Dog Quote

Wise words from Jonah Goldberg (read it all):

“Here is wisdom: Have a kid? Get a dog. Want a kid? Get a dog. Don’t want a dog? Get a cat, which is like training wheels for dog ownership. Have a cat already? It’s probably time to get a dog. Don’t like dogs? You’re wrong.”

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Enchanted Forest

I saw this on a rural coffee shop’s bulletin board. What a deal! Who wouldn’t want land that is “quite” and has life which happens to be wild?

Grammar Nazi complaints notwithstanding I’m willing to be impressed by whimsy. If someone sells land at a premium because it’s enchanted then all I can say is; way to be awesome! (Enchantment is surely worth a few percent more than land which is non-enchanted and I deny assertions to the contrary.)

You know you want it!

You know you want it!

P.S. Being a simple man, could someone explain to me who’s walking around with a $20,000 CD and a hankering for enchantment? Is that specific financial instrument so common that it merits special attention?

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I’m Still Here

Just about every blog has periodic “I’ve been meaning to write” posts. This is mine.

I was not merely distracted, I was more of less “off grid”. For three weeks I (mostly) ditched wifi and news. It’s not like I was in a mud hut in Bangladesh, I was just busy, mobile, and rural. (Which is a great way to be.)

As I’ve said before, it’s good to drop off line once in a while. It’s even better to avoid the news for an occasional breather. It’s good for the soul; wise for the mind. Too much stupid is bad for you. Also 2016 will be a season of unparalleled jackass… better stock up on the sane while there’s still time.

Mostly taking a break from “news” and media is a needed reminder that “this shit is crazy”. I implore you to try it some time. America (possibly the world) in 2015 (possibly in all times) is batshit insane and seems to be getting dumber by the millisecond. It’s even more obvious when you’ve “unplugged from the matrix” for a few days.

Here’s a sample of my first few minutes back “in the loop” and my immediate reaction:

  1. I randomly bounced into a new Prince song. Prince is as flaky as dandruff and he’s associated with purple… so that’s two strikes against him. Then again when he’s of a mind he can blaze out rare but inspired guitar solos. The last few seconds of “Lets Go Crazy” make up for a lifetime of flake. Imagine if he did that again! Afire with optimism, I tuned in. Here’s how it went:
    • Prince is rambling about Baltimore. Who gives a shit about Baltimore?
    • Long ago I spent a hot summer night sleeping on a wooden floor in Baltimore. All I remember is humidity and polluted air.
    • I think there were cockroaches too? Was that the cockroach place? Ugh!
    • Are Doves Crying in the Purple Rain of Baltimore? C’mon man, pick up the tempo.
    • There had better be a guitar solo or I’m gonna’ be pissed!
    • Wait a minute?!? Did I hear Mr. “Party Like It’s 1999″ say “take all the guns away”? That’s fighting words purple boy! Besides, it’s the East coast… occupied territory if there ever was such a thing… they already took the guns away.
    • This song sucks.
    • Is Prince a million years old now? Get the guy an AARP form and a stretcher.
    • The guy who said “don’t let the elevator break you down, oh no, let’s go crazy” is sounds like a tired accountant. This is sad.
    • Well that song is over and apparently Prince is now a robot.
    • I’d better investigate what he was talking about. [Open a new tab. Click, click, click…]
      • Burning cars? Riots? WTF?
      • Is that someone looting toilet paper? Is that all they have to loot?
      • Stealing ass wipe that can be had at a buck a roll only makes sense in Venezuela.
      • Why do they always burn cars? How, specifically, will injustice be solved by burning a Ford?
      • I’ve owned a few Fords that should have been burned.
      • A few years ago they could have subcontracted these dipshits for “cash for clunkers”? Would looters stop burning cars if it was a job?
      • Police in a single party inner city town may be corrupt. Also the sky is blue.
    • I’ll have to ponder this new information. However, my first thought is Price used to have a sense of humor and what happened to his guitar playing?
  2. Enough of that… what else is going on. Hmm… Islamic nutzos shot up some portion of the 99.998% of planet earth they deem to be heretics?
    • Yawn; Charlie Hebdo or some shit… Where is it? A pot shop in the Netherlands, a discotheque in Taiwan? Wait! This was in Garland, Texas? Those bastards!
      • [Click, click, click…] Oh, well now. Seems it was handled properly. Bad guys dead in less time than it takes to heat a Pop Tart.
      • Good guys mostly OK. Excellent!
      • Hordes of swatted up LEOs showed up afterwards and tore a car apart? Way to handle the deadly threat. Party’s over fellas. Tearing apart a sedan doesn’t make you a hero. Try again next time.
      • A tip of the hat to Texans.
      • Have I mentioned that Texas looks better each day?
      • Quite the difference in cultures. Nutzos attacked Paris, ran around like a bull in a China shop, and Europe responded with a huge parade. Nutzos attacked Texas, wound up dead in 15 seconds, and Texans don’t need a stinkin’ parade!
      • Pravda of America (NPR) invades my truck cab regularly but it seemed to miss the whole “Texans solve a problem” situation. Was that radio silence when the issue is resolved “old school” or was just I out of the truck that day?
      • At the very least John Kerry didn’t show up with James Taylor. Kerry knows better than to mess with Texas!
      • Will James Taylor and Prince form the worlds lamest crime fighting duo?
  3. Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy.
    • Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!
    • Ha ha ha ha ha!
    • Ha ha ha!
    • Ha!
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Chickadees And Squirrels: Part 4

The dog calmed down immediately. I retrieved the cat. “Come! Here!”

“Yowwwlwlll I’m hungry.”

It was no use trying to coax the cat. I picked up stroke kitty, carried it over, and set it on the ground.

“I’m hungry. I want other cats to bully. Feed me. You’re the man keeping me down.”

“Right there. Behind you. It’s a damn squirrel. Yummy.”

“Yowwwllllll…. the trees are tilting.”

I picked up the cat, spun it around, and dropped it, nose first, on the squirrel.

The cat exploded. There was fur and claws and unholy sounds. Brain fried or not, the cat still has the instinct. Then it stood up, squirrel in it’s mouth, and raised it’s tail higher than I’d seen it all winter. It practically radiated joy at it’s excellence.

Yes, I care about the self esteem of my asshole brain damaged cat. Add that to sneaking up on a bird feeder like a sniper who gets one shot to survive the day. Neither of these things make sense. Humans are unusual creatures.


Squirrels breed like rabbits. Or maybe rabbits breed like squirrels. When Stalin kitty was healthy there weren’t many around. Now they keep turning up. I’ve popped a few more. The trusty little pellet gun still has the trigger pull of a tree stump but it works.

It seems that my cat, asshole that it is, has trained me to do it’s job. Human that I am, I fell for it. It’s getting used to squirrel treats every few days. I’m cat’s professional hunter? What a dumbass! The dog has calmed down, the cat has fabulous self esteem, my bird feeder looks like a horror movie, and the chickadees still don’t care.


Woodpeckers hate me.

Woodpeckers hate me.

Epilogue: The blood on the feeder has faded. Squirrels still abound but I’m slowly thinning them out. I still enjoy my cool chickadees and (less so) the other birds.

Yesterday a woodpecker showed up. No worries. There’s suet for them. Then the thing ignored the suet, perched on my feeder, and started scooping seed like it was getting paid by the pound. Just dumping shitloads of it on the ground! I grabbed the pellet gun but I had to admit that he looked cool.

I have no idea if they’re protected. I’d probably get attacked by “birders” if I shot one. So I chilled out and watched him waste seed by the pound.

Then the bastard paused, looked me right in the eye (I swear it did!), turned back to the feeder, and just pulverized the plastic lens on my feeder. As if to say “check this out Bubba, KABLAM”.

I went tearing out there and found my feeder with a baseball sized hole in the side. Jerk.

The chickadees? They still don’t give a shit.

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Chickadees And Squirrels: Part 3

Winter hasn’t been kind to our outdoor cats. We’re down to one. That particular cat has been a total shithead all it’s life and nobody likes it; which explains its karma now.

It’s a kitten that showed up one day while I was trying to weld some shit in the garage. It approached the welder fearlessly (probably because it was hungry). Then it tried to steal a drink of my coffee. Any kitten willing to invade a garage with blaring heavy metal, risk annihilation from high voltage and sparks, and then steal some bearded maniac’s cup of coffee? That’s a bad ass kitten!

So I fed it, gave it water, and a few days later took it to the vet for “the standard feral cat package”. I thought I’d have a epic mouser. Instead the kitten repaid me by beating the living shit out of the other barn cats. Seriously, the damn thing was Stalin incarnate. Luckily the other cats had a couple pounds on him and toughed it out. Even so he grew up to be a bully and he utterly dominated the other cats. Until this winter.

All the other cats died (or vanished) in various manners (most were getting old and one may have tried to take on a coyote). This left “bully cat” to rule uncontested. Karma’s a bitch because a few weeks into it’s total dominance it had some sort of stroke. Now the damn thing has a 45 degree tile to it’s head (I harbor the suspicion that it’s a little nuts now too).

Formerly it was hell on wheels for killing critters. Now, not so much. I don’t know if it’s because of bad depth perception or because it’s brain is scrambled or because Karma likes to kick you in the balls; but now the cat couldn’t catch a squirrel with a land mine.

I saw him hunkered by the feeder. “Dude, kill a squirrel will ya?”

Quoth the cat “Snarf. Woophf. Yeep.”

“You’re fried aren’t you?”

“Nah.  Snarf. I’m sorta’ here. Damn trees are all tilted though. Feed me!”

The cat wandered off and stood by his food bowl, yowling piteously, and looking at me with a tilted Popeye face that weirds me out.


If you want something done you gotta’ do it yourself.

Back at the office I grabbed an old air rifle and loaded it. (You mean you don’t have a half dozen weapons near your desk? Why?) I looked out the window. No squirrel. The dog was asleep. The cat was in the barn yowling for food. Squirrels are assholes.

Two hours later I was getting shit done when…

RAUGH GROWL SNARL RAUGH RAUGH GROWL SNARL RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH GRRRR AARRRR GROWL SNARL RAUGH RAUGH

The squirrel was outside the window ignoring the chaos within. I reasoned with the dog “SHUT THE HELL UP!” and slipped the window open. I had a great shot but I’m not sure about pellet guns.

I wish I’d grabbed my .22. I know where that bad boy will hit. The air rifle was just a whim and I was regretting it. Not being 100% super spot on trusting in the point of aim in the air rifle I decided I should get a better shot.

I slipped out the door, rounded the barn, and crept closer. Now here’s where I admit a human failing. I take marksmanship too seriously.

Pellet guns seem weak and it’s a single shot and (lets face it) missing is for pussies. So I crept closer.

Then closer.

And closer.

Meanwhile the dog was tearing the house apart and the squirrel was chowing down on my chickadee feed.

I didn’t want my nice feeder damaged so I aimed carefully in case the tiny pellet would overpenetrate and ding the wood. Deep breath, let it out, squeeeeeezee.

The pellet gun fired like a tractor taking a dump. It vibrated, made a weird sound, I got it super cheap and it’s probably totally inaccurate. The trigger pull is like a bad clutch on a lawnmower. It’s junk.

I watched the target.

SPLORT!

Oh! Well then. I guess there’s more velocity to a pellet gun than I’d thought.

Then I realized squirrel blood was all over my cool little feeder. Damn!

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Chickadees And Squirrels: Part 2

The problem with birdfeeders is that they attract critters other than chickadees. Generally I don’t care. Birdfeed won’t break the bank. If sparrows or blackbirds or whatever take some food I can live with it. Unfortunately the dog can’t quite grok the concept; especially when it’s a squirrel.

As we all know, squirrels are assholes. Not that I mind. I’m an asshole too. The little varmints get into the feeder, flip over the top, and chow down on twice their weight in seed. This doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that sometimes the dog sees the squirrel and goes to DEFCON 5.

I’ll be sitting in my office doing my thing when RAUGH GROWL SNARL RAUGH RAUGH GROWL SNARL RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH GRRRR AARRRR GROWL SNARL RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH GROWL SNARL RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH…

It’s enough to give me a God damn heart attack. So I respond in my usual polite Curmudgeonly manner. “SHUT THE HELL UP YOU DAMN MUTT!”

The dog looks at me, “but I’m defending the home?”

“From a friggin’ squirrel?” I explain to my stupid dog. “You bark like that again and I’d better see six Viking ships and the Mongol Horde crossing the front yard. Got it?”

“But… squirrel!” The dog tries to explain.

“Seriously man, if you bark like that again and it ‘aint Zombies driving a tank I’ll trade you in for a llama.” I threaten.

So the dog goes back to sleep and I mop up the coffee I’ve spilled, turn over the keyboard I’ve flipped, and restack the papers I sent flying, count to ten, and settle in. The thing is that you’ve just got to let stuff go; like water off a duck’s back. And if you…

RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH GRRRR AARRRR RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH RAUGH…

The squirrel is back. Sigh.


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Chickadees And Squirrels: Part 1.5

On a dreary tax day we all need Ray Stevens:

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