Friday 20 November 2020
Wednesday 18 November 2020
Good news! July's back and legs are responding to treatment, and she's walking much better.
Bad news! July is now having seizures (two in the past three days).
I'll keep you posted.
Monday 16 November 2020
COVID 19 has reduced this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to a shadow of its former self, and that sounds like a job for Superman!
Most of my yard paintings over the past year have included a subversive wink at the holiday/season or current events that inspired them. Not so much here. I just thought the Superman parade balloon from the 1980s was pretty damn awesome, so I painted it. Because nothing says gratitude and generosity like corporate-sponsored marketing aimed at children. (Okay, maybe a *tiny* wink.)
By the way, that cityscape I'm using to hide the bottom of the ropes was an afterthought. I had originally planned that the ropes should terminate behind the rocks there at the base, but the ropes needed better bracing than I could arrange in that little space. In the future, I need to replace the skyline hiding the tie-off brackets with a crowd of Lilliputian rope handlers.
Maybe next year.
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Saturday 14 November 2020
Since today's UGA football game has been postponed (due to COVID, what else?), let's watch some movies!
170. (1824.) Guys and Dolls (1955)
Nope. I'd never seen Guys and Dolls. Now I have. (Sinatra playing a mobster again? What range!) It's pretty good, at least all the scenes without Brando. I don't have any idea what The Method would say about someone who lives in a reality where people break into song about their most intimate feelings, but Brando must have been insufferable for a few months. Sinatra must have been a saint to resist having him iced.
171. (1825.) Springfield Rifle (1952)
For the first half hour of this bland Western, you think, "why is this film about spies and cattle rustling and runaway children called Springfield Rifle?" Then they tell you and you're like, "how much did the Springfield Rifle company pay for that?"
172. (1826.) Blockers (2018)
A very modern sex comedy about a group of helicopter parents trying to save their children's virginity. Is there anything John Cena can't do?
173. (1827.) Enter Laughing (1967)
It took two tries for me to get through Carl Reiner's directorial debut (based on his debut novel). The play within the play is quality stuff, but most of the rest of the time spent in the protagonist's life can be a dull drag.
174. (1828.) The Hospital (1971)
This "modern" medical murder mystery film is a delightful black hole of cynicism. My only gripe is the abrupt, uncomfortable brutality of the scene in the middle of this where George C. Scott damn near has a mental breakdown in his office and then forces himself sexually on (a willing) Diana Rigg. That's the pivot point of the plot, and it's cynical even about honestly, but it's both too predictable and too preposterous to be satisfying.
175. (1829.) Sidewalk Stories (1989)
A mostly silent take on the sort of movie Chaplin would have made but with Black leads, which serves to underscore some of its more serious points. A good film.
More to come.
Thursday 12 November 2020
The Georgia Secretary of State has decided that the "risk limiting audit" of the state's 2020 general election for President of the United States will include every single vote cast and be recounted by human hand. If memory serves, the current Secretary of State's election slogan was "Bring Backus the Abacus." (Which, to be fair, was more progressive than his predecessor, whose platform was "You Voted For Who I Say You Vote For.")
According to the SoS's website, 4,991,854 Georgians voted in the election. If one person were to count one ballot per second continuously, it would take that person 58 days. Of course, he'd be dead then, so he might not want to do that.
If ten people were working together, they could complete the task in a week. A hundred could get it done in one intense work day (with overtime). Too bad they can't put 1,000 people in a room with all 5 million votes. Done in under 2 hours!
Each county has to count its own ballots. If Coweta County is lucky enough to get 6 salaried employees together (in state-mandated teams of two) to recount their 76,799 ballots, they'll need 2 full work days (with no water breaks). Coweta is the 17th largest county in the state, so expect several counties to take longer. Lucky tiny Taliaferro (159th of 159 in population) should be able to count to 928 within an hour.
All this number crunching just to validate that maybe we will, finally, definitively know by next Friday where Georgians collectively stand on the question of which old white guy they want in the federal executive mansion. Personally, I'll take the one who can count.
Tuesday 10 November 2020
Sunday 8 November 2020
2020 has done it again. Alex Trebek has died from pancreatic cancer at age 80.
In the year 2014 BC (Before COVID), Trebek appeared on the final episode of The Colbert Report to reassure its departing host:
"So I guess I’ll be gone forever?" Colbert asked.
"No, Stephen," answered Trebek. "We'll always be there for the American people, whenever they need us the most."
May he live forever in reruns.
Saturday 7 November 2020
"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.
"Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.
"As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate."
President Gerald Ford
August 9, 1974
Thursday 5 November 2020
July's health problems continue. At least this time it's not cancer (we think).
She's been getting wobbly in the back legs for the past few months, a condition that we've been attributing to old age. (She's almost 15!) However, on Monday she abruptly lost the ability to coordinate her back feet, began dragging her back knuckles, and could no longer get up from a laying position. Or even a sitting position.
Her doctor agreed that this seemed abnormal and took x-rays. He ultimately diagnosed, and I quote, "likely intervertebral disc disease at L5-6, spondylosis at L7-S, mild hip dysplasia."
"Spondylosis"? Uh, yeah. I see that now.
She's now on a prescription of steroids, muscle relaxers, and spine massages every 8 hours, which she has responded to quite well. In fact, she's already learned her med schedule and asks for her pills on time. (She loves Pill Pockets™!)
The biggest difficulty of her condition comes from her continued refusal to let me out of her sight. This has always been the case. Despite her wobbly legs, she recently fell down the stairs rather than let me be out of her sight for a whole minute. (Could that be how she damaged her back? Silly poodle.)
So, for the foreseeable future, I'll be carrying her upstairs for food and meds, outside to do her business, and everywhere else I need to go, including into my bedroom when I work and sleep and into my bathroom to lie on the bathmat when I take a shower. She's such a diva.
Not that I'm really complaining. It could be worse, which probably isn't something I should say in 2020.
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Tuesday 3 November 2020