Monday, September 29, 2014

Dave in the Kitchen

Fresh off an extensive discussion of the Kitchen Debate of 1959 (part 1, 2 and 3), here is Dave resting in a modern American kitchen. It may be modern, but Dave doesn't spend much time here in the summer. Whenever the oven is turned on, it heats the kitchen up to unspeakable temperatures. 

This is one of many reasons that Dave is pleased that it is now the fall. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dave's favorite 20th century Russian historical figure, The Finale

Dave has been giving a great deal of thought to the story he has been hearing this week. He new that there had to be a deeper meaning than just a frustrating day on the road. He knew his friend would not have woken Dave up from a good nap just to rant. And Dave was right.

"Dave, this experience had me thinking about the history of our nation. I had a great deal of time to think during the long ride! In particular, I was thinking about the middle part of the 20th century, particularly the decades after World War II and Russo-American relations. 

I thought about the time that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had a series of conversations with U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon debating the merits of communism and capitalism. They met in 1959 at the American exhibition in Moscow. You doubtless know all of these details, Dave, as you are a true renaissance cat. You'll recall, as William Safire recalled in 2009, that the purpose of the exhibition was to show a typical American house to the Soviet Premier. 

The Soviet press had lampooned the notion that the model house represented a typical house for an American worker, calling it 'the Taj Mahal.' Khrushchev doubted the accuracy of many of Nixon's claims about modern appliances available in the typical American household. He mocked the model house, saying, 'Don't you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down? Many things you've shown us are interesting but they are not needed in life. They have no useful purpose. They are merely gadgets.'

The point, Dave, is that the Soviets witnessed a typical American house, and dismissed it as having appliances that were often out of order, or unnecessary, or claimed that the Americans exaggerated their ubiquity. But, despite his outward skepticism, the experience may have seeded some doubt in Khrushchev's mind. What if the typical American house actually did have all of these things? 

Now, Dave, imagine if instead of meeting in an exhibition in Moscow, Khrushchev and Nixon has met in this nation, in this city, and they had made the drive I made today. How comical it would have been! Khrushchev would have laughed at our shoddy road planning. He would have lampooned capitalism placing a restaurant in the middle of an intersection. He would have been relieved that his competitors, who claimed to be so efficient and productive, spent hours to travel distances that should have taken mere minutes. Nixon's claim that capitalism provided greater quality of life than communism would have been in great question after an experience like that, would it not have, Dave?"

Dave's favorite 20th century Russian historical figure is Nikita Khrushdave.

But don't be mistaken. Mr. Khrushdave may be Dave's favorite 20th century Russian historical figure, but that doesn't mean anything about Dave's feelings about economic policy. In fact, Dave prefers Mr. Khrushdave's later American counterpart, President John Dafe Kennedy. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dave's favorite 20th century Russian historical figure, Continued

Dave could not wait to hear the rest of his friend's story from the other day. One of the pitfalls of being a cat is that you don't get to decide your own schedule. If the person who brings you your food is late, you will eat late. (Fortunately, this reality of cat-life does not apply to catnaps.) If the person gets up and leaves in the middle of a story, you have to wait to hear the rest, or you might not hear it at all. But gratefully, Dave did get to hear the rest of this story.

"I counted at least seven sources of traffic entering the intersection, and that does not include those exiting the parking lot of the restaurant inexplicably located on an island in the middle of the intersection. The existence of said restaurant perplexes this motorist. It certainly offers no benefit to the movement of people or vehicles in the area, nor any particular enjoyment for those frequenting the restaurant. Would you like eat in a restaurant in the middle of a road? Probably not! But the restaurant itself is not entirely to blame for the problem! It is rather a symptom of the same cause that also created the abominable intersection. Some fool approved this restaurant's location, as some fool (perhaps the same fool!) also approved the design of the entire intersection. In fact, were it not for the existence of this intersection, I would have simply walked to the store. But I know from experience that this intersection is, if possible, an even worse experience for pedestrians. 

Anyhow, upon approaching the intersection, a driver is given the option, though a somewhat theoretical and short-notice one, to enter the intersection from a variety of lanes. The choice of lane will determine the choices the driver will have moments (or minutes, or hours) later, when driving within the intersection. A mistake here can set a driver back potentially for days. Luckily, I made no mistake. 

I entered the intersection from the appropriate lane, positioned ideally to eventually exit the intersection towards the street along which the pet store is located. I traversed through three stoplights in the intersection (there were no less than 5 stoplights in total). But as I approached the place where I would exit the intersection, I noticed something ominous. Cars in front of me were slowing down unexpectedly. It turned out that the two-way road that would take me to the pet store had been temporarily converted to a one-way road. Yet there had been no signs to warn motorists of this fact! I had no choice but to abruptly turn to my right, because the only other option (turning left) was rejoining the intersection I I had finally freed myself from. Back into the gates of hell? Not I.

As I headed in a direction 90 degrees off-course from my desired route, I thought I would soon have the opportunity to correct the situation. I would simply turn left at the earliest convenience. Then I could turn left again and be very near my destination. This is something that non-ambiturners do all the time, and surely I could do it here. Or I could merely park my automobile somewhere nearby and walk the remaining distance! Both options proved challenging. No legal parking spots were available, though I don't complain about this, for it would have just made the traffic worse, exacerbating the situation. So I ventured forth off-course, searching for an opportunity to turn left. For over half a mile (almost as long as the entire trip should have been), I motored through intersections that were either one-way roads in the wrong direction, intersections that banned left turns, or freeway on-ramps. 

This frustrated me.

Eventually, I was able to turn left. A block later, I turned left again. And a half mile later, I found myself on the correct side of the intersection that had caused me so much delay. I finally reached the pet store. And there I purchased provisions for you that should last several months."

Dave, enraptured by the story, found himself pleased that the person had managed to finally arrive at the pet store. After all, Dave's very sustenance depended on it! But he wondered if there was more to the story. He thought there was. He communicated this thought with a look like this.

Dave is great at displaying inquisitive looks. 
But he would have to wait for another day to hear the meaning of this story.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dave's favorite 20th century Russian historical figure

Dave recently heard a story from someone who spends a lot of time in Dave's home, someone who is not a cat and has the ability to roam freely beyond the confines of the home. Dave was happy that this person had left the home, for two reasons.
  1. While Dave enjoys the company of this person, and often naps on and makes biscuits on this person, Dave also likes to have some quiet time to himself. He did not have the luxury of quiet time back during his days on the mean streets of Iowa, so he savors his time to himself.
  2. Dave had not had a milkshake lately, and he really wanted one on this day. It was his hope that this person would bring him a milkshake.
Anyhow, when the person returned, this story was related to Dave. This story reminded Dave of his favorite 20th century Russian historical figure, but only at the conclusion of the story.

"Dave, I hope I have not waken you. You appear to be in a very comfortable position, one that would make a great napping position. However, I have quite a story to tell you. Even if I did disturb your slumber, you will appreciate it after you hear this story. 

As you know, I ventured out yonder today, much like you used to do in your younger days. I drove my automobile, with the local pet store as my destination. I call it the local pet store because it sits less than a mile from our home, something you wouldn't know, but can appreciate. But the short distance alone did not mean I arrived at this destination easily. In fact, quite the opposite was true. 

This beginning of the journey was unremarkable. Few obstacles slowed me down until I could almost see the pet store, but then, circumstances changed. 

After the considerable progress I had made, I merely needed to cross a large intersection to finally arrive at the pet store. But this was no ordinary intersection. I have jaywalked across the widest street on this globe, and I've seen large intersections in my day, some of the largest in the world , as I don't doubt you have. Even so, remarkably, this intersection certainly was far worse, far more obstructive, more of a hindrance, than any intersection I have ever laid my eyes upon. You would agree with me if you saw it with your own eyes. After the first nine tenths of a mile took mere minutes to traverse, the final tenth represented a painful slog that lasted what seemed like days, although to be truthful it was closer to half an hour. Unacceptable nonetheless! We live in a modern city, do we not, Dave?! Was there a regrettable accident, or some maintenance project to keep the road in a usable condition? In either case I might have understood the delay. But was there such a legitimate reason? No! The day was a standard one, the traffic not extraordinary for the hour."

And here Dave's companion paused for a time. Dave's intrigue in the story only grew. This is the face Dave made when he realized he would have to wait to hear the rest of the story.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dave ready for a trip

Dave really got his hopes up this morning. One of the people who live in Dave's home was apparently preparing for a trip. Dave didn't know where this person was going, but it didn't matter. He wanted to go. 

Unfortunately, Dave doesn't get to travel very much. He did get to go on a 1,000 mile road trip a few years ago. He got to see 7 different states in the United States of America, more than a lot of people get to see in their lives. But this has only increased Dave's thirst for travel. Hopefully he will get to go on another trip soon. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dave hoping for a trip

Dave makes no secret that he enjoys traveling the globe. It is his hope that one day he can travel more extensively, perhaps to Davos, Switzerland. One way he voices this desire of his is to sit on the luggage of the people who usually live in his home. He notices that they tend to take bags or suitcases with them when they leave, and he hopes they will one day take him on another trip. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

CSI: Dave, Volume XVI - Dave's Investigative Process

Dave is now ready to show you the denouement of his investigation. You have seen the introductory phase, and you have seen the initial proceedings of Dave's investigation after he senses a disturbance. Now it is time for the finale. 

You can see that Dave has now completely reversed his original direction! What agility! What a humble investigator to admit his mistake and adjust so well and so quickly! Dave will surely locate the disturbance now.

And finally, you can see Dave has laid his eyes upon the disturbance. It was merely a small stuffed animal. What a relief this was for Dave.

But Dave does not regret putting all of this effort into an investigation that yielded only a harmless toy. His belief is that many false alarms are preferable to one real disturbance going unnoticed.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CSI: Dave, Volume XV - Dave's Investigative Process

Dave is ready to share more of his investigative process with you, after demonstrating the introductory phase of his investigations earlier this week. Now you can see that Dave has descended from his perch on top of the box part of the cat-tree. Usually he descends after hearing, seeing, smelling, or otherwise sensing a disturbance closer to the ground. He is very quick, quicker in fact that many cats half his size. Therefore, you won't be able to see Dave's transition. No film known to man can capture the image quickly enough.

You can see that Dave is still facing the same direction as he was before, suggesting that the disturbance Dave sensed is in that direction.

But now you can see that Dave is doubting that conclusion. After seeing no disturbance in to the west, he is looking a different direction, to the south. Dave doesn't mind being wrong about the location of the disturbance. In fact, it is the mark of a good investigator to question one's assumptions. The important thing is that Dave finds the disturbance before it is too late to do something about it.

Part 3 of Dave's tutorial is now available.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

CSI: Dave, Volume XIV - Dave's Investigative Process

Over the next several days, or weeks, Dave plans to put on a demonstration of his investigative process. If you have followed Dave's work, you already know that he is one of the greatest investigators of the past few centuries, equaled only by legends like Sherlock Holmes and Lieutenant Columbo. 

Dave started his current investigation in the position you see below. This is a great position for an investigation, because it offers Dave a great view of the room, but he is also close enough to the ground to quickly launch himself towards anything unusual. It is good to be flexible. 

Now Dave is beginning to peruse the various areas where he might find a clue. "A clue to what?" you might ask. But to Dave, that doesn't matter. He just wants to know about anything fishy going on around his home. At this phase, the investigation is more of a general investigation. If something fishy turns up, it will become more targeted.

You can see that Dave's first order of business is to check his blind spots. He wants to make sure he won't be attacked by something hiding out in the box. He already checked the higher levels of his cat-tree before assuming his position, so he knew nothing could attack him from above. And now has assured himself that nothing is in the box. Stay tuned for more on Dave's investigative process.

Part 2 and Part 3 of Dave's tutorial are now available.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dancing Dave

Dave, ever the renaissance cat, has taken up a new hobby lately, dancing. He thinks it is not only an enjoyable activity, but also one that is healthful and fulfilling. Here you can see Dave performing a classic dance move once perfected by John Davolta. 

Stayin' Alive!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Enjoying Some Summer Produce

Here you can see Dave expressing his fondness for summer produce. One of the many things he misses about living on the mean streets of Iowa is the omnipresence of corn. Now he only gets to enjoy corn when it is brought to him from the outside. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Face in the Corner

Dave usually doesn't like to sleep with his face in a corner. Sometimes he winds up in a funny position, but even then he is usually able to keep a close eye on his surroundings, should anything come up. But here, you can see that Dave has sacrificed this heightened level of awareness for comfort. He does indeed look pretty comfortable. This is a close cousin of Dave's rarely used strategy of napping with his face smushed against the couch, but this version offers even less ability to spot imminent threats. 

Fortunately for Dave, threats to his naps are few and far between these days. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jack in the Box, Volume II

You may recall that Jack has a fondness for being in boxes. Much like his colleague The Dafe is always on the lookout for food, napping locations, and potential threats to his well-being, Jack is often on the lookout for a good box. He doesn't discriminate against short boxes, as you can see here.