Tuesday, May 31, 2011

At Least A Thosand Words

Or so they say that's the going price of a picture.
Even if the data contained in the photograph isn't entirely accurate, I think it accurately reflects the mind set of way too many people that it's better to be able to marry your cousin of the presumably opposite sex than it is to marry the person you love who happens to be your same sex.
The assumption is that two cousins of the opposite sex can reproduce even if said reproduction is so genetically flawed as to be species non specific.
Come to think of it, if a female human somehow had sex with a male goat and that coupling reproduced that relationship would be considered, by the standards that see reproduction as the goal of marriage, quite all right.
Or perhaps I exaggerate.
At any rate, this photograph is alarming in its accuracy.
Don't you think its time we did something about this?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Another Good Gerritsen Book

I am a slow reader.  I plod through even the most engaging stories.  Imagine, then, my shock when early Saturday morning I started reading Ice Cold  by Tess Gerritsen and finished it late Saturday evening.  I literally could not put it down.
It's a mystery so if you don't like mysteries, don't bother even opening the book.
Even if you don't like mysteries, though, I assume you like good writers or you wouldn't have stuck with this blog for so long even though by my own admission its been sketchy over the past several weeks.  Sorry about that but enough about me.
Here's the thing about Tess Gerritsen.  She just keeps getting better and better.  Some writers are like that.  Others, not so much.
So, if you want to read a mystery that you truly can't put down pick up Ice Cold.
I don't suggest, however, that you pick it up close to bed time because if you do you will be up all night.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

And So We Remember Them

Remember, as we are planning our tomorrows, our bravest and our best are giving their todays. Have a safe and wonderful Memorial weekend everyone!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Sign on a Sidewalk in Eagle Rock

Who knew dogs could use computers?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anyway

I just read that Google turns 12 this year. So, I guess that means we now have one more year to use it before it turns into a moody, reclusive teenager, refusing to answer anymore of our questions!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In The Spirit Of Full Self Disclosure

I stole the photograph on yesterday's post from Michael Walker.  I didn't ask him if I could use it.  I just took it.  When I saw the photograph I, understandably, assumed that he had been raptured and thus asking his permission to use the photograph was not a possibility.  Imagine my surprise, and of course guilt/shame/regret/remorse, when I discovered this morning that no one was raptured.  Apparently, though, I'm not the only one who did regrettable things in anticipation of the rapture.  So many of us have apologies to seek.  On the other hand, if Michael wasn't raptured, why were his clothes in repose without him?  Obviously I'm not the only one with some explanations due.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

There They Go

And happy landings to those raptured folks.  Send a post card if you have a chance.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Freeway Trash Talk

Yesterday I heard on the radio while driving home that a couch had fallen into lane number three of whatever freeway they said.  Today on my way to work I heard that a porta potty had fallen into lane number four of whatever freeway they said.  We are entirely used to freeway debris.  Here's what the current complication seems to be.  The lane divider lines are so faded that no one knows which lane they are in or even where the lanes are.  The Los Angeles freeways have become even more pin ball machine like.  Luckily by this time tomorrow a lot of people will have disappeared into the ether leaving only more debris behind.  But at least the 405 will be easier.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Join The Fun-Spread The Word

I woke this morning with what might be my greatest idea ever. Two words: Rapture Prank! I want to recruit people world wide for this, so tell your friends. Late night, Saturday 5/21, when those people who are eagerly waiting for the end of the world are sitting in front of their televisions, go out and put small piles of clothes on the ground in high-profile locations, take a picture, and post it on Facebook or any other social media to which you belong. Who's with me?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bradford

Bradford Bartholomew Bratwurst, the newest member of the household, celebrated his third birthday today.  We are a family of partiers and this occasion was no exception.  We three went to PetCo where Mr.  Bratwurst selected a new collar.
Actually, he sniffed the ass of a Miniature Schnauzer.  He did, however, interrupt his socializing long enough to try on his new collar.  The human on the other leash end of the Schnauzer admired the bright blue color which pretty much made the decision for us.  The Schnauzer didn't seem to care one way or the other.  We then bought yet another case of the mega bucks hypoallergenic food Mr. Bratwurst requires and came home.
What a night!
Sometimes, though, you just need to party on.

Go Science

I read that Harvard biologists have manipulated genes to create roundworms that are "sleek and trim.” This is wonderful news for obese roundworms with low self-esteem who eat junk and vote for American Idol contestants, and also for obese humans (Yay America!), because it stands to reason that, in time, biologists will also be able to deactivate the gene that causes people to wear socks with sandals.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hi. I'm a jerk. Please vote for me.

Here in LaLaLand we're all abuzz with the news of our former governor's having admitted to fathering a child a decade or so ago by a woman not his wife.  Well, now we understand why his wife moved out.
Okay.  Here's the thing.  I don't much care if Arnold or anyone else sleeps around, fathers children all over the globe or anything else.  That type of behavior wouldn't influence whether or not I voted for him.  Here's what matters.  The lies.  The deceit.
I can't imagine anyone actually campaigning by saying things like:  I'm a two-timing son of a bitch.  I cheat on my wife.  I've got kids all over the planet.  But I will be the best governor you can imagine.
Wow!  That would be something.  I might even consider voting for a guy like that.
So, Arnold, you lied -- to an entire state but especially to your wife.
We deserved better.  Certainly she did.
Next time you run for something, tell it like it is.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Up To My Elbows In Soap Suds

Our dishwasher stopped washing dishes.  While I think we're all entitled to some time off now and then, the dishwasher far exceeded any reasonable time off accrual so we called in a repairman who said that we needed a new pump or motor or something or other.  He's due sometime this week with the new of the whatever it is he's going to replace for half a grand or so.  In the meantime, we've been washing dishes by, you know, hand in water.
Here's the funny thing.
I'm enjoying not having a dishwasher.  Of course, we haven't invited hordes over for dinner so clean up has been fairly simple.  There is something to be said aside from saving electricity for doing dishes by hand.  Things slow down, for one thing.  Standing in front of the sink scrubbing plates gives a person time to think.  It also gives people time to visit.  I suddenly remembered conversations with my mother or an aunt while drying dishes.  For example, my Aunt Jackie said, after I observed that my mother had missed a spot on a plate, that one of the jobs of the dish dryer was to clean up after the dishwasher.  Not world changing wisdom, I admit, but just a memory of a simple conversation.
We haven't I must admit been drying the dishes during the past few days.  We dug out the old wooden drainer and there it sits on the counter.  It's pretty.  It's simple.  I like it.  And there's something about seeing the steam rise off of dishes just put in the drainer that speaks of old fashioned got it clean simplicity.
Yeah, we'll get the dishwasher fixed and, of course, we'll start using it again.  And, yeah, I will grumble when it's my turn to empty it.  I don't know why but I find emptying the dishwasher a most onerous household chore.  And yet I find emptying the drainer after once or twice a day completely satisfying.
I'll doubtless yearn for the wooden drainer until, of course, we invite our first horde of guests over for dinner.  Then I will do a quiet tap dance of thanksgiving that we live in the modernity of electric dishwashers.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Match Wasn't Made In Heaven?

I just read that Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko have broken up… Gosh, if a 21-year-old spoiled American actress and a 35-year-old Ukrainian heavyweight boxer can’t make it, what chance do the rest of us have?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Dodgers Are Anxious

And they should be.  They don't know when or if their relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo will return to the lineup.  Right now he's on the disabled list.  That's bad for the team.  The fact that the team is openly saying why he's on the disabled list is a huge step toward the normalization of mental illness.  In a sport plagued by such ailments as torn rotator cuffs, pulled ham strings, and fractured pinkie fingers physical injuries or conditions are de rigueur.  The mere mention of even an emotional vulnerability seems foreign.  Why, the medical profession has even immortalized at least two Major League Superstars:  Tommy John Surgery and Lou Gehrig Disease.  (It should probably be mentioned that while Tommy John actually underwent the surgery bearing his name Lou Gehrig might not have suffered and died from the disease bearing his name.)
Such are the vagaries of fate or language.  Take your pick. Anyway, Hong-Chih Kuo is not able at least for awhile to perform the job related duties for which he was hired because he suffers from a mental illness and it's kicking up right now.  That's right, folks.  He suffers from a mental illness.  That's what an anxiety disorder is just as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a physical disease.  It's just that ALS, while it has downright terror associated with it, doesn't carry around the stigma that goes along with anxiety disorders or any other mental illness for that matter.
So that's what makes Hong-Chih Kuo and the Dodgers pretty amazing.  They came out and said what the deal was and made mental illness just as respectable as broken elbows and bruised shins.
More than his pitching records and game saves matter, Hong-Chih Kuo has helped win the battle against marginalizing people who suffer mental illness.
That's a save in anyone's book.

Friday, May 13, 2011

If today is Friday the Thirteenth

Then we know the first day of May was on a Sunday.  That's just the way it works.  So if we believe that Friday the thirteenth is a bad luck day than so, too, must we believe that Sunday the first is bad luck because without Sunday the first we couldn't have Friday the thirteenth.  I'm just saying.
Time has been kind a a blur for me lately so I didn't realize today was a Friday the thirteenth until someone stopped at my office doorway and said, "How's it going so far?"  Even where I work that was an off the wall question.  My blank stare was correctly read as "What in hell are you talking about?" and so I got the explanation that this was that famous bad luck day.  Even after I knew the intention of the off the wall question I still stared blankly.  I mean, I had safely made it to work despite debris laden freeways upon which drove suicidal or homicidal lunatics.  By my standards the rest of the day has to be great.  After a few moments the person who had asked the off the wall question wandered off to other pursuits.  I wish we worked on Sundays so I could lamely ask someone how their bad luck Sunday the first was going so far.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ants Take Warning

I got up early this morning to get on the treadmill for a while, and found a line of ants marching single file up the wall. What followed was a gruesome melee, ending with me surrounded by the corpses of hundreds. In my blood thirst, I killed them all,... except one. I spared him so he could go back and warn the others that into my house, no ants shall pass!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Go Hug A Nurse

This is National Nurses Week so go find a nurse and give a hug or at least a thank you or at the very least a how in hell do you do what you do salute.  I mean it.  I could never be a nurse.  It's not the needles or the stuff oozing out of orifices.  At least I don't think it is.  It's the constant caring that would do me in.  My mother had three older sisters and they were all nurses.  Clearly that sort of compassion is not genetic.  Not that my mother wasn't compassionate.  She was.  Very.  It's just that she fainted at the sight of blood.  And me?  Like I said, it's the constant compassion that would do me in.  At any rate, this is National Nurses Week and last week I developed a keen sense of appreciation for nurses and all they do and all they tolerate.  In my opinion they should get a whole hell of a lot more time than a week.  I guess it's a good start, though.
So, if you're wearing a hat, take it off to a nurse before the week is over.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Learning Experience

I had some surgery last week so I've been taking my temperature every day to make sure I don't have an fever, which might indicate infection. Besides, I like taking my temperature; it makes me feel better. Today, while turning on the digital thermometer, I must somehow have changed it from Fahrenheit to Centigrade, because the number that showed up was 36.5. I do tend to a low body temperature, but that seemed extreme. Fortunately, another resident of the house--the dishwasher-- is also not feeling well. Since I am home on a medical leave, I took the opportunity to call the repairman, and he showed up just after the temperature-taking incident. When he spoke, I detected a European accent. "Do you know the Centigrade temperature scale?" I asked him. He said he did. "Do you know what the number 36.5 equals in Fahrenheit?", I inquired. "Is this about body temperature?", he asked, "Because 36.6 in Centigrade is normal". Reassured, I said, "Okay, then, that's all I need to know". "No, I'll show you how to do it", he said, whipping out a pocket calculator. "You multiply by 1.8 and add 32. Look, your temperature was 97.7. If you want to do it the other way, you subtract 32 and divide by 1.8".

What a gift. The dishwasher will get fixed when the new part arrives, I got reassurance that my temperature was normal and I learned something new. I even later figured out what I had done to change the thermometer, but I didn't bother changing it back to Fahrenheit. I can figure it out myself now.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In Praise Of Mothers

About thirty-three years ago a PSA jet collided mid air with a light airplane near the San Diego airport.  The last words recorded in the cockpit were those of the pilot saying, "I love you Ma!"
Not all of us will breathe thoughts of our mothers as we watch our lives end.  Not all of us have mothers worthy of such utterances.
However, on this Hallmark day to honor mothers, it's at least important to note that for most of us the word 'mother' evokes strong feelings of joy and comfort and, yes, loss.
I love you, Mama.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Those Three Words

English can be a very economical language depending of course on who is putting the words together.  Take three word sentences, for example.  Three words can say a lot.  Consider:
I love you.
I miss you.
We have peace.
You are well.
All of those short sentences say incredibly powerful things.
In the past twenty-four hours, however, it has become all to obvious to me that three of the most powerful and miraculous words we can ever hear are --
Got it all.
And so we offer praise and so we rejoice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Watch Out For The Falling Leaf

Here in Southern California in the heart of LaLaLand it's hot.  We're not equipped for temperature changes.  Come to think of it, we're not equipped for weather or change.  We don't do seasons.  If a leaf falls cars careen into each other and freeways close for hours if not days at a time.  One degree above or below what we thought the day's temperature should be and we can no longer operate vehicles.  We shout and swerve and drop inexplicable things onto the freeways.  Why, today on the 105 headed west I swerved to miss an entire living room set neatly arranged as though just waiting for the evening news.  Los Angeles freeways are always an adventure.  When it's hot or when it's cold or wet or dry or when, of course, the leaf drops, they are glimpses into Armageddon. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

In Praise of Quiet Leadership

The announcement came simply and solemnly:  The man who killed thousands had, himself, been killed.  There was no presidential landing on an air craft carrier, no posturing in faux military costume, no chest thumping bragging.  He simply told it like it was.  All of that happened last night.  Today there are no rifles fired in the Times Square air.  Yes, some rejoice at this death.  Some breathe long held sighs of relief.  Some feel confused.  Others feel sad.  The man is dead and the world is doubtless a safer place because he is dead.  And that is one last tragedy on so many tragedies created by this dead man.  For the world to be a better place because he is no longer in it is its own tragedy.  No life should be so twisted, so turned away from light and good, that we feel relief when that life ends.  And yet for those who still reach out to hold hands turned to dust a decade ago even this simple relief may seem even now too painful to contemplate.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back In The Saddle

Here it is the first of May.  Time to refocus and get back at it.  Here's the thing about saddles.  They are easy to fall out of and king of hard to get back into.  Could be the rhythm of the ride.  I don't know.  Habits, though, are fragile things.  Take, for example, writing something everyday.  Lose one day and the weeks can turn into more weeks.  Or diets.  Now those are easy saddles to fall out of.  One cookie and we're prone to say why bother and head for those donuts filled with strawberries someone brought to work awhile back and I was able to refuse.  But here's the neat thing about saddles.  We can get back into them.  So here I am.  Back in the saddle.  Again.