Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cool Fish!

So, apparently the folks at National Geographic found this uber-cool fish with a transparent head and really big eyes. More fish are always a good sign. More cool fish are even better. Exhibit A:

Murphy Got Fixed...And He Wasn't Even Broken

Yes, it came the time for my little guy to have his doghood snatched (errrr....snipped?) from him. Sorry little guy, we adore you, but we can't have you running around making more Little Murphys.

My friend Kurt sent me the obvious next step for my pup: Neuticles!® It's absolutely brilliant--artificial testicles for your neutered pet. At first I thought it was a joke, but then I saw:
Over 250,000 caring pet owners Worldwide have selected Neuticles® as a safe, practical and inexpensive option when neutering.

Really? Then it must be a good idea. I wonder if they color-code, like black for Pugs and blond for Golden Retrievers? But they must be working because, let's face it, 250,000 (idiot) pet owners can't possibly be wrong, can they?
Neuticles® allows your pet to retain his natural look, self esteem and aids in the trauma associated with neutering.

I am a little worried about Murphy's self-esteem. Will he be okay? I am sure he will. I mean, seriously. If anybody understands what he's going through, it would be me, right? By the Neuticles equation, I'm half the man I used to be, so perhaps I should be speaking to them about upping the human ante. Still, the best quote on the website is...
With Neuticles®-It's like nothing ever changed...

Well, yeah. Except someone CUT YOUR BALLS OFF!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Follow Up on the Hound...

So, it turns out the dog who chased Murphy has had problems with other dogs in the neighborhood, charging them, barking at them, wandering into their yards, etc. To be more specific, and in the interest of being fair, the idiot owner has the problem. I spoke with someone who live down that way, today and she told me a lot of the neighbors of this guy have had issues with his dogs.

It seems, however, I was the first person to call animal services. In speaking with this woman, I told her we have an animal officer in the township. The officer followed up on my call and had a discussion with the dog owner about his responsibilities as an animal owner. There was apparently no issue because I have not heard anything further.

That being said, I gave the people who live down in his neck of the woods the animal-control person's information for future reference.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Release the Hound!

"Cry Havoc!
And let slip the Dogs of War."

--William Shakespeare

So I was walking Murphy this morning and I got to the bottom of our road and made a left like I have before. It was so quiet (it was about 6.30 am) that it seemed nothing was moving when I heard a sudden noise. I looked up and a huge black Labrador was bounding toward us, barking. He came tearing through the early morning, straight at us, and Murphy tried to get behind me.

I waited until the dog got about 6 feet away then I puffed myself up and stepped toward it, really aggressively, and started yelling in a deep voice, "Go home! Get OUT OF HERE!" It must have freaked him out because he stopped dead in his tracks. He kept trying to get around me to Murphy and I kept stepping between them and yelling at the dog.

I looked up and saw a guy walking around where the dog had come from, and I asked if it was his dog. "Is it a black lab?"
"Come here, Mojo," he called. "Come here."
The dog did an about face and ran toward the voice of his owner.
And then I let the owner have it. Suffice it to say the combination of fear, relief and adrenaline combined to create in me a most un-Christian sentiment, one that I voiced in a volume that ensured I was heard. I left him with no doubts about how displeased I was and sufficiently reinforced the need to tie one's dog up.

As I was walking Murphy home, I passed another lady who was CARRYING her dog. She had heard the commotion and asked if I had just had a run-in with the lab and I said I had. She said the owner lets them run loose in the neighborhood all the time, and the hound has been in her yard, after her dog.

I got home and called the animal-control-people of my hometown to report the owner. Stay tuned for updates, as they become available.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just Stuff...

I'm in the process of creating a Fish Room. It's going to be a multi-purpose room where Little Fish and I can do our homework, and also store books, games and some of our stuff. She and I each have our own desks and chairs. It also has a little seating area with a second-hand couch.

I also put the fish tank in there. Littel Fish topped herself with the naming of the denizens therein. The fish are Death (an Angel Fish--get it? Angel of Death), Kit-cat (a catfish who is a total crowd-pleaser), Tiger (gourami), Scrapple (a brownish, grayish, non-descript, scrapple-colored goldfish-like creature) and the three new guppies: Wrinkles, Schizo (excitable little guy) and Gibbous (a half-black, half silver guppy).

I'm excited about having a space we can hang out together that isn't necessarily in front of a television. Unfortunately, everything I need to move around is very heavy.

On another note, I think I'm finally over being sick. There is still some residual stuff, so I'm running at about 88%, with stuffiness in the ears and sinuses, but that's about it. I got VERY dehydrated yesterday and started feeling sick and a little disoriented. It had to be one of the stranger feelings ever. As I thought back, I was pretty sure I didn't drink anything but coffee all day--not so good, really. Four HUGE glasses of water and laying down made a big difference. Note to Self: Drink water. Speaking of dehydrated, more koalas:

Little Fish and Mrs. Fish just went out to see a movie. It's a little strange being in the house alone. It just never happens. Quiet in here...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I've been sick since Saturday. I tried to go in to work today, but it just didn't work out. So, I went home. I am in bed. Again. Sigh....

Sunday, February 08, 2009

On the Lighter Side...

"The remedy for thirst? It is the opposite of the one for a dog bite: run always after a dog, he'll never bite you; drink always before thirst, and it will never overtake you."

--Francois Rabelais

...comes THIS STORY from down under, where koala bears are hailing down cyclists to get a drink. Apparently there is a drought/heat wave that down there.

Dad Jobs

"The animals are right here, right in front of us. And how we treat these companions is a test."

---Linda Blair

There are certain jobs that will probably always belong to Dads. The ceremonial burial of the family pet is, I think, one of those jobs. Little Fish woke me early this morning and sure enough, Kingalini Hammyzhino had passed away in the night. He lay right where I left him, snuggled down in the bedding I had prepared for him.

So, I packed up his little cage and threw away all of the disposables and placed his little hamster corpse in a Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer teabox. Mrs. Fish and Little Fish said their goodbyes, along with the appropriate hamster-platitudes ("He was a good hamster" "Have fun in hamster-Heaven" "Say hi to Eddie and Daisy for us") and then it was time to bury him.

I grabbed Murphy (the dog) and took the shovel off the wall in the garage and Murphy and I walked down to the tiny stream that bubbles and flows behind our home. I tried to bury King there, but the ground is so root-bound that I wasn't confident I could dig deeply enough to keep curious critters away.

I climbed the hill and found a nice sunny spot next to the house. I think he would like the sunshine and warmth.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Kingalini Hammyzhino...

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

--Immanual Kant

...or King, as Little Fish calls him, is the family hamster, a cute little honey bear guy we acquired about two years ago. Right now he's sick and bloated and generally not looking so well. I went online and found a bunch of information, most which said rub his belly, it's probably just constipation. I'm hoping that's what it is.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Poetry Thursday

Punxsutawney Prediction: A Haiku

The stupid groundhog

Couldn't be any worse than

Degreed weather dolts.

Men's Group Haiku

Last Saturday was a banner week for Men's Group. Here is my Haiku to celebrate what I learned.

Fifth week brought new guys
Learned lots, quietly listening
Vern kept his shirt on.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Went for a Bike Ride This Afternoon....

"I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle I want to ride it where I like."

---Freddy Mercury

That's right. It got into the 40s, maybe even 50s here, so I hopped on my bike and put in about 15 miles. Avoiding snow melt and the occasional icy patch was well-nigh impossible. At one point, I had to stop and I put my foot down. Ice, of course, caked up my cleat so I couldn't reconnect to my pedal. I banged it out for about 10 minutes and it finally snapped in.

I did learn something important on my ride today. Apparently, the secret to safe riding in the heart of Redneck-PA is to wear a black and gold vest on the weekend the Steelers are playing for the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Sunday

"I never bought the commercial thing, at any stage of the game."

---Van Morrison

Over 100 million people are estimated to be watching this year's Super Bowl. It is further estimated that fully 50% of them could not possibly care less about the outcome of the game. They are, of course, tuning in to watch the commercials. Good news: my friends at Pavone have once again instituted SPOT BOWL, allowing us to not only view the commercials but to vote for our favorites. You can also view past favorites.

Note to Madison Avenue: If you spent just 10% of the kind of time, energy and thought producing regular commercials that you do the Super Bowl spots, instead of annoying the carp out of us ($5 Footlong)you might actually sell more to American Consumers. Just a thought...