President Obama made his first public reference to Seamus — the dog his opponent once strapped to the roof of his car for a family trip — while on the campaign trail in Iowa.
Appearing in Oskaloosa, a town named after all those actors who were nominated but didn’t win Academy Awards — (that’s a joke) — Obama referred to Seamus, though not by name, while discussing energy policy, specifically windmills.
Appearing in front of the Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum and touting the job-creating potential of wind energy in Iowa, Obama criticized Romney for saying, “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”
“Now, I don’t know if he’s actually tried that,” Obama said. “I know he’s had other things on his car.”
Romney in 1983 toted his Irish setter on the roof of the family station wagon, in a crate, on a trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada, for a family vacation.
In response to Obama’s remark, reported by ABC News and many others, the Romney campaign said the president “continues to embarrass himself and diminish his office with his un-presidential behavior.”
“This election is about creating jobs, turning around our economy and helping the middle class. The President’s policies have failed on all counts and he will do anything to distract from his abysmal record,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a written statement.
Obama’s appearance in Iowa came as the GOP nominee campaigned in coal country.
“Gov. Romney said, let’s end the tax credits for wind energy production. Let’s get rid of them. He said that new sources of energy, like wind, are imaginary. His running mate calls them a fad,” Obama said
The president, who is pushing Congress to extend a production tax credit for wind energy companies, added, “These jobs aren’t a fad. These are good jobs. And they’re a source of pride that we need to fight for.”
(Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack obama, campaign, car, crate, dogs, energy, family, iowa, irish setter, mitt romney, obama, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, reference, romney, romney's dog, roof, seamus, speech, station wagon, strapped, trip, windmills
Arizona’s Cosmo Dog Park may soon be using dog waste to shed some light.
The town of Gilbert is looking at teaming up with Arizona State University students to build a “digester” — like one we showed you last year — that will create methane gas to power, for starters, one street lamp at the park.
The project is scheduled to go before the Gilbert Town Council next month for approval.
Students from Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa hope to design and create the “dog waste digester,” according to the Arizona Republic.
The town is seeking a corporate sponsor for the project, estimated to cost $25,000.
Former Gilbert Councilwoman Linda Abbott has been pushing the project after learning of the machine installed last year as a public-art project in a park in Cambridge, Mass.
(The Cambridge machine was a temporary project and is no longer in operation.)
Gilbert officials have held three meetings with ASU on the plan to design the machine, which would consist of a repository tank and digester.
“The principals of anaerobic digestion are the same,” he said. “We’re going to challenge the students to come up with innovative solutions that are unique.”
Rather than tossing poop bags into the park’s trash can’s, dog owners would collect their dogs waste in biodegradable bags, deposit it in the digester and turn a hand crank to stir the mixture so the methane rises to the top.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arizona state university, asu, cambridge, cosmo dog park, cosmo park, digester, dog parks, dog waste, energy, environment, feces, gas, gilbert, innovation, kiril hristovski, light, linda abbott, methane, parks, poop, poop power, power, professor, project, streetlamp, students, town council, waste
Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out what these long tubes I kept passing on Interstate 94 in Montana were.
Airplane wings? Some new form of irrigation equipment? Space shuttle components? Pieces of some secret governmental weapon?
I was tilting at windmills.
Which is what they turned out to be — windmill blades, to be precise.
I found that out later at a truck stop in Rocker, just west of of Butte, where several of the oversized loads, having just negotiated the winding stretch of interstate on Butte’s eastern side, had pulled over for a rest.
According to the Associated Press, the explosive growth of the wind energy industry has led to dozens of trucks a day toting the blades down the nation’s Interstate highways to their new homes, mostly in the west.
Commonly traveling in convoys, the oversized loads haven’t caused too many problems. They’re not any wider than a normal truck, but they are longer — much longer. Some of the blades extend 180 feet, about triple the length of regular semitrailer loads.
That means it takes about three times as long to get around them, but considering the clean, renewable, independent energy they will go on to supply, I’m a fan.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blades, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, energy, environment, highway, interstate, montana, oversized load, pets, road trip, transport, transportation, travels with ace, trucking, trucks, turbines, wind, windmills, wings
The behavior he once found so annoying that he would go upstairs to avoid her — where Fanny feared to tread — Ace seems to now find mostly endearing.
Fanny was a rescue dog, fostered by my ex-girlfriend, adopted by a family, then returned for being overly rambunctious, at which point the ex-girlfriend became her forever mom. If you ever want to pry them apart, I suggest dynamite and bulldozers, but I’m pretty sure not even that would work.
Highly spirited, we’ll call her — the dog, I mean – and Ace, back then, would only put up with her in small doses. He’d be excited when she visited, and they’d romp for 15 minutes or so, at which point he would want a rest. Fanny is not familiar with that notion.
So she’d stay in his face, and follow him wherever he went, even into his crate, and bark at him when he wouldn’t play, and Ace would eventually head for the second floor.
This time around — the ex is putting me up for a few days in her sunflower surrounded home in Dundalk — he just keeps playing, and he has even added a bark to his repertoire, something he never did before. He’d make growly lion-like noises, but never would he bark.
Now he barks right back at her, sometimes instigates the play, and doesn’t seem to quickly tire of it — at least not yet. He hasn’t been seeking refuge on the second floor, but then again the second floor isn’t air conditioned.
I’m not sure if he’s just happy to see her again, or if he realizes he’s a house guest and therefore shouldn’t be selfish or surly. He is being both more playfully assertive and more tolerant, and I can only conclude that absence — as it visibly does with dogs, sometimes less visibly so with humans — did indeed make his heart grow fonder.
Funny thing, relationships.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, animals, assertive, baltimore, behavior, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, dundalk, energy, ex, fanny, girlfriend, level, pets, play, relationships, rescue, road trip
Some dogs have a habit of chasing cars, but a border collie in Prince Edward Island has figured out a slightly safer way to work off his energy.
Two-year-old Tucker spends hours lying by the roadside in Emyvale, waiting for cars to come by. When one does, he gets up and spins about madly in a circle.
His owner, Clifford Green, said it was just something the dog started doing on his own -- and only for certain vehicles.
"He's not that stuck on the red [ones] and he don't like big trucks," Green told CBC News in Canada.
Tucker was featured on the Today Show yesterday, prompting some chuckles among the staff. But as some of our readers point out in the comments section below, Tucker’s behavior may be no laughing matter — and even a sign of an illness.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, behavior, border collie, canada, cars, chasing, chasing cars, circles, clifford green, dog, dogs, emyvale, energy, news, ohmidog!, pets, prince edward island, spinner, spinning, spins, tricks, tucker, twirl, twirling, video
Perhaps you’ve heard people say this: Two dogs are just as easy as one. Or, three dogs are just as easy as two.
It’s not so.
Bearing in mind that it depends in large extent on the individual dogs, and having a routine carved out for them, the amount of time and energy spent on caring for multiple dogs doesn’t just double with two dogs, or triple with three dogs. When it comes to multiple dogs, basic math goes out the window.
Among my observations so far — based on my hosting three guest canines for Christmas, two of which have arrived so far to join me and my own dog Ace:
– Three dogs, who you would think would drink three times the amount of water as one, actually drink eight times the amount.
– Three dogs who normally wouldn’t follow you from room to room, all follow you from room to room when they are together.
– Three dogs, as all three have to do whatever one does — be it drinking water, peeing, barking or jumping on the human – actually engage in 18 times the amount of activity that they would on their own.
My newest arrival is a young Boston terrier named Darcy, who possesses an energy level equivalent to a whole litter of Energizer bunnies. She’s constantly on the go. She likes to get up on the couch or a chair, so she’s at eye level with Ace, and then slap her paws into his face. Ace responds by taking Darcy’s paw, leg, or entire head into his mouth, at which point Darcy freezes until Ace lets go. Then they do it all over again. Cheyenne, the visiting blind dog, stayed out of those frays.
Darcy’s humans brought plenty of toys, which everyone is sharing nicely. Cheyenne went nuts over Darcy’s tug toy, whipping it around and flinging it, trying to find where it went, then doing it all over again.
Darcy meanwhile took a strong liking to Cheyenne’s bed — pulling it out of the crate, attempting to impregnate it (though she’s a female), nursing on its bulges, and finally trying to pull the stuffing out of it, at which point I had to separate her from her lover/mother/prey.
Somebody pooped in the house (I’m not pointing any fingers), a feat which, fortunately, the others — so far — haven’t felt the need to duplicate.
All three took turns resting on the couch, engaging in play and gnawing on one well-chewed marrow bone.
As evening fell I learned that walking three dogs is 8.7 times harder than walking one, 23.5 times harder when you thrown in the ice, and it left me 10.6 times more tired than I should have been.
Back from the park, after dinner and a few more spurts of play, the gang finally started settling down, and we all sacked out on the couch — except for Ace, who knew he wouldn’t fit. He settled for putting his head only on the couch for a few minutes, then sprawled out at the foot of it.
You know that feeling you get when the day is done, and your work is finished, and you look over at your peacefully sleeping, or even just resting dog — that soul-comforting, all-is-right-with-the-world flush of warm contentment, better even than a crackling fire, hot chocolate, or a steaming bowl of macaroni and cheese?
Turns out multiple dogs make that feeling rise exponentially, too.
On my three dog night, with the blind one curled up between my legs, her head resting on my feet; the big one on floor by the couch, reaching for me now and then with his paw; and the little Boston terrier resting, finally, on my belly, I realized I was feeling 9.9 times more peaceful and harmonious than usual.
(To read all of the “Company for Christmas” series, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bed, behavior, blind, blind dog, boarders, boston terrier, cheyenne, christmas, comfort, company for christmas, contentment, darcy, dog, dogs, energy, group dynamics, guests, math, mulitiple dogs, pets, play, relationships, three dog night, three dogs, toys, visitors, work, yellow lab