Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Good, Bad, Ugly

George and StanleyUncle Cowboy is still sleeping. Appears to be hungover. We're going to let him sleep just a bit longer.

This is Stanley. You might recognize me and George from our Hallmark cards. In addition to being a card model, George is my co-hort in daily barking, slobbering, licking people, pooing & peeing, snack eating and shredding toys. The list is longer, but I am keeping it high level for now.

Staying with Cowboy is not too bad, but he works too late. Granted, he goes in later than our mom, but then it's like already dark when he comes home. That sucks.

George here. I love the yard, chasing squirrels and digging holes. It's also tons of fun running up and down the stairs. But where's the damn doggie door? Cowboy's home is worthless without a doggie door. No re-sale value at all. Cowboy also is not near as free as Mom with the dog treats. Stingy describes it best.

Last night he came home and it was still light outside. Stanley and I chased (mostly me, Stanley really just watches me) a few squirrels in the yard and played. Then, that Cowboy slapped on our sports bras and we went terrorizing all things along Parvin Road and around the 'hood. Came home and were pooped. Collapsed on the floor.

Stanley again. As George said, we were tired. After our Three Dog Bakery all-natural entree mixed with just the right amount of dry food, we played with the purple spider.

With dinner vanished, we decided to take on Cowboy with some drinking games. For every 20 laps of vodka or magarita we took, collectively or singularly, he had to down a drink. It was a riot. That Cowboy got so ripped he held that purple spider and let us chase him around the house. We caught him and snagged that purple spider a few times. We all passed out soon after the evening news. Full and happy.

Mom comes home today. She's been retreating with litigators. Whatever the heck that means. We never retreat. Not even when the tough dogs look twice at us. I just lick them, but I have George trained to attack at my command. Until next time. Stanley (and George) out.

Goal Is Set

Kansas City's United Way campaign is in full force. The officical citywide campaign start took place in September. The kickoff breakfast was a great, rah-rah event that was designed to fire up the team.

My co-workers and I walked over to the Marriott for the breakfast. Everyone seemed to enjoy and left feeling part of a greater effort that truly impacts our community. That's always good. The link above is to an article from The Kansas City Star. It also includes a video.

Side story: Local news anchor, Michael Scott, hosted the kickoff. The weekend just before this breakfast I actually saw Michael getting out of his SUV while out and about in a trendy area of town. I honked and waved, all excited that I saw a "celebrity." I didn't hear anything, but friends traveling with me that night indicated they didn't think he shouted a nice response. After the kickoff breakfast, I of course couldn't resist approaching him and mentioning that I saw him recently. He asked, "Did you honk as you passed by?" I confirmed it was me. He was heartily humiliated and then apologized for telling me where to go.

This year's goal is a half-million dollars less than last year. That bums me a bit, but I also appreciate realistic goals. We're aiming for $38 million!

Boyz Are Back In Town

George and Stanley arrived Tuesday morning. They are staying with Uncle Cowboy through Saturday. Their mom is taking care of work in Maine and then going on a retreat. Without her, we are expecting barrels of fun times. There may be an occasional accident but fun nonetheless.

Over my lunch break Wednesday I ran to a nearby Target and grabbed an orange hand and a purple spider. The Boyz loved the toys. Gotta love Halloween. Always good for something fun, something orange, something new.

Arrived home from Houston Monday night. Jetted down there Saturday morning for the main purpose of attending my first Oklahoma State football game for the season. My Cowboys took on the Cougars of the University of Houston. Sadly, we lost. And the last eight minutes or so of the game included a good down pour of rain. Had a good time, though, and there were lots of orange-clad folks in attendance.

While in Houston, I also spent time with LLYNNT and met Amy from No No Bad Cats. Very nice visits. Of course, also grabbed a couple of Hard Rock Cafe guitar pins too.

Noticed very wide-ranging gas prices in Houston. One station, near Hobby Airport, was at $1.99. Most common was about $2.16-$2.17. Near highway exits, I saw as high as $2.46. It was interesting.

Heard on the news Tuesday night that the Kansas City area has the lowest gas prices in the nation. The highest was Hawaii at over $3. My Shell is still at $1.99. All the Raytown stations are $1.97, with the CITGO and Valero at $1.96. An fyi. Just in case you were curious.

It's Going To The Dogs

Appears there might be a battle for the dog vote in Maryland.

That state's current lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, is the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. In a recent television ad, he says "Hey, me again. Michael Steele. Soon your TV will be jammed with negative ads from the Washington crowd. Grainy pictures and spooky music saying 'Steele hates puppies'".... It is a must-see ad, I promise. View it on his website.

The response from the Democratic camp "Ben Cardin shares Michael Steele’s affinity for puppies. He does not, however, share Michael Steele’s affinity for the Bush agenda."

I dare, double dare, just one of them to profess their love for cats.

While on my soapbox, during this election season, I believe politicians should be using the correct terminology. The PC terms are as follows:
- "Pet" is now Companion.
- "Owner" is now Care-Giver or Guardian.
- Feline-American and Canine-American also are preferred.

Dangers And Positives Of Drinking

For a second, wondered if I was drunk while driving home tonight. That's because I couldn't believe what I was seeing, which somtimes can occur if you've been drinking. Just one of the many reasons why folks should not drive when they've had too much to drink.

To my point ... as I made the exit to come home tonight, I saw that the price at the Shell station was $1.96. I'm not kidding. Just reading that I bet you're wondering if you're drunk. When I left the office in Lee's Summit, prices out there and through Raytown were $2.08-$2.09. Some "Letters to the Editor" predict gas prices will drop to around $1.80 about a week before the November election. My hope is that the prices will fall even lower than that.

By the way, a recent study published in the Journal of Labor Research concluded that people who drink earn more money than those who don't. You read that right. I promise, you are not drunk. At least as far as I can tell. The study results indicate drinkers earn 10 percent to 14 percent more than those on the wagon.

Here I was thinking that shot of scotch in the morning and margarita at lunch was just to help take the edge off of each day. With all that extra moola, my thought is to spring for the next round!

Listen Closely

Volunteered Saturday with the StoryCorps project. The traveling recording studio is at Kansas City's City Market through next weekend. (By the way, Wayside Waifs had its traveling adoption center next to StoryCorps today. I did check out a few monsters.) StoryCorps is an oral history project, reminiscent of a project that took place in 1936 through 1940.

Two studios are touring the country, plus there are two permanent studios in New York City. Folks schedule appointments to interview a loved one, family member, friend, co-worker or whatever in order to capture their story. Whatever it may be. It's all about just getting people to tell their story and encouraging everyone to listen. The recordings will be stored in the U.S. Library of Congress. Excerpts air on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" every Friday. Many stories also are on the StoryCorps website.

photo from The Kansas City StarI actually thought about asking Meg to go with me, thinking I could talk about My Monster and she The Boyz. We could represent those loved by pets. The people who did come by Saturday for interviews were thrilled to be included in the project and anxious to share their stories. It was awesome being a part of it. I very much enjoyed visiting with the participants and the people stopping by to ask questions or aware of the project and offering support.

Additionally, an aviation show was going on at the Downtown Airport and an Artfest. Much activity. It was fun to stroll through the artwork with the roar of the Blue Angels overhead. Their speed, loudness and aerobats always cause everyone to look up into the sky. It was amazing to see them soar around downtown. Lots of other interesting airplanes too.

The day was fun, even as temperatures topped 90 degrees. After volunteering, my late-lunch treat was a tasty California club sandwich at Succotash while perusing the paper. I rode the city bus down there and back home in order to not have to deal with parking and to pretend like I live in a big city. It was a top-notch day, capped off with my Cowboys winning! No way that I could possibly complain.

Check Out Lola

In between some college football action Saturday, did some channel surfing and came across an "Inside Edition" episode. It was there I saw a bit about a special cat named Lola.

Ten-week-old Lola walks on her front paws. According to "Inside Edition," Lola-from MaxFund.orga genetic defect left her with almost no control over her back paws. It means her front paws have to do all the work. This little monster is at the MaxFund No-Kill Animal Shelter in Denver, Colorado. The folks there are hoping to find just the perfect home for Lola. For Colorado residents only, the shelter is hosting an adoption contest for Lola. Details are on their website. She truly is a beautiful.

Unconstitutional Burden

Big news. A judge in Jefferson City, Mo., (our state's capital) on Thursday struck down the Missouri ID Voter law. It just recently was enacted, but has been controversial since its proposal. Republican leaders said it was to prevent potential voter fraud. Democrats said it was to hinder potential Democratic voters from going to the polls in what is anticipated a close U.S. Senate race.

Can't say I supported either side. I just didn't like the law.

In his ruling, Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan wrote, that "for the elderly, the poor, the under-educated, or otherwise disadvantaged, the burden (to get the necessary documents in order to obtain the photo ID) can be great if not insurmountable, and it is those very people outside the mainstream of society who are the least equipped to bear the costs or navigate the many bureaucracies necessary to obtain the required documentation."

He also wrote that "while a license to drive may be just that: a license and not a right. The right to vote is also just that: a right and not a license."

An appeal is likely.

Calling All Cars

Meant to post something on this topic in early August and boom, just like that, we're staring at mid-September. Oh well.

Primary elections have passed and the stages are being set for the November elections. If you're not registered, please do it today. The years without a presidential election always have a much lighter turnout. However, these are very important elections this year. Vote!

Here's a link to a story that aired on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. It originally was a locally produced story about Missouri's voter ID law that was picked up as a national story. So, in Missouri we have to say, "If you don't have an ID, gather your paperwork/documentation in order to verify your identity, get your ID, then register to vote."


The Natural Way

Recently read about an interesting Relay for Life that took place at a nudist resort in Florida. It's pretty cool that these folks decided to have this event in order to help raise funds to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Special activities at the relay reportedly included a topless kissing booth, topless women painting their chest with fabric paint and then blotting them onto t-shirts that were sold, and naked runners. It was all part of their Relay for Life. The benevolence of these folks should not go without notice. Agreed?

Pic from nakedcowboy.com-peforming in New York CitySpeaking of nakedness, I thought I should clear up something. Just in case.

Naked Cowboy is not this Cowboy, yours truly.

Naked Cowboy is a street performer in Times Square. He strums his instrument, um, guitar, wearing boots, a hat and tightie whities. The buffed-up dude evidently is a tourist favorite. And for a buck or two, stuffed into his cowboy boots, you too can pose for a pic with him next time you visit New York City's Times Square.

The big news is that Naked Cowboy's debut album is now available. I haven't checked out the tracks on the album, but I bet it includes all the regular cowboy favorites. As news of his album hit all the media outlets, I was worried that some of you cats might be wondering if it is this Cowboy singing in Times Square with perky nipples on a cold day. Have no fear, you each will personally know when I decide to don my debut album, or for that matter, sing naked in Times Square or anywhere else.

Just A Quickie

George W. made a quick visit through Kansas City Friday. I had scheduled the day off (before I knew of the visit), planning on going out of town for OSU football. I ended up staying at home the entire day, mostly working, but I also mowed. As a result of being home, I caught news coverage of the visit that I would not have seen if I had been at the gig.

The event he attended was a private affair. A fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Jim Talent who is facing a tight re-election race. An estimated $600,000 or so was raised, according to news outlets. Mr. Bush was in and out of town within just a few hours. I live between Kansas City's downtown and the airport. I bet he thought of me as he passed by my home.

In an effort to provide equal time I mention again that Mr. Talent's Democratic opponent is Claire McCaskill. I saw on the news that Bill Clinton was scheduled to host an event for Ms. McCaskill in St. Louis on Saturday.

The fundraiser for Mr. Talent took place in the home of Scott Ward in a super-nice Kansas City neighborhood just barely on this Missouri side of the state line. Mr. Ward is co-president of Russell Stover Candies. He's a longtime Republican supporter. I saw on the news that although the event was very exclusive and private at $1,000 a person, nearby Mr. Ward's home were 300 or more protesters.

MegMacB tells me she got caught in the motorcade road blocks. She of course whipped out the camera and snapped a few pics to record the event. Mostly of people frustrated that they couldn't get where they were going. I'll try to steal a pic if she posts them on her blog.

I wish I would have been out and about and could have witnessed the event. That night on tv I did see the wife of someone I work with/for interviewed by one of the local news stations. I need to schedule my days off better so that I am a participant and not a news watcher. Next time.

Last Price Update

At the Shell not too far from the home, regular unleaded was at $2.43 on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Wahoo! I still believe there is room to go lower. However, I am afraid we have become accustomed to the $3ish prices. Now, we feel totally lucky and will take whatever we get.

In any case, I keep wanting to bring up the fact the prices are going down simply because there always is so much news when the prices are going up or hovering above or right at that $3 level. It's funny what the news reports. It's not "news" when prices are falling. Will it still be big news when big oil companies report smaller profits? Still, there will be profits, but not as big I'm sure.

I'm not going to report again until prices are close to $1.99 (are you outta your mind?).

Never forget, demand is a big factor in how prices are set.

Now if I can only get that Shell station to sell me the winning PowerBall ticket. It's at a sweet $102 million currently. Oh ... the stuff I'd do ....

Pigs In A Blanket

We've got a big race in Missouri for a U.S. Senate seat. It's one of only a handful of senate races that is considered a toss up. The two cats running are sure to have a tight race.

Incumbent Republican Jim Talent won a close one six years back. He's being challenged by Democratic candidate Claire McCaskill. Most political insiders believe she's a formidable opponent. Here's a link to election analysis according to The New York Times. Click here for the Missouri details. It might require registration.

McCaskill currently is Missouri's State Auditor and did not step down from this position when she ran in 2004 for Missouri's governor. One of her only, maybe it is her only, election losses. She announced in August 2005 that she would oppose Jim Talent. Both Talent and McCaskill easily defeated their opponents in their respective primaries on Aug. 8, 2006. Polls consistently show the two running within a few percentage points of each other. The race is predicted to be one of the most closely watched in the nation in 2006.

(Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt talked to Justin Hoback about his grand champion ham while Missouri State Fair Queen Tyne Morgan smiled during the annual ham breakfast at the state fair in Sedalia, Mo.)

These two senate candidates, along with Missouri's Gov. Matt Blunt and other state officials, attended the Governor's Ham Breakfast. The annual event took place a few weeks ago at the Missouri State Fair. Because of the anticipated close senate race, a few national news outlets were at the breakfast following Talent and McCaskill. It added a certain element of excitement in addition to the ham eating. I hope neither kissed a pig for the camera.

This Cowboy had an opportunity to attend the breakfast and even had brief encounters with both of the candidates. One sat in my chair when I stepped away just for a moment, while the other stopped and posed for a photo opportunity. It's had to pass up a chance to mug with a Cowboy, I'm sure of it.

My claim to fame...Jim Talent sat in my chairMcCaskill and Talent have agreed to an Oct. 8 debate on NBC's "Meet the Press." More details about each of the candidates are available on their websites:
talentforsenate.com claireonline.com

It used to be said that as "Missouri goes, so does the nation." Not certain it is as true as it used to be. However, the state is one of the most equally balanced with urban/suburban, rural/city population, income, racial, education and many other "measures." The outcome of the election will be interesting.

Cat Bloggers Unite!

Cat bloggers pay attention! Please use your electronic abilities and go to parade.com. This Sunday-insert news magazine is featuring a voting contest for your all-time favorite television dog. That's right, I said D-O-G.

While at the site, though, place a comment asking when the all-time favorite television cat list will be published. We must mobilize our furry population (and those that love you) and demand equal representation. Surely there is no way we can allow Parade to get away with this.

One of my favorites was Toonces from Saturday Night Live. How about Salem on Sabrina the Teenage Witch? I always loved his attitude. Speaking of attitude, we always have Garfield (Snoopy was leading the dog list when I checked). Oh, and Sylvester, Tom and Tony the Ti. Ooops. Sorry. He's a tiger. And remind me, was "Smelly Cat" just a song on Friends or was there also a cat? Can you think of more?

It's up to all of us to unite and make this happen. It's the right and good thing to do.