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Jerk o’ the Week: Argumentative Anna

argumentative anna jerk

The following is an excerpt from The Little Book of Big Jerks to give you a sneak peek at the types of jerks you’ll meet inside the guide to dealing with difficult people.

Argumentative Anna

Argumentative Anna is an expert on everything, or so she thinks. And the first thing she knows is that whatever you know is wrong. It doesn’t matter that she never rode a horse, painted an awning or flown a plane, she’ll tell the cowboy his saddle is too tight, tell the awning painter the color is not right and tell the pilot he’s doing the landing thing all wrong.

3 Giveaway Traits:

  • Constantly barges in with her input, even if she has no idea about the topic at hand
  • Tells you you’re wrong, even if you happen to agree with her
  • Argues about things that have basis in scientific fact, like that silly idea about the earth being round

How to Deal:

Tell her she’s right. Absolutely right.

How Else to Deal:

Check out the cool jerk-fighting tools in The Little Book of Big Jerks. Real-life solutions for dealing with real-life jerks.

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I Never Met a Dog I Didn’t Like – Until I Met Gillespie

jerky dog meme

Who is Gillespie?

Gillespie was this chunky little ornery dog we met at the dog park. He was a real jerk.

What made him jerky?

He followed us around snarling. Then he tried to get between my own dogs and me, snarling at them if they came near me. Then he incessantly sniffed butts while snarling some more. He finally snarled one too many times in my dog Gigi’s face and Gigi attacked him.

Then what happened?

Then we left.

What were Gillespie’s owners doing during all this?

Just sitting there on a bench. They finally said the dog’s name after the attack. Maybe to prevent another one?

Or maybe they wanted Gillespie to get attacked and killed so they didn’t have to bring him back home.

No, people can’t be that cruel – even with a jerky dog.

So what should people do if they have a jerky dog?

Not bring him out in public.

And warn any visitors to the home that a jerky dog is on the property.

You mean they should buy one of your custom dog signs on Etsy?

You bet! This one works:

obnoxious dog sing
obnoxious dog on property

Buy one now (even if your dog is not a jerk).

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3 Things that Can Make or Break Your Dog Beach Retreat

dog beach tent

Lots of sunshine, lots of ocean and lots of meditative naps. My annual San Diego Dog Beach retreat with the hounds is stocked with the perfect ingredients for one relaxing, revitalizing getaway. Yet each year it consistently came with three ingredients we’d all prefer to live without:

  • Sand in the bed
  • Over-baking in the sun
  • That icky wet dog smell

Year after year I just kind of learned to live with these things, the same way you learn to live with a rock in your shoe if you’re too lazy to stop and remove it. But this year I fought back. I was going to hurl that proverbial rock from my shoe, conquering the bed sand, the sun bake and the wet dog smell.

And I did it with three simple add-ons to my packing list.

dog beach dog paws

Hand-Held Vacuum

Conquers sand in the bed

Not sure if anyone calls them “Dust Busters” anymore, but I am sure that rechargeable, hand-held vacuums suck up sand in bed like nobody’s business.

If you’re heading to Dog Beach, your hotel bed is going to end up sandy and wet. Even if there are two queen-sized beds in the room and you’re only planning to sleep on one of them, dogs have a certain way of choosing your sleeping bed to romp on right after an afternoon at the beach.

One year we tried a throw rug foot mat, which helped a tad for wiping off human feet before hopping into bed. But the dogs never got the hang of using it properly to wipe their paws. It helped a little.

The next year we tried a thick over-sheet that helped keep dog sand from seeping through the porous blanket into the main sheets. It helped a little more.

The third year I got really savvy. I packed the hand-held vacuum. Combined with the foot mat and non-porous top sheet, the vacuum provided the final touch every beach bed needs to prevent you from waking up with grit in your teeth.

dog beach san diego

Dog Beach Tent

Protects from wind and sun

When you live in the middle of the Arizona desert and drive more than six hours to reach the Pacific Ocean, you’ll be dang well sure you’re spending as much time as humanly possible on the beach before you return to cactus land.

But the amount of time that’s humanly possible in the sun is a bit different than the amount that’s dogly possible. Pooches tend to tucker out much quicker, probably because one dog hour in the sun is equivalent to seven human hours in the sun, no?

A sweet lil beach tent came to the rescue here. Not only did it serve to shield us from the beach wind and sun, but it worked as an ideal hiding place in case we wanted spy on passers-by. No one comes near the tents around Ocean Beach because they’re typically populated with hobo types who ask for money if you come within 25 feet of them.


dog beach pacific ocean

Essential Oils

Annihilates icky wet dog smell

The best add-on by far was a trio of essential oils, a plug-in diffuser and a spray bottle. Fill the diffuser and bottle with water mingled with a few drops of your favorite oils. Plug in the former. Shake up and spray the latter. Repeat as often as needed. You just got wiped out that icky wet dog smell.

Peppermint essential oil is strong without being overpowering. Vanilla adds a warm and cozy touch. Ylang Ylang adds a dollop of energy and has a really cool name.

All our future dog beach retreats will definitely include these magical items – along with the approximately 564 million other things we pack ur annual retreat is awash with comfort, peace and plenty of sand-free serenity.

What must-have items do you always bring along on retreats?

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How to Fix Your Brother Printer When It Goes Offline


rat sloth 2
  1. Send about 35 pages to print, expecting printer to work like it usually does.
  2. Get the ERROR message on the side of your computer screen that says PRINTER OFFLINE.
  3. Restart computer.
  4. Do load of laundry while waiting for extensive computer rebooting process.
  5. Try sending pages to print again.
  6. Enjoy repeat performance of PRINTER OFFLINE show.
  7. Shut down computer.
  8. Shut down power strip on printer, which involves gently moving cumbersome, expensive brick kiln you bought to make silver jewelry and then stored on a rolling platform thing under the desk.
  9. Turn on computer.
  10. Turn on power strip for printer.
  11. Move load of laundry to the dryer while waiting for everything to reboot.
  12. Send pages to printer again.
  13. Enjoy another encore of the PRINTER OFFLINE show.
  14. Get pop-up WIZARD thing that promises to look for a solution.
  15. Check boxes on wizard thing that confirms you did all those obvious things like making sure printer is on, plugged in, not lying on its side in an ally somewhere, etc.
  16. Click ALLOW on box that comes up, asking if it’s OK for Brother to tinker around with computer hard drive and make any changes it feels like making.
  17. Watch the little spinny thing in middle of computer screen that’s supposed to prove something is doing something while you sit there like an idiot.
  18. Watch the spinny thing some more, thinking of how it reminds you of the laundry spinning around the dryer.
  19. Go eat breakfast.
  20. Come back to computer to find BIG RED X in middle of pop-up on screen, telling you there was an error and the program must shut down.
  21. Let the program shut down.
  22. Try sending pages again, just for the heck of it.
  23. Get one more glimpse of the PRINTER ERROR show.
  24. Try one of two options below.

One option: Repeat process as frequently as time, patience and sanity allows.

Other option: Work on projects that require no printing for the day, one of which can be searching online for a new printer.

WARNING: It may be days, weeks or even months later, but the printer may one day suddenly decide to start printing again. When this happens, you will be treated to more than 100 pages of stuff you sent to the printer eons ago, totally forgetting about it.

DO NOT CANCEL printing job or you’ll be subjected, once again, to the PRINTER OFFLINE show.

Just learn to love scrap paper.