Shameless Commerce Archives

January 23, 2008

gerretSquirrel Hurlin'

by Gerret

gerret with hurl-a-squirrel

So I'm working today. Doing some product testing and research. The object of my research is this Hurl-A-Squirrel toy.

blue collar

First, let me note that my first frisbee-like throw toy lasted about five minutes. Then the center tore out. I still gave it a one-gerret rating instead of a zero because I looked pretty good wearing it around. Sort of a "blue collar" look which suits me fine.

But the Hurl-A-Squirrel, now that's a different story. For starters, it's three toys in one: a throw toy, a tug toy and a try-to-tear-it-to-shreds toy. As regards the last part, I've been trying my darnest with no luck. Haven't even made a dent. And of course I didn't even mentioned the fact that it's modeled after a squirrel! (Although it's a lot tougher than the squirrels around here. They all quake at the mere mention of my name!)

Here's some video of me in the laboratory:

So I'm giving the hurl-a-squirrel five gerrets and declaring it my "favorite toy of the day."

Hurl-A-Squirrel: 5 Gerrets

January 27, 2008

gerretThe Dubya Doll

by Gerret

dubya doll

So I'm back in the lab today, testing another toy. This time it's a George Dubya doll toy. Initially I called it a George Dubya action figure, but Stump took away my food bowl so "doll toy" it is. What exactly is it? Well, like the hurl-a-squirrel, you can throw it, you can tug it, or you can try to tear it to shreds, but it's highest and best use is trying to tear it to shreds. Plus it SQUEAKS!

Dubya doll

I am curious about what a "dubya" really is. Stump muttered something about "wurst precedent in the history of the knighted staids" but Chigger warned me that that was just a ruse. She said "dubya" is actually a code word that Stump and Tweet use in place of "walk" when they don't want us to know what they're talking about. What that has to do with a doll, I don't know. Did I mention it SQUEAKS!

I also don't know what "voodoo" means but Stump cheers and brings that up whenever I make the Dubya doll squeak. Go figure. Only problem with this toy is that Stump seems to want to get rid of it. He keeps saying he can't stand another year of it. But trust me, if I haven't shredded, buried or lost this doll in a year, then I'm not doing my job. And the Gerret always does his job.

Anyway, I'm giving the Dubya Doll three-and-half gerrets. It seems to be oblivious to all the abuse it inspires, and it makes Stump laugh. Plus it SQUEAKS!

Dubya Doll: 3-and-a-half Gerrets

February 1, 2008

gerretMy Lucky Deer Foot

by Gerret

Gerret with deer foot

So, the Gerret has found his first lucky deer foot in the woods today! Sure beats chewing on a stick and it smells a lot better, too. It set me to wondering just where deer feet come from. Stump muttered something about "hunners" but I didn't quite get it because I don't always understand what he's talking about. Course it took him a while to get it when I would say, "I gotta to pee. NOW," but he's getting better. Now if I could just get my paws on one of those clicker things.

So I asked Chigger if deer feet come from hunners, cause she knows everything. She explained that "hunners" wasn't a thing, hunners was a season. And every winter there's a deer hunner season. That's the season when deer shed their feet and leave them laying around in the woods for dogs to find. Now I get it. (Chigger also said that deer feet weren't lucky, but I think I'll be the judge of that.)

Anyway, my lucky deer foot is a great chew toy, but I can only give it two gerrets out of five because as soon as you set it down and turn your back it disappears.

Lucky Deer Foot: 2 Gerrets

February 13, 2008

gerretFlying Calf

by Gerret

Me with Flying Calf

Okay, I'm back in the lab with Chigger, who's here as an observer. Today I'm testing the Flying Calf, another sort of throwing toy. That's it in the picture at my feet. The first thing I need to point out is that it doesn't look anything like a calf unless there's a calf out there somewhere that's round and flat with a red rim. I'm guessing that they were making something they were going to call a "flying moon" or whatever when someone at the factory spilled some black paint and they said "oh no, what are we going to do now?" and someone else said, "let's just call it a flying calf." Oh well.

The other bad thing about the Flying Calf is that they claim it will float. Now that's just putting stupid ideas in Stump's head. He'd better hope the ducks can fetch 'cause it ain't gonna be the Gerret's problem if it goes in the pond.

Anyway, here's a video of my first test...

You'll notice the Flying Cow's toughness, and the way it inspires me to jump and the way I can slide it across the ground with my nose and the way it handles the classic rough-shake-side-to-side maneuver. Plus it flies further than the Hurl-a-Squirrel and is a bit more my size.

But what I discovered is that the real strength of the Flying Calf is that makes amazing acrobatic tricks possible. Watch test number two.

Okay, did you catch that sequence in the middle? The one where I spin 180 degrees and then flip the Flying Cow over my head toward my tail, then spin around another 180 degrees, pick up the Flying Calf, make a leaping pirouette back to face the camera, and then for a finale, I toss the Flying Calf high in the air, where it makes two full rotations and then I catch it again in my mouth while at a full run? No? Here's that sequence again in slow motion:

I'm telling you, it just doesn't get any better than that. I'm thinkin' Beijing, Gold Medal, the Gerret. I just gotta give the Flying Calf five Gerrets and name it my "favorite toy of the day."

Flying Calf: 5 Gerrets

June 8, 2008

gerretDoggle Goggles Boggle Noggin

by Gerret


Okay! Today The Gerret has managed to incorporate a bit of the ol' swash-n-buckle into my work regime. Part protective eye-wear, part daredevil thrill-seeking fashion statement, this rebel-with-claws is sporting a pair of Racing Flames Doggles.

I'm not sure what's left to say now that you've seen the picture. Tweet thinks the goggles makes me look all Steampunk, while Stump thinks it's more of a Cybergoth look. They're both wrong. Doggles are de rigueur for those of us who are down with the cybersteamed hot dawg look.

Yes, they protect my eyes from UV radiation and wind. But who cares about that? It's those damn bugs that get in your eyes when you've got your head out the window of the car that really get on my nerves. The Gerret will be doing it all cool and collected like, scoping the babes with the pink collars as they walk along side the road, barking most ferociously at anything else that moves. Then a bug gets in my eye just when I'm passing by Suzi the Wonder Dog. The Gerret'll be like all tearing up and my eye's bloodshot from poking at it with my claws and I'm whining like a little puppy and it's just an all-in-all bad situation when I'm trying to make a good impression. I'm telling ya.

And not only do Doggles eliminate the embarrassment of chronic bug-eye, but they generate a bit of the old je na sais quoi with the dames as well.

For instance, look at this photo of me and Maggie:


Now who looks cooler in this picture? Well, yes, the dog with the shorter fur, but that's not my point. Oh never mind.

I guess it's time for a break while you look at my demonstration video:

Finally, I'll leave you with some pics from my fashion shoot. Click on each image for more drama. Note the flames detail in picture three.

gerretglass1.jpg gerretglass2.jpg gerretglass3.jpg

So even though there's only one Gerret, and the world's a poorer place for that, I'm telling you that a pair of these Doggles will go a long way to making any dog more Gerret-like. So I just can't help but give these Racing Flame Doggles four-and-a-half Gerrets. I'd give 'em five if the shipping wasn't so expensive.

Racing Flames Doggles: 4.5 Gerrets

June 14, 2008

gerretDog Park Literature

by Gerret


You know sometimes, when I'm not out bucklin' my swash, maybe because it's raining or something, The Gerret engages in more literary pursuits such as playing charades with Stump and Tweet:

"Two words.

"First word, first syllable: [I move my paw in circles to indicate 'stir']

"First word, second syllable: [I gesture toward toward the area between my ribs and my hips to indicate 'loin']

"Second word: [I run outside, grab a stick and bring it back in the house. I pretend to pound it into the floor to indicate 'stake'].

"Okay, now put it all together... 'stir'... 'loin'... 'stake'...

"Come on come on come on. This is important. You can get it. I know you can...

"Noooo. The answer is not 'Old Roy's soy-based dry dog food.'


So when charades goes bad, I just settle in with a book. Yesterday I got a good one in the mail called Dog Park Diary: The Social Round of Goody Beagle as told to Kim Pearson. Now before you start thinking this is another one of The Gerret's light summer reading books, let me point out that this book has pictures AND words. And it's 58 pages long! That's more than 400 in dog pages, so you'll know when I tell you that this is some serious dog literature.

The book is an autobiographical telling of Goody Beagle's daily adventures at the dog park. Accompanied by her own photographer, Goody records the sometimes poignant, sometimes harrowing events she witnesses. The prose runs from warm-hearted praise to trenchant critique of the park's denizons as they run, fight, sniff and poop. Here's an excerpt:

"Crockett Mutt came to the Dog Park for the first time ever. Crockett had been abandoned by his old humans and had to live on the streets. Other dogs were mean to him and he didn't have enough to eat. This had a bad effect on his personality. He thinks everyone is out to get him."

Did I enjoy the book? Well yes. However, the more I read the more skeptical I became. I go to the dog park. Maybe not every day, but sometimes. And I've never seen Goody Beagle there, or any of the other dogs she mentions. I was starting to think that this was another one of those fake autobiographies where the author just makes everything up. How disappointing.

Then it hit me like a ton a bricks. What if there's ANOTHER dog park in the universe? Maybe Goody's dog park is in a parallel universe that's real but I just can't see it? Whoa. And what if there's more than two dog parks? What if there's thousands of parallel universes and every one of them has a dog park? And... and... and... I gotta quit now. My mind is exploding.

So obviously I have to give Dog Park Diary five Gerrets. In fact I might have to go out and start a cult based on this book. More than one dog park. I get chills just thinking about it.

Dog Park Diary: 5 Gerrets

July 25, 2008

gerretA Forest Home Companion

by Gerret

The Gerret on the path

Well, it's been a long busy week here at Lake Whoabethegerret.

Whinehouse stuck around for a few more days since the last post then split. She was looking a lot better after a few good meals and sneaking in through the dog door to crash on the sofa at night. But she wasn't going to be tied down, no way no how. I'm not sure running off was the best choice for her, but I wish her well. Maybe she'll find her puppies.

On the other hand, Slippers, the kitten, looks like she's planning on staying. Actually, it turns out that Slippers is a boy so The Gerret is taking some heavy-duty grief from the fellas down at the dog park who saw this picture in the last post. How was I to know? Really?

In her last post Maggie did briefly mention the six new chicks that had just arrived. Well that's been a bit of drama in itself. About the middle of the week one of the chicks disappeared, and soon after another one. There was much speculation and innuendo around the place that yours truly and Maggie had something to do with said population decrease. Accusations were flying and the atmosphere was becoming very, how you say, acrimonious. Stump and Tweet tried to make us 'fess up but The Gerret don't cop to nothin'. But I think they were using the ol' water torture on Maggie. She was pretty much ready to turn state's evidence. She hates water.

So just when it looks like Maggie and I are going to have to change our names to Connie and Blyde and go on the lam, Stump goes out to the chicken coop and discovers that now there's only THREE chicks plus one REALLY FAT SNAKE.

All along it was SLIM! That connivin' varmint! You might remember Slim from his starring role in "Snake on a Plain." Now he's just another celebrity gone bad, driven to self-destruction by a habit he couldn't control. Stump captured him and drove him way into the woods and released him. The Gerret went along to yell at him and tell him to not come back. Is he dead? No. But his career is finished in this town.

Three Chicks
Three chicks hanging out, doing nothing.

This was also graduation week over at K9 Prep & Neuter. Maggie finished up puppy kindergarten and Tweet said she did real good. But her final grade was a 4.0, which if that's in dog grades, is really really low.

The Gerret was doing post-dogtoral work in the three "R"s, which is a class called "Really Reliable Recall." The whole point of RRR is to train your human to carry lots of very high quality treats at all times or else you won't come when they call. I was skeptical, but by the end of the seven-week class Stump seemed to have the fancy treat thing down cold. Now I just have to keep working with him here at home so he doesn't start backsliding. Sometimes he'll call The Gerret and think he can get by with a "good dog" or a pat on the head when I show up. Sheesh. You can't let bad habits like that get started.

But it's not all fun-and-games around here. The Gerret still gotta go to work. (Funny. I never see the cats having to go to work around here. What's that about?)

So anyway, this week I finished editing my evaluation video for the second installment of "For Dogs on a Budget." This was shot a while ago but because of all the film festivals and legal stuff I'm only now free to release it here. You can learn more about the series in this earlier post. And yes, that's Maggie acting as my assistant.

So granted it's not colorful as most store-bought dog toys, but there's just as much plastic, so I'm given the water bottle four gerrets!

Water bottle as toy: 4 Gerrets

And that's it from Lake Whoabethegerret, where all the people are lazy, the cats are annoying, and The Gerret is waaaaaay above average.

March 24, 2009

gerretMe and Marley

by Gerret


Okay, you see that dog? Not the one in the foreground, that's The Gerret. I mean the other one. In the movie. Up on the big screen. That's Marley, trying to teach his roommate how to go for a walk. Can the ridiculous get any more sublime? That dog is Marley and I'm here to tell you about him.

As you might surmise, today The Gerret is doing a review of the soon-to-be-released-on-DVD-internationally-acclaimed movie "Me and Marley," or, as it's referred to in various human venues, "Marley and Me."

Now why, you ask, would The Gerret be reviewing a soon-to-be-released-on-DVD movie? Simple. Some marketing dude named Scott sent me a free copy if I'd talk about it on my blog. I'm a dog. I'll do anything for a treat.

So here's the scoop. This movie deals with a dog named Marley, played as an adult by Clyde whom you might remember from his star turn as Fabian's dog in the 2002 TV mini-series "Dog Days."

Marley is basically a normal dog that does what normal dogs do. He chews things up, barks at strangers, greets friends with chest bumps, poops in the ocean, farts, runs joyfully all over when not restrained and hates lightning. No big deal. You've seen it a hundred times, right?

But what happens when this normal dog ends up living with two very neurotic, high-strung, undisciplined, unneutered humans? See? Now you have the makings of a searing story of drama and sacrifice.

The humans are played by relative newcomers Owen Wilson (the voice of Lightning McQueen in "Cars") and Jennifer Aniston (Jeannie Bueller in the TV series version of "Ferris Bueller"). Aniston is the meaner of two, as she tries throughout the movie to starve Marley to death, screaming at one point, "How many times have I told you not to leave anything edible where he [Marley] can get it?"

Unfortunately, there are long stretches of the movie that focus more on Wilson and Aniston than on our hero Marley. And because the two were never spayed and neutered they keep having babies, and of course anyone familiar with the Human Society literature knows what a terrible problem that creates.

But there are also moments of levity, and, dare I say, eroticism. This NSFW moment is why I'm not letting Maggie watch this until she's older, but hey, when you see that chemistry between Kathleen Turner and Marley it's hard to call it anything less than cinematic genius.

But I ramble. The bottom line is that this movie is great because it isn't based on a graphic novel and Clyde delivers an Oscar Mayer-worthy performance in the role of Marley right up to the end when he (***Spoiler Alert***) dies. (***Spoiler Alert over***) It could have been stronger if Marley had been given a love interest, but I guess the director was trying to avoid making a romantic comedy. At least we'll always have that tender moment of lust-in-the-sand with Kathleen Turner.

If you're looking for DVD extras, well this DVD has 'em. Of course there's some major Gag Reel stuff, which is typical of any movie with humans in it, but the coop-de-grass is the moment when Clyde, caught on camera, had just had it with the incompetent crew and pees all over the set. Shades of Christian Bale! A genuine DogTube moment!

In addition to the regular DVD movie, there's also a "Two-disc Bad Dog Edition," which I guess is longer than the first one, and even a "Three-disc Bad Dog Edition," which must be the 24-hour art-house version. And if you don't have electricity, there's the original book, or if you need something to keep that broken coffee table from falling over there's the hardcover book. And finally, if you're almost blind like Chigger, you can get the audiobook version, but I don't have a link for that. Click on the book link and you'll be able to track it down.

So what's the verdict? The Gerret, as always, easily impressed, just has to give "Me and Marley" four-and-a-half Gerrets.

Me and Marley: 4.5 Gerrets

April 5, 2010

gerretFantastic Mr. Fox

by Gerret


Have you ever tried to stare at a television screen for 87 straight minutes? EIGHTY SEVEN MINUTES? Sheesh. No sane mammal would ever do that. That's more than TEN HOURS in dog time.

Oh well, there's probably no moral high ground here.

My good friends at some Hollywood-type marketing agency sent me another DVD to review. Specifically, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." That's cool. As The Gerret has said more than once: will perform for treats.

The subtext here is that I'm late. They're pissed. I'm crankin' it out.

But really. 87 straight minutes? That's asking a lot from a dog.

So here's The Gerret's review of The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

But hey! Stop the presses. Before the movie even starts, there's trailers, and one of those trailers is for... drum roll... "Marley & Me: The Terrible 2's." I repeat: "Marley & Me: The Terrible 2's." Get it? A sequel to "Marley & Me."

Now I don't mean to get too all full of myself, but if you're one of the half-dozen readers who read my review of the original "Marley & Me," you'll know that (***Spoiler Alert***) MARLEY DIED. (***End of Spoiler Alert***). Make of that what you will.

But I'm here to talk about "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," which I guess they sent to me because foxes are sort of like dogs. So they figured I'd like this for the same reasons humans like "Bedtime for Bonzo." Right? You do like "Bedtime for Bonzo", right? Because Bonzo is sorta like... well, you know where I'm going with that.




Enough complaining.

"The Fantastic Mr. Fox" star George Clooney and Meryl Streep in the most amazing roles of their careers. The both lost a ton of weight, got a bunch of plastic surgery and glued hair all over their bodies. Robert DeNiro eat your heart out. I kid you not when I say Streep is a fox in this movie.

Anyway, I don't want to spoil the ending, so I'm not going to tell you anything about the movie. Just let me say that if you've ever been dissed by a rich farmer, or had a possum for a friend, or enjoyed Bill Murray in "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" you'll love this movie.

So what's the verdict? The Gerret, as always, easily impressed, just has to give "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" four Gerrets.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox: 4.5 Gerrets

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Gerret Swirled in the Shameless Commerce category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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