Optical Illusion Dragon

          Download.  Print.  Cut out.  Fold.  Tape.

          Close one eye.  Stare at the dragon's eyes.  Its head seems to bend and follow as you move left and right, up and down.

          Watch the video to see it in action (as well as see how it works).

When someone else says exactly...

...what I'm thinking (only, their je ne sais quality, emphasis, and phrasing could never be improved upon) I embed it:
(It's really a rant worth listening to.)

Dear Neighbor,

          I am writing to you today because of the phone call you made to my employer last week.  According to my supervisor, you are adamant about not receiving anymore of the weekly free coupons wrapped inside a page of recipes and poorly-written articles about consuming, which I've been throwing in the general direction of your half-million dollar house, at the foot of your driveway, behind your fleet of massive urban vehicles and sleek-shiny sports cars, around the time your lawn sprinklers come on (even though it's been raining for the last two weeks).

          My boss said you want me to stop delivering the free "shopper" because:

          [  ]  You never read—always recycle—it, and want to reduce the waste of natural resources.
          [  ]  Are tired of having to walk to the end of your driveway to pick up "trash".
          [  ]  Get tongue-tied trying to pronounce, "deseche el comprador periódico" to your maid or gardener.
          [  ]  Hate hearing the grind-graction of tires/engine at wrong-side-of-the-road-speeds (and/or the thwack-sliizz of plastic wrapped paper on pavement at zero-dark-thirty).
          [  ]  Think what I'm doing is the equivalent of intentionally littering on your property.
          [  ]  All of the above and a bag of condescension.

          Please permit me to rebut thusly:

          I am a 20-year retired Army veteran (Yuup....the patriot card comes off the top of the deck).  Two months ago my fiancee lost her job at almost the same moment as her investment income disappeared; in one month my household wages were reduced by half...she's looking, but hasn't found a new job.  So.  I got a job delivering newspapers and "shoppers".  I have too much pride to be:
          And not just because it is impossible for me to be hypocritical (and pre-bless the charitable with the allure of sky cake) or that I refuserefuserefuse to hang a misspelled sign around my neck asking for charity.  Mostly—it's because I'm physically able to work.  They (advertisers) pay me approximately $1,500 a month to deliver about 450 papers a day as long as I work every day.  Which is enough.  For me.  To pay all my fucking bills.

          At this point I need an all-seriousness-aside bit, because this is getting too.  Way too.

          (1)  The combo-'refuserefuserefuse' makes me think about the first time I read the word 'orangered' and I thought, "Oranger-ed...as in a past tense state of more orange?  Why have I never heard that word before?"

          (2)  When I wrote the word physically in the paragraph above, I wanted to spell it fisically...but that's not right.  Right?  But it's not far off.

         Stop—dear neighbor.  Just stop.  Illuminating your façade with concern-colored spotlights draws attention to your garishly gargantuan footprint.  This is the point where the world that's off the hook on the other side of your television screen/computer monitor intrudes on your real day-to-day.

          Because I need that 8¢.

          Please.  Just take pride in the charity and throw away the evil plastic-wrapped (but still sopping wet) bundle of consumeconsumeconsumecoupons I'm paid to throw at the bottom of your driveway every week (or you could, maybe, learn to ask the help to do it).


—newspaperdudeveach (which, when you say fast, kinda sounds like nudebeach).

PS - If your 'stop delivery' rationale is natural resource based, please take a moment to pause and look at your residence from my vantage point.  Is stopping delivery of the "shopper" at the foot of your driveway the first place to start saving the planet?

PSS - I don't mind thoughtless condescension, I'm only asking that you don't stop the grocery/clothing/drug stores from paying me $3.84 a year to litter once a week on your property.

How to Train Your Cat to Come When You Call Its Name

          This new information is not new.  But—if your brain does not already possess this possibly-useful knowledge—you'll immediately grasp its common sense basis, as you palm-slap your forehead and say, "Where's this simple information been all my life?"

          Dogs come when they are called because their brains easily translate human-speak (no matter the language we use); I posit that German is the best human-language dogs can translate.  I say this, not because I lived in Germany for four years and witnessed it, but because many of the best dog training schools teach humans to speak to their dogs using German-language commands.

          The reason is simple once you know it.  All dogs bark in a staccato manner; their brains are conditioned to hear other-dog communication this way:  noise. silence. noise. silence.  Since German words are barked (even by the most smooth-voiced German orators) teaching non-German speaking humans to use German words when communicating with their dog insures the animal hears sharp, distinct, clipped commands.  There's not much difference between "stop" and "halt"; "come" and "komm"; or "stay" and "bleiben"; but training with German words prevents the human from slipping from "Skipper— pause —come!" to "cummereSkipperboyURschagoodboyThatzrightcummere".

          Cats meow in a tonally escalating-to-descending manner; their brains are conditioned to hear other-cat communication this way: NoooOoiiiIisennNoiseee.  So when you want your cat to come when you call...you need to sing his or her name.  It doesn't matter what words you use in the song as long as it includes the cat's name.  Just yowl in as plaintive a manner as possible.  If your cat knows its name, it'll come to you.  Probably not the first time you sing it, but if you practice sing-calling every day, several times a day, and stroking and praising it when it comes, "My cat never comes when it is called." will soon become, "My cat comes when I call some of the time." and eventually will become, "My cat comes almost all the time."

          Why almost all the time...why not all the time, like dogs?  Because dogs are like Germans.  Punctual.  Practical.  Reliable.  Cats are like you and me (and—if you're German—this is a metaphor.  Stop. Taking. Things. So. Literally.  Good boy).  When our phones ring we check caller ID, decide if we're in the mood, too busy, too tired...and maybe-sometimes we even turn off our phones because we don't want to be bothered.  When you sing-call for your cat in the middle of its nap on the laundry you took out of the dryer but haven't gotten around to folding yet, don't be surprised if it "hits ignore" and goes back to sleep.

          This truth is buried in everything we innately know about dogs and cats.  The best names for dogs are short and roll off the tongue in a punchy, almost monosyllabic manner (Rex, Fido, Jack) while the best names for cats are long and drawn out (Cecil O. Zonkey).  Sure, you may use its short nickname but you realize that's for your own benefit.  Not his.  All he hears is dog-speak.

          When my cat is off doing his own thing and I sing, "whereismyCECILBoy-o-boy-o-ZooOooNKeEeYBoOy..i-sure-missMyCECILloO-ZOoooonKeeey."  He comes.  90% of the time.  I understand it'll be done at cat pace and not dog pace.  Cats need to stretch.  Focus.  Think about their next inactive action.  Smell and listen to check if danger is present.  Then mozy.  It may take a few sung phrases.  He may not arrive for a few minutes.

          I think it's fantastic he only blows me off once in a while since I ignore phone calls from family and friends at least that often.