Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kate Wishes You a Merry Christmas!

I'm just quickly checking into my blog to wish you all a Merry Christmas!  Now I must open my presents!  If you want something strange to "read," check out this mostly-wordless mashup of Doctor Who and Supernatural --  SuperWho:  "Dean and the Doctor" -- we're only at part one, with more to come!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kate Reviews the Kindle Fire HDX 7"

If you haven't heard already, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is selfie.  Speaking of which, this one dude keeps ruining my selfies by photobombing them:





But it's OK.  The Kindle Fire HDX 7" is primarily an shopping terminal.  The relatively low price of this tablet, compared to the iPad, for instance, and its integration with strongly suggest the main purpose of the tablet -- buying more stuff from!  It can also run some fun apps from the Amazon app store, play music and movies, and -- yes -- act as a bright eReader.  The screen-side camera is good for Skype and selfies, solo:

...or with a friend: seems to occasionally offer savings and discounts on various Kindle models, so try to keep that in mind if you are interested in a Kindle.

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kate's Halloween Costume

I've decided what I am going to be tomorrow night for Halloween:  A knight.  Well, the knight is going to be on my back.  I'll be the knight's noble steed -- a horse, or maybe a dragon!  Or maybe I'm supposed to be a giant legendary canine like a direwolf from Game of Thrones, or a warg from The Lord of the Rings.

I really have to think this through tomorrow morning.

Anyhow, I got the armored knight and saddle from Target last weekend.  There were three dog-as-horse costumes available that day:  A cowgirl, a green-blue knight, and a red-yellow knight.  There was literally one cowgirl in my size (large, if you're asking), one green-blue knight, and one red-yellow knight.  I ended up with the red-yellow knight.  All costumes were on sale last weekend.  If there are any costumes left right now, they are probably at a deep discount.  Or maybe they are price-gouged, depending where you shop.

Here is my -- let's say it's a direwolf -- costume at another angle:

Medieval Times, Dinner and Tournament.

To celebrate my awesome choice of costume, let's mimic the costume with LEGO minifigures.  First, let's try a random lion knight (the Lannisters send their regards) and a warg from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings:

You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Here's my anthropomorphic minifigure avatar K8 with a microfigure on her back:

It's not quite the same on two legs.

Here's a police dog minifigure K9 with a minifigure-scale trophy on its back:

This is pretty accurate in its simplicity.

Here are all three LEGO depictions of my costume:

Who wore it best?
I like the Lannister-on-Warg LEGO re-creation the best.  It's not totally accurate, but with the red lance, the knight-in-shining-armor, and the ferocious giant canine are close enough.  I also like the simplicity of the police K9 and shiny silver trophy (imagination counts).  Anthropomorphic K8 with a microfigure on her back doesn't work at all.

Anyhow, I am really, really, really excited for Halloween tomorrow night.  I hope to get a lot of treats (especially Milk-Bone and Beggin Strips), and perhaps win a jousting tournament or two.

Ser Kate of the Blackwater*

The Blackwater is my pee on the pavement.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kate Likes Hot Wheels...and Gambling

Fig Rig is compatible with minfigures from various brands.
For the past 315 dog years, in the Western world at least, there have been three unavoidable toys for children:  LEGO bricks, Barbie dolls, and Hot Wheels vehicles.  Toy trends and imitating competitors come and go, but these three have staying power, with children playing with them and strange adults hoarding collectibles like a surplus of rawhide in a backyard hole.

I think it is important that a child play with at least two of the three aforementioned toys.  Why?  Because these toys are fun, duh.

LEGO bricks and minifigures were meant to be gender-ambiguous, but a long history of sets and themes tended to skew toward boys.  There was some sort of controversy when LEGO came out with the "Friends" theme, which targeted girls, and is a great source for Brian May minifigure hair.  In any case, LEGO is expensive.  LEGO makes quality toys that last decades -- dog centuries, even -- but the cost of collecting LEGO adds up quickly.

Mattel's Barbie dolls have one main target audience:  Girls.  I'm just a simple dog who likes to play fetch, take naps, and blog, so I won't get into your human issues of gender roles in the 21st century.  Besides, I don't think the Barbie-sized G.I. Joe dolls, I mean, action figures are popular among boys anymore.

Mattel's Hot Wheels die-cast vehicles are usually marketed toward boys, but I'd like to make the case that Hot Wheels have the potential to all kinds of demographics -- boys, girls, dogs, cats, and adult humans who hoard.  (I'm kidding about the hoarding humor.  Adult Hot Wheels collectors are generally cool people.)  Here are two reasons why Hot Wheels can appeal to all kinds of audiences:  (1) Little cars are cool, and (2) each vehicle usually retails for about a buck ($1 USD).  Hot Wheels come in all sorts of colors and shapes, designed after both real vehicles and imaginary ones.  There should be a car or two that appeals to almost anyone.  The low cost of Hot Wheels is reason enough for you to spoil your child, girl or boy, with a dollar toy, and while you're at it, you can spoil your dog with some treats, preferably Milk-Bone or Beggin' Strips.  I'm just sayin'.

This is the part of the article where I try to sell you something.  For the holidays.  Even if it isn't Halloween yet, let alone October.  A singular Hot Wheels vehicle is sufficient to be fun by itself; it can be manually rolled along a carpet, couch, or table during an important board meeting.  You can do so much more with a few die-cast vehicles.  There are Hot Wheels playsets that can make the vehicle do stunts, jump, loop, and crash.  I would advise against these playsets.  Sure, it seems cool to have a car loop-de-loop into a plastic dinosaur's digestive system.  When the laws of physics go awry, and a flying die-cast projectile injures a child's face or an adult's genitalia, no one would be laughing.  Well, except for the adult -- male, probably -- getting Hot Wheels'd in the balls.  That would be hilarious.  That should go on YouTube and go viral.

The kind of Hot Wheels playset you should buy your kids (or yourself) for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc., are the ones that involve racing.  Before the start of the race, you can choose a vehicle, and place bets.  This sort of gambling doesn't have to involve money or be illegal, but it should involve lots of fun.  And possibly some degree of cursing.  You can set up a large bracket tournament, and let the games begin.  I have three recommendations for track playsets that can fit various holiday budgets.

My first recommendation is the Hot Wheels Rooftop Race Garage Playset.  It is a two-car drag race from the top of the garage to the finish line.  This playset is relatively small, but the race is extremely short.  The end of the track can be expanded with Hot Wheels track that you can buy at Walmart or Toys"R"Us.  You can remove the finish line, which determines the winner of the race, by using a flat head screwdriver to bend the plastic and pry the finish line out the set.  This will render the playset less portable.  You can use any material, such as LEGO bricks and plates, to create a stable foundation for the finish line and the extra amount of track.  The Rooftop Race Garage usually retails for around $15 and comes with one car.  You'll have to buy any opponents separately (for about a dollar each).

My second recommendation is the Hot Wheels Downhill Raceway Track Set.  It is a three-car drag race over relatively bumpy terrain.  The finish line for this playset can determine first, second, and third place.  Some Hot Wheels vehicles that are fast one straightaways races might be slow on this hilly racetrack, and vice-versa.  You can add extra track at the end of this set, but the length of this race track is pretty decent, so you might not want to destroy it by removing the finish line.  It folds up easily for storage.  The Downhill Raceway, which includes one car, is currently available at Target for around $20, but if you want to waste extra money on an older version of it at Amazon, be my guest.  You'll be price-gouged at five times the price at Target, so good luck!

My final recommendation is the Hot Wheels Super 6-Lane Raceway.  It is a six-car drag race in a straight line to the finish.  The finish line requires batteries because it contains recorded audio that shouts the winning lane.  There is no volume control for the finish line, and it does not determine the order of the runners up, without some sort of process-of-elimination re-races.  The track can be extended at the end indefinitely, as long as you have the extra track pieces and if the vehicles will be able to roll that far.  The finish line can be removed without damaging the playset.  You'll have to figure out how to create a base for the finish line (LEGO bricks and plates work well).  It folds up less easily than the Downhill Raceway for storage.  The Super 6-Lane Raceway, which includes six vehicles, should retail for around $70.  You should consider it a good deal to get it for less, and a bad deal to buy it for more than $70.

Place your bets, and start your (pretend) engines!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kate Wishes a Good Morning to All, with Music

Yes, I know it's the afternoon where I am.  It has to be morning somewhere!

It's been a while since we've published anything on this blog; my human business partners have been diligently working on a music education blog called Chord du Jour.  They've been posting diagrams of all manner of chords and scales for fretboards and keyboards (guitar and piano).

Speaking of music -- I like music, too.  I have a mixtape full of my favorite Queen non-hit deep cuts.  It is a literal mixtape, on cassette tape.  A little more than seven dog years ago, I starred in a music video for the public domain tune "Good Morning to All."  It's actually a pretty dodgy version of it, with misplaced notes, but you can blame the guitarist for those flubs.  I'm told that if you add different words to this instrumental, it could be the song "Happy Birthday to You," which is under copyright, and even that issue is full of controversy.  With that said, please enjoy this dodgy rendition of "Good-ie Morning to All" -- or "Good Af-ternoon to All" or "Good E-vening to All" -- addressed to dear people with two syllables in their name (we recorded several variations, for different syllabic combinations):

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kate and the Other Kate's Baby

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kate's Word of the Day: Ersatz

K8 and Oswald.
Wiktionary defines ersatz as "made in imitation; artificial, especially of an inferior quality."  Usable as an adjective or noun, ersatz is a German loanword to the English language.  For example, Mickey Mouse is an ersatz of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit because Walt Disney lost the rights to Oswald in the late 1920s and had to come up with a new character.  Oswald himself is an ersatz Felix the Cat because, in the early days of animation, Felix was king.

It is my educated guess that Felix the Cat is ultimately an ersatz of one or more trickster deities from tens of thousands of years ago, who plagued -- but also taught laughter to -- early humankind, before the merciful great-grandmother Wolf sent some of her children to take care of you hairless apes.  Yes, I know, dogs are awesome.  My ancestors probably gave you the secret of fire.  And belly rubs.

Since I've written myself into a corner, writing about ancient times, I might as well write SEGUE TO DISNEY STORE SALE.  The Disney Store has a sale almost every week, so many of them aren't worth publicizing.  This weekend, however, you'll save 25% on probably all of the merchandise at the Disney Store in your local mall and online at (we don't have an affiliate link for Disney), with the coupon code DISNEYPAL.  The sale ends on Sunday the 21st.

With this guaranteed savings, you can try to look for some of the Disney dogs:  Pluto, Lady, The Tramp, a few of the 101 and/or 102 Dalmatians, Bolt, Nana from Peter Pan, Percy from Pocahontas, etc.  I think I'd make a great Disney dog, and perhaps an even better Disney Princess.  Or a Marvel Superhero.  Or a Jedi, no, Sith!  (Marvel and Star Wars are now owned by Disney, by the way.)

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Large, Medium, and Small.
SEGUE BACK TO OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT.  In 2006, the Walt Disney Company reacquired Oswald from Universal, in exchange for sports broadcaster Al Michaels.  Since then, they've slowly reintroduced Walt's first animated superstar to the public.  Well, in Japan, they've been Oswald-crazy for decades, so Japan's Disney store has tons of cool Oswald merchandise.  In the States, at least, they've been slow to sell Oswald stuff, unlike the inexplicable ubiquity of Duffy the Disney Bear.  Why is that teddy bear everywhere?

In any case, recently, there has been more Oswald merchandise, like t-shirts (a red one, a blue one, a flag one, and a women's one), souvenirs from Oswald's Filling Station at Disney California Adventure, and at least three kinds of plush toys.   The large, crocheted $32 Oswald might still be available at Disney California Adventure.  The small $10 Oswald is currently sold out at the Disney Store, but might return.  The previously-sold out medium-sized $20 Oswald is available again at the Disney Store, in store and online.  If you don't want to shop at Disney, you could also get price-gouged from various sellers at Amazon: small and medium -- the large, crocheted, California Adventure one, when available, is usually price-gouged approaching $100 on Amazon.

The moral of the story:  Use the 25% coupon / coupon code DISNEYPAL at the the Disney Store, if you want to buy some of this stuff.  That's all for today; time for lunch!

K8 the Lucky Minifig, an ersatz of Kate the Lucky Dog!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kate's Favorite Things / Kate's Treat Money

It is one of my goals in life to be the dog version of Oprah.  Around the time I was born (late April, 2011), Oprah broadcast the last episode of her talk show (May 25, 2011).  Before that, during Christmastime, she would have a special episode called "Oprah's Favorite Things," in which advertisers would give her production a bunch of stuff to give to her ever-so-grateful audience.  I'm not sure whether Oprah really liked these things, or if she was contractually obligated to make them her temporary favorites.

In any case, I'd like to do that.  I have a lot of favorite things, from minty, glow-in-the-dark balls to dog biscuits, and from Doctor Who-related timey-wimey merchandise to the timeless music of Queen.  I would love to one day exclaim, "You get a Milk-Bone! You get a Milk-Bone! You get a Milk-Bone!" (or similar brand of dog biscuits) to a hysteric audience of canines and/or people who really dig dog treats.

If you had these treats, you'd agree.
Until that glorious era of super-stardom, however, I will have to make due with trying to sell you some of my favorite things.  Whenever I post an affiliate link, you should see a little green 'K' icon with my silhouette, as so: .  Depending on the retailer or service, Kate's Toys will receive a percentage of whatever you buy as commission.  Using these affiliate links shouldn't -- knock on wood -- affect your shopping experience in any negative way.  It would be great to earn some treat money, even though I get treats anyhow.  You know, my business partners haven't told me where the proceeds will go.  I'll have to discuss this at a meeting in the near future.

To conclude, I hope to one day subtly sell people products by giving them away to a select, yet extremely enthusiastic, few.  I hope to do so as charismatically as possible because, let's face it, when Doctor Oz plays the role of Holiday Elf, it's not the same.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kate Is on Twitter

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kate's Bouncy, Spiky Ball Shootout: #Petco vs. #Target

I like playing catch.  I can leap high and grab just about any flying object with my mouth.  If I don't catch something, I'm playing fetch.  On purpose.

Spiky, bouncy, floaty (if only I had a pool!) balls are among my favorite toys.  I've played with several spiky balls over the past 15+ dog years, or 2+ regular years:  A pink one, a purple one, an orange one, a red one, a blue one, and a green one.

I can chew with the best of 'em, which means that round balls will become flat things eventually.  Flat balls are still good to catch, but they are no longer fun to play with when they start to break apart.

The majority of the spiky balls came from Petco:  The pink one, the purple one, the orange one, and the green one.  The pink and purple balls are no longer with us (R.I.P.), but they lasted for months of fun.  The orange ball is somewhat flat, but still bouncing a bit after about a year and a half!  The green one is the newest one -- I received it sometime in May -- and it's starting to get a bit flat.  I still prefer playing catch with the orange ball most of the time.

Two of the spiky balls were purchased from Target:  The red one and the blue one.  I received the red one around Valentine's Day, earlier this year.  It lasted a few weeks before a chunk broke off of it.  Tragically, its life was cut short!

I received the blue one on Easter --

Speaking of Easter, you should check out this cartoon about the Easter Bunny, and how his dog disciple betrayed him in the Judas Iscariot sort of way, explaining why dogs can't (or shouldn't, depending on weight) eat chocolate.  It's probably offensive to extremely devout Christians, or at least the ones who don't respond well to satire.  It should really be offensive to dog-kind, but it isn't.  Okay, maybe only the humorless ones.  But I digress.

The blue Easter ball lasted a couple of days, and it was game over.  It was a sad day.  At least I had my orange ball, as well as my other toys, to console me.  As mentioned earlier, I received a green one in May, and it is currently with me to this day.

This might not be true of all spiky balls from Petco and Target, but in my professional opinion, Petco's spiky balls last longer than Target's.  Both stores sell these balls for about $5 each, and there's some likelihood that they're made in a similar, if not the same, factory in China (or thereabouts), but if you're in the market for a bouncy, spiky ball, go to Petco.

It's where I'd go.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Under New Management

ARF! This site has been abandoned since February 2011. That was before I was born! Things are going to change, now that I'm in charge.

My name is Kate, and I'm a dog.  I like toys, licking things, chewing on things, and fetching things.  And eating things, as long as they are tasty.  I like jumping onto couches and laps.  I love to play catch, fetch, and kvetch.  I AM EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING! except ear drops.  I loathe ear drops.

Guess Who's Toys? will soon change its name to Kate's Toys! now that I am the pup-prietor of this establishment.  I will make sure my writing staff will write better articles than before!  Yes, we'll still write about toys for girls and boys of all ages.  I've given many gifts to my people friends, so some of our articles will reflect those types of toys and things.  My LEGO minifigure avatar K8 will introduce these kinds of articles.  She knows what she's talking about!  (We have similar fashion sense, too!)

We'll also write about dog stuff, like toys and treats and tasty things.  I will give you my expertise on these subjects, telling you what I love, what I like, and what I don't like.  With over 15 dog years of experience, and counting, you can trust Kate -- that's me!  A furry photo of yours truly will mark my seal of approval for these kinds of articles.

Speaking of seals, aren't they really dog mermaids?

I welcome you to the new Kate's Toys!


Kate Dog
Pup-prietor, Kate's Toys!

P.S. I must quickly translate for my canine friends:  Arf! Arf! Grrr... [pant] [pant] [pant] Ruff!