Sallie croons to harmonica music

I just picked up the harmonica lying around as I was waiting on my coffee to warm up. I started playing and Sallie joined in. Fortunately, I had my iPhone in my pocket and a quick Voice Recording later, I have Sallie in her musical debut. Her You are my Sunshine sounds suspiciously like her Beatles, but.. well, you can tell the difference, can’t you?

sallie_hed

Oxymoron of the day

On the one hand, it is a beer truck so it should be cool, maybe even scream “chick mobile.” On the other hand, it is a PT Cruiser which oozes ultimate dorkness.

Which do you think it is? Is it both? Could it be? I dunno.
beertruck

Hack your iphone 3G to record video

This is super amazing and really, really works! You too can hack your old piece of crap iPhone 3G to record video.

1. Buy a Flip video camera and a roll of tape. Duct is preferred, but electrical tape will do.
2. Tape Flip camera to the back of your iPhone as shown below.
3. Record in full HD!

iphonehack

Snickers disturbs the creative process

Ok, so I am at my computer, banging away at an idea that has kept me up all night and I hear this noise, like a noisy fan motor. I get up, walk around the room trying to figure out where it is coming from.

It is Snickers (my cat), lying all curled up, fast asleep on a stack of resume papers, just right behind my chair. Apparently the job hunting process in this economy has tuckered her out. 😉
snickerssleeping

Listen to the purr:

Sound and photo captured with iPhone. Amazing. This photo of Snickers is only one of two that appears on this blog. As everyone knows, all real blogs will contain at least one photo of a cat.

Naked spaghetti with skinny meatball

italiangrinder

I like simple food, but I don’t think the name of the dish should be any less exotic. One of my favorite meals is plain buttered spaghetti and a seasoned hamburger patty. I call it “Naked spaghetti with skinny meatball.”

Here’s the recipe:
1. Boil water, salt and oil (nothing fancy, just vegetable oil. If you use EVOO, just quit reading. Really, EVOO should only be used for dipping crusty bread. Really. Rachael Ray and I will disagree, but since I’m right, it is a losing argument for her.)

2. Cook spaghetti just a little past al dente. Al dente is undercooked and overrated. Drain thoroughly.

3. Melt 1/2 (or a whole, it’s your heart) stick of butter (not margarine!) in the bottom of the hot spaghetti pot. Sprinkle with parsley. Add the spaghetti back into the pot and toss until the noodles are covered with butter.

4. While the spaghetti is cooking, slowly cook the hamburger patties in a covered frying pan. Do not season yet. Really. Resist the urge to salt as it will just dry out the burgers.

5. Once the hamburger patty is cooked, season with coarse-ground kosher salt, a turn of course-ground black pepper and the McCormick grinder Italian seasoning. Just one turn per patty.

6. Place noodles in a bowl, top with skinny meatball (hamburger) and eat.

7. Feed left-overs to the dogs. You did cook just a little more than you could eat, right? 🙂

Why my dog is my alter-ego

I had been thinking a lot about this lately as more and more people in the Social Media space poke at me for not being authentic. If I blog as my dog, Rufus, I can’t possibly be authentic. Why am I hiding?

I am not hiding, but rather being optimistically cautious. Seth Simonds just published a blog post on Trent Reznor and the backlash of trolls. Previously, Reznor had PR people and handlers to “manage” his public image. But, as he found out, the more he decided to tweet out as himself, the more Internet trolls lashed onto that “authenticity” and used it as a weapon against him. My guess is as more and more celebrities are shafted by Social Media tools, they will recoil back behind the safety of handlers. That is not a bad thing; just a symptom of our culture.

When I first started blogging several years ago, I thought that DogWalkBlog would be a look at life and culture through the eyes of a dog, if a dog could talk. But, that got stale pretty quickly. You can only blog out your puppy potty habits so many times before it all starts looking like poop. And, I have a big mouth and a need to bark often about a lot of other things.

Along the way, though, I figured out that if I stood behind a dog and moved his lips, I could say just about anything I wanted and almost nobody would be offended. After all, you are going to get in an argument with a dog? Really?

The other thing I discovered is people let their guard down around dogs. Once they pet you and interact with your dog, it is kinda hard to back away from the person holding the leash. So, Rufus has become my surrogate handshake when you would have only seen an opinionated, somewhat arrogant jerk. Rufus allows me to engage you in a conversation you may have been unwilling to start without him. And, I hope we both are the better for it.

As I was putting this post to bed and hitting the publish button, Kevin Phoenix sent this tweet:

Rufus, I like your blog clean and entertaining – but I’m not quite sure where its going. Can you ask your alter ego, please?

Which crystalizes my final reason to blog as a dog. People need direction and focus. They need to be building toward something. They need goals and purpose. Dogs, on the other hand, just need to exist, wag their tails when they feel happy, sniff around what makes them curious and crap whenever they need to or something needs to be crapped on. If I blogged as a person (which I do, but that is another tail altogether, typo intended) I would need a topic, a pigeon-hole to tidy and keep on task. But, if you’re a dog, you are free to focus on following the path in earnest one day and taking time out to chase a ball around the yard the next.

Make sense? I sure hope not.

I made someone laugh

I made someone laugh on Twitter today and felt pretty good about it. I was having a rotten day, but 140 characters later, I’m feeling alright.

Here is the reply. You gotta work to find the original tweet 😉

laugh_tweet

Living my one and only life

This is the cover of the LIFE section of the Dayton Daily News today.
headincar

On the masthead, it says “Life; You’ve only got one. Live it up” but the headline for the feature article is telling me to “get back in the car,” that sticking my head out to catch a breeze through my ears and fur courtesy of a moving car is not good.

I am so conflicted.

We’re really good at keeping prisons, so why are we scared of a few detainees?

prisonbarsA few months ago, I read this article in Parade Magazine. It claims “about one in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison, in jail, or on supervised release.”

The number seemed high, so I consulted the stats on a US government site. Wow. They are high, but not inaccurate. (The chart that shows the rate of increase from 1980 to 2005 should scare everyone.) I’m not sure if there is more crime per se or if we are just criminalizing a lot more behavior.

From the US Department of Justice, on June 30, 2008 —

– 2,310,984 prisoners were held in federal or state prisons or in local jails – an increase of 0.8% from yearend 2007, less than the average annual growth of 2.4% from 2000-2007.
– 1,540,805 sentenced prisoners were under state or federal jurisdiction.
– there were an estimated 509 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents – up from 506 at yearend 2007.
– the number of women under the jurisdiction of state or federal prison authorities increased 1.2% from yearend 2007, reaching 115,779, and the number of men rose 0.7%, totaling 1,494,805.
At midyear 2008, there were 4,777 black male inmates per 100,000 black males held in state and federal prisons and local jails, compared to 1,760 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 727 white male inmates per 100,000 white males.

In 2005 there were an estimated 687,700 state prisoners serving time for a violent offense. State prisons also held an estimated 248,900 property offenders and 253,300 drug offenders.

It appears that keeping people in prison is what we Americans do really, really well! In fact, every prison in every state should be having a bidding war to see who can house the most detainees from Guantanamo Bay. We can set up something on eBay and wardens everywhere can bid on each detainee, with the most dreaded, the most fierce ones catching the most money.

We outsource our technology and call center to India and our manufacturing to Mexico and China. What if we put a bid to outsource their prisoners? They get flown or shipped to some facilities we build out in the Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah deserts, serve their time, learn some useful skills and we then ship them back when their sentence is up. We get the benefit of some extra jobs and they get to benefit of not having any bad guys in their country.

I’m not making light of the situation. It is as serious as both Obama and Cheney claim it to be. But part of me wonders why we are running away from such an obvious challenge to test the skill set we have been amassing for decades. Not to mention the pork a US Senator can get for agreeing to accept a detainee into his/her State.

But we are really good at sticking people behind bars and making sure they stay there. A few hundred terrorists out of the millions we already have in prison should not make a bit of difference. Who knows, it might even give the murderers a bit more of a challenge than the child molesters do right now.

Epilougue: I was reminded of ADMAX after I wrote this. Google Earth it, it is a remote place with desert to the right and mountains to the left.

The most offensive Tea Party sign ever

The Huffington Post ran a story with some slide shows, showing the most offensive signs at the recent tea parties. As I was looking through the slide show, I found the sign that was the absolute, most offensive one of all. And, if the words on the sign weren’t enough to get you steaming mad, consider the fact that it was put up by our own government!

Anyway, here is the most offensive tea party sign, outlined in green.

The most offensive Tea Party sign
The most offensive Tea Party sign

What’s next, no peeing on the fire plugs? Who’s with me, Pee Parties April 15, 2010! 🙂

AdAge Power150, I’m done with you

pawer150I noticed that the AdAge Power150 now has 979 blogs listed. “That is odd,” I heard my puppy brain saying to myself. “How can you be a top 150 list and have more than 150 blogs listed?”

Then, I thought that perhaps I now had a chance, that Charlie Moran would no longer reject me outright and place me 1,245th or something like that. So, I applied again. I was wrong, he rejected me. And, once again, he ranked the Collective Intellect of DogWalkBlog a 0. (I just don’t think he has read anything here!)

So, the heck with them and their ranking! We’re going to do out own ranking and call it the PAWER150! So, if you have a dog blog and think it deserves a better wag than the AdAge folks, submit it for consideration. We don’t know what the ranking system will be yet or even if we will have one, but submit your dog blog and we’ll start a list.

And while you’re here, share on Twitter