A Republican Truck

IMG_2902Kish and I got a laugh as we drove down to the OSU campus tonight for dinner and ended up at a stop light behind this apparently fed-up Republican pickup truck owner.  We had two questions.  First, how irate must you be to prepare your own political signage and display it on your pickup truck?  Second, if you’re driving it down on campus, how often has the truck with the sign been egged, keyed, had prior versions of the sign torn to shreds, or otherwise been the subject of vandalism?

My Low-Carb Lunch (II)

IMG_2898Today I was up in Cleveland, and when lunchtime rolled around there was nary a food truck in sight.  So, regrettably, there was no apparent way to continue the celebration of Food Truck Summer today.  Fortunately, the Fast Talker consulted some kind of map app on her smartphone and rattled off a list of options.  The only one I was able to hear clearly in the rapid-fire torrent of words was Urban Farmer, which sounded intriguing — so that’s where we went.

Urban Farmer is a steakhouse, at bottom, but it looks like it’s a strong proponent of local sourcing, organic options, and a lot more.  It’s been open for three months, in a part of Cleveland that is being rejuvenated by the opening of the Convention Center on St. Clair Avenue.  It’s got a quirky interior, with mismatched chairs and unusual lighting fixtures and an outdoor eating area — which you don’t often see in a steakhouse.  It looks like a place that would be fun to frequent for an after-work drink.

It also offered just what the doctor ordered for my low-carb diet:  a lunch special today that consisted of a 6 ounce New York cut steak (which looked like a lot more than 6 ounces) and creamed spinach.  I scraped the bread crumbs off the top of the creamed spinach in a nod to low-carb sensibilities, then alternated forkfuls of the succulent, almost buttery steak with the creamed spinach.  Normally I wouldn’t eat creamed spinach under any circumstances — it’s one reason why, as a kid, I preferred Bugs Bunny to Popeye — but I was desperately hungry, and the combination of the rich steak with the creamed spinach was satisfying and made me feel good about my adherence to my new eating regimen.  The Fast Talker, who is normally not a big eater, got a good-sized, rich-looking pork sandwich and ate every bit of it, which tells you something.

I hope Urban Farmer hangs around.

Kasey’s Secret Past

Last night several lines of thunderstorms rolled through central Ohio.  As the lightning flashed and the thunder clashed and rumbled, it sent Kasey to quivering.  Penny is oblivious to outdoor storms, but they terrify Kasey and send her darting for the nearest human being to cower beside.

DSC04122Why are thunderstorms so frightening to Kasey?  We don’t know — but then there’s a lot we don’t know about Kasey.  She’s only been part of our lives for less than three years.  She’s a “rescue dog” of sorts and was retrieved from a Humane Society near Vermilion when she was already a fully grown dog.  We don’t know how old she is, exactly, but the veterinarian, from looking at her teeth and other evidence, things she’s 11 or 12.  That means she had about 9 years of life experiences before we entered the picture, and we don’t know what those life experiences were.

So, we try to draw inferences about Kasey’s secret past from what we know about her, now.  When we got Kasey she wasn’t particularly well housebroken.  She’s got bad teeth.  She doesn’t like storms and loud noises.  Initially, before encountering Penny, the bottomless pit, she wouldn’t eat all her food immediately when it was served.  And, most distressingly, she was very skittish and suspicious around males, even growling at me a few times during the early days as I approached her.

What can we surmise from these very few pieces of a much larger puzzle?  Not much, really, other than some pretty uninformed guesswork.  Her teeth suggest that her past owner or owners didn’t take her to the vet very often.  On the other hand, she must have been reasonably well fed — dogs that are starving aren’t going to leave available food to nosh on later.  The incomplete house-training suggests that she lived with someone who started the job, but couldn’t completely pay attention to Kasey’s habits for some reason.  Her fear of thunder and lightning and loud noises suggest that she may have been a doghouse dog for part of the time who was left outside during bad storms, or perhaps she lived in a place where loud noises meant something bad was happening.  As for the skittishness around men, I’d rather not think about that — but the inference is obvious.  Fortunately, she seems to have gotten over that.

So, we really don’t know much about Kasey’s past — but we like to think that she views living with us is a definite improvement, storms and all.