That's Gneiss! #98 ~ Rowland's weird friend

One of many great things about moving to Everett has been the walks I take with Rowland. We have numerous routes around the neighborhood, and he’s gotten to know where all of the different yard dogs live. This morning it was raining pretty hard, and he seemed genuinely disappointed that none of them were outside.

There is one funny dog we see several times a week, just across the freeway. Her name is Marie, and she’s always hanging around, not tethered or within a fence. She and Rowland greet each other politely, and she usually escorts us through her territory.

They look a lot alike!

Rowland wants me to make it very clear that even though they look alike from a distance, he is much more handsome and DOES NOT have any gray on his face. See for yourself:

He’s very handsome, isn’t he?

Marie lives with a metal scrapper. He and his team have two pickups and trailers like this that are always full of old appliances and other scrap metal.

I would bet money he picked up the washer and dryer that were dumped at the end of our street last week. We’re planning to give him the broken water tank from our trailer once we’re done camping for the year - it would be tough to get rid of otherwise! I’m sure he’ll be happy to take it.

He drives up and down the streets and alleys in town, and Marie likes to go with him. I see her hanging out of the truck window when they drive by sometimes. Once when Rowland and I were walking several blocks away, I saw a loose black dog in one of the alleys. I’m always cautious about loose dogs. It turned out to be her, just nosing around while her person drove around looking for scrap.

Another time I walked up the street to drop off a book at the Little Free Library in the park. I started towards home, and here she comes down the sidewalk heading in the same direction. She passed me, moving quickly towards her home. An older gentleman was standing in the park, and commented about her not being on a leash. I told him she wasn’t my dog, and we both shook our heads as she trotted off. She still had a few blocks to go, including crossing the overpass to her side of the freeway.

Usually we see her in her home territory, which ranges for about half a block. She’s often in her wallow under the shrub in the yard next to hers.

That’s a mighty fine wallow!

One time I watched her scratching herself against the fence at the furthest north extent of her range - I think she does this often. You can see the dog-height line of dirt!

That house is for sale now, so I’m not sure how the new owners will like the free range dog. The green house is for sale too, as is the gray house beyond that. Hmmm…

A few days ago when we walked by Marie was carrying around a rawhide chew.


Rowland didn’t like walking by when she had her chew. He kept his ears plastered to his head the whole time. He didn’t even try to sniff at it (I think he knew better). She barked at us a couple of times as we walked along - I think she was showing off.

She’s a funny dog.

Rowland has one last thing to share with you today - he’s in a band!

I also have some late-breaking news… I just discovered a maple tree growing in my yard! It’s almost two feet tall already. I’m not sure what variety it is, there are quite a few different types in the area. Exciting!

I hope you all have a good week!


  • MapCrunch - travel the world without leaving your seat! Just click “go” and see where you land next.

  • Crochet hat patterns designed by a neural network called HAT3000 (modeled by cats!)

  • What did the earth look like where you live 450 million years ago? Plug your address in to see how earth has changed over time.

  • Be careful if you judge a book by its cover - it might not be the book you think it is

  • Making: This week somebody I follow on Twitter wanted people to draw penguins, so I did.

  • Recently eaten: We tried a different sushi place - Wasabi Factory. I had a big bowl of ramen. Not bad!

  • Reading: I finished Walking by Erling Kagge. It’s one of those books I might have dropped, but by the time I decided I wasn’t totally thrilled I was almost done. It was a bit too navel-gazey for my tastes. Still working on gods with a little g.

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Some of you may recognize this tune from this instructional video.

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Last week I asked if you could become an instant expert in something, what would it be?

To the question, Ecology. I think it’s why I tried and failed at biology. I wanted (want) better understanding of systems, large, small, relational. To have a better understanding of the real (to my mind) web. Anyway, great question.

Becoming an instant expert in language would fix everything, or so my experience with that one linguistics class proved. 

I would love to be an instant expert in cartography, with the ability to draw beautiful maps by hand.

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