Monday, September 30, 2013

Harriet, is That You?

Have you ever been hanging out with some close friends and jokingly referred to another person who wasn't there by a mocking nickname? Maybe among your fellow employees at work you refer to your boss, Mr. Smith, as Mr. Shits. Or maybe there is a neighbor that everyone dislikes, say her name is Mrs. Whipple, and you all snicker when she is called Mrs. Nipples behind her back. All very funny at the time. The only trouble is that the more you call that person the wrong name behind their back, the more likely it is that you will slip and say it in front of them. That is what I think happened many years ago when Dick Armey, a republican congressman from Texas, used the name Barney Fag in an interview about congressman Barney Frank. I think something like that happened yesterday. I was watching Meet the Press Sunday morning and they had on the notorious Senator Ted Cruz. Between all his smirking and self aggrandizing pronouncements, he mentioned Senator Harry Reid a few times. Watch this clip and tell me if I heard correctly. Did Ted Cruz just call Harry Reid, Harriet Reid?


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tuffy Has Left the Building

After a week of fun and games, Tuffy has gone home and I think Chandler misses him.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Badly Breaking Dexter

I am a television junkie, and lucky for me I'm married to a television junkie. If somebody is awake in this house, a television screen is glowing. We watch television a lot. This past weekend, and this coming weekend two of my favorite shows have aired and are airing their very last episodes, Dexter and Breaking Bad. Fair warning, if you have not watched the last episode of Dexter yet, and plan to do so, do not read any further.

I have been watching Dexter now for as many seasons as it has been on. Over the years I have seen the quality of Dexter decline, which is what happens when a show is on too long. Breaking Bad however, hasn't missed a beat since I started watching it just two months ago on Netflix. It is undeniably the best written, acted, and directed television show I have seen in a long time, maybe ever. So I don't expect next Sunday's finale to be as big a let down as Dexter was this past Sunday. Here is a quick recap of the last ten minutes of Dexter. Dexter goes to the Hospital in the middle of a threatening hurricane and takes his sister off of life support. He then takes her lifeless body past every nurse, doctor, and guard, down to his boat docked directly in front of the hospital, and motors away with her corpse. Then, after he dumps his sister's body in the ocean off Miami, Dexter sails his boat directly into the CGI hurricane that they borrowed from Sharknado. When Dexter's broken boat is found after the Sharknado hurricane, he is presumed dead. Of course that would be a very lame ending to a television series about a serial killer. No, instead they decided to make it even worse. In the very last scene we see that Dexter is very much alive. He is now a lumber jack. He has a full beard, a flannel shirt, and lives in a shack someplace that has a lot of big trees. That's it, that is the end of Dexter. If the series finale of Breaking Bad is anywhere near as stupid as Dexter was, I shall consider giving up watching television. Maybe for a day or so.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shut the Fuck Up

At a random moment during one of my favorite television shows Mark steps into the room.
    "Oh my god, that's horrible. Why did they shoot that man in the head?"
    "He's a DEA agent."
    "Who is that guy who shot him?"
    "Bad guy."
    "Who's the guy under the car?"
    "Jessie Pinkman."
    "What did...  "
I put the television on pause as my patience reaches it's limit.
    "Goddamnit Mark, I've put nearly sixty hours into watching this show. You watched ten minutes of the first episode and stopped watching because it was 'too violent'. Now you want me to bring you up to speed on what's happening?"

Mark drives me crazy with his talking during movies, and interrupting television shows with questions. It's been this way for sixteen years. He attributes it to an ethnic thing. I say that's a stupid excuse for his big mouth. Anyway, I have instituted a few rules for when I am watching television. I don't expect Mark to start following these rules, but here they are.

  •  Quit asking me questions about the plot. I am watching the same damn show you are. I know as much as you do, so shut the fuck up.
  •  I am not going to fill you in on the intricacies of the plot, of a show you decided you didn't want to watch three years ago. Figure it out for yourself, and shut the fuck up.
  • No, I don't want to know what is going to happen just because you read about it on the internet. Why would I want to have the ending of a show spoiled by you? Shut the fuck up.
  • Finally in general, please be quiet. Not just when I am watching a television show or movie, but most importantly, if you come into the living room and the television is on and my eyes are closed, shut the fuck up. I'm sleeping.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mr. Flappy

I am here to sing the praises of Mr. Flappy, although that's not it's real name. If you order one on Amazon it's simply Flappy, but Chandler knows it as Mr. Flappy and just the mention of that name sends him scurrying around the living room looking for it. Mr. Flappy is the best dog toy that I have ever found for Chandler. Usually a squeaky toy is brought home and within just a few hours it is nothing but stuffing strewn across the living room floor. Not Mr. Flappy. Mr. Flappy has lasted for a year and a half. Mark came home with Flappy, fully expecting it to last but one day. He handed it to the eager maw of Chandler who immediately went to work on the new toy. Surprisingly, one month later Flappy was still with us. Three months later Mr. Flappy went with us on our road trip to Chicago, and a month later returned to Florida intact. Flappy was thrown and fetched over and over again without a stitch pulled, without a single shred of fluffy white filler being ripped from it. Flappy is a terrific dog toy. Unfortunately this week Mr. Flappy was no match for the never ending dog wrestling that has been going on in my living room. With Chandler pulling on one end, and Tuffy pulling on the other end, Mr. Flappy didn’t stand a chance. Now it did take two days before they managed to destroy Mr. Flappy, but eventually Mr. Flappy exploded in a huge poof of fluffy white material. I have already gone on line and ordered a new one from Amazon. It should arrive the day after Tuffy goes home.
R.I.P. Mr. Flappy

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pukey The Clown

My house has become something of a circus, with Tuffy the three legged dog as the star performer. Yesterday it went non-stop, from six in the morning when Tuffy got up and decided that everybody should join him until midnight when he finally curled up in the chair next to my bed. I swear that dog is on something, he never stops moving. Besides Tuffy, I have had to deal with my slowly fading Sasha who has the uncanny ability to vomit and pee simultaneously. Every time this happens Mark runs around the house screaming like a little girl.

    "Eeeeeek, she's puking! Sasha is puking! Oh lordy, now I've stepped in something wet!"

I dutifully appear with a roll of paper towels in hand and a bag with which to dispose of the vomit soaked paper towels. What I hadn't expected yesterday was that Chandler was going to join in the puke-fest. All day long it was Mark screaming for me to clean up Sasha's bodily fluids, followed by Mark screaming for me to come mop up Chandler's grass laced vomit. Tuffy the three legged dog has been pretty good about not joining in on the mess. That is until Sasha released about a gallon of piss in the hallway, and Tuffy quickly ran over and joined in on the marking of territory. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all puke and piss. In between that there was non-stop dog wrestling in the living room.

Only five more days until Tuffy's owners come home.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuffy


Tuffy and Chandler. They've been going at it since 7am, and are taking a rest now at 3pm.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Maybe a Moment of Silence Will Fix Everything


President Barack Obama ordered flags over the White House to half-staff through Friday evening to mark the tragedy in D.C., which claimed the lives of 13, including the gunman. House Speaker John Boehner ordered flags over the Capitol to half-staff for the same period of time. (msnbc)

I don't care. Yesterday morning, instead of sitting in front of the television wringing my hands and praying for the victims of the latest mass murder, I watched a recording of a Chicago Bears game for three hours. I'm sure my time was spent much more beneficially than had I watched the news channels hysterical coverage. Yeah, some people died, so what? I know that sounds harsh, but we go through this every few months and nothing happens. Americans do not care how many of their fellow citizens are slaughtered just so long as they can cling to their guns. The gun nuts who run this country are like spoiled children who have bullied their parents into letting them continue with self destructive ways. And our president is a man with the balls of a chipmunk who allows himself to be controlled by the cowards in congress. By next week this latest insanity will be ignored and forgotten. Of course not forgotten by those affected, but by the news media, the president, and the congress who will have moved on to the next important vote against Obamacare.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Soggy French Fries


We have a pig living in our neighborhood. It is a very talented pig because it obviously can drive itself to McDonalds and Burger King. This morning while walking Chandler I once again came upon evidence of this swine, a large Burger King bag laying in the middle of the street. Every few weeks I have come across fast food garbage discarded on this stretch of roadway. It is always in the same place, in the street that runs along side the church. I have deduced from the left behind rubbish a few facts about this pig. Facts besides it's ability to convey itself to a fast food place. First of all, the pig is fat. It has to be fat because every time one of the fast food bags is left in the roadway I notice that the order was supersized. Large drink, large burger, and the largest order of French fries available. Sometimes the order has been augmented with an order of chicken nuggets just in case ten thousand calories isn't enough to get through the night. I have also decided that our neighborhood porker does this sometime between eleven at night and one in the morning. That's because I walk Chandler between ten and eleven, and the bag wasn't there then. Also it rained for a short time this morning around one fifteen, and the bag was wet. So this pig is probably coming home from a bar and gets all hungry for some grease. Anyway, being a good neighbor, I always try to clean up after our pig friend. This morning was no different except that when I tried to pick up the bag it literally fell apart. It was soaking wet from the early morning rain. Unfortunately I made the mess worse with French fries scattered everywhere along with a half eaten Whopper. You may be thinking that our pig isn't really all that piggy if everything wasn't completely eaten. You would be wrong, because even if our pig didn't eat a thing, the piggy still threw a very large bag of food out of a car window.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rhapsody in the Rain

I am sitting here listening to the rain pounding on the window awning. It's a quick shower that has sort of snuck in off the ocean. Those are my favorite kind because they usually blow in, drop a quick deluge, and then disappear. I hadn't been able to enjoy listening to the rain for the last seventeen years. That's because I had DirecTV, satellite television, and satellite television cannot cope with rain. Instead of enjoying the patter of the rain drops and the fresh smell of it all, I saw the rain as an intruder. Invariably it would rain right in the middle of something I was deeply interested in and block the satellite dish. Nothing worse than missing thirty minutes of American Pickers while I waited out a rain storm. I don't have that problem anymore, I now have U-Verse. It's not the best system, but at least it doesn't go out when a pigeon pees. The funny thing is that DirecTV is begging me to come back. Every day I get a new offer in the mail. They have promised me everything including offering to pay the penalty fee if I break my U-Verse contract, giving me the NFL Ticket for free, and giving me a very attractive rate for everything else. Exactly what I had asked them to do before I cancelled them. Dumb asses.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Down the Hershey Trail

My vet sold me a new medication for the dogs that kills heartworm and fleas. It's a giant pill called Trifexis that they take orally. It was suggested that I grind it up and put it in their food because of the foul smell and taste. Well, Sasha wouldn't touch it, wouldn't even go near it. Chandler, after much coaxing finally ate the medication laced food. The next morning we had a problem, Chandler wouldn't eat his breakfast, and then he started barfing profusely throughout the house. On top of that he was wobbling around like a drunk, he could barely walk. Chandler was having a bad reaction to the Trifexis.

So, as I am going around the house following Chandler and cleaning up the huge amounts of puke coming out of him, I hear a blood curdling scream from the bedroom. It's Mark.
"She shit! Oh nooooo..... I stepped in it!"
I quickly stuffed the piles of vomit soaked paper towels into the kitchen garbage can and ran into the bedroom to see what was happening. It was horrible. Mark was standing there barefoot with poop squished between his toes while Sasha ran from the bedroom to the living room, squirting brown liquid out of her butt. As quickly as I got one mess cleaned up Sasha would erupt again. It was on the carpet, on the sofa, and worst of all it was on my big fluffy chair. And then there was the horrible smell, which as of this morning I still can't get out of my nose. I spent about an hour cleaning up Chandler's vomit, and Sasha's diarrhea. I used up two rolls of paper towels, a bottle of carpet and upholstery cleaner, and all my patience. Mark was a big help during this vomit and shit explosion. Besides gagging and choking the whole time, he did go to the linen closet and get me a fresh roll of paper towels.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Perfect Storm

Before I go any further with this true story, let me make something perfectly clear. Mark does the grocery shopping, Mark cooks the food, Mark feeds me. Sure I can take control of what is served to me, what is in my pantry, what I shovel into my face, but to do that I'd have to banish Mark from the premises forever.

Time and time again I have told mark not to buy breakfast cereal that has tons of dried fruit in it. My internals and dried fruit just do not get along. Unfortunately he doesn't always listen to me. This was the conversation two days ago as I unpacked the groceries Mark had just brought home.
    "Raisin bran?"
    "It was on sale."
    "I don't care. I can't eat raisin bran, especially if it has two scoops of poop inducing raisins in it."
    "Whatever, it was on sale. That's what I bought."
So yesterday morning I ate raisin bran. I love raisin bran, it tastes so good despite what it does to me. When I am eating it I am not thinking of what will come later. I just power through the giant bowl, enjoying each mouthful of sweet bran and fruit. That was yesterday morning. A few hours later Mark tells me he is going out to get us lunch. He returns with two sacks of McDonald's hamburgers, fries, and chicken McNuggets also known as chopped and reformed chicken ass.
    "Really, McDonald's on top of raisin bran?"
    "I had a coupon."
So I loaded up on McDonald's just hours after eating the raisin bran. About thirty minutes later Mark is knocking on the bathroom door, letting me know he is stepping out for a minute.
    "I'm going to the grocery store. I'll be right back."
    "Fine, I need cat food. Get some canned cat food. What else are you getting?" I shout back from my perch on the toilet.
    "I have to get a can of beans. We're having chili for dinner."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Easy Pay

Our long nightmare is over. Mark has received his replacement credit card. If you remember, Mark had his wallet lost/stolen two weeks ago. So ever since then I have heard nothing but whining about his having to go to the bank to withdraw money. This is something he did almost daily for the last two weeks. At least his visits to the bank kept him from relying on me for cash. It also kept his shopping to a minimum, until last Friday when the mail was delivered. It was as if Mark had won the lotto. Not only did he receive his replacement credit card, but his replacement ATM card arrived at the same time. One minute Mark was ripping open the mail, and the next minute he was flying out the door.
    "I'll be back."
    "Where are you going?" I asked.
    "Shopping.", he yelled as the door slammed behind him.
Mark had two weeks of shopping to catch up on. It actually took him two days to catch up, Friday and Saturday. I couldn't complain, it gave me some alone time that I sorely needed. Sunday however, Mark stayed home. It was okay, I still had my alone time. For four hours Mark shut himself off in the bedroom while he watched QVC. Next to The Real Housewives of (fill in the blank), his favorite television show is In the Kitchen With David  every Sunday. He tells me he never buys anything off that show, but on many a Wednesday mysterious packages arrive.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Assholiness

One morning some time ago, while I was walking Chandler along with a neighbor and her dog, a car came speeding down our street. Not just a few miles over the limit, but at least twice the posted speed. Before I could scream at the moron to slow down, my neighbor belted out some choice words in both English and German. She grew up in East Germany, and she is not somebody to fuck with. Anyway, the moron driving the car apparently took offense at this and did a quick U-turn through another neighbor's yard and came back. He then proceeded to do donuts through multiple yards, tearing up the sod, while screaming obscenities at us. Unfortunately he was moving so fast we could not get his tag number. Besides, we were both trying to keep our dogs out of harms way. It was an awful feeling of helplessness. We knew calling the cops was pointless, as he was not a known neighbor, and it all happened so fast no description would be reliable. So he got away with some asinine behavior.

I was thinking about that asshole last night as I walked Chandler. I realized that at some point we have to accept that the world is full of assholes. We have assholes as bosses, we have assholes in the police department, we have asshole criminals, we have asshole politicians, and worst of all we have asshole criminals who are politicians. You simply cannot keep all the assholes from doing their asshole deeds. Sometimes you have to just stand by and watch shit happen because you know you have no power to actually change things. Like when a bunch of crazy tribes in the Middle East start slaughtering each other. History has proved that in the end we really cannot do anything about it. And if we do try to do something, we are just drawn into the assholiness of it all.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vetting Process

We have a new veterinarian. It's not that we don't like the folks I have been using for twenty years, they are very sweet people. Unfortunately they are also very vague when advising us on serious problems with our pets. Yesterday we took Sasha in for a second opinion to a vet suggested by a friend. It was like night and day, to coin a phrase. This guy was unambiguous, straight forward, and best of all Mark understood everything he was telling us. Our old vet office would only suggest as to what might be wrong, giving us a choice almost between A, B, or C. Back in high school I liked multiple choice, but not now with the health of our beloved pet at stake.

So here are the facts as laid out by Dr. Simon. Sasha has a tumor. It is on her lungs, over her heart, and is pushing up on her esophagus. It is why she has been coughing, and puking up her food. The good news is that with the prednisone we are giving her, she is eating again. She is active and happy. The bad news is that at some point this tumor will end her life. Since we don't know exactly how fast this thing is growing it could be a month, six months, or a year before it is over. So until the time that Sasha is no longer pain free we will make her life as happy as possible. That includes letting her piss in Mark's shower as much as she wants, and the prednisone is really making her pee a lot.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hunger Games

My seven sisters should thank me and my brothers for their slim figures when they were young. If it weren't for the race for food at the dinner table some of them might have plumped up a bit. Eleven children, one dinner table, and four boys who could eat fast. We would shut out those girls every time. I believe my younger brother Gary was the fastest eater of us four boys. He could beat out a star nosed mole (fastest eating mammal, I looked it up. Takes as little as 120 milliseconds to identify and consume individual food items.). You had to be very cautious extending your hand out over that dinner table.

I still eat fast. Even when I try to go slow, I am already washing off my plate while Mark is still cutting his meat. One thing I have always believed, is that it shouldn't take longer to prepare food than it takes to eat it. Obviously, I welcomed the invention of the household microwave oven. Yesterday Mark spent hours in the kitchen making chicken and dumplings. If it wasn't for the fact that it was as hot as lava when he served it, I could have finished it off in about two minutes flat. It was delicious. After dinner I am expected to clean up the kitchen that Mark has spent so much time preparing dinner in. Last night it took me forty five minutes, or twenty two times longer than it took me to eat dinner. Once again, not only should it not take longer to prepare the food I eat as it takes me to eat it, it shouldn't take me that long to clean up afterwards. I'm thinking of installing a garden hose and floor drain in the kitchen to expedite things in the future. Either that or install stairs so that Chandler can climb up to the counters and lick everything clean.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Two Old People Eating

Who doesn't love a holiday. As a school kid I even loved the Catholic holidays, even though they were somewhat ruined by the requirement that we go to church. But really, how could you not like having a day off from work to do what you want? That is of course if you do work, if you have a job you go to every day. The problem is I don't. One day is the same as another to me, so a holiday is nothing more than me being joined by the rest of you.

Yesterday, Labor Day, Mark decided he wanted a holiday from cooking dinner.
    "Take me out to dinner."
    "Sure, where?"
    "I want seafood, and I mean good seafood not Long John Silver's."
So arrangements were made for us to go out to a place on the beach called the Whale's Dinner Table, or something like that. Unfortunately the cutely named seafood place was closed. A holiday, remember?
    "How about that place called The House of Botulism, that sushi place?" I suggested.
    "Fine, but I really wanted fried shrimps."
I called the sushi restaurant. A recording advised me that it was closed for the holiday. Next up was La Table Fran├žaise Fausse. Again, closed. It was the same for the next three places I called, until I called the place here in town that caters to our elderly gay crowd.

    "Hello, welcome to The Torrid Zone. Table for two?"
They were open, and they were nearly empty, which isn't such a bad thing since I hate waiting at the bar. The problem is that the food was awful. I had a pot pie that was little more than a bowl of runny beef stew covered by a puff pastry. Mark had fish and chips, which he could have had at Long John Silver's, and it probably would have been better. So I sat there quietly, and ate my nasty pot pie. Mark did suggest that I ask for something else if I didn't like it, but I have learned from past experiences. Don't bitch about your restaurant food or you might just get another bad dish, this time seasoned with the chef's saliva.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

8 Ways America is Headed Back to the Robber Baron Era



By Erik Loomis




1. Unregulated Corporate Capitalism Creates Economic Collapse
In the late 19th century, corrupt railroad capitalists created the Panic of 1873 and Panic of 1893 through lying about their business activities, buying off politicians and siphoning off capital into their own pockets. Railroad corporations set up phony corporations that allowed them to embezzle money from the railroad into their bank accounts. When exposed, the entire economy collapsed as banks failed around the country. The Panic of 1893 lasted five years, created 25% unemployment, and was the worst economic crisis in American history before the Great Depression.
In the early 21st century, the poorly regulated financial industry plunged the nation into the longest economic downturn since the Depression. Like in the Gilded Age, none of the culprits have served a day in prison.
2. Union Busting
In the Gilded Age, business used the power of the state to crush labor unions. President Hayes called in the Army to break the Great Railroad Strike of 1877; President Cleveland did the same against the Pullman strikers in 1894.
Today’s corporations don’t have to use such blunt force to destroy unions, but like in the past, they convince the government to do their bidding. Whether it is holding up FAA renewal in order to make it harder for airline employees to unionize, Republican members of the National Labor Relations Board leaking material on cases to Republican insiders, or governors Scott Walker and John Kasich seeking to bust their states’ public sector unions, not since before the Great Depression has the government attacked unions with such force.
3. Income Inequality
Today, we have the highest levels of income inequality since the 1920s and the gap is widening to late 19th century levels with great speed. In those days, individuals like John D. Rockefeller had more money than the federal government, while the majority of Americans lived in squalor, poverty and disease.
In the Progressive Era, we started creating laws like the federal income tax, child labor laws and workers’ compensation to begin giving workers a fair share of the pie. For decades, labor fought to increase their share and by the 1970s, had turned much of the working class into the middle class. Today, that middle class is under attack by a new generation of plutocrats who wish to recreate the massive fortunes of the Gilded Age.

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