty depending on the air temperature ... and the reddest of the day.

Fungus needs moisture. So the ointment will continue but I will be increasing the number of applications per day. The grain free food will continue and I will make sure no potatoes will be in the food just in case there is some yeast infection going on. From what I have read today and in the past it could take up to 16 weeks (4 mos) before the new food overtakes the old food in her system.

This is a photo I took of her Thursday afternoon after she was completely dry after her bath. I think if you look back though some posts here you will see there is a lot less redness. Today was only the 8th day of applying the ointment.

The other two partners in crime only had one walk today ... a little after their lunch. They were just as lazy as I was most of the day. They never came to me howling or staring me down wanting to walk. The times they went outside they stood there most of the time .. they never roamed the field like they usually do.

It's the same path every day. Similar stopping points. Stella is always trying to expand her boundary and will even look back to see if I am watching her but will come when I call her. Still they love their time on the walk, it's good exercise for them also ... and their noses.

Stella was pretty far off in that right hand corner of the field she likes. I was expecting to get some great shots of her running toward us ... my camera wouldn't work!!!! By the time I took the lens off and reattached it, then hearing it focus, she had sprinted and ran past Sadie and I.

There is never a day goes by where she doesn't glance over to the area where the deer was a week or so ago. She also might have been smelling her other favorite thing ... food. Sometimes bbq's fill the air in the middle of the day with retired neighbors.

Sadie led the way home and both were sound to sleep within minutes after going back inside the house.

I spent a lot of time reading today. I wanted to find out more about the pop up screen that told me my computer was messed up this morning. I went to a Mac forum called MacRumors and saw that other users had ran into the exact same error message but the pop up screens and phone numbers to call were all different but had the same results.

Some were saying I needed to completely wipe my hard drive and reinstall the operating system. I'm not sure I need to go that far ... I guess I'll find out. Just as a precaution I changed the master password to my Last Pass program I use to encrypt all the passwords I use online. I changed the login passwords to both my iMac and MacBook. I changed passwords to my bank accounts.

I believe that will be enough. Some said that when they reopened their browser the pop up error kept coming back but it has not for me. I tried Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome and at no time did that pop up show up. I also read that it is not specific to PC or Mac and not to a specific browser ... all are potential candidates in that game.

Contrary to popular belief, I did step away from the computer numerous times today and tonight. I like to cook on occasion. I also finished up the final touches of my house cleaning duties.

It was a good day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

Almost Scammed !!

It was close but I caught myself in time ... plus I was not going to pay them anything online and that is where the scam comes in from what I have read on the internet.

Sadie and Stella were not impressed with what they heard over the speaker phone.

Client Care Experts

It all started this morning as I was drinking coffee and reading my normal websites. I use Google Chrome as a browser and had 4 tabs open. As I clicked to close my Twitter site on one tab I have a pop up screen telling me to call such and such number immediately. My computer may have been compromised. It had other official file name errors.

No big deal because I rarely get these and I never call or click their link. This morning when I tried to close Google Chrome and all the other tabs ... I couldn't. I tried clicking other open programs on my dock and they would not close.

Was that screen legit? Was it serious? Based on what it was said I was afraid to just shut down my system ... so I called their toll free number. Right off the bat when I hear other people in the background, I picture a huge room of cubicles and everyone talking loud enough to be picked up in the background of other employees.

I was suspicious but thought I'd play along.

He gave me his name and ID number as if that was going to make a difference ... he didn't know I was writing down notes as we talked. He asked that I read the error message back to him. He told me my computer might be in danger and asked what I had and WHEN did I buy my computer.

I gave him that information.

Then the sales pitch starts ... my computer is old, over 5 years old and the firewall protection "on these older computers" do not do enough to protect us in today's world of malware, spyware etc ... blah blah blah. I am thinking at the time isn't that what all of those Operating Systems updates are for?

Then he wanted to download his Webroot System Analyzer onto my computer so he could check it out for any possible damage, any corruptions and "to see what condition your computer is in".

Sorry but that's not going to happen. You want me to give you control of my computer without knowing you or your system? Right ... let me get right on that.

When that didn't happen he started talking to me about needing "real time protection software". Protecting me against viruses, malware etc 24 hours per day 7 days a week. But first .... I needed to take my iMac in to either an Apple Store, Office Depot or Best Buy and let their "certified technicians" TUNE UP my 5-1/2 year old computer ... that btw has worked perfect the whole time, except for my own computer error on installing an encryption program.

He even suggested I do this 2-3 times per year and they would charge me $300 - $350 per tuneup. I have been in computer since 1993(?) and I have never heard anything like that. When I had a PC I use to reformat my hard-drive and install my back up files to get rid of any temp files or junk that over the years would slow your computer down. I don't need to do that with an Apple computer because that takes place in the background automatically.

So I have the bait .... I need a computer tune up at $350 and "can you take it into Best Buy today?" I instantly thought of my previous experience with those "certified technicians" in November 2014 .. you can read about that circus here.

So the sales pitch starts leaning toward "we can do that today" for .... I STOPPED HIM AND ASKED ... "Isn't this really a sales call and not really computer help"?

Oh no ... no way ... THEN PURE LUCK IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN ....

I had not noticed my LG flip phone's battery was dying. I must not have heard or paid attention the warning beeps ... MY PHONE DIED!!!

Perfect .... LOL

I did a "force quit" on all the open programs, shut down my iMac and then went to my laptop to do some searching on Client Care Experts. It was what I expected ... great professional looking website, legit computer service, NOT associated with Microsoft, a SCAM ....

The story here was playing out exactly the way other people described in their complaints about the company.

The eventual choice if my phone had not died would have been:

  • Take computer in for tune up $350 and 5-6 days to complete
  • Or let him tune up my computer for $250 right here in 4-6 hours
I immediately changed my password on both of my computers. I wanted to make sure just in case they had any kind of access to my computer with that pop-up screen that did NOT have any links to click, just a phone number to call. 

So the day starts off exciting. The sun is bright and I just heard Stella's nose nudge the door handle to the door to go outside.

Exciting times here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

April 28, 2016

The Hounds Talked Me Into Walking

I was tired but with Sadie giving me the stare down and Stella howling ... I put on my shoes, grabbed the camera and headed out for the early evening walk. I was tired from mowing the yard as usual, add in some pasta for dinner and I was thinking more of siesta before watching the NFL Draft tonight instead of walking and blogging.

As I mentioned this morning, Heidi had a bath to wash off some ointment residue on her chest and neck. Plus I needed to clean off some dead flaking skin and clean between her skin folds on her legs.

By 12:30 she was looking pretty good and by 2pm her skin color was the normal tone. By 4pm her rear hocks were red and she had chewed a small spot on the edge of her rear shoulder. Overall I think I can see some progress.

While I was walking slow, the bloodhound that was doing all the howling to go ... took an early lead and moved way ahead of Sadie and I. No matter what I was going to maintain my pace, a little faster than Heidi's but not by much. I was tired.

With all the rain and sunshine, the hayfield is growing fast but the tallest and greenest of all is near the house where the hounds have dumped their tanks all winter.

I'm starting to see a little 'waistline' on Sadie so that shows me she is losing some weight like we planned. Less weight will be easier on her hips as she grows older.

Stella has gotten bigger since she arrived last August but is still trim around the midsection. She would eat the whole bag of food if I poured it out.

Both of them seemed to have been in a hurry tonight. Yet on the way back after making the final turn - they slowed down. I think they hope to see that deer again.

Looking in the direction of where the deer was a last week.

I guess that is all they wanted ... just a walk. They were sound asleep 5 minutes after going back inside.

I didn't make any edits to these photos tonight ... can you tell the difference?

Almost forgot, not one tick found on either hound after the walk but I did have two on me.

Another beautiful night here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.