Friday, February 12, 2016

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 43

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  Little drones flying in the sky have become a problem in many places.  The Dutch are trying out a unique strategy for removing drones from restricted areas.

What are they using to battle drones?

Hostmaster:  incorrect.  Some guy in Kentucky got arrested for shooting a drone flying over his daughter sun bathing in their back yard.  
Apparently, Peeping Toms have
 more rights than property owners.
I wonder if the Dutch
 would have arrested him.
Hostmaster:  hmmm.
Interceptor drones?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
Force fields?
Hostmaster:  Ahhhh!  You're giving me flashbacks of bad sci-fi from the 50's and 60's!
Some fire fighters somewhere
in New York blasted a
 drone out of the sky.
Fire hoses?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
Birds of Prey?
Hostmaster:  correct.  They are teaching Eagles to look upon small drones as prey.  They figure they can get the Eagles to catch the drones and bring them down to get a reward.
I think they should teach the
birds to look upon the
drone operators as prey.
Birds of Prey can hurt you bad.
I've seen squirrels
that were unrecognizable
after tangling with one. 
So ends another round of Pop Culture Frenzy.
Anyone interested in Dutch drone action, here's a link to the story.
Round 43
Fluffy/Molly  19
Bryan/Cyndi   16

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Breed Profile: Pomeranian

Like most members of the Toy Group, the Pomeranian is small and considered a companion.  He is however, outgoing, vivacious, reasonably intelligent, curious and bold, thus qualified for other pursuits such as therapy, obediance competitions and whatnot.

Pomeranians get along well with other dogs and cats but some give in to the impulse to chase small critters.  This tendency allows for some Poms to make good ratters. 

Not a mouse, just a chunk from a rotted tree stump.
  Still, this Pomeranian chased it, caught it and captured it.

Some Pomeranian Facts

-  lifespan:  12-15 years
-  weight:  3-7 pounds
-  height:  8-11 inches at shoulder
-  double coat: undercoat is soft and dense, outer coat is straight with a harsh texture
-  coat colors:  just about any color and any pattern, such as blue, black, red, brindle, cream, orange, shaded (variations on a color or colors), sable (three or more colors)...

Our in-house model features a black and white coat pattern. 

Bred down to smallness from sled dogs sometime in the 1800's, presumably in the region in Germany/Poland called Pomerania, the Pomeranian has the same body type as a Spitz:  prick ears, high set tail that lies flat on the back, thick coat, medium boned, sturdy, compact.

The personality of the Pom is confidence bordering on cocky, fearless on the verge of reckless, commanding to the brink of bossy.

Pomeranian Manifesto

-  if you are not charmed by the ultimate swaggering small dog, you are not fit to live with a Pomeranian

-  you may think I am barking for no reason.  You would be wrong.  I am simply alert.  You're welcome.

-  don't let the rugged coat of my Nordic ancestors let you forget that I require the luxury of indoor living

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Good Morning, Ms Frazzled

My first thought when I got out of bed that morning was that Lily was to be dropped off between 7:30 and 8 a.m. at the veterinarian to be spayed.  My tendency to worry was not in high gear.  Indeed,  I felt, well, OK.

The surgery instructions were no food after midnight.  I went outside with Lily when she did her business to be sure she didn't eat a clod of dirt or something .

For the next couple of hours,  I avoided all the dogs, with little success.  They kept staring at me, clearly not onboard with the whole not-eating-in-solidarity-with-Lily's-looming-surgery plan.

It was time to leave.  Lily and I got into the vehicle.  I wouldn't start.

Luckily, The Handsome One was off of work that day so he took us in his truck.

Inside the vet office, an old man was telling a bored looking doctor and receptionist that 16 pills is a lot of pills to take.  He glanced at me and added, "for a dog."  He maintained eye contact, so I answered, "yes.  Sixteen pills is a lot."

Lily weighed in at 68 pounds and we went into a room to do paperwork.  Lily seemed delighted to go with the nice vet tech.  Interestingly, I was not feeling terribly nervous about the whole major surgery thing.  In fact, I was encouraged that maybe, just maybe after a dozen or so spaying adventures, I was calming down about it.  Maybe this frazzle free style living could become a habit!

I had to walk past the old man to exit the building.  He was telling the doctor who looked about to cry and the receptionist who was violently filing her thumbnail about the time he forget to give his dog her 2 o'clock pill. 

Suddenly, he turned to me and said, "your hair looks good."

I thanked him and made for the door.

He added, "it looks like you French kissed a light socket."


"Seriously"  he said.  "It looks good."

I really thought I was doing OK.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 42

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  Today's question involves Therapy Animals.  We usually think of dogs in this role.  Most of us have seen a dog helping a blind person navigate, a dog helping a disabled person in various ways such as reaching a door handle, a dog offering support to children learning to read, and so on.

Nowadays, not only do we see more kinds of animals doing therapy work, such as horses helping developmentally disabled children improve strength, balance and confidence, we are also seeing a curious expansion of the problems eligible to be assuaged by Therapy Animals.  Now we have Comfort Animals and Emotional Support Animals that purportedly offer succor for all sorts of woes.  Indeed, to be permitted to take this animal say, on an airplane,  pretty much all you need is a doctor's note saying you "need" your ferret in your jacket pocket ALL THE TIME because he soothes your angst or whatever.  Thus, people managing their lives without Therapy Animals are bumping up against people with Therapy Animals more and more.

Recently a news article featured a picture of an unusual Comfort Animal accompanying a Delta Airlines passenger.  

What kind of animal was photographed on board an airplane doing therapy?

A parrot?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.  We parrots are too mercenary for such work.
I read something about a guy
in a restaurant upsetting other
diners with his Boa Constrictor
Comfort Pet...
A snake?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.


A Meerkat?

For crying out loud! 
Meerkats are wild animals.

But they're so cute!

Hostmaster:  incorrect.  Well, maybe not the cute part.  Ah, who cares if they are cute.  No.  A meerkat was not the Therapy Animal pictured on the Delta flight.

 A monkey?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
An alpaca?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.  
A hedgehog?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
A rat?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.   This round is taking forever and I have football to watch.  It was a turkey.  Those interested can see the picture here.
So ends another round. 
Round 42
Fluffy/Molly  18
Bryan/Cyndi    16


Monday, January 11, 2016

Leonard gets a New Roommate

Leonard and Pearl knew each other at the pet store.  Their bond grew stronger when they came to live with us.  They groomed each other.  They slept nestled each night in their grit cup.  Then Pearl died.

 Leonard was alone.  Since finches are not loners, I obtained a new roommate for Leonard.  You always worry a little.  Not all roommate situations work out well. 

Happily, this one has.   Indeed, these two may turn out to be more than roommates.  Hudson layed an egg.   Leonard has been seen, er, mounting Hudson.   Can a Spice Finch and a Society Finch produce a brood?   Spociety Finches, perhaps? 

We'll see.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fluffy Post Holiday


Of course, you know
it was wrong.

Yeah.  I know. Well.  The cat
likes the box.  I don't like the
cat.  I gave in to the impulse. 

What can I say?  Beware the dark side of Boxing Day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas

You do Luke, I'll take John.                                 OK.

Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you
 good news of a great joy which will
 come to all the people; for to you is
 born this day in the city of David
 a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 

For God so loved the world that
he gave his only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in him will not
perish, but have eternal life. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 41

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy. 

Our question today involves a research study at Hiroshima University in Japan that suggests that pictures of particular things help people focus more clearly on tasks. In the study, participants were asked to perform tasks such as using tweezers to grasp tiny objects and searching for a digit in a numeric table.

The subjects then viewed a set of photographs and performed the tasks a second time.  Their performance was the same after viewing some images.  After viewing other images, they performed with more alacrity.

Name one of these magic performance enhancing images.

Hostmaster:  incorrect.


Hostmaster:  incorrect. 


Hostmaster:  incorrect.

A photo of themselves?



People motivated by their own images
 carry mirrors.  Right, Cyndi?
You are so derisive, Fluffy.
Just because you take no pride in
your appearance doesn't make it wrong.

Porn selfies?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.  We've gotten off on an annoying tangent.  Let's get back to the game.



Hostmaster:  incorrect. 



Hostmaster:  close.

Hostmaster:  correct.

 Baby squirrels too?
Hostmaster:  yes, yes.  The study participants found pictures of baby animals "cute".  Researchers figure the cuteness of such big eyed critters makes people "feel good" thus improving their performance. 

 This might explain the popularity
of the horrific Hello Kitty
 And Pokemon.

Shame on you.  You
have no respect for
Japanese culture.

 Hostmaster, how come baby birds aren't cute?


 They don't have big eyes, I guess. 
Who cares.  Adult birds are the ultimate
 in strength and beauty.
Just look at me.

  Baby Godzilla is cute.

Round 41
Fluffy/Molly  18
Bryan/Cyndi   16
 Dear Readers,

My apologies for the strange drifting words.  I fixed them.  All alignment was in order.  Then the pictures all drifted to the left.  I centered them.  Then some of the words drifted again.  In the interest of keeping from burying my fist in the monitor I have given up "fixing" for now.  Who knows, maybe it will all spontaneously realign.