Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Compound Geekery's New Mascot... Update!

In the absence of any suggestions for an internet handle for my new mascot I have opted to call her......


So, here's some backstory on Geek Dog.

She was rescued from a puppy mill... and for those of you unfamiliar with this vile, horrible practice, you can read about it HERE.

Geek Dog was acquired at only 18 months old and in that time had already been bred to twice. The vet at the rescue operation reported that she had been bred on her first heat cycle -- something that no reputable breeder does.

Due to her circumstances, Geek Dog was sadly irreperably damaged psychologically. She has some behavioral problems and a deficency in socialization skills.

In short, she's a dog that really doesn't know or understand she's a dog or how to be a dog.

She came to me recently when her behavioral problems became too difficult for her owners to deal with. Since that time I have been working with her to try to help her overcome her issues.

Periodically here on Compound Geekery I intend to give updates on Geek Dog and how she is progressing.

One of her problems is an aggressiveness toward other dogs when she is being walked on leash. So today was a first big step in that I sent her to doggie daycare. Initial reports are that she is showing NO aggressiveness toward the other dogs at the doggie daycare (yay!) but nor is she showing any curiosity toward them or a desire to play with them.

Baby steps. Baby steps.

I hope that, over time, she will start to learn how to play with other dogs and start learning the socialization skills she should have learned as a puppy.

And just to climb up on my soapbox for a moment...

If you are looking for a pet PLEASE consider rescuing one from a local animal shelter. These are often good dogs and cats looking for good homes and with love, attention, and training even bad behaviors can often be at least smoothed over a bit if not actually eliminated.

If you are determined to buy a purebred buy only from reputable breeders and check into the background of their breeding operations. Go to their operation and check it out for yourself. Talk to people. Get the straight dope.

Above all, beware buying from "pet shops" -- these often acquire their dogs and cats from puppy and kitty mills. Even if they say they don't get them from mills do some investigating, check into things, do not accept their word at face value.

Do your part to help stamp out puppy and kitty mills by refusing to support their operations.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Jumpsuit...

Going to get a little... indelicate here for a time. There will be general discussions of female undress and bodily functions.

Back out now if you have delicate sensibilities.

So over the weekend I accidentally stumbled onto the blog Palid Stallions; dedicated to all things 70's. I spent a chunk of my more formative years in the 70's and early 80's so, although the blog is written by a guy, there's a lot there that this gal remembers not too fondly.

Among those things were the fashion faux pas of the jumpsuit.


I wore some jumpsuits in my day (kiddie size and style of course) and there was one big, tremendous drawback that no one ever talked about... Going to the bathroom.

There's nothing like all the time and trouble one has to go through to undo a whole host of buttons, belts and/or straps just to be able to relieve oneself. Not to mention the fact that, with many jumpsuits one is basically left in a state of near complete undress just to go to the bathroom. Yeah, there's nothing like the feeling of vulnerability that leaves you with in a public restroom.

So to the dead jumpsuit may I say... you aren't missed. And don't come back.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Good Samaritan

Okay, I'm going to get political for a moment here. Back out now if you want to.

Still here?


Here's a problem I have with *some* in the Libertarian leaning wing of the conservative political movement...

The Good Samaritan.

They like to trot out this parable/analogy about why the government should not be involved in things like health care or Social Security payments and such. They argue that people, communities, churches, organizations, etc. should be responsible for helping others out -- just as the Good Samaritan acted out of the goodness of his heart. That, if left up to others, communities will pick up the slack and take care of those in their communities... somehow.

But here's the thing all those people seem to forget....

In the story Jesus told *two* people walk past the beaten and robbed man. Those two people could have helped but they didn't do so. Why didn't they? Well, we're really not given reasons why but I can imagine a few... "He probably deserved it." "It was his own fault for traveling alone." "I'm in a hurry." "I don't have the time or the money to help out right now." "I don't want to get involved." "Surely someone else will come along and help; I don't have to." Etc.

It is implied that the beaten and robbed man was Jewish. Those who didn't stop were Jewish -- i.e. they were part of his "community". They didn't help. The one who stopped, the Samaritan? Yeah, he *wasn't* a part of the "community".

And sure, it's one thing for a community to chip in and help out to pay for heart surgery for some little baby born with a potentially fatal heart defect. Or to hold fundraisers for the beloved, retired school teacher who needs help paying for treatments for her breast cancer. But what happens when it's the town drunk whose liver is failing? Will they be so eager to help out when he needs money for treatments? Or is there a temptation to simply say "He brought it on himself." Or "He gets what he deserves." Or even to attach riders to the help? "Well, we're going to help you out here BUT you have to get sober and go to AA meetings otherwise we're not going to help you and you can just die."

So tell me again how the "community" will pick up the slack. Tell me again how so very many people will band together to take care of those around them out of the goodness of their hearts.

Two people had a chance to help and they walked on by on the other side of the road....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Source Code for Your Life

So in all of this watching of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 I've come to realize something... there is a kind of 'Pop Culture Source Code' for my life. There is pretty much one place where I discovered a lot of the pop culture elements which have woven their way into my heart.

Think about that... ONE place. One thing that was responsible for programming all of the useless, trivial crap that I just love unaccountably.

I suppose it's no surprise that it was a TV station. Not just any TV station though. You see yes I am old enough to have grown up mostly in the days before cable. I got three networks -- ABC, NBC and CBS -- but where I lived I also got two independent stations... and it was one of those independent stations that was responsible for all of this.

That independent station introduced me to:

F Troop
Beverly Hillbillies
Bugs Bunny
Abbott and Costello
The Three Stooges
Star Trek
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Bob Hope and Bing Crosby
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Gilligan's Island
Get Smart
Creature from the Black Lagoon
The Blob (the original. And it scared the crap out of me as a kid. I had nightmares for a week.)
and far too many more to name...

Everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. Brilliant comedians, classic animation, rubber suited monsters and everything in between. And I LOVED it. I loved it as only a kid can love something -- with no filters and no critique. There was no analyzation there was only "Is it interesting?" If the answer was "yes" then it was good. It didn't have to make complete sense.

And this early exposure has stuck with me. I still run across this stuff today and sometimes I see that it really hasn't stood up to the test of time well. Or that something that is funny to a child becomes childish to an adult. Even when something I loved as a child disappoints me as a adult it's still there in my memories. The original context and the original love and nothing can change that. Nor should anything change that.

This is my "Source Code" -- this is what is imprinted on the hard drive of my psyche. And maybe this early exposure is what caused me to lean towards the things I like today. I still love a good (or bad) giant monster movie. I still love seeing good dancers cutting a rug in Fred and Ginger style. I went to see the Star Trek reboot movie a few years back and loved the little touches that hearkened back to the original series. I love hearing variations on "Who's on First" done with impeccable comic timing. I love a good slapstick. And "What's up doc?" will almost universally bring a smile to my face no matter who is saying it. I've been wired up by Saturday and Sunday afternoons in front of the TV watching that little, local, independent TV station for better or worse.