Poor Charlie. He hasn't even seen another dog (other than the Lab across the street) since Doogie died. While we're waiting for the puppy to be more than a twinkle in his mom's eye, I need to arrange some play dates with some doggie friends for him.
I dropped an email to my friend Maryann, who just lives a mile or so up the street. She's a graphic designer with a feast-or-famine work schedule and a horse, so she's often pretty busy -- we can go months without seeing each other, and we're practically neighbors.
Maryann took pity on us and dropped in this afternoon with her three Beardie girls (mother and two daughters from different litters). Charlie was beside himself with all those other doggies to romp with! We all went into the backyard, where the dogs proceeded to romp and stomp through all of the puddles and have themselves a glorious time. Charlie still has a smile on his soaking-wet brown face.
We humans in the household have toys, too. I have a new Blackberry, which I'm growing to love. It makes cheery little sounds when I receive emails, like a low-maintenance Tamagotchi. I'm still getting used to the cute little keyboard with its standard QWERTY layout (might have to trim my thumbnails!). Oh yes, it's a cell phone, but it does a lot of other fun and useful things, and the contact software is nicely integrated.
My old, beloved DVD player had given up the proverbial ghost a few months ago, so we've been making do with Greg's Sony mini DVD hooked up to the TV in the living room. We took advantage of a sale last weekend to buy a nice DVD recorder/player for a very reasonable amount. Greg's had a great deal of fun configuring and reconfiguring the wiring for maximum picture quality and convenience. Best of all, it has built-in VCR+ technology, so he can set it to record old "Frasier" reruns at 1:30 AM without having to program in the start and end times and such. (I still wonder whether getting one with a hard disk wouldn't have been a smart idea, but so far we're fine with just using the same DV+RWs over and over.
Oh, here's something I learned: There are multiple DVD-recording technologies out there. No longer can one just be content with DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs, cousins to the CDs you burn on your computer, but now there are also DVD+Rs and DVD+RWs, and they're not the same as the "minus" variety of DV discs. "Plus" technology is newer. Older DVD players, including the other one in the house and the one on my laptop, only play "minus" technology. What a freakin' techno-jungle... but we still love our toys, and the reruns look better now on DVD than they did the first time on broadcast TV.