I found this chart to be an intriguing presentation of complex data, ranking dogs by their public popularity and according to a variety of other attributes such as longevity, cost of ownership, health, intelligence and more.
What do you think? Is your pooch was properly positioned? I’ll take a flyer and assume bulldog owners wont agree with the rankings.
Max fits in the middle of the frou-frou class, equal to the Shih Tzu and Pomeranian, a tad behind the Poodle and the Bitchin’ Frizzy (or Bichon Frise if you are bi-lingual.)
Our dear friends Kyla and Stuart are…where are the Scotties?….oh my, there you are, way back in the middle.
If you find graphic depictions of data to be interesting, as I do, I commend you to the website of the creator of this chart, David McCandless. If you visit, click on any of the images on his home page and when that image comes up, there is usually an option to expand to the full size version of the data presentation.
Today, Max’s adventure took us to Pu’u Ohia, better known as Mount Tantalus.
It’s a lushly wooded, extinct volcanic cinder cone that was part of the immense Ko’olau Volcano that formed the southeastern part of our island of Oahu.
Tantalus was named in 1840 by kids from Punahou School while on a field trip.
Even now this elite school, President Obama’s alma mater, is where the smart, and/or rich, and/or lucky, kids go.
Not content with naming a Hawaiian cinder cone after a Greek dude, the Punahou kids proceeded to name the adjacent mountains and hills “Olympus”, “Round Top” and “Sugarloaf”.
Smart/rich/lucky, yes, but these privileged spawn were not paragons of cultural sensitivity and the mountain naming trip was a grim day for Hawaiian nomenclature.
The mythological Tantalus was a bad boy who committed a cornucopia of crimes depending on which version of his story you read.
Cannibalism, murder, and the flagrant promotion of Internet Explorer were all on his list of misdeeds.
Of all his unforgiveable transgressions, my favorite, because it ties into this blog’s theme, is that he stole a gold dog statue that was intended as a gift for the baby Zeus.
His punishment was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches went up. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water went down. Bummer.
Thus Tantalus evolved to the English verb “tantalize”, the proverbial word for temptation without satisfaction.
Sort of like passing a microbrewery on the one day it is closed for renovations.
Or seeing Kim Kardashian’s latest photo spread when you don’t have a paddle.
But I digress.
As mounts go, it’s not very tall, rising to only 2,014 feet in America and only 614 meters in the rest of the world. It has long been a popular retreat for Honolulu dwellers seeking cooler temperatures, a rain forest-like atmosphere and great views.
During World War II, the US Army manned an artillery control station on Tantalus.
Not many folks know that the southern slope of the cinder cone was bombed by two Japanese Flying Boats during their failed second attack on Oahu (the first one was Pearl Harbor) on March 4, 1942.
If you never heard of this second attack, by all means click this link for a short recap of Operation K, a near text book example of what the Japanese have come to call “Murphy-san’s Law.”
There are numerous hiking trails on Mount Tantalus including a six mile loop trail that meanders through a forest of aromatic eucalyptus, guava, myrtle, shower trees, monkeypod, jacaranda and vast swaths of stag-horn ferns.
The hill is also popular with death-defying skateboarders, indefatigable bicyclists and joggers seeking a personal understanding of the term “myocardial infarction.”
The first home on Tantalus was built in 1880 and due to the challenging terrain, electricity was not available until the 1920’s, some 30 years after the bulk of Honolulu had service.
Although it is only 3 miles from downtown Honolulu, this misty and rugged area has no public water or sewer connection.
Instead, they rely on catchment systems to collect nightly rainfall and septic tanks or cesspools for waste disposal.
There are now about 150 private homes on the mountain and they will set you back from about $900,000 for a hovel to about $1,500,000 for a mere fixer-upper. To get a nice, move-in ready place will add another $1 – $2 million. Oh well, the lots are big by Hawaii standards.
There is a small State Park about halfway up Round Top Drive named Pu’u Ualaka’a.
It’s a wonderful spot to view the city of Honolulu and most all of the south shore of the island.
According to the local tale, Pu’u Ualaka’a means “hill of the rolling sweet potatoes.”
It was named by Kamehameha I who ordered sweet potatoes to be planted on the slopes. When they were dug up, they rolled down the hill.
Kamehameha I was a literal kind of guy when it came to place names.
He pretty much sucked at farming, too.
Dogs are not permitted at Pu’u Ualaka’a.
However, keeping with the spirit of Tantalus, we went rogue and simply ignored the signs, broke the law and thereby risked a future of standing in duplicitous water under malevolent fruit trees just so the Malt might experience the sights.
The road to the top of Mount Tantalus connects to the adjacent hill called Round Top so most folks make the drive into a loop.
There are numerous spots to stop along the road and a night drive to admire the city lights is a popular activity.
Younger folk will stop at the turn-outs for long periods of time to watch the nightly offshore submarine races, an activity which curiously fogs car windows.
On the lower slopes of Tantalus is the neighborhood of Papakolea, home to the largest concentration of Native Hawaiians in urban Honolulu.
In Papakolea, eighty-five percent of residents are full or part-Hawaiian.
To complete our loop we drove past a mini-park that has a giant earpod tree and we let the Malt get out and stretch his short legs.
All too soon we were home with Max sitting by the condo window, gazing up at the site of his most recent adventure and dreaming of the smell of rolling sweet potatoes in the morning.
He had stayed up late savaging his toy hedgehog “Hedgie” and playing chase me – chase you.
He should have known that after a wild night comes a morning of remorse and bad photographs.
Looking bad, Max. Feeling bad, Dad.
However, a full day was planned so there was no time for coddling.
Perhaps sunglasses, the preferred disguise of the stars, would work equally well for the Pupperoni.
Time to hit the K Streets, perform the morning constitutional and head out in pursuit of the the strange and amazing.
It didn’t take long to find something strange. Well, it seems strange to me but maybe you folks can figure out Korean videos.
For example, look at this movie poster for a TV series called “Discovery of Love” and see if you can discover anything happy or loving in it.
The description doesn’t help much:
“Han Yeo-Reum (Jung Yu-Mi) is in love with her boyfriend, but her ex-boyfriend, Kang Tae-Ha (Eric), who realizes his faults appears in front of her.”
Thanks for nothing.
I’d peg it as a collection of very unhappy Korean youth but maybe their reaction to love is an odd cultural thing like on Futa Futa Island where if someone gives you an ice cream cone you are expected to scream filthy imprecations at them. OK, I made up that last part.
Or how about this poster for a K-Flick called “You Are All Surrounded.”
Now, how can these people surround anything if they are all clumped together as if in an invisible elevator?
I mean, really, you could escape these twenty-something crime fighters simply by walking in any direction other than straight ahead.
I suppose the girl with the bullhorn would yell at you. “Stop, Gangnam style!” But I digress.
Max had an appointment scheduled at The Beauty Salon for Doggies so we couldn’t linger at the Korean video store whose catchy name is Jip Hyun Jon.
Jip Hyun Jon. Say that 3x fast while eating peanut butter and saltines. Worse than Beteljuice.
Anyway, I’ve mentioned the lovely Miss Nanako, proprietress of the salon, in previous posts.
She is Max’s wonderful groomer and an all around delightful person. That probably accounts for her mutt salon getting five star ratings from Yelp and everyone else.
I never posted a snapshot before because she is notoriously camera-shy, even in her lair.
This time I was determined to get photos of her and her canine clean-up emporium.
Max loves Nanako-san but he hates the grooming process. He is literally shaking by the time we hand him over for his ordeal.
It was a busy day at the shop. Shown here are a couple of well behaved customers, a smiling Shih-Tzu and a small pretty poodle.
The staff of three are always busy and appointments must be schedule three weeks in advance, longer at holiday times.
While Max was getting trimmed the AJF and I attended to numerous errands.
We left him there for about 2 hours, just long enough for him to work up a major head of steam and fury.
By the end of that time, he had been spiffed up, had his oil changed, tires rotated and was prepped for our Thanksgiving Holiday, coming up in a few weeks.
Looking good, Max. Feeling mean, Dad.
Miss Nanako always takes a post-haircut photo for her clients.
She can get Max to look at the camera which is not easy to do as he is a master of evasion.
Max had, as usual, developed a massive case of bad attitude and therefore spent most of the afternoon sulking behind my chair.
The video link in the re-blog I posted earlier just refused to co-operate so I deleted the post and, instead, linked the video directly from YouTube.
It’s such a funny little scene of two dogs enjoying a vanilla cone at McDonalds. Max loves Mickey D cones, so much so that we have a term – “Cone Face” – to describe his look when he munches that tasty, crispy ice cream handling device called a cone.
Anyway, sorry for the multiple re-blogs but this one made me laugh out loud and I hope you enjoy it.
(Aside to Kyla, I’m sorry I lost your comment when I edited this but the blank video screen was driving me crazy.)
Quick update on our favorite little Yorkie, Miss Kiku.
You’ll remember from our last post that Kiku-chan had just embarked on her professional career in the cut throat world of dog shows. The Octagon. Thunderdome.
It takes 15 points to achieve champion status and as of this writing, the little furball has captured 10 points putting her 66.666666% of the way to her goal.
This is the time when the going gets tough because other competitive breeders bring out the long knives and connive ways to game the system by limiting the head to head competitions and showings needed to get those elusive last few points. Good luck, Kiku!
More fun is the news that Kiku just celebrated her first birthday on October 28th. Her many friends nearly crashed Facebook with photo postings of the day.
These photos were taken by Kiku-chan’s Mom at our condo.
The red jeweled bow in her hair came from Latvia just like Mikhail Barishnikov.
Now for your mandatory dose of culture. Today’s lessons, kids, are about the tiny nation of Latvia.
Latvia is called “the singing nation”. It is unusual to find a Latvian who has not sung in a choir or some other group at some point in their life.
When dining in Latvia, napkins should be left on the table and not put in your lap.
Latvians are slow to pay compliments and may become suspicious of compliments offered too readily and without sufficient reason.
Had enough? OK.
One last item: aside from jeweled dog ornaments, Latvia is also known for its Annual Grass Mowing Contest. You think I’m joking, right? Go ahead and give it a click: