Animalia*–A tribute to McGuire

30 May 2008

This morning, our friends G&S are putting their wonderful cat Marfreless to sleep. He’s been with S for 18 years, which is a long time. He’s had a good life, and it’s time, but it’s sad. And I’m sad for G&S.

Maybe fittingly, this is exactly one year to the day from when we put McGuire to sleep, whom E had for 18 years. She had to do it herself because I was out of town, and I’ll regret that forever. She got him a year before she met me; that’s the two of us at the right back in 1992. I’ve been derelict in not honoring the great McGuire, who was a true cat-lover’s cat (as E says), and her favorite living being, present authors notwithstanding. I posted obits for Slim and WhoopyCat, who also died within 12 months of Mac, but I just never got around to giving him his props.

Simply put, McGuire helped me appreciate cats for what they are (warts & all), and I miss him, but I also have to admit that I miss him more for what he meant to E. She mourns him daily. We both miss you, you big grouch, and we’ll always love you.

The problem is, I’m allergic to cats. I somehow got acclimated to Whoopy & Mac, but I’ve sure been breathing better since we had the house cleaned. E’s hating it, but it has made a big difference. Still, it’s a little empty without those cats.

Meanwhile, a few months after Mac’s demise, we got HeyBaby (that’s her in the foreground on the porch w/ Denali). My friend Brad got her on some whim (he’s lived in Africa for years), and his Idaho foster parents needed a break, so we took her. She’s a wonderful Australian cattle dog, and we love her. She’s a little hyper (and scratches her way under the bed every night, to our amusement), but she’s sharp and loves her brother Denali.

Our more recent projects have involved spaying/neutering the spays in our backyard. Here are a few of them on the left We’re up to 7 so far, including Mama, Jackie Jr. & Little Carmine (so named because they as kittens they swiped our goldfish Tony & Carmela), Blackies I & II, Rehab, & Sib. We still haven’t caught Sweet (who seems to have kittens we haven’t seen yet), but we’ll get her and her young-uns taken care or asap. For now, they’re rewarding to have around.

Once in a while, they share the table with this raccoon, who stops by every couple of nights.

Every now and then, the dogs wake us up and we find this guy (or gal) sneaking snacks. In fact, I’ve seen Possum, Jr. in the front yard a couple times.

Damn, I love living around animals. I can never get enough of them.

So, in honor of McGuire and Marfreless, show a little kindness to the critters we’re blessed to have around. I sure miss them when they’re not around.

*A great book by Graeme Base, btw


iwantitiwantitiwantit!!!!

29 May 2008

Why didn’t anybody tell me this is only $100?


Two quick questions

27 May 2008

Q1:  What current Hornets players do you think have the most promising commentator careers?

A:  Nope, judging from their enthusiasm and appeal in this thank you, it’s Bonzi Wells and Ryan Bowen.

Q2 (and here I really want the answer):  Who’s selling t-shirts that say Obamanem?  I want one, and a guy I met at Bayou Boogaloo said they were selling them, but I couldn’t find them.


Old

27 May 2008
I am now, as of this purchase, undeniably… old.


Old

Originally uploaded by HammHawk


Pride or Shame?

22 May 2008

I don’t know how to feel about the fact that I own the top 2 of these books.

h/t TWVSR


Leonard Pitts hits another homerun

22 May 2008

Pitts has long been my favorite editorial writer. He gave a great talk at Xavier several years ago, and I almost always agree with him, and if I don’t, he often persuades me.

If you don’t always read him, read this one now. He begins by urging the reader to view this video, to which a million people have linked. Then he really gets going, with this Pulitzer-worthy passage in particular:

Some will say it’s unfair to paint thoughtful conservatives with the same brush one uses to tar this blowhard. I would suggest the very need to use that modifier speaks volumes. There was once a day when conservatism was driven by principles: smaller government, less-intrusive government, strong national defense, fiscal sobriety. But in the years since that day, the putative heirs to Reagan have trampled not just those principles, but also principle itself.

The ideology that wanted small government now presides over expanded government, the one that wanted less intrusion now seeks to regulate bedroom behavior, the one that demanded strong national defense has run the military into the ground, the one that championed fiscal sobriety turned a $236 billion budget surplus into a $400 billion deficit. And if thoughtful conservatives see the disconnect, if they have the intellectual integrity to find it shameful, the newsflash is, thoughtful conservatives no longer predominate their ideology.

No, that honor goes to unthoughtful conservatives, the loud, proudly ignorant voices of talk radio, books and television of which Kevin James is now the poster child. Matthews kept asking him to explain the sins of Neville Chamberlain and he kept crying, ”appeasement! appeasement!” clinging to the words like a drowning man to a raft.

That’s what people like him do. They are geniuses at rhetoric (”War on Christmas,” anyone?) that rouses the rabble and lets them feel aggrieved, while simultaneously having the intellectual heft of cotton balls. But they can no more step beyond that rhetoric than Gilligan could step off his island. There is no there there.


No more free checked bags

22 May 2008

You know why this pisses me off?  It’s because it’s going to exacerbate one of my biggest traveling pet peeves–the people who take “luggage” on as though it’s “carry-on.”  I’m one of those people who really honors the size limits for what you carry on because I think it’s rude when people act like they’re the only ones in a hurry or they’re entitled to unlimited overhead space.  Then they get all pissy when the bins are full and their huge bags won’t fit, or they try to cram it on my little computer bag.

I know I’m stepping on toes of people I otherwise respect; some of my closest friends are people who refuse to check bags under any circumstances.  But damn, you think it’s tough to stow your bags now, just wait.