March 28, 2011

Basset GQ

Because it's seems like another boring Monday, I feel as though I need to spice this place up. Behold my newest endeavor:

Inspired by the recent blog posted by Gus on Hounds about Town, I have decided to start my modeling career. Here are my most recent entries for my new magazine Basset Gentlemen's Quarterly.

This is my sexy come hither pose. Can you feel my smoldering eyes on you?

My fun, carefree Basset next door pose.

And finally the ever so tempting over the shoulder ears back pose.

The newest issue to Basset Gentlemen's Quarterly will be coming to a newstand or computer screen near you.

March 27, 2011

Stupid TV Commercial #12

This week's stupid commercial has only been on the air for a little while but it already is driving me batty. I must be getting to be an old cat now. There was a time when an off-the-wall commercial like this one would have made me smirk, but now when I see them I just want to hit something.

So this week's entry is the 'I'm playing a guitar that sounds like a dolphin' bit. I have no idea what it has to do with a place that sells ice cream and burgers, but surely there is a marketing wizard behind it somewhere. Taking a cue from the Old Spice ridiculous commercials that everyone seems to love, the folks at Dairy Queen have decided that we no longer brand our products by their quality or workmanship, but instead market them by the amount of inanity and stupidity we can cram into a 30-second TV spot.

Yup, I'm getting old.

March 26, 2011

It is snowing again

We are getting more snow today. I'm not sure if I like the snow or not. Layla tells me that she loves the snow, and goes running around in it when it first starts each winter. She even wrote a survival guide for lots of snow. I found it to be helpful when we got snow the last time (I didn't live here during Snowpacolypse, so all I did before now was stay in the garage), but that snow only lasted a day. Today's snow isn't sticking to the ground very much but who knows how much we might get? I put up a picture that mama took during the last snow of a big tree near where we live - isn't it beautiful?

I saw Joey a couple of times today. When it snows a lot it's ok with me if he comes in and stays warm as long as he doesn't try to take any of my toys or sit in mom or dad's lap, but on non-snowy days I don't understand why they let him in here! I bark at him when I see him at the door, telling him to go away, but they keep on letting him in and feeding him! I'm worried that if they let him in he will eat too much food and then we will get less! I rather enjoy my morning and evening meals and wouldn't take kindly to getting less of them. Plus Joey is sneaky and tries to come in another door when he sees me standing guard - he knows I would kick his butt if he tried to get by me. But then dad (he's kind of a pushover I think) will let him in the back door and put our gate up so we can't stop him.

So I have been working on my knocking-the-gate-over abilities. I'm getting pretty good. Rosco and Layla aren't nearly as good as I am. Plus I can walk on the gate once it falls down no problem; the two of them never thought to try it until they saw me do it. And I howl a lot better than them too! That cat knows to run when he hears me!

Watch out Joey!

March 25, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #12

Continuing on our tradition of old-tymie famous hounds, we are reaching way back in the pre-history of hound comfort. To the days before air conditioning, Beggin' Strips, and Chicken McNuggets. Back to the days before there was a GABR basset waddle. If you can believe it, back to the days when basset hounds were not given the proper credit as the best dogs on earth.


This bleak world existed until February 27, 1928, when Time Magazine ran their cover with a baby basset hound. We don't know this hound's name, or even if it was a boy or a girl, but they finally delivered the light of jowls, droopy ears, and slinging saliva to a dark world that was desperate for a good hound.

We don't know how you people survived this long without us

This magazine cover was viewed as the event that started the basset hound's meteoric rise to popularity in American culture. The English and the French had already discovered us nearly a century before and were obviously better off for it, while Americans lived in misery and squalor.  Agony ruled the day until we finally came along and gave them the opportunity to feel better by taking care of us (belly rubs are a win-win situation as far as I'm concerned).

If you would like to read the article that accompanied it you can click here. It is supposedly told from the perspective of the basset hound puppy on the cover; I read it and didn't quite get that from the story but it is good nonetheless. The article is about the Westminster Kennel Dog Club Show that was going on at the time. Of course it was written in 1928 and the standards have changed a little bit, but the author got a few things right about basset hounds at least.

So there's your famous hound for the week. I think I'm going to take a nap; there is more snow on the ground today. Also my belly needs to be rubbed and Dad looks like he is feeling lonely so...

March 23, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday #9

This week's dumb human phrase is the word 'nick', and its various uses that basically sound incorrect.

The first example I can think of is saying 'in the nick of time', as in, barely getting something done before it was too late. For example, 'Dad poured fresh cat food into my empty dish in the nick of time, because if he had waited a moment longer I would have been forced to kill him and do the job myself'.

That sort of thing.

Ok, so why does this 'nick' mean a small amount of time? According to my research, a nick was a unit of measure on a stick that was used to measure time. How this stick was used to measure time is beyond me. I don't bother with measuring time, except when I am waiting on my food or litter boxes to be tended. Anyway, a 'nick' of time sounds stupid, like something a human came up with.

The other use of the word 'nick' is when someone says 'I nicked myself while cutting up your food, Beaker, so I can't feed you this fresh chicken because I am bleeding'. To which I reply 'whatever you've got lots of blood and I don't have much chicken.' According to (human website), the word 'nick' can mean a small groove or cut on the surface. In my mind, the word is derived from a clumsy human who also owned a lot of knives and sharp tools.

Stupid humans.

March 21, 2011

Who is Joey?

This is an important question. Joey is not just a random name that gets me charging across the yard in all my 60-pound basset glory. Joey is a real phenomenon, and he takes up a lot of my thinking time.

Joey is a cat.

See? See?? Doesn't he look really sad, like he needs a hound dog girl to befriend him? We let him in the house all the time so he doesn't have to sleep in the cold or the snow or be bitten by mosquitoes, but he just doesn't like me. I really want to play with him, but all he does when I get close is growl and try to swat me. So I bark at him, thinking it is his way of playing (sounds kind of rude to me), but he just runs away.

I feel badly for Joey but if he continues to be such a jerk then I'm not going to play with him anymore!

March 19, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #11

So this week's famous basset hound post is a day late. It couldn't be helped due to the fact that I was busy waiting on daddy to come home. I spent the evening keeping watch on the back of the couch watching and waiting patiently for him to arrive. Momma kept telling me he wouldn't be home for another couple of days. As a hound, I really have no concept of time, unless it's time for breakfast or dinner. Anywho......

Today's famous basset hound is an international superstar. He is one of the most published and photograph hounds in history. I know you're thinking to yourself: who could this be? Well, it's none other that the original Hush Puppy, Jason the basset hound!

Jason in his younger years.

Jason is a true credit to the basset hound breed! He showed the whole world just how versatile bassets can be, as well as how we are truly the best salesdogs around. It all came about when Wolverine World Wide was looking for a new ad campaign for their Hush Puppy Shoes. Jason had no formal modeling training but decided to audition anyway. He was the very last dog to be seen that day and true to form, they saved the best for last. He became an overnight superstar appearing in magazines and print ads all over the world. He showed the world what a basset truly is:

Ventilated Ad

Always cool!

Sophisticated Ad

Having a refined taste for the best things in life.

California Hush Puppies

The true definition of "ladies man"!

Classic Ad

Extraordinarily well read and intelligent...

Little Feet Print Ad

Of course the best nanny available!

Glasnost Print Ad

And lastly a true diplomat!

Jason was revered by all who knew him. Sadly he passed away in 1990 at the age of 11, however his legacy will live on forever! To read more about Jason and his life as the original Hush Puppy :

And now if you will excuse me, it is time for me to resume my vigil at the window waiting for daddy to come home. (Well at least until dinner time!)

March 16, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday #8

Finally back in action. Let's see, my blog has been stolen from me for the past two weeks, BOTH TIMES by whiny little boys. Nibbler was busy crying about his ample rump and dad was busy whining about how hard life is.

Get over it, boys. Your silliness has put me in a bad mood, and this is the sort of mood that makes me want to pick a really stupid entry for this week's weird word blog. The perfect sort of blog to take it back to where it ought to be - out of the hands of juveniles.

This week's stupid human catchphrase is 'the cat's out of the bag'.

Boy, where to even begin? Some cats like to go into bags, as they make interesting hiding places and are a decent challenge when it comes to feline spelunking. But the whole 'let the cat out' part implies that the cat needs help getting out. First of all, if we ever did need help we surely wouldn't admit to it. Second of all, we never need help in the first place.

Glad we've wrapped that up.

So this phrase must be used to mean that cats have been placed in bags by humans. Well, that sounds like some humans I know, so we'll go with it. This sort of cruelty to felines ought to be stopped dead in its tracks, if you ask me.

I found two historical versions of why a cat needed to be let out of the bag. The first one had to do with unscrupulous practices of people who went to the market a few hundred years ago. The idea there was that they were going to sell piglets at the market, but would try and cheat the system by putting cats in the bags where the piglets go.

Are you kidding me!? A cat going into a bag is bad enough, but one that pigs were in at some point!? I'd like to see someone try and put me in some smelly pig-bag! The only thing pigs are good for is bacon! Well, you can imagine how the stupid phrase of the week was inspired - cats rarely get put in bags involuntarily without making some noise, and they are most certainly not piglet-like.

The other historical version makes me feel a little better. Instead of rudely shoving cats into hog-bags, the phrase 'let the cat out of the bag' was used to mean when a captain of a ship would use what is called a 'cat o'nine tails' on his insubordinates. Basically, it's a whip that is used to make stupid people shut up.

I like the second version better.
Cat o' nine tails

March 13, 2011

Stupid TV Commercial #11

This week's Stupid TV Commercial is being posted from my undisclosed secure bunker location, because friends, we are being invaded by zombies.

At some point Orville Redenbacher died and was brought back to life by CG. Or so the company's website says. I'm not buying it; I think the zombie infestation has begun and have taken appropriate action to ensure cat safety and survival.

March 12, 2011

Trickery and deception will get you nowhere

Lately I have noticed a few things that bother me at my house. It is getting warmer and that means I want to spend more time outside. I like to lay on my deck and get some sun so I can work on my basset tan. The neighborhood is more alive now that the snow has melted and the birds are back, flying around and singing. I can also run through the yard quicker now and there is a hint of squirrel in the air. Even Joey jumps into our yard sometimes, and Sophia has been in her yard a lot lately.

Plenty of reasons for a hound to want to stay outside a bit longer than usual.

What are you yelling about? I can hear you.

But our parents don't want us to hang out in the yard. They would rather we go out and do our business, then come right back in. Dad always mumbles something about not chasing me in his underwear. Now I am a good hound lady, and I do my best to listen to the suggestions my owners make to me. But there are times I have to exert my independence. This usually goes pretty well if I get off the deck, as dad doesn't like to come down and get me. Sometimes I am rewarded by being left alone and allowed to come back inside when I am good and ready. Other times it results in mom or dad trying to trick us.

The trickery and deception worked on me for a little while - I wanted to believe. Dad would say something like 'let's go inside puppies', and we would all faithfully come bounding up the steps. But now that I take my time he tries to entice me upstairs with a treat. Now there are times where a treat sounds better than walking around in the yard, and he usually gives us treats when we come inside anyway. Other times he will say 'mama's home', and it is difficult not to give in to that temptation. Mama coming home is a joyous occasion. Lately he has asked if we want to go for a car ride. Car rides are the best!

I'm so happy!

But usually this is just a lie - he only says that to get us to come upstairs, and then he flops down on the couch to watch TV. Now that I know this happens I listen less and less. Plus he is dealing with a pro - I can trick Rosco into giving up The Good Bone pretty easily. The one trick I need to work on is when he says 'Nibs!' or 'Joey!', as if the cats were at the door. I really want to play with those cats but they are afraid of me. So I try and take advantage of cornering them so I can show them how nice I am, and more than once dad has tricked me into coming inside before I was good and ready, only to discover that there are no cats.

But me listening less and less is starting to make them come out and get me. The other day he came down with a broom, as if he were going to sweep me up the stairs.

So you see the sort of foolishness I have to put up with. This sort of devious behavior can really wear a girl down.

March 11, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #10

This week we have a famous basset hound who was owned by a (slightly less) famous actor. His name was Sidney, and his owner (some guy named Clint Eastwood) was lucky enough to own him.

As you can read from above, Sidney was sure to make his owner get him the right kind of food. I think he did pretty well in training Mr. Eastwood, as he obviously understood hound dietary needs (read the part about Piggy Bags). We need to work on our dad's training because he didn't share any of his chicken McNuggets with us tonight. Anyway, I just got done Googling this guy Eastwood and it sounds like he owes Sidney an awful lot! Successful people with basset hounds are really no surprise, given our expertise in most worldly subjects.

So that's our famous hound of the week!

March 9, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday #7

I'm taking over the blog again for one of the animals because Beaker is too busy to blog at the moment.  She just went rocketing through the house and knocked the dog gate over, sparking an intense 30 seconds of basset aerobics.  Everyone is back to their sleeping/chew bone gnawing state again.

This week's weird annoying word is 'patience'.  I'm out of the stuff.  Frankly, I'm tired of waiting on every little thing.

We've been waiting on my wife to find steady employment since moving here.  That is a waiting game I am sick to death of.  She is educated, intelligent, responsible, has a strong work ethic, and is apparently unhirable in the greater Columbia area.  The local college graduates have an extra level of certification that she doesn't, and that is evidently more desirable than 2 years of on the job training.  My guess is those students are winning the game of 'who you know' due to their clinical rotations that they complete during their schooling; they most likely know all the local hospital staff because they've worked for them at some point during their education.  I'm tired of not being able to do anything to help my wife.  Unemployment sucks the life out of you, and right now I think I'd amputate something if I thought it would land her a job.

I'm tired of waiting on manuscript reviewers too.  My colleagues and I submitted a paper to Southwestern Naturalist in June of 2010.  I have emailed the editor repeatedly and asked for updates on the review process - something that should take 3 months at the most, and that is for technical, specialized papers.  Ours was basically a report on the species of animals found on an Air Force Base.  I could probably get my mother to review it in an hour or two.  The editor has told me that his first two reviewers flaked out on him and he had to find someone else.  Supposedly, the paper was going to be reviewed by today, and as of 9:50 CST I have not received an email about it.  My only other manuscript took a long time to finally get published, and the note that I got published in 2009 took almost a year to review and see print.  A year for one paragraph.  Either I have terrible luck in journal reviewers or someone is out to get me.  These sort of things slow down the development of a CV (a scientific resume, basically), which in turns slows down how competitive I appear when applying for scientific jobs.  Although I should probably point out that those same colleagues are waiting on me to finish another manuscript and get it sent to them for a final review before submission.  I guess everybody waits on something.

I'm tired of waiting to feel like my life is going to start.  The stress of not making enough money to cover all our costs - and these are basic costs, not expensive cars or wasteful spending - literally eats up all the happiness in life.  I can't seem to get out from under it either.  I love my job and I enjoy the time I spend there, but the reality of the situation looms over me pretty much every day.  My wife is waiting to hear on a job that is about an hour and a half away - we want her to get it but it will mean us living apart until at least October.  I'm tired of waiting for our lives to being together, where we both are working in our fields under the same roof.  These days it is tough not to be bitter and sad every day, and if it weren't for the distractions TV and the internet offer I wouldn't be able to deal with it.  And that's just me being selfish and thinking about myself - you can guess how my wife feels.  I wish there was something I could do to help her.

As I worried over all these things on my drive home today I was greeted with a happy sight.  My dog Rosco (Puppyman) was waiting for me in the window.  I could see his droopy-eared profile in the window, backlit by the lamp.  As I pulled in the driveway he jumped off the couch and ran downstairs to greet me at the door by howling and leaping at me.  His wait, at least, was over.

March 6, 2011

Stupid TV Commercial #10

This week's dumb commercial fits into the 'Do Not Try This At Home' category, but this is one of those warnings that kind of goes without saying.

It's Milky Way's 'pool filled with caramel' spot, and boy is it dumb.

First of all, this seems like the sort of thing that anyone in attendance would have noticed before the swimmers got started. Second, I don't think the caramel would make the noise the commercial makes (another Smurfy-cartoonish sound, I'm really not picking these commercials based on that). Third, it really makes me wonder about the advertising genius behind this commercial. Did they think they were doing anybody any favors here? Were they hoping to get letters of thanks, saying 'Dear Mr. Genius Advertising Executive, I wanted to thank you for your helpful ad campaign to keep idiots like myself from trying to host swim meets at my pool filled with caramel. We were just about to dump the 50,000 gallons of the stuff into our Olympic-sized pool when your commercial came on. The swimmers were saved! Not to mention the pool cleaners. We all decided to go out and buy boxes of your product.'


March 5, 2011

Mama's home!

One of my favorite parts of the day is when mama or dad comes home. We get very excited and run around the house barking to welcome them home. Yesterday dad came home first and got us out of our crates. Being let out of the crate is nice but it's better when we are already out and someone comes home - that way we can really get good and excited. Here's a video of mama coming home yesterday!

March 4, 2011

Famous Basset Hound Friday #9

This week's famous hound is a clever old gal named Doris. Doris comes from the TV show The Middle, where she is owned by 2 old ladies who smoked a lot. This led to Doris' needing to use an oxygen mask and be pulled around in a wagon all the time.

The oxygen mask part sounds kind of annoying but the wagon part might not be so bad. Just put a bed in it and it might actually be kind of nice, not having to wear yourself out walking all over the place. There were some hounds at the GABR waddle we went to last year that did this, but mom and dad made us walk the whole way. It wasn't so bad though, there were lots of kids with water and treats and they would pet us as we waddled, so I can't complain.

Besides, Doris actually makes the best of her wagon by teaching her boy how to fetch.

THE MIDDLE - "The Jeans" - Frankie and Mike must endure the unpredictability of teenagers when a hormonally charged Sue wants a cool pair of jeans in order to fit in with her peers, and Axl wants a car to impress a girl. Meanwhile, in an attempt to teach Brick about responsibility, Frankie and Mike reluctantly allow him to take care of Aunt Edie and Aunt Ginny's dog Doris for a few days, on "The Middle," WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/KAREN NEAL)ATTICUS SHAFFER

Her boy doesn't do a good job watching her though; she ends up being left outside and somehow she becomes pregnant and has puppies at the end. How that works with her being in the wagon I'm not sure; like I said in an earlier post, dad won't let me try some of the mounting stuff with Breezy.

Anyway, Doris is our famous basset hound for the week!

March 2, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday #6: Korbin can kiss my 'big butt'

This week's weird word should actually be called this week's STUPID WORD WHO HAPPENS TO BE A STUPID STUPID STUPIDHEAD CAT.

His name is Korbin. You may be familiar with the rivalry that Korbin and I share; he has his opinions on things and I have the truth. His most recent diatribe went from being his usual ranting about pointless stuff and stupid opinions to directly attacking my form and figure as a cat.

First of all, I can't help the fact that I am a larger-figured cat than the rest of the lightweights in this house. It comes with having cat disabilities like a disfigured foot that was maimed by quack veterinarians three different times. If we cats could file for medical malpractice the idiots at Texas McVet's 'R Us would know my wrath.

Second, Korbin is a hippy cat who can't figure out if he wants long or short hair. He also has a really effeminate meow and sounds like a little girl most of the time. Plus he needs to have his butt shaved regularly or he walks around with half a litter box stuck to his behind. I personally would rather have a 'big butt' than a 'Korbin butt'.

So there. Next time think twice before taking on your obviously superior older brother.

March 1, 2011

Nibbler has a big butt

The weather around here has been a lot nicer lately. For a long time it was pretty cold, and there was loads of snow and ice in the yard. We finally moved into a place where we can see out the windows and what do we get? Two months of ice and snow. Not much to look at, and hardly any birds or squirrels in sight.

That all changed recently. Once the weather started to warm up they opened the windows and the drapes so we could look out the glass doors. I'm loving those things. All of us can line up and see out it, no more crowding or head crawling or anything else when a cool little bird pops in. The last thing you want to see when a cool little bird pops in is Nibbler's butt in your face. Although if he is even in the room at all it's tough not to notice it.

These windows are definitely suboptimal, dude

We don't have our bird feeders up yet so they don't come right up to the window like they used to (see below for my favorite feeder setup), but I can still hear them chirping away out in the neighborhood. I'd like them to get close enough to see, or even reach out and grab. The place up in Michigan with all the dogs and cats has a great porch that is screened in, it's practically like living outside. I'll bet I could catch a bird if I lived outside like Joey, but of course he is such a big jerk that he makes living outside seem like a bad thing.

Either way, I'm glad warmer weather has come along.

Lucky squirrel, if this glass wasn't here I would own you