It’s mostly quiet on the dog front, except for the mock growls when Sam and Zeke want to play, which is every time I take the dogs out.


Lucy doesn’t join in their doggie games. She just tries to keep out of their way.

It’s like this from early in the morning. Sam usually wakes up before us and comes into the bedroom to see whether we’re up. We can hear his nails clicking on the floor. Then I see his nose at the edge of the mattress. I usually reach over to scratch his ears a little bit.

Zeke comes in after we get up; he likes to sleep late, just like us. And then Sam starts chewing on Zeke’s cheek. They will continue a little mini-play-fight until I break it up.

I keep them apart on our walks until we reach the turnaround. Then I let them go at it for a while. The longer they play, the rougher and more excited they get. It’s usually Sam diving in to nip at Zeke, but occasionally Zeke runs after him with his jaws wide and teeth bared. I would not like to see that coming at me.

I have mentioned before that I think a dog’s world is different from ours. They have the additional dimension provided by a sense of smell much more sensitive than ours. It’s a minor struggle to keep them moving on our walk when they really want to stop and smell the roses, or whatever it is that attracts their attention.


The only real dog news is that Lucy scared us with an eye problem Tuesday. Right after lunch Leah noticed that one of Lucy’s eyes was cloudy.


It was odd because we were almost certain it was not that way Monday. I was pretty sure it wasn’t that way earlier on Tuesday. I took her to the vet Tuesday afternoon. The vet diagnosed it as an eye irritation, either from sticking something into her eye or possibly from dust, pollen or some other foreign object. She said two weeks of multiple daily applications of an eye ointment should do the trick.

Who wants curtains?

I have mentioned before that we can look out towards the east from our bed. This was what woke us up Tuesday morning.


Fewer clouds Friday morning.


A few minutes later the sun peeked above the horizon.


Leah worries that bare windows will make it feel cold in the bedroom once winter gets here. That’s probably true, but I would hate to miss sunrises like these. In the summer, the sun is well up by the time these photos were shot. Fortunately, the sun rises further towards the north in the summer, so it doesn’t shine directly into the window and our eyes.

A few shots at the bar

I mentioned in an earlier post that Leah and I have visited a few bars on Broad Street in downtown Rome lately, which is a new thing for us. One we visited is the Dark Side of the Moon, which is associated with a cafe called Harvest Moon. They have a regular Tuesday night jazz session. Last Tuesday was our third visit to that bar.

This shows a little of Broad Street, plus the bar.


The people at the right of the image in a sidewalk seating area are facing the jazz band.

This is the band.


The saxophonist is good, but then so are the rest. This band is known as Pollard Greens. Here’s a YouTube video of the group. We think they sound better in person; we are certain that they are louder in person.

One of the bar tenders said the same group performs every Tuesday, but not necessarily all of them show up every time.

On our first visit we sat at the end of the bar near the band. This time we were near the opposite end, but the sound was still so loud we couldn’t hear each other talk. This is a shot down the bar towards the band.


Can you see the band? Neither could we.

The bar swaps a set of 12 regional beers every week. Leah’s beer is the dark one, Burnt Hickory Big Shanty. (The brewery is in the town of Kennesaw, which at one time was known as Big Shanty. It is probably best known for two things. The first was the Great Locomotive Chase during the Southern War to Preserve Slavery. The second was when the town passed an ordinance requiring every resident to have a firearm.)

My beer is the closer one, but I can’t remember the name. On our first visit, I got a mild beer that suited my taste reasonably well. That experience has not been repeated.

This is a bar, so, of course, they offer a variety of drinks.


One thing I have learned, or at least have had reinforced, is that there really aren’t too many beers that I actually like. Maybe there’s someone else who feels kind of like me at XKCD:

Of course there are a few beers that I do like, but I just can’t get into bitter.


Not rolling downhill

I came across this on my Friday morning dog walk down the mountain.


It’s a dung beetle, deltochilum gibbosum, the humpback dung beetle, if my identification is correct. I might have noticed the beetle by itself, but what caught my attention from a distance was a moving ball of what appears to be dog poop. It’s possible, in fact probable, that I know the source. The ball was probably slightly more than an inch in diameter.

The beetle had made it about a quarter of the way across Fouche Gap Road. I usually help living things cross the road (turtles, crawfish, snakes), but in this case I felt I just had to let the beetle take its chances. I didn’t see any sign of it when we came back up the mountain, so maybe it was lucky.

I had never seen a dung beetle at work before this, although Walter Reeves, a gardening expert in Georgia, says they are probably in back yards here in Georgia. This link leads to a question that someone submitted to Reeves about using dung beetles to clean up dog droppings in his yard.

I handle that problem by trying to make sure the dogs leave their droppings in the weeds in unpopulated areas along the road. That way they join the rest of the droppings left by the mammal population around here. I think it’s reasonably acceptable in the ecological sense, although I suggest that you watch your step if you walk in the weeds along Fouche Gap Road.

Zeke and Sam are good about not messing up their own territory. Lucy, on the other hand, doesn’t give a …

Before sunrise

This was the view out our side bedroom window on Wednesday morning, just after dawn.


We’re having our driveway paved. Concrete guy David, the same concrete guy who did the basement slabs and drive at our old house, is doing this one, too. He started early Monday, skipped Tuesday (except for a predawn visit to get some of his tools) and then returned Wednesday morning while it was still dark. He and his workers prepared the forms, and a truck showed up around 7:30. Needless to say, we did not sleep through this.

The odd pattern in the photo at the top right is the reflection of my iPhone in its case. It took me a few moments to figure that out. I could have opened the window, but that would have drawn attention to the fact that I was standing in my sleeping shorts in front of an almost full-length window. The woman in the yellow shirt standing at the rear of the truck is the driver.

David told me he is 53 years old, but in concrete years he is 93. Two of his workers are also of a certain age, although probably not as old as me. I was surprised that the third in his crew is a young man. I wonder if he will continue in this line of work. It seems to take a toll on those who do it.

David and his crew finished to within about 15 feet of the street on Wednesday. They plan to return early Thursday. Fortunately for us, they will be at the bottom of the driveway, so we might be able to sleep a little later. Leah, unfortunately, will have to feed the cats earlier than normal because the commotion scares them away.

The driveway from the large pad outside the garage to the road is about 300 feet long. So far it has taken seven truckloads of concrete, each about nine cubic yards. David hopes it will take only one more truckload to complete the driveway to the road. I hope so, too. Each truckload costs more than $1,000.