Sunday, December 28, 2014

"How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb"

With all due respect to Dr. Strangelove, I think Peyton Manning is the true wise man among us.  Such remarkable wisdom at such a (relatively) young age.  What a guy!


As everyone who lives in the six-county Dallas Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (all 6.5 million of 'em) knows, my lovely and talented wife K has been a bit under the weather recently....she has a cold.  Here is what I've heard for the past week:

K:  I don't feel good.

ME:  Sorry babe.  What's the matter?

K:  My throat feels scratchy....and I can feel something in my chest.

ME:  Yuck.  Take some aspirin.

K:  Will that make me feel better?

ME:  I dunno, but it can't hurt.

*an hour later...*

K:  Now my head is feeling clogged.  I don't think aspirin works.

ME:  OK, then look and see if we have any of that Zicam stuff.

K:  No, it makes me feel weird.

ME:  Suit yourself.

K:  Oh, and my head aches, too.

ME:  Sorry.

K:  Do I have any fever?

*feeling forehead....*

ME:  No, you're fine.

K:  You sure?  I'm pretty sure I do.

ME:  OK, then you do.

K:  So what should I take?

ME:  In another 3 hours you can take two more aspirin.

K:  Will that make my fever go away?

ME:  Umm....since you don't have any now anyway, yeah, that will cure your fever.

K:  And my back.  It hurts, too.

ME:  Sorry babe.

K:  Will you fix me some soup?

ME:  OK....we have chicken noodle in a can. 

K:  No.  I like Chicken and Stars.

ME:  But a star is just a five sided piece of noodle.  You won't know the difference.

K:  Yes, I will.  I want Stars.


ME:  OK, on my way.

*back from the store with her soup*

K:  My Facebook friends say I should try lemon and honey.  Will you get me some?

ME:  But I just got back with...


ME:  OK, on my way.

*back from the store with lemon and honey*

K:  Oooooooo....I hurt.

ME:  Sorry babe.





Yada, yada.

By Saturday, at my Clarence Nightingale's wits end, I thought I'd share some wisdom from that great Wise Man, Peyton Manning....

ME:  "Rub some dirt on it."

Today, 7 days after she caught a cold, she's well(ish).  Amazing how that medicinal dirt stuff works, huh?  :)  *Thanks Peyton*


Monday, December 15, 2014

Remember my words!

I see that our illustrious Congress has passed a $1.1T spending bill to keep our gubment up and running for a while longer.  So be it.  But what really chaps my hide is that the unbelievably powerful banking/financial services industry has scabbed on to it a provision that pretty much guts the Dodd-Frank Banking Reform Bill.  WE...ARE...SCREWED!!!!

Basically the banks have been given a green light to get involved in highly profitable, but highly risky investments that are likely to eventually blow up in our face.  I say "OUR face" instead of "THEIR face" because when it all hits the fan again the banks/Wall Street will simply form a line at the Taxpayer's Bailout Window.  Congress has just put us all on the line....we just co-signed a TRILLION DOLLAR note!  *how's your sphincter feeling now?*

Gamblers eventually lose, and these days banks are just glorified, and very highly paid, gamblers. But when these gamblers lose, THEY don't lose.  Their money is safely tucked away.  It's OUR piggy banks that will get robbed.

So when is the bottom gonna fall out again?  Three years?  Five years?  Eight years?  Who knows?  But I fear this next time, unlike the financial meltdown of 2008, the rest of the world will be in the tank ahead of us, with no strong player(s) to pull us through.  (In '08 Europe and China were doing pretty well, which helped absorb some of the carnage.  Today they are in trouble, too.)

I hate being the bearer of bad news, but please don't shoot the messenger.  Shoot Congress and the bankers*.  Please.


*figuratively speaking, of course  *Hi NSA*  :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A new family member!

I found her trolling the internet, looking for someone from a warm climate to rescue her from Minnnesnowta.  She was...oh, wait...wrong family member.  *ahem*

It's the little gray and white furball in K's lap that is actually the one pulling the strings in our family now.  His name is Jax, which means, as best we can tell, absolutely nothing.  (But give me some time and I'll concoct an exotic story he can use to impress the ladies  ;)

In the approximately six weeks since our Luke abruptly died we've both been in mourning.  Hard as we try, dog people like us just cannot properly function without a dog nearby.  It's been a miserable six weeks.  That all changed on Friday when I stumbled across Jax in a SPCA rescue shelter in Plano. 

Our previous dogs had all come from quality breeders because, well, we didn't know where else to look.  There were breeders, and there were dog pounds, and that was it.  The fact that our thoroughbred dogs came with the proper papers meant little to us as we weren't going to sell them or breed them anyway.  

Now we've become more aware of all the thousands millions of dogs needing forever homes, and who will be put to death if they can't find one.  *sniff*  Not on my watch!  There's certainly nothing wrong with quality breeders (NOT puppy mills!), but at least now we have options.

Jax is a mix, Miniature Schnauzer and Poodle.  He's about two years old and is a bit scrawny at 14 pounds.  I think we can get another couple of pounds on him and then he'll be juuuuuust right.  He's almost freakishly good.  He's already house trained, and sheds virtually none at all, as you would expect from either a Schnauzer or a Poodle.  

He's already been fixed, has all his age appropriate shots, and is instant friends with, other people young and old, and the other neighborhood dogs, too.  Street noises, including fire trucks passing by on hot runs, and even vacuum cleaners don't faze him.  He has the softest coat, and is a good strong walker.  (He'll no doubt walk a few pounds off me, which is a good thing!)

I had planned to post a few other pics of Jax, but he won't sit still long enough to capture anything but a blur.   He loves chasing tennis balls and playing with his squeaky toys.  He eats and runs and plays enthusiastically, but can also turn it off and just sit and chill with us.  He'll accept belly rubs until the cows come home.  (For the record, so will I.  Just sayin'  :)  

I'm hoping he's a football fan, as Saturday's this time of year will require him to share my attention with a couple of games on TV.  I'm sure we'll work something out.  ;)

Can you tell I'm pretty stoked abut the new kid?  K is too.  In fact, earlier she called for me, and there was a pregnant pause while she tried to remember my name.  :)

All is well here now.  And Luke, Emma, and Tara, just know that the new kid will NEVER replace you in my heart.  You just have another brother now. 


EDIT:  Oh, did I mention he has ONE blue eye?  It is the coolest thing!  The vet said sometime dogs with one blue eye are deaf on that side, which if true, might explain his acceptance of noises that other dogs freak out over.  All of which is just fine with me.  :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

"I didn't do it, nobody saw me (?), you can't prove a thing." Those days are gone.

I recently wrote on how, regarding the Ferguson, MO police shooting incident, we shouldn't be too quick to assign guilt or innocence without knowing all the facts first.  I said that hopefully cities will understand that personal body cameras on all police officers would be able to shed considerable light on, and perhaps definitive proof of, what happened during controversial police/public confrontations.

Now we see body-cam video of the police officer in NYC who subdued a large black man who was "resisting arrest".  The grand jury decided to no-bill the officer after the subject died as the result of choking/asphyxiation.  I would love to know what the grand jury heard that would lead them to override what they saw on the video.  It seems like pretty convincing evidence to me.

At least 5 officers had their man surrounded.  His "resisting arrest" consisted of backing up with his hands in the air in a non-threatening manner.  One officer came up from behind and put a choke hold on him, taking him down.  The man repeatedly complained that he couldn't breathe while several officers cuffed him, and several others stood and watched.  He was on the ground with his face kissing the pavement.  His outstretched hand/fingers still didn't seem threatening.  He looked desperate.

With that much manpower on the spot, and with the guy repeatedly saying "I can't breathe", I wonder why #99 couldn't back off some?  Wasn't he sufficiently subdued by then?  If there is other relevant evidence off-camera that we can't see, I wish the authorities would release it because this looks like a pretty cut-and-dried wrongful death to me.  The damage this is causing goes way beyond a monetary settlement with the family.

I don't know about NYC, but I do know that many cities are facing extremely difficult police recruiting challenges.  They want to keep their education/background/training requirements high, but I suspect they are dumbing down their standards to meet their numbers.  That is a recipe for disaster.  

Don't cops know....doesn't EVERYBODY know....that pretty much everything they do outside their own home is likely to be captured on video?  Count on it!

Yes to body cameras.  Now, more than ever!


Monday, December 1, 2014

The Rest of the Story (in my best Paul Harvey impersonation)

 Yesterday at Target:

K:  Wait here.  I need to get some wrapping paper.  I'll be right back.

15 minutes later...

ME:  Ah, there you are.  What's taking so long?  How hard can this be?

K:  *sigh*  Men!

ME:  Get this roll.  It looks like it has a lot of paper on it.

K:  No.  The quality isn't right.

ME:  Quality?  What quality?  Who's disposable.

K:  I'm not sure what color to get.

ME:  DUH!  It's Christmas...get red or green, or red AND green.

K:  *sigh*  Men!

I'm not 100% for sure, but I suspect the same guy who was behind Valentine's, Halloween, and the ever popular Mother's/Father's Day invented wrapping paper, too.  He was a marketing GENIUS!  He shouldn't just be IN the Marketing Hall of Fame, his name should be ON the building!

Think about it....Valentine's:  The flower growers had nothing to do after the Rose Parade floats were built.  All their greenhouses were empty, but capitalism being what it is, they wanted to make better use of their now-idle assets, so they hired a guy to dream up a holiday that would be "flower heavy".  Hence, Valentine's.  It was a totally made up event.

Halloween:  Already gloating over how well his Valentine's promotion had gone over, he approached the candy makers and pitched to them a holiday that would move a lot of candy.  They bit (pardon the pun), and sensing an easy double-dip commission, he pitched the same thing to the costume industry, too.

Mother's/Father's Day:  Hallmark called him and said, "Hey, we want some", and Wah-Lah, greeting card sales quintupled.  Cha-ching!

The wallpaper industry has suffered through innumerable booms and busts.  Wallpaper's popularity goes up and down like women's hemlines.  Grabbing at straws, looking for anything that could give them some stability, they called the guy.

"Help!  We've got a warehouse full of cheap-ass wallpaper we can't move.  We need a holiday.  Quick."

He said, "A holiday.  Just A holiday?  I can make EVERY day a holiday for you guys.  Instead of just handing mom a pot holder or dad a tie, we'll make 'em wrap their gift with your crappy wallpaper.  But we'll call it 'Gift Wrap Paper'.  It sounds much classier.  Whatdaya think?"

"And check this", he added.  "You can wrap just a couple of feet of your crummy Wrap Paper...around an over-sized cardboard spool and sell it for ten-times the price!"


And that's where Gift Wrap Paper came from.

Now you know The Rest of the Story.  :)


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Good cop....bad cop

 Good cop

Bad cop

Over the past several days the news, the social media, and water cooler conversation everywhere has been all about the shooting and subsequent grand jury no-bill of the police officer involved in Ferguson, MO.  

As if the incident itself wasn't troubling enough, now I'm taken back by the almost universal opinion, presented as fact, that the cops are always wrong and the victims, especially if they are of color, are always innocent.  All this before ANY evidence has been presented, and this from people I know to be highly intelligent, people who should know better than to speak before knowing the facts.  Of course there are some out-of-control police officers, just as there are kids who sometimes make bad decisions.  But without knowing the facts, it's impossible to tell which is which.  Decisions this important should be made on a case-by-case basis.

I know this because for 18 years I served as a Civil Service Commissioner (a non-paid volunteer position) in my city.  We oversaw the hiring, firing, discipline, and promotion of firefighters and police officers.  I was recommended by some firefighters I knew, who knew me to be fair and open minded, not capable of being bullied by anyone.  

Over the years we (there were 3 commissioners) backed up some decisions of our fire/police chiefs against errant firefighters/police officers, and other times we decided against the chiefs.  We called 'em as we saw 'em.  

For the record, I'm white, one was a hispanic male, and one was a black female, and I can honestly say our fairness was universally considered beyond reproach.  We represented the CITIZENS of our city, not the city administration, and not the police officers/fire fighters associations.

I took both the Citizens Police and Fire Academies, each a 15 week course where we were given insight into every facet of department operations.  Regarding the police, we had classroom time learning about state laws, Miranda rules, chain of evidence rules, rules governing search and seizure, court decisions, the proper use of escalating levels of force, and more.  We learned about patrol, traffic, narcotics, investigation, SWAT, K-9, forensics, etc.  

We drove pursuit cars and fired guns on their range.  We did role playing where we answered imaginary calls and had to deal with yelling/screaming spouses, parents and their out-of-control kids, etc.  We had to calm everyone down, then reason with them and get them to "kiss and make up".  We were just as often psychologists as crime stoppers.  The job involves a lot of stress and requires a lot of thinking on your feet.

We were taught to always look at a persons hands, not just blindly into their eyes.  Eyes won't hurt you, hands and what they're holding will.  I once went out on a "ride along" on an overnight Friday shift, on a payday, with a full moon no less.  It was crazy.  We...OK, the cop...caught a kid stripping a car of electronics.  As we pulled in behind him the kid reached abruptly into the back seat for....what?  The cop jumped out and unholstered his firearm, and the kid gave up.  Turned out the kid was just hiding something behind the back seat, not getting a gun, but the cop had to err on the side of caution.  (And yes, I was shown the "unlock" button on the console that freed the shotgun in case it all hit the fan.)

Once our city had an officer kill a minority youth when he was charged by the kid who was wielding a large knife.  There was an immediate outcry from the community....not on the level of the unrest in Ferguson, thank goodness....that was finally quieted a few days later when dash-cam video of the entire incident was shown publicly.  It showed conclusively it was a sad but proper response considering the life threatening situation the officer was confronted with when he arrived on scene.  Thank God that video existed, for without it who knows how explosive our city could have become.  The cop wasn't out of control, and the kid was definitely in the wrong.

I've also seen instances where there were complaints from citizens against officers for offers of leniency in exchange for sex, cops roughing up kids, cops wanting a payoff for letting someone go after being caught with hard drugs, etc.  To his credit our chief came down hard, indefinitely suspending (firing) the bad cops, and we upheld his decisions.  And once one city fires them no other city would dare touch them....they're tainted forever.  I've seen...we've all seen...videos where cops drag a grandma out her car window when she didn't unbuckle her belt fast enough.  Inexcusable!  Brutal!  Bad cops exist, for sure, and must be rooted out.

I know I'm rambling, but I do have a point here.  The job cops do is dangerous.  It can be scary.  It can be mundane one second, and life threatening seconds later.  Would you want to walk through a high crime area alone, after dark, looking for someone who just knocked off a 7-11?  I wouldn't, but we expect our cops to do it every day.  They sometimes have to make split-second decisions that can mean life or someone.  As I've tried to show, they aren't all bad, and they aren't all good.  

It is unfair of us to listen to hearsay rumors and make a decision on guilt or innocence.  I would hope we would be smarter than that.  ONLY evidence presented under oath should be viewed credibly.  In the case of Ferguson, MO, buildings were burning before anyone knew what evidence the grand jury had heard.  That just wasn't right.  For myself, I still haven't heard most of the facts that were presented to the grand jury, so I will continue to withhold my opinion until I do.

One good thing that might come out of this tragedy is (I hope) a law mandating all cops have body cameras on them when they answer calls.  That should offer invaluable, hopefully even conclusive evidence of who did what.  That seems like a win-win for both the public and the police.  But in the meantime, please THINK before you pass judgement.

Knee-jerk reactions are dumb.


Monday, November 24, 2014

What's the old saying? "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

DOH!  Where's a good lightning bolt when you need one?

Is anybody besides me sick of the politicians going all nuclear over Brick O'bama's immigration "reform" executive order?  The Republicans won't address immigration, so Obama issues his order, right or wrong, and the Republicans run straight to court, whining what a dictator he's being.

You know the old political ploy of inventing a crisis/war/catastrophe to take attention off yourself when you're caught asleep at the wheel?  "No, don't look here.  Look over there."  That's what this amounts to.  If the Republicans don't like what Obama is doing regarding immigration, put a legitimate, DETAILED plan of their own on the table for discussion and schedule a vote.  

Hello?  Boner....Mitch?  Anyone?  Still waiting....

Here's my beef:  The Republicans have said for several years that they wouldn't tackle immigration reform until after the election.  Going unsaid was the fact that they wanted to pander for votes in all quarters.  They didn't want to take a stand on anything that might cost them any votes.  

In other words, they were more concerned about THEIR jobs than they were about the good of the country.  Shouldn't that itself disqualify them from holding public office?  

Don't get me wrong....the Dems are as self-centered as the Republicans.  They are all too willing to throw us under the bus, too, if they can keep their jobs (and all the graft that goes with it) for a couple more years.

IMO, unless we're willing to give the boot to Mitch and Boner and Nancy and Harry and all their respective "yes men" (and based on recent election results, we aren't) nothing in Washington will ever get any better.  America is as successful as it is IN SPITE of Washington, not because of it.  

I still have this crazy, nostalgic idea that leaders are paid to LEAD.  Silly me.


Friday, November 21, 2014

It's been a month

It's been a month since my best buddy changed address.  A very quiet month.  A month without a happy furry guy greeting me at the door when I get home.  A month without early morning or late evening dootie walks.  A month without him waiting patiently (?) to lick my ice cream spoon. 

I still can't believe Luke, Lukie-boy, The Lukester....he answered to them all...went from healthy to struggling for his life in just a few days....some sort of auto-immune system malfunction.  I'd never heard of such a thing, and there was nothing I, nor veterinary specialists, could do to stop it.  If something seemed like it might help, we tried it.  And he fought bravely, too.

I have no idea if I'll some day be reunited with him or not.  I sincerely hope that "Rainbow Bridge" thing is true.  I'll be one happy guy if it is.  To be surrounded again by Luke, Emma Belle, and Tara Belle (previous canine family members) would be amazing.

Take care Lukie-boy.  I love you buddy.  Rest up now while you can, 'cause we're going on some epic walks when I some day catch up.

S..."The guy what passes out the treats"  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What rock did these people crawl out from under?

 Palestinians were in a party mood yesterday as they celebrated in the streets the murder of 5 Jewish worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue.  In the West Bank people passed out sweets to show their approval.

You've seen the news:  Two killers entered a Jewish synagogue and murdered 5 people before they were themselves killed by police.  Sane people everywhere SHOULD have condemned the act, but they didn't.  NO group, no religion should condone such a heinous act.  No extenuating circumstances.  No excuses.  It was a barbarous act, regardless of who the aggressors or victims were.

I just saw on TV a person, an American Muslim spokesman and journalist, who was given an opportunity to condemn this act.  He sort of did...I the most vague way you can imagine.  You had to listen veeery carefully.  "But...but..."

I happen to be one of those who believe the Palestinians DO deserve their own autonomous homeland.  But for that to happen they will have to enforce laws that protect their own people AND THEIR NEIGHBORS.  

Have you heard anything about how the authorities are hot on the trail of the extremists in their midst?  Didn't think so.  As it is they are nothing but a bunch of lawless armed thugs.  That seems to be what their people celebrate.

Now, anybody care to step up and tell me what a lovely bunch of sweet people they are?

Here are some of the next wave of Palestinian fighters brandishing their weapons as they strut their stuff after the synagogue massacre.  (Note the guy with the red head wrap....he has his finger on the trigger of his gun.  HUGE no-no.  What an amateur!)


Friday, November 14, 2014

Rarely are things as simple as they seem

"Liberated" from Facebook:

Counterpoint: On the surface the following statement makes good sense, but it isn't that simple. If you invent a better mouse trap, offer superior service, or just work harder than anyone else and make a fortune, good for you! You deserve it.

But in our country it has become acceptable to use your earned fortune to buy influence in Congress, resulting in special favors, tax relief, subsidies, etc being granted. In other words getting something you DIDN'T work for. The wealthy are being somewhat disingenuous suggesting "I worked for it, it's mine, you can't have it." Truth is they worked for SOME of it.

Take away all the special favors and there will still be income inequality (because some people DO build better mouse traps, offer superior service, and work harder) but it will not be anywhere near as pronounced as it is now. Our system of special favors to some needs to be changed.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jail the bankers!

What's a guy to do?  With your eye on a new truck and needing a fast buck, you decide to turn to crime.  You walk into a business, demand money, then walk out with $1000. You get caught and the judge fines you $200 and sends you on your way.  That's it. that rate you can net $800 every time you visit your local liquor store, 7-11, or Walmart.  If you need $1600, just be sure to steal $2000.  Need $3200 for your Black Friday midnight run?  Steal $4000.  The fine is just a cost of doing business.  

It's not your money....what do you care how much the fine is?  What's the downside, except for that pesky little part about eventually going straight to hell?  Sure beats working 40+ hours a week at the sawmill.

That's essentially the way our large, prestigious (?) banks do business these days.  Today's paper reported that a number of big banks have once again been fined, this time $3.3B for manipulating the foreign exchange (currency) markets while enjoying a windfall of untold billions of dollars in "profits" in the process.

In the last few years the "Too Big To Fail" banks, the ones you and I (the taxpayers) bailed out after their greed f__ked up the world's economy back in '08, have collectively paid $251B in fines for....let's just call it what it is....THEFT.  And they're still reporting record profits!  That's just a portion of what they made off their crime spree.  The rest they've already spent, some of it going to themselves as a thank-you bonus for their "hard work".

And to rub our noses in it, just know that it's the SAME banks that keep committing these crimes over and over again.  They've learned that crime DOES pay!

Wanna stop 'em in their tracks?  JAIL THE BANKERS!  Put them behind bars.  Put them on a bread and water diet.  Put them to work busting rocks in the hot sun.  Turn 'em over to that Hang 'Em High Sheriff fella in Arizona for a year or two. 

But as long as we keep electing politicians who are also profiting from this behavior (via political campaign contributions from the bankers) nothing will change.  We the sheep will still be led to slaughter. 

*this is insane*


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Good Muslims?

Tonight I watched a story on 60 Minutes about this guy ^, a Muslim cleric in London.  He is a radical who refuses to condemn the actions of Muslim extremists, even the sicko who beheaded a British soldier on a public street in London.  He says a double standard is acceptable when viewing the actions of the oppressed vs the oppressor.  He is active in the effort to recruit disaffected Muslim youths to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS, among other likely treasonable actions.

Here's what I don't understand:  With billions (?) of Muslims in the world, I realize they can't ALL be bad, but why don't the supposedly huge numbers of peaceful, moderate Muslims speak up against their renegades?


It reminds me of a post I saw on Facebook recently.  It said, "Radical Muslims behead infidels.  Moderate Muslims want radical Muslims to behead infidels."

Yet for those Muslims here in the west we have to respect and protect THEIR rights? Yes, of course we must (to the extent the law prescribes), but how much slack do we have to give them?  Is it OK to be just a little suspicious?

That's a dilemma with a Capital D. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I am beyond heartbroken

Today I had to put down my wonderful dog, Luke.  He was only 3.  Three years together with this little guy was not enough.  He went from having some sort of rash on his belly on Wednesday to being terminally ill 5 days later. 

We immediately went to our normal veterinarian who among other things did a biopsy on some skin, then in short order sent us on to a veterinary internist.  He spent his last 2 nights at the 24 hour pet hospital, while we sat at home, worried sick.  They were all great there, but simply couldn't arrest the auto-immune condition that was eating him.  Nobody could.  When he started to suffer, we did what we knew we had to do to spare him any more. 

I'm in shock.  To say I'm completely devastated is a dramatic understatement, sort of like saying Adolf Hitler could sometimes be unpleasant.  I've prayed continuously for the past 48+ hours, but apparently The Man Upstairs had something better in store for Luke.  (Put in a good word for me, Buddy.)

I told myself I wasn't going to do this, but I just had to share the wonderful life Luke and I made together.  (Oh, yeah, K was in there, too.)

Luke's life with us began a couple of months after we had to put this ^ beautiful girl (Emma Belle) down.   It didn't take us long to realize we needed another dog in our lives.  Kelly said this time SHE was getting to pick the breed and the gender.  

"OK, fine, whatdayawant?"

"A male Yorkshire Terrier." 

"DOH!  Not a Yorkie.  They're little, and scared of their own shadow."

"Nope, my pick."

My stipulation was that we were not going to have a dog that looked like a mop, and had the hair on his head tied up with a goofy looking bow!  She agreed.

K knew someone who knew a very reputable breeder, so we arranged for this ^ good lookin' guy to become ours.  He was about 4 pounds when we got him, and yes, I was more than  a bit smitten. (He eventually ballooned to 8 pounds, dripping wet.)

We did all the responsible pet owner things, like have him fixed.  He came with all the proper papers we could fill out to have him registered, but I'm not big on that sort of thing.  He was my (er...OUR) dog.  He was 100% FAMILY!  I wasn't concerned with his "value". 

We bonded fast.  Wherever I went around the house, he wasn't far behind.

This was what I invariably saw when I looked down beside my desk.  Sometimes he would scratch at my leg, wanting up.  I would accommodate him, of course.  I'd lean my desk chair far back until I was at about a 45 degree angle, then he'd lie down on my chest and enjoy the view from up here.  And give me more than a few kisses.  (OMG...were we gay? :)  

It wouldn't be long until he was fast asleep, and I was stuck in that reared-back position.  I didn't have the heart to wake him.  Eventually he'd hear a noise outside and have to go investigate, and I'd get back to work.

When I had some skin cancer removed off my nose, leaving me with a scar that I told people was the result of an epic sword fight *wink*, Luke knew better.  He knew I hurt, and was right there with me to make it all better.

When I would go sit on the balcony, so would Luke.  He ruled over his 'hood from up there, and would assume the "tough little man" stance when he saw another dog on his turf.  I was dead wrong when I said Yorkie's were scared of their own shadow....THIS one wasn't!

True to her word, K never tried to dress him up in silly clothes.  Umm...we made an exception for football season when he wore his custom size XXXS Texas Tech Red Raiders jersey. 

 Oh, and there was the time I agreed to a red sweater when he posed for our Christmas card.

He didn't watch a lot of TV, but he did like The Animal Planet.

He became a regular at some of our local art shows, where he usually gamed K into carrying him after the first couple of miles.  I guess when your pace is only about 3 inches, a mile is almost a marathon!

We had several little blankets on chairs, my ottoman, the couch, etc, that he'd use to make himself a comfy nest.  We were allowed to sit wherever he WASN'T.  :)

I would absolutely love to come from work in the afternoons where Luke would greet me at the door,  then run back towards the den, stopping to run a couple of tight 360's (I have no idea why) along the route.  Then he would jump up on my ottoman, then my chair seat, and finally up high on the back of my chair where I would catch up with him.  I'd pick him up, we'd share affections  (oops, there's that gay thing again), then I'd ask if he wanted to go on a walk.

It's funny....I used to almost dread those early morning and late night potty walks, the bundling us both up in the winter before we stepped out, then picking up his poo with those little baggies they put in dispensers around the neighborhood to keep things clean and tidy.  Now, I'd give a million bucks for the privilege of doing it all over again.  :(

Recently he'd discovered the fun of joyriding in the car.  Yes, we'd just drive around the neighborhood, and the mall parking lot a block away early in the mornings before many people were out.  He'd sit in my lap and stand on the armrest and have the time of his life.  And watching him look so happy would make me a supremely happy guy, too.

No, three years was no where near long enough time with this little guy.  I/we were there today when he left us.  I held his little head in my hand and rubbed his neck, and K caressed him, too, while the doctor gave him his lethal dose.  It was humane, and he was no longer hurting, and I was glad for that.  Now it's my turn to hurt.

 I love you, buddy.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Yeah boy, how do I get me one of those government jobs? I'm ready for a nap.

Now, I don't mean this to be a blanket indictment, but I've gotta say I don't have much faith in ANYTHING our federal government does.  Or should I say TRIES to do.  Yes, I'm sure there are some successes that go unreported, but when taken as a whole, our government does NOT impress.

Think about it:  Natural disasters strike, and the boondoggle they call FEMA swings into action.  They send in their army of bureaucrats and set up registration stations where the affected can sign up for gubment help.  "Your gubment trailer is on the way!"  *pay no attention to that outgassing thing that makes them dangerous to live in*  "Oh, and feel free to help yourself to a complementary bag of ice."

And for our veterans, the ones who put their life on the line for us, the ones we solemnly promised to take care of if they were I need to list all the shortcomings of the VA?  (It would fill multiple volumes.)

For a decade prior to 2008, up to this day, even, our federal financial regulators turned a blind eye to the unprecedented con job the banks were doing on the American people.  "So you're broke?  And you want a bailout?  Sure....happy to help.  Here's a coupla hundred billion bucks, and another few billion to fund a nice bonus for you fine gentlemen, too."  Nice job guys.  Thanks for looking out for the American people.

The DOJ developed a half baked idea to see where the Mexican drug cartels are getting their guns BY SELLING GUNS TO THEM OURSELVES.  DUH!

Now Ebola has made it to our shores and the CDC tells a Dallas nurse on the Ebola-watch short list, "Aww, go ahead, get on the big 'ol jet plane and go visit mama in Cleveland.  Never mind that pesky little fever."  BRILLIANT! 

I honestly believe the people we have working for us on the government payroll are the labor pool "B" "C" team.  The really sharp people go to work in the private sector, the left-overs going on to government service.  For others it's the allure of essentially lifetime employment, "help yourself to the cash register" pay, lots of perks, and an early, absurdly generous retirement plan.  Some can do an adequate job, some (most?) not.  *sigh*

The Peter Principle is alive and well.  Can we just fire them all and start over?


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dan Patrick gives scum a bad name

Dan Patrick is the absolute most disgusting politician I've ever seen, and you know I think they're all scumbags.  Like a lot of politicians he's made "border security" his campaign focal point, because that's pretty much all the good 'ol Bubba's here in Texas like to talk about.  Saying "border security" to a Bubba is like tossing red meat into a lion's cage....they eat it up, and Dan knows it!

So what is it about Dan Patrick that gives "scum" a bad name?  He has a TV ad that shows an ISIS convoy, a stock Google image, with a voice-over that says, "....while ISIS terrorists threaten to cross our border and kill Americans..."  

Really, Dan?  ISIS?  Why don't you just show a beheading, and photoshop it to make it look like it was happening live on the State Capital steps?  And make the victim the sweet, grandmotherly Barbara Bush, while George Sr. sits in his wheelchair nearby and sobs helplessly?  That should be good for a few votes.

This is the most despicable example of fear mongering I've ever seen.  But I'm sure Larry, Daryl, and Daryl are foaming at the mouth, and Dan is lapping up their adoration.  Smooth move, Dan.

I can't wait for Karma to kick in.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Keystone Cops vs Ebola

So lemme get this straight:  Yesterday a Dallas County Dep. Sheriff, already on the Ebola-watch "short list", starts feeling puny and walks in to a neighborhood Care Now clinic.  Suspecting Ebola, the doctors there call the Frisco FD, who sends a crew covered head-to-toe in full Hazmat gear.  

They transport him to Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas where he gets out of the ambulance wearing shorts, a too-small hospital gown, and a paper face mask and walks right by a large group of gawking reporters and photographers in street clothes.  Meanwhile, back at the Care Now clinic, they pass out Care Now Pills (aspirin?) and tell the others who were there when the deputy walked in to go on back home....all is well.

This morning the deputy is still in Presby, waiting for the results of whether or not he has Ebola or just ate a bad burrito.  (This has me worried as I really like burritos!)

Really?  Who's in charge of this circus?  This sounds suspiciously like a Keystone Cops remake to me.