Showing 1 - 10 of 99 posts found matching keyword: dad

I've been so tired all day. I can barely keep my eyes open, but I've had to run a bunch of errands and I had a meeting, and every time I've tried to take a nap in between, Henry has demanded something new: outside, walkies, dinner. Why are we supposed to let sleeping dogs lie if they won't return the favor?

I'm just not getting enough sleep. On Monday, Mom woke me early to pick up Audrey, who I was dog sitting. On Tuesday, I had to get up early to take Louis to the vet to have the lump on his back inspected. Today, Dad woke me up early when he called in a panic because the installer of his new washing machine could not attach it to the hot water line as plumbed.

I swear, it's getting to where a fellow just can't sleep until 2PM anymore.

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My father is enthusiastically following all the news stories about American college campus protests against Israel's ongoing campaign against Gaza. I'm not sure what the appeal of that story is for him other than the fact that's what Fox News is broadcasting all day to distract its viewers from the ongoing trial of The People of the State of New York v. some guy who used to be president. (According to Dad, those damn Yankees are being very unfair to that nice, smart man.)

When I think of college protests, the first thing that comes to mind are the protesters who stood just outside The Arch of my (not particularly liberal) college campus decrying Bush Junior's invasion of Iraq in 2003. I seem to recall no one was particularly kind to them at the time, the prevailing general sentiment being "how dare they stand up for those bastards after what they did on 9/11." To hear the locals talk about it, the only rational explanation for the protesters' behavior was that they hated America.

That's my father's stance on pretty much all protests. To hear him complain about Colin Kaepernick kneeling or Occupy Wall Street, there's nothing less American than protesting. (To be fair, he thinks events in, outside, and around the Capitol on January 6 were also wrong; he just thinks that unjustly persecuted fellow facing a kangaroo court in New York didn't have anything directly to do with them.)

I hate to be inconvenienced as much as the next guy, but I respect nonviolent, peaceful acts of civil disobedience in the style of Gandhi and MLK, even when I'm not particularly sympathetic to the protesters' cause, like that guy who stands on Gillis Bridge overlooking Sanford Stadium on game days yelling through a bullhorn that everyone in the crowd is going to Hell for worshipping a football instead of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, you've got to do what it takes to make people aware of your opinion.

It would be great if the kids camping on their college quads could restrain themselves from graffiti and spitting in the faces of the men who have come to arrest them, but it would also be great if Arabs and Jews could find a way to stop indiscriminately killing one another in ever increasing numbers. As Dad tells me a great man once said, "there are very fine people on both sides."

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As is usual this time of year, our power went out in yesterday's storm at 10:12PM. The first notice from the power company estimated a restoration by 1:15AM. After they missed that deadline, they said 4:30. Then they said 6:30. They did finally get it back on... at 11:30AM.

I get it; they were busy. It was a blustery night, after all. And mine was the only outage in my county, whereas there were many counties to my north fairing much, much worse. But if you know you're going to be busy helping others, can you at least give me better estimates, Georgia Power?

I've gotten used to these sorts of long-duration springtime power outages over the years. What made this one a little more annoying than usual was that I had just made the mistake of putting all my pillowcases in the washing machine just before the power failure, so I didn't have any pillows to sleep on during the long, dark night. (You don't think I'm going to put my head on a pillow without a case, do you? Ye, gods!)

Dad said that the lesson I should take away from this experience is that from now on, I should never wash all of my pillowcases in one load. I hate to say it, but he's probably right.

Don't expect me to say that again, Dad.

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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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To be continued...

 

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