Llamas, Cats, and Dogs – The Sunday Share (60/365)

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I think I finally found a good theme for Sundays.  I’m calling this weekly post, The Sunday Share.  First up, the story of the week, or I should say stories for this Sunday.  There was a dress that was black and blue and white and gold, plus some llamas got loose.

llama-dress-2015-02-27-01

Unless you were in Boulder, Colorado living under a boulder, I don’t know how you could have missed these stories.  Here’s a great summary of those events.

Staying with the same topic, how about the coolest thing that happened in the llama chase.  A cowboy, riding in the back of a moving pick-up truck, lassoed a runaway llama.  Now, that’s a man right there.

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The New Yorker recapped the whole story in gif form.  It’s hilarious.

While we’re still talking about llamas, how about the book recommendation of the week.

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We have this book in our extensive children’s book collection.  It’s quite fun to read.  Here’s a link to it if you want to buy Llama Llama Red Pajama from Amazon.

On my little blog, the post that got the most traffic this week was a little deep.  I asked a question of myself, “Am I Hurting The World or Helping It?”  Feel free to read and ask yourself the same question.

Last, but not least, I think The Sunday Share should end in with a fun video.  Here’s some cats not letting dogs pass.  YOU SHALL NOT PASS, DOG!

I hope you liked The Sunday Share.  You can share The Sunday Share as well.  Sharing is caring!    

Why Do We Love Cats? (56/365)

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I admit it.  I’m a cat lover, but I’m not exactly sure why I am.  To give you a little background knowledge, we only have one cat in our house, and it also is the only pet that we have.  Our cat, Sylvie, is a little cutie.

Sylvie

What purpose does the cat serve?  Does it help out our family at all?   I don’t like dogs as much, but I know they can at least provide the family with a service.  Dogs can protect a home, deterring would be intruders.  They also can serve as hunting dogs, pointing out game or retrieving game.  Scratch that.  Cats actually do hunt, and they ever so graciously bring back their prey for you to see.  Sometimes, they even bring it back alive and let it go inside the house for you to finish off the kill.

They certainly don’t help keep the house clean.  It is nice that they poop in a litter box, but why can’t they keep food down.  Seriously.  Cats barf too much, and in some of the worst places.  Last week, our cat barfed on the heating vent.  The cat puke fell between the grates, and I had to take the vent out of the floor and then scrub inside the heating duct, because the air coming out smelled like hot barf.

Yes, cats clean themselves, but they don’t brush themselves.  We purchased a Furminator (I highly recommend one) to try and keep the fur from flying around the house and clinging to every clothing item that we have.

Now, I could go on and on about the negatives of cats, such as when my daughter got mauled by one, but I really want to know, why do I love my cat?

Maybe it’s because they are like a soft little person.  My cat, and all the cats I’ve known have attitude.  It’s not a given that I can just pet my cat and she’ll love it.  She might try to playfully bite me or pin her ears back in displeasure.  She might decide that its not time for pets and simply wiggle around until I put her down or leave her alone.  We humans have to be able to understand when or where we can interact with the cat.

Maybe it’s because they purr.  Something about that rumbling sound makes me smile and relax.  It’s such a unique trait.  So soothing.  I don’t think I have much stress in my life, but when my cat purrs, it does make me feel quite relaxed.  There’s been research done about that, and, like always, I’m not going to take the time to cite my sources because I’m lazy, but from what I understand it provides relief and offers some healing properties as well.  The low vibration of a purring cat helps the cat to heal bones and wounds, as well as the humans nearby.

The biggest reason I love Sylvie, my sweet little cat is because she’s a low maintenance companion.  When I’m watching TV, reading, or sitting by the computer, the cat likes to be around.  Sure, my cat will interrupt by walking across my keyboard while I’m typing, or decide to sit down on my wife’s math papers while she’s grading, but we both don’t seem to mind.  I actually feel rather guilty when my cat comes around and I’m too busy to pet her.

How about you?  Do you love cats?  Why or why not?

iPhone Intervention for Adults

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With great power comes great responsibility – Voltaire

I have an iPhone.  This might not be a big deal for most people, but I went from a flip phone with no internet capabilities to the holiest of holy handheld devices in the world.  Apologies to people that use a different brand of smartphone.  Your phone might be the best.  This technologic troglodyte doesn’t know any better.

There is a problem though.  The soft glow, the smooth outer shell, the feelings I get when I hold it close.  Its intoxicating!  I need to develop a contract so I use this power responsibly.  But why put it down when I can do anything with it.  What’s the weather like?  Who just emailed me?  Where’s the best place for a taco in Menomonee Falls?  My iPhone knows.  I want to stare at it all day.  Oh, such beauty.  Such grace in a lacquer coated polycarbonate case.

When I pull my phone out, I have the world wide web right in my hands.

Sometimes I point it at my cat after chanting, “By the Power of Grayskull, I HAVE THE POWER!”

Furry Underwear is Comfortable

Furry Underwear is Comfortable

Unfortunately there hasn’t been an app developed yet that will transform my house cat into a beast that I can saddle up and ride to work.  I’m sure someone is coding that program right now.  Without further ado, these are the rules that I will follow so I use my iPhone responsibly.  I’ve been around other adults who could benefit from these rules too, so feel free to share this article with them.

1.  I won’t use my iPhone while driving.  Since my job doesn’t require chasing criminals or wrestling alligators, by far, the most dangerous thing I do everyday is drive my car.  I don’t need to make it harder by texting and driving.  I figure since I didn’t read while driving, or try to write notes to people while I’m behind the wheel before I had my phone, I shouldn’t start trying to do it now.

2.  I won’t use my iPhone when I’m talking to another person.  I’ve never got up and left someone in the middle of a conversation to go look at my computer to see if someone just sent me a message, so I probably shouldn’t start doing that now.

3.  I won’t use my iPhone when I’m eating with my family or friends.  Food tastes good.  I also enjoy talking to my wife and kids.  Why would I want to distract myself from delicious breakfast cuisine like Life cereal while having a conversation with Bob the Builder about the intricacies of creating a starburst pattern on the Rainbow Loom.

4.  I won’t use my iPhone to broadcast on social media where I am currently vacationing.  The reason for this is twofold.  First of all, I get really jealous when other people use their phone to post a crappy picture of some exotic location that they are vacationing.  “Look at me!  I’m really happy in Tropical Paradise,” they say.  Well, I’m not happy for you, jerkface.  Secondly, this is just an open invitation to shady characters that you or your family isn’t within 500 miles of your home, so there will be little resistance when I, umm… I mean, when someone wants to steal your stuff.

5.  I will look past my iPhone’s 1136-by-640 pixel resolution at 326 ppi and occasionally enjoy the real world.  Life beyond the screen appears in color and resolution even better than HD, and I don’t even need to wear glasses to make it 3D.  When I’m at a game, I’ll just watch the game.  When I’m at a family gathering like Thanksgiving or Christmas or a kid’s birthday party, I’ll talk to the adults and wrestle with kids.  When I’m at a party, I’ll party.  Someone else can document my activities.

6.  I won’t take any selfies.

Got a friend or family member that needs an iPhone intervention?  Get all the people that care about this individual together, take the offender’s phone away, and share these rules with them.  Then again, I wouldn’t mind if you emailed this article to people, tweeted it, shared it on Facebook, Gave it a plus one on Google, took a picture of yourself reading it and post it on Instagram…

How to Make an Antiviral Video

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Over this past summer, I got a little squirrelly and made a few videos with my spare time.  I should be writing, but I’m in a holding pattern with my book.  I have half of the sequel written, but I don’t want to get too far into the second because an editor might suggest major changes to the first book that would affect the content of the second book.

The particular video I’m sharing here is my attempt at making something humorous.  My wive absolutely loathes this video.  Almost every serious YouTuber wants to hit it big with a viral video, so I made a how to video on how to do the opposite and make an Antiviral Video.

I’m a realistic individual, so I know that I don’t have much of a chance to create a viral video.  My cat doesn’t do very many exciting things, nor do I have any amazing talents.  I combined these two lackluster things, my lazy cat, and myself, and created a visual masterpiece.  Enjoy…

 

P.S. I thought the start was the best.  I was rubbing hand sanitizer on my hands and then on the cat’s paws.  I didn’t really put any on the cat.

Words of the Week – A Writing Exercise

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One of the things I do in my 7th grade literature class is post a word of the day.  I really didn’t do anything with this word other than define it and share a sentence with the word.  That left me feeling that the students didn’t really get enough exposure to the word, so I decided that they had to write a paragraph using each word of the day at the end of the week.

The kids had a blast writing their paragraphs.  They all came up with bizarre and entertaining stories, so I decided to join them and write a couple of these stories of my own.  I have three literature classes, so I modeled the behavior I desired and wrote three little stories.  One was pretty brutal, so I’ll post the other two right here.

The first time through, I went with a completely ridiculous situation, which is always a hit with the middle school students. Remember, this is just a work of fiction. I don’t do anything mean to cats in real life. Here are the words of the week and the first paragraph.

Famish – Memento – Uncanny – *Zip – Enigmatic

Mr. Cuddlepants stole my memento!

Mr. Cuddlepants stole my memento!

For my birthday, my brother took me out to eat at Burger King.  I was famished, so I ate three king sized whopper value meals, but I saved one french fry as a memento of the fabulous birthday meal.  That single french fry was sitting on the mantle above my fireplace.

One day, my wife asked me why I had the fry on the mantle, and I shouted at her, “Don’t question why I have that there.  You were going to eat it.  Weren’t you!”

“No, but the cat just gave me an enigmatic look, like it wanted to eat it,” she replied.

“Mr. Cuddlepants!” I shouted.  “Get down from the mantle!”

With uncanny quickness, the cat snatched the french fry with its mouth as it leapt down from the mantle.  I was furious.  How dare Mr. Cuddlepants eat my birthday memento.  Later that evening, I caught the cat as it was napping.  I zipped him up in his kitty straightjacket and threw him in a cage for the rest of the night.  That will teach ’em.

Yeah, I know that was a little bit harsh at the end, but Mr. Cuddlepants better recognize.  You don’t get between a man and his french fries.  Well, that and I needed to fit the word zip in there somewhere.

The third time through, I went with a more serious approach. Here are the words again.  One word is different because on Thursdays we have Dictionary Roulette.  This is where I open the dictionary to a random page and have a student point in the dictionary.  Wherever they land, that is the word of the day for the class.

Famish – Memento – Uncanny – *Maroon – Enigmatic

I watch too much Survivorman.

I watch too much Survivorman.

Fourteen weeks ago, the brutal winds and massive storm surges slammed my boat onto a rocky shoreline crushing the boat’s hull.  I am marooned.  To some, a small tropical island covered with palm trees looks like paradise, but in reality, its  nothing more than a prison cell.  My body is famished, for all I can find to eat are rotting coconuts and washed up sea snails.   All that I have left to remind me of my previous life is a small memento, a silver wedding band on my left ring finger.  I have to get back to the mainland.  Could my uncanny ability to survive in the harshest conditions pay off?  I flash an enigmatic smile.  Only time would tell.  I push my make-shift raft into the sea, hoping the winds and currents would lead me back home.

I’m not quite sure a wedding ring is a memento, but in the ten minutes that I allow for this little writing exercise, it was the best I could do.  What do you think about this on demand writing exercise?  I found it rather fun.

Natasha is Still Cat Crazy

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My daughter, who recently got bit in the face by a cat, is doing fine.  Her face is healing quite well.  The swelling is totally gone, and only a few small marks remain on her face. It helps that my wife takes such good care of her.  We bought some Mederma and Vitamin E.  Natasha rubs it all over her face like she’s putting on makeup.

I wish I could say that Natasha learned something from being mauled, but its like it never happened in her mind.  We haven’t visited Aunt Bertha’s in a while, so she hasn’t been playing with Darkness.  That’s the cat that bit her.  At home, we have a very docile feline, and Natasha’s terrorizing that one though.  When she’s not chasing the cat, she’s drawing pictures of our cat. Here’s her latest effort.

Don't you think my bow is cute!

Don’t you think a cat with a bow is cute!

Not to bad for a five year old, if I do say so myself.  One of the nice things about writing and illustrating is your children get into it too.  Every day, all three kids sit down to color, write, or paint.  I could do without the painting.  It always ends up on my three year old’s face.

If you’re wondering, Natasha likes Hello Kitty.  That’s why she put the bow in the cat’s hair.  Our cat, we’ll call her Silve, because that’s her name, actually does get bows in her hair.  In addition to putting bows on the cat, Natasha has managed to put three different outfits on Silvie, and she’s determined that our cat looks best in pink.

Here’s one mistake I made.  Sometimes, Silve will have a little smudge on her butt after she poops.  On accident, I blurted out, “I’d better clean that dingleberry.”  Now the kids are always running around the house chasing the cat to see if she has any dingleberries on her butt.

I shouldn’t laugh, but it’s pretty hilarious when my three year old son hollers at the top of his lungs, “Daaaad!  Silve’s got a dingleberry!”

For all the readers out there, if you didn’t realize already, here’s a little warning:  My sense of humor never made it past my sophomore year of high school.

– Dave

Story Time – My Daughter Chases Darkness the Cat

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It’s Story Time!  Every Monday at my school, I tell a story about what happened in my life over the weekend.  I figured, I might as well post it here too.  All the names have been changed, but the story really did happen.  The Story Time posts are strictly for entertainment purposes.  Don’t expect to learn anything, except for the fact that you should write down your awesome life stories. Enjoy!

I'm a cat.  Fear me!

I’m a cat. Fear me!

Let the story begin!

Because my five year old daughter, The Flower Child, loves our cat, Tabby, so much, she chases the cat all around the house and tries to pick her up.  Fortunately, the cat never bites The Flower Child.  Unfortunately, my daughter had a false sense of security around cats.  She thought all cats are sweet like our little Tabby.

On Thursday, The Flower Child slept over at Aunt Bertha’s house for the first time.  Aunt Bertha has a cat of her own named Darkness.  I think Darkness is part black panther because he is absolutely huge for a domestic cat.  He’s super long and has muscles popping out of his fur.

Darkness is relatively friendly, but not used to being chased by a little girl.  The Flower Child spotted the cat and went to pick him up, so Darkness raced down into the basement.  Aunt Bertha saw this and said, “Flower Child, leave him alone.  He doesn’t want to be petted.”  My daughter didn’t listen to this advice at all and immediately ran downstairs to try and catch the cat.  She backed the cat into a corner in the basement, and then Darkness bit her right in the face.  Blood was everywhere.  Aunt Bertha washed off all the blood and tried to clean out the six deep puncture wounds.  The Flower Child cried some, but once her face was washed off, she was okay.

The next morning came, and The Flower Child’s face had swelled up like a balloon.  It looked like she had a tennis ball stored in her left cheek.  When we came to pick her up from Aunt Bertha’s house, we were shocked.  My wife took The Flower Child to the doctor, and now she has to take two different antibiotics for 10 days because her cuts are infected.  I did a little internet research on a cat bite with deep punctures and my daughter probably has a bacterial infection.  Pasturella multocida (whatever that is) breeds in a cat’s mouth, and that was transferred into my daughter’s face.

The doctor was very worried that the infection had spread too much already, so she drew a big circle on my daughters face around the swelling.  The doctor said we had to report to the emergency room immediately if it went past the circle.  Luckily, the swelling never expanded any more. My three year old son, Ivan the Terrible, thought that the circle on The Flower Child’s face was really cool.  He decided to draw a circle on his face too.  My wife thought this was such a sweet gesture.  She said, “Oh, Ivan.  You’re so nice!”  Ivan the Terrible took this the wrong way though, and then colored with marker all over his entire face.  Luckily, he used washable markers.

For a day or two, we were still very concerned about The Flower Child, but by Sunday, the swelling has subsided considerably.  All that’s left on my daughter’s little face are some scabs where the cat punctured her skin, and a pretty nasty black eye.  She was embarrassed to show her face off in kindergarten, so I hope school went well for her today.

Did she learn her lesson?  Nope.  She still chases our cat all around the house and picks her up repeatedly.

 What happened on your weekend?  Do you have any stories you’d like to tell?  Any questions about my story?  Leave your comments and questions below!