Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tree Climbing and Toddler Snuggling

I drove to Ithaca on Monday. I'm shooting pics for a story about a BU researcher going to Cornell for a one week tree climbing course for researchers. Andrea has been studying the eating habits of Orangutans and will be returning with her new knowledge and climbing the trees for s better vantage point. Pretty cool.

not terrible considering I don't like heights.

Tuesday night I stopped at my friend Kelly's place and it was a ton of fun spending the night there. Her middle child, Wesley, was turning eight Wednesday morning, and even though it happened at 6:30 in the AM, it was really fun to hear him come downstairs and discover the new bike they'd left out for him complete with a "Happy Birthday" banner on it.  "Holy guacamole! I gotta BIKE!" he exclaimed.

Tuesday night Beth Beer came to visit Kelly and me. Beth, Kelly and I worked together many moons ago at The Auburn Citizen about a half hour from where Kelly lives. Beth still lives in the same town, but has become a librarian.

When Beth arrived, she came in the front door where Kelly and I greeted her. "It's a Citizen reunion!" Kelly said, "I feel like we should go out and scoop some stories!"

"Yeah, it makes me want to go cover a council meeting" Beth added with her often dry delivery. Covering council meetings was part of her beat and the bane of her existence. Ironically, her husband is now a city councilman.

It was a lot of fun to get together. Beth and Kelly both are whip smart and have very very sharp senses of humor and the conversation was really stimulating. It's nice to be around such interesting and smart women.

On Tuesday, I got an email from the dog walker (who was boarding Harlow while I was gone). The subject line read "OMG" and she wrote, "(My son) passed out and she plopped down and put a paw over him. I just about died.   :) "

As did I.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm So Old

I'm on a quick business trip to Ithaca right now. A student from BU is taking a week long course in tree climbing designed specifically for researchers who need to know how to do such climbing for their work. Our student will be headed to Borneo to study orangutans.

So, I drove the six hours today and arrived to get dinner with Bill who is the young video producer doing the video work on the same subject.

During our drive back to our hotel, I asked him how old he was.

"25" he said.
"Oh my God, Bill. I was thirteen when you were born. That's crazy!"
"That is crazy!"
After a long, humbling pause I add, "Let's change the subject"
"Like to how your gonna be forty soon?"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'm Not Yawning, Why Do You Ask?

Yesterday I drove to my favorite muffin place to procure breakfast and brought my copilot along.
When I returned to the car and sat in the front seat after the breakfast pick-up, I looked back at Harlow who was full yawn. At the sight of my face, she stopped mid-yawn and clamped her mouth shut, looking at me as if to say "I wasn't doing anything".

I laughed out loud at her weird reaction to me looking back at her. I turned back around and glanced in the rearview to see her let out a big yawn. Oh what a relief, she's not looking and I can yawn in peace again!

Baby Bird? Nope.

Yesterday was a long day of mini sessions at a park in Salem followed by some socializing. 
When I came home I needed to unload the images onto the computer. As I did this Harlow got into whatever bored puppy mischief she gets into when I'm distracted.
I came downstairs to check on her and she had her usual sneaky look about her and while I couldn't see through all her fur around her mouth, she clearly had something in there that was unlikely to be a dog toy.
"What's in your mouth?" I asked her. Not "drop it" or "leave it" but for some reason, a more human question of "what's in your mouth?"
At which point she very slowly and gently, as if there was a baby bird in there, placed something on the rug and looked up at me.
What was this precious, fragile, special item? The end if a toilet paper roll of course.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


So, there's this whole Ebola thing going on. I'm not much of a panicker, but I confess I'm...squirming a bit at the rate at which this illness is spreading.

Here's how ebola's transmitted...
According to the CDC - When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.

Here's how HIV is transmitted...
Certain body fluids from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV.
These body fluids are:
  • Blood
  • Semen (cum)
  • Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum)
  • Rectal fluids
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Breast milk
These body fluids must come into contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into your bloodstream (by a needle or syringe) for transmission to possibly occur. Mucous membranes are the soft, moist areas just inside the openings to your body. They can be found inside the rectum, the vagina or the opening of the penis, and the mouth.

So here's the thing. Remember how fast HIV/AIDS spread? Reading the above listed info, it looks like it's HARDER to get HIV than it is to get Ebola.
According to the above info, you don't need to worry about pee, saliva (as in, someone sneezing on you), sweat, puke, or feces with HIV, but you do need to worry about that with Ebola.

If someone with HIV/AIDS sneezes on you, it's highly unlikely that you will contract the virus if you have a scrape on the arm that got sneezed on, or if you forget you got sneezed on (or simply don't know you got sneezed on) and then, perhaps, rub your eye with the back of your wrist or fist.

But you can get Ebola that way.

And who are all these selfish assholes who are getting on planes even though they have fevers, or going out into public when they've been asked to remain quaranteened? Well, I think I just said who they are; assholes.
Is the effort to temporaryily cancel your travel plans too much for you when compared to getting in a tightly packed space with others for hours after you've been working with an ebola victim and have a fever?  Is your need for a GD burger more important than the health of your fellow man?

Freaks me the hell out - both the disease itself, AND the selfishness of people.
Wash your hands and wash them a lot. That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sticking Up

I've wondered if Harlow was the kind of dog who would stick up for me if it ever appeared I was in danger. I'm not sure she would step in if I was being attacked or something, but now I do know she'll come to my aid if a small white dog growls at me.

I spent a few days this past three day weekend in the cape. Family friends were with us as was their small white Eskimo dog, Eva. After a walk, Harlow showed no signs of tiring so I brought her to the yard to throw a tennis ball for her. I have one of those wands that holds the ball at one ends and sends it farther than I could with my arm alone.

Eva showed up and the two pups took turns retrieving the ball. One time, when Eva  brought the ball back to me, she wouldn't drop it. So, I did what I do with Harlow and took a hold of the ball and told her to "leave it". It didn't really work so I took the ball wand and sort of stroked her side to distract her. She didn't like that and she lunged at the wand with some serious growling.

Harlow went ape shit on her over this. Perhaps thinking Eva was going after me. Or maybe there was a imperceptible-to-the-human-eye squabble over the tennis ball when Eva turned to the wand. I don't know. But getting them apart was actually a challenge. Harlow kept going after her when I got them apart, and I'm sure it was escalated because Eva (rightfully so) is scrappy and was sticking up for herself.

No one was hurt but it was a side of Harlow I haven't seen yet.

And then there was this twenty minutes, which she spent trying to figure out what she was looking at in the water. Hermit Crabs? Minnows? I have no idea!

More water play from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Harlow was extra bouncy the other day when I came home from work and offered her a walk. So, I set up a video camera just cause, you know, I'm never sure what she'll do and she can be pretty funny.

This time, she simply couldn't bring herself to sit when I asked her. No matter how hard she tried, it was like the floor and her bum were magnets flipped the wrong way.

She's so excited to go for a walk that she just can't get herself to sit no matter how hard she tries! 10/10/14 from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Where's Sissy?

A few weeks ago, shortly after the cape fun, the Badens came back tot he area for a weekend. I come to the park where they planned on gathering with friends, and shot this little snippet of Vivian. She;s asking me where Sissy is (Sylvia, her twin), and her reaction when I tell her that Sylvia is somewhere else in the park is priceless.

IMG 6419 from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.