?

Log in

No account? Create an account

[icon] Matt's Thoughts — LiveJournal
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
View:Website (Matthew Baya).
View:My Real Journal (the one this is a mirror of).
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries

Tags:,
Security:
Subject:I have trouble asking to be paid
Time:09:17 pm

I have run a small web hosting and design business for over 18 years with some friends. We’re not big but we have provided a solid and reliable service for a long time and we have a number of great clients. We provide a reliable, friendly and fairly priced service, I’m really quite proud of what we do.

twohandscashbig-040614However, we’ve never been aggressive or strict about billing with our clients. We let our billing software send automated e-mail reminders and occasionally we send a personal note politely saying ‘Hey you know you’re really overdue on your bill’. We never shut people off for being past due. I just assume they must just have other things going on and this was a low priority bill. This results in some clients being months, sometimes years behind in payment. (yes, seriously, years)

I guess, while my logical side knows better and knows some people will take advantage of trusting people like me, I still believe the best in everyone and assume everyone intends to pay and that hard work will be recognized and rewarded fairly.

Sometimes this had paid off, the person who moved and changed e-mail addresses and totally forgot they owed us money for their website finally resurfaces athen says ‘Oh I’m really sorry, I’ll pay my entire balance right now, thank you so much for not shutting it off‘. However for everyone of those clients there are 2 or 3 others that say, ‘I no longer want this site please cancel it and void any old invoices‘. Sigh, there goes months of services rendered with no compensation. I could argue with these people that they should have informed us earlier and that since we kept their site up they owe us, but is it worth arguing?

Asking for money isn’t a strong suit of mine, to say the least. In fact I joke with friends I do contract work with that they need to keep an eye on me because I am amazingly adept at NOT making money. Given the chance I give away, not only the milk, but the entire cow.

I feel greedy, guilty and selfish asking people to pay me for work I’ve done or services I’ve provided, like I’m being unkind to them by even asking. A real friend/nice person wouldn’t ask. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve felt bad about asking for money for work I’ve done on a website, and thus never even billed them for my time at all. I rationalize this for various reasons like;

Excuses-2-300x150

  • “It was just a few minutes/hours of work, not really worth bothering them with.”

  • “I know they don’t have much money, I hate to bug them about this.”

  • “They are a non-profit I like, this’ll just be my donation.”

  • “It wasn’t their fault their (dreadfully neglected) wordpress site got hacked, I hate to bill them to fix it”

  • “They are a friend, this will just be a favor for them. I’m sure they’ll return in kind when/if the time comes.”

  • “It will take more time explaining what I did and why I want to charge for it than it’s worth.”

  • “They already pay me for hosting their site, I’ll just consider this part of the services we offer for hosting”

I also tend to really round down my costs

  • high-risk-payments-150x150Well I worked 5 hours on this, but they probably only expected 2 so I’ll just bill that”.

  • “They only asked me to update the graphics, they didn’t know the site was out of date and needed 2 hours of other work, so I’ll just bill what they expected.”

This has been an ongoing thing for pretty much the life of the business and something I’ve struggled with all along. The first step to recovery is accepting you have a problem right? “Hi, my name is Matt, and I have a problem asking for money.”

… but recently the ‘universe’ spoke on this issue. Coincedence? kismet? karma? who knows.. but a few weeks ago in a period of several hours the following messages hit me;

1) Grace Judson, a friend I’ve never met in person but met online because our websites were both based off the word Svaha, recently posted a link to this blog & video on Facebook; How to get paid when you hate asking for money .

In fact, much of the first part of this post I wrote as a comment on her facebook entry with that post.

It was rather ironic that she posted this (and I took note of it) since I had moved her over to my server a while ago but didn’t add her to our billing system for a number of months because I wanted to make sure she was happy with our service before I billed. She asked me on numerous occasions to bill her before I finally did.

The video itself has some good advice, mainly that people should be confident about their services and their value. Perhaps that’s part of the root of my money issues in that while I believe the services we offer and the work I do is worth the amount I charge, I lack the self-confidence to argue this. If a client were ever to say “$75/hour? No way, I don’t feel you’re worth that much, I’ll pay $20″, I probably wouldn’t argue with them (though I certainly would never do business with them again). In fact, something like this happened to me last year

To be fair, business savvy friends like Nicole at Breaking Even Communications have been giving me business advice and telling me that things need to change for a long time, so the above examples are just the ‘final straws’ that pushed me into working towards a solution.

I had written up some ideas of what I’m going to do to address the above problems, but again the universe spoke and computer entropy (yes it happens to geeks too, more often than we care to admit. shh) struck and I lost the rest of this post. I guess that was a message that if I wrote too much more this post would way exceed even the most dedicated TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) threshholds.

So stay tuned for the follow up post… and if you don’t see one soon bug me, this is important.

I’ll end with a song that always comes to mind when I’m thinking about money. I want a new religion.

Read the rest of this message here Originally posted on I Paint What I See. You can post comments here or there.
comments: Leave a comment

Tags:,
Security:
Subject:The case of the gullible web designer and the insulting client.
Time:12:27 pm

“Here’s my story, sad but true” - Dion


“Come all ye friends I’ll sit you down, and sing an doleful ditty…” – Great Big Sea


Last year I set up a website for a recent acquaintence. I moved her site over to host on my server, set up her site in wordpress, made a custom theme, met with her on several occasions to go over her requirements and teach her wordpress. I even made the site ‘responsive’ since, after the fact, she mentioned that mobile compatibility was important to her. I probably put at least 20 hours of work into this but since she was a local acquaintence and we hadn’t agreed on a price in advance (yes I realized, big mistake on my part) I was only going to charge for about 5 hours of work. (yes I know, I should have had a contract, we’ll get to that in another post). So be clear, 20 hours of work at my normal rate = $1500. I was only going to ask her for $375. That’s 75% off for someoene I had just met.


When I sent her a note saying ‘I think that’s it, I’d like to meet with you to go over the final details and answer any questions‘ she didn’t respond for a while, and then wrote back saying she was upset about the fact that the background photo credit in the bottom right of the photo wasn’t visible in all different size views (I had explained why this wasn’t possible without some additional work) and that her calendar display wasn’t to her liking (Something I had suggested we work on earlier but she specifically said she wanted it that way).


I offered to remedy those problems. But no, apparently these were urforgiveable offenses and she insisted she was going to find another designer to finish the site. But here’s the Coup de grâce, she offered me $100 “for my time”.


I refused to take it. I told her my reason was I didn’t want to accept money for work for something someone wasn’t happy with, which was true, but really it was since it was insulting to imply all the work I had done was only worth $100. I didn’t want to dignify her offer with the respect of accepting it.


<sarcasm>Yeah I sure showed her, she got her whole site for free, that’s showing them Matt! They wont cross paths with you again!</sarcasm>


The only redeeming piece of all this is I know I took the high road, even after being given every reason not to. (I even waited a whole year to post this rant and left her name and business out of this post.)


She’s since moved her site to another host and it’s still the same design. (and yes, for all you designers out there, even after all this I let her keep the site I had designed, and hosted it for months for free while she found a new host/desigenr. I know, I know if I was cold-hearted ruthless business expert, or perhaps just wise, I would have shut her site off the moment she refused to pay. I took the high road til it hurt. Oh well, “Next time”)


All I know is, if karma exists, she’s got something coming her way.


This post is related to another one I’m working on called ‘I hate asking for money’, it was just enough of a tangent that I thought I’d post it separately and then I can just link ro it from the other post for people who really want tor read ‘below the fold’

comments: Leave a comment

Security:
Subject:Marcus, you will be missed.
Time:03:21 am

Marcus Marcus – 2010 – 2014


Wednesday was a terribly sad day for our household. We had to say goodbye to one of our cats, Marcus, who was only 4 years old.


Marcus was certainly our most social and constantly present cat. If you visited our house for more than a few minutes odds are you met him. We had 4 cats but Marcus was cat that jumped up on the couch next to you, or lay down next to your feet when you sat down in our living room. He was always somewhere nearby. If you scooped him up and put him on the couch next to you odds are he’d stay there for a while. He wasn’t the fastest, smartest or most graceful cat, he was always a bit goofy & lazy but he was awesome and out of our 4 cats I know he ranked at the top of our kids ‘favorite pet’ lists. Since he was present he was always the first cat the kids would ‘trap’ in a pillow fort or carry off to another room and he was very tolerant of these events or even being held longer than he wished. He also seemed a bit obsessed with food so he was often found on our kitchen counter trying to lick butter of a bagel when our back was turned, or stealing a piece of spaghetti from a dirty plate.


Yesterday morning he suddenly seemed to have trouble walking. One moment he was fine, the next it seemed like he’d lost coordination of his back legs.


We’d seen this happen to another cat of ours, his sister, Strider several years ago. She was only 18 months old at the time. It turned out had a heart murmur and threw a blood clot that stopped blood flow to her legs.


So seeing Marcus show these symptoms we all immediately started assuming the worst… and, sadly, we were right. Turns out Marcus had a heart defect too though not a murmur. Just like with Strider, even if we had them take extreme measures to try to remove the clot (blood thinning, etc), would likely have the same problem happen again in the future.


So we got the boys out of school and we all gathered at the vets office to say good bye. Afterwards we all went home and tried to process the shock as best we could. Owen kept asking “How can I stop thinking about him all the time???“.


Marcus’s brother, Ranger, is still with us and we’ve been instructed to give him a 1/2 tablet of baby aspirin twice a week for the rest of his life to help protect this same thing from happening to him.


Here’s hoping that works, this dying pet thing is getting old. We moved from Maine to Massachusetts with 6 pets in July 2011. Ranger is the last one of that batch of 6 animals, gone now are Strider, Goblin, Oberon, Seeger and Marcus. We will have five bags of ashes to plant under a tree or a bush sometime.




  • DSC_0010
  • DSC_0114
  • DSC_0129
  • DSC_0145
  • DSC_0664
  • IMG_1020
  • IMG_1419
  • IMG_3389
  • IMG_3782
  • IMG_4083
  • IMG_4641
  • IMG_5055
  • IMG_6135

comments: Leave a comment

Security:
Subject:Norm Whitman's 'Stories We Could Tell' & 'Detours'
Time:05:19 am

I want to tip my virtual hat to Norm Whitman, a gentlemen I’ve only met a few times over the past 30 years, but whom has been an inspiration, a mentor and a friend. Norm hosted a ‘folk’ radio show on WYSO 91.3 FM Yellow Springs, OH up until his last show on September 27, 2014.


Norm Whitman


I first found when I entered Antioch College in fall 1987. I know I still have a number of cassettes of songs I found through his show. I met him at the station a few times, where I did a 2AM – 6AM show for a few months (before I realized that was ridiculous). It’s no accident I ended up hosting a folk radio show when I moved to Maine. Anyone who did a close comparison to my favorite artists, song selections, and song associations would realize that my show was just a pale imitation to the true art that was happening in the Miami Valley of SW Ohio. Certainly my choices of some more politically themed music, both old and new, were inspired by Norm’s shows and even a number of artists I hosted ‘house concerts’ with and now consider friends were first brought to my attention via Norm’s show.


To quote Mike Agranoff’s story ‘The Ballad of the Sandman’, where it’s narrator calls their hero and fellow DJ and says I listen to your show because it’s better far than mine.


Oh and, not that anyone from WYSO is likely ever going to see this, but I have believe they are making a mistake in letting Norm go off the air. If they had perhaps found another local host to do a show I think I’d feel better but they, once again, replaced his show with something produced ‘from away'; “Peabody Award-winning “Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC” is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts“. Oh yay! (sarcasm), a (syndicated) show about ‘pop culture’. Sorry WYSO, it’s been a great run but I’m tuning out and will focus my streaming exclusively to WERU


You can read a little bit more about Norm here http://acousticmusicscene.com/2014/09/28/ohio-folk-dj-norm-whitman-retires/


And WYSO has an interview with him posted on their site at http://wyso.org/post/host-highlights-norm-whitman

I started recording Norm’s shows in April 2010 and posting them in a ‘secret’ archive so I could podcast them. Later I mentioned to Norm that I had these recordings and I believe on a few occasions he’s used them to get copies of on the air interviews that were not recorded at the station.


This ‘secret’ archive is at http://baya.net/norm/ and I know I’ll be listening to them for a long while as I hope others will too.


In Norm’s final playlist posting to FolkDJ-L he wrote “It was and always has been an honor to be at WYSO for these last 30 plus years”


Well Norm, to quote Tom Paxton’s song ‘The Honor of Your Company';


So, thank you for the honor of your company;

The music was as sweet as the good red wine.

Thanks for the company,

And thanks for the harmony,

I’m here to say the honor was all mine.


Thanks again for all the music and jokes and .. well just everything. Best wishes on your new adventures, I’ll be following them closely on Facebook and if I’m ever in SW Ohio again I owe you at least a coffee if not a full meal and big hug for all you’ve done for me and the folk and roots music communities.

comments: Leave a comment

Tags:,
Security:
Subject:Seeger, we'll miss you
Time:07:17 am

DSC_0116 Seeger


We had to put our dog Seeger down on Tuesday morning. He was 14.5 years old, possibly older since we got him as a rescue in September 2000 and didn’t really know how old he was. See a copy of our e-mail to friends from fall 2000 about the story of how we got him.


mattnseeg Matt & Seeger – Fall 2000


emandseeger Emily and Seeger – Fall 2000


Seeger was a mixed breed dog, probably a lab, rottweiler mix though possibly some Newfoundland. He was listed in ‘Uncle Henry’s as a Newfoundland mix I suspect that’s what Uncle Henry’s lists any large black dog as. He was 90 lbs when we got him but over the years, and after his knees and hips started bothering him, he got up to 125lbs or so.


When we first brought him home he was crazy, running laps in the house, never slowing down. He was just so excited to not be tied outside to a tree and to be with people he just couldn’t relax. We finally kept him on a leash in the house just to keep him under control. We almost gave him away, listing him in Uncle Henry’s as ‘free to a good home’ but by the time the ad ran he had snuck into our hearts and we couldn’t let him go.


DSC_0128 Seeger and Marcus


In fact when I would walk him and let him off the leash in the woods near our house he would run down the path ahead of me a few hundred feet and then turn around and come charging back at full speed and would run right into me. I cant imagine this wasn’t painful for him but he would get up and do it again. I got very good at bracing myself or dodging at the last moment :)


We tried to crate train him for a while but he HATED it. We’d put him in it at night and when we went to work but he’d just bark and bark and bark… and bark and bark and bark. We figured eventually he’d get over it and but he just really hated that crate. Finally one night I let him sleep on the living room floor. No barking. No chewed furniture, just a very happy dog sleeping quietly. So we tried leaving him alone in the house outside the crate. No problems at all. Hallelujah!


He also really disliked thunder. We suspect this was a symptom from him being chained outside to a tree for god knows how long before we got him. But as soon as there we thunder claps he’d started breathing faster and would come over close to us.


When we first brought him home he was very interested in the cats but eventually got used to them and pretty much ignored them. One of our ‘kittens’ we got in Maine, Marcus, even started walking over and nuzzelling Seeger in the morning.


IMG_8883 Matt & Dogs


When we brought home Oberon, our newfoundland puppy, in March 2001 Seeger was extremely happy we had brought him an interactive chew toy. No amount of trying to explain to him that this little 25lb puppy was going to (very soon) outweigh him and the two would rough house and roll around with each other for hours. As we expected. Oberon soon grew much bigger than him but they still would play together. They made a good pair, the big black lab mix and the excessively big Newfie.


Ironically, even though he was named after folk singer Pete Seeger he had a strong aversion to guitar or banjo. (Or maybe it was just Matt’s lack of skill on these instruments), but he would get up and leave as soon as either started making any noise.


He was a big sweet dog, very tolerant of having kids climb all over him. After his initial few months of craziness he eventually mellowed down to our speed and became a very calm and tolerant sweet dog. At one point a vet joked that he was so mellow they thought they could probably perform surgery on him without anesthetics.


Sometime a few years ago his knees and hips started becoming and issue and he slowed down. He couldn’t take long walks any more, he’d just wait while I took Oberon ahead. But he hung in there and even started climbing the stairs at night to sleep by our bed. This was no small feat for a large dog with knee & hip problems, it was a huff and puff for 10 seconds. He kept up this pattern of coming up to our bed until his last days, which was very sweet especially considering the effort it involved on his part.


He was our first dog and it’s hard to realize he’s not lying on the floor nearby anymore. While he hasn’t been ‘active’ for years he was always nearby. We were lucky to have him and he will be sorely missed.


DSC_0008



This video was from 2002 or so, Oberon is still a bit ‘puppy-ish’ in it but you get the idea of what he and Seeger were like together. The song in it, “He’s a Good Dog’ is by Fred Eaglesmith.


Finally, for the record here’s probably way more photos than anyone but us would care to look at of Seeger.



comments: Leave a comment

Security:
Subject:Heilmeier's Catechism
Time:02:40 pm

I saw this go by on a mailing list I’m on today and thought it was worth saving here in my blog.


</p>

Heilmeier’s Catechism A set of questions credited to Heilmeier that anyone proposing a research project or product development effort should be able to answer.
</p>

  •    What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.

  •    How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?

  •    What’s new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?

  •    Who cares?

  •    If you’re successful, what difference will it make?

  •    What are the risks and the payoffs?

  •    How much will it cost?

  •    How long will it take?

  •    What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success?


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._Heilmeier
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._Heilmeier#Heilmeier.27s_Catechism

comments: Leave a comment

Tags:
Security:
Subject:Heilmeier’s Catechism
Time:10:15 am

I saw this go by on a mailing list I’m on today and thought it was worth saving here for future reference

</p>
Heilmeier’s Catechism A set of questions credited to Heilmeier that anyone proposing a research project or product development effort should be able to answer. </p>
  •    What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
  •    How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
  •    What’s new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
  •    Who cares?
  •    If you’re successful, what difference will it make?
  •    What are the risks and the payoffs?
  •    How much will it cost?
  •    How long will it take?
  •    What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._Heilmeier
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._Heilmeier#Heilmeier.27s_Catechism

Read the rest of this message here Originally posted on I Paint What I See. You can post comments here or there.
comments: Leave a comment

Security:
Subject:Goblin - 1995 - 2013
Time:01:37 pm

So it has not been a good month pet wise in our house. On Monday morning we had to say goodbye to Goblin our 18 year old cat. Needless to say there were and are still lots of tears being shed. Matt and I got Goblin and his brother Finnegan in 1995 in Ohio. He was with us through all of our major life milestones since then and all of the little everyday ones also. He loved to snuggle, loved our kids, and came to like the dogs. He was a little cat who has left a huge hole in our hearts. We miss you Gobble!





100_0023







Picture 1 of 46







comments: Leave a comment

Tags:
Security:
Subject:Goblin – 1995 – 2013
Time:09:36 am

gobble

So it has not been a good month pet wise in our house. On Monday morning we had to say goodbye to Goblin our 18 year old cat. Needless to say there were and are still lots of tears being shed. Matt and I got Goblin and his brother Finnegan in 1995 in Ohio. He was with us through all of our major life milestones since then and all of the little everyday ones also. He loved to snuggle, loved our kids, and came to like the dogs. He was a little cat who has left a huge hole in our hearts. We miss you Gobble!

 

Read the rest of this message here Originally posted on I Paint What I See. You can post comments here or there.
comments: Leave a comment

Tags:, ,
Security:
Subject:Oberon the goofy newfie, we'll miss you
Time:03:17 pm
Oberon's giant tongue

Oberon’s giant tongue


Yesterday we said goodbye to our ridiculously big newfoundland dog, Oberon. He hasn’t been able to go up and down stairs for a while, I’ve literally been lifting him up and down off our porch (which is no small feat for a dog his size) and there wasn’t much hope of him getting any better. But I don’t want to talk about the end, I want to remember the highlights of the 12 years and 5 months he was here.


Warning, you don’t need to read all or even any of these, this is more just an excuse for me to put down all the Oberon stories I can remember in one place. You are welcome to read them all but it’s very possible these are really only of interest to those of us who lived with him. If you want the highlights, just watch the videos at the end of this post.



Oberon as puppy

Oberon as puppy


Oberon as a puppy 2

Oberon as a puppy 2


puppypen

Emily & Oberon in his puppy pen


He was only 22 lbs when we picked him up from a local breeder, Amy Davis of Birchbark Newfoundlands, in March of 2001. As it turns out many of the dogs in Bar Harbor were from this same breeder, so we got meet his 1/2 brothers and cousins over the years. He rode home on Emily’s lap on the drive home, something that we never did again since he grew so fast, we literally felt like we could see him grow.


We finally settled on the name Oberon after some debate. Initially when we planned to get a newfoundland we said we would call him Bear. However after reading a number of books about Newfoundlands… everyone calls their newfie Bear. Oberon is the king of the fairies from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and it seemed regal and important enough to fit a dog we knew was going to be ‘great’ in many ways. Personally I wanted to call him ‘Muppet’ :)


When we first brought him home our 1.5 year old dog Seeger thought he was the best chew toy in the world. We tried, in vain, to explain to Seeger that he shouldn’t teach this little dog to play rough since he would grow, but he just didn’t listen. Within 18 months or so Oberon was up to 180 lbs and would knock Seeger over without too much effort. Mind you, Seeger is a 130 lb lab/rottweiler mix so this took some effort :)


Oberon in living room


Apparently he was even extra big for a Newfoundland. As he was growing kept Amy up to date on his growth and she kept sending us very clear and articulate essays on not overfeeding him. We kept insisting that we weren’t and the e-mails went back and forth for a year or two until we finally met at a ‘Bernese Mountain Dog Day’ in Ellsworth and she inspected him first hand and said ‘He’s in great shape, not overweight at all, he’s just 40 lbs heavier than his father and any other dog from his litter’. Heh, lucky us I guess.


We attempted to fence in our yard in Maine. I forget what ‘guage’ wire fence I bought but at the time it seemed easily thick enough to keep a dog in the yard. To her credit, my friend Leslie who knows exponentially more about dogs than I ever will had said I should get a guage or two thicker but that seemed so unwieldy that it wasn’t worth the hassle. As it turns out, as was often the case, Leslie was right. Oberon not only would ‘squish down’ the fence by putting his pays over it but eventually he would, literally, just push through it. I watched him do this once from our upstairs bedroom window, he just pushed his nose into the fence and kept going. STRETCH/BEND/SNAP poof his head was on the other side and soon all of him was. Needless to say the amount of time I spent repairing and shoring up the fence, not to mention setting up farm grade electric fence systems and stockade fencing easily exceeded any additional time it would have taken to get the bigger guage fence. Oh and why was Oberon getting out of our back yard anyways? As far as we can tell all he did once he got out was go around to the front of the house and lay down in the driveway so he could greet us when we got home.


We would often forget how unusually large he seemed to other people until we took him somewhere public. Whenever we brought him to Bar Harbor he was like a mini-tourist attraction, dozens of people would cross the street to talk to us about him, Japanese tourists would ask for pictures with him (and would get a big slobberly lick when then knelt down next to him). We debated printing up flyers with FAQ on how much we fed him, what it was like living with him etc. He walked once in a parade in Southwest Harbor and got a large number of ‘Oohs & Ahhs’ from the crowd as he trotted along.


Oberon walking at night

Oberon walking at night


I also would walk the dogs at our house in Maine late at night and would often let them off the leash so they could explore around with out pulling me different directions. They would often go rather far off and then come running back at full speed to zip by me. This became rather normal and I didn’t think much about it until one night my friend J. Greg Williams was visiting and was walking the dogs with me and as we stood their in the street and could hear Oberon galloping towards us in the distance Greg’s eyes filled fear and he ducked behind me. I knew Oberon wasn’t going to run into us, but all Greg knew was that he was standing in the middle of a pitch black dark street with a 180 lb black dog he couldn’t see heading towards us very very fast.


He was always great with our kids, the most he would do when they were literally climbing all over him would be to stand up and move away, though since they’d just follow him he would rarely even do that.



Owen & Oberon 9/2010

Owen & Oberon 9/2010


Marshall & Oberon - 4/2012

Marshall & Oberon – 4/2012

 IMG_0258 DSC_0084

 


He and Seeger once chased a porcupine up a tree at Lamoine Beach and each got porcupine needles all over their faces. Oberon didn’t seem to mind this much even though they were in his cheeks and he didn’t even wince when we yanked them out. Along the same lines at one point in order to try to keep a curious Oberon, now tall enough to just stick his head in our kitchen garbage can, from snacking from there a friend suggested we try lining the edge of the can lid with ‘Bitter Apple’, a product supposedly so repulsive that it would repel curious dogs. This didn’t seem to be working so at one point when I caught him shopping in there I squirted some directly in his mouth. Instead of being repulsed he looked up at me, licking his chops and wanted more. So much for that product. (For the record, he did stop shopping out of the kitchen garbage eventually)


Oberon consults the wizard

Oberon consults the wizard


We went through a variety of ‘Big Dog’ chew toys and bones and quickly realized all these ‘This chew lasts for weeks’ products didn’t have Oberon & Seeger in mind. Most would last a matter of minutes. The only thing I saw last a week or two were ‘elk antlers’ (Seriously) purchased from my friend Leslie’s online store The Uncommon Hound.


I can’t exaggerate on how much fur this dog generated.  A simple brushing would result in mounds of fur the size of a normal sized dog, and there would always be more. Fur got everywhere, we’ll be finding ‘Obie fur’ for decades (as I’m sure whomever bought our house in Maine will too)



Goodnuss Gracious Great Balls of Fur

Goodnuss Gracious Great Balls of Fur


Oberon getting brushed

Oberon getting brushed.


Oberon in mid-drink

Oberon in mid-drink


Oh and slobber, there was lots and lots of slobber. Everywhere. Emily joked we could collect it sell it as a high powered glue. And he would get it in places we couldn’t figure out, like how did a hairy glob of slobber end up on the phone, or the TV screen or most often.. the ceiling. Ever try to chisel dried hair slobber off a matte painted ceiling?


I have other stories too but this is enough for now. I’ll just include a few more photos for the record and end with saying, we’re gonna miss you Obie. You were a great dog in so many ways. We knew when we got you you were going to be unique, but we had no idea how amazing you would be. Woof!







This was just me with my iPhone playing around with Oberon on one walk but it get his barking recorded, something he really didn’t do that often unless encouraged.


This 2nd video was from 2002 or so, Oberon is still a bit ‘puppy-ish’ in it but you get the idea of what he was like. The song in it, btw, is by Fred Eaglesmith.


comments: Leave a comment

[icon] Matt's Thoughts — LiveJournal
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
View:Website (Matthew Baya).
View:My Real Journal (the one this is a mirror of).
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries