A Golden Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all readers who celebrate and, for those who don’t, inspiration to get started celebrating…

This is “The Golden Retriever Family Christmas Tree” from the Danbury Mint. It is unclear when these were made, but the “mint” was in China according to this eBay ad. Via some research on archive.org, I found a 2006 web page offering a somewhat different version at $129.

I can’t figure out if the version at Mindy the Crippler’s vet is pre-2006 or post-2006.

Let’s hope that the Danbury Mint gets back into this important product area and that a Samoyed Christmas Tree centerpiece is an option as well.

Merry Christmas to everyone, especially the folks at archive.org!

A couple of images stolen from Facebook groups:

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We’re Pregnant

My favorite group on Facebook is the Golden Retriever Club. The gift that keeps on giving recently yielded a linguistic innovation. You know how people who are not, in fact, pregnant people will say “We’re pregnant” when a household member is a pregnant person? Here’s the natural extension…

Another example of why Mindy the Crippler and I love this group:

And here’s a story about the SWAT team:

Separately, a native German speaker got in trouble with the moderators for using the word “bitch” (literal translation from the German) to describe a canine identifying as female. Speaking of pregnancy and Europe, a friend over in that correctly governed part of the world informed me of the recent birth of a daughter. My immediate response regarding the 6-week-old was to ask, “Has she received her first COVID-19 vaccination yet?”

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Exclude white trash by excluding pit bulls?

In 2017, I wrote High minimum wage is a city’s way to keep out low-skill immigrants

Friends on Facebook are discussing “A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals” (Washington Post). Of course, like most things in the U.S. media, this starts off with a lie (the minimum wage in Seattle is $13/hour, not $15/hour). But let’s look at the rest of the article…

Suppose that the goal of a liberal is to live in a city without too many unsightly low-skilled people (see Tyler Cowen explains why rich white Democrats freely express love for immigrants and people of color for how liberals already have segregated themselves away from dark-skinned Americans and immigrants).

Can the liberal make it illegal for anyone without a college degree to live in his or her city? Probably not. Can the liberal make it illegal for anyone without a college degree to work in his or her city? Sure! That’s the minimum wage.

(Imagine that in 2017 a $13/hour wage rising to $15/hour was considered princely. Where in the country right now one could hire a reliable worker for $15 per hour?)

I wonder if something analogous is happening in our neighborhood in Florida, the planned-but-not-gated community of Abacoa (within Jupiter; see our search process). There is no means-tested public housing in our neighborhood and therefore we are missing the social/economic class of those who have managed to obtain a lifetime of taxpayer-funded housing. But there is also a missing class of folks who likely could afford to pay market rent here (as low as $1500/month): white trash.

Palm Beach County is not exactly the white trash capital of Florida, but we do sometimes see tattooed folks walking their pit bulls not too far from here and in neighborhoods that aren’t much less expensive. Why don’t we have tattooed pit bull-owning neighbors within a 1-2-mile radius? The Homeowners’ Association (HOA) for each area within Abacoa specifically bans pit bulls and some other dog breeds with a reputation for aggression.

I wonder if the dog breed rules are partly designed to keep out undesirable breeds of humans…


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Humans and dogs no longer so different

Coronapanic in the U.S. has enabled humans and dogs to share more experiences. #CovidBringsUsCloser From Palm Beach Gardens, Florida:

(“Dogs are required to be vaccinated and display current licenses.”; compare to “San Francisco’s new rule: Proof of vaccine or no dining in” (AP) and “De Blasio sending workers to see if restaurants follow vaccine mandate” (New York Post))

Separately, is “All Dogs Welcome” hate speech in the same way that “All Lives Matter” is?

Regarding the digging, my Samoyed breeder said “They dig in the winter to stay warm. They dig in the summer to get cool. They dig in the fall and spring to keep in practice.”

Finally, check out the adjacent playground for kids, almost entirely covered by shade structures:

One thing that I have noticed about Florida is the investment in public leisure facilities: parks, bathrooms, playgrounds, water parks, etc. All of these are vastly superior to and better-maintained than their counterparts in Maskachusetts despite the higher percentage of residents’ income consumed by taxes in MA (Tax Foundation). Also, as long as we’re talking infrastructure, the electricity grid here is remarkably robust. Every day or two it sounds like the world is ending via a thunderstorm and yet we have yet to observe even a momentary power glitch.


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Hyundai electric cars actually do have dog mode

Although I have new respect for Elon Musk due to his scorn for coronapanic and his success with SpaceX, I still don’t love the idea of driving a Tesla (no Apple CarPlay, dashboard replaced by an oddly-placed screen, the image of being a climate zealot (like the jet fuel-pumping Bill Gates!)). Hyundai has all of the bones for a good dog mode, so to speak, e.g., a big battery and an efficient heat pump. This presumably extends to Hyundai’s sister car company, Kia, which just released the EV6 (charge for 4.5 minutes to drive 60 miles… after driving 60 miles to the nearest high-speed charging location).

The clever British have figured out that dog mode already exists in Hyundai EVs. It is buried in the menu structure as “utility mode” and locking the car while in this mode requires using the mechanical key (buried inside the electronic key).

I don’t think I would buy one until I had verified at the dealership that this works on a U.S.-spec car.

One good thing about Hyundai and Kia is that they remain eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, unlike Tesla. So if you’re a high-income person you can enjoy the spectacle of low-income Americans being forced to work longer hours to pay for a portion of your shiny new car.

Tesla anecdote: I asked an engineer friend if he still liked his Tesla 3. He said that he did, but his wife (a doctor) hated it, finding the “autopilot” jerky/scary. “I enjoy monitoring the system,” he said. I’m consistently confused by the conflation of attempted self-driving and electrification. Why should we expect an electric-powered car to drive any differently than a Toyota Camry? We used up so much energy plugging the thing in every night that now we’re too tired to turn the steering wheel?

Where will we charge this thing? “Biden’s spending plans could remake the economy, says Nobel Prize winner Stiglitz” As in Aladdin, it will be A Whole New World:

A Nobel Prize-winning economist says he not only endorses President Biden’s expected $4 trillion infrastructure spending plan, but expects that it could break the U.S. out of the low-growth, low-inflation environment that has existed for the past 20 years.

See also “Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan calls for EV rebates, 500,000 charging stations”.

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When someone complains about wearing a mask…

… show them this post from a Facebook breed group:

I am extremely allergic to my golden too. Three or four times a year I was getting sinus infections that turned into pneumonia and kept me sick for MONTHS. We made these changes:

We bought a dyson vacuum and religiously vacuum every other day.

I pull the bed out and vacuum under and behind it because I found her fur actually quickly builds up in those areas “hides” behind places like that and the sofa.

I use a swifter wet jet under the bed and under other surfaces help a LOT because it picks up those micro dust hair particles which affects allergies.

We deep brush her twice a week.

We change the AC filters monthly to the strongest allergic kind.

I’ve not been sick for over a year since we started this routine. (I do still take singulair, levocetrizine and Flonase daily). But this has all really worked. Good luck.

(The gal who posted the above followed up with “I absolutely love love love my dog so much. She’s worth every minute.”)

I feel that this is a contender in the topping competition that one sees regarding coronaplague masks. “Our First Responders do X, Y, and Z, and you can’t simply wear a mask all day?”

Readers: Agree?

Also from this golden retriever group, an owner with a 6-month-old golden and a 2-month old Chihuahua asked how to prevent the two from breeding. I responded

Every Chihuahua should be neutered! No dog should be smaller than a big rat.

The comment attracted 10 positive reactions (like/laugh). I dug into these. All but one reaction was from a Facebook user with a female-associated first name.

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Togo, the Disney sled dog movie

If there is a dispute in your household regarding whether a big furry dog is allowed to sleep in the bed… Togo is the movie for you! This is a fantastic (in all senses of the word) dramatization of the 1925 dog team relay that brought diphtheria antitoxin serum to Nome.

The best part, from my point of view, is that the growth of a character (and in every Hollywood movie, of course, someone has to grow!) is demonstrated by abandonment of a previous objection to a dog sleeping in the (humans’) bed.

Recommended if you’ve got a Disney+ subscription. (Does it qualify as “the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life,” as Michelle Obama said of Hamilton? Maybe not, but it has Arctic dogs and, at least when presented on a TV, it holds the viewer’s attention much better than Hamilton.)


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What to do when a family member is an anti-masker?

She walks by “We Believe… Science is Real” signs every day and yet…

I mentioned the need to follow guidance from Dr. Fauci (not last month’s guidance, of course, but this month’s!):

What to do with this household member who puts herself, her family, and the entire country at risk?

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