Tag Archives: dogs

Shut the Pod Bay Doors, Hal


I’m not so much a gadget freak as a gadget mutant alien virus.

My technology jones runs deep. I have four outdated cellular phones, a half dozen MP3 players and four digital cameras. My middle name could be iSucker.

I even like the ads for electronic stores. When I lived at home, I would seek the Sunday fliers for Best Buy and Circuit City, simply to marvel at Moore’s Law, the theorem that technology doubles every 18 months — so your computer and cell phones should be twice as fast, hold twice as much data, every year and a half — with requisite price hikes.

So Cyber Monday has become my Black Friday, as it has for millions of Americans: Roughly $6.6 billion sales are logged on Cyber Monday, a figure that must give brick and mortar shops a raging erection. Though it’s surprising that the ever-clever internet denizens didn’t come up with something more clever than Cyber Monday. If the creators of e-shopping really wanted to mock traditional stores, which is clearly part of the strategy, they would have called it “African-American Monday.”

Regardless, Amazon has gone nuts over the phenomenon it helped manifest. The site has created a cyber-flier that is replete with gizmos and whatzits. It’s terrific reading.

There’s a laptop about the weight of a candy bar. There’s an Alexa-powered webcam that looks like it came from NASA, with night vision and motion detector alerts sent to your phone.

But my favorite by far was Furbo, a remote dog treat dispenser.

The idea is fascinating. A remote camera keeps an eye on Fido, using your computer and even cellular phone to monitor the pup, scold it to stop incessant yapping, and reward it when it’s good. Tell Spot to sit, and you can remotely eject a dog treat to your canine.

This is the stuff of The Jetsons. As I read, I wondered: Are we really this bored and wealthy?

Turns out the answer is “goddamned straight.” Furbo had 1,049 reviews and a four-out-of-five-star rating. It also had 271 questions from interested buyers: Could you use your own dog treats? How long is the warranty? Does it works for cats? (For what do you even reward a cat? A furball-free day?)

As I scrolled through the questions, I noticed it didn’t address my primary one: What happens when a dog jacks its leg to pee on it? I’m guessing it happens, as there’s an entire YouTube cottage industry of dogs peeing on myriad targets: cats, new shoes, sunbathers, etc. Teddy once peed on chair at the dog park. An occupied chair.

So, on a smartass-ian lark, I asked the simple question 271 others  would not: “Is it urine-proof?”

I expected that the seller would not even post the joke. At best, I would get a similarly snarky response, like “No, but it is fecal-resistant.”

Instead, I immediately received a spate of replies. “No, it’s plastic but still an electrical device;” “Perhaps — I would elevate it to the height of a treat jar,” etc. Apparently, the question raised a real issue — one not mentioned in the entire ad for Furbo.

But there was one reply in particular that caught my eye, from Lisa S. I knew it would have the inevitable, anonymous air of the internet era, which has ushered mankind into the Iron(y) Age. The primary advancement of the period: veiled asshole-nish. The letter began with “I don’t know,” which begs another question: Then why reply in ‘Answers?’ It also was clearly her chance to brag on her pets.

“I don’t know,” she wrote. “Mine sits on the counter and my dogs are housebroken.”

So I sent her the only response I could think:

“Oh, I don’t have a dog.”

Have a holly jolly!






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Just the Factslap (K-line K-9 Remix)


  • Dogs poop in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field.
  • The world’s oldest lived to 29. 
    • Humans and dogs first became best friends 30,000 years ago.
    • Every dog’s mitochondrial DNA is 99.9% the same as a gray wolf.
    • In English-speaking countries, the most popular names for dogs are Max and Molly.
    • Dogs and cats only sweat from their foot pads and nose.
    • Dogs have 13 blood types, horses have 8, cows have 9 while humans only have 4.
    • Paul McCartney recorded an ultrasonic whistle audible only to dogs at the end of A Day in the Life.
    • In South Carolina, the maximum sentence for beating your dog is longer than the max sentence for beating your wife.
    • A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than humans’.
    • Humans and dogs are the only two species known to seek visual clues from another’s eyes. And dogs only do it with humans.

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Watch Your Mouth, Sonny


I really should learn Spanish.

About all I know is hola, adios and Lo siento por los perros (Sorry about the dogs.).

I could have used a Spanish lesson today, at Ralph‘s. Mom has taught me to appreciate the affordable things in life, and I’ve found a wine so cheap I’d hesitate to call it low brow, lest it imply it’s got a brow. It can be found at your finer 7-11s, Circle Ks and Kum & Gos (a real chain, I swear.).


I was looking for my cheap swill today when a woman tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to find a diminutive elderly Hispanic woman, saying something in Spanish. She didn’t have a shopping cart, just a five-pack of Bic lighters in one hand.

She said something that I assume was akin to “Would you please help me reach something?” But knowing nary a Spanish vowel, she may have been saying, ‘Yo, gringo cracker, I need something.’

And after what happened, I kind of hope she did.

I shook my head at her words, told her I didn’t understand Spanish (oh yeah, another term you have to know here). She took me by the arm, led me to the Coors beer refrigerator, and pointed to drinks on the top shelf, beyond her reach.

Already, I was tickled at the notion that granny needed to get her drink on. Then I fell more deeply for her.

I touched a 12-pack. 12 packShe shook her head, nodded left.

I touched a six-pack. sixpackShe shook her head, nodded left.


Finally, I touched a tall can of Coors light, the biggest can in the fridge.


She nodded, beckoned for it. I brought it down, then asked the final word I know in Spanish: “Uno?”

She nodded and, without word, padded toward the checkout. Bics in her left hand, a Coors Light in her right. And my mind collapsed on itself with questions: Was she getting it for her husband? (Probably not, unless she’s put him on a limit.); Was this her way of unwinding?; does she enjoy the NFL playoffs with some smokes and brew?

I knew the answers none, but it was fun to picture her kicking back, making smoke rings and burping. And reminded me; I’ve got to learn the Spanish translation of “Ma’am, you are one of the coolest badasses I ever met.”


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