February 27, 2011

Stupid TV Commercial Sunday #9

This week's stupid TV commercial comes to us from Traveler's Insurance. Mom and dad inform me that they have previously provided our renter's insurance, and that if our stuff was ever stolen, damaged, or lost in a fire or something, that they would be the ones to write the check to go out and buy new cat condos and water dishes and blankets to nap on. I must say we never had to use their services, and so I feel no regret at making fun of their dumb advertising attempt.

First of all, the idea that rabbits laugh like this is kind of dumb. They sound like Smurfs. Second, I'm pretty sure that some of the nature shows we watch on TV inform us that the dangerous part of the rattlesnake is, in fact, NOT the tail. The fangs are where the venom comes from - if I were this snake I would be sinking those babies into all the rabbits that were paralyzed with laughter and having a rabbit feast. Instead, Mr. Baby-Rattle-Instead-Of-A-Tail rattlesnake hides in his coils in shame. Probably not a realistic sequence of events. Where would a rattlesnake even get the baby rattle to begin with?

February 25, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #8

My mom just got home and let me tell you, it was a howl-a-thon! Whenever she comes home we jump up on the couch to watch and make sure she makes it safely from the driveway to the front door (it can be dangerous). Then we go charging down the stairs to let her know how much we still love her by jumping on her. We really try and emphasize the point by howling as loud as we can. I know that's how I'd want to be welcomed home!

Anyway, it's Friday again, and you know what that means! We celebrate the greatest day of the week by honoring the greatest kind of dog: basset hounds! This week's famous hound is named Penny. Penny may or may not have been a real hound, but she is the subject of what will no doubt win the Pulitzer Prize for Awesome Books. The book she is in is called Penny: The Story of a Free-Soul Basset Hound, by Hal Borland.

Penny: The Story of a Free-Soul Basset Hound

In this book a tremendously lucky family gets adopted by Penny. They thank her for this by giving her lots of cereal and milk (something I'd like to try some day) and letting her run around on their mountain. Apparently there are lots of bunnies on the mountain and she gets to run around outside all day and come and go when she pleases. Sounds like the life! The only downside is she has to sleep outside in a separate building. I guess this is fine for a free-soul basset hound who roams a mountain, but I find I am partial to sleeping in dad's spot on the bed. Sometimes when he gets up in the night to go to the bathroom (they get to go indoors in the warmth!) I jump up on the bed and keep his spot warm for him. If I'm lucky he just pushes me over a little bit when he comes back and we snuggle and then fall asleep together. If not he makes me get down and sleep with Layla and Breezy. Either way I think it is better than sleeping in some little shack.

I haven't finished the book yet but it is interesting so far. Without giving too much away, Penny actually has two families and part of the story is how she decides which one to live with. She is also a good guardian dog and protects her people from teenagers in cars with loud stereos.

So that is your famous hound for the week!

February 24, 2011

The howling guardian

Well I have been living here for over a week now so I guess this is my new home. I am still getting used to it, but I am starting to like it here. I hardly remember my old house very much. This place is pretty nice too. You get lots of treats here if you are willing to 'sit' or 'go to your crate' for them. The 'shake' one is still a little confusing, but Rosco and Layla seem to have it down.

Speaking of Rosco and Layla, we still are not the best of friends (I get the feeling that they are best friends and I am still kind of the outsider), but we are playing together sometimes. One of the games we play is toy keep-away. It goes like this: we get one of our toys out of the basket (my favorite toy is the squeaky sheep) and run through the house with it, while our parents (that still feels a little weird) chase us and try to take the toy away. It's loads of fun! Rosco and I fight sometimes, but I mostly try and defend dad from Rosco (he bites really hard and I'm sure it hurts, but I howl and guard my dad). Layla and I haven't played too much but she isn't quite so mean to me anymore. Hopefully we will become good friends. I have also been snuggling with Rosco from time to time when we nap, but usually he and Layla lay together and I take the armchair.

Another nice thing about this house is all the soft stuff to lay on. There are couches and beds and dog beds everywhere, and this really nice blanket that is super-fluffy. It really helps me with my naps.

February 23, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday #5

It's been awhile since I posted a blog about the woeful inadequacies of the human language. Some of you may have been wondering, 'When will Beaker post another insightful and scathing review of some silly thing people say?'

So sue me. They got another dog and I didn't feel much like typing.

This week's dumb human phrase is 'shindig'. Humans use this phrase when they are trying to say 'We are having a party or a get-together'. I have mostly heard this particularly stupid way of saying that coming from the mouths of teenagers and college-age humans, who I would not miss at all if they should suddenly die in their sleep tonight. According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (and since this is an institution run by - you guessed it - humans - their expertise is questionable at best), the word 'shindig' is probably an altered form of the word 'shindy'. Well, that was pretty helpful.

Thanks, idiots at Merriam-Webster.

Either way, we have yet again established that human beings are incapable of clear and concise speech. Their only real utility is in cleaning litter boxes, getting out the catnip, and purchasing and distributing cat food and water, and even at those tasks they are largely inadequate.

February 20, 2011

Stupid TV Commercial Sunday #8

I don't even know where to begin. This week's stupid commercial is stupid because it makes fun of cats. The good folks at Pedigree aren't doing much to help out cat-dog relations. I want to try and honor the recent truce worked out at our peace meeting but this sort of blatant disregard for cat feelings and proteinaceous needs makes it pretty difficult.

Besides, we're not the ones who drool all the time.

February 19, 2011

Been awhile

The new dog and I have become friends. She's really not so bad. Nibbler makes a big deal out of it because he's afraid of the dogs, but I have discovered a secret. She is just the right height to walk under and have her head rub along your back, so she can pet you. The other two are a little short for that, but they are still fun to swat at when they come near.

My life has been up and down lately. The ups have mostly won out over the downs, although I had to go to the vet to get my irritable stomach looked at. Turns out I don't have any parasites, but I get a bunch of medicine in the meantime. Every morning they squirt that foul stuff down my throat. They even told mom that it might make me drool. Great, I thought. Terrible taste and drooly side effect.

But on the upside I got to help dad make the bed the other day. It's even better than attack of the shirt, because you can run and play under the billowing sheets and swat at fingers and toes.

See how much help I am?

February 18, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #7

Wow, what a week it has been. We got a new sister! Her name is Breezy. Mom and dad call her 'Breezy-peasy', which isn't as cool of a name as 'Puppyman', but what can you do? She is kind of shy but she seems alright. She smells REALLY good and I want to play with her a lot but dad stops me from doing some things. Too bad. But on a good note we have been on walks like every day this week! It's been warm and the mountains of snow are gone and - best of all - there are squirrels in this neighborhood! They live way in the back where there are woods but at least we can see them now.

So anyway, this week's famous hound doesn't have a name, he's just called 'dog'. Not very creative. But 'dog' is from the TV show Columbo, which is about a brilliant detective (who probably learned everything he knows from his hound) that solves all kinds of crimes. According to Wikipedia, 'dog' might have actually been named Fang (what a cool hound name) but that is just speculation.

In the video below Columbo has the mistaken impression that hounds will do what people want them to. We are not like silly labs or german shepherds (but we could be lethal weapons if we WANTED to - I myself am a torpedo dog very often). We do the things we want to do and we let people enjoy us! 'Dog' was definitely a hound's hound!

February 17, 2011

Tough being new

Hi, my name is Breezy. I'm new here and let me tell you it is tough being the new girl. Ms. Layla doesn't like me very much. But at least Mr. Rosco is nice to me (mostly - he does bite at my face when we get treats sometimes and he doesn't like me to get lovins'). The only thing is he is very rambunctious, and I am not too sure if I want to play so rough all the time. But I am starting to feel a little more at home here. I let them hear my howl and the people calling themselves 'mom' and 'dad' seemed to like it. The cats all ran and hid, but cats are sort of a new thing for me (and there certainly are a lot of them here). I'm not sure if I'm going to stay here or not, even though the 'dad' person says this is a 'forever home'. It sounds nice but it's tough to know what will happen next. I guess if I do stay here I would like to be friends with Rosco and Layla.

I still don't know exactly what happened to me though. I lived in another house with other dogs until very recently, and then Mr. Rosco and Ms. Layla came and met me at the park and I thought we might just go for a walk together. The next thing I know I'm in a stranger's car and they take me to their house and I stay the night there. The 'dad' person sleeps on the floor with me which is kind of nice - I got to sleep with more hounds like me and I didn't have to sleep in the garage like I'm used to. Still, I'm thinking OK, surely my family will come and get me the next morning. Instead I got put in a crate for most of the day and let out a few times until the mom/dad people came home and let me out. I'm still pretty scared at this point but they seem nice (although I get hollered at for something called counter-surfing. Well, don't put such good smelling food up there!). Oh and the 'dad' person gave me peanut butter on a spoon! This place can't be that bad if you get that sort of stuff here.

So tonight we went for another walk and I got to smell the neighborhood and see all the dogs. This is a very doggie neighborhood and everybody barks at you. I just had to open up and howl back. Right now I'm laying on the couch and not feeling too bad. There's also a little girl who lives behind the house that likes us a lot. I guess I could get used to it here but what a whirlwind these last few days have been!

February 15, 2011

So we have a new sister

They brought home another dog the other day. At first it seemed OK - we got to go to the park because it was warm out and the snow had started to melt - so we thought everything was going to be cool. And then when we got there we saw another hound like us. Her name is Breezy and she was with her people going for a walk too. But then she got in our car, and mom started talking really pretty to her and she was in her lap. I was pretty upset, so I bowled my way into mom's lap and took what belongs to me - everything - and that only made her upset. She said I had to "share" and that we had a new sister.

So we have a new sister now. I'm not very happy about it. Rosco tries to play with her but she just turns away and hides, like she's afraid of him. Everybody knows you can run Rosco over because he is a featherweight, and this new sister is taller than both of us. She's just a scaredy cat. Plus she is getting all the attention. She got a brand new crate and food bowl, and she gets extra treats. Dad says this is because she needs to be trained and treats are the only way we learn anything.

Please. We can learn anything we want, we just have high standards when it comes to performing our tricks. This Breezy just runs around all willy-nilly for any reason. She also wears diapers sometimes and she smells funny and her coat isn't NEAR as pretty as mine. There's also less snuggle time now and even if we WANTED to snuggle with her she is too dumb and scared to lay down and get into a big basset pile.

So I don't like my new sister. I want things to go back the way they used to be. But mom and dad both say that Breezy needs a new home and we are her forever home. So I guess she is staying. That doesn't mean I have to like it though.

The interloper

February 13, 2011

I am packing my things and leaving



The picture below pretty much sums up my life now if I go upstairs where the dogs live. I'm going to pack my things and leave. If I decide to stay I will call her dog3. Right now she is wearing a diaper. Seriously, a diaper?

I hate dogs.

Stupid TV Commercial Sunday #7

Ohmygawd. This week's stupid commercial was on during the Super Bowl (I think; it might have been a few days later). It gave me nightmares. It's everything a stupid commercial can ever hope to be: a shady product, a pointless mascot, horribly put together, with bottom-dollar special effects and ridiculous "actors".

It is Max from BlueTax.com. I wouldn't even bother checking out their website. First, Max has an annoying voice, and second, he looks vaguely like a Garbage Pail Kid or Chucky from those horror movies of the 80's. He's just creepy. He also writes on the chalkboard much faster than I can even read, and if he's supposed to be teaching in a classroom or something there's no way those students can keep up with him in taking notes. Besides, his students are even less well-animated than he is, looking something like zombies out of an early 1990's video game. The original Playstation had better graphics. I could probably put together better graphics, and I'm just a cat!

Besides, we cats don't bother with our taxes anyway, so the whole message is just lost on me. Also, I am slightly suspicious of companies offering to take away debt - usually when someone is owed money they don't just "forget". Although this IS the government, so maybe Max and the folks at BlueTax are on the up and up, even if this commercial does appear to have been put together by a bunch of 5-year olds working with first-generation Pentium machines.

February 11, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #6

This week we are having two famous hounds. Normally this would be a really joyous occasion, because two hounds are better than one, but it is actually kind of sad. You see, these hounds lost their human recently because of horrible events. I also couldn't find their names online despite a lot of Googling.

Their human was Judge John Roll of Arizona. He was recently killed by a gunman who was apparently crazy (there are probably lots of people who deserve to take a bullet more than a person who owns basset hounds). According to most of the people interviewed about him, most of them didn't know he was a judge and they saw him walking his dogs every day. Walking his dogs every day! I wish my mom and dad would take me on walks every day, but I guess Arizona doesn't have as much snow as we do.

So I don't know what the names of our famous hounds are this week, but I feel bad for them. I would be very sad if I lost my parents. If anybody knows their names please put them in the comments so I can fix this blog post up. And if you are the praying type, please say a little prayer for the nameless hounds and Mr. Roll's family, they are probably still very sad.

John Roll, a good person who loved his hounds

February 9, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday #4

This week's weird phrase is 'You don't say'. Humans say this when what they really mean is 'really, that's what happened?'

What else do I really need to say here? You mean one thing and you say another. Humans are pretty dumb.

February 6, 2011

Stupid TV Commercial Sunday #6

This week's stupid commercial entry has been taken back over by me (VB3, aka Dad) to restore peace in the house, since Rosco took it over from Bunsen after the whole Beggin' Strips fiasco.  Since it is also Superbowl weekend, I decided/my wife strongly suggested that we do a Superbowl commercial-themed entry.

So here it is.  This week's stupid TV commercial is from Doritos (they did have a good one as well, but a couple of stupid ones).

Why is this stupid, you may ask?  I've been around pugs.  Pugs aren't big enough to do this.  A basset hound, on the other hand...

February 4, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #5

This week's famous hound is none other than Arthur of the tv show "Our House".

Mr. Arthur starred alongside some pretty famous people, including diabeetus commercial star Wilford Brimley

Hmmmm very suspicious coincidence

and former 90210 diva Shannon Doherty

Of course they can attribute their successful careers to the careful and subtle professional training they received courtesy of Arthur. Basset hounds are well-known among the A-listers in Hollywood. Anyway, Arthur and his family decided to move in with Wilford Brimley because they were A) poor and B) living in Fort Wayne Indiana, and Wilford Brimley lived in California.

The show only ran for 2 years before being cancelled, probably because of non-basset related reasons. Either way, Arthur is our famous basset hound for this week!

February 1, 2011

How to survive Snowpocalypse (and live to blog about it)

Hello readers, Layla here. Today we have had over 20 inches of snow fall on us. Now, being a Michigan basset hound, snow is no big deal to me. However, I have heard a lot of people whining and complaining about "Snowpocalypse".


We bassets are uniquely equipped to handle these kinds of situations, following a few simple rules. I'll share them with you!

1. Get lots of sleep - I can't stress this one enough! Too many hounds get ready to go out into the cold and don't think about how strenuous it can be.

See? This can wear a hound out quickly. Prepare for your adventure by sleeping more often than usual.

A good snuggle buddy helps

Especially if they make good pillows

Soft blankies are also important

2. Post lookouts - It's crucial to remain up to date on weather conditions. Make sure to give this job to someone sufficiently low on the totem pole.

These guys are perfect for the job

3. Check the weather often - You can only trust your idiot lookouts so far. At some point you have to do the job yourself. Be creative; take full advantage of the modern conveniences to maximize your napping/weather checking potential.

Weatherfreaks.com says another 15 inches by tonight...

4. Prepare your human for shoveling - Humans are notoriously slow and stupid to pick up on basset hound needs. They need some assistance in this category. Given how low we are to the ground, we need to have a path shoveled for us in snow this deep. But you can't just send them outside without the proper gear.

Make sure they put their feet in the right leg holes

Make sure their zippers are closed, they forget this part all the time

Yeah, I guess you're ready to go to work. Nice hat, by the way

You might want to give them some love in case they get lost and die

OK, now get out there and start shoveling

Remember: they're built to do the work, we're built to do the sleep

5. Regular exercise - For them, not you. If you let them get out of the habit of exercising they will get fat and lazy. If you are creative you can make it appear that you are 'playing' with them, so they enjoy it more.

6. Supervise them often and give them good instructions - An unsupervised human will inevitably get into trouble. If you don't watch them they will wander off into a pond and drown. They also tend to work better when you woof at them every so often, so keep an eye on them.

I think you missed a spot

Remember: supervision is best achieved from the floor

7. Know when to come inside

Ok I think you have this under control, I'll be inside by the furnace if you need me

Oh... right... we can't open doors

8. Yetis - They come out during blizzards. Be ready.

I'm ready for you Mr. Abominable