Tag Archives: dogs

Movie Review – A Dog’s Journey (2019)

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  So, this movie is the sequel to 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose” and it continues with author W. Bruce Cameron’s tried and true formula of pulling on the heart strings of pet owners.  You might remember in the original, Bailey died and reincarnated over and over, becoming a different dog each time, helping a slew of owners along the way as he pined to return to his original owner, Ethan (Dennis Quaid).

In this go around, Bailey croaks again and again, reincarnating over and over so he can help Ethan’s grandaughter, CJ, as he finds her again and again throughout numerous dog lives.

You cry when the dog dies.  You rejoice when the dog lives again.  Honestly, these movies are one step above being Hallmark films but somehow they make you care about the characters and the dog and I suppose the message is we all need unconditional love in our lives and dogs are better at providing that than humans.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – A Dog’s Way Home (2019)

 

I’m not going to spend long on this review because overall, it’s cute and schmaltzy, basically a Hallmark movie that your kids will enjoy because…dogs!

Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard) starts out in life as a puppy living under a broken down, abandoned house.  When her mom, Mother Dog, is taken away, she is looked after by none other than Mother Cat.

Soon enough, she’s adopted by a family, including Lucas, a young medical student at a VA Hospital and his mother, a veteran who attends group therapy sessions there from time to time.  Lucas, Mom and Bella become a happy family until an evil developer interferes and through a series of hijinx, Bella ends up on her own in the wild, lost and far away from home.

From there, the canine goes on a two-year quest to get back home, meeting all sorts of friends along the way, from a mountain lion that becomes her BFF to a pack of dogs who knock over trash cans for sustenance to a dog abandoned by his owner and more.

Happy at times, sad at others, it’s so hokey it’ll make you puke but again, the kids will like it, because there are dogs and one of them talks.  There seems to be a growing number of movies with talking dogs and how the filmmakers have the patience to stare at a dog for hours on end with a camera until the dog performs the desired action to keep the film running, I’ll never know.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  FYI it is a follow-up to A Dog’s Purpose, another film based on W. Bruce Cameron’s work.  This dude is raking it in on his dog books.  Sometimes, all you need is a good niche, and this guy really knows how to pull at the heartstrings of pet owners.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 35

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Sitwell, Florida

May, 2007 – 1:00 p.m.

Cole was thirty. A younger man and as Rusty would later note in a phone message ten years later, a much happier man. There was no gray in his hair and plenty of pep in his step.

He wasn’t the chief at the time. That job went to the surly, walrus-mustached Jerome Haskell. Chief Haskell was a dour man with a perpetually sour expression on his face, but on the particular afternoon, he’d missed lunch, which made him exceptionally cranky.

“Wade Randolph!” Chief Haskell bellowed into a bullhorn pointed at a rundown shack on the outskirts of town. “There’s no use fighting this! We’ve got you surrounded!”

A faint voice emanated out of a broken window in the house. “Suck my balls!”

Chief Haskell looked to his back-up officers, young Cole and young Rusty. “Did he just tell me to suck his balls?”

“He did, Chief,” Cole said.

“The nerve of some people,” Rusty said. “If you ask me, it’s all these filthy DVD movies people are renting nowadays. They ought to just close down Blockbuster but hell, that place will probably be around until the end of time.”

“True,” Cole said. “People do like a good movie.”

Chief Haskell got on the bullhorn again. “Wade, you sack of refried donkey shit! Don’t you tell me to suck your balls! I got a warrant for your arrest and it’s gonna be served one way or the other, even if my boys and I have to come on in there and drag your scrawny, dope-dealing ass out ourselves.”

Wade broke onto into song. “Suck my balls, oh suck my balls! Suck, suck, suck suck, oh suck on my balls!”

“God damn it,” Chief Haskell said.

The Chief leaned up against his police cruiser.

“You ok, boss?” Cole asked. “You look a little wobbly.”

“Yeah,” Chief Haskell said. “My blood sugar’s just a little low. I was about to bite into a ham sandwich when this bullshit started.”

“Your Missus still pack your lunches, Chief?” Rusty asked.

“She sure does,” Chief Haskell replied. “Woman’s a saint. Handles all the household chores, does all the laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning. Takes care of everything so I can just focus on my job. Hell, she even handles all the bills and finances. She’s a real smart cookie.”

“That’s awesome, Chief,” Rusty said. “I hope I find a woman like Mrs. Haskell one day.”

“I bet you will, Rusty,” Chief Haskell said as he slapped the redhead on the back. “There are plenty of women out there who want nothing more than to take care of a husband and tend to all his needs.”

“Yeah,” Rusty said. “But I’m just going to take my time. I figure there’s no need to rush. Women will still want to take care of their men in ten years.”

“Oh, no doubt there,” Chief Haskell said. “Just get yourself a smart one, like my Hazel. You know, the other day, she was saying something that made a lot of sense. Something about investing a bunch of money in Apple Computer stock.”

“Apple computers?” Rusty said.

“Yeah,” Chief Haskell said. “Something about a new fangled phone they made. Lets you look at the Internet anywhere.”

“No one could possibly make an invention like that work, Boss,” Rusty said. “Put the Internet in a phone? That’d be like harnessing a hurricane into a bottle. I mean, I’d be all over that shit if they could do it, but it’s impossible.”

“What do you think, Cole?” the Chief asked.

“I dunno, boss,” Cole said. “Beats me as to why anyone needs to be on the Internet while they’re out and about.”

“Hazel said something about social media,” the Chief said. “Whatever the hell that is.”

Cole smiled. “That’s that stupid ass thing the kids do where they post a picture of what they had for lunch…then they write about what they had for lunch, then all their friends write about what they had for lunch. It’s dumb.”

“That actually sounds like it’d be a lot of fun,” Cole said. “But as fads go, it’ll be a flash in the pan with no real long lasting potential. Plus, if Apple is ever able to put the Internet into a damn phone, then that must mean they got some kind of crazy magic scientists working there. I’ll eat my hat if they do it.”

Chief Haskell nodded. “You guys are right. I’ll just tell her to put it all in Borders.”

“Can’t go wrong there, Chief,” Rusty said. “People will always love the feel of a printed book in their hands.”

The Chief looked at his watch, then barked into the bullhorn. “Wade! You pulling your pud in there or what? Let’s go!”

“Chief!” Wade shouted. “I’ll have you know it’s illegal for you all to be here on my property!”

“It’s not illegal for us to be here, dipshit!” the Chief shouted into the bullhorn. “It’s illegal for you to cook up crystal meth and sell it to high school kids. How’d you think you were gonna get away with that one?”

Wade went silent. A few minutes passed.

“Hey Boss,” Cole said. “You know, Sharon just graduated from law school…”

“Oh sure,” Chief Haskell said. “Rub it in all our faces, why don’t you, Cole? All that big time fancy lawyer money your wife is going to be making?”

“Sharon will probably rake in so much dough that Cole will be able to quit the force and become her stay at home gigolo,” Rusty said.

The Chief laughed. “Sounds like the good life to me!”

“Yeah,” Cole said. “Anyway, we’re having a little party for her this weekend. We’d love to have you and Hazel over. You too, Rusty.”

“Count us in,” Chief Haskell said.

“What about you, Rusty?” Cole asked.

“Can I wear my Ed Hardy shirt?” Rusty asked.

“If you have to,” Cole replied.

“Then I’m in,” Rusty said.

Chief Haskell held up his bullhorn. “Peckerwood! You got until the count of three! Three…two…”

The front door of the shack swung open. “I’m coming out!”

“You got a gun on you?” Chief Haskell asked.

“Hell no,” Wade answered. “You think I’m some kinda idiot?”

Chief Haskell sighed. “You don’t want me to answer that. Just know you come out armed, we’ll put you down!”

An angry growl filled the air. The Chief squinted at the sight that was unfolding before his eyes, just to make sure he was really seeing what he was seeing. “What in the…”
Wade had walked out the door while holding the leash of one very large, very angry pit bull. It had giant, pointy teeth and big gobs of white foam plopped out of its mouth. It stared at the officers with a hungry look in his eyes.

“What the hell are you trying to pull, Wade?” Chief Haskell asked.

Wade was skinny to the point of emaciation. His body was like a tall skeleton with skin hanging off of it, with a pair of sunken eyes. He wore a pair of dirty jeans and a wife-beater style T-shirt.

“You piggies scoot, now!” Wade shouted. “Go on back to the bacon factory before I sic Ole Mongo on you!”

All three officers pulled their sidearms and aimed at the dog. Old Mongo was one rough looking pooch. He only had one eye. There were burn marks, scratches, and scars all over his body. One could only assume that he’d suffered a great deal of abuse at the hands of his owner over the years, the kind of abuse that can turn an animal from a friendly pet to an insane killing machine.

“I will shoot you and your ugly dog, Wade!” the Chief shouted. “Chain that mutt up and lie down on the ground!”

Old Mongo barked and growled some more. Then he started pulling on the leash, harder and harder. Wade struggled to hold on. It was obvious that the dog was much stronger than his owner.

“I can’t hold on forever!” Wade said. “You piggies better run!”

A little girl’s voice broke the tension. There, standing in the doorway, was Wade’s eight-year old daughter. “Daddy, what’s going on?”

The beast dog spotted the girl and growled.

“Why’s Mongo so mad?” the girl asked.

“Go back inside, Molly,” Wade said. “Daddy’s just having a little chat with these officers about a dumb old mistake they made.”

The Chief noticed how intently Old Mongo was staring at Molly. “Wade,” the Chief said. “Look, you better…”

And the dog was off. Old Mongo charged for the girl, yanking the leash right out of Wade’s hands. Molly screeched as she ran into the house with the pit bull in hot pursuit.

“Molly!” Wade shouted.

The drug pusher ran over to the officers. “Chief! You gotta save my little girl.”

The Chief’s face turned red with rage. He took off his hat and beat Wade over the head with it repeatedly. “Idiot!”

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Movie Review – A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Canine reincarnation.  Animal acting controversy.  Pooch Hall in a 1980s Jerry curl.

BQB here with a review of the sappy schmaltz fest that is, A Dog’s Life.

Before I venture into this review, I suppose I should discuss the elephant in the room.  This film was expected to get more play as an ode to man’s best friend, but all that was cast aside when video surfaced of a trainer struggling to get a German Shepherd to enter a turbulent pool of water, followed by the dog later ending up submerged a little longer than anyone would like to see.

More on that from the LA Times.

Honestly, I don’t know.  I watched the video.  The dog isn’t beaten or anything, though that shouldn’t necessarily be the low bar that is set for dog treatment.  The dog is scared.  The trainer tries to get him to go into the pool anyway.  Eventually the dog is in the pool and he goes underwater for a bit.  At the end of the day, he’s safe.

Animal activists are all over the movie like stink on a monkey, raising the question of whether or not animals should be made to appear/perform in movies at all.

On the other hand, W. Bruce Cameron, author of the book the film is based on, released this letter to USA Today, which, if you read it, seems reasonable.

I don’t want to put words into the man’s mouth but my takeaway was, “We goofed.  We’re sorry.  I love dogs.  The movie is meant as a love song to the relationship between man and dog.”

I’ll let you decide.  Personally, I think it might be one of those lessons where everything worked out, the dog’s fine and there was a lesson learned.  Movie dog trainers are now on notice to not force dogs to do things they aren’t cool with.  Yes, it’s a teachable moment for the PETA crowd to express their views, but then again, in today’s knee jerk to become outraged within 30 seconds Internet/social media culture, the folks behind the movie are being treated as if they are collectively Satan…and I don’t sense a vibe that they are Satan.

Moving on to the film itself, Bailey, voiced by Josh Gad, begins his journey as a golden retriever owned by young Ethan.  Time moves on.  As in any life, there are happy times and sad times, proud times and profoundly disappointing times.

Long story short, the pooch buys the farm and is reincarnated as a different dog over and over again, each time to a different owner in a different time period.

Each owner has his/her backstory and it’s up to Bailey to help each human with their personal problems as best he can.  Some owners are kind.  Some owners are douches.

Morals laid down by the tale:

  • Your dog’s life is in your hands and ultimately, he/she ends up being as happy as you are.  If you’re a douche and you treat your dog in a douche-like manner, your dog will be unhappy.  If you rise above whatever it is that is dragging you down, you’ll find happiness if you remember to treat your dog right.
  • Your dog has thoughts.  No, a dog’s inner voice probably doesn’t sound like Josh Gad, but dogs get the gist.  They know if you are mad at them or happy with them.  They know what it is like to be treated well and they know what it is like to be treated like crap.
  • Give your dog a break.  Sure, they occasionally poop on your rug, but if you wouldn’t cast out a family member for making a mistake then give your dog the same courtesy.
  • Dogs are a lot of work.  Being a dog owner is a big commitment.  Think about whether or not you are up for it.  Being chained up in the back yard with occasional feedings and waterings whenever you feel like it is no life for a dog.
  • Ultimately, your dog is a source of unconditional love.  Your dog won’t leave you a Dear John letter or tell you to get lost.  Though you’ll often go to work, go out into the world and leave your dog alone, he/she is like a friend that’s always there waiting for you when you get home.

I hate to admit it, but the film was a real tearjerker.  I mean, not to spoil it, but as a viewer, you’re forced to witness a dog die over and over and over again and that’s before you even scrape the surface of the emotional pain his various owners are in.  Oh and time flashes by at a lightning pace and entire decades have come and gone before you realize it, so try to make the most of it before it is too late.

It sucks that the controversy derailed this film.  I sympathize with the people that are mad.  I sympathize with the people behind this film.

All and all, I’d say give the movie a chance.  There’s a definite love of all things furry behind it.

STATUS: Shelf worthy.  Woof.

 

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The Tao of Bookshelf Q. Battledog

If a cat goes unchased, did a cat serve its purpose?

If I bark at Bookshelf Q. Battler but he doesn’t hear it, did I even bark at all?

If I don’t eat random things off of the floor how will I ever know what they are?

If a blog only has 3.5 readers, does it have any readers at all?

If I lick my butt then lick BQB despite his protests have I covered BQB with my dog butt germs? (Most assuredly so.)

If a chicken crosses the road, gets to the other side, then returns to his initial point of origin, did the chicken ever really go anywhere?

Remember 3.5 readers…a journey of a thousand paw prints begins with one tail wag…also cats are big time buttholes.

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Daily Discussion With BQB – Rate My Attack Dog

Good morning 3.5 Readers.

As regular readers, you’re aware that Bookshelf Q. Battledog holds the esteemed position of Security Chief of Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters.

That’s right. All enemies of BQB HQ must go through this furry protector:

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QUESTION: Do you think BQBD is sufficiently scary? If you were an enemy of BQBHQ, would you cower in terror upon seeing him or punt him like a football and then engage in a hostile takeover of the Bookshelf Battle Blog as the evil Yeti did a couple years ago?

You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but he has actually devoured 7,345 intruders alive. He also knows karate, ninjutsu, kung-fu and tae kwon do.

But I don’t know. There’s just something about him that makes me worry he may not be sufficiently intimidating.

And when you run a blog dedicated to putting more awesomeness in the world, I really need a fearsome beast that will protect me from all who would seek to stop the awesome.

I can’t figure it out. Maybe he needs to work out more. Hit the gym a little.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Daily Discussion with BQB -Are Cats and Dogs Plotting to Take over the Earth?

I believe they are. They appear to be dumb pets but secretly, they plot evil conspiracies.

Shit. Isn’t there a kids’ movie based on this?

Worst daily discussion ever. Discuss anyway.

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Is it OK to Hug Your Dog?

Actually, I did think of something.

It has been in the news the past couple of days that scientists are saying it is bad to hug your dog. They say that even though the dog might look happy, he or she is feeling intense stress over the hug.

Personally, I try not to hug Bookshelf Q. Battledog as he is a vicious man eating beast who has devoured 951 intruders on BQB HQ premises.

BQBD

Bookshelf Q. Battledog is too f&*king manly for hugs.

 

But what do you think?  Dog hugging – bad or good idea? Needless to say I mean dog hugging within normal limits.  All you people who were spooning your dog and dancing the waltz with your dog were weird to begin with.

I’ve been known to pat BQBD on the head while watching Scandal Thursday nights on ABC with Alien Jones, the Yeti and of course, Video Game Rack Fighter, who brings Video Game Rack Fighter Cat.

Now that I am writing this, I have questions. Do they mean never hug your dog ever?  Or are they talking about weirdoes who hug their dogs for hours and hours?

Because honestly, maybe after like a 24 hour dog hugging session the dog ends up feeling like a furry hostage or something.

Maybe he wants space. Maybe he wants to see other owners.

I don’t know. I’m not a dog scientist.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

 

 

 

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Two Year Anniversary Stats

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Gratuitous Bookshelf Q. Battledog Photo

 

In two years of bloggery, I have made 1,240 posts and received:

37,577 views

20,698 visitors

Is this good?  I don’t know.  If there’s some expert out there, please tell me.

The highest number of views I received in a day came on February 9, 2015.  I think that was largely because someone was nice enough to put something I wrote on Reddit.  I had just announced the one post a day for a year challenge too so I think that made people somewhat curious.

In general, if I get between 30-50 hits a day it is a pretty average day.  It is nice when there are more views than hits.  I feel like that means people like what they see and want to keep looking around.

This has definitely been a labor of love.  I truly wish this technology had existed when I was 20 and had the ability to stay up two days straight writing term papers cranked up on Red Bull (shit, come to think of it, that could explain a lot of my problems now.)

But it is here now and I like it because every day brings at least one new follower and I hope all of these little drops in the bucket lead to a nice full bucket some day.

(A nice full bucket of people who will buy the book I can’t seem to finish.  What?  Did I say that?  No.  I do it for the art.  Money schmoney.)

If you haven’t done so yet, please follow me on:

Twitter – @bookshelfbattle

Google Plus

Wattpad – @bookshelfbattle

And don’t forget to LIKE me on Facebook

Thank you, 3.5 readers.  Please keep it up and help a nerd’s dream come true.

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Fictional Blogs – What Do You Think?

Ahem.  *clears throat*

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Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog…in a rare moment where he isn’t licking his nose.

Going forward, the gist of “Bookshelf Battle” is this:

It’s a fictional blog chronicling the adventures of Bookshelf Q. Battler, a nerd/blogger/caretaker of a magic bookshelf. He is the proprietor of “The Bookshelf Battle Blog,” a site that caters only to 3.5 readers. No matter how many readers this site actually gets, in “the story” BQB only gets 3.5 readers.

While pursuing his dream of becoming a writer, BQB faces all manner of villains, yetis, a mad scientist, zombies and more.  He’s haunted by his deceased grumpy uncle and his alive aunt runs circles around him with all the debauchery she gets into.

He lives in East Randomtown, a burg filled with all manner of weirdos, degenerates, and losers, several of whom look to BQB as a leader due to the fact that he’s created a WordPress blog with 3.5 readers, which shows how little the citizenry has achieved. Others argue its the late Doug Hauser, who was an extra for 30 seconds in a 1980’s cop drama, or the late Leo McKoy, the man who’s 95 percent sure he delivered a reuben sandwich to James Van Der Beek at the height of his Dawson’s Creek glory.

In short, East Randomtowners have a tendency to crap on BQB only to then call on him whenever disaster strikes, and as one of few citizens with more than two brain cells to rub together, he feels obliged to save the day.

BQB and his girlfriend, Video Game Rack Fighter are a team.  They support one another in their dreams and goals and also in fighting the various crazies that come their way.

To complicate matters, a maniacal alien despot, “The Mighty Potentate” has deemed BQB to be “the Chosen One,” i.e. the writer who will one day publish a book so finely crafted that it will convince Earthlings to abandon reality television, that form of entertainment truly despised by the Potent One, who prefers scripted media.

To that end, the Mighty Potentate’s emissary, Alien Jones, acts as BQB’s trusted advisor, protector, and confidant. Alien Jones views it as a crap assignment, but sucks it up and does the best he can with it, but often feels dejected whenever he catches BQB staring at his navel and eating cookies when he should be writing.

BQB feels tremendous pressure to write and bring hits to his blog, due to the fact that the Mighty Potentate has declared that he’ll conquer Earth if BQB fails to write a glorious novel.

Finally, there’s a spinoff, “Pop Culture Mysteries.” Jake Dashing, a 1950’s private eye who fell asleep for 60 years only to wake up in modern times, has essentially been blackmailed by BQB.

BQB claims to know why Jake took such a long nap and how he can get back to his own time, but he’ll have to solve 100 pop culture mysteries first.  Along the way, Jake will share tales of actual mysteries he solves, from the past and the present.

<GASP> Oh my god that was such a longwinded explanation.

That last paragraph, I hope, is where the desperately needed effort to monetize this whole shebang will come in.

If the “Pop Culture Mysteries” blog takes off, Jake’s first novel will be about how he punched Hitler in the face.  If people like it, there will be more Jake novels in the future.

The Pop Culture Mysteries site can be considered a stand alone from the novels.  They are about Jake’s efforts to solve pop culture questions and to make it in a world much different from the one he’s used to.

The tricky part is the stories on the blog will refer to things that happened, whereas the novels will get into more detail about what happened.

You won’t need to have read the blog or the novels to enjoy the other.

MY HOPE: is that enough people like the Pop Culture Mysteries blog that they’ll continue with Jake’s first novel…even if it’s like a hundred people that might be a worthwhile boost.

MY FEAR: I’m setting myself up to write two novels – one being a “season” of posts on the blog and then a novel.  Should I just write two novels and put ’em up on Amazon?

And also…I love writing and its my passion but I want to do it right, even if that means it takes more time…so potentially I might not get a novel out in 2016.  I hope I do.  It could end up that I focus on Pop Culture Mysteries blog in 2016 and then get the novel out in 2017.

I worry about that because I know getting a novel out there is what I need to move this all forward so…I don’t know.

Advise me 3.5 readers.  Is my fictional blog/novel tie in a good idea or the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard of?

 

 

 

 

 

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