182 November 13979

It's funny that as Christmas approaches everyone seems to get busier and busier:

  1. Mistress Liz is busy shopping, wrapping and despatching;
  2. Young Master Elliot is busy looking cute for Christmas photographs and soiling his nappies; and
  3. Master Craig is busy buying and listening to CD's and getting into trouble for not changing his habits in light of the season.

I musn't be unfair - he has managed to also create a homepage for his latest favourite music artist - a band called the Tall Dwarfs (comprising Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate and some others). You can have a look at it at:


I must admit, the music isn't too bad. I'm into the alternative music scene and its pretty cool to like that band - but they are from New Zealand - I don't think you have any real indie cred unless you hail from somewhere where you can at least drive to Seattle. Nevertheless, I get to hear their stuff around the clock when Master Craig is home.

Even if you're not into the band, you might still like to visit the page since Master Craig hasn't done a bad job of the site and there is some rather nifty wallpaper that you can download.

Master Craig even designed a mildly attractive logo for the site:

However, I think that with a few tweaks the whole thing could come out a lot more attractive:

There, that's a lot better. Actually, if you like, you can use that logo as a link to my site!!

Anyway, Master Craig has been complaining that he hasn't got time for my diary notes and that I might consider getting someone downtown to type them up for me. He just doesn't seem to understand that my actual written notes contain only very brief outlines of my material and that it really only comes together as I dictate it to Master Craig (he is a very good sounding board - very broad too).

He's got it in his head that as Christmas approaches when can act like the television networks and instead of writing new notes, we can simply sit around a Christmas turkey and rehash what's happened over the past year.

As I said to him - although A Friends viewer might lap up that sort of tripe, a Simpsons/King of the Hill (yes, it's at last arrived in Australia) will simply not put up with it and hit "Back".

It's even a more stupid idea since "our" Christmas normally is characterised by the real family jumping in the car and going somewhere whilst Ellie and I are left fending for ourselves - not much of a Christmas special - "Bye beautiful people, let us non-persons give you a rundown of our happening lives" - look here's me chained up... here's one of Ellie locked in the garage... here's a full water bowl... here's an empty one... - yeah, rivetting viewing.

Well, back to reality, a spaceship landed in the backyard last night.

It was really strange... there was a bright light, then it went dark, then an eerie green glow surrounded the ship as the doorway opened.

Ellie and I were mesmerised - we'd never seen a door open before without squeaking (Mistress Liz has been onto Master Craig to do something about the doors since time immemorial) - even the windows weren't covered in cobwebs....

Let me digress, for a moment. Master Craig's first car was a Mitsubishi Colt (it was a sedan - so I used to sit on the back seat and travel with the family (then only Mistress Liz, Master Craig and myself)). Those were good days!

At some point in the Colt's life a young spider decided to make a home inside the exterior driver's side rear vision mirror (it's actually on the right hand side in Australia since we drive upside down here). The spider lived alone there for many years spinning its webs, catching its food, relaxing etc. without ever being interferred with. It would often weave its web to nearby overgrown bushes.

The spider, let's call him Vincent, would sleep inside the car at night and spend the days in the bushes.

Then one day the car was sold - luckily it was sold during the day so Vincent was safe in the bushes - a new car came home. This time it was a Renault 19 - Vincent loved that car - the exterior driver's side rear vision mirror was now heated for his comfort and roomier too!

Then one morning the car was moved to Bathurst (luckily early in the morning so that Vince was still asleep in the mirror).

Vincent loved Bathurst - he particularly liked the weather here - Vincent wasn't a young spider anymore - the humidity in Sydney was getting to his increasingly frail tendons. He loved the heat in Bathurst - it is a dry heat (like the Sun).

Vince wasn't getting any younger so he decided to settle down and have a family. He met a young spider by the name of Veronica and they settled down and had a family of little black spiders. The Renault was getting a bit small for them though and Vince was getting worried - how was he going to provide for his family?

About 6 months ago Vince got very sick. He was worried that he would die before he saw his family in a big enough home. Well, at about that time Master Craig got his new Volvo (luckily the whole family were in the overgrown Bathurst bushes when the Renault went).

Well, the Volvo's mirror was everything that Vince could've hoped for for his family - this one could even be electronically moved!

Vince died. It wasn't a sad occasion, since he'd seen all his wishes fulfilled and, being a spider who would often attend Church (if the car went out at night), we hope that Vince has gone to the Everlasting Web in the sky.

Oh, so the point of the story is that all windows here (including the car's) are draped in cobwebs - so it was a surprise to see a vehicle that wasn't similarly draped in spider webs - that made the experience all the more frightening....

After the door opened, out came a figure dressed in a silver space suit. Ellie and I were terrified!

Then the suited figure took off the helmet of the suit and lo and behold - it looked just like a cat!

Needless to say, Ellie and I chased the stupid thing and it teleported up a fir tree in the backyard and we haven't seen it since. We put some bones in the spaceship and buried it down the backyard.

Well, off to the mail. First to Bandit:

"Roge:  I am so glad that someone else also bookmarks their yard.  I
consider it a very important duty of mine and was beginning to wonder if,
perhaps, I am a bit different from other non-internet-type dogs...

On a lighter note, I have been allowed to ride in the back of the jump
truck lately.  I call it the jump truck because I leap into it in a single
bound; honestly, I look lighter than a feather.  As soon as we leave our
yard (properly bookmarked, believe me), I can let all manner of beings know
just how wonderful my life is...every leaf that blows past me, every home
along the way, every dog knows when I am coming!  Oh JOY!  YIP, YIP, YIP!!!
 I have been able to bark loudly at all kinds of new dog friends lately and
they even bark back at me!  I think they are just amazed that I look so
much taller than they and I can move without using even one of my four legs!

Master Elliott sounds much more enjoyable than Mistress here...she refuses
to feed me any kitchen scraps and gets mightily upset when Master sneaks
food out to me.  He feels he is doing his best for the recycling effort by
not throwing the food into the trash and allowing it to work through my
physical body...after all, I do my best to hide the remains!

Well, I'm off again to guard the door...YIP, YIP!
Bandit, sounds like you're having a lot of fun. I like your "Jump Truck" story - we call our vehicle the "Dump Truck" - I won't explain why, but Young Master Elliot is the one who caused it to be called that.

Keep up the Barkwork - I've heard rumour that it may be a trial sport in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Next, it's off to Samantha:

"Roger and Ellie,

Sorry I haven't written.  Mistress Linda has been remodeling my home.
A new this and a new that.  Why take out all the "Good" smells and put
in very nasty new ones.  I have to break in all the new stuff.

Great news! We had our first good snow fall today.  I spent quite a bit
of time exploring all the new things the snow creates.  I especially
like the easy way to find new dogs.  They leave a nice yellow marker in
the snow.  Mistress Linda says that my mind goes to mush in the snow.  I
love the crisp and cold way it feels.  My only problem is that my paws
collect ice and it hurts to walk.  The last time we were at the local
pet store I pointed out boots for my paws.  All I got was a your kidding
look.  I think that if I am expected to guard the yard in the snow that
asking for boots is not to much to ask.  This leads me to a question.
Do you and Ellie receive a allowance?  I have been in a long and heated
discussion with Mistress Linda about this subject.  I earn my keep but I
also deserve money to go out and do things.  What do you think?  Should
I contact the ACLU? (American Civil Liberties Union)

Samantha the "SNOW DOG"."

I would've thought that the boots were a requirement! I guess that they are a bit expensive though - that's why I'd push for a SKIDOO!!!! Why waste time trudging through the snow when you could instead move rapidly over it!

Imagine a burglar's surprise when he or she (let's not be sexist) wanders into the backyard expecting it to be an easy take and out comes SNOW DOG on her brand new SKIDOO and runs the bugger down - "swish" - that would be the last thing he or she would hear....

On that basis alone, the expenditure could be easily justified.

As for allowances, Master Craig keeps what he calls the Table of Beelzebub - it's a list of our paw money ($5 each per week) offset against our damage money - yep, Master Craig keeps a tally of every chewed shoe, every missing sock, every garden implement destroyed, every plant dug up and allowed to wither in the summer sun and every crutched underpant.... We currently owe $7,302 (that's a lot of underpants, let me tell you).

Next to Fritz:


HEY THERE!! It is I, that fantastical dog of wonder.....FRITZ!!!! I
apologize for not writing lately, but I've noticed that none of my E-mail
gets published, and I think I deserve a little equal opportunity, don't
you??? Obviously not... Well, I've forgiven you, and am responding also to
a horrid remark made by your cur of a master.
And I quote "Has a cat got Fritz's tongue?"
CAT INDEED!!!! I've merely been restrained from the computer at the behest
of Master Corey's parents. They recently had a rather awful computer
hiccup, that resulted in the neccessity of purging the
hard-disk-thingy...and the loss of all files.  Nasty little thing it was,
Master Corey has been quite saddened at the loss of all his pretty text and
image files. I sympathize, some of them were quite good.
So how are you and Ellie? I'm quite sorry that you didn't win that award,
but like I said, I haven't been able to get to the computer so I could not
I myself have been flitting from distress to over-burgeoning joy. My
kennel-mate Gus has been being taken away from me by Master Mark for
hunting, and I have not been able to come along on account of I'm too
hyperactive, and (I quote) "Wouldn't know quail-scent if one [a quail]
landed on my nose." Gus can be rather ostentatious at times, let me tell
you. When he returns from these ventures he is very sore, and refuses to
play with me. Master Corey has been rather pre-occupied lately as well,
with a play I hear (what kind of playing could be better than playing with
me?) But when he does visit me, we play quite a bit in the field across the
street, and I have had many an opportunity to go inside, it's very nice in
Master Corey's house, with many smells.
One more thing before I go. Master Corey wishes me to convey to your
Master, that the web-site Master Craig recently linked is his, not Mark's
(Mark is Master Corey's father). Just thought I'd relay the message.  (You
want to know something? I don't believe Master Corey included anything
about ME on his site, rahter thoughtless, don't you think!!??)

So Long, and Happy Sniffing,
	Fritz the Exuberent

Fritz, I'm very sorry if I haven't published all your mail - I have a policy that all mail must be published (however inane) - it's in keeping with the open door policy of the web. So, it may be that either Master Craig lost it or it never arrived (his mailer will occasionally eat succulent pieces of dogmail). Please feel free to send them again if you have copies.

Seems like you've been having a rough trot. Ellie got a bit upset about you being left home (she's the active one here) and suggested that she'd answer the abuse:

"Wouldn't know quail-scent if one [a quail] landed on my nose."

with a hearty:

"Takes one to know one."

But, that's her answer to almost any abuse. My preferred response would be:

"Unlike you, I wouldn't let a quail land on my nose."

Well, I'm worn out now - so until next time!

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Ellie Take me to the next diary entry or show me the complete calendar!

a very nice picture of me 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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