Saturday, June 28, 2008

a double requium

I'm sorry, Thea. I blame myself.

We spent so much time together - years, really. Even when I didn't understand you, you never let me down. During the marathon sessions of trying to write a dissertation, you stood by me. Together we struggled through many an adversity. I spent more time with you that I have with many people.

If I hadn't tried to install a new operating system, your hard drive never would have melted and we'd still be together. Bill Gates had to go and come out with a new version of Word, so I needed the new system... curse you, retired Mr. Gates, for forcing my over-worked computer to collapse.

I do feel like I have lost a family member - and, yes, I did name my computer.

On a more serious note, I have just learned of the death of a human. I never knew "Jane" well, she was just one of those people who was always there when I was growing up, in this case, at church. Jane lived to be in her nineties (she left the choir after sixty years) and truly was the quintessential little old lady. Plug in every stereotype and Jane fulfilled it, and she was lovely - could quite possibly have been a Miss Marple on the side.

She outlived everyone - her obituary lists cousins only; I don't know if she was an only child or just outlived all of them and no one had any children.

What I loved about her obit is that in addition to the usual details, it lists her best friend. Now, I know that many folks will look at this and make assumptions about her sexuality. She wasn't. I love it that the friend made it in anyway.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

dog follow-up

All right, so $80, 000 a year to house the dog, leaving $110, 000 for other expenses.

Let's say $10, 000 for physical needs such as shots, dog food, cable television (Animal Planet, of cousrse!) and various garments. This means someone is being paid $100, 000 a year to take care of a dog. Where do I apply?

Dave Barry wrote a column years ago about coming down with what he called "Martian Death Flu." He described one symptom as being able to feel the individual air molecules bump against you. I don't have the 'flu, but I do have a cold that has given me the same symptom. Still, were I making $100, 000 a year to walk, pet and otherwise tend a dog, I'd get over it.

I miss Dave Barry's weekly pieces. Oh I know, he has a blog, but most of it is links to other Internet sites.

Monday, June 16, 2008

$190, 000 a year??!!

Leona Helmsley's dog's keepers estimate that $190, 000 is more than enough to keep the dog fed, clothed, housed and in good medical health per year.

Now, I am enough of a capitalist to believe that the late Mrs. Helmsley should be allowed to spend her money in any fashion she desired so long as it is legal. This is certainly legal. It also costs more than a Harvard degree, would pay off many mortgages and be a nice drop in the bucket for many charities. Much as I love and value Sam, board him at a slightly more expensive facility and buy him top of the line dog food, treats, shampoo for those smelly moments... $190, 000?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

a secret revealed

My mailman is a very nice fellow named Rusty. Our conversations are generally limited to exciting topics such as the weather and the amount of mail I recieve in a given day. I am confident that I am the only person on his route who reads People Magazine and The Journal of American History. For five years we have maintained a nice, if very distant, relationship.

Yes, I see and speak to my mailman at least once a week.

This morning, however, was different. As Rusty handed over the usual pile I said something like, "poor Shania Twain" as her marital problems have been on the cover of People for weeks. To say that Rusty is upset about Twain's personal life is like saying that the Pacific Ocean has a few fish. Rusty is appalled at what has happened, thinks that the "other woman" is not only evil and awful but "really ugly, how could you leave a woman like Shania for her? What is he thinking?" Rusty expressed these views and several others on the subject with a passion truly beyond my descriptive abilities.

Nice to see someone who is always so professional (and I mean that, truly) reveal just a crack of what makes him tick.

Monday, June 09, 2008

a cubit, I used to know what a cubit was...

Remember my last post about tidal waves? It turns out I wasn't too far off. Large portions of Central and Southern Indiana are now underwater. The pictures on the news are quite graphic. NPR even included the story in their "top of the hour" news round-up, complete with a report from the Bloomington affiliate - the reporter interviewed someone in Owen County, when's the last time that happened on NPR?

It's odd to think of interstates closed due to water when the sun is shining so brightly. I can only imagine what a mess rebuilding will become - everyone's financial resources are already strained, but infrastructure is essential.

I would be remiss in not noting Clinton's suspension of her campaign. I do not envy Obama as he tries to select a running mate. There are a great many reasons why he might choose HRC, and great many reasons not to choose HRC. I spoke with someone this weekend who is confident that whether the president is McCain or Obama, both are destined to die in office, so the VP candidate matters more this year than ever before. I'm not sure about that, but teh choices certainly will be interesting.