Thursday, 28 September 2017

08:56 – It was 63.1F (17.5C) when I took Colin out at 0700, mostly clear. Barbara is off this morning to volunteer at the historical society museum. I need to get my application to be an amateur radio volunteer examiner filled out and submitted today.

I finally ordered a shock collar for Colin yesterday. It allows a gradually escalating stimulus, from audio/visual to start with, up through an adjustable level of electric shock. One way or another, we are going to get him trained to come when he’s called, no matter how interested he is in something else.

I forgot to mention that we’d had our first real deep pantry fail. At least I think we did. We were running out of mayonnaise upstairs, so I brought up another jar. It was reasonably fresh. The best-by date on it was January, 2016. I just put it on the kitchen counter and didn’t think any more about it.

When Barbara was making sandwiches for lunch, she opened it. She called me into the kitchen and pointed out that the PET jar had dented in and that when she opened the jar that cardboard/foil seal over the mouth of the jar just came loose freely. The contents didn’t smell bad, exactly, but there was a moderate odor. So we pitched the jar.

That’s the first time we’ve ever encountered a problem with food that was packaged in a way that I’d consider LTS-grade.

Yesterday, we assembled the first set of steel shelves I’d ordered from Walmart. The only shipping damage was a minor dent to the corner of one of the fiberboard shelves. It’s a 2X4-foot shelf unit that’s six feet tall and has five shelves. It’s rated to support 4,000 pounds total, 800 pounds per shelf, but I have my doubts. The 2X4 fiberboard shelves are supported only along the four edges, with no cross-bracing. I’d be surprised if they didn’t sag, especially since the fiberboard is only about a quarter inch thick. If it becomes a problem, I’ll just replace the shelves with 3/8″ plywood.

We started watching a documentary about stone-age humans last night. The clan had a dog running around their huts, which again made me think of Neanderthals.

H. sapiens neanderthalensis was apparently superior in just about every way to us gracile H. sapiens sapiens. They were bigger than us, much stronger, and, given their much larger cranial capacities, almost certainly smarter than us as well. So the mystery is why they faded away while modern humans became the dominant primates on the planet.

I’ve always suspected it was because modern humans domesticated Canis lupus familiaris while Neanderthals did not. One on one, a sapiens was no match for a neanderthalensis, but one modern man with a dog easily overmatched a Neanderthal.

So, gradually, neanderthalensis faded out as a distinct sub-species and was incorporated into the muttly line of modern humans.

Or so I strongly suspect. And DNA testing on various modern human lines bears that out, I think.