Showing 1 - 10 of 88 posts found matching keyword: death
Friday 25 August 2023
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 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.
Wednesday 26 July 2023
Despite my intention to post something here every two days, my last post was on the 22nd. Before that, I slid a day on each of the 14th and 19th. Three missed posts in one month is not a great sign about my desire or motivation.
The question I have to ask myself is "why am I not keeping to my intended posting schedule?" There haven't been any practical obstacles. My Internet connection has been fast and stable since the router changeover debacle last month. (Although, it ironically went out in the middle of my typing this, so I've just come back from taking a shower.) And it's not like I've been on vacation. With all the work I have right now, I'm barely away from my keyboard for any more than a few hours at any time, including sleep!
I'm wondering if that may be the problem. With so much to do at my desk, maybe I'm just not interested in sitting here typing up my frivolous thoughts when I could instead be on the sofa watching a frivolous movie or playing a frivolous video game. I haven't painted or written in months, either. It's hard to find "free" time when all I can think is "I should be coding right now."
On the other hand, blogging is a hobby. If I don't feel like doing it, maybe I just shouldn't do it. But maybe the better solution is to quit the jobs that are taking all my time, even if they are paying really, really well.
To be an ant or a grasshopper, that is the question. Whose is the more interesting tombstone? The ant's is built of more durable stone, but the grasshopper's is a better read.
Sunday 4 June 2023
In the middle of the afternoon, I had to stop my car in the road to let two deer cross in a md dash for the woods. They had been frightened by a car coming the other way. As I watched them run for cover, it occurred to me that they were probably right to be frightened, as humans are their primary predator.
There are estimated to be 30 million deer in the United States, and roughly 5 million of them are killed each year by humans. By comparison, there are 340 million humans in the United States, and roughly 120 of them are killed each year by deer. Those numbers certainly work out in our favor.
On the other hand, consider that nearly 75,000 humans are killed each year by a human (including suicides). We also happen to be our own primary predator.
You're 625 times more likely to be killed by a human than a deer. Oh, my.
Maybe running for the woods isn't such a terrible idea.
Friday 28 April 2023
I go out of my way to be kind of a dick to people in the hope that they'll leave me alone. I do this even to my own family, especially my Mother's sister, Kelley.
My aunt has a very soft spot in her heart for dumb animals, which is why she has a house full of cats and tolerates a handyman who is literally too stupid to use a shovel effectively. Because I'm so much trouble, Kelley had this handman bury her most recently deceased cat. But the location he selected turned out to be full of tree roots, so he dug only a shallow hole and covered the shoebox coffin with a thin layer of dirt and a paving stone.
Can you guess where this is going?
In the night, another animal detected the decaying corpse's scent and dug it up. But not fully. The excavator didn't have the strength to remove the whole cat from the box. Kelley later discovered the dead cat's head emerging from the ground, like something from Pet Semetery. (And yes, there were maggots involved.)
Desperate for help, she bit the bullet and called me. So my strategy of being a dick ultimately resulted in my having to dig up a dead cat and re-bury it properly. In the rain.
As a reward for my hard work, my aunt gave me this:
Please click for sound.
Lesson learned. From now on, I'll be twice the asshole!
Friday 24 March 2023
Google suggested that I would like to read an online article titled "People are less satisfied with their marriage when their partner is not interested in social interactions, study finds." That's not a very interesting headline, is it? But I did click on it, if only to see if I could learn why some scientist was studying the obvious. I still don't know.
What I did learn is the term "social anhedonia," which Wikipedia defines as "a disinterest in social contact and a lack of pleasure in social situations." WebMD puts it even more plainly: "You don't want to spend time with other people." That's why I love WebMD; it's talking directly to me!
I'm sure there's a spectrum for this social anhedonia — extreme cases are apparently linked to schizophrenia, which the voices in my head tell me I don't have — but I'm certainly on it somewhere. There's a reason I'm typing this in a basement in an otherwise empty house in the middle of the night.
I do enjoy spending limited amounts of time with friends, but "limited" is a key word in that sentence. I am keenly aware of my distaste for social interaction, and that self-awareness is a key part of why I am not interested in getting married. (I also don't much care for being touched by other people, which is apparently something psychiatrists call "physical anhedonia." Who knew?)
There have been other studies that say that married people live longer. People who spend time with friends live longer. People who are awake while the sun up live longer. In other words, people unlike me live longer. But if I have to be married, spend time with people, and wake up with the sunrise, why would I want to live any longer than I have to? That's not a reward, that's punishment.
Thursday 26 May 2022
UGA football legend (and gameshow-host Donald Trump's best "see-I'm-not-racist-I-have-a-black-friend" friend) Herschel Walker won the Georgia Republican party primary for U.S. Senate with over 801,000 votes (68%). He literally won every single county in the state. He trounced his closest opponent, Gary Black (13%), who has been the state Agriculture Commissioner for the past 11 years! If I was writing headlines, this would read: Football Culture Trumps Agriculture.*
Now Walker will head into the general election to face sitting senator Raphael Warnock. So far Walker — who it should be noted has a net worth upwards of $29 million yet has sent me, a UGA football season ticket holder, at least 7 letters asking for campaign contributions — has refused to describe any specifics of his platform (other than "Teamwork good" and "Democrats evil") or debate any of his Republican rivals, instead relying purely on the goodwill garnered in college in the 1980s. And it's easy to see why he's so reluctant to speak up. When asked on friendly Fox News what he would do to prevent future mass murder of elementary school students like the 19 who died this week in Texas — Walker's home state for the past decade, right up until he decided to run for Senator of Georgia — he said this:
You know, Cain killed Abel and that's a problem that we have. And I said what we need to do is look into how we can stop those things. You know, you talked about doing a disinformation. What about getting a department that can look at young men/women that's looking at their social media. What about doing that? Looking into things like that? And we can stop that that way.
Yes, poor Abel would still be alive today if Adam had only kept his eyes on TikTok instead of Eve's fig leaf.
Besides, Cain killed Abel with a rock, the Daniel Defense DDM4Â® V7Â® AR15 with Improved Flash Suppressor rifle of its day. No one would ever try to ban rocks, so why would you want to ban 30-round magazine automatic rifles? (According to Christian dogma, the rock was given to Cain by The Devil, which I'm sure Walker would insist in no way reflects on for-profit gun manufacturers selling military-designed long guns to 18-year-old civilians.)
Sadly, I think there's every chance that bible-thumping, gun lobby-supporting, social media-spying Walker will win a seat in the U.S. Senate on nostalgic name recognition alone. And if that is the case, Georgians will be getting exactly the representation in government they deserve. That's democracy in action, folks!
* While Trump did indeed endorse Walker, it's not like Black wasn't trying his damnedest to earn his evil overlord's favor too, including refusing to admit that Biden is the lawfully elected president of the United States. Trump's endorsement in this race means far less than Walker's 82 touchdowns as a Georgia Bulldog.
Thursday 12 May 2022
In hindsight, do I watch a lot of movies about death?
39/2048. Death on the Nile (2022)
There's a lot in this that sequel to The Orient Express that will feel not quite right to hardcore Christie fans, but I was more bothered by the CGI used to replicate 1930s Cairo than the anachronistic cultural mores or addition of Poirot's backstory. Don't get me wrong, I still liked it and would definitely keep watching Kenneth Branagh Poirot movies.
40/2049. The End (1978)
In this blackest of comedies, Burt Reynolds plays a man so afraid of pain that he is determined to kill himself before his terminal disease can. When this film works, it's usually because of Burt's natural charm, though it does squeeze some good comedy bits from very real human situations. (I found the third act slapstick to be too broad given the dark matter that preceded it. Your mileage — and tolerance of Dom DeLuise's over-the-top antics — may vary.)
Drink Coke and die!
41/2050. The Green Knight (2021)
The classic legend is about a knight on a quest to have his head chopped off, but this modern telling is more acid trip than road trip. Every line of dialog only makes the story more confusing. It might be more tolerable if it wasn't all filmed in a dark forest without lighting. Blech.
42/2051. The New Mutants (2020)
Whenever someone wonders what "studio interference" is, point them to this movie. The writer and director were very clearly using trying to make a horror film about adolescence and sexual awakening, but the studio wanted more traditional superhero fare. The actors seem completely confused (disinterested?) about what they're supposed to be doing, and the result *is* a nightmare, just not one that anyone would want to see.
43/2052. Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off (2022)
The old footage and glowing interviews about Hawk's early days are cool. Unfortunately, Hawk is unable or unwilling to examine his adult life outside of the world of skating, so in the end, he seems almost a victim rather than a champion, especially as the story ends wallowing on his inevitable physical decline. Was the intention of this documentary to make him a martyr?
44/2053. Closed for Storm (2020)
Another documentary, this time about the doomed New Orleans Jazzland theme park, from its conception to its destruction by Katrina to its abandonment by Six Flags to New Orleans' continued inability to do anything with it's remains. Honestly, it's the last part that I found most interesting because that was when the film veered from mere morbid nostalgia to something bordering on political activism against corrupt governance. Rage against the dying of the light, indeed. Of course I liked it.
More to come.
Thursday 18 November 2021
Today we put down my father's 7-year-old poodle Scarlett because we discovered that cancer had eaten her liver. She'd been lethargic for the past week, had stopped eating, and at the last, her skin and eyes turned yellow. But she didn't complain. She wasn't that kind of dog.
Scarlett's last haircut, Oct 5, 2021
Scarlett loved chasing squirrels, walkies (especially when she was stalking a squirrel), belly rubs, and escaping through open gates to chase the squirrels who wouldn't stay inside her fence, probably in that order.
Scarlett wasn't my dog, but she kind of was. And I miss her. Even the trouble.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: dad death dogs family poodles scarlett
Sunday 22 August 2021
Disappointment is a side effect of expectations.
I liked Executive Producer Mike Richards as Jeopardy! MC. I thought he was among the best of the "guest hosts" who have been substituting for the late, great Alex Trebek. I wanted Richards to have the job permanently.
But Richards (or his bosses) made a mistake. When they told the general public that the new host would be "one of the guest hosts," that set the expectation in the minds of the public that the job would go to the host they personally liked best. Hence the widespread disappointment from LeVar Burton's legion of well-earned fans when the least known (but best connected — and probably also the cheapest) of all the temporary hosts got the gig.
Thus the door was opened for the inevitable amateur yellow journalists digging up every negative thing Richards has done or said in his 46 years on the planet. Sadly, not everyone can be as perfect a person as Alex Trebek.
If any of Richards' innumerable sins (mostly misogyny & bad jokes) is truly unpardonable, it was that as Executive Producer he had the inside track on selecting and auditioning hosts. Even if he didn't have the final say himself, he should have known that when you're in the race, you can't also be the referee. Americans expect their game shows to be fair, and they're always disappointed when they aren't.
Tuesday 6 July 2021
Last month Ned "Otis" Beatty died. This month it's director Richard Donner. Twenty Twenty-One is proving to be a bad year for people associated with Superman: The Movie.
Should we start a pool on who's going to be August's victim? As you might expect from a 43-year-old movie, there really aren't too many principal cast and crew left. Long retired Gene Hackman (Lex Luthor) is 91. Valerie Perrine (Ms. Teschmacher), 77, has been fighting Parkinson's for years. The longest odds go to Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen), a comparatively sprightly 64.
Somewhere behind the camera, executive producer Ilya Salkind is 73 and editor Stuart Baird is 74. Only one of the five credited screenwriters, Robert Benton survives at 88. And who wants to live in a world without John Williams in it? He's 89.
Fortunately, all three of the Kyrptonian villains from the opening scenes of Superman: The Movie are still stalking the Earth. Terrance Stamp (General Zod) is 82, Jack O'Halloran (Non) is 78, and Sara Douglas (Ursa) is barely older than Jimmy Olsen at 68. One would hope they get to keep terrorizing Planet Houston for years to come.
I don't mean to be callous. It would be nice if someone could fly around the world fast enough to reverse the flow of time and stave off death. But that sort of thing can only happen in the movies.