Saturday, February 1, 2014

Weekend Pupdate

Today marks the One Weekiversary of having the new pup in our lives, and she continues to be a joy. An exhausting, peeing, pooping, chewing dynamo who also is loving, adventurous, and (thankfully) a calm and quiet sleeper once the sun goes down. She's definitely a keeper.

She also has a name now!

Before I tell you what it is, I want to thank everyone again for their input and suggestions. Every name was seriously considered, and many were ones we'd come up with and tried on for size even before seeing them here (even "Velveeta," as DougM suggested).

Choosing a name was far more complicated than we thought it would be. We had three people considering every nuance, sound, and association a name might have and we went through dozens of choices. Adding to the complications, Mrs. Jarlsberg has a fascinating condition called synesthesia which causes her to mentally see letters and words in specific colors. So some names sounded good, but were the "wrong color" for this little lady. We also agreed that there are more fun names for boy dogs than girl dogs.

Here are a few comments from Mrs. Jarlsberg (which I'm paraphrasing): she loved the "Flying Nun" connection with the pup's floppy ears, and saw the "Dumbo" connection but didn't much go for the name. "Amelia" was a contender for awhile, based on the children's book "Amelia Bedelia" about a young girl, as well as the fact that the shelter we adopted from was on Earhart road. "Brie" was strongly considered because of the cheese connection (it's the Queen of cheeses!) and just sounding nice. "Violet" was a favorite of Mrs. J because the long "i" sound was evocative of the pup's bright eyes, plus she has a "V" shaped marking on her face.

"Callie" was daughter Jarlsberg's choice and could stand for "Calico" like the pup's coloring. We actually tried this one for a day or two but it just didn't stick. "Pepper" had merit and seemed to fit the pup's rambunctious personality.

SOoooo, what did we end up naming this girl? (Drum roll)

Friends, I'd like to introduce you to the official dog of Hope n' Change: Penny!

The name works on a lot of levels for us. Penny (the pup) has got a nice amount of copper coloring and she responded to the name more than any other we tried. She also responds to whistles, and Pennywhistle Park was a little indoor amusement park we took daughter Jarlsberg to when she was very young. Happy memories!

We also think of her as our "Lucky Penny," because we believe she's the harbinger of a much better year than last year, and because she was lucky enough to go from being a feral pup to a shelter dog to a pampered pooch. Who says this country no longer offers upward mobility?

Associations abound: "a penny for your thoughts," "in for a penny, in for a pound," and "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes" (and just look at those ears and eyes!)

And of course, if you pull a penny from your pocket and look at it, you find Abraham Lincoln, The United States of America, and Liberty. Talk about a patriotic moniker! Plus, just to annoy the Lefties, any penny is by definition a one-percenter!

To end on a serious note (which is hard to do when you've got a Ziplock bag in your pocket, filled with bacon-scented treats to reward outdoor peeing and pooping), it's interesting for our family to reflect on the ongoing process of healing following the loss of our dear Maggie (the best name ever) in November. That pain is still deep, and can appear unexpectedly with the speed and sting of a whiplash.  Penny can't take away that pain, but she is a wonderful, loving distraction while time does its slow work.

She'll never take Maggie's place, but she will earn a place of her very own.  There's plenty of room in our hearts for both.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Speaker De La Casa

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Following a recent appearance on the Jay Leno show during which he disparaged Tea Party members for creating a national "disaster" (the short-lived government shutdown which closed access to Mount Rushmore and Old Faithful),  House Speaker John Boehner has now announced a major push for amnesty-style immigration reform just in time to completely screw up any chance of the GOP retaking the Senate in the midterm elections.

The arguments against amnesty are reasonably simple: a flood of cheap labor will further destabilize our already out-of-whack employment picture and further drain taxpayer-funded resources. It will also reinforce the idea that our laws mean nothing.

Then again, to counterbalance that notion, perhaps Boehner could also propose a "get out of jail free" card for law abiding citizens, allowing each to commit one major federal crime and get away with it with no consequences whatsoever...the same deal he's offering to non-citizens.

Boehner seems to believe that the GOP could at least score some political points by completely caving on the immigration issue. Unsurprisingly, he's dead wrong according to surveys which show that immigrants almost always favor the big government, big benefit policies of the Democrats.

And in the process of not winning new votes, he'll also be losing the votes of many conservatives who've simply grown tired of being sold out by the GOP on virtually every issue.

These are the same conservatives who, for a brief shining moment, believed that the disastrous failure of Obamacare would be enough to tilt the midterms in our favor.

Too bad we didn't reckon on the disaster that is John Boehner.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mop Up Operation

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Showing that he's still the bold president of Hope and Change in our faltering nation, Barack Obama used his State of the Union Address to announce that he is using his magic Executive Order powers to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for federal contract workers "including janitors" (according to an enthusiastic White House statement).

The White House further stipulates that this pay raise will improve morale, lower turnover, and boost productivity, leading to federal bathrooms which aren't just clean - but zestfully clean!

The pay raise, which will only apply to new government contracts in 2015, will not be limited to janitors. The White House points out that people who cook food, do laundry, and wash dishes will also find themselves with enhanced productivity (not just washing dishes, but washing the hell out of them!) and sky high morale which will be exhibited by singing Stephen Foster spirituals.

The executive mandate is intended to shame the rest of employers into supporting a higher minimum wage...even if it translates to fewer employees receiving those wages.

But truthfully, any debate isn't really about the minimum wage at all. Rather, it's about maximizing class envy, demonizing capitalism, and masking the job destroying realities of Obama's policies.

And no number of slightly better paid janitors will be able to clean up that stink.

Monday, January 27, 2014

You Said A Mouthful

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Tomorrow night, Barack Hussein Obama's teleprompter will get a good workout as the president juts his imperious chin and delivers yet another State of the Union address. A great national tradition which we like to think of as "The Fifth of You Lie."

Although the exact text of his remarks isn't yet known, the likely topics he'll cover are already leaking in the media like a dollar store colostomy bag.

His major thrust is going to be "income inequality" and all that goes with it - jobs, the economy, education, and a half-century of progressive, overfunded social programs which haven't made a dent in poverty. Actually, he'll skip that last bit because it now seems like the biggest factor in creating upward economic mobility is having a stable family structure - something to which the Left is adamantly opposed.

The president is also expected to declare that Obamacare is actually a huge success and, after the laughter, hoots, and air horns from the GOP members of the House and Senate die down, quickly change the subject.

Mr. Obama will also push for "common sense" immigration reform, because it's only "common sense" to reward those who've flagrantly broken our laws and strained our national resources. An idea echoed by the Department of Homeland Security's chief on Friday when he declared that illegals "have earned the right to be citizens." Showing that our new secretary at the DHS has an amazingly poor understanding of "rights," "citizens," or for that matter "homeland effing security."

The president will also declare victory in his with Iran, avoid saying doodly-squat about Iraq or Afghanistan, and work in at least one major plug for Hillary Clinton's upcoming presidential run rather than run the risk of being kneecapped by a member of the Arkansas mafia.

Finally, Obama is going to put on his frowny face and make it clear that, while he's willing to work with the opposition party (breaking precedent with, oh, his entire life), if he finds the GOP to be foot dragging on little things like the Constitution, the budget, the separation of powers, and an obsessive attachment to reality, he's willing to issue magic executive orders to get his way, and will use the dark side of The Force to crush the esophagus of anyone who dares talk back to him.

Which he can get away with, of course, because criticizing the president's dark side is racist.


We still haven't settled on her name yet (though we're narrowing the list), but the new pup is already bringing a lot of happiness to the Jarlsberg family. Here, she executes a quick security sweep of the perimeter.