Monday, February 20, 2012

General News and Ramblings

I don't lack for inspiration.  The trouble is that if I write about politics or religion I'll go off on a rant that likely to get my own little slice of literary heaven darkened by the owner of the service and my name will surface in the middle of some report that's produced for the government by the government and understood by no one in the government.

So I'll just go rambling along and see where I end up.

First of all, my congratulations to Cottontail's husband Que Bee One, who very recently passed his board examinations and is now a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon (Critter Cutter, Dog Slicer, whatever...).  This was Que Bee's second try at the exam, the first try ending in a disaster that caused the poor young fellow to take up drinking for a brief time until Cottontail straightened him out and stuffed his nose back into a book.  He studied hard and hit one out of the park.  But like any good anecdote, there's more.

It seems that this exam takes several days to complete, so on the first day Que Bee One met a few of the other hopefuls for drinks and mutual support down at a local watering hole after the game.  During casual conversation he learned something interesting.

Unknown Vet (UV): "So where you from?"
Que Bee One (QB1): "Dogs R Us, out on the East coast."
UV: "Well, how about that!  Business sure must be good out that way."
QB1: I'm not talking because there's a question mark over my head and a puzzled look on my handsome, homecoming king, college football quarterback, team captain and MVP face.
UV: "I saw an advertisement for your office in the Dog Chopper Journal earlier this week.  They're advertising for a veterinary surgeon and an infernal medicine specialist."
QB1: "That's internal.  Are you pulling my chain?"
UV: "No... here's the ad."
QB1: "You know, I'm a veterinary surgeon and my wife Cottontail is an internal medicine specialist.  You don't suppose..."

In short, yeah, I do suppose.  So does Cottontail and so does QB1.  As an interesting side note, the owner of the office where Cottontail and QB1 are being overworked is also a veterinary surgeon, but he isn't board certified.  He tried three times and failed each time.  So Cottontail and QB1 are marketing themselves and planning to move - then resign.

On a happier note, I saw this bad boy having lunch in the front yard the other day.  This is a Cooper's Hawk who has nailed a morning dove for its lunch.  My bird watching Moonbat neighbors don't like having the hawk around as it's believed that the hawk cuts down on the songbird population.

Cooper's Hawk
The Cooper's hawk will also eat blue jays, starlings and other obnoxious birds that are hard on the songbird population, so it's beneficial to have one or two in the area.  From an irrational perspective, I'm somewhat sympathetic to the hawk.  It's hard being a predator, and the food generally doesn't cooperate.  Then once you catch your food, you have to keep an eye out to make sure that someone else doesn't steal it from you.  On other bird sightings, I also saw a bald eagle the other day which is very unusual in my area.  We're a long way from water, unless you count the neighborhood koi ponds.

Over at the doctor's office, Dr. Grumpy raises hell about overuse of the word artisanal.  Read More artisanal crap as you like, but the Grump sums it up nicely:
If you're going to put a "gluten free" label on honey, maybe it's time we started putting "fat free" stickers on water.

What Dr. Grumpy doesn't realize is that fat free stickers on water bottles would probably increase sales.  As evidence I offer the latest brouhaha over a tweet from Oprah encouraging people to watch Her Network (OWN - yeah, think about that one for a second) instead of the Grammy Awards, especially if you (the viewer) have a Nielsen box.  This sounds reasonable, right?  But as with most reasonable ideas, this one breaks a few rules - namely, that the TV industry is not allowed to ask people to watch a particular channel or show.

Why Oprah's Nielsen tweet was so very, very shocking
There's a reasonable basis for the rule: You don't want every Nielsen family to be bribed with new cars in the driveway, for example. That might lead to a terrifying world in which dumb, lowest-common denominator shows thrive even as intelligent, challenging ones are cancelled.
The terrifying world is already here, Ace.  Commercial television shows the stupidest, most inane and vacuous waste of bandwidth since reality TV took off.  Comedies aren't funny and haven't been for years, documentary's don't and news is thinly disguised propaganda shoved into two out of five senses in ten second screaming sound bites that compete with commercial breaks for decibel level and whatever remains of viewer attention.

OWN has earned lower ratings than Discovery Health, the network it replaced last year at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, and the Twitter incident struck a chord because it seemed emblematic of her ratings troubles.

As bad as mainstream TV is, the Oprah Winfrey Network is worse.  How bad do things have to get before you fail to entertain the brain dead viewers who actually consider watching anything Oprah has to offer?  Real bad, I would guess.
It suggested that the Queen of Talk would stop at nothing to get Nielsen families to watch -- even asking them to watch.
First off, this isn't even a suggestion.  This is fact.  What isn't being said is that the queen water buffalo isn't alone here.  The herd of TV executives would do anything, and I mean anything, to bribe even one tenth of the Nielsen families to watch their channel instead of a competitor. 

I've never watched the OWN network, having had my fill of Oprah very early on.  A user with the nom de plume FarmerGal over on Swamp Bubbles  summarized Oprah much better than I can, and did so here: Oprah Winfrey - A Legend In Her Own Mind
Her network program was a non-stop, self-promoting, liberal screed. Was so glad to see that propaganda machine leave network tv, where people are so easily taken in by nonsense.
Indeed.  Another infamous quote involving her porcine majesty immediately came to mind,

"Looks like five hundred pounds of bear liver in a plastic bag?"

- Uncle Hant, a literary apparition created by Fred Reed describing Oprah.

Fred claims that there is no Uncle Hant, but I think it's likely that the names have been changed to protect those who are most vulnerable to a Mexican lawsuit.

Speaking of privacy and literary apparitions, a multitude of people have been clamoring to know what I look like.  While it's true that I value my privacy and so hide seek safety behind a clever, descriptive soubriquet, I see no real harm in publishing a photo of myself and so satisfying the curiosity of the male readers while simultaneously bringing the fantasies of the ladies one step closer to reality.

Here I am: Mad Jack.

I'm the one on the left.


Anonymous said...

Coward. Haven't we had enough talk? Watchers abound. Where are the doers? "Fill your guns, you sun of a bitch!" That's what I say.

Unknown said...

You're much better looking that I thought you would be, and ever so much younger. I assumed by your writings that you were a crotchety old man.
Dr. Grumpy makes me laugh on a pretty regular basis.

flask said...

jack, darlin', i'm goign to have to take exception to your use of the term "water buffalo", which is traditionally a racist epithet to describe black women.

likewise, let's not heap fatness on oprah's sins or confuse the innocent overweight with the likes of oprah.

and she's not a wingnut because she's liberal! *i'm* fairly liberal and from where i'm standing oprah is just a wingnut. she's a left-leaning wingnut, but just as goofy as any right-leaning wingnut.

and not a harmless wingnut, either. sure, she's all about love and peace but most days i can't even begin to wrap my brain around all the ways she's just WRONG.

it's not because she's black, or fat, or liberal.

it's because she's just plain WRONG.

i'm gettign that twitch around my right eye now and should probably stop.

Unknown said...

How can it be "traditionally" used as a racial epithet? I can find no reference to it before the Penn State issue. Shortest damn tradition ever.

Mad Jack said...

Ah, well, you see, that photo is a few years out of date.