Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Changing One Being's World

When you rescue a dog, you’re not changing the world, but you are changing that dog’s world. So true. We have three Maltese. Two were from an outstanding breeder who showered them with love. They are the friendliest four-legged persons you will ever meet. And yes, because they have strong personalities—that makes them, in my mind, persons.

And then, there’s our third, youngest person. Whose origins we shall not discuss, save to say he’s incredibly athletic and extremely intelligent. But. . . the fact that he was never socialized is the least of his issues.
He’s been a trial. He bit us; he bit other dogs; he bit other people. If you touched him and woke him when he was sleeping he’d come up biting. But we stuck with him—-had him for two years now. He’s loving, totally affectionate, wants to be in our laps, or curled up at our feet, cuddles up next to the two older dogs (with whom he fought when he first arrived), dances for joy and rolls on his back to have his belly rubbed when I come downstairs in the morning, loves to go for runs in the woods, has learned to obey (most) voice commands, all good things.
He still has a terrible fear of other humans and other dogs, both of whom he attacks, and will bite—--hard enough to draw blood and leave puncture wounds. He’s a Maltese, a ratter by his genetics, is lightning fast and can jump as high as a man’s belt, so even though he weighs six pounds and stands seven inches at the shoulder, he has to be confined when someone comes into the house, and then gradually introduced into their company with a harness and leash to compensate for his hair-trigger attack response if a sudden move is made.
But his world has changed, and continues to change.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

An Evening at the Downtown Chess Club

I don’t know what your image of a chess club is, but chances are, it’s erroneous. For one thing, it’s not overstuffed leather chairs and brandy. Most chess clubs manage to scrape a meeting location together thanks to a local school, service club or business. And not all chess players are geniuses. But, chances are, you will probably meet a bunch of local characters, male and female, young, old and in-between. And it’s not stodgy. Unless you come into a rated tournament, when silence and concentration are the rule, you’ll encounter some interesting conversations, behaviors and some very interesting chess moves.

Like "The Screw" --screwing the piece firmly into the square which gives the impression of great scientific solidity--as practiced by the past World Champion Smyslov. Or the "La Delicatesse" move, where, pinky in the air, the piece is not lifted at all, nor touched with the forefinger, but delicately slid with the two middle fingers into a crushing mating position guaranteed to make strong men weep. Or its antithesis, "The Sledgehammer" gambit, where you have a hopelessly lost game, so you lift a piece high in the air and bring it down on the board with such force that all the other pieces are sent flying and you hope your opponent cannot reconstruct the position so you have to start over. You may witness "The Sucker Punch", where one player maintains a constant patter of comment on the game, suggesting better moves for his opponent, and ultimately suggesting a worse, in fact, a terrible move, after which he sweeps the piece off the board with a loud chuckle. Maybe you will encounter one of my favorites to watch: "The Whirling Dervish", where a piece--preferably a Knight--is lifted from the board and flown around in circles through the air, finally coming to rest on a square it could never have reached from its original position and forking your King and Rook.

Or maybe, you'll just have some fun and play a few games of chess with some new friends.

Friday, April 1, 2016

YES! It's On. Don't Miss Out.

As part of the SUPPORT INDIE AUTHORS APRIL FIRST e-book extravaganza, along with nearly sixty other free or discounted books. Dancing With The Dead, INDIEFAB BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST, is available for free today (and tomorrow for those of you who are perennially a tad late to the party).

Don’t miss this opportunity to get books you will want to read. Here’s the website: