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.  :)