The Otto-man Empire Begins…


Disclaimer: I cannot take credit for coining that phrase, my brother-in-law came up with it and I must credit him for it. Thank you, Chris!

Meet Lincoln’s new friend and Matt’s 31st birthday present…Otto von Moritz Hennig. He’s called Otto for short and we picked him up at the Heartland Humane Society in Ottumwa, a very nice no-kill shelter. He’s about 1-2 years old, and 75 lbs. of gentle German Shepherd. Extremely well-behaved, smart, yet doesn’t quite know what to think of stairs or his two new feline siblings.

To explain his name, Otto is Matt’s great-grandfather’s name and Moritz is my great-grandfather’s name. We found out that German Shepherds (the fancy pure-bred show variety) are typically given a name with “von” (in English it means “from”) in it to imply nobility. Well, we decided immediately to “classy up” Otto and give him a proper German name. I’m sure somewhere two fine old German great-grandfathers are rolling in their graves, with the knowledge that their progeny decided to honor them by naming their dog after them.

He arrived at the shelter by showing up on the shelter director’s doorstep with another dog. Ads were run, people were inquired and while someone claimed the other dog, no one claimed Otto. We look forward to it as an opportunity to give him a good home and get a family companion as well.

I particularly will be getting used to having a dog, as I am a self-avowed cat person, one cat away from Cat Lady territory (Cat Lady should always be cat-i, I mean CAP-italized because it implies a known medical condition). The rule of thumb is that you can have two cats, with the argument that they keep each other company, but cross that line to three cats and you are on the Crazy Cat Lady Slippery Slope…I mean, what’s 4, or 5 cats when you’ve passed 2?).

Food, Folks and Felonies


There is a serious epidemic lurking in Iowa…starving thieves. Some sort of bizarre food-related crime spree appears to be taking place. No pork chop or petits fours is safe. Recent stories from the Register’s Crime Section confirm this disturbing trend. Hey, I will take this anyday over being the murder capital of the US…

Hungry thieves take 50 pounds of chicken legs
Dated 1/13/06

Hungry burglar made pizza before fleeing
Dated 1/12/06 (from Cedar Rapids)

Man robbed after he bought suspects beer
Dated 12/28/05 (from Council Bluffs)

Doughnuts help police track down suspected lottery machine thief
Dated 12/20/05

Love that Chicken from Iowa Part 2

I saw the following article in the DM Register and I had to mention Popeye’s again…
Cajun lovers happily form long lines for Popeyes

Will somebody please explain this to me? Anyone? I’m seriously grossed out that anyone would wait two hours to eat at Popeye’s. Calling Popeye’s “Cajun cuisine” is like saying the Olive Garden serves “rustic Tuscan fare”…and really meaning it.

I’m not getting it…really. It’s a slightly spicier KFC, folks, that’s it. And not even really good spicy southern chicken (again, my partiality to Bojangle’s).

Now wake me up when a Crate and Barrel or Trader Joe’s comes to DM…

Cheer, Cheer, For…?

I’m somewhat conflicted. I always root for my alma mater, but DePaul hasn’t had a football team since the 1930’s. Who to root for in college football? Well, any good Catholic will pull for Notre Dame, especially one who has lived in the Chicagoland area. But when it comes to basketball, the loyalties go to the mother school. Like yesterday. DePaul 73, Notre Dame 67. Well played, Blue Demons. If I actually remembered the fight song, I would hum it.

In Honor of Felis Catus

I think this passage from Nicholas Wade’s extremely well-written article “DNA Offers New Insight Concerning Cat Evolution” in Friday’s New York Times just sums up the domesticated cat perfectly:

“Later, several American cat lineages returned to Asia. With each migration, evolutionary forces morphed the pantherlike patriarch of all cats into a rainbow of species, from ocelots and lynxes to leopards, lions and the lineage that led to the most successful cat of all, even though it has mostly forsaken its predatory heritage: the cat that has induced people to pay for its board and lodging in return for frugal displays of affection.”

Yes, we’re the suckers who spoil our two fat, non-predatory beasts. While one is almost needy with seeking affection, the other is most frugal indeed with his displays.

Full article here.

Lincoln’s New Year Resolution…


Mischief the Cat: The Poster Cat for Pet Weight Loss
This cat lost 11 lbs. last year to win pet slimmer of the year 2005 in the UK.

From Reuters:
Pets losing battle of the bulge?
Fri Jan 6, 2006 9:41 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) – Just like their owners, a growing number of British pets are becoming obese and face chronic illnesses such as heart complaint, diabetes and arthritis, according to research Friday.

A survey of British vets and owners showed that one in three pets, or 33 percent, were considered overweight and 38 percent of pet owners said their animals put on weight over Christmas.

Despite this, few owners plan to put their pets on a diet.

“Pets, like their owners, tend to expand a little over the Christmas period,” said Frances Wright at Halifax Pet Insurance, who conducted the survey.

The survey said signs of obesity included a sagging stomach, bulging sides and a reluctance to take exercise.

How exactly do pets put on holiday weight? Mine will only eat their Iams pellets, drink their water and they won’t touch human food, except for the occasional bit of ice cream.

Hmm, sagging stomach, bulging sides, reluctance to exercise, check…check…check. Of course, we’re talking about the cat here.