Psych going off the air? You know that’s right.

Psych could quite possibly be the best show I’ve ever watched.  After a quiet start waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2006, I was hooked after initially watching a few episodes out of sheer boredom.  I saw so much of myself in both Shawn and Gus that I couldn’t stop watching, and before I knew it it, I had become a rabid fan.  Everything about the show was awesome.  The crazy and rapid fire one-liners, the constant (and often obscure) references to 80s’ pop culture, Shawn’s endless nicknames for Gus, and last, but certainly not least, the hilarious and even pithy interactions between the two.  They had given me some much needed laughs during some hard times, and though the show lost a lot of steam over the last two seasons, I’ll always fondly remember it as the show that never failed to lift my spirits even on a rainy day.

If you’ve never seen Psych, this might clue you in to its awesomeness, lifted from one of my favorite episodes:

Alas, as much as it’s sad to see the show go off the air, it seems to have lost something towards the end.  For the die-harders, I don’t think there may be any clearer example of this than watching the episode, Cloudy… with a Chance of Murder and comparing it to the remake of the same episode that was released earlier this year.  The former underscored everything I loved about Psych, while the latter revealed just about everything that went wrong with it the last few seasons.  Honestly, had they not changed the formula so much I suspect it could have made it ten years easy.  Maybe.

But alas, it’s time for them to go.  Thank you Shawn, Gus, Jules and Lassie for the great memories and the laughs.

Flip the Jackal Switch
“Flip the jackal switch, one more time…”

My review of Pukka’s Promise: Interesting read and containing important truths about dog care

Grand Tetons at Sunset
Visiting the Grand Tetons in 2011.

I just finished the book Pukka’s Promise, written by a dog owner in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, whose research on prolonging the lives of dogs literally takes him all over the globe.  In many ways he leads a charmed life, living on the outskirts of Yellowstone Park and enjoying front row views of the Grand Tetons, majestic and towering mountains that pierce the deep blue sky with their curiously jagged appearance.  The kind of life I wish I could someday live, though I would probably prefer to be just a little bit closer to civilization.The book meanders back and forth between regaling us with anecdotes of his adventures with Pukka (and how he eventually came to find him) and a recounting of interviews with dog experts, touring facilities where dog food are made, visiting shelters, rendering plants, veterinarian hospitals, universities, breeders and more, clearly going above and beyond to sift through and dig out as much knowledge as he could find that could unlock the secrets of how we could increase the lifespan of dogs.

Much of what he concluded mirrored my own thoughts and suspicions regarding some of the myths out there regarding dog care, but it was nice to see my views confirmed by a well studied dog owner who clearly did his homework.

As thick as the book was, the conclusions could actually be condensed to a single paragraph:  choose the parents of the dog you want wisely (by exploring their pedigree and learning about important factors suchs as the coefficient of breeding), keeping the dog away from environmental pollutants (such as PFCs), providing excellent nutrition (a mostly carnivorous diet as natural, low glycemic and grain-free as possible), avoid over-vaccinations, and lastly, look for alternatives to neutering and spaying.

That last point is the one that surprised me, as I always presumed sterilization improved the overall health of dogs and reduces the risk of disease.  As it turns out, the actual truth may be a bit more muddy.  While spaying/neutering reduces the risk of certain cancers relating to the sex organs, it actually increases the risk of other diseases such as hypothyroidism.

It seems the push to neuter/spay dogs is really more about population control than it is about their health.  I always thought neutering/spaying whatever dog I owned would be a given, but now I’m not so sure, especially in light of the fact that there are alternatives to preventing unwanted breeding, such as tubal ligations.  In the case of tubal ligations for female dogs, it is unable to procreate but still retains its sex hormones, hormones that a slowly growing number of studies indicate might actually improve the dog’s overall health.  At the very least, the debate on this wasn’t nearly as cut and dried as I originally thought.

Overall I definitely recommend this book for dog owners, even if the author did have a tendency to anthropomorphize his dog to an almost absurd degree.  Roughly 1/3 of the book revolves around conversations he has with Pukka, and yet as weird as it is, I kinda get it.  Humans are social creatures as well, and even the most introverted of us need to connect with others for the benefit of our health (which means I’m probably not long for this earth).  In the absence of people who are either too incompatible or too busy, I could understand why it would be so easy to fill the void left by the lack of human bonding with the one thing that has all the time in the world for us: dogs.

If I wound up doing the same thing (and let’s not kid ourselves, we all know I will), I’m ok with it, provided that at the end of the day I understand that I am in fact talking to a DOG, and in the best interest of its health it still needs to be treated for what it is.

I think SyFy docked my IQ by at least 30 points (Review of Sharknado)

What was that?

Just… what… I… I can’t even put it into words…

Stupid Internet. I kept reading tweets and then articles from all my usual geek feeds like Mashable that this movie somehow, defying all sound logic, had become all the rage and was literally breaking ratings records. But see, I’m thinking yeah…, this is a SyFy Original, and we all know how those turn out, so I’ll just pass on it, thank you very much.

But finally, just out of sheer boredom and morbid curiosity I decided to watch it for the weekend. I mean come on, how bad could it be, really, especially with all the hoopla it was generating on Twitter, amirite?  I’ve seen SyFy movies before and while they’re awful, it usually made for a good way to kill time when nothing else was on.

Dude.

DUDE.

DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE.

It’s not even the sharks flying through space and literally gulping people whole that was so hard to… swallow. I just couldn’t get over the fact that in every single scene that shows the characters riding in a car, there was never one second where you weren’t cognizant of the fact that the car NEVER MOVES. So of course, the actors had to bob and weave to make it seem like they were in motion and it’s just… I mean it’s just so painfully obvious they weren’t moving AT ALL, that my brain simply refused to accept the reality a movie this bad could be produced and started protesting by trying to go into a self-induced coma.

About to get gulped whole in Sharknado
Instead of stepping 6 inches to my right to avoid certain death, I’m just gonna leap right into this guy’s stomach and totally own this mother. LIKE A BOSS.

And let’s not even try to delve into the physics of successfully using a chainsaw to slice a 2.5 ton Great White shark barreling at you at 100 miles an hour from the air, IN HALF, just as easily as a knife through butter.

Or the physics of using propane canisters the size of my arm to successfully dissipate an F5 tornado.

Oh, and the plot devices. Where the hero “Fin” is a divorcee evidently because his ex-wife (and the daughter) couldn’t stand how disgustingly vile and depraved he was by doing appalling, (and I mean APPALLING) things such as rescuing a group of kids trapped in a school bus.

Like OMG Fin, there you go again giving a rip about other people and small kids about to get eaten by sharks!!! I HATE YOU SO MUCH!!!!

You know… on second thought, maybe that part wasn’t so disbelievable.

But still, good grief, I need to stop taking topics that trend on Twitter seriously.  For my sanity.  Just because teh intertoobz sez iz coolz, DOES NOT MEAN IT IS.

P.S. Yeah I know I’ve been pretty late to the shark-mania party, but I always seem to get into these things weeks and months after the hype has already died down and people moved on. Do other people play catch up like this where you’re only starting to take interest in what USED to be a hot topic or fad oh… 6 to 12 months ago? Or am I the only one?