Wednesday, September 19, 2012

View from our mobile office in Michigan?

Sometimes my GPS exhibits a whimsical streak. We ended up unexpectedly in Michigan today. That was okay and we just kept going. Until this scene brought me up short. I had to get a location check as well as a reality check. Yes, we were still in Michigan, in Horton Michigan to be precise. I wonder if Dr.Seuss named his elephant after this place. Seems like he'd be comfortable here.

Driving Through Pennsylvania

We left Maeve's ancestral home in Selinsgrove, PA and set the GPS to take us to Des Moines, Iowa via the most economical route. I set the GPS for this not only to save money on gas (my biggest expense), but also because it usually gives us a route that includes some country highways (speeds of 45-55 miles per hour give you better mpg than 65-75 expressway speeds do).

Maeve hates the high-speed interstates and I don't much like them.  Yesterday's drive through Pennsylvania was great. Even though the weather was bad (downpouring rain much of the time), the scenery was spectacular.  We followed a horse and buggy down a country highway for a while, we drove through picturesque small towns with amazing old buildings, and mostly we drove through gorgeous rolling farmland. This is the kind of farmland I like; where there's a real farmhouse that probably contains the family that owns the farm -- not miles of acreage farmed by giant mechanical beetles and devoid of humanity.

My friend Kathy insists that part of why travel suits me is that seeing new things all the time is mood stabilizing. I can't say she's wrong about that.   

Sunday, September 16, 2012

View from our mobile office

Lake Hammond, PA

When Did You Last See the Bitch Who Whelped You?

Maeve and I went to Loco Meadowsin Selinsgrove PA to see Maeve's canine and human moms. Maeve's canine mom had just had a new litter of pups and was too irritable about other dogs being near her babies for Maeve to visit (this could be the origin of the word bitchy), but Maeve's human mom, Connie Hackenberg, was thrilled to see her. 

Maeve showed off for Connie all day long. She started by exhibiting her Frisbee and jumping skills. Next we went out to breakfast and Connie got to see how so many people smile at Maeve as she waltzes through the parking lot and into a restaurant. As we were seated Maeve scooted into her place under the table and began her prize-winning impression of a stuffed animal. On the way out of the restaurant Maeve switched into her public interaction role and facilitated a conversation with strangers about service dogs and emotional support animals. She performed variations on these themes as we did errands around town. 

This was Connie's first experience out in public with a working service dog, but she is no

Friday, September 14, 2012

Philly Trains Run a Quarter Century Late

We've started our trip to Alternatives 2012 in Portland OR. We had our first gig in Philadelphia at the wonderful Chestnut Place Clubhouse (details in next post). We stayed out in the suburbs and Maeve got her first train ride the morning of our gig. She wasn't sure she liked the train. She got on, but was hesitant to get under my seat.Luckily there was a family she'd made friends with at the station and we moved to their seats. She settled right in and behaved perfectly for the whole trip. I wish I could say the same for the SEPTA conductors. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been law for almost a quarter century, but SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) hasn't yet updated their policies about dogs to comply with the ADA.  Whether one's civil rights are violated seems to be at the discretion of the conductor.There is no evidence of any ADA education or policy.

Here's what the DOJ (which enforces the ADA) says they can and can't do:

Monday, September 10, 2012

GoDaddy Outage Knocks Out ServicePoodle

Both and are registered with GoDaddy so the GoDaddy outage today (see took our website out too.  I expect we'll be back up soon. Update: as of 4:12 pm Eastern, we're back up.  Visit us at  Nope, that only lasted a few minutes.