December 18, 2016

Thinking about coevolution with dogs.

“Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction,” March 2015, by Pat Shipman, a retired anthropology professor. https://www.amazon.com/Invaders-Humans-Their-Neanderthals-Extinction/dp/0674736761

I wonder if neanderthals kept dogs/animals.

Shipman stated in a 2010 paper:
“A suite of unique physical and behavioral characteristics distinguishes Homo sapiens from other mammals. Three diagnostic human behaviors played key roles in human evolution: tool making, symbolic behavior and language, and the domestication of plants and animals. I focus here on a previously unrecognized fourth behavior, which I call the animal connection, that characterized the human lineage over the past 2.6 million years. I propose that the animal connection is the underlying link among the other key human behaviors and that it substantially influenced the evolution of humans.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/attachments/72276/caproofs.pdf

A valuable, lengthy post on Shipman’s work is at:
The dog-human connection in evolution

Dogs and humans process voice in the same brain regions (2014):
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2814%2900123-7?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982214001237%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

A host of MRI studies is showing similarities in the brains of dogs and humans. Our language and symbolic behavior is intelligible across species. Dogs know that when we laugh we’re happy: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/your-dog-can-tell-from-your-voice-if-youre-happy-or-sad-180949807/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4779443/

Microexpressions were discovered fairly recently by human researchers, and that dogs read and understand them, showing dogs have an ability to intercept, comprehend, and react to detail and cues too subtle for humans to perceive (without slow-motion video playback and lots of study). Microexpressions are used by law enforcement to detect lies. Human communication often is hindered by misunderstandings but dogs are similar enough to humans to quickly get to the meat of a communication.

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December 16, 2016

Started this blog three years ago and WordPress is hard to use so didn’t continue.  Will try again.

Felt like a spice cake but didn’t have a spice cake mix.  Made something out of what I had and it turned out really good.

  • In a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup, put ¼ C rolled oats and ¾ C water, nuke 90 seconds.  Add 1/3 C butter, 2 T cream, ¾ C muesli breakfast cereal, and 2 T chopped dates to hot oats.
  • In a mixing bowl put:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ¼ C brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 banana, overripe is good
  • About ¼ to ½ t each:  Cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice, nutmeg.
  • 1/8 C water
  • Add the oats mixture and beat with electric beater.
  • Grease/flour 14×9 pan.
  • After putting mix in pan, drop spoonfuls of raspberry preserves ontop

Put in oven preheated to 450 for 5-10 minutes.  Turn heat down to 320 and bake about 30 minutes or until just passes toothpick test.  Just slightly done, not pulled away from edges like a usual cake.

Turned out great! The yellow cake mix had plenty vanilla.  Despite the added oatmeal and stuff, cake rose well.

The vet I like, Dr. Sowell at My Family’s Pet Doctor, sent a coupon for 30% off any procedure and so yesterday Haggis got his teeth cleaned and a large lipoma removed from his chest for $432.  The benign tumor was partly under muscle.  A drain was used.  He’s sore today and although he ate well and jumps up and down off the bed/couch, he did not go outside with the rest of us to do chores, which he otherwise always does.  He has gotten tramadol and cephalexin.  I rubbed a lidocaine/aloe gel over the entire shaved area on his chest and he visibly relaxed.  He didn’t seem to want to lick it off and is now sleeping.  Usually the dogs aren’t so affected by lipoma removal but this one was rather large.

Ming kept looking at me all evening.  Dean went to his company Christmas party and is then off to his mom’s as he always does around Dec. 18th as he always spends that time with her on the anniversary of his dad’s passing.  I think Ming was wondering where Dean was tonight.

The floor of the chicken house is wet.  The roof is leaking along the edge, I think.  I need to dry that out but don’t want to run a milkhouse heater in there.  Will work on that tomorrow.  It has been 15-19 degrees when I do chores in the evenings for the last several nights.  Snow about a foot deep.  I have one trough heater and the goat is using that so have been carrying water to chickens/ducks.  They don’t go through more than a 5 gallon bucket per day so it’s not a problem.  I think they eat snow, as well.  As usual, ducks prefer to sit outside with their feet tucked up in their down than go in the warm house.  Except for Retarduck, who was hatched/raised with a group of chickens and thinks she’s a chicken.  She spends all her time with the chickens, not the ducks.

Goat doing well in little house Dean built for her.  Giving her extra sweet molasses feed in this cold weather.  Ivermectin dust slows lice down, but not working well to eradicate lice.  Our last goat did not have lice like this.

I forgot to rotate some cans of refried beans and chili and there are about a dozen outdated cans and am giving those to chickens, about two cans per day.  I learned not to give them a bunch of unusual food all at once when one time I gave them a bunch of outdated canned spinach and their eggs were green for days.  Might be ok for St. Patrick’s day.

How rednecks can reduce the carbon footprint

“I kept riding, drinking, riding. I thought maybe I might run into somebody. I knew I’d eventually have to bury my dog.” Larry Brown, Big Bad Love

Remember the days before it was illegal to have an open beer in the car? Around here, it used to be something to do, a legitimate and well-known form of entertainment, to just ride around the back roads with an ice chest, the 22s, the fishing poles, and the dogs and have a picnic at some old rotten abandoned homestead or down by the river and shoot greydiggers and catch bass. What in all hell could possibly replace drinking, driving, fishing, shooting? Now that gas is so high I try not to drive much. I like to tinker. 

Now that tinkering is my preferred redneck modus operandi, I find myself busy at all the tasks I puttered at previously, but to a previously-unknown amount of detail and scale. You wouldn’t think so but, just like the previous entertainment of drinking beer and fish catching, raising chickens and gardening can get out of hand. I started incubating my own chicks and, just like when I was drinking beers, thought, “This is really neat!!” Now I have over 100 chickens and plenty of eggs to feed the dogs and us. Good thing I like fried ham’n’egg sandwiches, but lurking in the back of my mind is the fear I may wake up one morning and say to myself, “Self, I do not like fried ham’n’egg sandwiches anymore,” and oh crap, then what?

Well, “Then what,” is the defining thingy of tinkering. I learned to do this from Grampa Jim.  You sit in your lawnchair and, “Reconnoiter.” This is like free association or brainstorming, but not so demanding. You sit there, look around at things, drink your sodie pop, and think about what needs done next. If I was Alexander the Great and this was north Africa, what would I do Then you filter that down to correlate with your ambition level. Commence to putter until you feel like taking a break. Head for that same lawnchair and repeat. This is how I got dozens of chickens and bunnies, a big garden, ad infinitum. Sometimes my husband gets caught up in this, building a bunny tractor or realizing some other daydream dreamt up in the lawnchair, but I notice he’s been very busy this summer with his own tinkering on his cars and guns. Good for him.  Good for both of us. I’m proud we have worked so hard to reduce our carbon footprint.

Why do I need a blog?

Over 50 years of being on this rock, I’ve lost just about every paper journal I’ve kept. I wanted to look back over my thoughts and possibly learn something, but I have since learned one thing: 1.) I lose stuff. 2.) I ain’t much of a learner. 4.) I can’t count.

This blog is so I can record my thoughts and activities for my own review.

I read there are about 7 million blogs in Word Press alone.