taking your pet to church

I heard there’s a church that lets you bring your pets to service now.  Apparently it’s been good for their attendance, but I have to wonder if they ever asked themselves: WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?  Seems like there’s quite a few potential issues, and by “potential” I mean likely will happen.  Let’s look at a couple of scenarios.

1) Animals like to explore and smell things.  So they’re going to want to wander around.  Not only would that be a distraction, but it would lead to #2.

2) Fighting.  Are cats and dogs going to suddenly get along because they’re in church?  I doubt it.  It’ll end up like a Looney Tunes episode where the dog is chasing Sylvester, who is chasing Tweety Bird.  It makes for a funny cartoon, but not so great in real life, especially during something as important as a church service.

3) Animals poop.  Well, to be fair, humans do too, but we usually go to a bathroom for such things.  It would be a huge distraction to have animals urinating and pooping all over the place.  Even if you had litter boxes, some indoor pets aren’t housebroken.  (I know, that seems inconceivable, but I know someone who keeps a dog inside who isn’t housebroken. I just don’t understand.)  Either way, poop is distracting, as well as unsanitary.

I could go on, but I figure that’s enough reasons why you wouldn’t allow people to bring their pets to church with them.  What do you think?

the special days of April, pt 2

Now we continue our look at the special days / celebrations / observances in April.  (Click here to see part 1.)

  • 15 Income Tax Day — Honestly, I’d rather not celebrate this.  To me, it’s a deadline, not a holiday.  Nonetheless, it is found on some holiday lists.  Whatever…
  • 16 National Stress Awareness Day — We should aim to live stress-free lives.  That’s a lofty goal, I realize, but it is possible.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be stressful circumstances, but we don’t have to get stressed out.  We can’t completely conquer it on our own, but with the peace of God, we can live without stress and anxiety.
  • 17 Blah, Blah, Blah Day — Apparently this is a day for rambling.  Do you know how much fun it can be to ramble on and on randomly?  It can be hilarious, too.  But you must not force it to happen, because it needs to be spontaneous.  And I don’t mean just talking about the same subject for a long time, to the point that your listeners are totally bored — I mean letting the conversation jump around randomly.  (Some examples are here and here.  Our free-for-all stories are also very random.)
  • 17 National Cheeseball Day — Mmm…  cheeseballs and Ritz crackers…
  • 18 International Juggler’s Day — I know, juggling may not seem as cool as it once did, but it can still be fun.  Try juggling various office supplies in your cubicle at work.  If some go over the walls, that just adds to the excitement.  Your co-workers will get a kick out of it.  🙂
  • 18 Pet Owners Independence Day — This sounded strange to me, so I glanced online to see what it’s about.  No one knows for sure, but one place suggested making your pets go to work while you stayed home to just sleep and eat.  It sounds like a good idea in theory (especially the staying home part), but your pet may not have the experience necessary to competently do your job for a day.  But imagine how funny it would be to see your office filled with pets!  🙂
  • 19 National Garlic Day — Look at it this way : garlic cheese biscuits.
  • 19 Humorous Day — Obviously this means you should be humorous today.  (And, of course, this blog is a great place to do so.)  Some people really need to be humorous more often.  There seems to be an increasing number of humorless people these days, from politicians to lobbyists and special interest groups and the “politically correct” crowd.  We all need to laugh — it’s good for you, and it helps you get through life easier.
  • 20 Look Alike Day — On this day you can choose to look like anyone you want.  You can even choose to dress up like a pirate or a ninja.  Come to think of it, a great holiday would be that everyone had to dress up as a pirate OR a ninja.  That would make work a lot more interesting, plus you would see where everyone stands in the infamous debate over which is superior.
  • 20 Volunteer Recognition Day — I volunteer for this blog, so I qualify.  My salary for providing all this original entertainment is zero, zip, nada.  So if you want to thank me, today is a good day for it.  (FYI, I accept cookies, U.S. currency, free lunches, gift cards, and, of course, verbal thanks.)
  • 20 Cuckoo Day — I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!
  • 21 Kindergarten Day — Perhaps we should all go back to Kindergarten on this day, to realize how far we have come.  We should spend the day coloring, having cookies and milk, and taking naps.  I’m sure there was probably more to kindergarten, but that’s what I remember most.  🙂
  • 23 Lover’s Day — We’ve already got Valentine’s Day, which is enough of a hassle.  Next…
  • 23 Take a Chance Day — What you do today is obvious — take a chance.  For example, suppose there’s a girl you’ve been wanting to ask out on a date, but you’re scared because you don’t know what she’d say.  So on this day, you take the chance.  Even if she totally rejects you and never speaks to you again and gets a restraining order against you, at least you took a chance.
  • 23 World Laboratory Day — I’d like to take a tour of a mad scientist’s laboratory.  (I hear that the Important Evil Genius (E.D) has a lot of retro equipment which would be neat to see, if he still has any working secret lairs.)
  • 23 International Sing Out Day — Sing out, and enjoy singing.  If singing isn’t your gift, you might want to keep it in your car or in the shower, but enjoy your singing.  If you have musical talent, let others enjoy it.
  • 24 Pig in a Blanket Day — This isn’t anything too special, except that you get to eat, which is why I included it.  (There’s not nearly enough eating holidays this month!)
  • 27 National Prime Rib Day — Ahh, here we go, a day to eat steak!  And remember, diets don’t apply on holidays, so order a large steak and get a loaded baked potato to go with it.
  • 27 Tell a Story Day — I’ll tell ya a story, lad — it’s about a guy who got in my way, and it’s not a happy ending.  Oh, wait, that’s not the point.  Today you should exercise your imagination, let your creativity run wild.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a great author or not.  Just write what you enjoy.  Also, we have an outlet here on this blog for such things : our free-for-all stories.  There’s usually one in progress, so click the link to check it out.  You’re all welcome to participate.  It’s a good time.
  • 28 Kiss Your Mate Day — Hopefully you don’t need a reminder for this…
  • 29 National Shrimp Scampi Day — This is what I’m talkin’ about!  Red Lobster, here I come!  They should offer an all-you-can-eat shrimp platter on this day, which includes shrimp scampi.
  • bad hair day30 Hairstyle Appreciation Day — I don’t really care how other people style their hair — that’s their business.  Although some folks’ hair does look a mess, like they didn’t fix it after going to bed with wet hair.  I have trouble appreciating that, even if it is a holiday.  But to each their own, I suppose.
  • 30 National Honesty Day — We should be honest every day.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we have to say everything we’re thinking — there is something called tact.  But we shouldn’t ever lie or be dishonest.

That concludes the special holidays in April.  I hope you found something you could celebrate.

random facts about hippos

I was flipping through the TV channels recently and came across a show on Animal Planet about hippos (that is, hippopotamuses, or is it hippopotami?).  I ended up watching a few minutes of it, and I learned that they are more advanced than humans in a few areas, which surprised me.  Obviously they’re better at being fat, but that’s not something to be jealous of.  Well, maybe they’re just big-boned… because consider this : hippos can run up to 30 mph on land.  30 mph!  Considering that they weigh anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 pounds, and that’s quite an achievement.  They even have stubby little legs.  It’s very impressive that they can reach such speeds given those conditions.  And then all of a sudden I realized what an advantage I have in running, yet I’m pretty sure I can’t get anywhere close to 30 mph, even for a very short run.  That ain’t right!  But that’s okay, because I’ve got a number of other inherent advantages over the hippo (the main one being infinitely more intelligent).

hippoAn interesting little bit of trivia about the hippo is that their skin secretes a natural sunscreen substance, to prevent them from getting sunburned.  It’s initially colorless, then turns red-orange within minutes, then turns to brown.  Sometimes I wish I had a natural sunscreen, like when I want to spend a summer day at the pool or playing baseball.

Another interesting bit of trivia is that the hippo can consume 150 pounds of grass each night.  That’s a LOT of grass!  I couldn’t eat even half of that in a day, even if it was steak with bacon and shrimp.  But that’s okay, because I’d rather not be as big as a hippo.  🙂

Also, I found something we sort of have in common with hippopotami :

Most of their defecation occurs in the water, creating allochthonous deposits of organic matter along the river beds.  These deposits have an unclear ecological function.

Most of us humans prefer to use toilets instead of rivers and lakes, creating deposits of “organic matter” in sewage treatment plants.  And like the hippo, these deposits have an unclear ecological function.  🙂

Speaking of defecation…  🙂  I heard this on the TV show and found it amusing :

To mark territory, hippos spin their tails while defecating to distribute their excrement over the greatest possible area.  Hippos also urinate backwards (are retromingent), likely for the same reason.

I had never heard of that before…  Try to picture that…  I glanced around on YouTube to find a video for your viewing pleasure, and actually found one.  It’s neat to hear the surprised screams of people who are dangerously close.  (On a side note, isn’t the Internet awesome???  You can find anything on it!)  Also, I found where a South African family has a hippo living in their house as a pet.  Now picture the hippo spinning his tail while pooping to distribute his poop over the greatest possible area — in their house.  I would find that hard to live with, but maybe that’s just me.  One of my house rules is no pooping outside of the designated toilet areas.

Glancing at Wikipedia (where I confirmed this data), I found something else kinda amusing :

Hippopotamuses appear to communicate verbally, through grunts and bellows, but the purpose of these vocalizations is unknown.

I’m no important scientist, but I suspect they say the same type of stuff other animals do, like even cats and dogs.  A grunt may mean, “That’s my food, get back!” or “Hey, baby…” or “Whew! I just farted underwater and it’s all kind of stank!”  (My interpolations of their grunts are subject to dispute with certain other scientists, but I happen to know a thing or two about hippopotami.)

Now don’t you feel more educated about hippos?  🙂  You learn something every day, they say…