Boomer Phone

Met an old friend

I was out on my morning constitutional, my walk, as Doggies would call it. I was taking an underpass to the highway, and watching from below as a possible light truck was smoking heavily at the top of the on-ramp, just billowing out and emergency crews were on the scene.

I was aware of a guy walking through the parking garage under WDVE's high rise office building and coming towards the street, but I was still watching the truck smoke. The guy came up and asked if I remembered who he was, I didn't know, but he called me 'Jerry' as the neighborhood kids did as young teens. He said he was Earl, and I barked, Earl Oehm? That's it!

Now, I almost never remember friends I knew as kids if I haven't seen them since then, they always pick me out of the lineup. I remembered the stuff we used to do though, we were hanging around a lot for a few years in the later 1970s. We didn't spend too much time at each others' houses, we'd get together and go checking dumpsters in the area industrial parks, visit dumps, just do lots of stuff outdoors, like making shacks, and pranks like spraying shaving creme on someone's car at Parkway Center and them chasing us way into the woods, climbing on the school's roof, or burning paint cans in the dump to make them explode.

In about 10 minutes of chat, we were firing remembrances back and forth, like his dad liking 1950s rock and roll and having me over for listening parties a few times, blasting records at the top of his old wooden console stereo's ratings to pound that rock and roll in. Back then, Earl had two white little Dogs, Bull and Pig were their names. I had a Dog named Pongo later on, and was also calling myself Pongo too, after the famous Disney Dalmatian. Earl was one of the early ones I let know about some of my Dog ideas.

I brought up the Twilight Bark like the Dalmatians did in the movie, something I did from a local hill, and he went along with me once, and that I was still into Dog stuff and being a Dog, and still into radio, showing Earl my pocket radio, tuned into my own AM station, see, that's me! He said he saw me in Dog costume come to WDVE a few times, and wondered if that's who it was, since he's seen me around without the costume at other times, like today.

He remembered when we both got money together and my dad driving us to Gee Bee's, a big discount store, to both get CB radios, and I remembered the Bay City Rollers' Rock And Roll Love Letter song played on Earl's stereo in the basement, and his mom boogie-ing to it, she liked that song.

There were not so nice times too, when we went through a local train tunnel and bullies, bigger kids were knocking us around, and how we stopped hanging out, after we were seen exploring an abandoned house and lying about it. Our parents talked and we were supposed to stay away from each other after that. I was borrowing a radio and had to give it back to Earl, and we kind of cut ties.

It was the next year or so, I was going up Hamburg Street where he lived, past his house, and we met somehow, so he invited me in. I guess it was school vacation in the summer and his parents were out working, and we sat around for a little while shooting the breeze about things in the afternoon. That's when he had one of his Dogs, either Bull or Pig, who kept jumping up on me on the couch to lick my face.

I wanted to kiss the Dog back, but being odd enough already being a Dog, I thought it wasn't a good idea, so I pushed Bull or Pig away. Earl said he had to go and check with his neighbor about something, or go next door for a minute, something like that, so I stole a few kisses then, but thought Earl might be able to look in the window and see, so I left it at that.

Earl and me saw each other for a few times after that and chatted, but never really hung out again. I think that Earl's family moved away not long after, so the latest I would have seen Earl was around 1980, when we were 14 or 15, and I don't remember meeting him since.

We discussed our parents, and how his mom was gone, and dad was still around, but in a 'home' now, and how Earl works as maintenance on WDVE's building and the two other buildings in the complex, and lives in Wexford, with two German Shepherds.

Earl wondered what I was doing now, and I'm still at my same house as I was then, and I barked about my estate issues with my half sister briefly.

He asked what I was doing for a living, and wondered what I'm doing to support myself. It's complicated, and I gave him my short answer, and he still asked it a couple of times, like it was a bigger issue. Maybe it was just curiosity, but I've gotten this before from people from my past, school friends, cow-workers, with a focus like it's a bone of contention with them. Maybe all you see is a Dog, but if it's important, take the time to look it up, not rest on your thoughts. Don't sell me short man, I'm doin' fine!

All in all, a very cool meet with a blast from the past, a dude who was a buddy at a time when lots of important changes were happening in my life, and I was discovering facets about my inner Canine for the first time. Hopefully we'll meet again, that would be cool!

Boomer Phone

Tosh.0 Boomer show, check it out!

I'm going to be on Comedy Central's Tosh.0 tonight, 10 pm tuesday March 18, check your TV for local listings.

Tosh is a real net-head who shows his favorite funny videos, and has internet celebrities come on the show for a 'web redemption' to explain themselves to fans and have a little fun.

Here's a preview of my segment, sent to me by Ric Sheepdog:

Hope you watch, and let me know how you like it!

Boomer Phone

Animal Radio Interview

Animal Radio did an interview with me about being a Dog! It's a pet show, covering all kinds of different things in the world of animals each week. These shows must like me, since I'm a talking woof-woof, a Dog. Animal Radio has a podcast, and the other thing that's cool to me is they have a network of terrierestrial radio stations on AM and FM too that carry the show.

More in depth details on the show:

If you're looking at this post after one week, then the story will be archived at the second page.

Here's a list of local stations, see if your city is covered, and listen on classic, real radio! If not, I believe that all countries can hear the podcast, 32k talk quality mp3.

I get a kick out of how they write 'MARKeting your territory', I've been writing like that for years, and Furries do it all the time, like adding 'fur-' to words. It's fursploitation, I bark to you!.. :)

-------- From their page -----------------------------------

About Animal Radio®

Animal Radio® is America's "most-listened-to" pet show. Over a
350,000 pet-lovers tune-in weekly on 108 AM-FM radio stations
and XM Satellite Radio.

The two-hour celebration of our pets is hosted by veteran
air-talent Hal Abrams and Judy Francis.

The Animal Radio® Family includes Dog Trainer Alan Kabel,
Veterinarian Dr. Debbie, News Director Stacey Cohen, Groomer
Joey Villani, Animal Communicator Joy Turner, Travel Reporter
Susan Sims and a cast of hundreds. Frequent guest-hosts include
the likes of Jenna Fischer (The Office), Glenn Close (Damages)
and Cesar Millan.

Through education and awareness, together we're helping animals
live healthy, happier lives.

Boomer Phone

Google socks

Did it ever bother you if you post to forums and someone comes by with a question, and others don't want to answer and just say 'google it' or 'google is your friend'? I just saw it, and I'm going to complain because Google isn't your friend, it's a large corporation that's bent on taking over the internet.

Some might love Google and think, oh, that's okay, more of the good stuff, the apps and the maps that we love, more features on Youtube or with G+ and Hangouts.

Since the comment I read was on a torrent site, let's single out Youtube as an example of another site that sometimes posts videos with questionable rights attached to them, like when someone posts their favorite TV show for their friends to see.

Youtube is such a vast site, and it has a pretty reckless 'takedown' policy, where almost anyone can file a claim and get any video taken down, whether the claim is legit or not. No one really checks, and no one answers when you write to Youtube, it's all automatic.

Now imagine if Google has a stake in much more of the internet than just Youtube, which they do, such as the largest advertising networks, website user tracking services, e-mail service G-mail, and their apps like Chrome and social services. What if they provide your company's website services, server space, and even your connection to the net?

I think that once they get so much, if we choose to accept it, the same clumsy handling of rights issues, takedowns, and strikes against your accounts and services will happen as happens today on Youtube, and what if it's your own company or net access that gets strikes against it, and they want to delete your stuff? They'll have you by the nodes, just think about it.

A better way is to use a diversity of services, that way no one is in full control of everything.

I went to LA on a dare and I went it alone, for some filming over the weekend. If it actually gets scheduled, I'll write a post and let you know through the usual channels. It was cool to get out there again, I hadn't been to California since I was 14, and disco was still king, and near its end.

I was staying in Culver City, right near the LA Clippers stadium and got to walk outside in a short sleeve shirt in 60 degree weather. Here in Pittsburgh it was in the 20s when I got back, and actually I do like cooler weather, as a long furred Dog.. :)

Boomer Phone

Fursonas documentary pushing toward feature film

Film students at Point Park College here in Pittsburgh have been working to document the Furry scene, leaning toward the fursuiting end of it, trying to find out what Furries are about behind the masks. Domenic and crew have had the short edit of their film out for a while now, and they are working with the Sprout Fund to take it to the next level and get the full film completed.

"Every summer, Pittsburgh hosts the largest furry convention in the world, known as Anthrocon. Locals are familiar with the display of hundreds of furries in the street, but seldom do they look past their preconceived notions about the fandom. Other documentaries about furries focus on providing an easy answer for the phenomenon. But, Fursonas is more interested in taking a humanistic approach, allowing the subjects to speak for themselves, and the audience to decide for themselves."

I have to agree, that's a refreshing direction, after seeing 'Furries: An Inside Look' documentary recently. It was okay, but just talked to acknowledged Furry leadership, who admittedly do know a lot about the fandom's history, but I thought it told a story along party lines, and didn't capture the excitement of this fuzzy social world we have. Granted, 'Furries: An Inside Look' was recorded at Midwest Furfest, apparently under strict media control, so I guess they did the best with what they were given.

Fursonas gets away from the conventions and talks to real Furries one on one in our homes and communities, and that personal approach is really what makes it stand out from the others. Take a look at the pitch film here on their site and see if it's worthy of your vote.

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Boomer Phone

Media projects and stuff

There seems to be lots of interest in Furries by other media lately. There have been several local school documentaries in the works this year, including 'Fursonas' out of Point Park College in Pittsburgh, which is about fursuits and the personalities under the fur and behind the masks that you see. I've seen the private preview, watched it with bergandsheepy on Memorial Day, and it was nice! I'm one of the subjects in that, as well as in another class film by someone from a different school.

Another appearance is coming up next week, on National Geographic TV (NatGeo), the 'Taboo' show. That's the opening episode of the season, June 4 at 10 pm Eastern time. I'll be on there barking about being a Dog, along with my friend Ron who helped me to find Furry. It was really fun to film with the professional crew that came out, it's hard to believe how enjoyable the filming was!

I like being involved in media projects, accomplishing something, and while barking answers to the questions from the interviewers, I learn more about myself, Furries, Weres, and Therians too.

Blogs and essays about it coming soon, probably to my own site . Check this stuff out and give me your reviews, I'd be interested in hearing them.

Boomer Phone

Replaced a 34 watt light bulb today

It was in the kitchen. I didn't see it burn out. If a bulb is going to go, I like to see it pop, especially the rare event when the bulb throws its filament into the side of the bulb, and it gets embedded in the glass. I've had that happen only a few times, and one time I saved a bulb and its embedded filament for a while, as a curiosity.

It's the first filamentary light bulb to burn out here since the 100 watt filament light bulb ban went into effect last year. By the way 75 watt filament bulbs are going to be banned this year.

I like light bulbs, the simplicity of a filament producing light, and the history behind it too, where it's pretty much the same as it was 100 years ago. In early junior high I built a project where I took a light bulb apart, removing the screw base and punching through the bottom of the bulb and pulling out the filament structure.

I filled the empty bulb up with yellow wax, probably crayons and candle wax melted together, and I let it get hard. I cracked the glass off of the outside, leaving a solid wax light bulb shape, with the base waxed on to it. I mounted a plain ceramic light bulb fixture to a maybe 5 inch square plywood plaque for a base, screwed the light bulb in, and attached a little sign that said, 'Light bulbs turn me on'.

I like the idea of the 'Science Fair', I never got into one, but I made my own projects, like that light bulb, though that was really more of a sculpture of something I was interested in. Another cool project was building little flashing neon light circuits that plugged into the wall. I'd take one of those replacement wall plugs a relaxation oscillator into the base, and the neon light sticking out of the top. Here's an example video, Neon Light .

I had a high voltage camera battery, it was bigger than a brick, and over 100 volts. I built the same kind of neon flasher into the top of the battery's paper carton, so it was my portable neon flasher, looking like a box with a light flashing on top. I showed it to my science teacher (who was way into electronics) and he had it put in a display case in the hall, continuously flashing its little orange light until I guess the battery ran out.

Neon bulbs are efficient, so they can run on batteries, just like LED lights do. Filament bulbs for house lighting are inefficient, so that's why the government is banning them. I don't know how the situation works, woof, but it seems strange to me that the government and the power company encourage using fluorescent twisted bulbs to save energy, when I thought that it was consumption that's good to keep the economy rolling. 'Message to consumers, buy buy buy'. I get messages every month from all of my utilities with programs to get you to recycle old refrigerators, use CFL bulbs, fix faucet leaks and stuff, but does that make sense when they make more money when you're wasteful?

I've barked on the air about liking the desktop computer for the real jobs, it's no compromise on speed, screen space or keyboard. One thing phones and tablets are doing well with is saving power, because a mobile uses a lot less current than a decent desktop. The other side of that is, the sites used with a phone have to use their processing power instead, resizing images and processing videos for playback.

I finally got to see one of the movies I've known about for years, but never had a chance to see until now. You Never Can Tell is about a rich Dog who gets killed and comes back as a Human private eye to try to solve his own murder. He even knows who did it, but has to prove it. It's a comedy, but it has some things to say, about identities, changes and what they mean, so it has some kibble for thought, especially to animal people. You can see it on Youtube if you look up the title.

Boomer Phone

Happy Holidays From Your Garbagemen

I got a note on my trash can today, it said "Happy Holidays From Your Garbagemen Jeremy & Chad" in a little plastic bag. That's nice, I don't remember getting something like that before. I was looking out and saw him putting it on the can's wheel, I thought it might be a discontinuance notice or something like that.. :) Well, you never hear from those guys, and it's good to let others know you exist.

Interesting though, Chad and Jeremy is a band, British rockers from the mid-60s.

Boomer Phone


I went for my walk tonight and in just a few blocks around the neighborhood I met 3 mutts. First was Peppini, a Labradoodle with a fuzzy face and a smoother body, and cream colored with long furry ears, really cute, big Dog. He was a visiting Dog and the pooch who lives there is Macy, a chocolate Lab. Peppini has a big bark.

Farther along I met Buddy, he looks like Jack Russell Terrier, but a taller mix. His owner said 'Buddy meet Boomer, Boomer meet Buddy' as they were out for a walk. I barked that Buddy looks a little like Tramp from Lady And The Tramp, with his folded forward ears.

All together a nice walk, kind of windy and fur-blowing, but nice.

Boomer Phone

Variable name petition filed

My video shoot was on Monday, where a local videographer came over, and I got to answer questions about what makes me a Dog, and the things I do as one. I got to do Doggy Radio for a few minutes and bark about it, and then got in my Dog costume to catch a ball and go walking outside to wave at cars. It was about 2 and a half hours, and lots of fun!

Variable used that time to go into town for some interviews and hang around Occupy, but came home near the end when I was in suit outside, so he finally got to see me all dressed up.

On Wednesday we went to court and filed the petition for Variable's name change here. That's the first part of the process, where it's filed at the prothonotary's office.

There the finger prints get checked and papers surrounding the petition get processed and sent to different departments in the court. They should send a letter with a court date in a few weeks, and then we'll have to get the papers from the prothonotary's office and take them to the motions court to actually be filed.

That's actually a matter of getting them and walking upstairs to Motion's Court, in the same building. These are the early steps in the process yet, woof! On the way to getting Variable to become partly a Dog.. :)

Other than that, Variable's been making videos and having it out with the trolls on line, and we went to Walm and got winter things like heaters and an electric comforter for my chilly house.. :)