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Saturday, January 2, 2010

good bye to 'cino

We had two dogs. They were brother and sister. They were called Cappuccino, the girl dog and Espresso the boy dog. We called them the puppies most of the time. Or we called them the brown dog and the fat white girl. The problem is they stopped being puppies about 8 years ago, by chronological standards. They started to age. They got old, but were still very puppiesque. They were still young at heart, as trite as it seems. Good old ‘Cino and ‘Spresso.
We never would have had the two dogs if not for my sister-in law. She had a couple pups left from a litter from her dogs. We went by to take a look. We had to take both of the pups. No sense in separating a perfect pair. They were the puppies. The day we brought them home, changed our lives forever. Doorbells, knocks at the door, loud mufflers, and butterfly farts would ellicit a flurry of barking and calamity of biblical porportions. Did I mention they casued a ruckus?

They had unique personalities. The brown dog should really have been called Eeuyore. His personality was oh-woe-is-me. If he were any more relaxed, he would cease to exist. Except if you were on the floor, and then he would want to browndog body meld with you. He would lay his head and neck across yours and whine. Weird. He also liked to lie down on his back and expose his junk. Well, he is a guy dog. And men are just dogs anyway. He never seemed to bark unless 'Cino started it.
The white dog should have been called princess. She thought she was the ruler of the family and the alpha dog in the den. She was large and in charge. She barked at everything, including butterfly farts, which by the way are not very loud. There is some question if they even exist at all. The problem is there can only be one alpha dog. And that ladies and gents is me. She never really liked the relegation to lesser dog status. But she could not take me in a fight so guess what? She was not the alpha.

A few weeks back the white dog was very lethargic. Not like her. The brown dog was lethargic. That’s nothing new. We took her to the vet. The news was not good; it looked like she had cancer. We did not run a bunch of tests, or try to figure if out, but the vet said it was not a good thing and she was not long for this world. We medicated her to make her more comfortable. We knew we were just buying time. The day came far too soon and we knew it was time.
I could bore you with the sorrows. I will try to be succinct. We gathered up the family, got in the family truckster and drove her off for her last ride. It was the hardest thing I have done in years. It was the saddest day in years. It had to be done. You never are ready to part with a member of the family. Good bye Cappuccino. She faded out and was gone. I will miss you!

It is very quiet around here now. There is rarely the sound of a barking dog. Except when brown dog actually hears the door bell on the television. Then he woofs. Just a couple barks, then on to something new like a different sleeping position. I am amazed that he hears anything at all, through his constant snoring, at least he is still with us. He's a good boy.

I saw Marley and me shortly after we put ‘Cino down. It may have been cathartic. I’m sure it was. Now we have one dog. The brown dog lives on.  So does the white dog. She lives in our hearts, minds and in the tin in the little gift bag in the basement fireplace mantel. At least I don’t have a few cats and a gerbil, in gift bags, on the mantel as well.
Just another day in paradise

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

more is not always better

As I think about how much excess is involved in the world today, I have come to the conclusion that more is not always better. During this time of year with the gathering of friends and family it is much too easy to overindulge. As I am stuffing my face with my 700th piece of mystery fruitcake, cookie or holiday treat and washing it down with a corresponding number of rum and eggnog. I think to myself maybe this is extreme. Maybe.

Just a hint. Saving clubs and places like Wal-Mart rely on over indulgence. I usually gain about 18 pounds when I walk in the door. Wow! I just found a 50 pound bag of chicken fingers. There is no way they have freezer burn before we eat all of them. Hey cool, look at that 80 pack of ramen noodles. It’s right next to the 75 count case of Mac-n-cheese. If you really need a 10,000 count of plastic silver ware they have that as well, but you better buy that gigantor box of trash bags. The landfill is not in my back yard!

Yeah, it is great to have a lot of things. Advertisers would have us believe that more is better. Much better. Stuff is cool. But it is just stuff. It is rarely irreplaceable. Well, the signed Osgood sweater IS irreplaceable. The Lions winning a Super Bowl, while a fantasy, would be irreplaceable. Er, I mean impossible and therefore irreplaceable.

Sometimes what looks like a great idea is a not so great. For example, that shot of tequila after 10 beers. WOO-HOO!! Maybe it is too much. More is not always better. It is probably a pass move, but you know how it goes. It is there, you not going to let it go to waste. That would be alcohol abuse. Beside that after ten beers, judgment may be a bit clouded. Just sayin’.

That third helping of massed potatoes and gravy, while it is yummy may have been too much. And then you follow it up with that slice of pie and ice cream. Then your belt tells you that you over did it. Hey, I thought I had two more holes in this belt. I did before that over indulgence.

Letting people know what you are thinking is not always the right move. Sometimes less is better. I suffer form over sharing. Sometimes. Saying that the necklace your wife is wearing is nice is okay. Saying it looks good is not a bad idea. Stop there. Do not add it is a terrible color for that outfit. That is too much. More is not always better. Sometimes it is best to understate what you are thinking.

Just because the stereo volume can go to 20, you do not always need to crank it to the maximum. If the car is vibrating from the bass, and things are falling off, like say, the muffler, it may be best to ratchet it down a bit. I would bet that if the car is vibrating and things sound like they are falling off, it cannot be good for the stuff inside your braincase. I am not a doctor, but it seems like a bad idea. Rap music is best heard at low levels. Well, my personal preference is rap music sounds best on mute.

The other day I was driving. It was snowing. There was already a couple inches of snow on the ground. I parked my truck. I knocked off the ice chunks, and brushed off the snow. I went into the job site. I came out at days end and there were at least 2 more inches of snow on the truck. Again I commenced with the brushing and clearing snow. More is not better. Nope. More is not better, especially when it comes to snow.

Just another day in paradise

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Geez, that's a lot of bandaids (revisited)


A rebroadcast from when i first started this blog, cuz being a holiday i am feeling pretty lazy

When my daughter was young, she loved Band-Aids. If it hurt, it needed a band-aid. I never understood why. I still don’t. I fought this affinity for about three minutes. Or three years. I can’t quite remember when I just gave in and gave up. I had no idea that this was even an issue when I re-married eleven years ago.

One day my daughter asked me for a Band-Aid. “Are you hurt?” I asked. “Yes.” She replied. “Are you bleeding?” was my next query. “No.” she responded. “Then you don’t need a Band-Aid,” was my logical response. “Yes. I do” She replied. This went on for what seemed like hours, but was probably more like three seconds, and I gave in.

When I went to the linen closet to get a Band-Aid I found that we had approximately seven million of them. Geez that was a lot of Band-Aids There were Barney, Scooby, and Hello Kitty band-aids. There were pink ones and blue ones and even a couple boxes of flesh colored regular boring band-aids. I remarked to my wife, “Why do we have SO many Band-aids?” “Libby likes them.” she replied. I guess so, I thought to myself.

I gave my daughter one and thought that was all I had to do. “Put it on me.” She said. I asked her where it needed to be adhered, and she pointed to what appeared to be a spot of perfectly healthy skin. Again I asked, “Why do you need a band aid?” "I have a boo-boo." she replied. Over the years she had several boo-boos and apparently the band aid was the magic elixir that made it all right. I am not a kiss it an make it feel all right type of guy. I reluctantly obliged. What can you do? Too soon she won't need me at all, for anything, let alone making it feel alright.

I am a carpenter by trade. I still have all my fingers. However, I often get cut, scraped or draw blood. Lots of boo-boos. Sometimes I am bleeding and I only figure that out when I see blood on the floor or the object I am working on. My idea of a band-aid is duct tape. In lieu of duct tape there is electrical tape. If those two items are not available there is always a strip of a rag. The dirtier the better, that’s how you build up tolerance to infection.

When I sold my Toyota, I found three boxes of Band-Aids in the back seat storage compartment. I think I put them in there to make room in the linen closet. Maybe it was to make sure I had a Band-Aid in case my daughter needed one. I traded in the Toyota for a Ford Ranger and I have a first –aid kit in my truck. I am not exactly sure what is in it. I put it in there when I bought the truck. I have no idea where it came from. It is not big enough to hold a roll of duct tape.

A few months ago we were playing Hockeyball. My daughter took a tumble. She skinned her knee. It drew blood. She left the rink, and cleaned up her wound. She is s tough little cookie. She made more of a fuss about the hole in the leg of her newest pair of skinny-leg jeans than the bleeding spot on her knee. She came back on for her next shift, and played thru the rotation. She never asked me for a Band-Aid. My little girl is growing up.

Just another day in paradise