Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tales of a Disgruntled Dog: Part 1

They are finally gone! I have been quietly observing Brian over the past few weeks, waiting for the perfect moment tell my story. I think they will not return for three hours, as has been customary every seven moons.

Let me just start with an introduction. Being an adopted puppy is no field of clovers. I was born on the first of April, 2007. My mother did not hang out with the best of crowds and I never new my dad. Although I am told he was the coolest thing in town. I am the youngest of seven, although at sight, one would never know we were all related. The mixed blood of my ancestors caused us to all look different.

Shortly after birth, my mother, my siblings and I were taken away from our home and placed in a foster home out in the countryside. Our first months were spent under the careful watch of a rottweiler named Butch. Our days were simple, we were released from the cage a few times a day to use the rest room and stretch our legs. Some days we would even take road trips to the doctor. But the life of ease was about to end. I remember, sometime in May, we took our normal road trip to the vet. But something was wrong. I was taken into a small cage, placed into the back of a car, and driven away from my family, never to see them again. It took me a while to get oriented to my surroundings, but I noticed the driver of the car had blond hair.........

So that is how it all got started. Since that day, life has never been as easy. Working for my food. Performing ridiculous tricks for just a crumb of jerky. Retrieving toys, only to get them tossed again. Ropes, kennels, and constant photographs....Someone help me! I will try to keep you all updated every week.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

House Construction Photos

The walls are going up on our house....Thought you would all like to see them!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

PhD = Pile it Higher and Deeper (and I don't mean the books)

I just spent the last few hours drudging through a stack of research papers for my Tuesday evening class on Power, Politics, and the Hidden Agenda. What a load of crap. The first article tried to compare modern corporate leadership to the behavior of cavemen. The second was trying to convince the world that leadership is just like a theater performance. I do not even know how to respond to this. The obvious first response is "what do we really know about the social interactions of the cavemen?" Because I am pretty sure, that besides the Gieco spokesman, there exist no cavemen to interview. But then a light went on upstairs. Each of the dozen or so articles that I read have one thing in common. Each article is ended with a paragraph on all of the authors academic achievements. You know what I mean...the whole

"Doctor Brown is the chair of anagramic studies at Harvard (and it is always Harvard). He received his PhD in something retarded that no one cares about, and did postdoctoral work somewhere in Europe!"

In other words....a PhD gives you full license to make up whatever garbage you want, and we take it for fact. I mean, have any of you ever watched the history channel. They only interview 2 types of people, PhDs and Politicians. Just the fact that the press gives equal credence to both people should say enough.....Why do we put up with it.

First, I must admit, that I myself am a graduate student and will be receiving a Master's in Business this May. But I am mostly in it for the money (okay, maybe fully in it for the money). And who wouldn't be...two years of relatively interesting and stimulating courses, a lot of networking, plenty of golf, and then almost a guarantee that you will be making at least double what you could have done without it. I pity my friends in Dental school, or Medical School, who put themselves through hell for 10 years at the hope of someday getting a real paycheck, only to return half of it to the bank that financed their decade in wonderland and spend the other half on the malpractice insurance. Not to mention that by the time they are out, technology improvements have all but negated their learning. But where am I going....Phd, thats right.

Why is it that the more years you spend in school, the smarter it is assumed that you are? I know it seems trivial, but is it really the case, that the longer you avoid real life, the greater you must be at explaining it? I honestly ran into someone the other day that had just received his PhD in engineering and couldn't find a job. Instead of continuing his search, he just signed up for more classes. This is the kind of people we have telling us what is black and white. The vomit of the real world.

Now I know I am not being fair to all. There are indeed people out there with PhDs whom we should respect. Unfortunately for them, academia is ready to promote anyone with the ability to generate government grant dollars. Their degrees get trivialized.

I guess I am calling for a way for us to filter through the garbage. We need something outside of academia to certify and determine who is actually allowed to call it as it is. (And the US government isn't smart enough to handle the job)

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Arrggg!!!! For those of you who are clueless, tomorrow is the Official Pirate day. Now it is not my place to explain why the 21st of January gets this title, you will have to ask my brother Kevin, who owns the rights to the story. (I would give you his contact details, but I have fears of men in black suits throwing me into a van and interrogating me with fire hoses and electrodes)

In fact, it may be that my government employed brother has enough clout with his boss (The President) that he was able to declare Pirate Day a National Holiday this year. The skeptic would claim that perhaps it is due to MLK jr, but the informed know better.

So while we are on the topic, it became apparent to me the other day that my family is obsessed with "days". And pirate day is the most confusing of them all. For example, all Thursdays are informal pirate days, where one is allowed to growl and argg for no reason; September 19th is international talk like a pirate day; and the 21st is Pirate Day. It would be interesting to see what would happen when both January 21st and September 19th fall on Thursdays and we are short two pirate themed holidays. (unless of courseonly it so happens to be a leap year and the 29th of February falls on a Thursday)

There is also "random profanity" day, not to be confused with random "profanity day", which happens whenever you let a bad word slip. "Random Profanity" Day for some cosmic reason, also happens to fall on Thursday. (But it may shed a light on the common cliche "sailor's mouth") Now some people believe in coincidence. I am not one of them. Especially when you consider that I worked for a store that was only open on Thursday. But now I am getting off track.

Perhaps the most infamous of days in the Brown family is the dreaded "New Hat" day. This day happens few times in ones life and usually coincides with "Mom just gave me the worst haircut of my life" day. While it has been years since one has been declared, beware the clippers.

For any suggestions on future days, please respond below!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Love of Costco

Let's call this one a tribute to Costco. In fact, I think that I am Costco's number one fan (along with Jonny Carinos, but that is another story for another time). What is it, that drives a man 90 minutes away to shop at a store...when an alternative (Sam's clubs) is just five miles down the road....The answer is simple, well maybe not so simple, but clearly intuitive....Let me explain:

I am very familiar with the concept of white trash. I have been called that term many times and just as frequent been told that they are "my people". I guess it comes with the turf when my summer jobs included working for a car dealership, a construction company, and a HUD property management firm (I have obviously seen and heard things that would embarrass sailors and make your children cry). So where is this going....well I am trying to build your confidence that I can, better than most, spot white trash when I see it. It is the whole "It takes one to know one" philosophy. If you do not have this superior ability, take a trip down to your local Walmart (the hive as I call it). This is the easiest place to identify white trash...everyone you see fits the bill. Honestly, one time I entered a Walmart in Columbus Indiana (I am white trash after all) and the pharmacy was a plywood constructed Kiosk in the middle of the store. The only thing more white trash than buying drugs from a wooden box, is going to the local supermarket to have taxes done (Also available at your local Walmart).

But this is not an advertisement for Walmart, as I am definitely not their number 1 fan (As opposed to Costco, Jonny Carinos, and 9 Beans), this is a grievance about Sam's Club. On a side note, West/Lafayette Indiana have about 90 thousand people and 3 Walmarts.

So when we moved here a few years ago we were upset to discover that the nearest Costco was in Indianapolis. But having just been in a massive car accident and literally losing all of our possessions, we needed stuff. Naively, we entered the local Sam's Club. Strangely enough, it looked like a costco, the goods were the same as a costco, even the shopping carts were over sized like costco. But many things were different, and here is why Sam's Club is not the same:

1. The staff at Sam's Club seems to be promoted straight from the nearest Walmart. You know the little survey you get on the credit card machine (Did your cashier greet you today?). If you don't, time to go experience it. Well it seems that all Walmart employees who receive a 90% or better get shipped off to Sam's Club. So instead of seeing the reserved, well kept, college students who staff the costco, you get stuck with the most energetic and friendly mutants drawn from the biggest pool of white trash in the city.

2. Costco customers are usually the "family" or "business" type folk, typically complementing their bulk purchases with the occasional $900 outside clock that provides both the temperature and your horoscope. Usually the Costco shopper is not counting pennies to see if he/she can have the slice of pizza from the diner. Sam's Club, on the other hand, is Walmart on steroids. The Sam's Club shopper has a wad of $20 bills that he/she just received from the local payday loan center, a case of beer, and a box of EasyMac (Dinner for the next two weeks).

3. Nothing good comes from a green and blue store. If you can prove me wrong, please do so.

So, to summarize, although I am white trash, I prefer not to smell my own kind, and therefore, prefer to drive to Costco.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Video of Dobson

Some tricks I have been teaching my dog!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I just started the first of my many future 4 day weekends today and have learned a few interesting facts:

1. The dog does not just sit around the house all day and look out the window. In fact he spends the day rearranging the furniture and burying various items of clothing under the couch cushions and blankets. Then, as if not satisfied with the mess he has made, he starts the process all over again. Every time I try to clean up the mess he looks at me as if to say "Don't you have somewhere else to be?"

2. It is scary how much information can be gathered about you in a few days. I just received the contents of the background check that my future employer performed. We are talking degrees, past salaries, job duties, criminal history (not that it was too exciting), insurance claims, and even whether or not I was indeed alive.

3. There is only so much web surfing you can do, as evidenced by the fact that I am writing this blog instead of checking out the latest in geekdom at Gizmodo, Slashdot and Engadget. (And just to note, the closest thing that spell check can find for geekdom is sheikdom.)

4. The first year of the MBA program wasn't as bad as we all thought it was. At least I did not have to keep myself busy by checking my Amazon order every 3 hours to make sure I didn't miss the delivery truck while I was on the toilet.

5. No matter how many times I refresh, Google maps will not have updated St. Louis to show the construction of our new house. I will just have to be patient and hope that our Realtor keeps me updated on the process. (Here is a picture of the progress)