Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Name Calling

I remember when I was young. My parents used to tell me not to call people names because it was rude. Your parents probably told you the same thing. I still did it though. You probably did too. Name-calling is part of our culture.

I’ve been called quite a few names in my life, most of which I neither remember nor care about, but it seems to be more offensive now. I’m not talking about when people call you some surface-level name like jerk or idiot, but rather, when someone calls you a name that immediately lumps your belief system in with a group… usually a group that they have already stereotyped. That seems offensive to me. For example, in recent conversations I’ve been called a hippie, a Christian, a republican, a democrat, an independent, a musician, a nerd, and probably some other things I can’t remember. Looking at this list probably doesn’t seem too offensive, but whenever someone says, “You are a (fill in the blank),” it is always used with a negative connotation. After thinking about all of these names, I have decided to break down each one as best I can to identify or separate myself from the labels.


I can identify with aspects of the hippie movement. I have long hair. I have worn headbands. I like Pink Floyd. I love old Volkswagens. Someday I hope to wear a beard. I never wear a bra. I’m a fan of alternative forms of energy, free press, and organic farming. I like healthy food. I have ‘spiritual’ experiences. And I think I would prefer peace to war.

However, I do not wish to associate myself with other characteristics often attached to hippies. I do not, and have never done drugs. I do not embrace sexual revolutions. I am not a dropout.

It seems that the term hippie is an adaptation of the term hipster, which was first coined in the 1940s. Although the hipster label today is used mainly for a person’s fashion choices, it was not always so. The term hip apparently came from African-American culture, meaning “awareness,” so calling someone a hipster was like saying they are aware. I feel like I’m pretty aware, so sure, call me a hippie.


It seems that this term is used more negatively than positively these days, and you may be surprised to find out that the original term had negative connotations as well. In the Bible, the term is only used two or three times. Today, the meaning of Christian is a follower of Christ, but I learned recently that the term Christian was meant as a sort of insult from people who were not followers of Christ in the first century. The term actually means “little Christs” or “little Messiahs” (because Christ means Messiah), and it was used to make fun of people.

For instance, you have probably seen a singer that you can tell really wants to be Bono, the lead singer of U2. This singer will dress like him, try to sing like him, and mimic his stage presence. After you see the singer perform, you say to your friends, “They were okay, but that singer thought he was Bono.” The implication there is that the singer was trying to be something he’s not… something he’s not as good as. In the same way, people were saying about people who followed Jesus, “You think you are a little Christ.” I have to say that even in the negative context of being called a Christian, it is still a compliment. You are right. I am trying to be like Jesus, even though I’m not good enough to be like Jesus.

Now, I know that isn’t always what people are saying when they call others Christians. Often times, the implication is that the person is judgmental (which in itself is a judgment from the name caller upon the Christian). I’ll be the first to say that Christians aren’t always good at being little Christs, but I can only speak for myself and hope that you see that I’m trying.


These labels really get under my skin. As soon as you start talking about anything remotely political, you are labeled. Most of the time, it is an unfair, premature, and incorrect pigeon-holing of a person’s beliefs. First of all, I believe that there really is no such thing as a Republican or Democrat. There used to be, but I think the lines between them have become so blurred that politicians aren’t even sure which side of the label fence they sit on. That’s why you have liberal conservatives, conservative liberals and any other oxymoron you can think of (honest politician comes to mind). The elephant and the ass seem to be a thing of the past (that rhymes), but people still want to hold on to the idea of them. Based on the mascots alone, I personally don’t see why anyone would choose to be a stubborn ass over a wise old, never-forgetting elephant, but that is a different argument. Older generations talk about the two parties with a sort of nostalgia, as if the parties were really something to believe in at one point in time. Perhaps they were. Today, I don’t think we can put the same definitions on the parties that we once could though. Most people around my age and younger couldn’t care less about whether there is a D or an R next to someone’s name. They care about individual issues. I care about individual issues. If we talk about gun rights or most abortion laws, I’m a Republican. If we talk about renewable energy, environmental issues, and corporate regulation, then I’m a Democrat. I would argue that most people side with more than just one party depending on the issue. My point here is this: to call me one or the other is to completely limit my free thought as an individual.

I understand that people may tend to agree with one side more than the other, but why does there have to be sides at all? Why can’t a politician just be a person who feels certain ways about specific issues? I tend to think that the only reason a politician sides with a party, other than the chance that they generally agree on most topics, is to get votes (and money). I also tend to think that the only reason people side with a party is because their parents do. If everybody looked at each issue on an individual basis, rather than a party basis, we probably wouldn’t have parties.


As soon as you say that you don’t subscribe to the above political dichotomy, people say that you must be an independent. All that label does is springboard you to being called another name: hippie. See above.


This is a tough one. Obviously, I am a musician… but isn’t everyone a musician nowadays? That’s the thing with being called a musician… it isn’t like being called a doctor or a teacher or a fireman. Those people have to prove something before they can attain those titles. When it comes to being an “artist,” anyone can claim they are one without really having to prove anything. It’s almost always a self-proclaimed title, which is exactly why I never claim to be a musician. In fact, when I was touring as a musician and people would ask me what I’d been up to, I’d start off by telling them I’d been doing a lot of travelling. It wasn’t a lie. Some would accept that and move on, while others would ask why I was travelling, at which point I would tell them I was in a band. Why? Well, when you run in to an old acquaintance at the Longview Starbucks and tell them you are in a band, a certain stereotype comes to mind. It usually includes being poor, doing a drug or two, playing local bars, and living with the parents. I suppose the last bit was true. But when a person realizes you have been travelling and getting paid, albeit little, for your musicianship, you immediately attain a higher status in a person’s mind.

Back to the point… “Musicians” nowadays are anyone who can play an instrument, and it really doesn’t matter how well they can play it. Everyone is a musician. So, if you call me a musician, I won’t be offended; but you’ll never hear me call myself that.


I am a nerd. I like math problems, grammar, computer programming, etc. I don’t wear glasses though, and glasses seem to be stereotypical of nerds. I think it’s harder to tell who the nerds are nowadays then it was back when my dad was in school. Back then, they all had tape on their glasses and pocket protectors. Today, with the ever-increasing use of technology, everyone is becoming a nerd to some degree. Nerds are becoming the majority. Nerds are taking over. Are you scared yet? I’m not. I’m a nerd.

In short, I’m an independent, artistically inclined, hippie-nerd who is doing his best to live up to the standard set by some other independent hippie named Jesus.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Brainless Bottling

When I go to the sink and turn on the faucet, water comes out. How about that? How often do we actually think about that? Imagine if one day no water flowed out. What would you do?

Everyone and everything needs water on this planet, and no, I’m not talking about bottled water. Some of you may be surprised to know that few things ruffle my feathers more than bottled water. It is one of the most asinine things on the planet. Why am I so irked by this, you ask? If you really want to know the answer, then please read on. If you would rather go on living like we live on a planet with unlimited resources, then go back to your facebook and tell everyone what you ate for lunch today…

First, lets talk about the plastic used for bottled water. Many of you may or may not know that plastics are made from petrol products; in other words, they are made with oil. I have done some research on this, and I found that 17 million barrels of oil are used in the production of water bottles yearly; that is enough oil to fuel 1 million cars for a year. If you imagine a water bottle filled a quarter of the way up with oil, that's about how much oil was needed to produce that bottle. On top of that, we use roughly 18 million barrels of oil every year simply to TRANSPORT bottled water to various grocery and convenience stores. That’s 35 million barrels of oil every year for the production and transportation of bottled water. Since there are 42 gallons of oil in each barrel, that equates to almost 1.5 billion gallons of oil.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking, “But don’t we reuse this plastic by recycling it?” The answer is yes, but only to a small degree. It turns out that only 1 in 5 plastic water bottles are recycled; the other 4 end up in landfills or in our oceans. You’d like an illustration? Ok…

There are around 3 billion pounds of unrecycled water bottles around the world. An empty Boeing 747 weighs around 600,000 pounds. If you had a giant scale with all of the unrecycled water bottles on one side, you would need 5,000 Boeing 747s on the other side to even the scale out. That’s a lot of jets… and a lot of water bottles.

While I am on the topic of the bottles, lets talk about the harmful qualities they can have on the people who drink from them. Some water bottles, especially the big 5-gallon jugs used in offices and things like that, contain a chemical called BPA. I heard a scientist say that BPA may be one of the most potent toxins known to man, and we are drinking from containers made with it. BPA has been linked to all sorts of lovely things such as breast and prostate cancer, obesity, and neurological issues.

Fortunately, most bottles are now using a chemical called PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) rather than BPA. However, this chemical is now showing signs that it is harmful as well. I hear people all the time say that they drink bottled water because then they KNOW that it is clean water, but if we insist on drinking the purest water we can get, then why do we insist on putting it in plastic bottles that have been shown to leach chemicals into the water?!? Yes, sodas are bottled in the same kind of plastic bottles, but if you are putting soda into your body, you probably aren’t worried about the chemicals from the bottles.

Okay, enough about the bottles… lets talk about the actual water being put into them. Some bottled water makers are actually bottling filtered tap water from city water systems, achieving the same result as any homeowner with an inexpensive home filter. One of Auqafina’s water sources is actually the Detroit River. The next time you buy a bottle of water (which hopefully there is no next time), take a look at the back of the label and see if you can find where it was bottled. I think all bottles will say where they are bottled, and some even print on the label that the water came from a municipal water source. If the water was bottled in the same state that you are purchasing it in, then that water—get this—DOES NOT HAVE TO BE REGULATED BY THE FDA!!! For example, a lot of people in Washington buy Costco’s Kirkland brand of water, and it is bottled in Washington. Since those bottles don’t leave the state, they are not considered federal, so the water doesn’t have to be monitored in the same way. That’s probably one of the reasons it is usually cheaper than other brands.

So should you pay a bit more for a bottle of water that is regulated by the FDA? Well, aside from spending money on something you can get for free, it still isn’t the best idea. In the entire FDA, how many people do you think are on the committee to regulate bottled water? Yep… you guessed it. One. One person is given the task of monitoring all the companies that bottle all of the water. Did I mention that this one person also wears other hats for the FDA? That means that this person doesn’t even devote all of their time to bottled water regulation, so there is essentially less than one person doing the regulating. Doesn’t that make you feel good as you gulp down your “pure” water? But, in all fairness, I don’t think the FDA really does anything anyway… don’t even get me started on beef, chicken, pesticides, Monsanto, etc…

Anyway, back to the purity of the water in the bottles. The water coming out of your tap is probably more closely monitored than the water being put into those plastic bottles. Federal law requires that annual testing of municipal water quality be made available to the public, but there is no such requirement for the bottled water industry. The fact is that the industry is largely self-regulated with little federal oversight. Numerous independent studies have been made on the purity of bottled water, and the findings are pretty gross… even for the big name brands. Some test showed the water had traces of disinfectants, carcinogens, and even fertilizer ingredients. Mmmm. Pure. Don’t be fooled by the pictures of mountains on the labels or the clever names like Poland Springs. Poland Springs is not bottled from a spring in Poland. It is owned by Nestle. Don’t even get me started on Nestle…

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of reasons not to buy and drink bottled water, but these are only a few. Not only is it a colossal waste of money (up to 10,000 times the cost of tap water), it is a waste of natural resources. If you truly don’t like the taste of your tap water, then buy a home filter and use a stainless steel bottle. It will save you money, it will cut down on plastic in the landfills, and it will save oil (don’t even get me started on oil…). Just remember that every time you purchase a bottle of water, you are placing a vote in favor of bottled water.

I encourage you all to research bottled water companies. Look up things like Suez, water privatization in 3rd world countries, Nestle in Michigan, companies pumping water during droughts, and nice things like that. Water is free, and corporations like Nestle, Coke and Pepsi are taking advantage of that by pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons a day out of local water supplies, then selling it back to the people they took it from. The rabbit hole is deep… probably deeper than the water supplies that the companies are draining… but not as deep as their pockets.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Squirrel is Half Empty

Today as I was driving home, I saw a dead squirrel lying in the middle of the road. Now, when I say middle, I mean he (we’ll assume it was a he) was lying perfectly between the two yellow lines. I thought to myself, “I wonder if that squirrel is an optimist or a pessimist.” Why would I wonder that, you say? You’ve all heard the age-old debate about whether the glass is half full or half empty, and I’ve always been a half empty type guy. Anyone reading my blog probably already knows that I’m a pessimist. So what does that have to do with the squirrel? Let me ask you this: do you think the squirrel made it all the way to the middle, or do you think the squirrel made it only to the middle? I’m thinking he ONLY made it to the middle. I bet if his family were around, they wouldn’t be saying, “Oh we are so proud of him! He made it all the way to the middle!” No, I think they would be grieving that he only made it halfway, because now he is dead. It’s a harsh reality, but a reality nonetheless. The squirrel made it halfway and died. His glass is not half full. Does this put to rest the debate about the glass? Probably not… but I can certainly relate to the furry little guy.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Well, it finally happened. Amber kicked me out of the house. She told me she wanted Harvard and I to go, so that’s exactly what we did. We left. She got what she wanted. So here I am, in my parents house, writing a blog. Yesterday was our 4-year anniversary, and the night after, she kicks us out. That’s life, I guess.

Okay, so it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound. Amber is throwing a bachelorette party at our house tonight for Chalayn, and I guess “No boys allowed” is not limited to just humanoids. Harv got the boot too.

In Amber’s preparation for the party, she brought home some Canada Dry ginger ale and I noticed something peculiar on the can. There was an advertisement for the new movie Captain America right next to the Canada Dry logo. Captain AMERICA. CANADA Dry. Does Captain America drink Canada Dry? That doesn’t seem very Captain-America-like. Is Canada Dry trying to seduce Captain America to head north and fight evildoers in the land of maple syrup? Possibly.

As I was considering all of this, I had a realization (I have a lot of those). Canadians are just as much American as I am. Canada is in North America. Brazilians are Americans, for that matter. South America. Mexicans? Yep… still Americans. I had this same realization a while back about using the term “Asian” for an oriental person. Indonesians are Asians. Russians are Asians too. You get the point. So don’t call me an American ever again, or I will be offended in the same way that a man from China would be offended if you called him an Asian. From this point on, people from the United States should be referred to as… well, here be a few options I’ve come up with:

United Statesian

United Statesman (I’m sure the women’s rights activist will fight this one)

United Stater

United States of American

United Staten


New English

Five-O-er (because there are 50 states)

I don’t know. What can you come up with?

Now, this leads me to a new point. If the aforementioned hypothetical Chinese man were to, in fact, get offended for being referred to as an Asian, does that make him racist? The Chinese man would probably argue that calling him an Asian was the racist act, but, as we all know, China is inarguably in Asia, therefore making the Chinese man by definition an Asian. I would argue that HE is the one being racist, since by saying he does not want to be referred to as Asian, he is inadvertently saying that he does not want to be put in the same category as the Indonesians or the Russians. He must be racist against non-Chinese people that live in Asia. So there.

From the point I just made, you can bring it back to us Americans. I guess we can no longer disassociate with Canadians, Mexicans, Chileans or Brazilians by simply saying, “I’m an AMERICAN.” Well, as I’ve clearly just pointed out, so are they. But it is really just semantics, and now I’m starting to sound like a politician so I will stop. To wrap this up, my initial uncertainty about mixing Captain America with Canada Dry was clearly unwarranted. Captain America can, and MUST, fight the evildoers all the way from the northern-most point of North America to the southern-most point of South America. However, he may want to consider a wardrobe change and either incorporate all the flags of the Americas, or go for a more country neutral theme.

Moving on…Four years. Amber and Me. Thick as thieves. Two peas in a pod. One can short of a six-pack… wait… I don’t think that one applies… or maybe it does… you decide. Anyway, she is awesome and I’m proud to be her husband. I’ve probably been gushy enough about her in previous blogs, and this blog is already probably too long, so I will sign out. Until next time, watch out for the newest superhero movie:

Saber Stater: The Fight for the Fifty.

Post Script: All this talk of Ginger Ale soda reminded me of a rather crazy night we had recently. Our friend, Autumn, and my brother, Andy, came over the other night. Andy was going through some old stuff from his college days (in ’96) and found a pack of Juicy Fruit gum. He brought it over for us all to sample. It tasted like… Juicy Fruit. The gum’s flavor did not fade over the last 16 years, but as soon as you put the gum in your mouth, the flavor fades in about 30 seconds. Explain that.

I also happened to have a miniature can of Coke that my grandparents brought back from one of their European trips. The expiration date stamped on the bottom was also 1996. It seemed fitting to crack that baby open and see how the Coke held up to the last 16 years as well. It also had not changed. It probably should make you nervous about drinking Coke and chewing Juicy Fruit from now on. By the way, if you can sing the Juicy Fruit theme song, then you are awesome and old. Andy, Autumn and I all busted out and sang the tune while Amber just stared at us.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


One year ago today, Amber’s Grandpa Bob passed away. Amber loved her Grandpa and still misses him a lot. He used to take her to Toppers restaurant in Longview from time to time, where he would get his cup of coffee and she would get her hot chocolate with whipped cream. They would talk about life, and they did this from an early age. Bob would do his best to instill wisdom into the young Amber by playing jokes on her or sharing his life experiences. One of Amber’s favorite stories is of when Grandpa Bob had her convinced that he wasn’t paying for her food and that, since Amber was only a 6-year-old (ish) with no money, she was going to have to wash the dishes. He played it well and had her so convinced that she had to go call someone to bring money.

Another time they went to Toppers, Amber’s Grandpa told her that he knew where every single one of his pens were. He was a meticulous man. This impacted Amber and she too desired to be that meticulous, although I personally have not seen the fruits of that desire yet. In fact, after we visited Grandpa Bob’s gravesite today with the Evald family, Amber proceeded to leave her keys and cell phone in the grass next to the head stone. Luckily, Amber’s aunt visited the gravesite shortly after and retrieved the misplaced items. Clearly Amber has no idea where all of her pens are.

Anyway, to commemorate the passing of Grandpa Bob, Amber and I had lunch at Toppers today. As we walked in, this is what the sign said:

Now, I understand that it was because Father’s Day was just a few days ago, but it still was special to Amber (and her mom, to whom I sent the picture immediately). Aside from the sentiment of the restaurant, I had mixed feelings about the place. We stood at the front counter for a couple minutes as one of the employees counted change into the register, waiting for her to acknowledge us. She did not, so we decided to seat ourselves. Unimpressed. Upon doing so, I ordered a cup of coffee and got Amber her hot chocolate. A screaming kid was running around (and I mean SCREAMING) until one of the old ladies working there yelled at him to quit running. This I actually DID find impressive. I was glad that she did it, but also sad that the child’s mother didn’t feel the need to parent. I guess the old saying is correct: when you don’t want to discipline your child for being an idiot, let the waitress do it. You’ve heard that saying before, right?

The rest of our time at Toppers was uninteresting. The coffee was bad, the food was okay, and the company was great. It’s your typical family-owned, local restaurant that serves diner food, has older folks working the place, has older folks dining there, plays Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon and Coldplay over the speakers, and parents the lazy people’s children. It was a nice time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A lot has happened since my last blog, so let’s take a minute to get up to speed. Last night, something weird happened to me. While at Fred Meyer, I think some teenage girls thought I was a creeper. I was walking along the back of the store and needed to get to the opposite end when 2 girls came out of an aisle ahead of me, took a glance at me, and started walking in front of me. One kept glancing back at me, presumably to see if I was still “following” them, and then would whisper to her friend. Finally, after about 5 aisles of this, the other girl stopped entirely and let me pass, leaving her friend to keep glancing back at me. She stopped soon after, and I kept on going. I’m sure they were relieved that a creepy guy like me was no longer behind them. It made me feel kinda strange. I came home and told Amber, and she said they probably found me attractive and wanted to see if the back of me was as good as the front. Probably not the case, but I happen to prefer Amber’s interpretation of the event to mine.

This last weekend, Amber and I were able to get away to Cannon Beach for some much needed time together. Harvard was there too. We brought him. We think that he really loves vacation at the beach, because he was a very happy puppy. He got to sleep on the bed with us (he doesn’t get to at home), play in the ocean, run in the sand, sleep a lot, and get lots of attention from strangers. If you recall from my blog many months ago, he got lots of attention from strangers at Cannon Beach last time we were there, and everyone asked if he was a Weimaraner. I don’t think people actually believed us when we told them he was a Great Dane because they had never seen a blue one. Well, this time to the beach, only a few people asked if he was a Weimaraner. More people knew he was a Dane… maybe because he is getting taller.

October 2010:

June 2011:

We have some funny stories from our beach trip, but maybe the funniest was Harvard’s potty time. He did not want to go in the designated pet areas that the hotel had. He preferred the beach… nature’s gigantic litter box. He seriously didn’t go unless he was on the beach. The first time he went was hilarious. We were playing in the shallow waves when he decided to squat. Mid BM, a sneaker wave came up on him and startled him, cutting his time off before he was ready. It was sort of like the first time you ever encountered an automatic flush toilet and it flushed before you were ready for it too. It’s a bit startling.

The rest of the weekend was filled with relaxing, coffee, Pig’n’Pancake, walks on the beach, HGTV, Pizza a feta, talking to strangers about Great Danes, antiques (of course I got an orange lamp), etc. Very fun, and very sad to be back to reality. I'm sure Harvard is sad to be back too, because he can't sleep in our bed like this...

Part of our new reality that I have failed to mention up to this point is that Amber got a new job a little over a month ago. She has a full time job in the testing center at LCC, and she loves it so far. It sounds like the people love having her there too, so it seems to be a good fit. We like to joke that she has a big girl job now (or grown up job).

Lastly, I’ll share with you a few “firsts.”

Harvard stole his first morsel of food off our table while we weren’t looking, and he ate his first bit of chocolate in the same event. Our family friend, Wendy, gave us some homemade peanut butter (the clear draw for Harv’s nose) bars topped with chocolate, and Harvard thought he needed one too. It was no big deal.

Harvard also jumped out of my car while I was driving recently. I had to take out the front seat of my Acura so that he would fit, and like any other dog, he likes his window down. We had been out and about and were just turning onto our street when he saw our house and bolted. Luckily, I wasn’t going very fast and he landed in stride and ran straight to the garage. It was no big deal.

Amber mowed the lawn for the first time ever! Actually, it very well could have been the first time she’s ever even touched a lawn mower. There were a few funny moments when she would ask a silly question about the mower, get extremely flustered when she would run over a rock, and it was especially funny when she couldn’t get the darn thing started for a while, only to realize that she wasn’t holding the handle that allows the mower to run. It was cute. She didn’t think so.

By the way, while she was mowing, I was working too. I wasn’t just watching her. :) Here she is surveying her work...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Car Conundrum and Dog Data

Amber and I have a problem. At some point in the womb, some of the wires in our brains got crossed, and yes, it happened to both of us. The problem is this: we both love little cars, and big dogs. Our favorite breeds of dogs are Great Danes (clearly), Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Huskies, Malamutes, Boston Terriers (not so big), Newfoundlands, etc. Our favorite breeds of cars are roughly the same size as the dogs we like. Amber has two dream cars: a new mini cooper, and an old mini cooper. My dream cars are old Volkswagens, and of course an old Honda Civic 1200. I think you are starting to see how these preferences could clash with one another.

Needless to say, a large vehicle would be beneficial for transporting Harvard around. Even our Subaru finds him a bit cramped. We have been searching for a vehicle that addresses our love of small cars and need for a spacious cargo area, but only a few seem to be adequate. Our price range puts some restraints on the options as well. Maybe someday we will get a new vehicle though. Who knows?

Since we have been proud dog owners, Amber has been reading a lot about dogs. She has a book called Inside of a Dog that she is loving, we watch dogumentaries, and she likes to read any internet/magazine article that talks about dogs. We thought we would share a few interesting facts about dogs that we have learned over the last nine months, so sit back and get ready to appreciate the K9 even more…

-Dogs experience the world primarily through their noses. The amount of information they can derive from a quick butt-sniff is utterly miraculous.

-They also have the ability to re-scan a room of smells with their noses, as we do with our eyes. When we mere humanoids enter a room with a candle burning, we smell the candle initially, but soon the smell neutralizes to our noses and we no longer smell it. A dog, however, can smell the candle, smell the carpet, smell the people, and then a little later, smell the candle again. It’s sort of the same as us looking at a picture in a room, looking away, and then looking at it again. They see with their noses.

-Most dogs will act crazy after a bath because they are trying to rub themselves on everything to regain their scent.

-A dog’s tail is very important to their communication. When they are walking with their tail up, they are “getting their scent out” for the world to smell. When their tail is between their legs (as when they are scared), they are trying to hide their scent so that whatever they are scared of won’t recognize them later. It’s similar to humans hiding their faces from the paparazzi because they don’t want people to know it’s them.

-In many cases, dogs better understand communication from humans than any other animal, including chimps.

-People that say, “It’s just a dog,” and imply that it is like any other animal doesn’t understand that humans have been domesticating them for centuries, and dogs now rely on humans in a way that no wild animal does.

-There are more dogs than Christians in both Portland and Seattle. This does not, however, take into account the amount of dogs that are Christians.

-It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.

-The typical dog costs an owner $13,350 over the span of its life. This is substantially less than the cost of a child.

I suppose that is enough information for you readers. I hope you enjoyed learning more about “man’s best friend.” In case you are wondering why dogs are considered man’s best friend, lets refer to what Allan Evald told me many moons ago. He said something to the effect of this: dogs are called “man’s best friend” because if you lock your dog and your wife in the trunk of your car for a few hours, only one of them will be happy to see you when you let them out.

*Things you may be wondering about Harvard... He is almost 10 months old. He got neutered today. He weighed 113 pounds before the surgery. He probably weighs slightly less now.