The loneliness of the long distance rabbit

sad rabbit with combat boots sitting in front of a store by IntangibleArts
wabbit weldschmerz, a photo by IntangibleArts on Flickr.

The stats were daunting.

The average breeding season for rabbits is 9 months (10 in Newfoundland). Gestation time is 30 days. Each litter produces somewhere between 4 to 12 kits (baby rabbits). It takes 4 to 5 weeks to wean those bad boys (and girls), and then the mothers are ready to mate again. In six months the does (female rabbits) born in the first round of mating (which sadly only takes 30 seconds), will be ready to mate themselves. Each mating season, a doe could produce up to 800 children. [wiki]

All of whom would someday be going to college.

Alltop can mate in 30 seconds too, but only if it can keep the combat boots on.

Dog Threat Level Meter

Dog vocalizations interpreted.

Condition Tail Wag

cute puppy
Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of this puppy — it might mean trouble. I’ll growl at it just to let it know that I’m watching.

Condition Woof

Holy crap! A husky! My arch-nemesis, and about as close to a wolf as a dog gets. If it comes closer, I’m really going to bark like I mean it!

Code Burglar

Someone’s at the door, and I will now proceed to bark with enough intensity to convince the pants-wetting UPS guy that I WILL tear his throat out.

Sky Monsters!

sky monster, aka, hot air balloon
Jesus wept, it’s a frickin’ sky monster. It’s huge, it’s round, and it reeks of the stench of hell. (And the sound…) I’ll bark at it like I can kill it, but I’m pretty sure it could take me. I’ll try not to let my uncertainty creep into my enraged and terrified vocalizations. Was that a yip? Yes, sorry. Sometimes my fear of these things get in the way of me doing my job!

The Night of Evil (Again)

It seems like at least twice a year Satan lights up the sky with his evil. I will yelp a bit to let you know we should get inside, but there’s not much I can do against the powers of darkness.

Thundering Whimpers!

Even my canine super-bark is powerless, when the Gods themselves are trying to kill us all. Perhaps shaking and whimpering will help appease them.

Alltop is terrified by Alpo. Lightning by Damon Taylor. Balloon by Ecatoncheires. Fireworks by Amani Hassan. Doorbell Darwin Bell. Husky by Paul Moody. Puppy by VickyTH.

Gather round the radium fire

This is an illustration of what the future might have looked like, circa 1910:

Gather round the radium fire

The artist has depicted a genteel scene: Claude and Sophie LaFlippé have invited a few friends over to enjoy their brand new radium fire. (It was to be all the rage in the year 2000, according to the deranged artist, Antoine Villemard, who was best known for his pictures of animals playing lawn darts.)

“I say, Claude, this radium fire of yours is absolutely fabulous. There’s no smell of burning coal and it lights up the entire room,” says the unctuous Paul Rampez.

“Yes, it’s ever so modern,” added his wife, the helpful Zoolee.

“You know, we just had it installed. Say, you don’t suppose they’re planning to modernize our clothes, do you, because that would be boring,” suggested Claude.

“Oh, no, it would be dreadful!” Emile Dingus said as he entered the room. “We’ve had the same mode now for 90 years, and I don’t think I could stand to change. I’m filled with ennui at the thought of fashion returning.”

Zoolee and Sophie rolled their eyes. “Actually, Monsieur Dingus, I am getting rather tired of my corset,” Sophie said.

“Yes, something a little more modern would be nice. Like this radium fire — something that required less work.”

Everyone but Emile Dingus nodded at this sentiment.

“I say, Claude?”

“Yes, Emile?”

“Is your face melting?”

Alltop is meltingly funny. Link via Paleo-Future. Originally published September, 2006.

Hamster Naming Guide, 2008 Protocols

HamsterNamingGuide2009 by lunchbreath

I don’t have 2009 or 2010 protocols available to share, but for those of you naming hamsters in 2011:

  • Obvious: Hammy
  • Portly: Kirstie
  • Good: Buddha (also could be used for Portly, if male)
  • Evil: Gehenna
  • Skinny: Imogen
  • Cryptic: Thangador

I would love to know some of the other guides, but alas, I am too lazy to google. Feel free to inform me in the comments.

Alltop needs Honey Badger naming guidelines. Thanks to lunchbreath, on Flickr, for his awesome: HamsterNamingGuide2009. Confusing!

The Levels of Drinking Consciousness: A Unified Theory

Yesterday we looked at Larry Miller’s routine, “the five levels of drinking”, which while entertaining, does not look the levels systematically. He also really only discusses the first three levels in detail. My friends and I have developed a more systematic description of alcohol’s effect on human consciousness quite tirelessly over the years, beginning sometime in 1987, right up until the point when we realized it was killing us.

Basically, the idea is that as you drink, you delve deeper into your evolutionary brain. So as we turn off certain aspects of our brains, our consciousness devolves to the point that we’re basically exhibiting animal behaviors. We have called the system:

The Cult of the Claw

Level One: Human Being

HumanThe human part of our brain is the part that is civilized. This is the part of our consciousness that knows — as in Larry Miller’s example — that we need to go home and go to bed because we have to work in the morning. You may have one drink, and possibly even two, with no danger to this level of consciousness. However, at some point (depending on the size of your liver, your body’s mass, your tolerance to alcohol, and so on), you will have the drink that we in the Cult describe as “The Hankering”.

Now, people believe that it is quite easy to leave the human level of consciousness, but we in the Cult think that it is actually quite difficult to leave that level. However, if you keep drinking, at some point (depending on the speed of your consumption and the previously mentioned factors) you will have the that we call “The Hammer”. The Hammer will take away your resolve to stop drinking entirely. (This is the point in Miller’s routine where three hours of sleep will do.)

Level Two: Monkey

monkeyThe Hammer leads, inevitably, to “The Inebriation,” leading you to the next layer down, the monkey layer.

Now, this part of our mind understands that there are consequences to actions. It’s social too. The monkey might want to say… have sex with your best friend’s sibling, but it probably wouldn’t because it would understand that it would get punished if it did. If it thought it could get away with it, then perhaps it would proceed. It is the part of the mind that buys rounds for that person at the end of the bar, because, as Miller says, “you like their face.”

The monkey, in other words, is the ego.

At some point, you will have the drink that we, in the Cult, call “The Wedge”. This beverage totally frees monkey, and is the part of the evening that is most fun. It is the part that Miller spends most of his routine describing. “We’re going to Florida!” Now, if you continue to drink, then you are entering dangerous, dangerous territory.

Level Three: Lizard

lizardYou guessed it, all you lovers of Freudian mythology. If monkey is the ego, then lizard is the Id. Id is scary times. The lizard is all our basic impulses. The pleasure principle as Freud called it. Sex. Eating. Sex. Sunning yourself. Did I mention the sex? Anyway, it’s all that good physical sensation stuff.

It’s also about territoriality, and that means fighting.

The good news is that to release the Lizard (capital “L” definitely, there), you must have the drink that we call “The Sledge”. This is usually enough to render you incapable of doing much harm, though in some cases, those with very high tolerance to alcohol can continue to function and cause immeasurable damage. (St. Patrick’s Day.) However, our experience is The Sledge usually prevents Mr. (or Ms.) Lizard from following up on his (or her) desires; my best example of this is a friend who was once carried by non-Sledge consuming companions past a female residence at a mid-sized university in Ontario, where he screamed in his Lizard-addled voice “I want to f*#k you all!” That was no exaggeration. If he’d been capable, he would have gone floor-by-floor, room-by-room. That was pure Lizard. Luckily, Lizard could not stand without assistance.

If you continue drinking, then eventually you will be able to incapacitate the Lizard.

Level Four: Fish

fishIncapacitating the Lizard may sound good, in theory, but what it means is that you have now turned off most of the functions of your brain. Luckily, you still have your brain stem, keeping you breathing. The drink that causes this is “The Icthyolization”.

With any luck, someone will turn you on your side when you pass out. (Note: those with lower tolerances may pass out in the Lizard level, which is preferable.) Otherwise, that final drink is what we call “The Mourning”.

Here’s a handy chart to help you keep all of this straight:
The Cult of the Claw
*Beaufort-style scale on boozologist’s equations of body weight, liver size and endurance, plus time scale. (Not to exceed ten hours in this case.) A mixologist was consulted in the weighing of this scale.

You can read our original findings, and scientific reaction, here.

If you would like to learn more about The Cult of the Claw, then there is an entire novel based on this whacky notion. It’s called Marvellous Hairy, and really, you should just go ahead and buy it at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc. Oh, and if you get a copy this month, you could win a Kindle.

Alltop is mostly monkey, most of the time. Thanks to kladcat for the medieval woodcuts that kind of look like lizards, monkeys, and fish.