18 January 2008

Free Money!

Today's BIG NEWS is El Presidente's announcement of a plan that is most likely going to lead to FREE MONEY FROM UNCLE SUGAR!!!

Well, "free" in the sense of first the guvmint took it, then they decided to give it back. 'Cause apparently, if they take our money, we can't spend it, and us not spending money leads to people not having jobs.

I'm no economist, but if the fate of our nation depends on all the taxpayers who make less than $85,000 a year buying consumer electronics in a brief frenzy, then we are in a world of shit.

This is, of course, all speculation. But it's a pretty hard-core speculation party. CNN's front page has two stories "above the fold" on the subject, the boys on The High Road are well into the new gun vs. crates of ammo debates...

Here in the Bad Dog household, we know that Uncle giveth, and Uncle taketh away, and he can promise almost anything, but until the check is signed and on the kitchen counter...we're not ordering $1,600 in squeaker toys just yet.

(although our canine financial advisors are telling us that prices on squeaker toys are going up, and we should buy 'em cheap and stack 'em deep while we can)

I dunno about all that. Other canine suggestions for surprise checks include $1,600 worth of vanilla pudding.

Ugh. That would be a lot of pudding.

17 January 2008

So there I was

with a wet beret on my head, listening to my elderly dog gnaw on a giant beef knuckle. And I do mean gnaw. And gnaw and gnaw and gnaw.

No Individual Walks tonight - I was lazy and went to Kroger for grapefruit and pudding instead. I was briefly overwhelmed by guilt, but I've moved beyond it. Okay - the guilt actually forced me to share a big pan of little smoked breakfast sausages with them, but then I moved beyond it.

Speaking of sausages, I cooked them in the kitchen. And every time I walked into the kitchen, I was encountering a very odd smell. Bad veggies, I thought. But where? Given the canine situation here, we don't keep a whole lot of food on the counters.

I'm not much of a housekeeper, but I do pay enough attention that I'd be aware if there was a rotting potato on the floor. And it wasn't the dishwasher. I was perplexed. And a wee bit disgusted. The only object in the general stench vicinity is a wicker basket full of garlic.

It sure doesn't seem to go bad in the open air. But the smell seemed to be coming from that area. So I looked...and I moved some garlic...

Do you know that if you buy limes for a cocktail party in the late summer, then bury five of them under garlic in a wicker basket, they'll pretty much petrify? But even if they're petrified, after several months they do grow a bit of an odor...

Sorry, no pics.

So the limes are in the trash, and I feel as if I've accomplished something. We'll call that a win for today.

16 January 2008

Bathroom Madness

Mister Abby is out of town (in the military sense) so I am here alone. This means, of course, that the household is on a heightened state of alert. All doors are secured, the mines in the yard are armed at all times, and I'm particularly alert to out-of-the-ordinary sounds.

I was perched here in the kitchen after we did the Evening Walks (yes, plural - each dog got their Very Own Walk tonight). Then...what did I hear?

Not so much a "house-settling" type of noise. It was more of "physical contact with interior wall" sort of noise.

(Yes, I had a brief flashback to the Last Days in Tampa)

After I realized it was pretty unlikely I had critters in the attic, I started inventory of the Bad Dogs. Sparky on the couch... Jack flopped in the entry... Where was Casey???

The sound came again and I realized it wasn't coming from the corner of the attic, but from the shared wall between the gun room and our master bathroom. I stepped quietly into our bedroom and peered through the bathroom.

Now picture a mildly guilty-looking German Shepherd in the middle of that scene.

You must understand, we've been blaming the TP fiascos on Jack for months. And it is annoying. Toilet paper gets expensive, but moreover, it's one of those things you adjust to consuming at a certain rate. And, at least for us, that rate is not supposed to be a 12-pack a week.

So we've taken to trying to remember to shut all the bathroom doors and keep spare rolls locked up more securely than loaded pistols. Blaming it on the puppy.

And it turns out she's been framing him. Now I have to wonder about everything else we've been blaming on him. Perhaps if we set up cameras we'd find out he's not the one getting up on the counter, and not the one who's taken to eating the occasional paperback.

What a Bad Old Dog.

Of course, she got spoken to. Not shouted at, and certainly not thumped. Age has its perks, even in the dog world.

And, as a note, that's the new Charmin Ultra Strong (which I didn't realize was a new product when I bought it - it was next to the bigger package of Charmin Ultra Soft). And it might be stronger than average toilet paper (it's certainly less soft than average). But it is not strong enough to hold up to G. Shep teeth.

EDIT: Okay, all of you who've been clicking on the top picture to see what scandalous magazines are in the Bad Dog Head...it's the Fall 2007 edition of the Garand Collectors Association magazine. Like I'd let a copy of Shaved Goats Quarterly appear in a blog photo...

Shameless Plug

Ladies and gentlemen...I have for you forbidden fruit. I have for you...something the San Francisco Film Commission would rather you not see.

Oh yes - you are intrigued, aren't you?

I won't hold out, I'll share this forbidden video with you. But first I recommend you gather your high-school age friends, children and associates around the screen.

Ha! Got 'em! Now that they've seen the super-groovy new Marine Corps commercial, there's no hope. Tomorrow they'll be at the recruiting station and in just a few short months they'll be referring to the bathroom as "the head" and opening the fridge to hunt for "chow."

It's actually a pretty nice spot. The Mister and I have gone back and forth to figure out what we think about the use of the Silent Drill Platoon for this spot - are they they stars? Shouldn't the Marine Corps be marketing the guys in the dust?

Then, for work-related reasons, he had to try to dig up the Marines who were in the commercial to find out if any of them were from certain media markets. No fewer than three of the guys in that TV spot are in Iraq now.

So yeah, they're shiny on the pretty TV ad, but they're the real Marine Corps.

Our Devil Dogs tails are wagging.

Edit to add: Oh, yeah. The Silent Drill Platoon is made up of grunts, and nuthin' but grunts. Learn more here.

15 January 2008


Seriously, isn't he just the Republican Party's answer to John Edwards? Great hair, nice smile, etc?

I get the appeal of most of these candidates, I think. Wouldn't vote for most of them if you jabbed me in eye with a sharp stick, but I like to think I understand how they might seem wonderful to a certain demographic.

But Mitt? In Michigan?

'If I am president, I will not rest until Michigan is back. Michigan can once again lead the world's automotive industry,' said Romney, 59, the former governor of Massachusetts who left Michigan decades ago for college. [emphasis added]

Apparently, he's going to singlehandedly bring back the good old days of the good wages and guaranteed job at the GM plant.

I love my home state, and the pages and pages of foreclosure notices in my county's weekly papers are heartbreaking, but that line is a load of crap. Those good old days are gone.

I have no idea how to fix the one-state recession that's been going on in Michigan for years, but I'm offended that this yahoo wandered around up there promising everything but a pony under the Christmas tree (and if this primary had happened three weeks ago, he'd probably have done that). Michigan's got real problems, not pass-through-and-smile-and-say-nice-things-at-the-carshow problems.

I'm going to chalk his win up as a hysterical show of hometown pride. Romney was born in Michigan, and the only president ever to come out of the state was actually never even on a national ticket, so we'll call it sentiment.

Also a pity that Michigan didn't get to hold a real Democratic primary. A big smack in the head with an ax handle to the DNC for that. Michigan's primaries are reasonably open and a full and open set of same-day primaries could have provided good information.

Michigan, WTF???

Is my home state, about to cast its lot with Mitt Romney?

With something like 2% of the vote in, the CNN crew is nearly peeing themselves in anticipation of getting to "project" ol' Mitt.

Jesus, Michiganders. It's been a long time since anyone has accused y'all of making wise long-term political choices, but come on....

Rantin' and Ravin'

Shortly before lunch, I had a guy pop up on my "problem screen," so to speak. My problem message went a little something like this:

Customer entered shipping address incorrectly. FedEx delivered package [12 days ago]. Customer has contacted FedEx and wants to know when we're going to reship his package. Please follow up.

Well...I did a little examining. Yes, indeed, Mr. Customer had typo'd his shipping address. It happens. Most of the time, they notice it pretty quickly and call in. I can fix your screwup if we haven't sent your crap out. And I can even (usually) fix your screwup if your crap is enroute.

But if your crap has been delivered as labeled - more than a week ago - ...well, bub, you're out of luck.

I left the polite version of the TS speech on the gentleman's voicemail.

Hi, this is Abby with Crap Unlimited, calling about this order you placed. Unfortunately, I don't really have any good options for reshipment, since we provided the shipper with the address you gave us, and they delivered it as addressed. If you'd called in before it was delivered we'd have had more options. There really isn't much I can do, but you can give me a call at...

Of course, he called back like 20 minutes later, but wanted to talk to my boss. Because, obviously, I suck and do not feel his pain.

(I was not in trouble, BTW - nothing to be done. But if there's anybody in Fort Worth who wants to pay me even marginally more to do almost anything else...well, the email link is on the left. I can run a floor buffer)

After Mr. FatFingers, I went to lunch. I was out of smokes and went down the road to the gas station to fix that. However, their "computers went down," and the salepeople apparently are not empowered to do cash transactions.


Off to the next gas station (approximately 43 left turns away). I parked and found my way to the back of a line eight people long. As I advanced to the "on deck" position, a woman popped in from the parking lot. Looking irked and in a hurry.

She's here, I thought (like a fool), to get her change from pre-paying. Not worth getting worked up about. I could wait, she could cut in line.

She directed her irkedness at the poor old man behind the counter.

She had, it seems, given him $10 to put on pump 7. Which he'd done. Except she had been confused, and was in fact parked at pump 11. She wanted her $10 on 11.

The gentleman looked horrified. He'd put it on 7, and, times and gas prices being what they are, someone had considered that a nice Happy Tuesday gift. The $10 was gone.

That's not my fault, she said huffily. I want my $10! On the right pump!

You stupid waste of flesh, I thought. It is your fault. You're too stupid to buy gas. And if you get gas, you'll just drive home and call some poor customer service drone and annoy her because you don't know your own address.

I'm okay with stupid. We're all stupid sometimes. But it's stupid and arrogant that makes me insane.

Doing something stupid should equal shame. Not huffy demands about what you're owed because you're an idiot.

I do stupid things with startling regularity, but I like to think I recognize that and act appropriately contrite and humble when I'm begging someone to bail me out.

14 January 2008

The annoying thing about "winter"

Such as it is here in Texas, is the lack of satisfactory sun for napping.

Fortunately, I have resourcesful dogs, and they spend the first half of the day migrating slowly around the library/armory, soaking up whatever sunbeams they can find.

It's a rough life. For me as well - this is my monthly three-day weekend. Don't hate - I'll be paying for it with a 12-9 this Saturday.

13 January 2008

From time to time

I look at the world around me, and it's confusing. I think, self - we could blog about all this confusion, or we could sit on the couch with the husband and take naps.

That's been the story the past few days. Even this evening - still a big old fascinating world out there, and I'm absolutely hypnotized by a Legally Blond marathon on TBS.

Yes, I do prefer the sequel.