Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place Like Home

My next door neighbor is selling their house, and moving out, and BOY am I happy. It's not that they aren't very nice people, but about a year ago, they decided to get this little rat dog for their son, and apparently, the son has gotten tired, or bored with it, so they leave it outside most of the time. This poor dog is obviously suffering from separation anxiety, since it barks.... no, I mean, Yaps it head off CONSTANTLY, at all hours of the day and night. I guess I don't understand why people get pets, if they don't want to accept the multi-year responsibility that goes with it, or at least, rescue the poor animal from it's existence, and give it to the animal shelter, so they can find someone who wants it. OK, OK, rant and rave is done.

The real reason that I'm happy they're selling their house is..... the asking price. See, they way developers build houses around here in Az, is, the developer buys a piece of land, then their architect designs multiple "Models" of houses that fit the plots. There are also multiple upgrades, and changes that can be made to the models, to make them different from the other models. Some of these developments, can exceed 500 houses, or more. Dell Webb (The Sun City Guy), even purchased land North of Phoenix, and is planning to eventually put down 5,000 houses. That development is now big enough to be classified as "The Town" of Anthem. My developer, in contrast, purchased a piece of land, that turned into 60 houses. We still got a bunch of different models, because the developer was finishing another development nearby, and just reused those 7 Models, ranging from 1100 sq ft, to more then 3,000 sq ft.

Anyway, it just so happens that my original next door neighbor purchased the same model as mine, the 3 bdrm, 2 bath, 1314 sq ft 2 Car Garage, 1 story model. Fortunately, they also decided to select one of the other 3 front fa├žade's that were available, so the front of their house looks different then mine. It also seems like they did not invest in as many upgrades as I did, and also, my house sits on the corner property. The point that I'm getting to, is that my house would most certainly sell for more then theirs. The reason this makes me so happy, is that the price they are asking for their house is..... $300K!

I thought there must be some mistake, since when I refinanced my home ~ 2 years ago, the appraisal was $151K. The thing is, as many of you who live outside the "Valley Of The Sun" Phoenix area may not know, is that the housing market has been exploding here, the past few years. Still..... it seemed over priced to me, until the wife mentioned that they had refinanced this past June, and at that time, their appraisal was..... $240K!

HAPPY DANCE, HAPPY DANCE...... Shuffle Shuffle Shuffle, kick, Turn Spin. Did I already mention that my house was "Better" then theirs? HAPPY DANCE, HAPPY DANCE..... Boogie Woogie, Boogie Oogie Oogie..... Did I remember to say, That My plot was better too? LA LA LA LA LA LA LA, Oh I'm so Happy, I'm so Happy. Wanna hear the best part? I was talking to one of the "Potential Buyers" last weekend. Turns out, he buys houses, as investment properties, and then rents them out..... To Arizona State University Co-Eds. He says that "Women Take Better Care Of His Houses". Hummmmm, wouldn't that be sexual housing discrimination?


I'm keeping my fingers crossed :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

In Memory Of Max..... A Really Great Dog

Caution: Possible Tearjerker Ahead

My Dog Max passed away a few weeks ago. I had already decided to write a tribute to him, but it's taken me this long to pull myself together enough to do it. If you are a long time reader of SOL, you know that my 2 dogs, Julie and Max have "starred" frequently in my stories. Needless to say, I miss him very much already.

It was Cancer. Leukemia, and the worst kind. By the time it was diagnosed, it was already too late. He was "Stage 4", which means that it had already migrated into his bone marrow, along with an enlarged liver, spleen, and labored breathing. The Oncology Specialist I took him to for the 2nd opinion, said that if I wanted to, they would need to start "Aggressive Chemical Chemotherapy" AND Radiation. The best case prognosis..... 8 additional months, worst case..... 3 Months, or if I did nothing..... 1 week, and in either of the first 2 options, it would be expensive. Yeah..... As if I FREEKIN CARE about the money. I don't.

The ONLY thing I cared about was by baby. The side effects of Canine Chemo/Radiation, are pretty much the same as humans. Weakness, nausea, hair fallout, etc etc etc. Sure, it would have given him some small additional life, but what kind of life is that? So, although it really...... really..... broke my heart, I decided to let him go peacefully. He passed away painlessly, in my arms, which is the way I believe that he would have wanted it. So, in honor of Max, I give you, some of the happier moments that we had, in his short, but wonderful life......

I didn't know which of the 6 puppies in the 7 week old litter to pick. They were ALL very cute, and appeared to be happy dogs, so how is a person supposed to decide? Turns out I didn't choose, I was chosen. I was sitting on the floor, and while most of the puppies were jumping around like maniacs, there was one who was sort of sitting in the middle of the fray, looking around at the other 5 like they were nuts or something. Then "He" came over to me, sniffed around my legs for a little while, then crawled into my lap, curled up, and went to sleep. Just like he "belonged there". Done deal. On the way home, I had the "brilliant idea" to keep "him" in a box on the passenger seat. Well, he had a different idea. Just as I pulled away from the curb, he began yapping and barking his head off, while trying his best to climb out of the box, and failing that, was trying to chew the top edge of the box off to "escape". I had to pull over, and the only way that I could get him to settle down, was to let him ride the rest of the way home in my lap. He promptly rewarded me on the way home, by peeing on me.

I was apprehensive about his introduction to my other Springer Spaniel "Julie", who was by that time, 1.5 years old. So when I got home, I held Max in my hands, which is not easy to do with a squirming puppy, and let Julie smell him all over, before I put him down on the floor. "Max" sniffed Julie a couple of times, then promptly walked over to Julies dog food bowl, and "Helped Himself" to Julies dinner. Julie looked at him, then looked at me, looked back at him, then back at me, and the message on her face was pretty clear..... "What the heck is that, and how long is it staying"?

I Should have known that Max was going to be a handful as a puppy, the day I caught him chewing on my $400.00 Panasonic Stereo Speaker Bass Cone. I was in the back bedroom, and I heard a popping noise along with the music from the living room stereo. I ran into the living room, and Max was gnawing on the center of the bass speaker cone, trying to peel it away, while Julie was laying WAY across the living room, as far away as she could get. The look on her face was, "See, it's not me doing that, nope, not me, I have nothing to do with that". She knew the rules: NO CHEWING ON THE FURNITURE INSIDE THE HOUSE. Chew on the tree branches, and dig holes in the back yard..... fine. Do the same thing inside the house, NOT FINE. I don't believe in physically hitting my dogs, but let's just say, that Max also learned this lesson that day. Although it still sounded fine, I always meant to fix that speaker cone. Now..... I don't think I will.

Of course, Julie and Max eventually became great friends, AFTER the hierarchy of our "Pack Family" was adjusted. I'm not sure if it was ever settled just who was "Dog #2" and who was "Dog #3". It seemed to be a shared power, but there was no doubt as to the family unity. It was best observed by "The Fight At The Dog Park". There was this Husky, that wanted to demonstrate his "dominance" over Max, in the way that dogs do (if you catch my drift). Max didn't like it, and so I went over and pushed the husky away. Well, that pissed off the huskies owner, so we got into an argument. My position: "You better control your Dog, because mine doesn't seem to like what yours is doing". His position: "Screw you, that's what dogs do". So, naturally since the huskies owner didn't give a crap, the Husky did it again, only this time it was JULIE who came out of nowhere, growling and barking, and a 2 on 1 Dog Fight ensued. It only lasted a few seconds, before the owners intervened, and of course NOW the Husky Owner was pissed off. My response: "Your dog jumped on mine, and BOTH of my dogs didn't like that, so your dog got bit. THAT'S WHAT DOGS DO TOO". During the second heated argument, both Julie and Max, started growling at the huskies owner, probably due to the tone of "daddy's voice" towards him. Needless to say, things cooled off quickly, and there was no further "trouble" from either the Husky, or it's so called, owner.

Max was kind of a bully, strong willed, and defiant, but no matter how big and bad you THINK you are, it's wise to remember, there's ALWAYS somebody whose bigger and badder. Max met his match, when he met up with..... The Goose. Ya see, I use to take the dogs to this man made stream, that ran through one of the nearby housing complexes. They loved to run up and down the stream, and even occasionally take a dunk in the stream. That's why I always brought towels. Anyway, one day, there was this flock of geese there, and naturally, Max's curiosity got the best of him, and he strayed too close to a mommy goose, and her goslings. Max was just curious, but he should have heeded the squawking from mommy goose to stay away. Instead, he had to bark back, and "challenge" mommy goose. For his effort, he got nipped in the leg. MAN, I never heard Max "scream" before, or since, and he took off running so fast, it took me about 250 yds of running to catch up with him. I guess Max, and his minor cut leg learned that day, that no matter how badass you think you are, there's always somebody who's more badass then you.

I guess, what it all boils down to, is that although Max WAS very strong willed, and sometimes tried to get his way by bullying me, and those around him, in his quieter moments, he was a strong, devoted, and loving dog, that I know..... would have given his life in a heartbeat, to save either mine, or Julies, and although his life was short, and he died way too young, I know that there aren't many dogs who had such a good life, or who lived it so well. I miss you terribly Max, and I'll always Love You. Rest In Peace my friend.

Max 1999-2005

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