It's been a big year for us dogs - there's been a lot of lazing going on, but also there's been digging, borrowing, sometimes stealing, spreading, catching, manicuring etc.
Of course, there was also the birth of Young Master Elliot - not that we were allowed to go to the hospital or anything.
Then there's been Young Master Elliot's increasing girth (he is now over half Ellie's weight - she's going to be in real trouble shortly - especially with that big fluffy tail of hers).
We've even started entertaining some of the neighbourhood dogs - our favourite is "Little Harry" (or, by his full name, "Little Harry Houdini of the Fabulous Green Grass and Notorious Trickster"). Little Harry is mainly Jack Russell and is of sufficient dimension to squeeze through the gates to our place (specially designed to keep big black dogs in).
It works like this.
This is our gate:
This is Harry:
This is Harry's width:
This is Harry's clearance:
We keep warning Harry to keep his eating under control or at least exercise more so that he doesn't put on an extra centimeter (there's only that much in it).
So, our Christmas message is:
Well, now to the mail:
"I am sorry to hear that you will be unable to respond very often but December is almost over and January will pass quickly too! I did have my mistress send you and your family a package. I had her send it to the place that master Craig works. It shall be there some time before Christmas. I found these in a little shop on one of our walks. I hope that you like them. I feel that the world is too big and in order to grow stronger we must share our cultures. Samantha. P.S. There IS a Santa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Samantha, could you please explain this:
Although I find this topic somewhat distressing - in the interests of academia - I think these points need airing:
1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - - - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second--a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload--not even counting the weight of the sleigh--to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison: this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance--this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
The conclusion seems to be that if Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.
Anyway, we received the parcel - thanks muchly - we love them! Master Craig replied as follows:
"Samantha Roge asked me to pass on his thanks in prospect - he hasn't received his Chrissie present yet, but he's very excited about it - he's already talking about what he can send back - I told him that a dead blackbird might very well be appreciated by Samantha, but that Mistress Linda may not be very happy opening a decomposed bird package. He sulked a bit, but is still thinking... Is there a return address on the package? Thanks again. Craig
Then I replied:
And lastly:Hi Samantha Thanks for the Santa's - we love them! Did you know that Master Craig hasn't got us anything for Christmas yet? I don't know - a year of guarding the place and no thanks - he said that we should be happy that he doesn't feed us Budget Bites and put us in restraints like the one used on Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs - he sees our mischieviousness around the garden as a slight problem. Anyway, they'll look great in the garage (we want to keep them out of the rain). Young Master Elliot quite liked the look of them as well, but I got in some serious Santa licking so that they wouldn't be gazumped by the little tike - Master Craig didn't want to sterilise them. We'll send you something in the new year - I believe master Craig has already told you that it won't be some Australian fauna (he's a bit strict at times). Anyway, thanks again and have a great Christmas! Roge (and the other one) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rogernald Dogue P.R.O.C.A.N. A.N.T.I.F.E.L. Chief Dog The Compound Bathurst New South Wales AUSTRALIA "I barked and then I barked again for good measure" - RD of FMB
"Hi there. April and I have been busy getting ready for Christmas. Got some presents for the master and family. Weathers been cold and wet. Hope you are enjoying the summer. Haven't seen Sam [Linda's dog lately}, However she will be here for christmas. Time to go to work so we will talk to you soon. Bear and April. PS check out the masters home page at email@example.com"
You guys are lucky to be able to get together like that - give each other a big lick from us!
Take me to the next diary entry or show me the complete calendar!
I'd be very happy if you'd sign Master Craig's visitors' book before you leave (he won't create one for me).
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