Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Daily Wisdom

I like sharing daily wisdom with Theo.  Today I told him that today was the first day of the rest of his life.  He immediately began calculating if this somehow meant an extra mealtime or two.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Deep Thoughts

I don't know what Thompson might be thinking about but perhaps it's that his blanket needs to be washed sometime soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

20,000 Miles

I hit the 20,000 miles mark on my scooter last night on my way home from work.  Just think where I'd be if only I had ridden all that in a straight line...

I got home and shared the exciting news with the boyz.  "Do you know how far 20,000 miles is?"  The only one to look at me was Thompson and his look was, "yeah it's around 20,000 miles."  Hrrumph.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Interpretation

To the untrained eye this might just look like Diego-san in a relaxed state.  To my eye it is a taunt- a "I think I'll just take a nap while you go off and work your job in order to pay for the dinner I'll eat when I wake from my nap" pose.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stress Reliever

It's hard to remain too stressed out after a long day at the office when I come home to this face...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pro Dane

One of my friends works for a great dane rescue organization.  She asked me if I'd have any interest in fostering a great dane.  "They get along great with cats," she informed me.  We took a house vote and the result was 3-1 against.  The one yes vote was Theo's.  He thought it would be a blast chasing a great dane all over the house.

The Natural

Put out a box and they will come.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reputation Proceeds Him

I don't know why I think this, and I'll be the first to admit it's probably unfair, but when Thompson and Diego-san rest inside a confined area I usually think part of the reason is to avoid being pounced on unexpectedly by their younger brother. When Theo rests inside a confined area, I often think it's to be hidden so he can pounce on a surprised brother who might happen to stroll by the area.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Model of Consistency

The boyz should be happy to know that my dorky behavior extends beyond the walls of our house.  On my scooter ride to work I pass through several suburbs.  When I hit the border of a suburb I've taken to calling out at the top of my lungs, "Hello people of..."  I'm sure everyone in earshot must enjoy that as much as the boyz enjoy my incessant yammering when I'm at home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Zzzzzzzz

When it comes to snoozing, Thompson makes everyone else look like amateurs.

Star Tribune 8/14/12

I don't think the boyz would disagree about being "more typically described as independent" but don't mention to them that they're not supposed to be so welcoming of me when I get home...


Cat in condo? OK. Companion dog? No way


by Dan Browning
The age-old question of which is better, cats or dogs, has landed in federal court in Minneapolis.

The unusual issue has provoked a big legal fight between a disabled Minneapolis woman and the board overseeing a condominium where she's been a longtime resident.

Diane Orenstein's doctor, her psychologist and her social worker all say that a trained "companion dog" would help the 55-year-old woman cope with anxiety, depression and social isolation that she suffers because of brain damage.

But the Calhoun-Isles Condominium Association isn't buying it.

The association forbids dogs in the high-rise units where Orenstein lives, and has refused six requests in the past 18 months to make a special accommodation. "The Association encourages Ms. Orenstein to consider the therapeutic benefits that keeping a cat may provide," an attorney for the group wrote in response to her requests. Condominium rules allow cats and small birds in her building, but not dogs.

Orenstein's attorneys with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging that the condo association and Gittleman Management Corp. are violating the federal Fair Housing Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act by refusing to make special accommodations for Orenstein's disability.

Gittleman, based in Bloomington, manages 34 townhouses and 109 high-rise apartment-style units in a complex just north of Lake Calhoun.

Orenstein declined a request to be interviewed or photographed, said Michael Fargione, Legal Aid's litigation director.

"Ordinary events can lead to her feeling overwhelmed and can put her into a downward spiral in which it becomes difficult for her to engage in any of her normal activities. Her becoming anxious and upset leads to isolation and withdrawal," Fargione wrote in an exhibit he filed with the suit.

The Social Security Administration determined that Orenstein qualified for disability benefits as of mid-May, although her condition has existed since she suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall in 2006 and another in 2010.

Why a dog?

Karen Larson-Hahn, a psychologist with Courage Center, wrote a letter supporting Orenstein's efforts to get a companion dog, as did Dr. Ayesha Rehman, a psychiatrist at Hennepin County Medical Center.

"Caring for a dog would provide meaning and the unconditional love offered by a dog and would help to improve self-esteem and reduce stress. The deed to walk a dog daily for exercise would provide physical and emotional benefit for Diane," Larson-Hahn wrote.

Tanya Kern, her clinical social worker, said a having a dog would make "significant therapeutic benefits."
Orenstein wants to get a small dog called a Cavalier King Charles spaniel from Puppy Love Caring Canines in Hugo. The breed typically weighs about 15 pounds, the size of a large cat, and has an affectionate disposition, said Grete Krause, who founded Puppy Love 12 years ago to custom-train service dogs.

"They always are smiling at you," she said.

Krause said her companion dogs help people who have depression and anxiety disorders to focus on something outside of themselves. During walks, dogs spark social interactions that help people who tend to isolate themselves, she said.

"I've known people with cats that have similar benefits," Krause said. "But you don't have to take a cat outside to go for a walk."

Legal fencing
Orenstein's lawyers have been trying to get the condominium association to relax its "no dogs" rule since July 2011. They argued that accommodating her request wouldn't cost the association any money.

Attorneys for the association demanded more and more evidence that Orenstein was disabled. They noted that residents of the high-rise must share common areas and a dog creates the potential for damage, additional cleanup work for staff, and potential conflicts with other residents.

Orenstein's lawyers then proposed a four-month trial period.

"The Association does not conduct behavioral evaluations," replied Jeffrey R. Underhill, one of the association's attorneys, in a letter last October.

Underhill continued to question whether Orenstein met the legal threshold for disability accommodations even after her attorneys notified him that she was approved by the Social Security Administration for disability benefits. In a letter last July, he wrote that neither Orenstein nor her psychologist seem to have considered "the benefits a cat would provide."

"If Ms. Orenstein is indeed handicapped, as defined under applicable law, the Association feels that permitting Ms. Orenstein to keep a cat reasonably accommodates her disability," Underhill wrote.

Fargione, exasperated, responded Aug. 1.

"The medical professionals have not suggested a cat," he wrote. "As a species, cats are certainly not noted for welcoming an owner home from work or enjoying a walk on a leash. The psychologist's characterization of benefits from the 'unconditional love offered by a dog' is not typically applied to cats, which are more typically described as independent," he said.

Orenstein's lawsuit seeks a judgment declaring that the defendants have violated her civil rights. She seeks unspecified monetary damages for violating the law, plus compensatory damages of $250 a month for every month going forward that she's not allowed to have a dog, plus attorney fees and costs.

Einar Hanson, a Red Wing attorney who represents the nonprofit condo association, said his clients hold no ill will toward Orenstein. But the condo's board members believe they must enforce the rules that were established for the "community of owners" in the high-rise, he said.

"It's not something that the board relishes, having to be in this situation," Hanson said.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Look Defined

This is Diego-san's 'there's not enough room for your guitar and me on your lap,' look.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Night

For Frank Sinatra, Saturday nights were the loneliest night of the week.  That's because that was the night he and his baby used to dance cheek to cheek.  Thompson doesn't mind Saturday nights.  It's usually one of the few nights of the week everyone in the house are all present and accounted for...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Life with a Dork

We watched a documentary about Humphrey Bogart last night.  Diego-san wants to know why he can't live with someone as cool as Bogie.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yoga Boy

Thompson thinks it's important to rest in angular positions.  How else would you keep your flexibility?  Exercise or some foolish idea like that?

Sweet

I told Theo he has the sweetest face in the world.  I think this alarmed him because he's heard me talk about how sweet milk duds are and he knows I'm a milk dud junkie and he really doesn't want me to eat his face.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Amused Boy

Diego-san thinks killing the bongo ball is just hi-lar-ious.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Thank You

Thompson thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.  It was his best 10th birthday ever.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

What's Going On?

"Nothing to be seen here... just continue with your business and ignore any unexplained noise... I'm not doing anything... and if I was I'm sure you'd be OK with it..."

Friday, September 07, 2012

Happy Birthday Thompson

video

If you turn the sound up really really loud to this video you can hear the birthday boy snoring...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

"J" is for Jack of All Trades

This is Diego-san's best attempt at impersonating the letter "J."  For his next trick he'll attempt to be a semi-colon.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Sentry

If you decide to go upstairs, you do so at your own peril.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Just Another Day

After a nice and needed three day weekend I'm back off to work... Diego-san, not so much.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Pssst

After seeing the debacle that was Diego-san's forgotten birthday, Thompson was sure to remind me that his birthday is coming up very soon...

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Not Sure Which He Prefers

Theo thinks Sundays are odd.  The whole schedule is different, the food guy is usually home, and his brothers don't do the same things they do when the food guy isn't around to supervise activities.

Saturday, September 01, 2012