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Monday, October 16, 2006

A subject I've been pondering...

The human race...That's a funny phrase, since it seems humankind is doing it's damndest to devolve into something worse than any other creature in nature.

Robin and I are anti-social, (I know, hard to believe), and I believe we are pretty well justified in that attitude. In the last few months, we've seen some shining examples of humanities best qualities (sarcasm, it's a wonder). We've seen school shootings, jihads, murders, religious intolerance (nothing new there), intentional cruelty towards other humans and, perhaps the biggest example in our little corner of the universe, a blatant disregard for animals.

No, I'm not channeling PETA or Greenpeace. I'm not talking about the "terrible" things done to creatures bred solely for consumption (cows and pigs and the like). I'm talking about the inhumane things done to creatures that the human race have spent centuries domesticating for companionship. I'm talking about a group of animals that can't speak or stand up for themselves: cats and dogs.

Anyone who knows Robin and I, or anyone who chanced upon this blog and actually read it, will know that we are cat lovers. We like other animals, too, but cats are special to us. We've got three wonderful little furballs of our own but we've helped a few indigent cats along the way, too.

There have been at least three cases of stray cats that have managed to worm their way into our collective life: Orange Cat, Black Cat and the newest, White Cat. (We are really creative when naming a cat.)

Orange Cat lived next door but he always visited our place and wheedled some kibble from us. He has now grown into a beautiful boy but has become an aggressive tom, too.

Black Cat was a sweet, gentle, affectionate and vocal little male cat that also lived next door but had a special love for Robin. Sadly, we grew attached to him and were heartbroken when we found him dead, in the street. Robin took that one especially hard.

We met White Cat this past Friday evening. She appeared out of the dark and followed us onto the porch, meowing, rubbing and demanding attention. We were shocked at her easy-going affection and fearlessness. We surmised that she was lost or had been dumped, as she wasn't afraid of us and loved to be petted. She was very tiny, almost skin and bones, but had a lovely pure white coat, with some evidence of a few dirty days. I took a liking to her almost immediately.

I want to pause here and explain that we always struggle with the fact that we can't save them all. We would love to have another cat but room and budget constraints make that impossible, as well as our three very jealous cats, the Trinity of Death. They don't cotton to interlopers.

We fed her and petted her for more than an hour. She scarfed down at least two and a half cups of food that night but couldn't seem to get enough affection from us. We were worried about her as she seemed to be a little edgy while eating, always looking around for anything that might take her food. We eventually had to go in but we left some more food and water for her. We fed her some more on Saturday and she ate just as much and really seemed to want our affection.

We talked about her all weekend long and lamented what we figured had happened to her. She was probably dumped or kicked out and now she has to find a warm place to sleep, food, water and avoid the other animals out there.

(Just a quick follow-up: White Cat has found a home. We have some very dear friends who recently lost a white cat to illness. We mentioned W.C. to them and they came to get her that same evening. She now rules their roost and has become a great addition to their menagerie.)

This is what sickens us. We live in a town where cats are considered vermin and are frequently the target of torture, cars, idiots and rednecks. Dogs, on the other hand, are safe and revered. If a dog is loose, the Animal Control Officer will rush out to collect it. If a cat is out, the ACO just shrugs his shoulders, makes an excuse and hangs up the phone. It really is ridiculous. Sure, cats can "take care of themselves" but how much protection does a 8 lb. cat have against a car, or a large dog that wants to "play," or a bored teenager with a pellet gun or other weapon? It's unfair.

Our "fair town" is home to a great many churches and their requisite Christians but nothing is done, by and large, to protect these animals over which we supposedly have dominion. It's not just cats; some Hypo-Christians here believe that animals don't have feelings or souls, so they have no worth. That is utter stupidity.

I've ranted, I've said my peace, it may not have made much sense, but I feel better. The wife and I will continue to look out for animals in need and I hope you will, too.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Thank you

Thank you for the sympathetic wishes. Everytime I think I'm alone, someone reminds me that I'm wrong.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Just an update...

After the last post, some people might wonder how that situation is progressing. Well, it isn't, really. Grandpa died Sunday, May 7. I can't put any of it into words, really, so that will have to suffice.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cancer sucks

I never thought much about cancer, aside from the terrible memories from my childhood, when I watched a very good friend of mine being slowly consumed by leukemia. I guess I tried to deal with it by not worrying about it.

However, in the last few years, I've had no choice other than to give it my undivided attention.

My grandfather, the one I spent the most time with growing up, has been fighting cancer for about 3 years now and while he has won some battles, it seems the war is largely of the uphill variety.

He was admitted to his local hospital a couple of weeks ago with some digestive symptoms and then transferred to a larger hospital last week, where he underwent exploratory surgery last Friday.

The prognosis wasn't so good. He apparently is now riddled with malignant tumors. They were found in his liver, his colon, in the lining of his stomach and the doctors think there is a 90% chance he may have cancer in his lungs, too.

The only option is chemotherapy, but he refuses to go through that again. It nearly killed him the last time. Do I think this is a bad idea? No. He very nearly wasted away before and why should he go through it again? But still, cancer sucks.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Movie addict

You'll pardon my absence, as this is one of the busiest times of the year in my profession and this is only a lull.

As those who know Robin and I will attest, we love movies and have what can only be called an addiction for DVDs. We have a whopping collection of DVDs, comprised of theatrical films, music video collections, T.V. shows from our childhoods and other oddities. I also have a well-known trove of movie trivia (quotes, release dates and an ability to link films by actors, locations and themes) taking up a large portion of my very large head. (If you've seen it, you can safely say it is quite prodigious.) This only serves to feed my need for more DVDs.

This affliction we suffer has been something of an albatross since our marriage nearly four years ago, what with a storage shortage, our move a year ago, finances and our differing tastes in genres. Robin isn't a fan of toilet humor and I really can't enjoy most period romances but we do meet somewhere in the middle, usually. Quite often, we spend an entire evening or weekend trying to decide what to watch, only to find we've squandered the time and watched nothing but the dreck on T.V.

Well, now we have had our DVR for about a year and a half and we often have a stockpile of things saved there that we put off watching the majority of. We hurriedly watch the primetime shows, like CSI, NCIS and a couple of others, but we usually find ourselves with a few Smallville and Supernatural episodes to catch up on.

I'm sure you can see the dilema the preceding paragraphs have described. We recently purchased a couple of very nice pine bookcases to store our collection on but we were already in possession of more DVDs than would fit on them. So, we again have precarious piles of DVDs stuck all over the shelves. And it will continue to grow, as there are always new things coming out, older things just becoming available or new and improved versions of previous things concocted to empty our coffers. 'Tis a vicious cycle...

The whole point of this post was to highlight our sickness and to show off our collection. Enjoy and all that jazz.


Monday, January 30, 2006

New car...

Robin and I have been very busy (read: stressed) for the past couple of months. November was spent trying to get into the Christmas mood (failed, btw) then December was spent agonizing over the apparent death of our "trusty" Explorer.
Not long after we bought it in 03 the engine died and it cost a lot of money to replace. Then, come last month, it died again. We drove Robin's grandfather's '87 Silverado until last week, which meant no trips longer than Wal-Mart. We really didn't have the money to fix the Exploder and the problem would have come back no matter what we did, so we had to get rid of it. I sold it to a salvage yard and used the money as a down payment on a '01 Chevy Impala. The mileage is a little high but it is really a beautiful car. I've never owned a car before, except for my two Bugs and the experience is a little different.
I wish I could post pictures but I haven't had the time to take any yet. Maybe this weekend.
Sorry this is so short and poorly written but I'm swamped right now and need to get back to work.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween thought

I was driving to work this morning, listening to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, as I do every Halloween and several times throughout the year. All well and good. Then, it struck me, this is the first Halloween since the 10th grade that I didn't have my friend Erin around. True, since I moved to Harrison almost five years ago, I hadn't seen Erin that much but I could always call her. Now, though, she's living in Ireland with her hubby Alan. Calling her is a bit more complex now.

Why is Erin relevant to RHPS? Well, it was Erin who introduced me to the subtleties and true wonder of that delightful movie. I had seen the film before, in fact, I bought a copy of it on VHS at the Unicorn music store that used to be in Harrison. That was many years ago. (Odd how I've come back so much later.) Erin had me over to her house around Halloween in '94 to catch the live showing of RHPS on VH1 and she taught me the audience particpation lyrics and prompts. Now, I think of Erin any time I listen to the music or see a refrence in a book or movie and I'll be thinking of her tonight while Robin and I watch it. While watching it with Robin will be wonderful, I'll feel a little sad that Erin won't be around to sing Columbia's parts or to laugh at me mimicking Rocky's facial expressions.

Some have questioned my orientation because I enjoy this movie and other musicals. Any one who doubts my preference has but to ask my wife. She has to fend me off almost constantly.