Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Vizsla

One year ago today this blog began.

In that amount of time you can...

Raise a crop of cabbage

Grow your own basil.

Create 1.33 repeating babies

Catch up on Cougar Town

Read a few books

Macrame a plant holder shaped like an owl

Better yourself through a regime of improved diet and exercise

Aren't you glad you spent the year reading things here instead?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vizsla Flashback: An Open Letter to America

This bears repeating - Originally published here September 5th of 2013

It was brought to my attention this morning how I've recently taken to making cheap shots about certain sections of the American public <cough>tea Party <cough>, the institutions of America <cough>public School system <cough>, and now I have a sore throat <cough>no, I really can't stop coughing...<cough>

That acknowledged, I felt like it might be appropriate for you and me to clear the air, America. 

I can't promise that this will entirely keep me from taking cheap shots at you for little things like having a complete disinterest in learning anything about anyone else, seeing as how I've never been able to pass up a cheap shot in my life....  But at the very least I think this will help you to understand where I'm coming from.

Dear America,

I realize that it's unfair of me to be mad at you for your behavior when I've never actually sat down with you and explained exactly what I need to get out of this relationship.

And so, in the spirit of trying to work through this together, here are the things about your recent behavior that I'm having a really difficult time dealing with.

You've taken to demonizing intellectual curiosity

Look, I'm not one of those guys that makes judgements about people based on how smart I think they are.  Partially because a persons intelligence level is about the least interesting and least important facet of their character that there is (look at curiosity, compassion, humor, and grace and then tell me intelligence is even in the freakin' ballpark when you're talking about important qualities.)  But much more importantly than that - when you make a judgement about someone else's intelligence level you are absolutely 100% guaranteed to be wrong. 

Which is why it's troubling to me that there's been a creeping trend toward using phrases like 'The Intellectual Elite' in smug little soundbites about how those smarty-smart-pants are trying to run your life and you're sure not gonna stand for that, are you?

You're starting to buy into a belief system that anyone with a college education is 'them' and that 'they' are your enemy, because 'they' think they're smarter than you are and are going to try to run your life.

First of all, the notion that the American population is made up of 'us' and 'them' is complete and utter bullshit and you should immediately question anyone that tries to tell you that it is.  There's just 'Us' America.  And regardless of anyone's personal level of education, we all have an equal stake in this and no one is going to sneak away from their Harvard Doctorate program to steal your children away in the night.

Different people take different paths.  Some people go to graduate school.  Some people work for the City mowing lawns or putting out fires.  Neither one of those is the 'right' choice, they're just different options.

So for the love of God, let's all try to remember that when somebody tries to play the 'Us' versus 'Them' card, they're really just trying to get you to continue doing point 2...

You've Taken to Accepting a Single News Source as Gospel without question

This is not, as it might appear at first glance, just a shot at Fox News.  Although God knows they are guilty of the 'them intellectual types are out to get you' politics.  But there are just as many people reading/watching Maddow/Anderson Cooper and not ever questioning the absolute truth of what they're reading/watching

(A disclaimer - I actually like both Maddow and Anderson Cooper quite a lot.  I'm still opposed to ever taking a single news source at face value without doing further research on your own)

You know who encourages you to not look into issues further or to crosscheck their facts?  People who know they are lying to you.

Which leads me to...

You've stopped caring if something is true as long as it confirms something you already believe.

According to non-partisan fact checking organizations, Michelle Bachmann has a 'lie' rating of over 70%.

Take a moment with that.

Of everything that horrible HORRIBLE woman says - nearly three out of four of them are simply not true.

It's not that they're viewpoints about which civilized people might disagree and deserve further discussion.  It's that they are fundamentally NOT TRUE.  Quotes attributed to people who never said them.  Articles claimed to be in bills that simply don't exist.  Conversations that never EVER happened.  Scientific proof that she has completely made up out of the blue.  And unlike her, I actively encourage you to go and double check this statistic for yourself.

And she is never EVER called on it in any meaningful way because people have stopped taking the time to hold the people they agree with accountable for accuracy.

That's not OK, America.

Which brings me also to...

You've given up on the belief that it's possible for two reasonable people with equal access to the facts to disagree about an issue without one of them, perforce, having to be the anti-Christ.

It is actually possible.  In fact, accepting that is kind of the only way our system works.  Holding everyone else ransom until you get your way on every single point leads to the Congress we currently see not getting anything done.

So.  That's where I sit.  I still love you, America.  I believe we can work this thing out.

Come on baby... .gimme a little sugar....

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Portrait of the artist as... um... possibly stoned? I have no idea.

For reasons that aren't entirely relevant or interesting, I found myself going through a stack of old notebooks from the early 90s today.

One of those notebooks turned out to be an old rehearsal journal from ComedySportz back in 1994.  At least that was it's original intent.  However it becomes abundantly clear flipping through it that I rapidly lost interest with jotting down notes and instead starting just doodling whatever came to mind in it.

I have no explanation for the images you're about to see.  I can only swear to you that - despite what it says in the title - I was not actually on drugs.

I'm relatively sure.

Slide One - a piece we call ...

'Poorly Drawn Hand with Stickman'

Now, I can actually kind of see where I was going with this one.  Realistic hand crushing tiny stick man.  I think I may have had some sort of larger point about the contrast between reality and imagination, but that is undercut by two significant factors.

1.  That's the most pretentious thing I've ever heard and it kind of makes me want to travel back in time and nut punch 23 year old me as hard as I possibly can.


2.  That's probably the crappiest drawing of a hand the world has ever seen.

Moving on...

'Oh No, Sharks'

In this piece we see the silhouette of a man hanging by one hand from what appears to be an enormous muffler while a giant zombie hand reaches through a hitherto non-existent dimensional portal.  In the background there is a pair of legs clearly labelled as having a 'bad knee' and in the upper left we see what appears to be a dancing pair of scissors.

The man is looking down and saying, 'Oh no, Sharks!'  (Sharks not pictured)

It's interesting that the man is concerned about the sharks and isn't saying 'Oh no, Giant Zombie Hand', or, 'Oh no, that looks like a terrible knee injury', or 'Why in the name of all that is holy is that pair of scissors dancing?'  But I guess we all have to adopt our own set of priorities in a crisis.

'Inuit Centipede Has a Hearing Problem'

I think this piece speaks for itself.

and finally...

Man With the Foot of a Duck

A statement about man's bestial nature?

A Comment on duality?

Or did I just get tired of drawing feet?

Only Art Historians can be the judge.

Thank you for your time.  With that I'm headed out to the front porch to await the arrival of The Doctor and Amy Pond

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Grimm Endnotes - Revealed!

For some time now the world has been lacking a singular literary resource. 

But no more.

At long last, we can present to you the recently uncovered* -

Complete Grimm's FairyTales Endnotes

*Seriously, there's just no excuse for them not having published these with the stories in the first place.  It would have cleared SO many things up.

1. Invitations would probably have gone by courier as there was no established postal service in either kingdom, so really this is all Medieval FedEx's fault

2.  It's a thing they used to use to spin thread out of bits of sheep.  No, I don't know why there's a pointy bit on it either.

3.  She wasn't

4.  See also Silverman's essay on nettles and restlessness

5.  14

6.  No, they just worked there, they didn't own it.

7.  She made sure to stretch first.

8.  Because Granny was kind of a bitch, that's why.

9.  Earlier versions used alum, but left you with itchy loins afterwards.

10.  May 14th

11.  No, she probably didn't realize they were all gay.

12.  Well, a partial truth, anyway

13.  Well, not literally, obviously.  Think of the mess.

14.  On the other hand, he was particularly well endowed.

15.  She didn't regret it as much as she thought she would, as it turned out.

16.  Why it was a human sized harp and not a giant sized one remains an unanswered question.

17.  Those stains never came out


19.  It was really only the fascia that was edible

20.  Old-timey underpants.

Thank you.  I hope those cleared things up

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - That's just terrible advice, Pop Music

I don't know if you pay a lot of attention to the lyrics of popular songs, but I do as I have very little else to do besides nap, scratch myself, and pull apart the occasional chew toy.

And I can't help but notice that while a lot of the songs are catchy and probably fun to dance to if one was capable of such things (I have 4 left paws personally.)  They are also, however, frequently really, really, bad advise.

For Example:

Love the One You're With
Crosby, Stills and Nash

And if you can't be with the one you love, honey 
Love the one you're with  
You gotta love the one you're with 
You gotta love the one you're with  
You gotta love the one you're with

Now... I'm imagining the phone call.  See if you can spot the problem here-

<ring>  <ring>
"Hi Hun, it's me, Bob.  Just called to say that traffic is pretty bad out, so I'm just going to have to nail Judy in accounting "
"Oh, that's fi.... I'm sorry, what was that?"
"well, you know I love you baby, but I can't get there right now, so... you know.  Hello...?  Honey...?"

I can guarantee you that nothing good is going to happen to Bob after this conversation.  Particularly if HR finds out about it.

Someone Like You

Never mind, I'll find someone like you
You mean someone else who will dump you when you beg them to stay and then going on to be blissfully happy with someone else?  

Yes, that's exactly who you should be searching for.  Don't be afraid to repeat those mistakes girlfriend, I'm sure it will turn out totally different this time.

Spice Girls

If you wannabe my lover,
you gotta get with my friends

Really?  Because most of the woman I know are pretty emphatic that 'getting with' their friends will have more or less the exact opposite effect.  And probably end up with them removing your genitalia with the garden shears. 

I'm just saying..  you should probably double check with her first before acting on this one.

I Will Wait
Mumford and Sons

I will wait, I will wait for you
I will wait, I will wait for you
(repeat until the apocalypse arrives)
 Now, I'm of two minds on this.  It depends on the situation, you see.  If it's an 'I will wait for you... until you return from your tour in Iraq', then yes.  Good advice.  You should embrace that.  In fact, see the above RE: Garden shears if you don't.  


If this is an 'I will wait for you... because I am a guy and you don't like dudes, but I'm just going to hang out and keep my fingers crossed that you'll drink too much at some point..' then that is a bad plan and pretty much guaranteed to not work out well for anyone. 

Just because you can dance to it doesn't make it a valid life choice.  That's all I'm saying.

Vizsla out

Friday, March 21, 2014

100,000 B.V.

OK, actually just 8 B.V. or thereabouts

Many a few year before starting the dog-blog you are currently reading, before and upworthy and denofgeek, before the internet became mostly about datamining and sending you targeted adds for Sarah Brightman everywhere you go despite the fact that you clearly only clicked onto her website once and it was for work I swear to god...

Before all that there was The Doctor Who Ratings Guide.

Still located at, the ratings guide was a place for many of us to start publishing articles about Doctor Who on the internet.  (this was, you'll recall, before there was any idea a new series would ever happen, so it's even geekier than you're already imagining.  The thought of the cool kids wearing David Tennant TARDIS T-shirts while they skip gym class and beat up your grandmother was inconceivable then.

For reasons not particularly interesting, I remembered that the guide exists today.  And so, here's one of my contributions from back in the day. 

You're welcome, Universe

Some dos and don'ts upon meeting various Dr. Who villains

A guide with some good general advice.

We all know the old chestnuts about aiming for eyestalks and how stairs won't protect you. But the Daleks are only one of the things you might encounter during your trip around time and space. Upon venturing out into the universe, it's handy to keep in mind some good general safety guidelines in order to prevent falling afoul of one of the many evil despotic (or at least highly antisocial) masterminds you might encounter along the way.
In that spirit, here's a handy take-along list of points to remember

Should you happen to meet...


DO- Casually mention how you've been looking for someone to obey and would be only too happy to do so. (Note: You might want to make sure that it actually IS the Master prior using this one, as this is probably an inadvisable thing to mention in other situations. Say - for example - you and The Doctor have found yourself in a strange and mysterious Galactic Hard Core S&M Leather Bar. Now, I'm not judging anyone's lifestyle.. All I'm saying is you should probably be aware of what you're getting yourself into.)

DON'T- Stand there whimpering like an idiot waiting to be turned into an adorable action figure replica of yourself

DON'T- Casually mention how nice your father's body is. (Actually this is just good advice on meeting anybody. It's a creepy thing to do, and no good conversation is going to come from it.)

DON'T- Stare at the shiny object swinging back and forth. No. Seriously. Don't. Just look away. Even though it's so shiny.. Sooooo shiny... Sooooo... Where was I?


DO- Grab the shiny silver vibrator off their belt.

DON'T- Ask them how it felt to have their Grammy taken away. It's an embarrassingly old joke, and the Movellan isn't going to get it anyway.


DO- Mention how against slavery you are and how you can't get enough of red meat.

DON'T- Shake hands.

DON'T- Deliberately expose him and all his kind to ultraviolet light causing the extermination of their entire race, because God knows you get picked up and sent to court for any little thing in the future and they're going to bring up the whole 'genocide' thing and then suddenly you're in ALL this trouble.


DO- Pretend to be a reincarnation of some deceased priest/god. If nothing else it buys you a little time.

DON'T- Screw up his whole 'Eclipse' thing. It's at the very least rude and at most life-threatening.


DO- Make a quick check to see if they're in their 'be courteous to you' period or they're 'tear off your head and stick it on a tallish pole' period. I can't stress how important this distinction is.

DON'T- Ask him to sing a chorus of 'Fascinatin' Rhythm'. Oh, and try to avoid sending his whole fleet into the sun if at all possible. You know, unless you have to.

A TYTHONIAN AMBASSADOR: (Note: not technically 'evil', per se.)

DO- Establish diplomatic relations with him BEFORE chucking him in a great big hole.

DON'T- Immediately try to put your mouth on his big dangling appendage. It's only polite to at least buy him a drink first. And if you DO decide to go ahead and do it anyway, you certainly shouldn't expect it to lead to increased communication, because it never, ever does. How many of us have made THAT mistake?


DO- Tell him how much you enjoyed his role as the AT-AT Commander in Empire Strikes Back. I'm sure he doesn't hear that nearly enough and he really was quite good.

DON'T- Ask how his family is.


DO- Compliment her leather pants, as it's only polite.

DON'T- Worry about being turned into a tree, as they have a much longer life span and it's not like you were going to DO anything with the rest of your life anyway, right?

DON'T- Eat maggots. Although, frankly, if that's the kind of advice you need then I'm not altogether sure that there's any hope for you.


DO- Safely lock and secure your time vehicle behind you.

DON'T- Worry about them being any kind of a threat, as they will inevitably turn out to have an incredible violent weakness for any old thing that you happen to have to hand, up to and including gay pornography. ("Ex-cell-ent! We have ac-qui-red the Time Lord's DVD at last. OH NO! It's Back Door Ban-dits Four! We are Doomed. DOOOOOOOOMED!")


DO- Keep an eye on how much Rouge you're applying at the time. For some reason the Mara's presence tends to make people go completely overboard on the stuff.

DON'T- Under any circumstances, agree to share your body. Again, get drinks first.


DO- Remember to keep it leashed and pick up it's droppings when taking it on walks through the park. It's the law.

DON'T- Immediately shoot it with a flare gun and kill it, as it will without fail turn out to be some young orphan's pet and she'll be all pissed about it. Not that she'll ever mention it again. Or even remember, apparently.


DO- Make an effort to immediately learn it's first name, as I have no idea at this point which species name is
Wrong/Inaccurate/possibly racist.

DON'T- Stare at the third eye. Hey! My two eyes are down here, buddy!

I Hope that these simple guidelines will ensure a safe and happy tour through this, our Universe.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I'm trying to meditate on balance, but I keep falling over

Happy Vernal Equinox!

It's the one day a year when you can get away with using the word 'Vernal'

We should celebrate that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crack 2.0

So the other day I may have mentioned that I'd found this incredibly addictive game called 2048.

For those who feel that they currently suffer from an abundance of free time, the original can be found here.

Today it has been brought to my attention that there is now a Doctor Who version, wherein knocking two William Hartnell's together makes a Patrick Troughton*, two Troughtons make a Pertwee, et cetera, because the universe apparently doesn't want me to ever get around to doing anything ever again.

*As opposed to making a broken hip, which would be the more likely outcome in real life.

You can find the aforementioned crack 2.0 here.  Say goodbye to family and loved ones first.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

People. People Who Eat People. Are the Luckiest People.

It's widely observed that eating other people is - at the very least - somewhat discourteous.

Which is not to say that it doesn't occasionally go down.  Usually for practical reasons of survival (see; 'Donner Party, the', as well as our earlier discussion of our friend the Wendigo) but there are other cultures for who the practice had other significance.

Witness* the Asmat - a group of people that live, appropriately enough, in the Asmat Region of Papua, Indonesia.  (I kind of want to say Papua, New Guinea - but I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to say that anymore because it's vaguely racist in some way that I don't entirely understand.)

*But possibly from a safe distance

Historically, if the guy I was just listening to on MPR can be believed, The Asmat had a cultural history of taking heads (with cannibalism being an add-on side effect - not unlike a Clinique bonus gift).  One tribe would kill a member of another tribe, take their head and consume them (literally), thereby taking in their power and energy. 

Now, this sort of thing isn't entirely unheard of in global history - even in your western religions.  (Oh, right... Eucharist was always about wine and bread.  Certainly nothing there held over from earlier and less seemly religious practices.  No sir.) The interesting twist in this case is that once you'd eaten, for example, Bob Johnson from Chisholm, MN, then the people of Chisholm, MN would thereafter be obligated to treat you as if you were Bob Johnson from Chisholm, MN; calling you Bob, awarding you all of Bob's property and Chattel, etc.

Now the obvious question here is - Even if they were inclined to respect your traditions on this point, how exactly are the good people of Chisholm, MN supposed to know that you've eaten Bob Johnson, and that he isn't just off ice fishing or something.  Do you send out announcements?  Is there a page in the Hibbing Tribune for that sort of thing?

Which brings me to Michael Rockefeller, son of Nelson Rockefeller.  Turns out he disappeared in 1961 off the coast of New Guinea and after 50 years of checking things out we're pretty sure that The Asmat ate him.

All of which is one long way of saying that I'm pretty sure that there's a section of Indonesia that now owns controlling interest in Chase Manhattan Bank, and they should definitely look into that as soon as possible, because they could not possibly be worse for the country than the people who are currently running it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Talk About Kicking You When You're Down

I'm going to open this up by stating unequivocally that this whole line of research was just the result of random curiosity taken to a ridiculous extreme, and that no part of the following should in any way be taken as some sort of oblique cry for help.*

*How do highly strung teenagers issue a cry for help these days, now that no one has a 'record collection' to give away?  'Dude, I totally want you to have all my downloads' just doesn't have the same narrative weight. 

That said...

This morning it occurred to me to wonder whether suicide - while generally a bad idea - was actually a punishable criminal offense.

Obviously there would be no way to punish someone who actually got the job done*, however that didn't mean that the attempt itself wouldn't be some sort of legal crime.  We do not, after all, say, 'well, she's going to live from the stab wounds, so I guess you're free to go.  No murder here.'

*Previous societies apparently did have all manner of rules about what funeral and burial arrangements were not allowed for someone who had taken their own life.  However - in the modern US at least - we're not particularly bothered by those things these days.

So I did what I inevitably do in these situations and googled it.  Which, as always happens in these situations immediately referred me to Wikipedia which is the traditional cue for me to insert a rant about how Wikipedia isn't a real source of reliable information, no matter what the high school system now says.

Taking that rant as read, Wikipedia informed me that by and large, no.  In almost all states it is no longer listed as a legal offense to kill yourself, as anyone with any skill at the crime would be impossible to punish and quite frankly our justice department has quite enough on its plate to deal with without adding this in as well, thank you very much.

In a few other states it's still listed as a felony, which makes you wonder how much free time their court systems have.

Other fun details - for the most part, if you attempt suicide and you live but someone else dies as a result that's officially manslaughter.  And there does not appear to be a standard as to the legality of assisting someone else's suicide (unless you're a doctor), although I suppose whether or not they actually know they want to commit suicide would probably be a factor and just arguing that they'd seemed kind of down and so you decided to cut to the chase and smother them with a pillow would probably not cut the mustard.  It would probably take up a few months of court time however.

Going back even further, it appears that according to colonial law (and international Common Law earlier) attempting suicide meant that you lost your 'Lands, Property and Chattel'.  I suspect that chattel translates as 'wife', but that's a whole different kettle of fish.  Point is -  waking up from your failed 1800s suicide attempt to find your chattel being taken as a result - not going to help the chemical depression.

It's about standards, people.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - Congratulations. You're a Monster

First of all, let us reassure you that as bewildered and confused as you are undoubtedly feeling at this moment, it will certainly get better.  So take a moment, get a few deep breaths (if you still feel the need and have the capacity (We'll get to that in a moment)) and find your happy place.

You have, in all likelihood, just awoken in a strange environment with little to no idea how you've arrived there. Possibly you have some minor wounds about the neck, face or throat, and you woke up clutching the pamphlet which you are currently reading.  You may be in the woods, crypt, mausoleum, or - in rare circumstances - Mexican strip club.

We are proud to be able to tell you that you are the proud participant in our brand new Monster Orientation Outreach Initiative (MOOI).

For many many years - centuries even - the main handicap that new monsters face upon their first arising is simply a heck of a lot of questions and diddly-poop for answers.  Well, we at MOOI have created this program using recently made available government funds in order to address this critical problem.

We sincerely hope that this makes the experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

Feedback can be submitted online at, 
or in person at Famous Daves, Beloit, Wisconsin.  Ask for Vicki.


1. Accepting the situation

As you've probably already understood from the introductory paragraph, we must inform you that you are now a Monster.

We realize that this can be a difficult transition for many of you, so feel free to take a moment before proceeding.

All settled in with the concept?

Good, we'll proceed.

Now, we at MOOI recognize that the word 'Monster' has, in our modern times, been given a highly undeserved pejorative patina, so we would like to reassure you of the following - Being a 'Monster' in no way makes you a 'Bad Person'.  or 'Bad Ex-Person', as the case may be.  Outside of the occasional blind-rage-fueled-killing-spree/Insatiable-blood-lust, you're still the same ole' good hearted Becky-Sue from East Moline (substitute your own name/attribution here)

So take a moment at the first opportunity to look right in a mirror, and - assuming you still cast a reflection therein- look yourself right in the eyes and say '(Insert Name Here).  I am a monster.  And I LIKE me.'

Repeat as often as necessary to keep that self-esteem up.  A positive self-image is VERY important to new monsters.

2. Identifying type and common weaknesses.

It's vital - as a new monster - to be aware of the things that, while they seemed innocuous in the past, will now probably kill you if you aren't careful.

Vampire - 

Some Tell-Tale sings that you are now a vampire -

- Check the teeth.  Sharp and pointy Canines?  Try thinking really angry.  How about now?
- Examine your neck for signs of entry wound - possibly bite shaped
- feelings of weakness/pernicious anemia
- memory of stranger (possibly acquaintance) biting your throat and forcing you to drink their blood in return.  (in which case you really should accept at least partial responsibility for the situation yourself.)

Things to watch out for

-Crosses.  Yes, I'm sorry, devoutly Catholic newly made Vampire, but unfortunately you know live as mockery to the very Lord you once served and pollute his holy works.  Sorry about that.  Mass is probably a no-go for you.
 -Garlic.  Now, we feel for you on this one.  Garlic is delicious and has many health benefits.  However you're pretty much immortal now anyway, so take some solace in that (See Section 4)
 -Running Water.  Yes, I don't know why either, but there it is.
 -Sunlight.  OK, this one is a biggie.  Do not be fooled into thinking SPF 4000 is going to handle it.  Seriously.  Just stay out of the sun.

Werewolf -

Some Tell-Tale sings that you are now a Werewolf -

- Did you find yourself waking up naked in the woods?
-Quickly check your body for scratches or bites.  They will probably be healing fairly quickly, so you'll want to get on that right away.
-Memory of being attacked by a large animal, but wake next to the dead body of a naked man?  Sure, we all had that happen in college, but this time it's different.

Things to watch out for

-Silver (Particularly bullets) - Sure, Getting shot with a silver bullet is going to hurt anybody.  But for you there is no longer any such thing as a flesh wound here.  As soon as you can say 'No big deal, it only grazed me', they're already finding your dead naked body in a churchyard and drawing unflattering conclusions about your personal life.

-Accidentally mauling loved ones.  We'll talk more about this in section 3


Some Tell-Tale sings that you are now a Zombie -

-Did you just crawl out of a grave with your name on it?
-Did you wake up with chunks missing?
-Are pieces of you that you quite hoped to use one day falling off?

Things to watch out for.

-Beheading.  yup, that's it.  Other than that you're golden.  Knock yourself out.

Frankenstein Monster

Some Tell-Tale sings that you are now a Frankenstein Monster -

-Do you have a lot more stitches than you recall having before?
-Do you recall dying?  Not once, but actually many times?
-Are pieces of you... how to put this delicately... more sizey than they previously were?  Feel free to run to the restroom and check.  We'll wait.

Things to watch out for.

-Fire.  While it won't actually do a lot of damage to you, it will cause you to freak out disproportionately, which is embarrassing.

-Getting your literary reference wrong.  Look - you're a Frankenstein MONSTER.  NOT Frankenstein.  Frankenstein was the scientist, NOT the monster.  Seriously, have a little respect for your own history.

-Torch Wielding villagers.  They are NOT coming by for a Tupperware party


Some Tell-Tale sings that you are now a Mummy -

-Did you wake up in a sealed sarcophagus? (This is a dead giveaway)
-Are you Egyptian royalty?
-Do you feel compelled to roam a museum chanting 'Coin... Coin...'

Some things to watch out for.

-Well, you probably want to make sure you have that Book of the Dead locked down somewhere.
-Raining down the plagues of Egypt is not a great way to make new friends.

3.  Sensible Precautions (For applicable species)


-Find safe sleeping arrangements
-Procure bug-eating henchman
-Explore volunteer opportunities at Red Cross


-Identify Cage strong enough to hold you during full moons (assuming you don't want to maul loved ones.)

4.  Things to Enjoy About the New You!


-You can control Wolves now!
-Everybody thinks your SUPER sexy!
-You're going to LOVE to night scene!
-Turn into a Bat! or Mist! 
-Follow immortal beloved's trail through Time!


-One night a month you either lock yourself up or let 'er rip.  You are a LOW maintenance Monster!
-Everybody thinks you are SUPER sexy as well!
-You get to wake up naked in public with an AWESOME legitimate excuse!
-Mmmm, Sheep!


-Remember how you were dead?  Well you're not now!
-You take a lickin' and keep on tickin', buddy!
-Mmmm, Brains!

Frankenstein Monster

-Remember how you were dead?  Well you're not now!
-Remember how you wanted to meet more people?  Well now you ARE more people!
-Exciting new color palette/body type to work with! 


-Pardon us for repeating, but...Remember how you were dead?  Well you're not now!
-Chance to avenge yourself against the ancestors of your cursed enemies, and who doesn't love that?!
-Your wardrobe budget?  About to go WAY down!

5.  Conclusion

With all this in mind, we hope that you choose to embrace your new destiny as a creature of darkness and find the fun in everlasting damned half-life.  Remember - What you get out of it depends on what you put into it!

Good Luck!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Well, as long as it's an INTERESTING mass extinction

Fair warning to any biblical literalists among you - we're going to talk about actual historical record stuff in a moment and it's probably not going to make you happy.  Might I suggest you divert your attention to looking at the picture of either Markie Post or Ryan Gosling or both, depending on where your personal interests lie.*

*It's not about judging, people.

So the other day I was listening to MPR where they were having a fairly interesting conversation about the currently ongoing 'Sixth Extinction'.*

*Fun fact - the race in danger of going extinct is actually us.

It turns out that over the course of natural history, pretty much the entire population of the planet has all been wiped out in one fell swoop on five separate occasions.  The most recent and most well known about being when the dinosaurs all shuffled off the mortal coil as a result of Cybermen chucking mathematicians at the planet.

The really interesting part was that looking back, the mass extinctions appear to have been caused by something entirely different on each occasion. They were each a unique event brought on by something completely unknown before that time.  This is because by and large the planet and the habitable environments thereon are only capable of changing so fast.  If change occurs any faster than that threshold then all the beings living here are pretty much screwed.

The really really interesting part is that the unexpected event currently threatening us is our own cleverness.  That is to say, the planet has never before had to tolerate creatures clever enough to actively screw with the environment around them.  Which then brings into question the likelihood of there actually being any intelligent species out there in the universe that manage to exist long enough to develop faster than light travel without first accidentally blowing themselves up while trying to work whatever their alien equivalent of Netflix is.

Obviously, the most important question here is what the implications of this are for Firefly.

Answers in essay form, please

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Was Going to Write a Post, But...

Then I discovered that 2048 game, which is basically crack with math and now I think there's a significant chance that I may never interact with another human being again.

Seriously, do not check this game out without a serious time window available.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - Well, I guess that just about wraps it up for Lolita Davidovich

originally posted - April 10th,. 2013

While thinking about other abstract and Vizlsa-related thoughts, I came to a realization.  
I have never seen a single film featuring Lolita Davidovich.

Seriously, out of her 38 credited films on imdb, this dog has seen the great big ‘0’  (disclaimer – I MAAAY have seen a few minutes of ‘Class’ a long time ago.  But I don’t really remember, and she’s only credited as ‘First Girl’ so I’m totally declaring that that does not count.)

Moving on in her imdb entry, I discover that I have ALSO never seen a single TV show that she’s been in.  Although that really just means that she’s never been in a show about Werewolves, Vampires, or Time Travelers.  

(Note to self…. Write spec script about Time Travelling Werewolf…)

And yet I not only know her name – I can also spell it correctly without looking it up.  For a Vizsla that’s pretty impressive.

Which makes me wonder how many OTHER completely useless pieces of information I have?  How many other ‘Lolita Davidoviches’ are there in my mind?  (I am totally coining this as a new term for any nugget of information that you know which has absolutely no further relevance in your life.)

Think of all the brain space I could be using for more productive ends.  Like… I don’t know… figuring out how to open the cabinet that has all the bags of treats in it, or how to successfully fight a land war on two separate fronts in Europe.

Maybe you should forget I mentioned that last one…

Saturday, March 8, 2014

You Don't Have to Have Knees to Jerk

Perhaps I should rephrase that...

Everyone has one or two of those automatic responses that they've picked up one place or another.  For example, the irresistible urge to immediately shout 'Polo', the moment you hear the word 'Marco'.

I bring this up because I was recently indulging in one of my favorite pastimes - reading through the comment threads on far right wing reactionary websites for the sake of bathing in the ignorance.  I came across an opinion piece written by America's Favorite Drama Queen and Macrame Enthusiast, Bryan Fischer. 

This was notable primarily because they'd actually labelled it as opinion, as opposed to the rest of the opinion on the site that they had mislabeled as 'fact' and 'news' (a common problem in news sources today).

In the piece, Mr. Fischer put forth his argument that the struggle to continue being allowed to hate people for being different was the most important struggle of our time.  He continually referenced that he was struggling directly against the forces of 'Big Gay'.  (Yes, it was capitalized.  Like Big Tobacco, but with better outfits and more Axe body spray.)

The sombre mood he was no doubt intending to convey was slightly undercut by the fact that ever single time I read the words 'Big Gay', I immediately thought 'Al'*

*I'm certain most of you already know the reference.  If not you should Google it at this time to get the maximum out of the visual.

And so what Bryan intended as a scathing call to arms instead left me picturing the head of the American Family Association wrestling with Big Gay Al.  In pudding.  While wearing speedos.

You are welcome for that mental image.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The V Word

Sometimes a conversation that you've had literally hundreds of times before can still yield some unexpected twists.

Case in point - I was having that same old 'Would you rather be a Vampire or a werewolf' conversation the other day*

*Werewolf.  The correct answer is always werewolf.

The person I was speaking to came down on the side of vampire, but acknowledged that there might be a logistical hitch as she is a vegan.

This led to an hours long debate as to whether or not consuming human blood counted as a no-no according to strict veganism.

In the end, research seemed to indicate that it all depended on whether or not you consider a human being an animal.  If yes, then no-go for Vegan Vampire, which feels like a win for the anti-evolution crowd somehow, but I can't exactly put my finger on how.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Behold the Vizsla - Crusher of Dreams

So a few days ago I pondered the question of whether or not I might be a terrible person, based on the amount of enjoyment I was getting through depriving someone else of a parking spot.

Any question about the issue has been comprehensively cleared up, via the case of Mr. Bigglesworth.

Our story begins at work yesterday.  I was talking with a coworker about one thing or another and the topic of dogs (perhaps unsurprisingly) came up.  She related how when she was young her family had a dog (the aforementioned 'Mr. Bigglesworth'*.)  Mr. B was a Beagle.  And apparently was prone to finding ways to slip off of his leash and run after things, as many dogs like to do.

*Someone please add 'The Aforementioned Mr. Bigglesworth' to the list of awesome band names.  Thank you.

The crux of the story was that, after several years of dealing with chasing an enthusiastic beagle through traffic, her parents had decided that they couldn't deal with Mr. B. anymore.  'So,' she said to me, 'they found a farm that he could go to where he had lots of space to run and a nice family with kids.'

Without taking a moment to consider the consequences, I responded, 'Your parents told you that your dog had gone to live on a farm....?'



Oh dear...

'We never saw Mr. Bigglesworth again!  Holy Crap!'

At this point I tried to think of a nice conversational backpedal, but was too late, as she was already calling her father.

A few voicemails, and at least one text message later she still had not heard back from him.

'I'm starting to be a little concerned about the level of detail,' she said, 'He told us that there were kids for Mr. Bigglesworth to play with,'

'Possible...' I thought... 'Maybe...'

'And that there was even another beagle there to be his girlfriend.'

At this point I had to concur that things were, indeed, not looking awesome for Mr. Bigglesworth...

Eventually she got a hold of her father, who swore that Mr. B. had in fact really gone to live on a farm, but I don't know that she completely believed him.  The damage was done. 

I'm a monster.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

There's a Name For That Now...

So, as part of Zimbio's continued quest to dominate the planet by undermining our collective image*, I found myself taking a quiz the other day entitled 'Which Fan Group Do You Belong To?'

*Seriously.  At this point I have no idea who or what I am.  Am I Luna Lovegood?  The Color Mauve?  A Painful Bowel Lesion?**  Thanks to Zimbio, I no longer have any idea.

**Avoid the 'What hurts when I poop?' quiz.   I cannot overstate this.

In any case - The quiz, after an intensive session of 13 questions, determined that I belonged in the Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch category, and then went on to make a few references to Sherlock that it thought I might enjoy.

The first point of interest here is that the quiz authors seem to not make a distinction between Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch and fans of the program Sherlock.  While it's true that there's a great deal of overlap between the two, there's definitely a distinction.  But that's not the thing that really grabbed my attention.

What really grabbed my attention was that halfway through the description it referred to the Benedict Cumberbatch fan base as 'Cumberbitches' which, while cute, is actually disliked by Benjamin himself.  He's gone on record a few times now as asking his fan base to please not refer to them thus because he feels like it's demeaning to them - which is really a surprisingly well adjusted and healthy attitude to hear from a celebrity, so points to him there. 

It all begs the broader question of why we feel the need to have one media-friendly buzzword to identify whichever TV Show/Book/Film Franchise we like best.  The obvious answer is 'To allow us to make hashtags about it', but I think in the broader sense we have to blame Star Trek*.

*In this as in so many other things.

It should be pointed out before we get any further into this that the word 'fan' itself is problematic.  An abbreviation of 'fanatic', it already carried a vague undertone of 'unseemly enthusiasm' well before Gene Roddenberry's devotes came on the scene.  Once people began to be aware that there was a reasonably notable group of people who seemed really worked up about this Saturday Morning adventure series it was only a matter of time before they had to come up with a term to refer to them.  And so, the term 'Trekkies' essentially came into being as a way for others to discuss them.  Because this is essentially a diminutive form of the word it came to be seen as insulting and a countermovement rose up from within the fan base to rebrand themselves as 'Trekkers'.  An amusing but largely insignificant power struggle thereafter took place as the two factions both attempted to present themselves as 'the REAL face of Star Trek fandom', but for the most part the rest of the world carried on happily not caring much either way.

The real lesson learned from this was that if you were a devoted fan of a program it was vitally important to get ahead of the ball and come up with your own name, and thus maintain what we can loosely call 'brand integrity'.  This was a lesson that the fans of The X-Files picked up and ran with, christening themselves 'X-Philes' on the newly existent internet almost as soon as the first episode of The Adventures of Brisco County Junior had finished.*

*It was the lead in show on Friday nights during the first season.  It starred Bruce Campbell and was an almost complete bomb, despite being reasonably amusing.  Vizsla=knowledge.

Of course things spiraled out of control, as these things tend to do, and now we have Whovians*, Bronies, Thunderheads, the aforementioned (if frowned upon) Cumberbitches and no end cute and Twitter-ready group identifiers.  Not to mention the murkier and more trouble subgroupings where you find your Yiffers and others even more troubling.

*Fans of Doctor Who found the entirely ingenious and dignified way of avoiding the whole 90s fad for creating fan-group names by the simple expedient of their program not existing at the time.  Russel T. Davies put an end to that of course, but we had a good run while it lasted.

Of course, what the Zimbio quiz and other internet message sniping fail to recognize is that these days nobody IS a fan of just one genre program.  One is just as likely to simultaneously be a Trekkie(er) AND a Whovian and a Cumberbatch enthusiast and whatever the hardcore Downton Abbey fans refer to themselves as while they're at ComiCon*

*Abbites?  The DA?  Public Television Supporters?

So your typical genre TV enthusiast these days isn't a single group name so much as a recipe. 'I'm Babylon/Battlestar/Midwife/Who with a dash of FaceOff'*  It's so much more interesting when it's this overcomplicated, don't you think?

*The SyFy reality show, not the stupid Nicholas Cage film 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Vizlsa Flashback - Your Less Quotable Livestock

Today's flashback takes us back to the heady days of mid September, when we still believed that the oncoming winter might one day end...

Your Less Quotable Livestock

Just so we're on the same page going in - there may be some tough talk about Norway coming.

So, a few years back I was visiting my cousin in Denver and her family and was talking to her son* who was at the time 1 believe two years old.

*For those who care about the specifics of such things, that would make him my first cousin, once removed.  Yes, I'm sure.  Go look it up.  Vizsla = Knowledge.

We were have a deep and thought provoking discussion on the sounds that various animals make, as one does at fashionable dinner parties.  He had expressed some strong viewpoints on how the Lion goes. (Spoiler alert - 'Roar').  Then we covered Snake (hiss), Hyenas (just an excuse to laugh really loudly) and then - because I was caught up in the general theme of 'Critters of the Veldt' I asked what noise the Hippo made.

This was followed by an awkward silence as all parties involved realized that none of us had the faintest idea what noise the Hippo made.  Finally the boy was forced to admit that he did not know and asked what the answer was.  Because I didn't want to appear uninformed, and because I was the one who'd brought the stupid question up in the first place I was forced to punt.

And so I responded 'Hippos don't make noise.  Hippos are very quiet.'*  He absorbed this new information with awed amazement and in fact repeated it back to me at regular intervals for the rest of the evening.

*This is of course a lie.  The noise a hippo actually makes is the sound of them stomping the everlasting piss out of you for little to no reason, because it turns out that hippos are actually bad ass sons of bitches who are only prevented from ripping your spine out and beating you to death with it by the lack of opposable thumbs.  Yeah, those Hippos are one mean motha-f... <SHUT YO MOUTH!>  Just talkin' bout Hippos. <AND WE CAN DIG IT!>

The point I was getting to before the above footnote got out of control is that there exists a definite subgroup of the animal kingdom of all those animals who sadly do not have a commonly associated sound that one can share with preschoolers.

For some of them it's simply that they have no capacity to make cute noises.  Rabbits, for example, have no vocal cords.  This means that anytime you actually hear a rabbit making noise it means that something extraordinarily unpleasant is happening to said rabbit, and it will shortly cease being a rabbit with any material concerns.

Deer aren't known as big talkers either, and while I don't actually know about the status of their vocal cords, I suspect this might be Natures way of preventing our forests from being just one long screaming refrain of 'HOLY SH*T, THEY SHOT STEVE!!!  THEY F***ING SHOT STEVE!!!'*

*Deer swear a lot.  True fact.

Where this is all going -  Norway.

In my traipsing around the internet (well, OK, Facebook.) my attention was directed by Helpful Friend Claudia (Q to her peeps) to this video.

Yes, the good people of Norway are directing their attention the the timeless question of what noise exactly does a Fox make.*

*The obvious answer to America - The sound of grotesquely irresponsible journalism

Now, I want to say right off that I really, REALLY wish that the Fox did in fact make the sound 'Hatte Hatte Hatte Ho.  Also, every music video ever made EVER should include a CG fox performing scat (the music style, not the poo.  Try to stay with me.)

However,  the video in question also made me have to once again acknowledge the existence of the Furries and their even more troubling subgroup - the Yiffers.  No, I'm not going to explain them, you'll have to Google them.  But be certain your image search is turned off.

Apparently the comedy duo in question has been besieged with offers for record deals based on this effort, which to be fair is pretty funny.

See, now this is what happens when a significant portion of your country eats reindeer.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

There are several reasons why Larry Hagman is not going to come to your birthday party

In the middle of the night last night I woke up with one burning question on my mind.

Was Larry Hagman alive or dead?

I couldn't remember whether or not he was still alive and for some reason I was obsessing about it*

*He is in fact dead.  He died in Dallas on November 23rd, 2012, which seems as fitting as anything.  This is REASON ONE that Larry Hagman will not be coming to your birthday party

After a few minutes I woke up enough to recall that he was dead, which should of ended the discussion right there.  However, I instead started thinking about how odd it is that whether or not Larry Hagman was dead was in any way significant to me.  It's not like I was going to wake up this morning and say to myself, 'Hey, I think I'll call Larry Hagman and see if he wants to go to brunch.' because A: I do not have Larry Hagman's contact info, because B: I do not in any way know him.

This is REASON TWO that Larry Hagman will not be coming to your birthday party.  Even if he were not unfortunately previously scheduled to be dead that day, you don't know him.  Dead, Alive, dressed in drag doing the hula, it's completely irrelevant.  Larry Hagman has never been personally involved in your life.*  I'm tempted to call him Schroedinger's Larry Hagman, except that that would require me to explain again why Schroedinger was kidding and we should all stop misinterpreting what he said about cats and boxes (I'm looking at you, Big Bang Theory.)

*Unless of course you're someone who actually knew him, in which case most of today's post doesn't really apply to you and I would refer you instead to the thing about Marky Mark, because I always liked that post.

And suddenly our society's fascination with checking in to see if old celebrities were still alive or not seemed completely ridiculous to me. What does it matter to the average person (or indeed, dog).  Suzanne Pleshette is not planning on going with me to the next Captain America movie.  Christopher Plummer isn't going to Snap Chat with you at any point this morning*.  Larry Hagman is not coming to your birthday party.

Although it couldn't hurt to invite him.

* I did actually meet Christopher Plummer once, and I have to tell you that you're probably safer not snapchatting with him.  He's the most intimidating person I've ever met.  God knows what things you might see and never be able to unsee.