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Jan. 31st, 2006

I have a bit of a routine in the morning that is pretty much centered around medication and health stuff. It involves two separate trips to the bathroom, which may seem kinda weird until you take into account that it's an issue of timing with the medications. The first trip to the bathroom is the normal wake-up functions, plus my daily weigh-in; then I go for the first round of medications (pre-meal) and waking glucose measurement, then back to the bathroom for the shower and sundries before the breakfast and second round of morning meds.

Anyway, I was walking into the kitchen to get the injection kit from the 'fridge, and there was a weird kind of chemical burning smell in the kitchen. I checked to see if the stove was on (it wasn't) or if the appliances were okay (they all seemed fine). Shrugged it off, went back to the bedroom for the first round of meds. Back to the kitchen, and the smell is stronger, like burning epoxy. Familiar smell, but I can't place it.

Then I walked into the bathroom for the second time.

A while ago, I replaced the lights in the bathroom with compact fluorescents, the kind with the screw-in bases. I had a bunch of 'em left from the Guardian of Forever and I've been using them in the most common lighting areas of the house. These are the cheap-ass fluoros, made in China by child slave labor and all. And apparently they were able to save a bit of money on tooling charges by not having any vent holes in the plastic casing that houses the electronic ballast. Which is fine during the normal operation of the bulb.

But when the fluorescent hits failure mode, it's a little different story. Fluorescents don't burn out like a regular filament bulb does. They become chaotic, and depending on how they fail, they can go into a high-current mode that overheats the electronics.

Oh, yes. The distinct smell of burned phenolic resin. Not even FR-4, but the cheapest possible material for PC boards short of recycled cardboard.

(side note: yes, I have built circuits on recycled cardboard packaging. It works in a pinch.)

Replaced the bulb. All is fine.

Oh, and Sadie pooch is back as my love dog again. I forgave her last night and had her up on the bed, and she was suitably happy.

I was frankly a little surprised at the reactions that I got on disciplining her. So by way of explanation:


  • I don't beat my dog. Ever.

  • Dogs don't speak or understand words. Trying to explain things by vocalizing them doesn't work. This is not the same thing as learning command words: one of my favorite thinjgs to teach Sadie was "come". She can differentiate between "come", "cone", "sum", and other words. That doesn't mean that the word has meaning other than a stimulus/response.

  • Dogs learn by association. They are better at making connections than a lot of people give them credit for. But they also make connections in their own way which is different than a human.

  • Shunning is a way of saying that "you have lost your place in the pack". It's the dog equivalent of taking away priveleges from a child.

  • Asserting dominance with the throat-holding thing is something that I reserve for extremely egregious and dangerous behavior. It's equivalent to threatening to rip out your dog's throat, and is ultimately seriously traumatic-- when would you ever hold a knife to your child's throat to correct their behavior?



And yes, I know that a dog is not a child. However, I have a responsibility to try and have the dog behave in a civilized manner, which she is pretty good about (other than the barking when people are at the house, I haven't figured out how to make that go away yet).

I am partly to blame because I did leave the meat on the counter where it was accessible to a dog who was ultimately bored and alone. Normally she is very good about not stealing food, but this was just too much temptation.

So all is well now.

Comments

magicmarmot
Jan. 31st, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not exactly hard-line with my sweetie.

I understand about doggie school, that is exactly what my experience was-- getting to understand more how a dog thinks. Clicker training was especially good for that.

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