When I was young we had dogs, but my dad graduated to cats by the time I was leaving for college. I had never really developed an attachment to dogs even as a young boy. When I met my wife, in England, she was a dog person. Her family had always kept dogs. Candy was still with them when we got married. My wife will kill me, but Candy was a true mutt; a smaller dog, yet round like a rugby ball. Lovely temperament though. Later on came George, who was the first racist dog I had even seen. George was a big dog with incredible amounts of energy, and taking him on a walk was no picnic.
This led to my wife’s first major unilateral decision of our marriage.( Collapse )
I would love to hear your stories about your animal friends.
Foods – I do most of the cooking in our house, but strangely, two of my three favorite meals are cooked by my wife.
1 – Brisket. Very close, virtually a tie with number 2. Cooked like twelve hours, with a strong, thin gravy.
2 – Turkey dinner. And my wife makes the best gravy. This gravy is the reason our daughter still slathers gravy over everything when she comes to eat with us.
3 – White beans. I know red beans is the New Orleans thing [and I make damn fine red beans] but I love me a mess of slow cooked, simmered all day with a ham bone white beans. One of the simplest things you can make, but a great depth of flavor. I usually forego the rice, just eat them like soup. Beano™ cannot stop them; it only hopes to contain them.
Honorable mentions to a couple other soups I make, taco soup and zesty chicken soup. I really, really love soup.
Books/Series – I probably skew to books I read when I was younger, when all my tastes in SF and Fantasy were formed.
1 – The Belgariad - Eddings. I know, it borrows from everything, and it can be a bit hokey. Still, I love this series. I have read it through at least five or six times. The characters are what I love about it. They may be archetypes, but they feel very real to me, and they are always developing. The Mallorean is good as well, but I really did not like much of his/their other work.
2 – Stranger in a Strange Land – Heinlein. This could have been any number of Heinlein works, Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Double Star. I have a unreasoning fanboi adoration for Robert Heinlein’s works, even the late stuff [except for the Jonathan Hoag story, which is just weird, although it is not from his late period]. People can say what they like about how they don’t like his work. My ears are deaf to them.
3 – Guardians of the Flame – Rosenberg. I am speaking of the original series, the first three books. Some of the later ones were good, but not up to the standard of the first ones. Again, great characters, a rollicking adventure, a dragon. What more could you ask for?
Honorable mentions to Dragonriders of Pern – McCaffrey [again, the first series], The Stand – King, and The Hope series – Feintuch.
Movies – I tend towards comedy, romantic comedy, animated movies, and blockbusters [without superheroes generally]. No horror, no westerns, no war movies. Enough bad crap in the world without having to pay to see it on screen.
1 – Star Wars. This was way before they started adding things like A New Hope, etc to the names of the movies. I saw this one about 100 times in the theater, if you include drive in theaters. That should be a big clue that I am getting on in years.
2 – Jerry McGuire. Not a big Tom Cruise fan, but I love the love story in here, and the way Jerry careens towards his redemption. Lots of quotable lines in here. Ask my wife about how often I claim that all earthly wisdom is contained in this movie. Yeah, I am a nut, why do you ask?
3 – The Jerk. The funniest movie I have ever seen, Steve Martin in top form. From “I was born a poor, black child”, to Iron Balls McGinty, to “… this paddle game, and that’s all I need”, to cat juggling; it never stops. If you don’t like this movie, I might still be your friend, but there would always be that niggling doubt about your sanity.
Honorable mentions to Notting Hill, The Incredibles, The Lord of the Rings series, The Wizard of Oz, The Phantom of the Opera.
As you can see, I am more into basic foods, steak & potatoes as opposed to foie gras. I don’t even like liver. My taste in movies and books is similar. I don’t ask for, or even desire, complex subplots, literary allusions or highbrow pretensions. I just want a good story, one that will entertain me for a while. That’s all I ask.
You would think a veteran news guy might think before saying stupid things, but apparently not:
When we went to bed last night we had already decided that we would have to make a decision today, but this morning he was somewhat distressed, so we knew it was time. My work situation was such that there was no way I could go, so my wife showered first so she could take him before she went to work. I thought I was doing OK until my shower was finished and I broke down and cried like a child, inadvertently scaring the crap out of my wife. Once I got myself together I kissed him goodbye and off she went.
Later, she called. The vet said he was in renal failure and it was time to let him go.
I am usually the eloquent one; I have the vocabulary, the facile way with language. My wife uses a lot of words, but sometimes the meaning gets lost. However, in that phone call she put it so well that I could not say it better no matter how long I tried. She said, "Michael, he went peacefully and gracefully, just like he lived his life."
I already miss him terribly.
So, voted yet?
- We did a certification for ballroom on Wednesday and Saturday our studio had a dance and demo/award show. We demoed Tango and Foxtrot and did well, I felt. We got certified on foxtrot, waltz, tango, and rumba at senior level [first eight steps] of the Bronze category. We got 90's on all but waltz, where we got a 92. The judge is actually Blackpool certified, so it was nice to get a good grade. The wife made a couple of what we thought were big errors in rumba, but apparently he was looking elsewhere at the time. Unfortunately, since we have been prepping for this event for a while, it means we have to catch up on swing and chacha, my least favorite dances. And by least favorite, I mean I don't like them.
- We took Chloe, the granddaughter, with us to the dance Saturday night. She was such a little angel, did not cry at all, and let everyone hold her. When we told my daughter about it she thought it was strange, since she took her to work one day last week, and Chloe cried when they tried to hold her. We think it may be because our daughter was there, so she could see her, but we have never had a problem with her in that regard.
- Work is crazy right now. We are near the end of a project to install DSL in all our sites [over 250] and so far the service is not good. And some places can't get DSL, so they have to get cable. Some already have DSL, so there is an install for the new company's router in between the old stuff. Some can't get either and who knows what will happen in those sites. All in preparation for a web application to replace the software we use in the back office of each site which would not really work well over our crappy satellite connections. In addition, our recent new hire was rejected after his background check came back. With the economy now, I can't really see them hiring someone else, so we are all working calls and a handful of other projects each. Plenty to do.
- Doctor appt tomorrow. Got to get some blood work done and get my prescriptions refilled.
- We are enjoying our walks after work, although too often we get derailed by one thing or another. We are trying to get 3 days a week in, but we have only managed that once in about 5 weeks. Mileage to Rivendell:
19.8 / 458