Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Newmanic (Mnemonic) Device

Not that I'm going to poll the audience. However, if I did, I'm sure that my research results would reveal that many of you, like my Dad, suffer from age-related CRS syndrome? Can't Remember Shit.

Although countless hours of research have been conducted on ways to counteract the debilitating disease, no real antidote is presently available on the market - black, stock, or otherwise.

Dad's remedy, like many other sufferers, is the infamous Post-it. He has Post-its sticking here. Post-its sticking there. Post-its sticking everywhere. Post-its that read "Change underwear!" Ok, that's a lie, but it rhymed.

Long before the invention of the Post-it, people used a form of memory aid called the mnemonic device to remember something, especially lists. Based on the principle that the human mind can more easily remember spatial, personal, sexual or humorous information than arbitrary sequences, mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that is to be remembered.

Common examples of mnemonic devices include:
  • Our good friend, Roy G. Biv, to help remember the colors of the spectrum - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

  • Roger, my brother's call name, has been used in radio communications to mean - Received Order Given, Expect Results.
Roger: Being French, I am often confused by constructs of the English language. For example, I can never remember the sequence of the two vowels "i" and "e."

Newman: Ironic that you bring up that topic, Bro. I use this "Newmanic" device to help me with spelling:
  • "I" before "e," except after "c," or in sounding like "ay" as in "neighbor" or "weigh."

Newman: See how that works?

Roger: Oui, oui!

Newman: Good. Here's another one:

  • Red sky in morning, sailors take warning; Red sky at night, sailors delight.
Newman: Know what that phrase means?

Roger: Mad in the morning when the alarm goes off and happy at night when it's time to hit the sack again?

After that recent incident with the medicated Gold Bond cream, I'd prefer that you refrain from using the word "sack." Back to the issue at hand, although your answer was not a bad one, the phrase actually refers to the weather. Red sky in morning means bad weather is coming. Red sky at night means a beautiful day is on its way.

Roger: Thanks for the lesson, Bro. Since you've designated me as caddie for your show career, a job that I take very seriously, I decided to think of a mnemonic device to help me memorize what to pack for the road. Seeing how we accumulated a lot of gift cards this holiday season, I decided to use the term "Gift Card" to help me remember a lot of the important stuff to have on hand.
  • Grooming Bag
  • Identification
  • First-aid Kit
  • Towels
  • Crate
  • AKC Registration Papers
  • RedBarn Bait
  • Dog (can't compete without a dog)
Newman: Good job, Rog. You're a quick study. Maybe you do have a brain in that over sized head of yours.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Year End Review

With all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holiday, I've barely had time to breathe let alone blog. Although I am a “newbie” in penning these end-of-the-year newsletters, I am trying to carry on the custom of my late sister. (Dog rest her soul!)

After the passing of Beulah Ruth in February, M&D sought long and hard to find a fawn, female boxer to win over their hearts. Three days after BR’s passing, they found exactly what they were looking for — me — a flashy, brindle boy!

From the minute I met M&D, I knew I had a tough row to hoe. Sure, most parents carry at least one photo of their kid with them, but these clowns showed up for their prospective parent interview with a calendar that featured Beulah on every month of the year. Now I'm thinking, "Who are these lunatics? Sure, I would love to find a home where I would be Top Dog, but I could just as easily be content staying here with Grammy Lee and the rest of the Gang."

Having her paws full with running “All for the Pet” and showing boxers year-round, Grammy Lee decided to take a chance on the two fruitcakes who I now call Mom and Dad. So, on February 23, 2008, I officially became Newman Knowlton. Imagine the weight on my shoulders knowing that I was going to have to live my life in the shadow of this famed fawn, female boxer. I have stripes and a penis for crying out loud! Ain’t nobody, unless they are completely blind, going to mistake me for a fawn female.

So after traveling two hours from Severna Park, MD, in a Chevy S10 pickup truck lacking all the amenities of the luxurious motor home that I’d grown accustomed to traveling in, I arrived in Brushtown, PA, the place I now call home. Once I entered the house and saw the many pictures of BR having fun at the beach and tail gaiting at Penn State football games, I realized that I had hit the jackpot and life was going to be good, provided I met one condition— learning to wear ridiculous costumes and posing for a portrait to memorialize the moment.

Being that I inherited my Dad’s good looks and charismatic nature, it was suggested that I take a run at show biz before making the ultimate decision to retire a certain dangling participle that is near and dear to my heart. So besides being able to keep “my boys,” I have had the additional bonus of getting to “hang out” with Grammy Lee and the Gang on the show circuit. Although I’ve yet to garner a point, I’m keeping my head high because I’m still a baby.

Speaking of babies, one August afternoon after a show, Grammy Lee mentioned that she needed to find a home for a French Bulldog. On the ride home, Dad asked me if I wanted a little, older brother to which I replied, “Roger that!”

So the next day, just as quickly as I had become a Knowlton pup, so did Roger. Since the addition of the little Frenchman, we’ve all been brushing up on our French to make him feel at home. Dad’s favorite phrase is “Excuse moi, Monsieur Roger, where in the #@%# do you think you’re going? Venez, non!” English interpretation — get those short, stubby legs moving now!

Knowing that I had mighty big shoes to fill, I realized that I had to do something “new” in hopes of generating my own fan club. So, being the computer savvy pup that I am, I created this blog to chronicle my adventures and share with the world. Since its inception in March, I’ve have 4,314 hits from 33 different countries.

Happy Howl-i-days and best wishes for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Red Bag of Courage - Warning "R" Rated

It started out as an ordinary evening on the couch. Roger was lying upside down in between the safety of Dad's legs. I, on the other hand, was lying upside down between M & D with my under carriage fully exposed, including the "nut sack."

Being the attentive parent that she is, Mom noticed that I had developed a pink rash on the inside of my thighs caused by the friction of my "Sacky Joe" rubbing against them.

Deciding that she has to somehow treat me for this horrible affliction, which isn't bothering me but an occasional lick or two, Mom goes to her handy first-aid kit and returns with a fresh tube of good ol' medicated Gold Bond. After applying a healthy portion to the inside of my thighs, the ride of my life began!

I remember the moment vividly. I'm penned in the stall. An invisible rider jumps on my back and secures a good grip on flat braided rope. Then comes the cinching of the flank strap. The gate on the bucking chute opens and I storm out into the arena. Knowing that the imaginary rider has to stay mounted for at least eight seconds to qualify, I literally go "ball-istic" trying to throw the rider off!

Then out comes rodeo clown, Rodger the Dodger, who adds more fun to the excitement. Not only does it feel like my "down unders" are on fire (aka the "Red Bag of Courage"), I now have to contend with this menacing little joker who finds great amusement biting my ankles as well as other sensitive dangling body "participles."

While I am no forensic scientist, my best guess is that the tube of Gold Bond must have been laced with Jalapeno peppers. One thing is for certain, I can relate to the phrase "Fire on the mountain, run boys run!"

Although the entire incident lasted only seconds before Mom broke out the baby wipes and cleaned "the boys" off, it felt like an eternity at the time. You can only imagine how "nuts" the situation truly was.