Thursday, October 25, 2018

Happy birthday, Harriet

Um … hello!  I hope you are all doing well.  I haven't posted in a while.  Um … how long has it been? Um … ooh!  I haven't posted since Sunday, February 3rd, 2008!  Um … that is a very long time.  Matthew hadn't been born yet and he's ten now.  I should talk to management about not being such a pillowhead and helping us out with the blog more.

[Editor: I'm helping you type this right now, Wagsy.  If you have something to say, say it.]

Well, I do appreciate you helping me type, right now.  But do you think that you could do that a little more often?  Like maybe at least once between general elections.  A decade is a long time.  Obama wasn't even President yet!  Oooff!!  Things have really changed.

[Editor: You don't need to tell me about it, Wagsy.]

True, true.  I'm not going to blame you for our current political predicament.  But I will blame you for the lack of posts on this blog.

[Editor: Fine.  But I am helping you now.  Do you really want to spend your time complaining about how I don't help you blog?]

Um … does that mean I can call you a cheese cake butt?

[Editor: I think you can do that whatever topic you pick.]

True! True.  The pillowhead speaks the truth.

[Editor: Didn't you have something more pressing to discuss, Wagsy?]

Oh, yes, yes.  Yes, I did.  Tomorrow … or is it today?  When do you think you will get around to posting this?

[Editor: At the rate you are going, you might end up saying "yesterday".]

Okay, okay.  Um … around this time of year it is Harriet's birthday.  I have been with her a very long time.  We've been through everything together.  Cuddles and tears.  Blanket forts and taking care of sick kids.  Triumphs and children.

[Editor: Isn't the pattern of your prose good thing followed by bad thing?]

Um … what's your point?

[Editor: You said "Triumphs and children".]

Yeah, yeah.  I did.

[Editor: Really, Wagsy?]

Um … Ozzie, do I really need to explain this to you?  Take a look in the mirror.  Your eyes are so sunken and bloodshot that they look like the Mount Doom in Mordor.

[Editor: Nice Lord of the Rings reference and fair point.  Moving on.]

Um … where was I?  Um … oh, yeah, Harriet is my favorite person.  I'm very proud of her. Even with all her work and taking care of the kids, she still finds time to cuddle bears on the couch. Not everyone would do that.  She's taking care of herself and being thoughtful about the bears.  And she has done such a good job raising Ricky and Matthew.  Both of them love their stuffed animals so much.  You don't see that in every kid.  And she raised this caring and special children all by herself.

[Editor: Wait a minute!  I'm here.  I'm involved.  I help.]

Um … Ozzie, are you really going to claim credit for the boys loving teddy bears?

[Editor: Oh, no. I suppose not.]

That's what I thought.  Pillowhead.

[Editor: Are you seriously talking trash to me, dog?]

Um … has that stuffing in your head migrated to your ears so you can't hear?  … Oooh!  Put me down, you big bully!

[Editor: That's it.  We're going to bed.]

Not yet!  Not yet!  I need to wish Harriet a happy birthday!

[Editor: Okay, but make it quick.  This has taken entirely too long.]

Um … happy birthday, Harriet!  I love you very much and I am so proud of you!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Rescue mission

Hey there …  this is a tale of conquest and redemption.  The hero -- as in every great saga -- is me, Goofball.  I decided that after 6 years, we should reclaim the blog.

  • The kids are older.
  • The house is overrun by donkeys and bunnies.
  • Harriet has tenure. 
  • The blog was overrun with spambots. 
The last one was the real kick in the pants.  If a blog is going to be out in public with my beautiful face and eloquent words, then it shouldn't have spambots on it.  The Goofball will not abide by spambots.  

So I figured out my email account.  It only took about half an hour of guessing passwords …


It took a lot of guessing.  I kept asking Ozzie if he remembered and he could not even remember that I had an email account.  How is that possible?  I had so much great correspondence.  I am a bear of letters.  Once I got into the account, I had fun reading over my correspondence with Ernesto Zedillo, Jonathan Franzen, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar … all on the same thread no less!  [Pro tip: Write to famous people in groups … they will be excited to be on the same thread as the other famous people and you get to participate in historically great conversations!  Goofball giving you the hot tips.]

Anywho, once I got access, I could delete the offending sections of code and make the blog spam free.  Not sure how often any of us will post, but now the blog isn't a blight on my handsome and erudite image.  

That's all from the Goofball. When in doubt, keep cuddling. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Knight Errant in Error

Platy: Oooh, I'm hopping mad.

Pudgie: What is troubling you, Platy?

Platy: I was playing knights with Ricky and Matthew.

Pudgie: Yes, I can see how that would be upsetting. Their enthusiasm often leads to serving as a projectile or being crushed under a large weight.

Platy: Oh, I like flying and being crushed. It's kind of fun and I am really good at flattening myself. See? (flattens)

Pudgie: Why am I not surprised? What is the problem then?

Platy: Ricky called me a knight's error.

Pudgie: ???

Platy: Platypus' hate being called errors. People always think that we don't hear or understand when they call us nature's error, but we know what they are saying -- at least after the first few times. I can't believe Ricky called me a knight's error! (sob)

Pudgie: That would be surprising, but I think I have surmised the nature of your confusion. Ricky called you "knight errant" not "knight's error".

Platy: Ooooh ... that is much better, you are right. I like the idea of being an knight's errand. It is a little like a quest, only more routine. Maybe the king said, "Go to the zoo and bring me back a platypus." Since I am so good at hiding, it would be a really challenging errand. Maybe if I hid well enough, I could be upgraded to a knight's quest from knight's errand.

Pudgie: "Errant" not "errand." E-R-R-A-N-T, errant. A knight who is traveling in search of adventure.

Platy: OOOOH, that is MUCH, MUCH better. Not many people think of playpuses as dashing knights. I'm like Ricky thinks of me as a noble knight.

Pudgie: Who also makes a handy projectile.

Platy: Yes, I am also a handy project tile. With the right armor, I could probably work as a tile in some really cool projects. And maybe they would stick magnets on me like the refridgerator. I like the refridgerator. It ...

Pudgie: (sigh)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Platypus Studies

Hi. I read the newspaper this afternoon. I liked this article. I like articles about Platypuses. If went to school, I'd major in Platypus studies. I learned a lot about myself from this article.
  • I am only 82% mammal. I don't know what the other 18% is. Maybe reptile. I like the Gecko who sells insurance. He seems nice.

  • I have a strong sense of smell. I knew that already. Our whole house smells of diapers. Always. We live in a stinky house.

  • I can detect electric fields with my bill. I'm not quite sure what that means, but it sounds neat. Are electric fields where they grow light bulbs?

  • I make venom. That makes me dangerous. Maybe this is why women like me. Buffy says I need a leather jacket to complete the look.

  • I don't have nipples. Teddy bears don't pay much attention to anatomy. But this fact might be useful some day. Maybe someone will need a nipple transplant. I won't be able to help, so I shouldn't volunteer.

  • People thought platypuses were a joke at first. But they were wrong.

I am not a joke. I am a platypus. I am a dangerous, electric field sensing, leather jacket wearing, nipple-less heart throb.

The kid knows my name

Hi there. I am a multi-faceted bear. I'm suave, debonaire and a bon vivant. I'm also a big old softy and a sucker for a cute kid. Right now, I'm over the moon because Ricky knows my name. Yeah, he does. I'm not kidding. He says "Goofball!" and gives me a big hug. I like it when he buries his face in my belly.

Wagsy: (giggle)

And I have my own song. When Ricky hears Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" he calls "Goofball!" and we waltz. Ah, shucks. I know it sounds corny, but it is really sweet. And it is an honor to have such a classic known as "Goofball song."

Wagsy: (giggle)

What is so funny, Wagsy?

Wagsy: Um ... nothing.

Come on, out with it dog. What are you laughing about?

Wagsy: Um ... Ricky doesn't say "Goofball."

Sure he does. He knows my name. "Goofball dance." "Goofball sleep."

Wagsy: He says (giggle) ... um ... he calls you ... (giggle) ... Boopball!

No he doesn't. He calls me Goofball.

Wagsy: Yeah, yeah, he calls you Boopball.

Okay he's not even two yet. Not every word is going to sound just right. I know what he means. Boop means Goof.

Wagsy: Um ... it also means ... um ... um ... poo.

No. No, it doesn't.

Wagsy: Yeah, yeah, it does. Ricky "boops" in his diaper.

That can't be right. I refuse to believe that Ricky associates me with feces.

Wagsy: Um ... I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

No you're not. You think this is funny. Admit it.

Wagsy: Um ... I think this is hilarious.

Ugh. ... Huh. ... Way to ruin my mood, Wagsy. Equating my name to poo kinda takes the sheen off "my trees of green and red roses, too." ... Phooey.

Pudgie: Hi, Goofball. I couldn't help but over hearing your conversation with Wagsy.

What you want to make fun of me, too? Go ahead. Yuck it up at my expense. Laugh at the Goofball.

Pudgie: No. I thought I would offer an alternative interpretation of the young Ricky's vocabulary. Boop means more than one thing in Ricky's lexicon.

Wagsy: Shhh. Shhh. Don't tell him, Pudgie.

Don't tell me what? Out with it, professor!

Pudgie: Boop also means kiss.

Really? You're not just saying that.

Pudgie: My careful observations of Ricky's language development leads me to believe that boop can mean either osculation or excrement depending upon the context. And you are always the referent to the word Boopball.

Wow. That is pretty cool, man.

Wagsy: Oooh, you told him.

And you knew this, Wagsy? Why did you try to bring me down?

Wagsy: Um ... I just thought it was funny that you were so excited about being called Boopball.

Well it is closer to Goofball than what he calls you ... Woo-hoo.

Wagsy: Oh, I like that name. Woo-hoo. And he smiles so sweetly when he says it.

I gotta say the little guy is pretty cute. I was a little suspicious of having him around at first, but now I like him.

Wagsy: Um ... I just wish he wouldn't jump up and down on me.

Yeah, that doesn't look good for the stitches.

Wagsy: Um ... it isn't so bad when I am on my back, but when I am snout down ... oooh ... the stuffing starts to suffer.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ruinous! Simply ruinous!

I would just like to state for the record that this year of research leave has been simply ruinous for the bear finances. Not only are bears supporting two households, but someone saw fit to hand Buffy a credit card for emergencies before she headed off on her cruise. Apparently a desire for Sergio to deliver champaign flutes of mango sorbet at 2am constitutes an emergency.
I am shocked and appalled by the fiscal laxity that has been on display.

Office Living

I thought I might be one of the smartest people in the household because people were always telling me that I was special. When Ozzie took me to his office I thought it was because he respected me. Then he tried to get me to code data. I don't feel honored anymore.

Intemperate thoughts on babies

Hi there. This year I have been subjected to grave injustices. I have been drooled on, dragged around by my foot, and force fed a bottle. My fur is matted and I am not sure how I got a sticky substance behind my ear. I used to watch TV every night with Harriet and hang out with Ozzie watching sports. Now there is no TV and I am lucky to be in the bed for story time.

That said, it is all worth it when Ricky gives me a hug and a kiss. The little guy is cute and I am a sucker for cute.

Finally back to civilization

Oh my god, it is so good to be back in civilization. So Amelia and I went on this cruise that was like supposed to be totally amazing. But like the boat went Minnow on us. Amelia and I were just like Ginger and Maryann only there wasn't a hunky professor or a millionaire. Like it was way better cuz there was a rock climbing team on board who apparently lost all their shirts when the boat sank. You know how people ask those totally annoying questions about what books you'd bring if you were stranded on a desert island? After having spent a ton of time on a desert island recently, I gave a lot of thought to that question and decided that the Boy Scout Handbook would have come in handy. But what is way better than any book is having a dreamy rock climbing team on the island with you. Oh my god. Blue Lagoon was a really romantic movie, but think how much better it would have been with the cast of 300 walking around shirtless.

Anywho, the cruise line was totally embarrassed that their boat sunk and offered to put Amelia and I up at a totally swank resort they owned if we didn't sue. Like Amelia and I snapped that deal up faster than we lick up ants. So now we're sipping daquiris brought by a cute cabana boy.

I'll post more when I feel like it. Right now, I'm gonna get a massage from Rodrigo.

Super Bowl Sunday

Um ... hello! Ricky is in bed, Harriet is in the recliner, the cheesecake butt (aka Ozzie) is stuffed full of apple pie, so the bears were allowed to sit on the couch and watch the Super Bowl! Ooh, I'm very excited. We haven't been watching much TV lately and ... um ... I'm not sure why. Harriet is pregnant and due in a few weeks, so her brain has turned to oatmeal. And ... um ... Ozzie has been a tired and grumpy pillow-head for months. I don't think he'd object to anything if we left him to work or sleep. I kinda feel bad for him, but that won't stop me from sitting on his belly and watch the Super Bowl.

Um ... so who is playing? Anyone good?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Bears are okay

Um ... hello! A few of you have wondered how the bears are adjusting to life with baby Ricky. Ooh! We have so many stories to tell. Sadly, no one in the house has the energy to help us tell them. Babies are verrry tiring. But ... um ... they are a lot more fun than I thought.

I like getting hugged by Ricky. He's a little sticky sometimes, but he is very sweet. Ozzie never hugs me or buries his face in my belly. Oooh, it tickles. I also like story time. We've read some very nice books about animals going to sleep and animals splashing and how animals feel. Um ... I don't know why so many baby books are about animals, but it is very nice. It is almost enough to make up for the fact that we don't have cable, so we don't have Animal Planet (hint, hint, Ozzie. You promised us cable.).

Um ... I don't like drinking milk. Not one bit. It is messy and gets milk into my fur. I will have to visit the bear spa soon.

Luckily, I don't have to bear the burden by myself. We have a new hero ... Donkey! He's Ricky's favorite bear. Ricky won't sleep without him and drags him around by the house by the ears. Or by the nose. Or by the belly. Um ... basically, Donkey gets dragged around the house a whole lot.
Donkey looks very handsome in this photo. Um ... unfortunately Donkey doesn't look quite so shiny anymore. Or clean. Um ... donkey has a distinct odor attached to him that the bear spa can't quite remove. These are the reasons that Donkey won the M.V.B. this year in a landslide. Yeah, yeah. We all agreed there was not a more valuable bear in the household.

Um ... maybe we'll post again. I hope so. We miss the blog. But ... um ... we also miss sleep and down time, too.

Ooh, being a teddy bear in a house with a baby is a lot of work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Book Review: Water, Water Everywhere

Sigh. This blog should fall into receivership given its lack of attention. With all the energy in the household, I am dismayed that the job of rekindling the blog fire falls to a tired old professor. Being tired and old and a professor, this post shall consist primarily of a book review.

Defying all expectations, the number of books read in this household has skyrocketed in the past few months. Harriet still reads weather-beaten paperback mysteries to fall asleep, but she reads fewer and fewer pages each night. Ozzie's bookshelf is full of classic works of literature, but I have yet to see him read one. Needless to say, Ricky is the source of the literary renaissance in the household.

I had hoped that I could tutor young Ricky to be a young scholar; well versed in the classics. It would be unreasonable to expect an infant to understand Habermas. Aristotle is a more reasonable starting point. Alas, Ricky shows no taste for the ancient Greeks. My beloved Penguin edition of The Politics has been chewed and torn, but never engaged intellectually.

One hypothesis I considered was that non-fiction may be too dry to hold the attention of those under the age of 2. I briefly entertained visions of reading Ricky Don Quixote and The Inferno. These classic tales should grip the imagination of intellectuals of all ages. Sadly, these books were cast aside for a plastic phone whose pathetic refrain is "I love you, so much!" Upon being rudely rebuffed, I concluded that Ricky is not a scholar.

Being a good empiricist, I watched Ricky over several days and noticed that he does in fact read many books. I use the term "book" loosely, as Ricky enjoys books with parts to grab and pull and generally use a toy rather than as a conduit of knowledge. The only exception to this rule of grabbing and interacting were the books Ricky reads in the bathtub. These books are smooth with nothing more than words and pictures. Ricky will sit mesmerized by these books for minutes on end, flipping forward and back with intense concentration. So I decided to pick up one of the works and read it cover to cover.

After spending the two minutes it took to read the book, I concluded that Water, Water, Everywhere is about as far from The Old Man and the Sea as is humanly possible. I fear that statement is inaccurate since only a corporation could create an abomination such as Water, Water, Everywhere. For there is no "author". Rather the "concept" came from Julie Aigner-Clark. I will not judge the quality of Ms. Aigner-Clark's concept for it may have been botched in execution by Baby Einstein (an oxymoron if ever there was one).

The irony and literary allusion in the title promises an engaging read. I thought the Baby Einstein company was slyly referencing Coleridge's Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner's "Water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink." The quote would be apropos given that the book is intended to be read in the bathtub and one should not drink bath water. Sadly, the title is the highlight of the book.

The rhymes are insipid, the meter is inconsistent, and the punctuation is atrocious. Dashes and elipses are used in places where periods would clearly suffice with no hint of poetic intent behind the grammatical faux pas. Here is the first page reprinted in its entirety:

Water, water everywhere ...
Water, near and far --
Let's use our hands and feet to count
How many kinds there are!

The last line is a red herring in that there is nothing to count in the six pages of text that follow. Given such tight constraints on verbiage, one cannot afford to waste lines on topics that are never pursued. On second thought, the space would simply be used for over wrought prose that should never have been written in the first place so relevance is besides the point. For example,

Waterfalls with misty breath
Whisper as they flow ...
Frozen water turns to ice,
And flakes form out of snow.

Flakes do not form out of snow. Snow is a crystalline aggregate of water ice crystals that often have hexagonal symmetry. That is, a flake. And while I am hardly puritanical, I am not entirely sure that I want young Ricky reading about whispering "misty breath."

In summary, I do not highly recommend Water, Water, Everywhere and cannot fathom why Ricky reads such rubbish.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Dilemma

Hey there. How ya been? I've been okay. Cuddling gets interrupted in the middle of the night, but I have learned that getting drooled on isn't so bad. Ricky is a disgusting child with sticky hands and a stickier face, but despite all that he's kinda cute. I'm serious, the kid scores high on the cute factor. And as much as I want to stay away from him, it is hard not to want to hug him. Babies are strange that way.

But that isn't why I needed to post. We have a dilemma in this household. Who should we root for this weekend? The Bears or the Saints? On the one hand, we're teddy bears, so we should root for the Bears, right? It seems natural.

On the other hand, New Orleans was destroyed by an epic hurricane and is still struggling to support itself. As far as I know, Chicago is doing okay for itself. Sure Marshall Fields closed, but there is still the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Cubs are nowhere near winning the World Series. It is nothing like New Orleans where everything outside of the French Quarter looks like a war zone. New Orleans needs to win more than Chicago, right? So being benevolent bears, we should root for New Orleans.

I know that I used to root for the Packers and no true Packers fan can root for the Bears or the Vikings. But that reasoning doesn't apply to the rest of the guys in the household (and girls, thanks, Amelia). And besides, I don't have strong roots with the Packers. I'm from China where we don't really play football. I know I don't look Asian, but I am. Trust me, that little tag on my tush says so. I needed to adopt a team and the Packers seemed a good one to root for. Small market, cold weather, and no jerk billionaire owner. I thought it was a perfect fit, but then Brett Favre stuck around about two years too many. There is no drama when you know every close game will be lost because of a ridiculous interception. None. Zippo. We're talkin' less drama than Comedy Central's weeknight programming. And I don't care how much "fun" he's having out there, I'm not enjoying it. So I might have to adopt a new team. But that doesn't matter for everyone else in the household who wants to watch the game tomorrow. We have a dilemma on our hands.

I tried to get Pudgie to think it over through one of his Socratic dialogues, but he refused. He said something about football not being "a worthy application of his intellectual abilities." I think Pudgie is just bitter that Romo blew the hold and the Cowboys lost. I shared that opinion with Pudgie and he decided to no longer share his presence with me. I think he might still be mad at me because he raises his book a little higher each time I walk by. I thought that was funny, so I kept pacing back and forth until the book was pretty much smashed up against Pudgie's face and he stormed out of the room again.

Saints or Bears? Bears or Saints? Encouraging the flagship ursine sports franchise or pulling for the downtrodden residents of New Orleans. Seems kinda selfish to root for the Bears. Teddy bears aren't going anywhere. Teddy bears were popular long before the advent of the Chicago Bears and the rise of modern technologies have made us no less popular. We don't need additional brand name recognition. New Orleans needs something to feel good about.

So I think we should root for the Saints.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Zombie Attack

H-h-h-i-i-i. Hi. Hi. ... Is this thing on?

Wagsy: Um ... if you're typing and words are appearing, then it is on.

Platy: I don't type. I don't have fingers. Ozzie is typing for me.

Wagsy: Um ... well ... if Ozzie is typing, then the computer is probably on.

Platy Are you sure? His eyes aren't open.

Wagsy: Um ... the platypus makes a good point. Um ... hello! Ozzie!! Helllooooo, Ozzie!

Ozzie: I'm right here, Wagsy. And I might be tired, guys, but I know when the computer is on.

Wagsy: Um ... okay, he's awake. Go ahead, Platy.

Platy: I don't know if I want to go now. I'm scared.

Wagsy: Um ... what are you scared of?

Platy What if people don't like my post?

Wagsy: Don't be scared, Platy. You've posted before and they were very nice posts. I'm sure people will like your post. Um ... what did you want to say?

Platy: I wanted to do my impersonation.

Wagsy: Um ... who did you want to impersonate?

Platy: Everyone.

Wagsy: Um ... that sounds ... um ... ambitious.

Platy: It is a good impersonation.

Wagsy: Okay, ... um ... why don't you do it then? We'd all like to see a good impersonation.

Platy Okay. Okay. (Look of deep platypusian concentration) Okay. (Look of deep platypusian confusion) Are you ready?

Wagsy: Yes.

Platy: Then why don't you go?

Platy: Um ... because I am not the one who was going to do an impersonation. You were going to do an impersonation.

Platy: Okay. I thought you might have one, too. Impersonating people is fun. One time, I impersonated Professor Pudge Bear and got a free meal at a fancy restaurant where men looked like sandwichs and the women looked like wilted flowers. But --

Wagsy: Um ... um ... I don't think I've heard that story before. Um ... maybe we should get on with your impersonation of everyone before Ozzie falls asleep.

Platy: Okay, here is my impersonation of everyone. (Imagine the concentration and outstretched arms of a platypus diving at the Olympics) Grains. Graaaaaa-innnnnns. Graaaaaa-innnnnnns! Grains!

Wagsy: Um ... are you okay, Platy?

Platy: I'm fine. That was my impersonation.

Wagsy: Um ... who were you in impersonating?

Platy: Everyone. ... You didn't like it?

Wagsy: Oooh, oooh, don't cry. Don't cry. Oooh! I made him cry. Um ... no, no, it was a very nice impersonation. ... um ... Help me out here, Ozzie.

Ozzie: Don't look at me. I'm just the typist.

Wagsy: Big help you are, pillowhead. Um ... you really sounded ... um ... frog-like?

Platy: You're just saying that. (sniff)

Wagsy: Um ... no. You really did sound like a frog. Um ... a creepy frog in search of grain. Um ... a creepy, tired, hungry frog. Um ... were you pretending to be a zombie, Platy?

Platy: I told you that I had a good impersonation of everyone.

Wagsy: Oooh, ooh, I get it. Verrry clever, Platy. Yes, everyone has been acting like a zombie. Um ... sleeping hasn't been very easy since Ricky arrived.

Platy: I like it because I am the smartest one in the house now.

Wagsy: Um ... um ... I want to disagree with you, but you might be right. Everyone definitely seems out of it. Why does the crying not bother your sleep?

Platy: I hide.

Wagsy: Oooh! Very good idea. Um ... where do you hide to get away from the crying, Platy? I've tried to find a place in the house to take a nice long nap, but there seems to be crying everywhere.

Platy: I'm not telling you because I'm brown, I'm round, and I can't be found.

Wagsy: Um ... it isn't very nice of you not to share your hiding place, Platy, but ... um ... I guess I understand.

Platy: Was this a good post, Wagsy?

Wagsy: Um ... I think it was, Platy. But your impersonation could use a little work. Zombies want brains, not grains.

Platy: I know they want brains. That is why I am the smartest person in the house.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bear Blogs

Um ... hello! I thought I would get caught up on all the bear blogs out there in the world. Oooh, many people have written to us, but we haven't had the time to write to anyone. That is the problem with having big comfy paws. They aren't so good for typing. Um ... having stuffing for brains doesn't help either. And ... Mr. "I took over the house and drool constantly" hasn't exactly helped our productivity. Um ... basically we're behind. And I'm a teddy bear who likes to nap, so I must be really behind.

Let's see ... um ... ooh, ooh, Teddy and Spaulding wrote us a very sweet letter welcoming Ricky to the world. Um ... it was a very nice letter, but they showed a little more enthusiasm for the baby than we have. I guess it is easy to have enthusiasm for a baby that doesn't kick you out of the bed and halt all napping.

Um ... oooh, oooh! My bunny George has a new favorite blog.
Gage the Bunny must be a relative of George's. Oooh, he looks just like George only he's a little more gray. Gage travels around and takes lots of adorable pictures. And sometimes he stays at home and takes adorbale pictures. Gage has a live-in girlfriend named Rabbit, who doesn't look much like a rabbit to me. Um ... I think he might be a little more academic than my George, but maybe I am syaing that because Gage wears glasses.

Pig and Bear are very cute friends who travel around England. They post lots of pictures from their travels. They even went to Africa. Oooh, they are so much more adventerous than I am. I'd spend all the time being concerned about my fur.

Um ... I've also been reading the blog of Bob T. Bear, esq. Oooh, he's a well travelled bear who likes routine in his life. Every day he notes whether he watches the Simpsons or goes to Tesco's (our relatives in England tell me it is a grocery store) and he rates his hugs for the day. I think it is a very good idea to keep track of these things. Um ... how else can you make your person feel guilty for ignoring you when a baby comes around?

And ... um ... I know it isn't a blog, really, but I very much enjoy the Eldritch the Dragon's pictures. He's verrry cute, and so is his little brother. Um ... there are a lot of cute teddy bears posting pictures on Flickr and we've made friends with a few of them. Unfortunately, most of the pictures recently have been of baby Ricky and not us.

Um ... we've been reading other blogs, too, but the typist is getting tired -- pillowhead. If you know of other good teddy bear blogs, put them in the comments sectiona and we'll add them to our "Links" section. You can never have too many blogging teddy bears!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dancing with the Stars

Okay, so like we're in some sort of TV Renaissance or something cuz there are like a ton of shows that are a must watch. Project Runway is like waaay compelling. I mean how could a show fail when it combines fashion, catty remarks, models, fashion, designers, and more fashion. It's like almost perfect. Grey's Anatomy is also hot because it features all these good looking people who are given smart things to say. Oh my god, it might not sound like an achievement, but it is totally rocket science and way above the Hollywood norm. Like nearly every sitcom features some dumpy looking moron who is miraculously married to a totally smoking hot and with-it babe who puts up with the moron's juvenile antics. As if. Like I know Wonder Woman didn't really come from an island of teched up Amazons, but if such a place existed, it would be populated with women who escaped life as sitcom wives. So Grey's Anatomy gets a Buffy snout of approval.

But one of my favorite shows ended last night with the season finale of Dancing with the Stars. I was going to live blog it for those of you without TV or anything, but I was so caught up in the action that I totally forgot to type. And typing is like waaay hard for me, so maybe it was a good thing that I forgot, cuz it might have ruined my enjoyment of the spectacle or something. So why do I like Dancing with the Stars?

1) Like the most obvious reason is that it involves celebrities and that always catches my eye.

2) Even better, it draws on C-List celebrities who are amusing and easy to root for. I mean, come on, Joey Lawrence is like just looking for a cameo in a real film or a recurring character in a sitcom that will be cancelled. How could I not find his desperate effort to win a dance competition gripping? And it is kinda fun to see what they look like now. Did every failed teenage actor hit the gym thinking big muscles would help them land parts? What is the deal? Or did Mario Lopez make so much money on Saved by the Bell that he doesn't need to work and can spend all his time in the gym.

3) And since I am a semi-C-List star myself, I could totally picture myself on the show in a couple of years. The only problem is that I don't know what the judges would think of me. I mean, my posture is fine for a four legged aardvark, but my back isn't totally vertical or anything. And like I have four feet, which means I would have to learn twice as many dance steps as a normal contestant. And my tail might get in the way, sorta like Jerry Springer's age or Sara Evans' lack of coordination or rhythm.

4) The dancers are brutally hot and a few of the contestants are cute, too. Always a plus. But they should totally take out the older male contestants. If I wanted to see overly tanned, nasty old men dance poorly, I would book a trip on a Carnival Cruise or something.

5) And the dancers are hot, but the costumes are ridiculous. Oh my god, could the women look a little more trampy? I don't think so. And the guys look like mannequins dressed by a near-sighted leprechaun from the Castro. The fashion disaster in each dance never fails to make me happy.

6) It is always fun to guess which partners are couples. And if they aren't couple, how hard is the dancer trying to couple and how mad is the husband or wife of the contestant?

And that is just like a short list of why I love Dancing with the Stars. And I haven't gotten to the lame dancing so stilted you expect the rest of the high school juggling team to drop by. Like the show is a total tour de force.

And I was psyched that Emmitt Smith won. I've never watched football or anything, but he seemed really nice and totally devoted to his family. I can completely respect that. And Mario was like totally the opposite. I mean, it was tragic watching Karina talk about how the relationship was forever when Mario kept saying he'd have good memories of the show. You could tell that Karina thought it was love and Mario was wondering what Eva Longoria was doing that night. Mario is a heartless punk. Period.

Since I don't know much about football, like I thought I'd bring in Goofball to comment on the show. Hey, Goofball, you like wanna tell the audience about Emmitt Smith and his performance in Dancing with the Stars?

Goofball: Why am I being dragged into this?

Buffy: Cuz like you know lots of stuff about football and might be able to round out Emmitt Smith's history for us?

Goofball: Emmitt looked plenty round without my help.

Buffy: As if. Emmitt was totally ripped and you could tell that he still works out.

Goofball: I could not possibly care less about that show.

Buffy: Like I'm surprised at you, Goofball. I thought the show would be right up your alley. You dance.

Goofball: Yes, I do have some smooth moves in my repertoire.

Buffy: And you like football, don't you?

Goofball: I have been known to prognosticate and pontificate on the subject. I am have even opined from time to time.

Buffy: So like what is the deal? Why don't you enjoy the cultural masterpiece that was put on your plate every Tuesday and Wednesday evening?

Goofball: Let me ask you a question, Buffy. Do you like ants?

Buffy: Yeah, I am an aardvark afterall.

Goofball: And you like modelling, right?

Buffy: Like why are you wasting my time stating the obvious?

Goofball: Would you like to model clothing made out of ants?

Buffy: What type of weirdo scenario would lead to that? I mean I guess it would be okay. My fur would protect me from any bites and if I got hungry during the shoot, I would always raise the hemline by eating a few ants. So I guess it would be okay. Maybe it would be fun once.

Goofball: Okay, so that didn't work out like I expected. You like makeup, too, right? So what about makeup made out of ants? Or ants wearing makeup? How about that, huh?

Buffy: What's your damage?

Goofball: All I'm trying to say is that football and ballroom dancing are not like the proverbial chocolate and peanut butter. Unlike things do not always go well together. There is a reason they are unlike.

Buffy: And your point is ...?

Goofball: Watching the legendary Emmitt Smith prance around stage dressed as a holiday themed Chippendale made me sad. I don't care if he won or not. No one is a winner when Emmitt Smith is wearing green sparkly shoes, a vest, and bright green arm bands.

Buffy: I thought it was awesome and hilarious.

Goofball: It's unAmerican! Football is our national religion and one of the prophets of running backs has been sacreligious -- perhaps even heretical!

Buffy: Wow. You need to chill, Goofball. If I would have known that you would wig out in my post and everything, I wouldn't have invited you to join in.

Goofball: I didn't want to say anything, but you put me on the spot. Now that I have the megaphone, I would just like to say that the judging had less integrity than professional figure skating. Talk about rigged.

Buffy: You're like a total downer today, Goofball. I'm going to have to end this post. I still think Dancing with the Stars is completely awesome. It's get an extra special samba-themed Buffy snout of approval.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another Election Down, Tenure to Go

The words "frustration" and "futility" can most aptly summarize my activities for the past few months. Any lingering hopes that my plight may improve dwindle each day.

There was a time in my life when I enjoyed elections. The exercise of democracy should constitute an inspiring occasion to celebrate human autonomy and the capacity for collective action. My classical training and general demeanor might suggest that I suscribe to Straussian / Platonic suspicions of democracy, but in fact, I acknowledge the empirical evidence that history provides in support of democratic decision making as a check upon poor governance. Somewhere deep inside my stuffing, I still believe that elections are good and important.

However, serving as Ozzie's academic mentor has stripped all personal joy from the election cycle. His work is so mind-numbingly dull to execute that I often find myself envying the plush hoi polloi lounging in front of the television watching Brother Bear. After negotiating and planning with so many groups planning to mobilize voters, I wonder if tired adage, "those who can't, teach" ought to be appended, "and those who can't think, politick." I bemoan the uncurious nature of my fellow teddy bears, but perhaps I should change my frame of reference and praise those I reluctantly call my family and colleagues. My observations over the past few years have led me to conclude that political campaigns run by teddy bears would be more effective, less expensive, and more high minded than those run by so-called "professional consultants." Even bears whose entire vocabularies consistent of one syllable, such as Moose --

Moose: Moose!

Er ... exactly. Even these bears would manage to raise the level of political discourse. I make this claim with no sense of hyperbole and deep regret. Ozzie has promised that once he is granted tenure, we will take a break from voter mobilization and he will assist me in writing my book: The Political Economy of Teddy Bears.

Since Election Day has passed, I can relax ever so slightly and turn my attention towards my other duties. The most critical of these is educating Ricky. Initially, I had high hopes that my efforts would craft a well-rounded scholar. However, I find after five months than my tutelage is for naught. Ricky's most developed talent is drooling and he lacks the discipline to focus on the project at hand. More than a few times, I have found my lectures interupted by slimy hands grabbing and chewing my notes or, even worse, myself. Quite simply put, educating under such circumstances is impossible.

I do not believe that my expectations are unrealistic. The zebras were feral when they arrived in our household. The zebras were a noisome, unkempt, and uncouth lot. However, after much effort, I managed to, first, tame the zebras, and then, in a feat of Pygmalian perfection, taught a zebra to read and write. I will admit that grammar and refinement are not yet the hallmarks of Taylor's prose, but he has made mighty strides in just a few months. Surely, if I can teach a zebra to dress himself, read and write in five months, a human child should be able to at the very minimum replicate the skills.

At least, the zebra didn't drool on me or chew on my nose. It is hard to maintain an aura of gravitas when your nose is being chewed upon.

Moose: Moose!

Sigh ... exactly.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Toy Testing or Indiscretion?

Um ... hello. I liked reading Goofball's excellent post about testing toys, but I thought something was missing. It's hard to figure out what is missing when you have stuffin' for brains. Then a little bird flew into the room and tipped me off ...

Goofball in a Chicken Suit

The bird was Goofball! Yeah, yeah, he dressed up as a chicken. Harriet thought he looked cute, but ... um ... everyone else thought he looked ... um ... ridiculous.

Yes that is a Smile

Um ... I think he enjoyed it. I wonder why he didn't post these pictures.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Life and Times of Goofball Revisited

I closed the door, so as to avoid any interuptions from the peanut gallery. The question at hand is, "What have I been doing with my time these past few months?" That is an excellent question and I'm glad that I asked it.

While some of the bears have busied themselves with watching TV, napping, staring out the window, or whining about life changes, I've been making myself useful around the house. I don't mean that I have been cooking or cleaning or changing diapers because I haven't been doing any of that stuff. If it involves a liquid, I'm staying away. That isn't exactly a credo, but as a rule of thumb it as served me well and I stand by it.

Anywho, I've been trying to make sure that Ricky is safe. There are a lot of new toys around the house and it is important to make sure that they won't malfunction and hurt Ricky. At first, I wasn't too psyched about this duty. To be honest, I got roped into it. During a seminar conducted by Pudgie and entitled, "Drool: Viscous, Vicious and Factitious," we decided to stop complainin' and support Ozzie and Harriet in their exhaustion. Someone moved to take a nap, the motion was seconded, and we all settled in to take a nap. When I woke up, everyone told me that I had been nominated to test out all the toys. I protested, but they said I was the most baby sized bear and there was no going back.

So I reluctantly began my duties. But truth be told, I liked it from the word go. Some baby toys are fun and if anyone caught me hanging out and enjoying myself, I could always say I was doing it for little Ricky. Plausible deniability are magic words, my friend. Check out the Exer-saucer.

What does this one do?

You caught me playing ... I mean testing

Honestly, who wouldn't enjoy playing in the Exer-Saucer? It is a finely constructed machine. There are nifty toys to play with and if you get bored with one toy, turn your head and there is another toy to keep you occupied. One afternoon, I lost track of time and skipped a nap. Now THAT is a sign of quality.

However cool the Exer-Saucer might be, it pales in comparison to Rutherford.

Riding Rutherford

If you didn't notice from the picture, Rutherford is an elephant. He's pretty big for a bear. Nice guy. Not many people are fun loving but also convey an air of seriousness and gravitas. Best of all, Rutherford is a riding elephant. I was gonna grab my cowboy hat, but Gladstone pointed out that perhaps a turban would be more appropriate since Rutherford was obviously from India. Rutherford doesn't sound like an Indian name, but you can't ride African elephants, so Gladstone must be right. I didn't want to offend the new member of the household, so I opted not to wear any head gear.

I have to say that riding Rutherford is a blast. You can go slow and you can go fast and Rutherford always makes sure you never fall over. I suppose an over exuberant child could tip backwards, but I didn't have the ballast to manage that feat. The experience was exhilerating. And who wouldn't want to spend time with a good natured fellow like Rutherford?

I was feeling friendly towards Rutherford, so I wrote him this limerick:

There once was a Jumbo from Dehli,
whose laughs came from deep in his belly.
He walked round the house,
was scared by a mouse
and his legs quivered like jelly.

I thought it was funny because it played off the sterotype that elephants are afraid of mice. I realize it isn't original, but it is novel because I am a teddy bear writing a limerick. Do you know of other teddy bears writing limericks? If you do, send them my way. Until then, sit back and enjoy the teddy bear poetry.

Rutherford didn't think it was so funny. He looked a little stunned and walked away. I felt bad and was going to apologize, but them Platy passed me this note from Rutherford:

There once was a bear named Ghirardelli
Whose paws were really smelly.
The stench wouldn't leave
and made his friends heave
Make another mouse joke and I'll step on your head.

The elephant has a way with words, huh? I reckon his point came through loud and clear. I think I'll avoid mentioning mice in Rutherford's presence again.

Anywho, the point is that thanks to my tireless efforts, the toys are certified safe for Ricky.

The Life and Times of Goofball

Hey there. Long time no type, huh? Sorry that I have been incommunicado, but our world has been turned upside down with the arrival of Ricky. Talk about a change. Sleeping in is a thing of the past, since Ricky wakes between 5 and 6 most mornings. Lounging and watching daytime TV isn't the same because Terri Poppins is always hanging around. Don't get me wrong, I think the baby sitter earns her keep. You couldn't pay me enough to change diapers and wipe up spit. I'm serious. Even for $1 million, I would not lift a paw to change a diaper. I suppose for $1 million I could outsource the job to someone like Terri Poppins. Ricky seems to like Terri, so I put up with it. But what I cannot put up with are the programs that Terri watches. Did you know that The Price is Right is still on? It is, and the set looks pretty much like it did during the 1970s. For that matter, Bob Barker looks about the same as he did in the 1970s. The show is an inane tribute to consumer culture.

Wagsy: Um ... hello, Goofball! I couldn't help but over hear your typing and I was wondering if you hate every aspect of the Price is Right. Your complaints sounds more like Pudge Bear than Goofball.

Goofball: I don't know what you are trying to imply. I'm my own bear. I make my own decisions. I'm smart enough to use words like "inane" and phrases like "consumer culture." I've got better uses of my time than watching women jump around and kiss Bob Barker and watching the Plinko disk fall.

Wagsy: Um ... is that true? I don't think anyone really dislikes Plinko.

Goofball: Okay, you're right. There is something hypnotic about it. But I don't like the show. The games are stupid -- except for Plinko, which is stupid but mesmerizing.

Wagsy: Um ... what about Cliff Hanger?

Goofball: What about it? It's a bad Sylvestor Stallone movie. What self-respecting action movie features John Lithgow prominently?

Wagsy: Um ... no, no, that isn't what I meant. What about the Price is Right game named Cliff Hanger?

Goofball: What are you trying to imply?

Wagsy: I heard you yodeling the Cliff Hanger song.

Goofball: What! How?! I only sing that when I am alone.

Wagsy: I heard you over the baby monitor.

Goofball: Get out of here! This is my post. Vamoose!

Moose: Moose!

Wagsy: Um ... are you embarassed about yodelling, Goofball?

Goofball: I do not yodel! You got that straight? The Goofball does not yodel.

Wagsy: Um ... the baby monitor says otherwise.

Goofball: Do you believe everything you hear over the baby monitor?

Moose: Moose!

Wagsy: Um ... yeah, yeah, I guess I do.

Goofball: I'm ending this post right now.

Wagsy: Um ... goodbye, Goofball.

Moose: Moose!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy Birthday, Harriet

Um ... happy birthday to you
Um ... happy birthday to you
Um ... um ... happy birthday, dear Harriet
Um ... happy birthday to youuuuuuu.

Um ... hello. This is Harriet's first birthday as a mommy. Our life has changed so much in the past year. First Harriet looked like she was smuggling pillows. Oooh, she looked very comfy, but really she was hard and lumpy. Then Harriet went to the hospital and came back with a baby. Um ... I don't think I have ever uttered a more terrifying clause in my life: "came back with a baby." Even "came back with a polyester chainsaw" doesn't sound as scary. I think this might be the first birthday a bear was thrown up on. Ozzie has been good about protecting us, but we still get drooled on sometimes. I guess we don't mind the drool so much, but ... um ... I don't like being a chew toy. I am a grown woman's teddy bear and that means I get to stay up late watching TV and cuddle and not get drooled on. Yeah, yeah, that's what it means.

But ... um ... it also means that we love Harriet and accept her no matter what. Ricky is pretty cute when he's not being a big ol' drool monster. Even I get my nose gnawed on, I'm happy that Harriet is my person. I think that goes for every one of us.

Composed or collage?

Happy birthday, Harriet!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Zebra on the Loose

WoW!!! Look Who Got a Blogger Account!!! Watch out World!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Catching Up

Um ... hello! Um ... how are you? Um ... um ... we haven't been doing a very good job of blogging lately. But it is not our fault! Honestly, we mean to blog, but ... um ... we need help and we keep getting ignored. Oooh, our life has changed and not for the better. Um ... we don't get as much cuddling. And we don't get to watch TV anymore. And a couple of us had to put our viscous liquids training to good use. Oooh! Little Ricky isn't very tidy. Drooly is more how I would describe him. He looks cuddly, but mostly he's sticky.

It isn't all bad, though. we have lots of new friends. There is a pig. And a sheep. And a couple of bears. And a zebra (ooh, another zebra ... our house is becoming a climate controlled serengeti). They're all very nice. Except maybe the zebra. He might be nice, but it is hard to get to know a zebra. Oooh, hopefully we can introduce you to all our new friends soon. Once we start blogging again.

But ... um ... it isn't all Ricky's fault that we haven't been blogging. There is also the election. Oooh, since Ozzie studies voting behavior, he's really busy during October. Last year that didn't stop us from blogging, but ... um ... I think Ricky has changed the equation a little bit. Ozzie just looks like a zombie. A big mean grumpy zombie. Even a dancing Goofball doesn't cheer him up. Um ... I wish he'd take a nap. And it would be nice if he'd include us in the nap, too. Maybe after the election we'll start blogging again. Maybe.

Um ... a dog has to have dreams, right?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Too Exciting to Pass Up

So like I know we haven't been blogging lately, and like I am super sorry about that. But like things have been crazy here with the arrival of little Ricky. By crazy, I mean that everyone is totally exhausted and completely bored out of their minds. Like I mean everyone. Even Platy is beginning to complain about the daily repetition (and like this one time Platy confused a glass bookcase for a movie and watched the bookcase for like two days straight). Like Ricky looks totally adorable, but he pretty much only does like three things. One of those things is nap, but he naps a lot even for teddy bears. I mean come on, this aardvark has things to do. And like the other two things Ricky does are like too disgusting to be discussed on a family blog. Oh my god, I'm like totally scarred. If I had a therapist, she would like have to hypnotize me so I could recall the traumatizing moments. Stars with their babies may look all glamorous and happy, but that is probably because they are like paying someone to change diapers and comfort squawking babies. Or maybe it is because they are shopping for clothes in fancy boutiques in full make up. Like who wouldn't look glamorous and happy doing that? Like, the point is that, I am totally sorry that we have been totally neglecting the blog.

But I am posting now because like I totally have exciting news. Oh my god, I can hardly contain myself. Michelle Williams picked out a baby present for little Ricky. I'm being totally on the level here. For real. I mean like this is THE Michelle Williams, the glamorous movie star, and not some nobody Michelle Williams who happens to share the same name. Like isn't that totally amazing?

Oh, my god, Amelia and I were like totally stoked and like hopping all over the room screaming and stuff. I mean what are the odds that a co-lead of Dick, which happens to be my all-time favorite movie about political intrigue, would choose our family a present? I should be like totally above board and say upfront that Michelle Williams didn't buy Ricky a present, but she personally selected it which is almost as good. Harriet's cousin, K., was shopping in this amazing Japanese department store in the big Apple named Takashimaya. K. was like trying to find an appropriate gift for Ricky. She was going to buy this very cute, knitted Noah's Ark when this glamorous stranger came up to K. and said:

Glamorous Stranger: You know, like, that looks really cute and all, but babies would prefer cheap plastic things to gnaw on.

K.: Like that is totally a good point. Thanks.

Glamorous Stranger: No problem, like i know everything about babies.

K.: Well, like I have no clue, so like could you help me out by telling me stuff to buy?

Glamorous Stranger: Like you're in the right store, because I just adore Takashimaya. I like come here every time I am in New York cuz like it's the best.

K.: I like it, too. So like what do you like?

Glamorous Stranger: I completely adore this blanket with all the dogs on it and stuff. It is like really cute and really soft and totally gives the baby an enriched environment with all the colors and textures on it and stuff.

K.: Oh my god, you're right. This blanket is awesome and I bet Ricky is completely into colors.

Glamorous Stranger: Totally.

K.: Like did you bring your dog into the store?

Glamorous Stranger: Yeah! Like what was I supposed to do, leave it outside tied to a tree or something? As if. It's like pure-bred and everything.

K.: I'm just saying stores don't normally like people to bring in pets and stuff.

Glamorous Stranger: I'm like really, really famous, and totally rich, and way too glamorous to be bothered. Like people let me do whatever I want cuz like I spend lots of money and make everywhere I go seem like totally hot. Like I bought a pretzel from thsi hot dog vendor this one time, and like the next day there was a picture of it in the styles section and like the
dude was like up to is ears in customers.

K.: I knew that. I totally knew that you are Michelle Williams.

Michelle Williams: Well now that you know, like don't go totally crazy stalker on me or anything.

K.: Like thanks for the great advice on the baby present.

Michelle Williams: Like it was my pleasure.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! And that is how Michelle Williams picked out our, I mean like Ricky's, blanket. Here is a picture of Amelia and I posing with the blanket.

Showing off the goods

Like I am pretty sure that Michelle Williams touched it, so it might like have her hair or skin or something on it. If I was like some sick-o, I could totally clone her. But like that would ruin the whole mystique behind Michelle Williams. I mean who else could have played Kimberly in But I'm a Cheerleader? Okay, that was a small part, but she was like integral to Prozac Nation when she played Ruby. Oh my god, she's like so talented.

Close Up of the brush with celebrity

Amelia said that like this gift from Michelle Williams was like an omen or something of like good things for Ricky. And like I don't know about that cuz like I'm a self-made aardvark and all, but like it totally changes my view of Ricky. Like he might do some really disgusting things, but like he is a close personal friend of Michelle Williams and that is way cool.

So like I want to tell everyone.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Back in Action

Um ... hello! Oooh! That felt so good to say. I think I'll say it again ...

Um ... hello! I'm back. We're back. The long blog silence is over. Ooh, we've had so much to say over the past three months, but ... um ... we've been kinda busy lately. By "we" I mean Ozzie. The bears have been pretty bored to be honest and would rather have been blogging. Not that we have been doing nothing, but ... um ... we haven't been doing much of anything. But we have so much to tell you!

Ooh, I am so excited to be typing again. I apologize to our loyal readers. We should have let you know the silence was coming. But ... um ... our readership actually rose when we stopped. Yeah, yeah. Our two best months ever were the last two months when we didn't say anything. Um ... I'm not sure what that says. A lot of people were searching for images of baby ducks and came across our blog. Um ... I don't understand it either.

But ... um ... check back soon. We should be back to posting once or twice a week now.

Oooh, it is so good to be back. Baby watching can be so boring.

[Editor: Shhhhh, Wagsy, Harriet might hear you.]

Well, it is boring. I mean I thought watching Ricky was pretty interesting the first week or two, but three months is a bit much.

Watching over the baby

[Editor: I'm not saying I disagree, but Harriet is pretty attached to Ricky. She doesn't think watching Ricky is boring.]

Um ... I spend all day looking out a window or staring up at the ceiling. I know boring. Watching a baby all day every day is boring. Um ... except when it is scary. Ricky gets really loud and he's very messy. Oooh, we have witnessed some scary fluids on the bed. Luckily no bears were hurt.

But we can tell you about it later because we're back.

The bears are back in town
The bears are back in town
I said
The bears are back in town
The bears are back in town
The bears are back in town
The bears are back in town
The bears are back in town
The bears are back in town
The bears are back in town

Maybe I should pick a more complicated song to sing next time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Callousness of the Blogosphere

In the wake of tragedy, many are choosing inappropriately to make light of the situation.

A woman named "Florida Cracker" flippantly comments that "[t]he problem with antique stuffed animals is they always have some loose thread or button that needs to be pulled" and concludes "Barney announced he'd be checking into rehab." While it is probable that Barney sufferes from a chemical imbalance (most likely the problem is genetic since dobermans are a particularly vicious breed and a scourge to teddy bears everywhere), I would hardly describe being torn apart by vice-like jaws as "loose thread."

A blogger writing under the psuedonym "Lord Monsoon" makes a nearly identical joke regarding Barney's mental health:
[T]he dog has long struggled with an anger management problem. Part of West's duties at the museum is to take Barney to an animal psychiatrist once a week to work through his issues. Said West of Barney the dog's treatment:

"The dog's shrink thinks he's figured right out Barney's problem. He hates cats you see. Gives them the evil eye he does, like he's saying 'you f**king cats' and all. Barney tends to tie up with other dogs, and the shrink says that Barney must blame cats for all the dogfights in the world. Hells bells, the bloody mutt cast an eye on me when I finally took him down last night as if to say, 'Are you a cat?' Bloody hell that look it was, I tell you."

Barney the dog's psychiatrist was not immediately available for comment, but left a phone message with CM later saying he's seen Barney since his "episode" and can tell the dog is most apologetic, and is embarassed and deeply regrets his despicable act. But the dog himself has declined to comment.

The whole post strikes an inappropriately jocular tone and makes light of the death and mayhem. However, I did appreciate Lord Monsoon's observation that "the dog managed to destroy about 100 bears, evidently eluding the agility-impaired West." At the very least the security guard is inept; criminally negligent is more likely.

Generally, people on the web find the situation to be great fodder for juvenile comedy. The comments on this news site demonstrate a distinct lack of moral uneasiness as they share stories of calamity that has befallen teddy bears. I fail to see why the story is humorous much less "Hilarious!!" justifying a double exclamation point.

I have often read news accounts of depravity on the web. Little did I know it extends to a moral obtuseness regarding teddy bears.

Crimes Against Bears

I sincerely apologize for the long silence on the blog. Given our druthers, we bears would prefer to be posting about the myriad of activities in our household. Sadly, Ozzie has been too tired to assist our recounting. As Ozzie's academic mentor I can not complain since his efforts should be put towards getting tenure. However, the fact remains that the bears are bored and we miss the blog. We shall resume blogging in the next day or two.

But news of an international calamity needs to be addressed immediately and widely disseminated. Hundreds of teddy bears perished in Wookey Hole Caves when a doberman named Barney viciously attacked the innocent teddy bears. The murderous beast showed no mercy and offered no explanation for the carnage. The AP described the scene thusly:

Barney ripped the head off a brown stuffed bear once owned by the young Presley during the attack, leaving fluffy stuffing and bits of bears' limbs and heads on the museum floor. The bear, named Mabel, was made in 1909 by the German manufacturer Steiff.

I would like to commend the AP for running a story on teddy bears when the Middle East is in an uproar. Most news agencies would dismiss the story as a fluff piece and ignore the rights of the teddy bears in question. Moreover, the paragraph excerpted above describes the scene vividly (just on the correct side of lurid), and demonstrates a definite sympathy for the teddy bears.

However, I must object to the focus upon Mabel, the bear owned by Elvis Presley. While I am sure that Mabel suffered while watching her owner self-destruct towards the end of his life, she is no more or less inherently worthy of eulogizing than any of the other hundred bears who perished in the children's museum. By my count, Elvis is mentioned four times in the story and not a single other bear is mentioned. There is not even an accurate body count provided. I hope that the AP follows up on the story and releases more details of this tragedy.

Our sincerest and furriest condolences go out to the family and friends of the teddy bears who were harmed.

Addendum: A picture of the crime scene can be found here. It is clear from Barney's expression that he shows no remorse for his attack. From the description in the article it is difficult to know whether security man Greg West is a hero for saving the remaining bears or an enabling or inept accomplice to the crime. I hope we learn additional details soon.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Birth Announcement

I am pleased to announce the birth of a young scholar, Ricky Nelson. The reports I have heard is that he is a fine and healthy young man and that Harriet is also doing well.

I must admit that I take a special joy in the birth of young Ricky. I have never guided a young intellect from birth. Harriet came under my tutelage at the age of 6, which is sufficiently early to teach rudimentary skills. However, by the age of 6 many children already have ingrained habits and tastes that cannot be rectified. For instance, Harriet possesses an appreciation of country music that I find unfathomable. Friends in low places often share low tastes.

I face no such barriers with the young Mr. Ricky Nelson. We shall begin his education with Mozart and gradually move to Beethoven and Brahms. He will read canonical translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey. I would like to teach the young sir ancient Greek for a fuller appreciation of these great works, but I fear that neither Ozzie nor Harriet show the slightest aptitude for languages. Thus, I shall set more realistic goals.

Sigh. Ozzie poses something of a challenge. I hesitate to describe his lifestyle as uncouth, but it is at the very least unconventional. Ozzie is a passable scholar and possesses fine taste in novels and music, but too often he descends into intellectual laziness with his workmanlike prose and fondness for disco and basketball. I once saw him eat an entire dinner with his hands. I have severe reservations about my ability to properly educate the young Ricky with Ozzie throwing a wrench into the works.

Perhaps I can arrange a lengthy sabatical in Madagascar for Ozzie. A year or two without his meddlesome interference in my pedagogy should allow me to inoculate Ricky from Ozzie's intellectual Gomorrah.

Not Ready Redux

Um ... hello. Harriet is going to the hospital. Oooh, she's in a lot of pain. I tried comforting her and she appreciated the cuddling, but she was still in a lot of pain. Even my bunny George didn't make her feel better. So Ozzie took Harriet to the hospital. I would be worried, but Ozzie assures us that Harriet will be fine and she is just having contractions. Um ... I hope the pillowhead is right. Um ... um ...

I'mnotready. I'mnotready. I'mnotready.

Um ... if the baby is such a pain in the tookus when he is inside, how bad will things be when he is on the outside?


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Taming of the Zebra

Ozzie and Harriet have been extremely diligent about preparing the house for a young child. Our domicile is replete with baby gates, cribs, changing tables, diapers, and sufficient clothing for nearly a year. I fret that Ozzie's work has not been completed, but, in the grand scheme of things, the specific date on an article is less important that the health and well-being of a child (not to mention Harriet's sanity).

There is one aspect of household readiness that I fear was overlooked: namely, our zebra infestation. Our humble abode has been inundated with zebras for quite some time. The net result of the collection of feral animals is an impressive cacophony. Harriet attributes her difficulty sleeping to the pregnancy, however I suspect that the neighing, shedding, and destructive members of the horse family who have taken up residence may be a contributing factor. I recognize that standards in child rearing have changed over the years, but I refuse to believe that it is acceptable for newborns to be exposed to feral zebra.

To rectify the situation, I set out to domesticate our zebra house guests. Taming wild animals is not an activity in which I generally find myself engaged. However, I reasoned that training the reckless zebras could be no more difficult than wrestling with the unruly truths of our universe. So I set about my task with the stealy resolve of a person possessed of knowledge.

My first salvo sought to reason with the zebras. I must admit that the zebras struck me as a brutish lot incapable of reasoning, but I did not want to prejudge the analytic capicities of the zebra. Thus I approached the zebra with a cursory description of Hobbes' central argument in Leviathan explaining why we submit to government. Surely the zebras would value the culture and security that derive from submitting to customs, norms, rules, and governance. Unsurprisingy, the zebras remained unpersuaded. However, I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback when a large pile of couch stuffing was thrown at me. Clearly, these zebras were not of a philosophical bent.

My second stratagem attempted to win over the zebras with simple bribery. In nature, zebras prefer to eat short grass. However, I had noticed that in our household the zebras consume high caloric food stuffs such as sugars and complex starches. One wonders whether zebra diabetes would be a problem in the savana were zebras to have access to such fatting items. The weakness for sweets was my entry and I endeavored to curry the favor of the zebras by presenting them with cheesecakes. I must admit that they were excellent New York Style cheesecakes purchased from a local specialty store and would tempt any creature with a sweet tooth. In exchange for consistently good behavior, I would provide one cheesecake a week. As one might expect, the zebras highly discount future benefits and simply trampled me in their rush to the cheesecake. Ultimately, the plan to reward the zebras completely backfired. The zebras overturned a large portion of the kitchen in their sugar induced revelry.

While the zebras were sleeping off their sugar highs, I regrouped and rethought my tactics. My initial assumptions proved unduly optimistic. Clearly I was overestimating the capacities of the zebras. Rather than treating the zebras as reasoning creatures, I would train them like simple animals. If BF Skinner could train pigeons, surely I could meet with some success on zebras. [Note: In no way do I wish to compare my intellect to Skinner's, but the enhanced brain development in mammals should provide better raw material than avian cranial capacity.]

Ideally, an animal trainer relies upon positive and negative reinforcement rather than punishment. Punishment often encourages creatures to avoid detection rather than truly alter behavior, so punishment is merely a short term fix. However, the baby could arrive any day, so time was of the essence and I decided to utilize punishment in my training regime. [Note: I must also sheepishly admit that I was still smarting from having boysenberry cheesecake rubbed into my skin. Revenge is an ugly emotion and I fear I may have succumb.]

I laid out the following set of rules for the zebra. As long as they remained relatively quiet, did not break furniture, and generally wreak havoc, a DVD of Racing Stripes would play. If any furniture were destroyed or the dinn rise to uncontrollable levels, Racing Stripes would be shut off (i.e., negative reinforcement). If the zebra were especially well behaved, then popcorn and caffeine free diet soda would be provided during the movie (i.e., positive reinforcement). However, should the wheels fall off and the house descend into zebra led chaos, then I would turn on Air Supply (i.e., punishment). Goofball complained that hearing Air Supply was punishment for the entire house, and it was difficult to disagree. However, drastic action needed to be taken in order to properly condition the zebra. Furthermore, I was forced to endure countless hours of watching the putrid Racing Stripes and viewed my share of the collective pain as more than fair. Were there other zebra-themed movies available at the movie store, I would have opted for better entertainment.

The effects of the training were swift and dramatic.

Zebras Just Chillin

Notice that the zebras are calmly sitting in one space. There is no hiding, biting, breying, breaking, or vandalism. Two of the zebras are even wearing clothing. I was stunned at the rapid transformation.

Mortified zebras

Apparently the zebras were as well.

I now feel more confident that a child can be properly raised in this household.

Not Ready

Um ... hello. Um ... we've received some inquiries about why we haven't posted lately. No, Harriet hasn't had the baby yet. We're still waiting here. Bears are really good at waiting. Yeah, yeah, we can sit and stare at the wall for hours. We also like napping. Napping takes up a lot of our time. Time flies when you're napping. Harriet might be impatient, but these last days of being baby free are flying by.

Um ... more specifically, a reader wanted to know why I haven't been posting. Um ... that one is ... um ... a little harder to answer. Um ...

I'm not ready!!! I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready! Babies are messy, dangerous, smelly things. I might be the victim of an inadvertant barfing. Oooh, I'm a grownup bear not a baby bear. I like napping. I don't like flying. I like sitting. I do not like being dragged down the stairs by my foot. Um ... oh.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

American Idle

Okay, so like I haven't written anything about American Idol in like forever. Like I'm not even sure that I have even said word one about the show. It's not that I don't watch it cuz like I'm totally glued to the set each week. But it's like when the world is full of so many stars, why would I want to write about wanna-bees? Like Angelina and Brad are their own established constellation and make for good copy. Typing is like totally difficult for me, so why should I waste my time on erstwhile karoke singers?

Then like two things changed my mind with a quickness. First was this New York Times article on Ryan Seacrest. I was like whoa. What is the Grey Lady doing devoting 1400 words to a nobody like Ryan Seacrest when the Darfurrians are still in trouble? I totally didn't understand the interest, you know? I mean his role in Idol puts the fluous in superfluous. ... Like, does that work, Amelia?

Amelia: I don't think so, Buffy. Fluous isn't a word.

Then, like what should I use? He puts the "less" back in useless? That seems kinda lame.

Amelia: Well, maybe you could try, "His role isn't worth the word 'expendable', so I'll just describe it as endable." Or, "It's not only redundant, it's simply done: done before, done better, and is it done yet?"

Like, see why I hang with Amelia? I mean she is quiet, but she has a fierce tongue. Must come with slurping up ants and termites. Like there was this girl in the 80s who told this guy in a movie that she wouldn't kiss him until he could unwrap a Starburst using only his tongue. And like Amelia and I just don't find opening candies impressive. Try getting ants out of a rotten log and then we'll talk.

Amelia: I think you've spent enough time on the tangent, Buffy. Get back to Ryan Seacrest.

Totally, oh my god, I like forgot where I was or something. The point is, Ryan adds nothing to show. Despite this lack of charisma, he has two radio shows, a role on Idol, and a 3 year $21 million contract from E!. Like how is that possible? I mean he is kinda cute if you're in the "I'm too old for Hobbits but too young for Vin Diesel" crowd. He isn't funny (like me). He isn't insighful (like me). He's like vanilla, but not like the good Mexican kind. Seacrest is the synthetic, bitter, imitation vanilla they produce in huge vats off the New Jersey turnpike.

Amelia: You're sounding a little bitter yourself, Buffy. Why can't we just be happy for Ryan's success?

Happy?! Like I'm totally pumped. If that dweeb can make a multi-million dollar empire, what's to stop me from being the next Oprah? My left ear is more interesting than Ryan. Seacrest out, Buffy in.

So like the second thing that prompted me to write about American Idol was this e-mail from a reader:

Dear Buffy,

You're like my favorite author on Furry Thoughts for Fuzzy Times. Like for a while I thought I was into Goofball, but then he writes about sports all the time and misses all the really important things like fashion and celebrities. I have read everything you've written like a dozen times. You like say things that I'd like say if I could like say them, but you say them way better. Like yaknow? It's like we're on the same wavelength, but you're like further down the wave or something.

But I've noticed that you've been like silent on American Idol. Like is there some back story that I should know about? And like if you're not like boycotting the show on principle, could you like give you opinion on it? I'd be really curious to hear your thoughts.

An Aardvark Fan

Like I didn't realize that I was letting down my fans by not commenting on Idol. There totally isn't any drama or history. I've never tried out. I've never had Paula throw a drink on me. Nothing. I just didn't think there was a distinctive teddy bear perspective on the event, ya know? I mean I have opinions and favorites just like any other aardvark, but I didn't feel the need to subject the world to my thoughts. But if someone like wants to know, then I'll share them.

First off, this year's talent pool was more shallow than a love note written by Paris Hilton. I'm being totally serious here. Vote for the Worst probably had a civil war trying to decide who to support. The winner was clearly going to be Katharine McPhee from the start. I'm she's hot, she can sing, and she seems like a really sweet person. Couldn't you totally see her holding her own in US Weekly? Tell me she doesn't look just as good as Mandy Moore, Jessicsa Alba, or Katie Holmes? Please. And she's 21, so there won't be those scandalous Olsen Twins getting tanked type stories. Kat is the only one with star quality and that will like win out.

But like tonight's performances made me wonder. Taylor seemed to get the crowd really into it. I just don't see the attraction. He's like 79 (minus 50) and he's got twice as many chins as the average contestant. I mean if you can't bother to get in good shape during American Idol like when will you get in shape? At least Elvis waited until he was like a demi-god before turning himself into the Goodyear blimp. And the guy belts out every song like he is in front of the bathroom mirror. I mean even Randy Jackson kept saying, "No matter what the song, dog, you make it into a Taylor Hicks song." That is just another way of saying, "Every song sounds the same when you sing it, doofus." But the crowd was really into it. Am I so out of touch? I mean this should be a popularity contest between the stoned class clown and the really hot cheerleader, who is going to Harvard, feeds the homeless, and is genuinely nice to everyone. No brainer, right?

But then Simon changed his tune. I mean he started out panning every one of Taylor's performances, and I was with him. But then like a couple of weeks ago Simon switched gears and said he thought Taylor deserved to be in the finals? That switch totally gave me whiplash. I have a couple of theories for this turn around:
  • a) Simon really changed his mind (hardly);

  • b) Simon was paid by Vote for the Worst (as if);

  • c) Simon's record company gets to produce a record for the #2 person, but Fox gets the winner (you never know, but the conflict of interest seems way too obvious);

  • d) Simon watched the crowds going bezerk every week and saw the number of votes Taylor brought in and decided to capitulate to the mob.

Like is it possible that my favorite judge sold out? I just don't get it. And like it totally makes me sick when Randy and Paula start crowing about how Simon didn't think Taylor would make it very far. First off, like Simon already admitted he was wrong, so like relax. I mean has Paula ever admitted she was wrong? And second, when have those two been especially right? I mean they like everyone. Does that mean that they were wrong about all the people who lost out? It does, doesn't it? Am I right, Amelia?

Amelia: Yes, Buffy.

Thank you. I just don't understand any of this. They could like replace everyone excepting Simon on that show and I would probably like it just as much. And if Kat doesn't win, I'll be like totally disoriented. Would teenage girls really vote for a dork staving off a mid-life crisis instead of a really cute girl who can sing and is really nice? Like is this possible?

Update: Oh my god, I can't believe that the karoke singer won. How could America not catch McPheever? I'm like completely dumbfounded. He can't sing and he's not cute and he's not funny. What is the point in watching him? He like makes Ryan Seacrest look like the Bruce Jenner of the entertainment decathalon.

Ozzie totally needs to get off his butt and study the voting behavior of Idol fans. I mean there is something seriously strange about all this. Like I'm at a loss. What do the youth of America want? Like maybe I don't have it? Like I totally thought a sassy aardvark would hit some sort of cultural nerve.

But then I thought a hot, friendly, girl next door type who could sing would win American Idol, too.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Emotional Support Duck

Quack quack quack quack quack: quack. Quack quack:
These days people rely on a veritable Noah's Ark of support animals. Tami McLallen, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said that although dogs are the most common service animals taken onto planes, the airline has had to accommodate monkeys, miniature horses, cats and even an emotional support duck. "Its owner dressed it up in clothes," she recalled.

Quack quACK Quack quaCK quackquack. Quack quack quack quack QUACK QUACK QUACK! Quack quack QUAck quack quack. Quack quACK quACK quaCK.

Quack quack quack. Quack quack QUACK QUACK, quack QUAck, QUACK QUACK QUACK.

Quack quack quack quack quack.


Quack quack quack quack, quack quack quack quack quack.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gauging Interest in Teddy Bears

Readers may recall my agreement with Ozzie a year ago. Once Ozzie receives tenure, he will assist me in writing my book. There are so many exciting possibilities to be pursued. Globalization and the Diffusion of Teddy Bears has a certain appeal, but I strongly suspect that my attentions will first be turned upon the epistemological and metaphysical properties of teddy bears. I plan an ambitious and far reaching intellectual agenda concerning teddy bears, and it is good to establish a firm intellectual foundation. Perhaps after dictating The Second Treatise on Teddy Bears, I will write An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Teddy Bears. From that vantage, I should be able to adequately pursue the diffusion of teddy bears. To be perfectly frank, I am positively giddy with excitement. Ozzie bought a desk for me last Christmas. I have never before possessed such a fine workshop in which to ply my trade. I long for the day when I can cease my concern with voting behavior and turn my attention to the eternal truths of the universe.

Readers whose primary encounter with narrative is the treacly tripe served up by Hollywood movie studios might guess that the paragraph above foreshadows the news that Ozzie will receive early tenure. While not entirely illogical, the conclusion is wholly unwarranted and demonstrates a severe misapprehension on the bureaucratic workings of academia. To be perfectly honest, nothing could be further from the truth. Ozzie has not produced anything worthy of note in weeks. Rather than finishing up existing papers, Ozzie spends his nights watching basketball games and his days struggling through the resulting sleep deprivation. Sigh. I find it somewhat apropos that Ozzie studies voters, who are often described as myopic, poorly informed, and easily distracted. It may be a very long time before I can begin my book in earnest.

To prepare myself for the day when my intellectual pursuits become actualized, I spend my idle hours pondering. The topic varies depending upon the day. I see little reason to reign in and focus my thoughts when my magnum opus is a minimum of six years away. Typically, I commune with the Canon (I am reaquainting myself with Aristotle at the moment), but occasionally I find myself inspired by the tools Ozzie employs in his work.

The wealth of data on American public opinion is simply staggering. Each day hundreds of randomly selected individuals are surveyed, and their responses are available for scholars to sift through. The range of questions that can be answered using such materials is mind boggling (which makes Ozzie's choice of topics for intellectual inquiry all the more depressing). I realize that a scholar should think of a question and then find the right methods to answer the question, but the temptation to make use of the cornucopia of survey tools is strong. Since Ozzie is frittering away his hours watching under-educated, over-paid pituitary cases fight over an inflated cow hide, I decided to indulge myself and explore seedy world of public opinion.

Unfortunately, surveys concerning my object of interest are not readily available. Perhaps the Vermont Teddy Bear Company has conducted proprietary research, but I am doubtful that I will ever gain access to such information. So how was I to assess public opinion concerning teddy bears?

As luck would have it, the innovative engineers at Google have derived a useful measure of broad interest in a subject. I eagerly typed in "teddy bear" into Google Trends to see what information concerning public sentiments on teddy bears could be gleaned. The results were surprisingly unambiguous. I took three lessons from the exercise.

Lesson One: People are most likely to type the word "teddy bear" into Google two weeks prior to Valentine's Day. I can only surmise that teddy bears are viewed as an appropriate gift for a romantic holiday. While I do not disagree with such sentiments, I would prefer teddy bears to be associated with a broader range of holidays. Why are teddy bears not viewed as patriotic? Surely, World Science Day (November 10th) would also be an appropriate day to give a loved one a teddy bear. Still, my wishes cannot change the shape of the data. That the world associates teddy bears with Valentine's Day is an uncontrovertible fact.

Lesson Two: Former British Colonies are the seat of global interest in teddy bears. The countries seeking teddy bears most are (in order): 1) The United States; 2) Australia; 3) United Kingdom; 4) New Zealand; 5) Canada; 6) Thailand; and 7) India. Given the prominent ranking of a small island state such as New Zealand, I assume that the results are normed by population. With the exception of Thailand, which is the only Southeast Asian nation not to be conquered by a European power, every country is an English speaking former British colony. The regularity cannot be due to chance. Whether teddy bears diffused through mercantile, cultural, or technological routes cannot be determined. However, the regularity is striking and worthy of note.

Lesson Three: The biggest news story concerning teddy bears involved a bad romantic pun. Apparently the "Crazy for You" teddy bear in a strait jacket from Vermont Teddy Bears rankled some oversensitive people. Yet another example of political correctness run amuck. Each of the articles deemed representative of the protest against "Crazy for You" bear worried about offending crazy people. Not one person quoted expressed concern over the undue restriction of movement for the hapless teddy bears. I agree that Vermont Teddy Bears behaved in a callous manner, but I see no reason to ignore the plight of friendly teddy bears.

I am not sure larger life lessons can be drawn from the Google Trends analysis. However, the initial data exploration was intended merely as a distraction. To that end, the analysis was immensely successful.