Please Take This Seriously

When I tell people about my fear of large birds and whales, I’m generally met with confusion. Probably because this information is offered without any context. Once I start explaining my position, the confusion turns to open mocking. “When are you ever going to see an ostrich?” “What have whales ever done to you?” “Wait, but you like sharks? You’re an idiot.”

The responses that I do not receive are those of sympathy and understanding. Despite this, I feel like it’s my duty to share with you some safety precautions designed to protect you against these two very specific types of animal attacks. I could hardly be blamed for sitting idly by and watching one of these former ridiculers get pecked to death by a giant bird. However, I’m not that sort of person.

Please peruse the below two links. It’s the least you can do, for yourself and your loved ones.

How to Survive an Encounter with an Ostrich

My problem with ostriches is this: if I’m going to get into a fistfight with a bird, I want it to be a bird with less than a 98% chance of killing me. And I am certain that an ostrich would eff me up beyond repair. A sparrow attacks me, it’s pretty likely not going to be in his favor. Also, the feathers. I hate feathers because they are musty and awful.

So right away we see that when confronted by an ostrich, the best thing to do is run. It doesn’t matter where: scale a fence, climb a tree like a cat, dive into some bushes, sprint into oncoming traffic. Any of those would be better than getting caught. Because, as you’ll notice, the graphic proves that ostriches have t-rex feet with talons bigger than a person’s head.

If there aren’t any cars around to leap in front of, you may be forced into a face-to-face encounter with feathered death. Should that be the case, your next line of defensive is a long stick or rake.

You’ll want to carry a gardening instrument with you when you go outside from now on. It’s sort of cumbersome, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for a solid 5 feet of wood in between you and Jesus.

You can also try putting a pillowcase over the bird’s head, or giving it a piledriver. These methods are a less effective. You should carry the pillowcase with your rake, though. Again, you hope you don’t have to use them, but just in case.

As much as I don’t like large birds, I’d never wish any animal harm. That being said, this site does have recommendations for last resort defenses. The kind you only use if your life is in immediate danger.

Here I will quote the site:

“If your life is in danger and you have a stout stick, a hard blow to the ostrich’s neck will usually break its neck and kill the animal. A well placed shot into the center of the main body (“center mass”) from a large caliber handgun (.44 or .45 caliber) will stop the ostrich. A machete blow to the neck will also kill the bird.”

I’d go on record as saying I’m pretty sure chopping any living thing in the neck with a big knife would kill it. It’s probably not specific to ostriches, but I guess you can’t deny it’s true. So an ostrich machete in your pillowcase might not be a bad idea.

If you’ve foolishly ignored this advice or aren’t one of the twelve people who read my site, all hope isn’t lost. There’s still a chance of surviving an ostrich encounter, even without a stick or a tiny sword. First step is to get down to the ground ASAP.

NO NOT LIKE THAT. That’s a really great way to get your wiener clawed off or your stomach disemboweled. You’re going to want to lay face down, like the ostrich is searching your for illegal drugs. Here’s why:

“Your back will still be exposed, but this is much safer than if your front were open to attack. Additionally, the ostrich is not able to kick very effectively at an object on the ground, and eventually it will lose interest if you play dead. The bird will still likely stand on you–it’s been described as dancing by some who’ve gone through the experience–and it may even sit on you for a while, but it will most likely not rip you open if you do this equivalent of burying your head in the sand”

You’ll look like a moron and every shred of dignity you have will slowly disappear with each dance move, but you’ll be alive. Maybe.

Follow these rules, and you may just live to tell the tale. Although if it comes to this:

“Ostriches have terrible ground fighting skills. If you can manage to get behind one, cinch your arm around its neck tightly and use your momentum to fall to one side. While on the ground and keeping hold of the neck, make sure to chop the throat repeatedly until the bird loses consciousness.”

… maybe don’t tell that story. I’m sure you’ll relive it enough in your weekly nightmares.

Surviving Being Eaten by a Whale

There unfortunately isn’t a similarly Wikihow page on whale attacks, so this will be to the point. I did, however, find this site that details the horrors that await you in a whale’s stomach.

I will admit that there’s been no evidence that this has ever happened, so that may be why survival tactic literature is scarce. Whales are a dark and mysterious force, though. I don’t think that something that big should be allowed to live underwater where you can’t see it. Even if they aren’t directly attacking a boat, an ill-timed surfacing could ruin a seaside excursion in a heartbeat.

That said, there are no step-by-step instructions or fun graphics showing you what to do if swallowed. There is simply this:

“Unless someone is looking for you, or you have a very large cutting implement and a strong stomach, you may have to be satisfied with simply surviving until starvation takes you or good fortune saves the day.”

That’s pretty much the best case scenario. You’re swallowed. You’re surrounded by tiny fish, flesh-eating stomach acids and what I’m sure if a horrific odor. It’s hard to breathe and your screams echo meaninglessly into the blubber. The you live long enough to get really hungry and die. There’s not even any mention of a specific whale–cutting machete you can use to slice your way to freedom. Your ostrich rake would be useless.

I’d rather be eaten by a shark and at least have an awesome heading for my gravestone.

I hope this has been enlightening. Every once in a while, I try to include content on this site that will prove useful in everyday life. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from these sites, it’s that these animals can and will murder you if given the chance. All we can do is learn how to protect ourselves.

Unless we’re swallowed by a whale. Then we’re boned.

Leela- One Part Fuzzball and Two Parts Badass

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, please forgive this post. It’s going to be filled with pictures you’ve probably already seen. I’m sorry, but when you get a new kitten you’re required to take a photo every time it crosses its paws in a new way. Either way, I’ll try not to drag this out. Maybe I’ll be done writing by the time I finish this glass of wine.

This is the story of Leela. We picked her up on Saturday from the animal hospital where Caitlin’s aunt and mom work. Anyone who watches slightly nerdy animated shows about the future should understand how we chose her name very shortly:

You might be noticing that she only has one eye. It’s an astute observation, and accurate. She was found in a factory/power plant with her brother with a badly infected eye. Once she had it surgically removed, she was good as new. And obviously we decided to name her Leela, after the captain of the Planet Express ship in the hit animated tv show, Futurama!

It’s uncanny, isn’t it?

We quickly learned that the loss of half her vision wasn’t enough to slow her down. Leela was a good choice of name personality-wise, too. She’s definitely an explorer. She’s been running on what seems like 15 total minutes of sleep for the last five days. The rest of her time has been spent running upstairs, bolting back downstairs, carrying her toy ball around in her mouth for no reason, somersaulting, and doing that funny cat crab walk thing. It has truly been exhausting just to watch.

However, it’s also been rewarding. For the longest time, I’ve wanted a kid. It’s probably because I come from an Italian family. Having a kitten is sort of like caring for a baby, or at least must be good practice. A kitten is more resilient than a baby, sure: not many human infants I know would survive a serious eye infection in a power plant. At the same time, you don’t have to stop a baby from chewing on electrical cables. Or do you? I’m going to be the worst father.

We got Leela at the perfect time with Halloween just around the corner. When you have a black cat with one eye, the photo opportunities are infinite. I should have waited to write this so that I could have included a picture of a tiny cat pirate on top of a pumpkin. She’s got a built-in costume for life.

When my sister and brother-in-law got their kitten Curious six years ago, I watched him for a day. Of course, I had him sit and watch Mystery Science Theater with me. Unfortunately, Leela is too excitable and insane to sit through that. I hope that one day, though, I’ll convince her to watch a Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th marathon. It will be then that I can accurately claim to own the greatest cat of all time.

This experience has revealed what kind of parents we’ll be, too. Both Caitlin and I are over-protective and constantly worrying about Leela. I can only imagine how neurotic we’ll be when we actually have a kid. I’m anticipating an attempt to break the world’s record for most consecutive hours awake. Who can sleep when there’s a bay who might need attending to? And geez, we’re already giving Leela foot rubs because she likes to have her paws massaged. I have to remember to not let our child read this site, or he/she will own us.

She knows she has us right in her adorable clutches.

In the end, obviously it’s worth it to take in a kitten who needs you. Caitlin and I have had cats since we were children. Last year we had to put down Caitlin’s cat, and for the first time in 15 years we had no pets to take care of. We both decided that we were ready, and then immediately realize that no, we weren’t. Fourteen straight hours of watching a tiny black blur fly around the house can change your mind pretty quickly.

Just kidding. Leela’s energy is nuts and makes me want to take a nap, yes. But we wouldn’t trade it now. We get as much enjoyment from her as I’m sure she does from not being in a power pant with an injured eye. Any time two entities can make each other mutually happy, you can’t ask for more.

And any time a tough kitten from the streets lives to show off her gold and war wounds, the world shines just a little bit brighter.

I finished my wine over an hour ago, by the way. The Simpsons marathon was on and distracted me.

Times Are Changing (I HOPE)

I’m not very good at this. It’d be easy to blame it on working a lot, or trying to begin preparations for our wedding later this year. Then again, neither of those really have anything to do with me watching the same four shows on Netflix every night. I’m hoping that warmer weather increases my writing output. There’s not much else to do while sitting on the deck listening to music, at least not anything else that I’d be interested in.

There is a lot I have planned in my head for this site, too. Honest. There’s movies to review, video game contests to be played, pointless lists to create, and more. In addition to that (and in ways at the top of my to-do list) I want to work on the site’s appearance- make it more aesthetically pleasing. Those kinds of things are in the works as well, and again should help the content flow forth with more regularity. It sounds like an excuse and maybe it is partially, but I’m going to be a lot more inclined to post if I see a nice, well-designed site with only three entries.

This is just a quick message with the sole purpose of letting people know I’m not dead, just really lazy. There are plenty of miniscule, unimportant things that make me happy and they deserve to be shared. I’m still desperately trying to find my stride, and any readership at this point is seriously appreciated. Even cursory glances when I post something like this. I promise I’m going to keep trying until I find whatever it is that will make this site into what I envision it as in my mind.

Hopefully, we’ll have fun along the way.

Here goes.

Well, it’s about time I got this blog started. I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions because it seems to me that a person should make changes in life based on a genuine want for something different, not on what date the calendar shows. Still, I can get behind why they’re so popular. The weeks following the holidays do feel refreshing, if only because the house is finally starting to smell less like cinnamon. I love Christmas, but I’m also really glad when it’s over and I’m able to clean up and put our skull candelabra back on the table.

Maybe that’s why I feel like starting this now. I do want to make some changes in my life in the coming year, and I think it’ll help me to focus on them if they’re written down. Since one of those goals is to write on as many days as I can (even if it’s something stupid, which 90% of my posts are going to be), I’m already off to a good start!

I’d like to see how long I can go without eating meat. Last year I tried it out for a month, and enjoyed it. Mainly, it’d be something different and a personal challenge, because why not? If you go about it right and do the research, the health benefits are obvious. Aiding me in this quest is the fact that fruits and vegetables are delicious. I want to finally see a psychiatrist about the anxiety issues I’ve always had that are apparently getting worse. Or, at the very least they aren’t getting any better. It’ll be nice to take some responsibility for myself, and at least give myself a chance to get better. I’m not sure if it’ll work, but again, why not try? As a person who relies far too heavily on his comfort zone, it could be the perfect thing to get me started on the path of “not feeling like throwing up at the thought of going to a concert.” Also, a less noble goal is to finish Earthbound for the Super Nintendo, because this is my third time restarting it and I’ll be goddamned if I don’t get Ness past Moonside.

This blog isn’t going to be about only this stuff. It’s going to be about whatever I feel like reviewing, commenting on, showing pictures of, or discussing. Like I said, it’s my hope that I’ll write daily, even if it’s something small that doesn’t make it onto here. The important part is that I write, and get better at it.

Resolutions are a useful tool if you approach them correctly. For me it’s simple; change what you want to see changed for yourself. In the end, I know that I’m the only one I really need to impress.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the Mani Mani statue in Moonside isn’t going to defeat itself. I have a game to beat.