The dichotomy that is Kazon

Kazon has always been a little slower mentally than the other kids at the playground.  Actually, Kazon is our household “dumb jock” — big, strong, as sweet as the day is long, and dumber than a sack of hair.

When he was a kitten I always thought Kazon would grow out of his dimwittedness.  This was based on Loki having gone through the same thing — start out slow and dumb and pubert (I know it’s not a word but it gets the point across) into a dangerously intelligent cat (danger for me, that is!).

Sadly this was not to be the case with Kazon.  He never grew out of his adolescent synaptic density.  In layman’s terms, he stayed on the not-so-intelligent end of the IQ scale.

For instance, Kazon rarely remembers he has an ass.  He’ll attempt to jump up on something and will end up with his front half successfully in the right place while his rear half dangles precariously over the edge which, eventually, either pulls him back to the floor or forces him to scramble to get to where he wanted to be.  Sure, it’s funny because you always know it’s going to happen.  He has yet to remember there’s a lot more Kazon back there.

Another example is Kazon’s tail — as in, he chases it.  This is the most hysterical thing I’ve ever watched because he’s so intent on catching it and will spin in circles going speeds that make me dizzy by just watching him.  He’ll chase it intently for quite some time before something else catches his attention and makes him forget about what he was doing.

And that brings me to another example.  I can always and easily distract Kazon from anything without worrying about him remembering what he was doing.  This is the best thing I can do so far as discipline is concerned.  He’s too big and too muscular for anything to penetrate enough to make a difference.  If you swat him on the ass for doing something, he just turns around and looks at you questioningly, as if to say, “What are you doing?  Is this a new game?”  Besides, any discipline that he might feel is lost by the fact that he won’t remember why he was disciplined by the time you do something.  He’s just that simple-minded.  The moment you speak up about what he’s doing, he thinks you’re just talking to him and will immediately come to you for some love and attention.  This negates any attempt to discipline him.

As the baby of the house (pathetic baby, that is), Kazon is constantly in trouble.  His curiosity is exacerbated by the fact that he doesn’t remember what he’s seen and hasn’t seen, so everything is always new to him every time he sees it.

Despite all of his mental shortcomings, though, Kazon has skills.  Doors are one of his masterpieces.  This is the dichotomy.

He’s always been fascinated by doors and has learned how to open them.  All of them.  Maybe it’s that typical feline curiosity that drives him, but, whatever it is, it pushed him to be inventive and to figure out how to get into places he really shouldn’t be.

If there’s a doorknob, he understands what it’s for and will try to use it.  If there’s a handle, he’ll try to grab it and pull it down.  If it’s a cupboard door, he knows to use his front paws to pull it open far enough to get his head inside — followed by the rest of him.

This skill is not lost on the rest of The Kids.  They’ve all learned how to get into the cupboards because of Kazon.  More importantly, his sister Kako has learned to always follow him when he’s investigating something because he’ll be her key to get into trouble.

The video below is a perfect example of both Kazon’s prowess with doors and his sister’s ability to remain hidden in the background until he gets into trouble — at which point she rushes in to get her piece of the pie.

In this video Kazon is trying to open the doors to the laundry room.  They’re double-doors with the ball-and-groove latches at the top.  Watch him to see how he tries to open the doors by reaching under them, how he reaches for the doorknobs but realizes they’re too high, tries the tiny space between the doors, and then eventually gets them open.  Also watch for Kako’s surprise appearance from just outside of the camera’s range once the doors have opened (this is what she does — waits patiently out of the picture until he’s successful, then she rushes in).

This video is in Windows Media Player (WMV) format.  It’s 1:32 (one minute thirty-two seconds) in length and is about 4.13 MB (so be prepared for the download if you’re using dial-up).

The Village

I finally found the time and interest to watch M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.  What a waste of time.

Shyamalan’s formulaic approach to movie-making has become overly redundant and tiring — and he’s only made four movies!  We all expect the twisted surprise at the end, so we now spend our time figuring out what it might be rather than actually watching the movie.  For The Village, that was too simple a task.

There are no monsters in the forest; they are in fact the village elders who use the ploy to maintain control over the other villagers.  The village exists in the present day despite all the signs to the contrary; it’s called escapism.  There is the same cheap self-realization with the main characters that we have seen in his previous films.  The impressive cast is unable to bring anything to the film because of the lack of any worthwhile plot and the overwhelmingly quirky character development.

One-word review?  Yawn.

The truth is that Shyamalan continues to make the same film over and over again, each time replacing certain plot elements and characters with new material in the hopes that no one will actually notice that it’s still The Sixth Sense no matter what you call it.  It’s ultimately nothing more than recycled material, the same old tedious story.  His perfunctory approach to filmmaking has become all too predictable.

Don’t waste your time on this one.  If you already have, I’m so very sorry.

Still waiting to win the lottery

Sorry for my absence of late.  I've been spending a lot of time dealing with work.  We've recently undergone a reorganization, so that's just adding to the workload I was already carrying.  Now, on top of existing projects and work, I have to deal with transitioning roles and responsibilities, taking on new roles and responsibilities, doubling the size of my team (with half of them remote to me now), and the list goes on.

I'm beginning to think that winning the lottery will be my only hope of getting a break.  Can I win that using the "no purchase necessary" premise?  No, I didn't think so.

That’s a bad way to start the new year

I apologize for being absent the last several days.  I've had some kind of stomach flu (or other GI affliction) and have spent the last four days in absolute misery.  The bathroom and I have become close friends due to the excessive time we've spent together lately.  I woke up very early New Year's Eve with a terribly upset stomach — and it went downhill from there.

For those of you who know me well enough, consider this — I've not had my morning Starbucks since Thursday.  If you don't know me well enough to understand that reference, I never miss going to Starbuck's to get my morning coffee — unless the world is ending, every Starbuck's in the DFW metroplex is closed, or I'm too sick to drive one block to our neighborhood coffee shop.

I'm still not over it but am feeling a wee bit better (the operative term being "wee bit").  I'm hoping I'll have some kind of appetite today and will be able to hold down some food, something I've not been able to do since I woke up Friday.