Jul 31, 2011

Let's Get De-Motivated!!

I don't know why, but I just love the demotivator posters floating around the internettubes. Some are a complete waste, but I can usually find a bit funny about most that I see.

Lately, there have been quite a few that have come my way, that of course I just have to share with you all...

Jul 26, 2011

Is it too late for another edition of Bad Tat Tuesday?

For those 5 or 6 readers who still stop by this little neck of the intertubes woods, Bad Tat Tuesday used to be a regular feature around here. Well, I have some great electronic friends who have still been sending me some great ink, so here is a shout out to Flannery Alden, Lily, Raine, and the Captain himself for sending me some great stuff!

Thanks folks, here we go!

This one looks so creepy that it might be part ink and part alive!

Oh sweet jebuz, this one will live on for weeks in my nightmares.

Hey, for those of you who can't afford your own notepad, here is a swell idea!

My own find, and possibly one of the few tats that I would consider getting. The LincolnBorg.

read the text below this one, all about the irony here.

Nothing says klassy like a penis dripping cum!

Pac Man enthusiast!

She's a bounty hunter...

Jul 21, 2011

His Name Was Reggie

My friend that I workout with in the mornings, and fellow dog lover, sent this to me today. I can't vouch for the authenticity, but it sounds sincere. And I have not stopped crying since I got it.
I hope you enjoy it, it has a good ending.

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to.

And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant.

They must've thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home).

Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike. For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls --- he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name --- sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth or fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn't going to work. He chewed up a couple of shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in ‘full-on’ search mode for my cell phone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it on me."

Finally, I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home.

But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat."

Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction – maybe "glared" is more accurate – and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down ... with his back to me. Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.

But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice."

To Whoever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter.

He knew something was different.

I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong...which is why I have to try to make it right. So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls.

The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet.

Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after them, so be careful. Don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands.

Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again:

Reggie knows the obvious ones ---"sit," "stay," "come," "heel."

He knows hand signals, too: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left.

"Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down --- I bet you could work on that with him some more.

He knows"ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business. I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due.

Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life.

He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain.

He just loves to be around people, and me most especially. Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.

And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you....

His name's not Reggie.

I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie.

He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine.

But if someone else is reading it, well ... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.

His real name is "Tank.”

Because, that is what I drive.

Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make"Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander.

You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with ... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq , that they make one phone call the shelter ... in the "event" ... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption.

Luckily, my colonel is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word. Well, this letter is getting downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family ... but still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.

And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.

That unconditional love from a dog is what I take with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things ... and to keep those terrible people from coming to the U.S. If I have to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and of love.

I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough.

I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter.

I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me.

Thank you,
Paul Mallory

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me.

Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer. I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

"Hey, Tank," I said quietly.

The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

"C'mere boy."

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.

"Tank," I whispered.

His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me."

Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

"So whatdaya say we play some ball?"

His ears perked again.

"Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"

Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room.

And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Jul 11, 2011

Monday Morning Hitting To All Fields

Hi there boys and girls! How is everybody doing today? Uh huh. Uh huh. (nods head up and down). Well that's great, glad to hear that everyone else is doing just as poor as I am!

Lately it has been 1 step forward 2 steps back at the very least. Lets recap, shall we?

I was emptying the dishwasher the other day and had a stack of plates in my hands as I spun around. My wife had come up behind me without my noticing and I tried to move quickly to the side out of her way. My leg hit the washer door and didn't move, then I lost balance and went down over the dishwasher door. I landed so had I bent a broiler pan, and crumpled the sides of the dishwasher from the force on the door.

I was amazed I was OK because I fell across all the silverware and no part of me was shanked!

My wife was pretty concerned though, "Look what you did to the dishwasher!" was her first instinct, I could feel the love. It was almost like a Lifetime movie.

So we went and bought the same model of dishwasher since this one was only about a year and a half old, and that would make for easy replacement. No such luck, they changed the water connection from female to male underneath. Back to Lowes for more connectors...

We have had a lot of bad weather lately, and we lost the top of a silver maple tree in our backyard. Lots of branches down, but this was a pretty big limb out of the tree:

But the backyard is cleaned up now and I have the limbs all cut up and out of the way.

I took my Volvo wagon in for a mysterious message "Service your engine" that was popping up randomly and as it did that it would kind of hesitate while accelerating. The diagnostic came back as a throttle problem that was a recall I had missed by, wait for it, 2 months! That's right, what would have been a free fix they now want around 900 bills for.

I told them to skip it, I will wait for it to fail horribly before I have to drop that kind of cash. When I asked why so much, the guy explained that it is an electronic module that tells the engine where the gas pedal is at.

Whaaaaat? My fucking car is fly-by-wire...

So I decided I needed some humor in my life, and went through the old blog fodder folder to share a few things. So here you go my little blogger buddies, enjoy!

Jul 7, 2011

I must be the worst general in the world!

I've sent billions and billions into battle and only had a couple of victories...

Dave Allen on sperm, funny, funny stuff.

Jul 3, 2011

Road Trip!

Last week, in a preemptive strike against the 4th of July idiots, we headed out of town to the mountains to cool off. In the past we have tried to head over to Glenwood Springs for a couple of days each summer. Skyler likes hanging out in the huge hot springs pool, and we all just relax a bit. But this year we went further west to the far northwest corner of Colo to Steamboat Springs. Why you ask? Well that is a pretty funny story.

Skyler has been seeing the same Physical Therapist his whole life. Her name is Mindy and she is great. Mindy makes some extra money by taking on PT students who are in their last year of school, and they shadow her for a semester to get real life skills. Some students are OK, and others you can tell are going to be great. She had a student named Danni that Skyler absolutely loved. He was really taken by her. So awhile back was the end of her rotation and she said bye to Skyler and he was bummed. I asked her where she was going next and she told us that her next gig was to work the summer at Yampa Valley medical summer as a PT helping out. That is in Steamboat Springs.

As soon as we got Skyler back into his chair and had his communications device in front of him, he spelled out "No Glenwood Steamboat". I thought "You little stalker you"! (just like his dad only without night vision goggles...

So we got Danni's phone number and called to make some arrangements to have coffee with her while we stayed for 3 days over in Steamboat and had fun. Here is Danni:

We basically hung out in the hot springs and went for a lot of walks. It was nice, but the elevation at Steamboat isn't that high, so we were still pretty warm up there. It reached 90 one day!

This is the ski jump hill, which is one of the oldest in the USA.

Looking west from the hotel.

Mount Werner, where the ski mountain is.

The Yampa valley.

The Gore range driving over.

Mom saves the day with Ice Cream!

Walking the paths, this is a bridge over the Yampa river.

The river was way high from the runoff, so most of the underpasses were closed.

The hot springs pool.

The slides were way fun!