For the love of dogs…

I guess I am what you would call a dog person.  I have had a dog in my live since I was a child.  I have nothing against other types of pets.  Cats for example are a popular pet.  I have never had a cat but have been around several particularly as a kid.  However, when I reached adolescence I developed a allergy to them and really cannot be around them long without a major reaction.  I imagine people who own cats or other types of pets enjoy them just as much as I do dogs.

But dogs have become special to me.  One of the greatest things I love about dogs is their unconditional love they have for their owners.  Nothing is better than coming home from work and no matter what is going on they get super excited to see you and love on you.  Our spouses and family love us too of course, but events and moods in their lives can mute how they respond to you.  Dogs never seem to have a bad day.  Dogs even can sense when you have had a bad day and many times they seem to do everything they can to lighten your mood.

Dogs love the attention, any attention, that you can give them.  They love to play whether it is tug of war, ball or just bouncing around playing with you on the floor.  They also enjoy just sitting still and letting you love on them while occasionally expressing their love back to you.  They do this in many ways, licking, rubbing against you or simply looking at you.  Speaking of looking at you, may times it seems they can look deep into your soul.  It is as if they understand you in ways that no one else can.

I have four dogs currently.  Two of them are big Labradors (90+ pounds, male and female) and then two Yorkies (9 pound male and 4.5 pound female).  The big dogs live together outside most of the time.  Fortunately our house lot is 1.25 acres so they have plenty of room and a nice two room dog house.  They run around and lay around all over the place together.  The male dog’s main purpose in life is to play fetch.  He loves it.  The female does is mostly interested in following him around and occasionally aggravating him to play until he finally caves in and chases her around the yard.  These two are more independent that the smaller ones which are inside dogs.  But they are content and enjoying life together.  When the weather is bad such as storms, all day rain, really cold or really hot (we are talking Texas) they will come into the house.  They also come in from time to time just because.  They enjoy the and seem appreciative of being let in during the bad weather but they are usually the first to want to go back out to their domain.

The two Yorkies are a different story.  They are inside dogs.  Both are 15 months old (within a week of each other) and they exhibit many of the same attributes as the big dogs.  Mainly, the male dog wants to play a lot although he has not fully learned to let go of the ball when he returns it but he will get there.  The female dog loves to thwart his attempts to chase the ball any chance she gets.  She likes to play as well but not nearly as much as he does.  When not chasing a ball he loves to chase her around the house.  Sometimes it takes a few attempts but he gets her going and she runs from him.  Because she is small she can go places that he cannot such as under the couch.  I think she likes taunting him because she will sometimes go under one and pop her head out from different sides to get him to run around.  When not playing, either with us or themselves they love to sit around with me and the wife and be loved on.  In the evening when things are quiet and the time gets closer to going to bed they love to lay on us and sleep.  Fortunately they are light enough that this is not a problem.

It is interesting to note the dynamics between the dogs.  They all four will acknowledge and play together.  But it is obvious that the big dogs are weary of accidentally hurting the little dogs. On the occasion that all four are together whether inside the house or outside they all get along and seem to enjoy each others company.  When they are separate and in their pairs (big outside vs little inside) it is very obvious that they depend upon each other and do things together.  Until about 5 years ago when I got the first two big dogs I had always only had a single dog.  Nothing against single dog ownership but it is interesting to see how dogs really like being in a pack together.

Anyway, that is my view on dogs.  I love dogs and I do not think I will every have a point in my life in which I do not have at least one with me.  I think they are great!


Quitting John Scalzi and Whatever

Whatever is a website that is put out there by the science fiction author John Scalzi.  John Scalzi has written many science fiction books and has won awards for them.   Although there has been controversy over whether they were deserved or were simply considered best of a very mediocre field of books at the time has raged on in the past.  I have enjoyed his early books but found his books in the last 5+ years to be rather boring filled with the same type of characters from book to book.

Regardless of that, I started reading his blog at whatever many years ago shortly after he made it big with “Old Man’s War”, a good book by the way.  I realize the blogs sole purpose is to get his name out there and to generate traffic with which he could use to market himself.  The blog was filled with interesting tidbits about his life, the book industry and general discussion about various subjects.  While his ideology did not match my own and I found his logic flawed and slanted in many ways I originally never found it too critical or exhibit lack of tolerance for those who did not see eye to eye.  There were some posts like that, but they were not the main trend within the blog. For the most part it was all very respectful.

But over the years, the posts that focused on current events, particularly those that were controversial and related to his personal ideology became much more frequent.  This in and of itself was not too bad but then as those increased so did his attacks and sarcasm against those that disagreed increase, to the point of being juvenile.  Critics are often silenced in varying ways most notably by the original blog post being critical and demeaning of opposing thoughts up front.  Respect, objectivity and tolerance seem to have disappeared.

It has always been and will always be his blog/website.  He is free to be critical of whomever he wants and express whatever views he wants no matter how wrong or close minded it may be.  For me, I used to love to visit the site and read the posts and banter but once the negativity increased I had to simply turn away.  If you share his opinions and limited view on topics you will fail to see the problem.  I quit reading it about 8 months ago and I can say that I find that I do not miss it at all.   Since I have not bought a book of his for years and have found much better authors I find I have plenty of good science fiction to read as well.   For some real good science fiction I would suggest Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds to name a couple.

Nothing new under the sun….

My Dad, who was of the “Greatest Generation” once said to me “Son, there is nothing new under the sun.  Everything is simply a variation on a theme that came before”.   Now, when he said this bit of wisdom to me I was a teenager and gushing over the sheer genius of the movie “Enemy Mine” and how two enemies stranded together learned to respect each other and work together.  My father pointed out many examples of where this particular story line has been used over and over with characters of different countries, sex, race, religion etc.  Being a teenager and stupidly stubborn I refused to buy into it.

Now that I am older I see it all the time.  I remember a few years ago I went to see Avatar with my kids.  Now they thought it was the coolest thing ever and one of them even stated how unique the story was and how it could be applied to learning to understand those from a different culture.   I sort of chuckled and I agreed, but I then pointed out that the storyline was as old as time and helped them to remember when we saw the movie “Dances with Wolves”….. they immediately got the reference and similarity.

Not that the recycling of ideas and concepts is a bad thing, there are many people who make an entire living doing that.  An author, John Scalzi, comes to mind.  I have read several of his books and it is very clear that while he is a good writer he lacks the ability to create something totally new and inventive. The book “Old Man’s War” borrows heavily from Heinlein, Redshirts from Star Trek and Galaxy Quest, Fuzzy Nation is a direct rip-off of Little Fuzzy and, well you get the point. The last book of his I tried, Redshirts, just did not hold my attention and I doubt I will try another of his books for awhile. But that is for different reasons.

Anyway, I still enjoy many movies and books even when I recognize the theme(s) being recycled.  The biggest joy is when I do not recognize the theme in which case it becomes a challenge to find previous examples.


A thought about the Duck Dynasty thing….

Yesterday a firestorm was started when “Phil” from the popular Duck Dynasty show said some anti gay comments.  In particular he talked about a vagina being much more useful and attractive than an anus or asshole.  He also indicate his believe that the gay lifestyle could be a gateway activity to other things such as bestiality and worse things.  Finally he also mentioned that the gay lifestyle was a sin.

I think the big thing that is causing all the drama is the inference that the gay lifestyle leads to other things, some of which are illegal or detestable to everyone in general.  If that is all that people are upset about then I do not think I can blame them.  However, he has every right to say it.  I for one do not think being gay makes one a child molester or want to rape animals.

The other items, asshole vs. vagina and gay=sin are two things I agree with.  NOOOO, I don’t fear (homophobia) or H8 gays.  I have friends who are gay and I love them.  I just think what they do is disgusting, that being the insertion of a body part into an asshole where all the shit is. Just gross!  I don’t care if he is male/male or male/female, YUCK!  “Not tonight dear, I ate a bean burrito for lunch”.  Equally, the thought of two 400 pound people (male/female) having sex is GROSS!   Also being a Christian I agree it is a sin. And Christian or not, it is not a natural activity as it does not propagate the species.  Having said all that, it is their life and they can do what they want.  No one is hurt so I do not find it something to war about.

This is my opinion and I don’t care what you think….



Ramblings on gay marriage and homosexuality in general…

I don’t get the whole gay marriage thing.  Is it really something that one should use as a gauge (for or against mind you) to decide who to elect for president?  Really?  I guess the same goes for abortion (although with this issue a living being loses its’ life), should you really choose your president based upon one issue?  To clear my view on it, should gays be allowed to marry?  I really don’t care, but if a church says they will not perform the ceremony then the government needs to stay the hell out.

Back to the gay issue.  Anytime someone expresses an idea that goes against the gay agenda they are labeled a homophobe.  The last time I checked a “phobia” was an unreasonable fear.  I find this funny because if I think it is gross to stick your body part in someone else’s asshole that is not a fear.  It is an opinion that something is gross. Fear is not any part of it.

So, is being gay a choice or is it a perversion?  If it is a choice then I do not see it being a simple choice.  There is no way I could ever have sex with another guy.  There simply is no stimulation there when I view the naked male body or as a test have made myself think sexual thoughts involving another guy. But I have to wonder, can a gay man have sex with a woman?  I really do not know the answer there other than the evidence that there are several gays I know who were married or dated at one time and I assume they had regular sex with them.  Again, I don’t think I could fake being gay.

So if not a choice then I guess they are born that way?  This might be true, but my quick response to that is that people are born with all sorts of inclinations that prove to be abnormal or harmful to themselves and others.  Things such as dependency (drugs, drink, etc), gluttony, darker sexual perversions (child, bondage, snuff, etc) and if you believe one report, the need for religion.  Am I saying homosexual is evil, along the lines of drug abuse or child molesters?  No, no more than I am saying that gluttons are evil.