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A Way for the Family to Kinect

Last night, Dimples (9) asked the Cap’n (my husband) if he would like to play Kinect after a hard day’s work, and the dear man, bless him, said, “Yes.”  He could tell how much Dimples wanted to do something with him after she had been stuck with me for an entire day.  Then, in a completely unprecedented move, the Cap’n said, “Isn’t there a yoga one we can do?”  Which just about rocketed me out of the arm chair.  The Cap’n. Does. Not. Do. Yoga.  Generally, he and Dimples like to crash cars into each other or raft on rivers.  (For those of you who are not familiar with Kinect, it is a video game on your television that is hooked up to a camera.  The camera records you moving and incorporates it into the video game, so that your character on the screen moves the same way.  If you missed my posts on the ridiculous lengths I went through to get this game for my family, you might want to read them to learn how NOT to buy a Christmas gift for your loved ones.)

Because we have concrete floors, I insist, despite Dimples’ extremely vehement complaints paired with eye-rolling about my over-protectivenessof her growing bones, that a large mat be rolled out onto the floor whenever Kinect is played in bare feet.  Wonderbutt seems to think this is his royal blue carpet.  As it is, both he and Mrs. P.I.B. do not understand the whole  Kinect concept – confusing the poor camera to no end by jumping around next to us as we play, often resulting in the unattractive sight of dog butts flying in and out of the television screen.

We set up the yoga mat, and Wonderbutt, who had been happily chomping on a bone on his new Wonderbutt bed, immediately headed for the foam mat.  Let the records show that Wonderbutt likes foam of any kind.  But this time, instead of attacking the mat, he brought his bone with him, and, without hesitation, set up shop on the mat, right between Cap’n Firepants’ legs.

The Firepants Family Version of Downward Facing Dog

When we tried to coax him back to his bed, he didn’t even pause from his bone-chewing, completely ignoring us as if to say, “You just go right ahead with what you were doing.  Don’t mind me.”

I would like to say that the yoga ensued with Wonderbutt beneath, but Cap’n Firepants was not feeling quite that flexible.  Wonderbutt got a quick referral to the Captain’s galley, and I had to pretend that I was not looking – and certainly not smirking – as the Cap’n and Dimples Bow Wowed to the Moon or whatever they were doing.

About an hour later, having finished the yoga portion of the evening, we three humans had retreated to the Forbidden Section of the house in order to perform various important tasks.  After a time at the computer, I walked out into the hall, and discovered that Wonderbutt had pulled the entire yoga mat to the baby gated border of the Forbidden Section – and proceeded to attempt to ingest it.

Note the corner with a big bite mark. Oh, and yeah – THE BIG HOLE. You can also see his bone, the one that he is actually supposed to be chewing, right underneath the hole.

The Foam Fanatic right after I cleaned up his latest mess. He looks apologetic, doesn’t he?

I will be the first to admit that we all bore equal responsibility for the desecration of the yoga mat, having foolishly abandoned it in the UNForbidden Section known to be populated by the insatiable Wonderbutt.  My favorite part of the whole experience, however, was when Dimples asked, “Can you buy a new one, Mom?  I liked that mat.”


He Ain’t Heavy (O.K. – He IS Heavy), He’s Her Brother


“The best way to get a puppy is to beg for a baby brother – and they’ll settle for a puppy every time.”  ~Winston Pendelton

Dimples and Wonderbutt have a bit of a Sibling Rivalry going on.  

I think this might be somewhat beneficial, because Dimples gets to learn that it’s not all about her.  (Unfortunately, neither she nor Wonderbutt has yet come to the blatantly obvious conclusion that it’s all about me.)

It doesn’t matter that Dimples is an eight-soon-to-be-nine year old girl and Wonderbutt is a 1 year old bulldog.  Wonderbutt may be younger than her, and weigh more, but he’s just as annoying to Dimples as a typical baby brother.

Mrs. P.I.B., our oldest “child” (10), is a typical elder sibling.  She rests her golden head between her paws, alternating raised eyebrows at the battles that unfold in front of her.

Case in Point:  As I was attempting to type my blog, Dimples was in the living room attempting to play with her Kinect video game while Wonderbutt was attempting to play with her.   In case you haven’t experienced Kinect, it requires full body participation, so one is standing up and moving around while playing.  To Wonderbutt, if someone is standing up and moving around in his vicinity, this is an invitation for him to join in the fun.  His idea of joining in, mind you, is ramming you behind the knees or tripping you.

“Stop it!” 

“I MEAN it; cut IT out!”

Since Dimples knows that yelling has absolutely no effect on Wonderbutt, and she is yelling loudly enough for the dead rats to hear in the attic, I can only assume this is her way of calling my attention to the fact that Wonderbutt is bothering her and she wants me to intervene.  

I don’t.

When sabotaging the Kinect game doesn’t divert Dimples’ attention enough to satisfy Wonderbutt, he resorts to Plan B.  I love Plan B.  Because it thoroughly annoys Dimples.

Squee-ee-e–e-ak!  Squeee-ee-e–e-ak!  Squeek!  Squeek!  Squeeky, squeek.

Wonderbutt races around with his noisiest toy.

“Stop it!”

Squee-ee-e–e-ak!  Squeee-ee-e–e-ak!  Squeek!  Squeek!  Squeeky, squeek.

“Oh MY GOD!  STOP IT!”  

Squeekity.  Squeekity. Squeek, squeek, squeee-ee-e–e-ak!

“THAT’S IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I hear the video game being paused, and can only assume that Dimples is now chasing Wonderbutt because the squeaking is now at a frenzy.

Suddenly – silence.  Sweet, blessed silence.  Maybe they both ran into a wall and knocked themselves out.

No such luck.

Dimples enters the room.

“Mo-o-o-o-m!  He just peed on the floor!”  

“Hmmm,” I respond as I type away.  “He stopped squeaking, though, didn’t he?”

Dimples glares at me, then walks out, stomping her feet.  

It’s tough being the middle child.







I Should Be Committed

Look very carefully at the above Amazon description of the Kinect Star Wars game.  I saw this last year, when I was stalking Xbox Kinect games to add to the gift that I expected to place under the tree, then almost didn’t have under the tree, then almost had too many of under the tree.

So, if you have the amazing powers of perception that all of my readers possess (I’m sorry if you had to use a magnifying glass), you may have noticed that this game is predicted to be released in December.  Of 2012.

I almost clicked on the pre-order button last November, 2010, before I realized the calendar year that was involved.  Then, I figured it had to be some sort of typo.  So, I kept checking back, periodically, to see if it had been corrected.  Well, if it is a typo, it’s been on their site for over a year.

I would like to meet the people who pre-order a game 2 YEARS IN ADVANCE!  I mean, I guess there isn’t really any sacrifice involved, but still, do you realize the kind of Commitment you are making here?

What if Wonderbutt eats your Kinect console, or your stupid HD T.V. that your husband insisted on buying you for your birthday 2 years ago even though you had never once said you wanted one, in fact declared the opposite, even when he kept saying how great they were every time you walked through Best Buy?

What if you die because you got locked in a port-a-potty for 10 days and nights and you refused to drink the skanky water, and everyone forgets to cancel your credit card, and your poor family gets a Kinect game that you ordered two years in advance in the mail, addressed to you?

What if some Idiot in Batman Underoos traveling in a pink baby walker runs over your foot and severs your nerves so you can’t play any Kinect games for the rest of your life?

O.K.  Maybe I need to put this in geek terms…

What if Luke decides to go over to the Dark Side after all because he feels so evil and guilty about all of the wet dreams he had about his own sister?  Then that Star Wars game will be just another doorstop, buddy.

Sheesh.  Don’t you People have anything better to do than stalk a game that isn’t scheduled to



for at least another-

Wait a second.

Crap.  When did I become a geek?

Shut up.

The Xbox Kinect Debacle of Christmas 2010 – Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this edge-of-your-seat drama, you can click here.  Or, you can be satisfied with this summary:  I ordered a 250 GB Xbox Kinect last November from Microsoft.  They told me it was on its way, and then they told me I was never going to get it because they found out that I have a house full of Apple products.  At least that is the reason that I suspect.

Resolved to get the Xbox Kinect with 250 GB of memory (because the 4 GB version just seemed too easy to acquire and it not worth buying if it’s not a pain in the rear to find), no matter what, I resorted to eBay.  Normally, I love eBay.  But I had avoided it at first b/c I think ordering expensive electronics that way is full of potential pitfalls.  Also, it was about $150.00 more.

After much research, I found someone with 99.2134567% customer satisfaction who had been a seller since I was a baby, and hadn’t had any complaints in the last 6 hours at least.

I won’t tell you how much I paid.

Back on track again, I sighed, and stretched back in my office chair as all of the other poor late-shopping fools raced around looking for the perfect Christmas gift.

A couple of days later, I got my e-mail that the Xbox Kinect 250 GB game was on its way from my super reliable eBay seller.

The next day, I got an e-mail from Microsoft that my Xbox Kinect 250 GB game that I had ordered from them (the one they had said was CANCELLED and would never be sent to me even if I paid them a million bucks and danced naked in Times Square) was on its way.

Let’s summarize – 1 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft, then 0 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft, 1 Xbox Kinect from eBay, AND 1 Xbox Kinect from Microsoft.

For those of you without my mathematical genius, that would be 2 Xbox Kinects.  500 GB of memory.  And a credit card bill for $100,000 give or take.

In the meantime, I had been worried the whole time that Cap’n Firepants might have ordered one to surprise the family – making a total of 3 Xbox Kinect games – one for each person in our household.  This would kind of defeat my whole purpose of bringing the family together to play.

In full panic mode, exacerbated by the fact that I could not mention the reason for my increasing anxiety to Cap’n Firepants, I wielded my wonderful assertiveness on the phone to Microsoft, with the goal of getting a free Xbox Kinect.

I managed to get two free Kinect games to play on our potential 3 boxes.

Both Kinect systems arrived within a day of each other.  I wrapped the one from eBay and put it under the Christmas tree.  I glared at the other one, and finally stuck it in my perpetually full dry-cleaning basket with the intention of one day finding it a home at an exorbitant price through Craig’s List.

Christmas Day arrived, and the Cap’n and Dimples were suitably impressed by the gift.  In fact, Dimples said, “This is so cool!  I’ve never seen anything like this before,” once it was set up.

“What do you mean?” I asked.  “You and Dad saw it on a commercial, and said how great it was.  You both couldn’t stop talking about it!”

“We did?” they said in unison.

It turns out that I had wasted my time for two months.  I should have been looking for a family with more memory instead of a game system with more memory.

Thanks Otacon 9944 on Photobucket!


The Xbox Kinect Debacle of Christmas 2010 – Part 1

About this time last year, the Cap’n and Dimples were watching T.V. together.  A commercial for the new Kinect came on.  Instead of surfing to another channel, both of them watched, transfixed, as people stood in front of a camera that allowed them to control what happened on their video game just by moving their bodies.  When the commercial was over, they both said, “That is so cool!” and couldn’t stop talking about it.

I knew right away I was going to get them that Kinect for Christmas.

I’m usually great at bargain shopping online, but the Xbox Kinect was already either sold out or no bargain at all of my usual haunts. They had plenty with 4 GB of memory, but I wanted to go all out and get the 250 GB of memory.  I didn’t want to be accused of memory stinginess.  I finally resorted to going to the source – Microsoft.  They actually had it in stock, according to the button that said “in stock”, so I ordered it.

I was giddy.  Here it was, the beginning of November, and I already had the perfect family Christmas gift.

Two days after I ordered it, I got an e-mail saying that my package was on its way.  I stressed about how to keep the package hidden until Christmas, and checked the tracking every day to see how close it was to being delivered.  I wanted to be sure to hide the package before I picked up Dimples from school.

A week later, the package still hadn’t been delivered, and appeared to be stuck in some remote spot like Fiji or maybe Sacramento.

Right when I was about to start making phone calls (Thanksgiving week), I got a new e-mail from Microsoft.  Due to an unprecedented number of orders, Xbox Kinects with 250 GB of memory were out of stock.  My order had been cancelled.

What?!!!!  I frantically e-mailed back by dissatisfaction.  Why would they just cancel my order without checking with me first?  Why didn’t they just delay it?  And, what had happened to the one that was on its way to me?  THAT THEY SAID WAS IN STOCK!!!  Did someone hijack it in the parking lot of the Sacramento UPS, and give it to Justin Bieber or the Kardashians?  But all I got in response was $150 store credit that could only be used on one item, and had to be used by Jan. 1st.

You are the Controller of Nothing, Loser. The only Controller is Bill Gates.

So, I now had two problems.  No big family Christmas gift.  And no one to complain to about the abuse I was receiving because this was supposed to be a surprise.  I HATE suffering injustice silently.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to the Xbox Kinect Debacle of Christmas 2010…

Dear Biggest Loser…

Dear Biggest Loser Production Team,

Please consider Wonderbutt for participation in the next season of your show.  He weighs 65 pounds, which is quite disproportionate to his approximately 2.5 feet of length.  According to his doctor, he must lose 10 pounds.  I know that your website mentions a requirement that applicants must need to lose at least 85 pounds, but I think it would be more fair to use percentages since this criteria clearly discriminates against body types that are vertically challenged.

One of Wonderbutt’s greatest qualities is that he is open to new exercise routines, such as swimming.  He has even gotten involved in your Biggest Loser Kinect game.  Well, he kept walking in front of the camera while Dimples was trying to play, but he obviously was motivated to participate.  Or to trip her.  It’s hard to tell what his agenda is sometimes, but doesn’t that usually make for great television?

I understand that your show involves an elimination process.  Wonderbutt is actually quite fond of eliminating, which is another reason he is uniquely qualified to be a member of your new Loser team.  Please don’t let the fact that he likes to determine where and when the elimination takes place deter you from selecting him.  You may want to avoid riding in a car with him if you have recently ticked him off, though.

Given Wonderbutt’s contempt for fashion, your wardrobe budget would be cut by 1/12th if he were to appear on your show.  Unless the other members of the cast are careless enough to leave their clothing on the floor.  In which case you might need to double the budget.  It could go either way.

You will not need to worry about Wonderbutt revealing any secrets from the show or bad-mouthing the trainers.  Unless bad-mouthing is a new term for licking them obsessively.

Wonderbutt is used to getting along with diverse housemates.  He is non-judgmental of those who are different from him, including snakes and his current roommate, Mrs. Pain In the Butt.  He may have a tendency to hurl himself into the other cast members’ genitals, but this is just his way of being affectionate.

In conclusion, I think Wonderbutt would be the perfect candidate for your next crop of twelve Losers.  He will blow you away with his dedication to this weight-loss challenge.  Or, he might just blow you away.  His digestive problems make him great at clearing a room.


Wonderbutt’s Mom

Wonderbutt Takes a Break from His Demanding Exercise Regimen

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