Don’t Ask Me

Hnelp Nme!

I’m not sure what’s going on in this photo I took a couple years ago, but I came across it while looking for Calendar Squirrel nominees and realized I hadn’t shared it yet.  It kind of looks like this squirrel’s got his nose stuck in that nut he’s holding, and is starting to freak out that he can’t extricate himself from the situation.  That’s the best I can come up with anyway.  If you have any alternate ideas of what’s happening in this strange Saturday Squirrel picture, clue me in with a comment!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Calendar Squirrel – Cover

I did my hair for the occasion. Do you like it?

The champagne has popped and Baby New Squirrel has arrived in The Nest’s project where I’m allowing you, the squirrel adoring public, to choose the representatives for each month in our virtual squirrel calendar.  Last week you all voted for the December squirrel.  Let’s see how that turned out…

There’s an extra manual vote for Hover Squirrel I neglected to add in there, but it didn’t matter since Can’t Reach handily won out the final spot in our 2020 calendar!  Let’s hang the prize just over his head now and see what happens…

Oh, you are an evil bastard!

So that’s it, right?  Naw, this is too much fun!  Let’s extend the voting for one more week and choose a squirrel to grace the cover of our imaginary calendar!  To come up with the field for this final poll, I took the best of the runners up from previous months that I thought would look good as the face of our project.  Now imagine you were in a store shopping for a calendar….. which of these beauties would be most likely to entice you to buy The Nest’s sciurine calendar?  Amazingly, none of these photos even won for their respective month!

#1. Smile

#2. Evil Squirrel

#3. Podium Squirrel

#4. Eating His Greens

#5. Blondie

#6. Swishy Tail

#7. Mr. Peanut

#8. Fierce

Which one of those adorable little critters do you think should be plastered on the cover for all to see?  Vote below!  If you don’t see the poll below, bring it to my attention in the comments and include your vote!

Voting ends next Wednesday night the 20th!  This is your last chance to make a small mark on sciurine history….

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please choose wisely!

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The Business

a box full of junk

Hold out your hands and close you eyes, I’m going to give you a big surprise!  Actually, it’s going to be a big surprise to me as well, since this is Wednesday and that means we’re letting the fickle finger of fate direct this morning’s post.  Welcome to another completely chaotic version of Random Image Inspiration!  We can’t do this without the Randomator picking us some completely made up numbers now, so let’s fire this mother up…

7, 100, 65, 92

The 7th post in my Reader was this one by Pam

The 100th word in that post is “here’s”

The 65th word in that post is “to”

Putting “here’s to” into Google Images brought this up as the 92nd result…

NIGEL: Left leg forward…. now look just a tad to the right.  Yes!  Hold it!  (snap!) Perfect!

ARIEL: Can we please turn the giant fan off now, Nigel?  I’m freezing in this dress!

NIGEL: Just one more….. (snap!)  magnifique!  We’re done with the shoot now, Miss Ariel!  You have been a pleasure to work with as always!

ARIEL: I know, I know.

NIGEL: I just need to get these proofs to my graphic designer for proper Photoshopping…

ARIEL: There’s no need to touch up photos of supermodel Ariel!  I’m a natural beauty.

NIGEL: Now, now, Miss Ariel… you’ve been in the business long enough to know how the game is played.

ARIEL: I suppose there is a beauty mark or two that could be removed… but otherwise, my skin is completely flawless!

NIGEL: And that’s the issue, Miss Ariel.  With all the outcry from women about how models are setting an impossible standard of beauty… I’m afraid we’re going to have to make you look more “real” in the magazines.

ARIEL: What are you talking about, Nigel!?!?  You had best not mar my pristine image!

NIGEL: We won’t change much I promise you, dear!  We’ll just add a little flab to your forearms…

ARIEL: You wouldn’t DARE!!!!

NIGEL: …and a few lines below the eyes.  Maybe add a touch of yellow to your teeth…

ARIEL: Nigel, this isn’t funny anymore….

NIGEL: Oh, and those breasts.  At your age, they really should be drooping a bit, don’t you think?

ARIEL: I’m TWENTY-NINE for crying out loud!!!!!

NIGEL: Yeah, sure.  I know how that works.  Oh, and it’ll be nothing for our crack visual effects guy to throw in a few varicose veins and some toe fungus…

ARIEL: This is an OUTRAGE!!!  I work my tail off maintaining this perfect body, and you… you want to…..

NIGEL: Sorry, Miss Ariel, but the new world conscience demands a more realistic take on beauty.  I’m afraid this will be your last shoot as a supermodel for our magazine.

ARIEL: But… but!!!

NIGEL: Ah, right on time!  Miss Ariel, meet your replacement, Marge!

MARGE: Howdy.

ARIEL: You’re replacing me with some middle aged cow with a double chin and a unibrow!?!?

NIGEL: Yes!  Isn’t progress wonderful?

MARGE: (Burp!) Mind if I hit the catering table?

NIGEL: Sure, help yourself!  Ariel never eats anything from it anyway…

ARIEL: I quit!!!!

Three hours later….

NIGEL: Thank you so much for modeling for us, Miss Marge.  Our readership will be so thrilled to see a real woman wearing one of our lovely dresses!

MARGE: (Talking with her mouth full) Don’t mention it, sugar.  Can I see how the pictures turned out?

NIGEL: Absolutely!  Don’t you look gorgeous?

MARGE: Wow, I (burp!) don’t even recognize myself!

NIGEL: That’s the power of Photoshop, my dear!  It makes reality look so much more pleasing to the eye, don’t you think?

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Share Your World – Week 45

It’s colder than a witch’s tit out there right now…

It’s time for us to cozy up around the fire as we endure the harsh winter month of November… and what better way to light that fire than by burning a few brain cells coming up with our answers to this week’s Share Your World challenge hosted, as always, by Melanie.  This one goes out to all of you who were dreaming of a white Veterans Day…

Time to get the world out of the icebox…

Is copying and pasting images or information off the Internet plagiarism?   Do you credit those whose work you ‘borrow freely’ or do you think the idea is repugnant?

The internet’s a bit of a trickier “source material” than old fashioned forms of media.  Words and images (ESPECIALLY images) get copied and recopied ad nauseum to where even the most “ethical” writer would find it near impossible to try and credit the true “owner” of said work.  When I set about finding images off the internet to compliment my posts, I honestly don’t worry at all about where the image came from and what website I even got it from… because more than likely, the actual source is far down a virtual rabbithole I couldn’t trace if I wanted to.

All rights reserved, or I’ll throw a temper tantrum!

On rare occasions where the image is an actual artwork that I can definitely verify the originator for, I have credited the source in my caption.  But other than that…. nah.  Given the nature of the internet, and only exacerbated by social media… if you post an image online without some kind of digital signature in it, it’s pretty much de facto public domain.  As for information, I do try to link to articles whose info I reference (particularly Wikipedia, which is my favorite source since I’m lazy) since images are much more likely to be hijacked than words…

As for those bizarre sites that like to copy and paste entire articles and post them without credit… I have no idea what their motive even is or if anyone even visits them.  If a tree gets copied in the forest, and nobody’s around to be misled, is it really plagiarism?

Help! This tree’s plagiarizing my fur color!

Do you let sleeping dogs lie?

FUZZYWIG: Lovely.  My favorite dope smoking chair is being occupied.  Time for your 4:20 alarm clock, mutt….

FLEABAG: BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! CALL BOB BARKER! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!

What’s the strangest pet name (for adults) that you’ve ever heard someone called?

I’ve got nothing.  So instead, here’s a picture of Santa Claus wearing bunny ears in a hilarious Easter episode of Shelf Critter Theatre…

Need some fishnets to go with that look, Santy?

Do you like to dance?   If yes, what’s your favorite and if no, why not?

I will move and gyrate to music with a nice beat, and that’s about it.  Dancing is a social activity, so…. no.  Back in elementary school, the PE teacher made us learn how to square dance…. and no, while my city is definitely white trash, we’re not a hick town.  Absolutely fucking hated it…

I prefer to watch other people dancing, thank you…

November brings Thanksgiving to Americans.  I know Canada celebrates Thanksgiving too, but I believe it’s in October.   Does your country celebrate a similar holiday?   If you’d like, share some traditions you observe around Thanksgiving or if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, what are some traditions you have?

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is watching people make a fool out of themselves while I get paid for the privilege…

Pictured above: Sheep

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Pump It Up

Gee, whatever happened to playing cowboys and indians?

The Nest is bringing Monday Muzak to you completely freestyle over the next handful of months.  It’s a collection of some of my favorite songs that aren’t quite lost hits that I’m calling the Countdown of Whatever… officially known as The Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing.  These songs span the entire history of rock and roll itself, and this week we’re finally going to venture into that brave new millennium of music from Y2K and beyond!  And just like with many of my Mecca Muzak Monday features, we’re doing it indie pop style this week with a song that is so fun to listen to, yet contains a rather dark message that foreshadowed the decade to come…

#25. “Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster The People

In its nearly decade and a half of existence, the popular video uploading site known as YouTube has turned ordinary people all over the world into new age celebrities via the power of viral video.  And while that unstoppable force has coughed up a number of hairballs like Justin Bieber and Baby Shark, it’s also given us a lot of really cool music that otherwise would have never been heard outside of the shower or garage.

Like Elvis, let us be fortunate this was shot from the waist up.

One such indie band that got its first exposure on the Tube was an LA outfit known as Foster the People.  Headed by founder and lead vocalist Mark Foster, the band created a song in 2010 that went so viral that it got them a recording contract the following year that turned their amateur inspiration into a #3 Billboard hit.  It’s got an absolutely awesome bass line, some really cool vocal distortion, and a cheery, catchy chorus… all of which mask a rather dark theme that is probably the only reason it isn’t still being played all the time on the radio today…

I loved this song from the first time I heard it on a road trip earlier in the decade, and it wasn’t until I went searching for it years later on YouTube that I noticed in the comments just what the song was supposed to be about.  Mark Foster wrote the song in response to the increase in reported cases of mental illness in youth, and tried to get in the head of such troubled kids who ultimately acted out in very extreme and deadly ways to figure out what made them tick and why they got to where they were.  Unfortunately, many people look at the song as glorifying such violence which, as the incidents of mass shootings rose over the coming years, ultimately put the song on commercial radio’s taboo list.

Though they’ll still play “I Don’t Like Mondays” which was literally inspired by a school shooting.

So, serious topic aside… just what does “pumped up kicks” actually mean?  It’s slang for the fancy, expensive tennis shoes kids covet and wear as status symbols.  And in reality, it can stand for any kind of impractical fad or style that the hipsters of the world think make them so much cooler than the unwashed masses.  But kicks are shoes, and sadly kids have been killing other kids over their shoes since the days of the street gang wars several decades ago…

You’re not going to be outrunning any bullets in these pumped up kicks…

And on a more positive note, come back next Monday for Song #24 in our Countdown of Whatever!

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