Friday, June 8, 2018


10 minutes after winning the lottery, I will be a distant memory living in my bunker like Burt Gummer.

Once upon a time in the early days of the internet long before there was a google, there was a web page that had a urinal test (similar to this but not). The object was to look at scenarios similar to those above and select the "correct" response. My brother in law and I walked his mother through the test, and we scored 100%. Go figure.

I've never owned a Yeti and probably never will...because money.'s what's for dinner.

Someone awarded this to me recently. It gave me a giggle. Wish I could recall what I said to deserve it.

It smells like my brain is on fire. That's what it smells like.

Ain't that the truth. I've got about $750 to $900 worth of Franken AR sitting in the gun closet, and a wish list of accessories and upgrades worth at least that much.

You laugh now, but big brother is watching.

Maybe...MAYBE when I was younger. No, not really. But, it does kind of explain some of the restrooms I've seen.

Admit it, you read that in Batman's voice.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Comings and Goings*

*Much has transpired since last we spoke. Those who are connected to me on the Book of Feces already know some of what I'm about to write. Grab your tissues now. You've been warned.

Along about Thursday evening before Mother's Day, The Queen and I were out and about minding our own business running mundane errands. One of those errands included a stop by the local PetSmart to receive our semi-regular fleecing for the privilege of overpaying for pet food (this is not a complaint against PetSmart as it's not really their fault that our animals HAVE to have the "good" stuff). As we were pulling into the parking lot, we noticed a lady pushing a shopping cart with a small ball of fur in it. The Queen immediately squealed sweet nothings about the unknown boo boo, and I slowed the chariot to avoid making the poor woman and said boo boo a grease spot in the lot. I did roll down my window to ask if The Queen could take a closer look (I know my wife too well).

Before I could say "Whatcha got in the basket Red?", the somewhat harried lady apologized to me for blocking the way. I allowed as how we were not in a hurry nor were we miffed with her presence and advertised The Queen's desire to inspect the fluff ball. Come to find out, the smidgeon of fur was a wee feline of roughly six weeks of age that the lady had spotted in the street moments before it had a close encounter of the Goodyear kind. The kitten apparently did a fair job of tuck and roll or was clipped ever so slightly by the unknown vehicle as the only visible indication of a near pancake experience was a slight scrape on his chin.

The lady told us she was bringing the little guy to PetSmart to see if they could take him in or connect him/them up with a rescue group as they already had their full allotment of felines currently and were unable to find room at the inn. The Queen immediately gave me "The Look"; and, I, manfully trying to maintain a desperate grip on some semblance of control and sanity, allowed as how we did not need another kitten either. The Queen was clearly disappointed, but she did not press the issue.

In what I suspected to be a foregone conclusion, I told The Queen to stick close to the lady and intervene if PetSmart was unable or unwilling to assist. The Queen was only too happy to oblige and proceeded to "help" the lady by holding the micro feline while the lady attempted to talk reason with the PetSmart employee and eventually a rescue organization loosely affiliated with PetSmart.

I went off to take care of the hunting and gathering of the supplies we had come for in the first place.

When I returned, I overheard the last part of the call with the rescue organization. The net result was that they could not take the feline until they found a willing foster family. Failing that, they would have to take the little to a regular animal shelter with the possibility of very short life expectancy.

I heaved a heavy sigh, told The Queen to take possession of the fluffy thing that was sharp and pointy on five of six appendages and staggered off for a bag of kitten kibble while muttering quietly about the fairness of life in general.

A half-hearted effort was made to locate a suitable home for the interloper, and I even received one interested party. Unfortunately, he and I were unable to connect before the kitten had dug his little claws into the family's heart and refused to let go.

Dirty pool little fuzzball, dirty pool.

So, we are the proud slaves to a now 10ish week old male kitten named Winkerbean.

Several other names were tried on for size including:

Ozzy Clawsbourne
Pinball (appropriate, but taken by my aunt’s cat)
Hissy (previously taken by another family cat and retired)
Spot (also previously taken)

Have you ever tried to get a six year old to agree on a name for an animal? Especially a six year old who named her rabbit Taco? Winkerbean was the compromise with two out of three family members agreeing and me issuing the deciding edict that we were done trying on new names.

He's definitely settled in for the long haul now. Cute little bugger with a healthy purr and an unhealthy appetite for electrical cords. 

Little did we know that God, in His infinite wisdom, had sent little Winkerbean to us for a reason. 

We have known for about the last two years or so that our remaining dog, Numbnutt - The Half Dog, has been living on borrowed time. He had a close call with a bad case of acute gastroenteritis a couple of years ago and less serious recurrence about a year ago. We just never knew how much time we had left. 

He was born in August of 2005 to my oldest niece's dog, Lilly, while The Queen and JuJu were off cavorting in St. Kitts while I was stuck finishing out my last few days working for a truly evil company before relocating to Houston for a new job. 

The proto Numbnutt on the right.
My niece claimed the proto Numbnutt for her own before giving away his siblings to those well qualified suckers who showed interest. She gave him his first name by trying to placate my displeasure at her lack of responsibility for allowing Lilly to get pregnant by naming the proto Nutt after me. At the time, I was not pleased with the comparison. I got over it. 

So, the proto Nutt went home with Juju and Lilly. Several months later, we received a call from my brother in law that the proto Nutt was in danger of becoming extinct thanks to his momma teaching him to kill chickens. It seems that my brother in law's wife had marked the Nutt for death and was seen looking for suitable implements to off the goofball for the crime of being a dog with a taste for hatched eggs. 

My brother in law, not being one to allow such a fate to befall an "innocent" dog when he knew there were animal lovers in the family to guilt, called The Queen. The Queen asked for/told me I was giving permission to rescue the Nutt, and he was delivered somewhat unceremoniously to our house whereupon he became of ward of my father in law since we had relocated to Houston and had not yet found permanent housing. My father in law bequethed upon him the second of his many names, Tornado, because of his boundless energy. To this day, my father in law refuses to call him Numbnutt. 

Following our return from Houston thanks to The Queen's Mystery Illness interlude, he more or less became a shared dog between us and the in laws. Hence, the appellation of "The Half Dog." It was during the Mystery Illness/Unwilling Two Year Separation that The Queen essentially claimed the Nutt as her own. On one of her good days, she was playing with the dog in the yard, and he was happily acting goofy as always. The Queen said, "You're such a numbnut!", and the rest is history.

From that day forward, he has been Numbnutt. Anywhere we went, he drew praise for his good looks.

Handsome little devil
Inevitably, people would ask his name...and then do a double take when we said "Numbnutt" with a straight face. It became really funny when M&M came along and was old enough to proudly say his name. The college girls at the nearby university found him irresistible when we took our evening walks over there.

Numbnutt has been fiercely protective of his humans and loyal to a fault. He was always especially fond of sharing kisses with anyone in range...which was surprising how far that tongue would reach. "No tongue!!" became a standard phrase around the house.

As he aged, he never lost a step. He would go and go and go. He never grayed around his muzzle like most dogs in their 10s.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Last Thursday, M&M came into the bedroom where I was doing something and said that there was problem with the Nutt. I came to investigate and immediately called The Queen. Numbnutt had just finished his dinner when he collapsed in the living room. I found him on his side, breathing heavily with a rapid heart rate. He had voided his bladder and bowels and was not focusing or responsive. We succeeded in getting him to his feet, but he only made it a few feet to the kitchen before he collapsed again. This time, he threw up his dinner.

Being after normal vet hours, I was not looking forward to another visit to the 24 hour vet in town. My last experience with them was not pleasant. So, I did a quick Google search and the first result was another vet's office that was open until 10:00PM. We loaded the car quickly, and I called the vet's office while on the way to see if they could work us in while explaining the situation.

Numbutt gamely tried to stand up during the car ride to watch the world go by, but his legs wouldn't keep him up. We arrived at the vet's office in short order, and The Queen filled out the necessary paperwork. We were ushered to a room, and the vet came in after a short wait. He was an older gentleman evoking the image of a kindly, family doctor. After hearing our description of the symptoms and doing his own examination, he laid it out for us in gentle tones that he could do a lot of tests to confirm what he already knew....our dog was dying. He said plainly that he could run the tests and probably determine whether it was a tumor or an internal bleed; but, ultimately, there was nothing that could be done. He recommended euthanasia as opposed to prolonging the suffering.

The Queen, in particular, was heartbroken. We were all crying, but The Queen was especially sad. Numbnutt was her comfort during her illness when I was unable to be there for her.

The Queen and Numbnutt - May 2017
The Queen was Numbnutt's Alpha. He would listen to her no matter what. He stood by her and made her smile no matter what. He lived to make her happy and receive nothing more than a kind word and a head scratch or a belly rub in return.

His passing was as peaceful as we could make it. The vet did an excellent job of a difficult task, and I cannot say enough good about them. They earned our respect and will be our regular vet going forward. I took Numbnutt down to Mimi's property to find a suitable resting place.

Like any good dog, he loved to dig holes and lie in the sun. Unlike many dogs, he never bothered cats and left Taco the rabbit alone as well.

I found him a nice spot in the open surrounded by trees so that he could still lie in the sun.

Like all good dogs, Numbnutt loved to dig holes and lie in the sun. He just needed a little help digging the last one.

Rest well our faithful boy. Enjoy the sun.