Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spirit Bears in the City, Part I: Spike Meets SpiderBear

All over British Columbia, Bears are on display in the great "Spirit Bears in the City" Bearstravaganza!

Here I am with SpiderBear, whose full name is "When Raven Became Spider: A Journey With the Spirit Bear." SpiderBear lives outside UNBC, so he is very smart.

Thanks to Leone for helping with the pictoos!

OK Bye

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Clickoo Training, Part II: Kitties 2, Jim 0

Jim has now moved on to trying to clickoo train the kitties. First, Jim needed to give the clickoo meaning to the kitties, by clicking it and then giving them a treat, so they would build up that association. The kitties did seem to like that part of the training, and quite happiloo took treats as Jim handed them out.

Then Jim tried to teach them to follow a long wooden spoon, so he could lead them into new positions, over varioo obstacles, etc. He tried to do this by waiting until they touched or moved towards the spoon, and then clicking and giving them a treat, so that they would learn to follow the spoon aroo.

This is where the clickoo training started to break down. Whenevoo Jim held the spoon in front of Spike the Cat, Spike just stared intently past it at the kitty treats. If Jim tried to hold the spoon in front of Spike's face to encourage him to touch it, Spike walked over or aroo the spoon to get a better view of the kitty treats.

It didn't go much better with Chuck the Cat. Whenever Jim held the spoon up in front of Chuck, Chuck grabbed it with his paws, pulled it to him and bit it. Rather than go to the spoon, he prefered to bring the spoon to him.

In sum, so far the kitties have learned that Jim gives them kitty treats, that for some strange reason known only to him he likes to hold a long wooden spoon and clickoo while giving them kitty treats, and that he keeps a bag of the kitty treats in the drawer of the new sideboard in the dining room. The kitties now like to sit on the sideboard and look at the drawer.

So far, Jim has learned that you can't clickoo train kitties any more than Bears.

OK Bye
Spike the Bear

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Clickoo Training, Part I: Don't Click at Bears

Jim recently read Don't Shoot the Dog. Sometimes Jim reading is a good thing, as it keeps him busy while we borrow his 'Merican 'Spress Card and order caaaandy online. But other times, reading gives Jim ideas, and Jim with ideas can be difficoo for all of us. Don't Shoot the Dog gave Jim ideas. It's a book about clickoo training, which is a way to teach animoos to do tricks and things. Every time the animoo you're training does something good, you click a clickoo, and then give him a treat.

Well, first thing Jim wanted to do after reading the book was clickoo train us. As you can no doubt imagine, Bears don't "do tricks." Bears are witty conversationalists, urbane raconteurs, and we are not above the occasional pratfall to get a laugh. But we do not "do tricks." Luckily, we had Noel "Snowflake" Chompsky and Blinky, with their extensoo experience in nonvioloont resistoonce to advise us. When Jim got out his clickoo and a bunch of caaaandy to give us as rewards, we stayed absoluteloo still. We didn't move a muscle. Eventualloo, Jim stopped sitting in front of us with his clickoo, and just gave us the caaaandy. So we quickly trained Jim not to clickoo train us.

But now, Jim has turned to the kitties: Chuck the Cat and Spike the Cat.

Hurry back for our next installmoo, when we see if Jim has any more luck clickoo training kitties than he had clickoo training Bears.

OK Bye
Spike the Bear