Showing 1 - 10 of 230 posts found matching keyword: family
Thursday 23 February 2023
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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Sunday 12 February 2023
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?
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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Saturday 4 February 2023
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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Sunday 29 January 2023
Despite their utter refusal to take responsibility for all flying insects — for shame! — I still recommend Sunday brunch at Bistro Hilary in Senoia, Georgia.
Happy Birthday, Mom!
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Sunday 15 January 2023
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.
Fortunately for all of us, I think they're more up to the task than I am.
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Friday 6 January 2023
More True Tales from the Hospital
NURSE: Sir, have you experienced any domestic violence?
JIM (pointing at me): Only from him.
WALTER: He's kidding.
NURSE: I can tell.
WALTER: And if he says anything like that again, I'll shut that smart mouth of his for good.
For the record, that completely true conversation took place when Dad was being introduced to his seventh-floor ward nurse... after six hours spent in the hall of the overcrowded ER. His hematologist didn't like something about the looks of his blood test so a CT scan was ordered, and his nephrologist didn't like something about the looks of that. They agreed that Dad should go to the ER for more tests. When we got there, the attending physician asked, "Why are you here today?," and Dad answered, "I don't know."
The only thing Dad says he's really worried about is being discharged in time to watch Monday night's UGA game from his own recliner.
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Wednesday 4 January 2023
I'm not sure I would call myself a connoisseur of kids cartoons, but I sure liked 'em a lot when I was a kid. And a teenager. And an adult. And now as old man. The good ones remind you what's great about being a kid. The best of them remind you what's great about being human.
If you have little kids right now, you can already guess that I'm talking about Bluey.
Bluey is an Australian Broadcast Company/BBC show about talking dogs. More accurately, it's about raising children by allowing children to be children, but it takes place in a world of talking dogs. I'm not so nuts about children, but I love talking dogs. Especially this one.
click image to toggle 3D on/off
That's Bingo, Bluey's little sister. Mom's beau asked why I would paint Bingo instead of Bluey. The answer is pretty simple: I like Bingo better.
She's my kind of talking dog.
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Monday 26 December 2022
Did everyone have a Merry Christmas? I guess I did, all things considered. I mean, so long as I ignore the fact that the Miami Dolphins collapsed in the second half and lost their 4th straight game, going 0-4 in December and demonstrating that despite some earlier success they are definitively not ready to be a playoff team for the 22nd year in a row. (Annual reminder: their last playoff win was in 2000.)
Yeah, ignoring that and the fact that I badly cut my thumb on the large carving knife while doing the dishes, the rest of the day went pretty well. It was in the wee hours of this morning that I ran into trouble. Or maybe I should say that it was Louis who ran into trouble for us all.
After watching Sunday Night Football go to overtime and spending an hour trying and failing to play online games with Friend James (the trouble seemed to be with his ISP), I noticed at about 1:30 in the morning that something smelled wrong in my room: the faint smell of burning plastic. That's never good.
I began sniffing my way around the darkened house for the cause, starting with the basement. It wasn't coming from my room. It wasn't the furnace which has been running all out for days to combat the 30-year historic cold. It wasn't in my studio where I had been painting finishing veneers earlier in the day. So I moved upstairs where the smell was indeed stronger. I thought maybe it was the Christmas tree lights, but no, they seemed fine. And It wasn't any appliance in the kitchen or anything electronic in Mom's office. I even grabbed a flashlight and checked outside to no avail. What *was* the source of that smell?
When I came back inside, I noticed that the flashlight wasn't a spotlight like it was outside but an illuminated beam, a fuzzy lightsaber. As a former Boy Scout, I quickly recognized this as a Very Bad Sign. The good news is that I could follow the flashlight beam to find the areas of thickening smoke.
The source, as it turns out, was behind the curtains separating the den from the sunroom that Mom uses for crafting. As is usual in the winter, the "sun" room was the coldest in the house, and she has been running an older model portable oil space heater day and night to keep the chill out. At this point, you've probably figured out where this is headed.
Context clues indicate that sometime while I was preoccupied with football or video games, my mischievous puppy, Louis, had taken a break from chewing up my new shoelaces and pajama bottoms to sneak behind the curtain — where he knew he wasn't allowed alone — and knocked over the heater. The sideways heater did not have an automatic shutoff, and worse, on its side it started leaking oil, oil that fortunately smoked before it flamed.
I uncovered the problem in time to prevent any further damage to life, limb, or property. (Sure, the house *smells* like burnt plastic and oil, but at least there's a house to smell.) I think from now on I'm going to have to keep Louis tied to me. And I'm going to recommend that Mom mounts her new space heater (with automatic shutoff!) to the floor!
Post-Christmas crisis averted!
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Friday 16 December 2022
Mother spent all day sitting on the sofa watching college bowl games with her current beau. As soon as he left, she went to her bedroom to change her clothes. When she emerged in her pajamas, she looked at me with a very straight face and said, "I think the hard part in seeing someone is putting on clothes."
As the great sage once said, your mother should know.
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Saturday 3 December 2022
Today, the UGA Bulldogs won their first SEC Championship game since 2017 in dominating fashion. Hooray!
But the real news of the day is that I have a new dog.
Like Henry before him, this good boy is a rescue puppy whose first family couldn't care for him. His original name was Ricky, though his temporary foster parents discovered he didn't seem to know it. They renamed him Coco Puff, but he never really cottoned to that name, either. Mom decided we might as well call him something that sounded good alongside "Henry."
(Side note: I might have ambushed Mom with the idea of a new dog just yesterday, so she justifiably needed some appeasing before she would allow another standard poodle in her house run by Audrey the Hungry Havanese — whose birthday is tomorrow! If that means Mom gets to name my new dog, so be it.)
Therefore, allow me to introduce Louis, pronounced like a French king, unless you're my dad, who insists on saying it "the American way."
Of course, I'm particularly sensitive to whether Henry might get his feelings hurt by having a new dog in the house, so I woke up early (for me) to take Henry to the PetSmart in Peachtree City for an interview with his prospective new playmate. As it happens, the Peachtree City PetSmart is right beside a cemetery, and when Henry and Louis (nee Coco) politely paused their inaugural rollicking to let a group of funeral-bound mourners pet them, I was pretty sure we were going to be all right.
I'm quite pleased that Louis is a brown poodle, a first for my family. White poodles can be pretty, but you really have to keep them on their pedestal, especially on rainy days when playing with new puppies in the mud.
Immediately after this picture was taken, I introduced Louis to my bathtub. It was an eventful day, indeed.
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