Showing 1 - 10 of 96 posts found matching keyword: dad

Friday, our pack grew by one.

We got another partly white poodle just so we could show off how dirty Henry gets

Dad's been lonely since Rambo died last year. Despite my concerns about Dad's physical health, he wanted a new dog he could raise just right, and I wanted someone to hang out with him who wasn't me. Thankfully, my aunt found a new 3-and-a-half month old poodle puppy that might make both of us happy.

Technically, Dad and dog are supposed to be in a bit of a trial phase, but things have been going swimmingly for the first 24 hours. She's sweet as can be, loves people, and both Henry and Louis think she is great fun. I'm thinking it's going to work out.

She's a lover not a fighter

Puppy doesn't have a name yet. Her breeder didn't give her one. They called her "Purple Ribbon Puppy" so they wouldn't get too attached. Dad's already very attached and is currently testing "Marion." We'll see if that takes.

UPDATE: It did not. Her name will be Cecilia.

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Maybe I've just been in a mood lately, but there are 2 movies I watched in recent weeks that played with my mind. Since I'm still thinking about them, I'm just going to skip ahead of my regular list and list them now.

129/2295. For All Mankind (1989)
It's a documentary about the NASA Apollo program comprised almost entirely of 1969-1971 footage. Personal note: before he helped create me, my father helped create SkyLab — yes my nutty father was once a legit rocket scientist — so there has never been any doubt in my life about whether or not man set foot on the moon. And I'll never not be amazed that I now carry around in the palm of my hand a computer with more processing power than Houston Mission Control had then[1]. Watching NASA footage, it's mind-bending to be reminded just how big and empty space is and just how fragile our position is in it. It's amazing how determined so many of us humans are to push one another off this life raft. I'm as guilty as the next guy at letting daily life get us focused on the petty things; we can all do better.

133/2299. Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)
Yeah, yeah, it's a fantasy children's fantasy movie where an American orphan becomes British nobility and is unchanged by the experience, but what struck me while watching was just how good Li'l Fauntleroy is and how his goodness makes life better for everyone around him. (It's a pretty Dickensian concept, sure, but there are also echoes of Fauntleroy in Harvey Comics' ultra-altruistic "Poor Little Rich Boy" Richie Rich.) There are certainly bad people in the boy's world — a dramatic plot requires them — but he doesn't let their bad behavior influence his. As my Catholic aerospace engineer father often said to me during my formative years: right is right if no one is right[2]. Don't let him hear me say this, but he's right about that. The high road may be harder, but if you let them drag you down to their level, you're just another snake.

[1] An "Apple iPhone 12 Smartphone... [is] about 900 million times faster than the Apollo 11 guidance computer." https://blog.adobe.com/en/publish/2022/11/08/fast-forward-comparing-1980s-supercomputer-to-modern-smartphone

[2] According to https://fauxtations.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/st-augustine-and-rightwrong/, this is a paraphrase of a quote by G.K. Chesterton, creator of the Father Brown mysteries: "Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is wrong about it." However, so far as I am aware, my father never read Chesterton, so it may well be that he is quoting some other source, maybe even ancient aliens. With him, one can never tell.

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The 18th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month got off to an inauspicious start last night when my cable provider Spectrum unexpectedly dropped ESPN from its lineup without warning just as Florida was preparing to kick off the season against Utah.

Apparently Disney wants Spectrum to pay a boatload for the privilege of sharing the same content you can get directly through a subscription to Disney+, and negotiations have stalemated as Spectrum rightly fears trying to pass that charge along to their subscribers like me, who are already paying $110 a month for a package that somehow no longer includes ESPN or ESPN2 or the SEC Network (or Disney or FX or nearly a score of others I can't say as I watch much).

I assume this tactic is intended to make me call Spectrum and demand they raise my rates to get ESPN back. Given that Disney and the other Hollywood producers don't seem very interested in paying writers or actors to create other content — today marks day 122 of the WGA strike and day 49 of the SAG strike — they rightly recognize that live sports is currently (and perhaps for perpetuity in the age of AI) their most valuable commodity.

While I respect Disney's right to try to negotiate for Spectrum's 15 million subscribers, I'm not particularly happy about becoming a pawn in these hardline tactics or the timing of all of this coming at the dawn of football season, especially since for the foreseeable future, it looks like I'll have to leave my house if I want to watch Monday Night Football or a wide selection of college games. It sure seems like Hollywood doesn't really care who they inconvenience in their quest for the biggest possible buck, and that just plain sucks. I won't forget this. As my father always says, pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.

And Gators... Gators lose 11-24, according to my local evening news. So it's not all bad. The University of Florida football team losing is a good start to any season.

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Dad had Rambo put down today. Rambo was almost 14 years old, and in the past year he was diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, which made it harder and harder for him to breathe. Apparently the hot August air was the last straw.

Rambo (2009-2023)
Rambo in better times.

I always lead these dog obituary posts with the cause of death, but that's not how I remember any of them. What I'll remember Rambo for is his single-minded determination to do whatever it was that he wanted to do.

Rambo was appropriately named. He bit his dad on several occasions, and bit me once or twice when he didn't want to do what we wanted him to do (or as fast as we wanted him to do it). While living on a ranch in Florida, he went toe-to-toe with bulls who were standing in the wrong places. I wouldn't say that Rambo won any of those encounters, but he might have said so.

Yeah, he could be sweet. He liked to sit beside me on the sofa while we watched football games, and he was a total bed hog. But what I'll remember is his orneriness. I think he'd be happy with that, too.

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"I can't tell when my feet are swollen," says Dad.

Today's helpful advice: When your feet look like baby arms, it's time to consider going to the hospital

That's swollen, Dad.

And may I suggest that you also get your eyes checked?

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My father, a loyal Fox News viewer for years now, saw a newspaper headline while in the checkout lane at the local supermarket and was shocked to learn that the network has settled a defamation lawsuit for $780 million. Dad was furious that Fox News, once the only "Fair and Balanced" deliverer of newsworthy news, has fallen so low as to peddle lies to its viewers just like all the other Fake News stations. He has vowed to never watch the network again.

Now he's on the lookout for another news channel that will tell him the unvarnished truth, specifically how gays are ruining America and the only thing that can save us is another presidential term for political genius Donald Trump.

The more things change....

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I was already having a bad day — Dad continues to be A) confused about what medicine to take when, and B) very resistant to any means to address that problem — and then I saw that the new Powers That Be at the recently merged mega-corporation Warner Bros Discovery have decided to axe TCM Underground, effective immediately.

Dear whoever made that decision: Fuck off.

If you weren't aware, Underground was TCM's wee-hours-of-Saturday-morning block of programming that presented... shall we say "niche" movies. The kind that were generally made by or for unconventional audiences. You know, the kind of movies film nerds traded on VHS tapes and college art professors showed to their impressionable students to stimulate creativity. (Rest in Peace, Bill Marriott!)

I'd be more disappointed than I am if I hadn't already enjoyed TCM Underground for nearly 2 decades. Everything has a natural lifespan. (As they say, "Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.") Underground's 18 year-run was a very, very long time in the entertainment industry, which only thinks in terms of how much money it can make today. It deserves praise for its longevity more than mourning for its passing.

There were great things before Underground, and there will be great things after. It's the same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea. All we are is dust in the wind.

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*Ring, Ring*

WALTER (groggy): Dad? What's wrong?

JIM: I'm having trouble with the TV again. It won't turn to the Super Bowl. I've found the game in the guide but it won't tune in. It only wants to set a reminder.

WALTER: That's because you're looking ahead in the guide. You're looking at the future.

JIM: The clock says it's almost 5 o'clock, and kickoff is at 6:30. There must be pregame on by now.

WALTER: Go to a window and look outside. Is it dark outside?

JIM: Yes.

WALTER: That's because it's 5 in the morning!

JIM: That can't be right. I've already been waiting all day.

WALTER: You waited yesterday. You have to wait more today. The game won't even kickoff for another 13 hours.

JIM: Well.... I don't know what to say. They should play it sooner.

...

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Dad's medication has made him very confused. He couldn't remember what time Mom was going to pick him up for a doctor's appointment on Friday, so he decided to drive himself to the hospital. He made it somehow, but he took his mailbox with him. Literally. After running it over, he must have stopped in the middle of the road and picked it up; the shattered post is right now in the back of his van.

It'd be funny if it happened to someone else's family.

Anyway, as if I didn't have enough going on — now including installing a new mailbox — my 6-year-old Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone has suddenly started acting up. And I just last month bought a new case for it because the old one had fallen completely apart! (In hindsight, that may have been a pretty good indicator that the phone was on its last legs.) For no discernable reason, the battery is draining more than 13% every hour. That means it drains completely in... I don't know. Math is hard. I used to have a smartphone to do this sort of calculation for me *grumpy emoji face here*

Whatever. Batteries, like human lives, only last so long. So smoke 'em if you got 'em!

Or maybe don't, as that's a big part of why Dad's in such bad shape. Morals are also hard.

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Less than a week after walking out, Dad's back in the hospital under orders of his new kidney doctor. Looks like he'll be there a while, too, which means I'm responsible for taking care of his poodle, Rambo, for the duration.

That's not too bad. Rambo is an old boy who spends most of his time napping, and Henry and Louis are appropriately cautious of Rambo's ill-temper. The most I really have to worry about here is whether my back can sustain carrying 65-pound Rambo up and down the stairs from my bedroom to the door outside a few times a day.

The bigger problem is that this also happens to be the week my mother and her sister have gone out of town to a veterinarian conference in Orlando. (No, neither one is a vet. This is just what passes for a vacation opportunity in post-COVID America.) So I, who am also not a vet, am also tending to Audrey and Kelley's 3 dogs and 4 cats (and to a lesser extent, 2 goats and a Shetland pony, though that mostly just means trips to Tractor Supply for Neigh Nibblers and Saddle Snacks).

Splitting my time between my house, Kelley's house, and the hospital has proven challenging. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Some of these dogs are just going to have to take care of themselves.

He's adorable when he's not being a terror

Fortunately for all of us, I think they're more up to the task than I am.

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To be continued...

 

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