October 24, 2010

Not what I was going to write about

I was originally going to write about data used in claims by television advertising, but I couldn't find the right Easy, Breezy Covergirl commercial on YouTube, so that will have to wait.  So, instead of a light-hearted commentary on the pseudoscience that we have all come to accept in our daily lives, and its potential impact on the stupidifying of America, I am going to write about something far more important.

Songs that get stuck in my head.  There have been quite a few of them lately for my wife and I.  One of them was her fault.  I'm also going to be sharing these songs via YouTube videos below, because I feel pretty good about understanding the HTML code to make them show up in my blog (yay!), and because I don't want to be the only person suffering horribly after writing this blog.

Song #1.  Green Acres Theme Song

While working at the meat department the other day, my wife sends me a text message about how she has the Green Acres song stuck in her head.  This immediately infected me with the same problem, and I spent the rest of the day boning out pork butt shoulders while repeating the one or two lines to that dumb song that I could remember over and over again.  And now I've passed this gift on to you.  But at least you can benefit from the full version of the song and not only Eva Gabor's lines.

Song #2.  J.G. Wentworth commercial

God forbid I should ever have to use their services, but I think this commercial is actually a masterpiece of marketing.  Much better than some of their other commercials (think of the one with a bunch of people shouting about their money outside of their windows, and look on YouTube for a good spoof), they came out with this opera themed stuff at some point and struck a vibe (with me, at least).  Unfortunately, it sticks on your head like glue, but at least you can chuckle to yourself about it all day.  This couldn't have been cheap either - it's twice the length of a normal commercial - but I guess there are enough people who need their money now for old Mr. Wentworth to be able to afford this sort of advertising.

Song #3.  Stupid Ford Fiesta commercial

This one actually annoys the heck out of me, despite some really awesome choreography and original advertising.  But that background music!  Urgh!

Song #4.  Strangers in the Night

I might be alone on this one, but this song gets stuck in my head all the time.  I blame the movie Fletch, and the scene where Chevy Chase alters the lyrics to his own particular version.  It's funny, but then I worked with a guy in a butcher shop who liked to cut meat while listening to Frank Sinatra, and that pretty much encoded the lyrics into my DNA.  Now that I think about it, there is something kind of sinister about listening to Sinatra while dicing up meat...  Anyway, to go a little easier on you, I put up an apparently rare version of the song as done by the band Cake.

Song #5.  Hound Dog

This all just comes with the territory when you own basset hounds.  I can't really say anything bad about the king, especially after I found a video of him singing this song to a basset on TV.

Song #6.  Love Will Keep us Together

I'm kind of ashamed I even know about this duo.  Nevermind how I even learned of this song; the story is embarrassing and involves a cat.  For awhile there this song played through my head, despite my otherwise normal appearance, all the time.  It even got played on an episode of Lost.  But there is, at least, some potential here for a cute pair of dog costumes...

Song #7.  I Love a Parade

My family has a rather unhealthy habit of watching/listening to the same media ad nauseum during the holidays.  I think I can probably recite National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation from start to finish, given enough participating friends.  But this song comes from the original Vacation movie, where Clark is wandering lost in the desert with his pants tied around his head, after catapulting the family truckster through the Arizona desert.  It was humorous when I was 15; now I wish I could forget it.  The worst part is he only sings the first two lines.  That's not even a song stuck in my head, it's two lines!

Song #8.  Destati

Unless you played Kingdom Hearts, you might not know this song.  I did and I do; it's actually kind of cool, and another neat piece that has been performed by orchestra groups around the world.  Certain parts of this song end up stuck in my head from time to time.

October 19, 2010

It's great to be a hound

Life is good. I've got to go on at least one car ride a day in the past week. Let me tell you a bit about car rides. They used to happen once a week when daddy and I lived in the other house for awhile, but after we moved in with mama they happened a lot less. I was a sad hound. The only nice thing about it was that car rides always ended up at the park. I love the park, it is probably the best place on earth. There are lots of other dogs there, and lots of people who want to stop and pet me. And the smells! Such smells! I wouldn't even want to go for a walk, I'd rather just wander around and smell, but you know how dad is.

Anyway, lately I have been going on car rides to the park every day. Daddy goes to work now, which is kind of strange, but when he comes home we go for a car ride. The weird part is the cats come with us. They all go into one of our crates, with our bed in it, and then they go into the car. Then we "load up" and go for a ride. The windows get put down, which I love, because it lets me show everyone just how fast I can run. I run so fast in the car my ears stay flying behind me the whole time! And people in the nearby cars all check me out - just yesterday a whole bus of kids drove by and pointed and smiled at me. It's great to be a hound on a car ride.

The recent car rides always end at the park. I thought there were squirrels in my yard, but there are TONS of squirrels at the park now. And they are so lazy! They sit there and taunt Layla and I, instead of running like they should. They're lucky dad holds us back or we would catch them and smell them and possibly eat part of them before dad caught us!

October 15, 2010

Something is afoot

I have noticed, with growing unease, that there are boxes in my house again. Boxes usually mean trouble. Sometimes, boxes are ok, because they indicate that a new human toy has been purchased (TV, desk, etc.), and the box will be put in the basement. Eventually boxes stack up and create towers, and towers are where I like to be. But these boxes are a different kind. They come in the house empty and leave filled up with stuff. This stuff is mostly human toys, and once all the human toys have been packed up in boxes and removed from the house, the human beds and sofas will go next. Then the paintings on the wall, the dishes, and all the other stuff humans need to make them happy.

Then they will chase me down. I run, I certainly make them work for it (they tore an entire room apart once to find me, they had the mattress up against the wall), but eventually they close doors systematically and trap me. Then they hold me - I scratch them for their efforts but the hairy one is stronger than me and doesn't mind that he bleeds in the end - and they stuff a pill down my throat. Like that will keep me from voicing my displeasure.

Then I go in my own little box, which goes in the car. We go for a ride. The longer the ride is, the better the chances are I will come out at grandma's house, where I get moist food every day and have a big house to run around in. But usually the boxes mean a ride that ends at a new house. My experience with this kind of box-car combination has not been very rewarding; I usually end up drugged and upset. But in the end, we are in a new place, with new places to explore. I just don't want to see all these boxes.

October 9, 2010

We're moving!

Good news everyone!  We'll be moving at the end of the month, because I was offered a position with the Missouri Department of Conservation!  That's right, after about 12 years of secondary education, I am now officially employable.  I'll be the wildlife biologist at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area near Columbia, Missouri.  It's an area that is primarily managed for waterfowl and waterbird habitat and hunting, but it also provides lots of wildlife viewing opportunities as well.  As the wildlife biologist, I'll oversee two people and manage the area, as well as have the chance to do a few side projects of my own.  I'm really looking forward to it!  If you want to know more about where I'll be working, check this website out.  Right now my first few project ideas include helping department staff be eligible for the Wildlife Society's certified Wildlife Biologist program, trying to establish a bird-banding station at Eagle Bluffs, and trying to start a long-term turtle monitoring program that focuses on the effects of water level manipulation on turtle populations.

Of course, that means that I have a ton of stuff to do in the next few weeks.  Packing up everything we own and finding a place to live will be the first few challenges.  I also have to defend my dissertation on the 20th of this month, which means I need to get my defense talk put together and be prepared for questions that might come my way.  It sounds like I will have a pretty big audience at my defense.  Fortunately I just came back from the annual Wildlife Society conference, where I gave a very short version of my defense talk.  So it will just be a matter of expanding it to a longer talk (about 45 minutes).  Oh and I am also working part-time at a butcher shop until I move.  I'm going to be busy!

But moving should be fun.  We're just going to rent a big Uhaul truck and do it all on a weekend.  My parents offered to help (hopefully they will bring Casey along), and Zane and Melissa might help as well.  My grandparents will also meet us in Columbia to supervise the procedure.  Should be a nice, stress-free day.  Maybe.  Anyway, I know the dogs and the cats will be excited - a new place to sniff out, find the good hiding spots, and discover the best places to poop in the yard.  Bunsen will have a few more chances at some drugged victims for his affections during the trip out there.  I think I'll drive the Uhaul and let Heather deal with the amorous cats!

October 7, 2010

The waiting is the hardest part

I miss my dad. He's fun; he lets me walk on his shoulders, where I can look down on those dogs. He also fights with me, and we play Attack of the Shirt, which is where I jump at a shirt he throws over the back of a chair and kill it. I hope he comes home soon, he's on a mountain or something right now. Plus, my litter box needs cleaning. Also my food dish is getting less than 90% full.

He also sometimes lets me go outside. Outside is the best. That's where I met him and convinced him to bring me home. I even threw up on the seat of his truck on the way home to let him know he was mine. I know he appreciated it. But I'd like to go outside again.

I hope he comes home soon.

October 3, 2010

Hello from Snowbird

Just a quick little note from the annual Wildlife Society Meeting that is being held in Snowbird, Utah this year.  I'm at about 8,500 feet right now and am pretty tired.  There is definitely an adjustment to higher altitudes.  Even a simple flight of stairs wipes me out, but it is supposed to get better after a few days.  In the meantime, I am going to complain about it and everything else that has irritated me over the past few days.  Examples include:

- Wildlife Society meetings at really expensive places.  C'mon, $15 for a hamburger?  Grad students don't make enough money to afford to eat like that!

- Coach seats on airplanes.  Unless you're an amputee you're going to be uncomfortable.  I was starting to get a little claustrophobic towards the end of my 3 hour flight from Chicago to Salt Lake City.  I was hoping for something bigger than an express jet...

- Cheap ironing boards.  While my ironing abilities may be sub-par due to years of coddling by my parental units, I know I can do a decent job now.  However you can only do so much when the ironing board is like a bath towel balled up over a piece of warped lumber.

- Cheap hotels.  I asked where the microwave was and got a few moments of silence before someone answered.  I know, I know, this is a ski resort, and we're all supposed to be earth-friendly, but I want to eat my Dinty Moore's in peace!

- Teenagers.  I have seen some interesting ones here at 8,500 feet.  Must be a different species.  That or a new strain has shown up; it's been awhile since I last visited the mall, so that might be a possibility.

- Allergies.  At this point I am considering a sinus cavity-ectomy.

- Whiny blogs.  Who reads this crap, anyway?