Usually I like to write posts that are kind of jokey. Other times I like to grump about something that is making me grumpy. This is going to be something different. I started writing this the night we received the bad news. News concerning that big guy pictured up there. For those of you who don’t know him, his name is Jacoby. For those that do know him you may not know that his full name is Jacoby Edison Standard. He is a great dog!

I met him when he was barely two months old and I was hungover. He was at the humane society with his last remaining litter mate. All the rest had already been adopted. His brother was at the front and Jake was at the back. His flashy white socks and Sylvester the cat tail caught my attention. Just in case I hadn’t noticed him though, he puppy pranced toward the gate, trampling over his mate in the process. I remember saying something like, “Well you are cute! Are you a boy or a girl?” I know he didn’t understand me, but on cue he stood on his hind legs, showed me his junk, and proceeded to fall backward, landing on his sibling. I knew I had to have that dog!

I mentioned I was hungover. That is because five days earlier I had to put down my previous dog, Vinny. A dog that I had grown up with. A cute fluffy cocker spaniel that I loved to pieces. I was a freaking mess without a dog. I mean, it was bad. The bouncer at the bar I frequented told me about a litter of puppies that had just been dropped off at the pound. Which, while a great lead, didn’t stop me from getting hammered that night.

So there I was in the visitation room with a nameless dog. We played and tussled. Then he curled up in my lap and took a nap. I was sold and so was he. Eighty bucks and a legally binding promise to get him neutered and we were in my truck. By the time we had driven home, I had decided on a name, Jacoby. Yes, it was inspired by Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, but only because I liked the name.

We were pretty much inseparable, except when I had to go to class or work. I showed him the ropes and he ran with it from there. He loved hanging out with my friends and going with me to adjust the kilns. I found out that he thoroughly enjoyed chewing on stuff and swimming. Long walks were totally in his wheelhouse. Crates, his mortal enemy. He has always been a dog’s dog.

It was those skills and more that he imparted on his brother from another mother, Bleu. Bleu showed up when Jake was two. After one little scuff that left Bleu screaming and Jake in the dog house, they have been best friends. Bleu has never been too far from Jake. We even think that Bleu started carrying his tail the same way as Jake, just to match. Bleu always wanted to be like Jake, eat the same food as Jake, chew like Jake. They look so much alike that we still get asked if they are a mom and puppy. Yes, it is rare now that they are twelve and ten, but it did happen in 2015.

That is why our hearts were breaking when they walked Jake away for the ultrasound. Bleu just laid in our laps morose and making a low moaning sound. His breath changed to short little bursts. We knew he would do that, which is why we had taken him with us so he wouldn’t be at the apartment by himself. We knew he would just lie on the cold, hard floor by the door, which isn’t him.

Right now we don’t know the full prognosis. We just know that one of the hardest times in a pet owner’s life has announced that it will be intruding. For those of you haven’t already called your special someone over or picked them up and put them directly on your lap, what are you waiting for? Go pet them! For those of you who don’t have a special someone, what are you waiting for? Go get one! We are aching, but the only reason this moment is so terrible, is because all the other moments have been so great.

The X-Files

My wife and I watched the X-Files relaunch on Sunday night. She is a big fan and wanted to watch it live and not PVR’ed. We barely got to the couch by 6:58. There was some football game on. Apparently it was a big deal and was still in the throes of ingratiating itself and fans of the sport. They announced the X-Files would start after the post game show. Which meant we were going to have to jock it up for an uncertain amount of time. I was guessing twenty to thirty minutes. Sure we could change the channel or walk off, but we ran the risk of missing the beginning of The X-Files.

I got through it by knowing that we weren’t the only nerds in this situation. Being inundated with testosterone and commercials, not having a single clue or care about what they were talking about. Just a bunch of old beefy guys talking about the sport they love and how great team x played over team y. I assume that team x and y are easily swapped depending on the winner. Every now and then there were insightful interviews with players and coaches.

“Coach tell us what happened!” says microphone lady

“We lost today because we didn’t play well.” coach responds. No wonder why this guy gets paid the big bucks! He was able to ascertain that not playing well equals losing. Good on him. Of course this went on for sometime. No interview actually said anything that we already didn’t know. Some were happy, some were sad, you take the good, you take the bad.

Finally the show started. Wait, no just more commercials. Now, the show started. Overall it was fine. There was quite a bit of fast paced exposition to address the ten year gap and get the plot rolling. More commercials, now back to the program. Stuff happens, Mulder says stuff, Scully says stuff.

Although I have no idea what she said because a big white box with a Burger King logo popped up and the bottom of the screen. I am used to seeing these kinds of ads, which is sad when I think about it. What I wasn’t used to seeing was the countdown clock to the commercial. Like I need a countdown clock to a commercial. The postgame had a countdown for The X-Files which I get, but a freakin’ commercial? What one tooth inbred screams “Shheee-ooot Cousin Dumbfuncle Bob, git yeer redneck type two ass back on up in nyhere dar gon’ be a Booger Kin commercial!”

On another note, the second episode was way better and suffered a little less from ads in general. It certainly didn’t have the Burger Box of Wonder. I did to fully acknowledge why we haven’t watched TV on major channels in years.

Don’t Call It A Comeback! She’s Been Here All Along.

Sarah Palin has been making a lot of news lately. She has been saying all sorts of shit over the last year. Most recently she endorsed Donald Trump. Which apparently turned some conservatives stomachs and made others rip off their pants whoop at the sky. For me, I thought it was kismet. I wondered why it had taken so long. This must have been what the moment was like when they guy who put chocolate and peanut butter together, put chocolate and peanut butter together.

Two crazy assholes on camera at the same time. Turned loose like a senile grandpa without pills and that backwoods racist uncle at the holiday table. Team ups like this don’t happen very often except in pro wrestling. Which if you go watch the speech in the context of a wrestling interview where two people you didn’t think would team up do, you won’t be disappointed.

In all seriousness though, if nothing else this move is self-serving. She is obviously pining for a vice president position. What better way than to team up with an old white guy. Albeit this time the old white guy with a charisma stat of thirty. For the non-Dungeon & Dragon’s players, this is very, very good. Like him or hate him, people are drawn toward Trump either way.

Palin has made one serious concession. One that I definitely think should be brought up. In the past, she has steadfastly defended her grandchild, as she should. So, how the hell could she side with a guy who has repeatedly made fun of people with developmental challenges? I’m pretty certain he uses the word “retard” like a fish drinks water. Yep, she totally has standards and sticks to her morals. Totally the cardigan wearing grizzly momma whatever the hell she calls herself!

Regardless, I am happy that Sarah Palin is back in the spotlight. This way we can all keep an eye on here. When she disappears she does weird shit, such as writing a speech to endorse Donald Trump.

National Hug Day

I know I have talked about these unofficial national and international holidays before. There are just so many of them, who has the time to celebrate them all? How many celebratory days does it take before they lose their lustre? Well today I am not saying that! I have changed my mind and lifted the embargo. Today is national hug day!

What could the world use more than a hug? Well, a lot of things to be honest. However a hug could be the foundation of those things. In this time of  being on the brink of war, rampant media fear and xenophobia why not break down some barriers and give someone a hug. Bring ‘em close and let them know that if at least nothing else, you don’t hate them.

Maybe it is the Adele that unexpectedly started playing on my streaming service. Maybe it is just all the violence. Maybe it is just the waking up early funk. Whatever the reason I am down with this idea. Which is huge because I am not a hugger. To get a hug out of me you have be a level ten friend. We have had to have gone through some shit. On top of that, I am weary of these national (insert whatever) day. Quit reading and go hug someone.

The Follow Unfollow Game

I am a proud member of #TeamFollowBack. If someone follows me and they aren’t trying to sell me followers or they don’t seem like a fake account, I will follow them back. I don’t care what they do or what they are into: Accounting, kittens, travel, marketing, erotic authors, whatever. Just as long as those erotic authors aren’t hosing my entire feed with NSFW images, I will follow back.

Here is the best part. I won’t unfollow after two days. In fact, tweeps I follow have to try super hard to annoy me. There are only a few ways they can do so. For one, I don’t particularly enjoy getting my feed filled by the same person. As far as I remember only one person ever performed such a feat. I felt bad. Perhaps it was more my fault. He seemed like an elite tweeper and I was just a fledgling on my first few days. Maybe if I would have followed more folks like him it all would have evened out. In the end, it was too overwhelming. Other than that though I won’t unfollow on my own accord.

Unless of course I am unfollowed. For those who aren’t twitter hounds, this happens a lot. People follow folks to grow their numbers. Which is fine, that is what we are all trying to do. Peddle ourselves and our products. Here is the kick in the pants, some tweeps will unfollow after a few days of you following them back. That’s right! They started this by following you and after getting your vital follow, they unfollow you. This is like inviting someone over for a beer that they have to bring, then taking said beer and not talking to them.

Why do they do this? So they look cool and appear super popular. Many celebrities have gazillions of followers, but aren’t following very many people. They don’t need to. Why would they want to follow Michelle from Moscow, Kansas? Hell I don’t even want to follow Michelle from Moscow, Kansas.

Being like a celebrity is the effect that these fairweather followers are going for. A huge number by followers, small number by following. Enticing folks to follow them to inflate their numbers. Then trying to make themselves look cooler by unfollowing. Bringing down their numbers and looking more in demand. What a bunch of jerks!




More PC More Problems

My friend, Machismo Wainwright, recently gifted me a copy of Fallout 4. I had been playing Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas a lot lately and he knew I was a big fan. What he didn’t know was the reason why I hadn’t procured my own copy of Fallout 4. My computer was underwhelming and doesn’t meet the minimum requirements. It is something I didn’t real bring up much in conversation. Seriously, who wants to talk about inadequacies on a coffee break.

Since then Machismo has been trying to help me find a new graphics card. Lo and behold another friend, Jonesboro McClintock, came to my rescue. All I had to do was buy him a lunch or two and he would give me his old GTX 580. It is certainly a big beefy card. A card that is the size of something one would get at a U.S. fast food restaurant. Superduper sized, doubled up and bedazzled. Easily more than twice the size of my current card.

Once Jonesboro had heard that my powersupply wouldn’t support this new supreme being of a card, he even threw in an old power supply. He and I ran through the checklist of everything that could go wrong when making the switch. We thought of everything. The wattage, the pins and cables, the general size of the card. I had the new card all but in when one problem we hadn’t thought about popped up. My SATA cables are right under the graphics card. This new one sits right on them. So much so that it tips. I didn’t push it into my PCIe slot any further .

So how the hell did I wind up in this position. For starters I have traditionally been a console gamer. They are easy and I like the controllers. However, I have gotten tired of buying new consoles and having to buy all new stuff. I just don’t want that hassle. So I started switching over to PC gaming. Albeit slowly.

My current PC is a Dell. I know, I know. It won’t happen again. Money was a bit tight when I bought it and I needed a new PC at the time. The financing was really appealing back then too. Before this, for whatever reason, I had bought an iMac. I know, how did I have money for a Mac, but not for something that wasn’t a Dell? Beats the shit outta me. I had succumbed to advertising. My wife had one. They looked great and fun and it was, for awhile. So is being a lesbian in university*!

Eventually I had to get back to doing actual work. That is when I bought the Dell. Honestly, it hasn’t been bad except in the last year. Dell is kind of a strange mishmash of quality parts and cheap parts. They also seem to have a design team whose job is to ensure you can’t upgrade the thing easily. Well fire that team because my PC may be stuffed like a Thanksgiving Turkey, but I can play Fallout 4! All it took were some ninety degree SATA cables.


*There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a lesbian after university.

Hair of the Drone

The CES, Consumer Electronic Show, was going on all last week. A magical time of year where everyone’s tech nerdiness comes out as they try to be unique tech loving snowflakes. “I love technology!” people yarp in luddite excluding self-actualizing clarity. Loving tech is fine. Just like loving Star Wars, video games, comic books, whatever. It is that air that is given off while saying such things. That sense that people believe that not seemingly everyone in western culture is also obsessed with the exact same things. That they don’t realize that they aren’t unique snowflakes.

Enough of this middle-aged, disenfranchised bitching. I need to save this kind strength for when I am sixty five. Then I can really let it rip on all this grumping business. All I need is to save up for all that wood I am going to widdle once I retire. However, I will be fruegel and widdle my own rocking chair and porch, all whilst grumping. Come on over, pencil me in for thirty years from today!

So, many things were announced at the CES: Insanely thin televisions, fridges with cameras inside them, laptops that connect to a desktop graphics card, and of course a passenger drone. That is right a drone that is reportedly able to carry a person at one hundred kilometers per hour. Which I guess is kind of cool, if drones are your thing. Which they most assuredly are not mine.

For those who don’t know, drones are essentially the souped up love children of remote control airplanes and remote control helicopters. Remember those things that would sometimes be spotted, on a weekend, in the sky above a local park? A small niche group huddled below, starring up in mesmerized agapement? Remember thinking how nerdy those people were? What an uncool and expensive hobby that was? Seriously, remote control vehicle enthusiasts could make the deepest delver of Dungeons & Dragons look cool by comparison.

Then lo and behold here comes the drone and all of a sudden, everyone has to have one. It was to the remote control vehicle world, what Game of Thrones was to the fantasy world. Everyone had to have one! Soccer moms, day traders, iPhone enthusiasts, people from all walks of life were all of a sudden interested in flying a remote controlled vehicle. It was the cool, sexy and socially acceptable thing to do.

Now they are so popular we are going to cart people around in them! Of course anyone should be able see the red tape and issues with this. Current civilian drones have been causing all sorts of issues. However, when drones aren’t spying on bikini clad neighbors, flying in federal airspace, or whacking brides in the face, they have been known to do some good deeds. Urban and wilderness search and rescue and delivering tacos to name a few. Soon to be added will be hauling around our fat asses. Drones, they ain’t just for bombs anymore!


Un Momento Por Favor

Look at that, new year, new language. Not really, I have kind of been able to somewhat speak Spanish for awhile now, kind of. Just wait for the Nolanian twist. One of those words up there isn’t what it seems. In fact one of those words may look Spanish, but it isn’t. One of those words es un lobo en oveja’s clothing. Which one is it? Read on and find out!

A few days back, twitter started blowing up. When I awoke the next morning, stuff was still blowing up. Big time! Sure the hashtag may have dropped a few spots, but it was still going strong. Besides, what hashtag can possibly stand against One Direction news? Not even an isolated country testing a hydrogen bomb and causing an earthquake could do that. Which is precisely that the trending topic was about. North Korea had gone nuclear!

Cool! Keeping the mid 1900’s alive and well, along with the atomic dream. What isn’t to like about that? Any Mad Men cosplayers should pack their bags and head to Pyongyang immediately. Get in the on the ground level of what most assuredly will be a grand time filled with dames and no non-smoking sections at restaurants.

Social media was on fire with fearful people filling their pants whilst tweeting sentiments, such as, but not limited too: Why have we been ignoring him? Time to send the military there! Let’s start another war! Let’s nuke them first! Forget about ISIS, Syria, and Iran, this is the real threat!

In general, “We need to do something!” While I must admit, the thought of a country that has not had much to do with the rest of the world for the last fifty years getting a weapon of such power is worrisome. I also must say that maybe it isn’t as bad as everyone is fearing.

For real the international espionage community has to really know what is going on. Somewhat. Maybe they don’t know everything. Yet, if they know that – as of the time of this writing – I am wearing a blue banana hammock, then they can have an idea of what the hell is going on in North Korea. So just chill!

I would like to stand this whole thing on its head and present a new possibility to think about. All the unbreakable Kim Jong Un wants is to be taken seriously and to talk. That’s it! Many of us don’t follow our parents into their line of work. Imagine filling your dad’s shoes at his job as supreme leading dictator of a country. That certainly would require one to bring the ye-olde A-game. Shoot a few uncles. Send some images of stuff that seems like you have your shit together.

The problem is he doesn’t really get respect from the outside world. He kind of has that fat kid from Stand By Me meets Ross from Friends vibe. However, nuclear power makes the world take note. Everyone takes the U.S. seriously. Iran got the U.S. to negotiate a deal. Nuclear power is like having cool shoes in high school or whatever it is the kids deem cool these days.