Thursday, April 2, 2009

G-20 Admits The Empire!

I was able to attend the G-20 this week and they agreed to admit the Empire! It is now officially known as the G-21. Obama was nice, but I still like Sarkozy the best. I wish I had been able to have my picture taken with him.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My ORACLE (the owl)

I have been asked by many in the Empire to explain a little more about ORACLE (the owl).  So, here is the story of how I met ORACLE and what he does.

oracle I first met ORACLE near Headquarters (HQ) a couple of years ago while I was wandering around bestowing my benevolent domination on various things.  He was perched on a low branch in a tree, and was so still, I barely noticed him.  In fact, if I were some other animal (such as Minion #1 [@tipperthedog]), I don’t think I would have noticed ORACLE at all that day.  I, however, having extra-keen powers of observation, immediately noticed ORACLE and inquired as to his name and business there at HQ.

ORACLE told me that his name is ORACLE and he asked me what I was doing there at HQ.  I replied that I asked him FIRST.  He said that he would tell me his business after we have a meal together because that is what civilized animals do – have meals together.

I called Minion #1 and had her prepare a bowl of kibble for us.  ORACLE refused to touch the kibble which I thought was rude for such a civilized animal as himself, but then spotted SPYCAT (enemy!) who was about to mangle yet another vole.  At this point, ORACLE swooped down upon the vole, removing it from the clutches of SPYCAT’s paws and – you are not going to believe this – he swallowed the vole whole.

I was concerned about this since the Empire is allied with the voles, but ORACLE assured me that he was ensuring that the vole would not suffer at the hands of SPYCAT.  …which I suppose made some sense.

In any case, ORACLE explained to me that I should continue to keep SPYCAT at bay and that he would provide me with the emperor-like wisdom, expert advice on dominating things and news of other parts of the Empire.  I wasn’t too sure about it until he explained to me that all great emperors have an ORACLE to advise them and if I was a great emperor, then I needed an ORACLE too.

Here is some of ORACLE’s recent advice:

“Good counsel has no price.”

I THOUGHT that this meant that his advice was free, but ORACLE is always asking for something such as food or nesting materials.

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."

This is indeed true.  I used to wear a crown, but it was so heavy and I had to hold my head just right to keep it from falling off that I ended up getting a neck-ache.  See, this is the type of advice makes me think that ORACLE is so wise.

“Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth.”

When ORACLE said this, I assumed that he was talking about my poop, but on later reflection I realized that this was not true.  I now understand that he was talking about Minion #1’s poop (which is MUCH more foul than mine).

"You could be bounded in a nutshell and count yourself a king of infinite space.”

I THINK he means here that I am large – ok – FAT.  He thinks I am fat.  But I will have EVERYONE know that I do NOT take up infinite space.  I only take up the amount of space that fits comfortably under my blankie.

“How now? A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!”

On this matter, I do think that poor ORACLE was confused.  Those were dead VOLES, not RATS that SPYCAT attacked.  Also, he mispronounced the word “cat”.  It is probably due to his strange accent.

Anyway, that is the story of how I met ORACLE (the owl) and a brief explanation of his role in the Empire.  Please let me know if you have heard of any other ORACLEs as wise as this one.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Alliances, Enemies, and Other Relationships

It seems that there has been some confusion within the Empire about the particular political alliances. So, I have decided to explain the alliances and antagonistic relationships that I am aware of and participate in.

First, I want to correct the notion that all members of the same species are allied with each other and that the Empire treats them all the same. It seems odd and short sighted to me that that it is the PEOPLE are the ones who seem to want to propagate this idea the most. When the fact it is the PEOPLE who seem tohave innumerable alliances and wars within various factions of their OWN species. The one exception to this rule is the INSECTS (EVIL!). Nearly all of the insects are EVIL and are to be treated as such.

Next, the main alliances within the Empire are between the residents of HQ: myself (of course), Minion #1 (@tipperthedog), some people (I don't know the names they call themselves), some birds who live near HQ and surveil SPYCAT (ENEMY!), the Voles of HQ (whom I attempt to protect despite their seeming desire for self destruction) and a white-tailed rabbit who I call FLUFFY.

The next tier of alliances is with those who live outside of the immediate area of HQ, but who are friends in one way or another. There is, of course, those who are in my cabinet (such as @PennyCat). Then there are those such as ORACLE (the Owl) who live in their own secret hideout near HQ, but not IN HQ.

I realize that this is all very confusing, but to make it all crystal clear, I have devised a chart. If you study this chart carefully, it should answer all of your questions. In the unlikely event that there is still some confusion, please leave me a comment, e-mail or tweet. I really don't know how I managed to rule my Empire before twitter. I have to remember to thank the ORACLE for telling me about it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Paris Mission Debriefing

Well, Empire, it has been a long journey, but I m finally home from the diplomatic journey to provide France an opportunity to join the Empire. I was unable to relate much of my journey while "in country" due to the fact that I was unable to bring my computer with me and it was difficult to find a suitable internet cafe that would allow dogs without their people inside (again, so xenophobic and anti-dog!)

Anyway, I began my journey by arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport at about 6 AM. This was strange since the airplane took off at about 7PM. By my calculations, the flight lasted six hours which means that we should have landed at...umm...let's see...well, the time we should have landed is unimportant, but the fact is that Paris (and possibly all of France) exists outside the same space-time continuum as The Empire. I am not sure what this means, but I believe the airport LOOKS like a time machine and so all of Paris may not actually exist in our normal time. (If anyone knows WHO created this airport-time-shifting-device, I shall contract with him to create one for HQ.)

The next order of business was to find accommodations and FOOD. I was able to procure sufficient lodging at a place called PORT MY-OH. They COMLETELY mis-spelled this name on all the signs. (In fact, none of the signs in Paris were spelled correctly. It is as if they were writing in a different language!) I was, however, able to view most of the major landmarks of the city from my room.

The next part of my mission involved finding one of the two current rulers: Sarkozy or Napoleon. I saw many posters all over the city of this Sarkozy. I did not, however, ever see the actual Sarkozy, himself. The only conclusion I can come to is that Sarkozy does not actually exist or that he is no longer in charge and has been replaced by Napoleon...who I DID actually meet.

Everyone I talked to about Napoleon seemed to think rather poorly of him, but the man himself was actually quite pleasant...a bit short, but I (unlike many others) never judge anyone by height. I believe that Napoleon's best quality was his innate ability to conceive superior military strategies. He also bought me a lot of food (which is in itself a superior military strategy).

So, Napoleon and I had a meal together and discussed "the Empire", though Napoleon kept referring to it as HIS Empire. I corrected him on this point, but after I explained to him him about HQ, Minion #1 (@tipperthedog), my cabinet and the other acquisitions I have recently made to my Empire, he agreed to SELL FRANCE to me for the price of dinner. Though I usually prefer to CONQUER things rather than PAY for them, this Napoleon fellow was so jovial, that I agreed to his terms and now, guess what? PARIS IS MINE! (Honestly, I can't believe that France GAVE UP so easily.)

I decided to spend the night at an appropriate location for my triumph over France. A large monument called Arc de Triomphe. Napoleon told me that this was created especially in anticipation of the DOMINATION OF FRANCE. It turns out that it was really cold there and that the police didn't like me being there. I am sure it was just jealousy that THEY hadn't thought to buy Napoleon dinner before.

At that point, I hung up a great banner at the Arc that said "Mission Accomplished" and packed for the return to HQ and the glowing admiration of Minion #1 and others who were awaiting my glorious return with the key to the city of Paris!

After a very long flight, I ended up in a place called New Ark. I boarded the next plane and ended up in Phil a'Delphia. None of these pilots seemed to understand where I lived and where I was trying to go. I kept asking for a flight to HQ, but NONE of them knew where it was. At this point, I was cursing the fact that I had kept the location of HQ a secret from everyone.

Oh well, in any case, I did make it back to HQ where the people were still blundering around as usual, Minion #1 was eating SPYCAT's food, SPYCAT had declared war with the local Mole population and where my blankie was awaiting my return.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ouah! Ouah! Bon Jour!

IMG_0435Well, I did make it to Paris eventually.  I was able to purchase a ticket from Newark to Paris.  The flight took only 6 hours, but it it was already TOMORROW when I got off the plane.  Time is different here.

In any case, my first impressions of this city is that cars are very small and colorful, buildings are big and colorless and the best part is that DOGS ARE ALLOWED ON THE TRAINS!  This makes it very easy for me to get around the city.  In fact, dogs seem to be fairly well respected in most parts of the city.  Aside from the obvious reasons that being dog-friendly is good, it also means less work for ME when I complete my DOMINATION of Paris because there are fewer rules I will have to change.

I have also been able to find satisfactory accommodations near Port Maillot. I am on a very high floor which is good for seeing a lot of the city out of my window and for dominating things.IMG_0438

I do hope that Minon #1 (@tipperthedog) is doing a good job running HQ and maintaining the integrity and respectfulness of the motherland of the Empire.  I also hope that she doesn’t get her tongue stuck on anything since I won’t be there to help her.

My next mission is to go find some people who can tell me where they run this place from so I can begin negotiations.  I will report back soon.  Au revoir.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Airplanes, Xenophobes and Jail Cells

Ok. This is NOT starting off well. First, I found out that you have to BUY A TICKET before the let you on the plane! And those tickets cost HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS. Where do they expect me to get that kind of money? Really? I mean, I’m a DOG! I always thought that money was a people sort of thing, but it turns out that people control all of the airplanes and they want money if before they let you get on them!

I was able to find an ATM and access one of my Swiss bank accounts, but then I found out that they only sell ticket to people.  I told the ticket agent that her refusal to sell me a ticket was xenophobic and discriminatory.  She looked at me with a confused look (sort of like the look Minion #1 (@tipperthedog) gives me when I try to explain things such as how to tell time or the basic principles of economics to her).  Anyway, at this point, the ticket agent just said that it was a RULE that she couldn’t sell tickets to dogs and that I would have to take it up with the management.

Well, since I didn’t want to miss my flight and had no desire to speak with the “management” of an organization that would hire such a person anyway, I decided to modify my strategy.  I eventually found a woman who was going to Newark International Airport and who was willing to buy my ticket for me.

The only downside to this was that I had to board the flight in a trap-like device that looked like a miniature jail cell.  As if it wasn’t enough to be treated like a second-class citizen, I had to endure the humiliation of  spending the entire flight in this cage!

Anyway…the next task is to procure a ticket to Paris!!


Friday, March 13, 2009

Beware the Ides of March

I really have no idea why I should beware of the "ides of March", but I hear the people always saying to beware of them. This saying makes NO SENSE AT ALL to me. I have lived through many March 15s without incident. It's really the 17th that seems to be more dangerous to me. I have always thought that I would understand my people better if I could understand some of their proverbs. I have given up on my local people, but in anticipation of my impending DOMINATION OF FRANCE, I have been researching some French proverbs to help me better understand the French psyche.

"A blind hen can sometimes find her corn."

I take this to mean that the French don't think much of the intelligence of chickens. I agree.

"A churl knows not the work of spurs."

This is really just nonsense and has no meaning as far as I can tell. Minion #1 (@tipperthedog) says that it means that bad people aren't honorable, but I think she is just making that up. I really have no idea what she is saying half the time either.

"A clear conscience is a good pilow."

Honestly, the French have no sense of what makes a good pillow. I prefer my blankie. I hope that they have more than consciences to sleep on in France or this could be a long trip.

"A dog may look at a bishop."

Well...of course...I look at anything or anyone I please. I don't need their permission. They should be asking MY permission (as the emperor).

"After a feast, a man scratches his head."

I have NEVER seen this happen. Perhaps it is a mistranslation of the well known dog proverb, "After an itch, a dog will scratch." Hmmm...hard to tell.

"All cats are alike gray at night."

I don't understand the singling out of cats in this one. Pretty much EVERYTHING is gray at night, right?

"Half figs, half raisins."

Ummm. I don't know what figs or raisins...probably some exotic French word for sleeping or eating. THAT would make sense. I pretty much spend half my time sleeping or eating. Hmmm...maybe these French will not be so bad after all.

Well, this exercise hasn't really gotten be very far in better understanding the French. My next task will be to plot out my itinerary. Stand by for details...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Domination du Monde

Since our ADVENTURE went so well yesterday and since I was able to add two bridges, a LION and Jimmy One-Eye to the EMPIRE, I have decided to try INTERNATIONAL DOMINATION!

After carefully researching ALL of the foreign lands available for possible DOMINATION, Minion #1 (@TipperTheDog) and I have selected France. The reasons we selected France are:
  1. They reportedly have a lot of CHEESE which is very licky according to Minion #1.
  2. Two of my idols live there: Nicolas Sarkozy and Napoleon Bonaparte

My next tasks are:
  1. Research the location of France.
  2. Research the location of ME.
  3. Research how to get ME to France.
My mission there will be to establish a diplomatic relationship between the me and whomever is in charge of France. I will do this by means of DIPLOMACY which I have read about and am referencing here:

Diplomacy is to do and say the nastiest things in the nicest way.
Isaac Goldberg
Anyway, if anyone knows anything about France or has any FRANCE DOMINATION tips, let me know. Your dedication to the Empire will be rewarded!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Waypoint #6 - The Bridge to Nowhere

After stopping at a quaint little riverside eatery, Minion #1 (@tipperthedog) and I were finally able to cross the Bridge to Nowhere...which is actually the bridge that takes us back to HQ. So, it's actually NOT a Bridge to Nowhere, but a Bridge to HQ.

Anyway, we did have to skip our stop at the CANNON (waypoint #5) which really disappointed me because I was hoping to see if I could somehow attach it to Minion #1's collar so we could haul it home to aid in the defense of the Empire. I shall have to save the task of cannon acquisition for another day.

Here is a picture before our dinner.
Here is a picture after dinner.

After dinner, we walked to the middle of the bridge where there was a man working. I attempted to explain the benefits of joining the Empire to him. He tried to chase us away and defend the bridge (with his broom-wielding-martial-arts), but we were too smart for him. Minion #1 (@tipperthedog) licked him really good and when he leaned over to say hello to her, I untied his shoes. Then he really got upset because he knew that meant that we had won the battle and that the bridge was now part of the Empire.

We finished crossing the bridge and went home where our people were waiting at HQ. They seemed irritated when we arrived, probably because they have a hard time doing much of anything without us. But they eventually hugged Minion #1 and gave us some food (which we didn't eat because we had already eaten dinner...honestly, they act like we can't take care of ourselves).

It turned out to be a fairly profitable day in the end. Here is a recap:
  1. Learned that flowers are NOT licky.
  2. Added a small bridge and a big LION to the Empire.
  3. Learned that LIONs wear armor and are NOT licky.
  4. Discovered that WARSHIPs are AWESOME (and hopefully come in blue for my birthday).
  5. Found out that treasure maps from the salesman by the bus station are NOT accurate.
  6. Met Jimmy One-Eye who helped us dig at WAYPOINT #4.
  7. Ate a three course dinner at a nice restaurant before winning a battle at the Bridge to Nowhere which is now also part of the Empire!
And now, I am going to go to sleep and dream about setting sail in my beautiful blue WARSHIP.


Waypoint #4 - Buried Treasure

Well, I have to say, waypoint #4 was most disappointing. Let me tell you why. At some point in the past, I acquired a buried treasure map from a reliable local merchant who deals in such things. (Don't ask me who or where. I am sworn to secrecy.)

Minion #1 (@tipperthedog) and I were able to locate the spot where the buried treasure was supposed to be. When we arrived at the spot with the large "X" on the ground, there was another dog (Jimmy One-Eye) already looking in the same spot. I don't know how this one-eyed canine knew about the treasure since the merchant who sold me that my copy of the treasure map told me that it was the only one in existence and he SWORE that he hadn't told anyone else about it. Obviously, Jimmy One-Eye was a psychic of some sort.

Since we showed Jimmy our map and told him that we were the rightful owner of treasure due to the Rule of Finders Keepers, he agreed to help us dig for the the treasure in exchange for a share.

Alas, we dug up the whole area and there was no treasure to be found. Well, actually Jimmy did most of the digging. Minion #1 was wandering around licking things most of the time and I was, of course, supervising the effort...and napping.

After I awoke, Jimmy One-Eye was gone, the hole he dug was empty and Minion #1 was eating the last of the food we packed. When I asked where Jimmy One-Eye went, Minion #1 said, "Is there any more kibble?" which I took to mean, "Jimmy finished digging, but didn't find anything and left in disappointment."

I shall have some strong words for that treasure map salesperson!

Oh well, sometimes even a blind pig finds an acorn. ...or doesn't find an acorn. Because isn't that what you would expect? Nevermind. Ignore the blind pig! ONWARD to the next WAYPOINT!!