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2009: Puzzle Year

I'm King of the World!

I'm King of the World!

Sometimes things happen that you don’t expect. Or they have unexpected consequences. For example, suppose Philip gave my owner a giant Ravensburger puzzle with over 9,000 pieces for New Year’s.  And instead of keeping the two halves of the puzzle separated, as they came in the box, suppose Philip mixed all the pieces up. What do you think the effects of that would be?

It started out fun enough. Coral, Carl and Neptune were still living with us and they helped put the first parts together.

State of the puzzle in mid-March

State of the puzzle in mid-March

But then they lost interest in the it and it was just me and my owner. We did our best but it was slow going. Turns out that a 9000 piece puzzle is more than nine times as hard as a 1000 piece puzzle. My owner and I spent hours and hours on it but made very little progress.

Working on the puzzle in June

Working on the puzzle in June

I have to admit, when my owner was not around, I didn’t really do anything on the puzzle. Every day when she came home from work, it looked exactly as it did when she left. I did sometimes pick up the pieces off the floor and carry them to her in my mouth. That was helpful.

What did you mean, did I work on it today?

What do you mean, did I work on it today?

In September we still had tons of work to do. That table was big to start with and my owner had to make it even bigger by putting some board on top of it just to fit the puzzle on. Still all the pieces wouldn’t fit and had to be kept in plastic bags until enough pieces found a place inside the puzzle to free up some room.

Cheering my owner up.

Cheering my owner up.

By November we were almost done but my owner was pretty depressed about the whole thing. She kept saying she hated the puzzle. Actually, I did too. I wanted to spend more time outside before the weather got cold. But my owner said we had to finish before New Year’s came around again. It was approaching surprisingly fast!

Just trying to help out.

Just trying to help out.

I hated to see my owner like that so one day I decided to just get up there and finish that puzzle myself. There weren’t that many pieces left. She will be so surprised, I thought. So happy when she sees it done! I could hardly wait and I set right to work.

But my owner came into the room when I wasn’t expecting and she panicked! Maybe she wanted to be the one to put the last piece in, I don’t know. She made me get off the table though and that pretty much put a stop to my actual work. Of course I still had my job as companion and moral officer.

You can see how hard it is to put pieces in with these paws.

You can see how hard it is to put pieces in with these paws.

When it was all done, she moved the whole setup onto the floor where I could see it better. And she didn’t care if I walked on it anymore so I’m pretty sure her previous protest was because she wanted to make sure she was the one to put in the last piece.

At the top of this posting you can see what the finished puzzle looked like. It wasn’t even pretty. Here’s my opinion, if you’re going to do a 9,000 piece puzzle, it should be a picture of capybaras. I guess other rodents would be okay but capybaras would be best. Then when you were done, you wouldn’t have to look at something ugly and say, “I made that.”

Celeste at New Year's with giant puzzle

Celeste at New Year's with giant puzzle

Speaking of capybara puzzles, guess what! My good friend Venita (@vernbern on twitter), gave me a Kapibara-san puzzle for New Year’s this year! Isn’t that cool? My owner and I had plenty of time to work on it since we didn’t have that other stupid puzzle any more.

The Kapibara-san puzzle was only 300 pieces which my owner said was the right number of pieces for a puzzle to have. Plus it was capybaras. We finished it already and it’s still January!

Me with completed Kapibara-san puzzle

Me with completed Kapibara-san puzzle

Venita has two Kapibara-sans of her own, The Cap and Mini-Cap. I think they are both in the picture on the puzzle but I’m not sure. The Cap and Mini-Cap are pretty famous though, they have their own blog, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

Thanks for the great gift, Venita! And give The Cap and Mini-Cap hugs from me.

2009年はパズルの年

I'm King of the World!

世界の王様だぞ!

思いがけないことがおこるもんだ。そういうことが続くこともある。例えばお正月にフィリップがメラニーに9000ピース以上もあるでっかいジグソーパズル Ravensburger puzzle with over 9,000 pieces をあげて、それは普通2つの部分にわけて箱詰めしてあるんだけど、フィリップは全部一緒にしちゃったんだ。どういうことになると思う?

最初は面白かった。コーラルとカールとネプチューンが一緒に住んでて、初めは手伝ってくれてたんだ。

State of the puzzle in mid-March

3月半ばのパズルの出来具合

そのあとは、僕と飼い主の二人っきりになった。いっしょうけんめいやってもなかなか進まない。9000ピースのジグソーっていうのは、1000ピースの9倍難しいってわけじゃない。何時間も何時間もがんばっても、ほんのちょっとしかすすまないんだ。

Working on the puzzle in June

6月のパズル制作

本当言うと、飼い主がいないときは僕はほとんど何もしていなかった。毎日彼女が仕事から帰っても、パズルはほとんど変わっていない。ときどきピースを床からひろって、口にくわえて飼い主に渡したりして・・・それはお手伝いにはなってたけど。

What did you mean, did I work on it today?

どういうこと?今日これをやったっていうの?

9月、まだまだ進んでいない。パズルを乗せてるテーブルはもともと大きなものだけど、パズルが乗っかりきるように、板を足して大きさを広げたものなんだ。それでもパズル全部の大きさには足りなくて、ある程度のピースがそろうまでは、のこりはビニール袋にほかんしておいたもんだ。

Cheering my owner up.

メラニー、がんばって!

11月には大体完成に近づいてきたけど、ここで飼い主はもういやになったみたいなんだ。もうパズルなんて、いやってね。僕もだけど。季節が寒くなる前に、もっと外で楽しいことをしたいし。だけど、彼女は次のお正月がくるまでになんとしても完成させなきゃ、というんだ。時間はどんどん過ぎていくし。

Just trying to help out.

お手伝いしようとしてるだけだよ~

そんな彼女をみるにみかねて、ある日僕は自分でパズルを完成しようと決心した。もうそんなに残っていないし、びっくりさせてやろう、と思ったわけ。喜ぶだろうなあ、まちきれないなあ、さあ、はじめるよ。

でもそのときおもいがけなく飼い主があらわれ、おおあわてとなった。わかんないけど、最後のピースをはめこむのは自分だと決めてたんじゃないの?僕はテーブルから追い払われて、それで、その仕事からは締め出されたけど、まあ、お友達であり、監督役であるという仕事があるからね。

You can see how hard it is to put pieces in with these paws.

この手でピースをはめこむのは難しいって、わかるでしょ?

やっと完成すると、飼い主はパズルを床に移動して、よく見えるようにしてくれた。それからは上を歩いてもしかられなくなったので、やっぱり彼女は、最後のピースをはめ込む役をやりたかったんだろうね。

一番上の写真だけど、これが完成形。そんなにきれいじゃないぞ~。9000ピースのパズルを作るんだったら、カピバラのじゃなきゃね。ネズミならなんでもいいけど、カピバラが一番だよ。それならできあがったとき、そんな「きもちわるい」ものを「僕が作ったんだ」なんていわなくていいからね。

Celeste at New Year's with giant puzzle

お正月、セレストとジャンボパズル

Me with completed Kapibara-san puzzle

カピバラさんパズルができあがって

カピバラパズルといえば、なんと、僕の親友ベニータ (@vernbern on twitter)は、新年にカピバラさんパズルをくれたんだよ。すてきでしょ。今年はばかでかいパズルをもらわなかったから、じっくりこのパズルに取り組めたよ。

カピバラさんパズルはたった300ピースで、これくらいがちょうどいいねって、飼い主がいってた。それにカピバラだし。一月中にできちゃったよ。

ベニータはカピバラさんを二つもってて、CapとMini-Capという名前なんだ。どっちもパズルに写ってると思うけど・・・どうだろう。CapとMini-Capはとても有名で、自分のブログをもってるらしいけど、それもそうだよね。

ベニータ、すてきな贈り物をありがとう。CapとMini-Capに僕のハグをあげてね。