Archive for August, 2008

Thought for the Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 30, 2008 by tom

Things do not change; we change.

Henry David Thoreau

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Day One: An uneasy quiet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 30, 2008 by tom

Brother Wind arrived here at 1015 this morning.  He's a beautiful 8 year-old tuxedo cat, and Ana-Sofia Vargas' new brother. 

A friend couldn't keep him anymore, and I've been wanting to get Ana-Sofia a brother or sister, just so she wouldn't be lonely while I'm away working 8 kabillion hours.  Ana-Sofia's curious about the new arrival, deferential and kind.  She's squeaking in an even higher register than usual, but she's not cowering or anything. 

Wind is a bit, um, agitated? He was growling and hissing in his cage when Ann Marie brought him.  He's been with her since he was a kitten, and frankly I would probably growl myself if you crammed me into a cage, then put me into a car with a four year-old and drove me down Ulmerton Road.  No points off.  He's taken up position beneath my end table, where he's lying there, looking un-relaxed, and occasionally issuing forth a gutteral noise. 

He'll be fine.  Ana-Sofia is keeping a good-natured eye on him.  I think she knows she's still the mistress of the domain, and Wind will be fine.  I expect there will be little flare-ups in the beginning, but things will settle.  This is not a frantic environment.  It's peaceful, serene.  I keep it that way, because I'd lose my mind were it not true.  Ann Marie went out on the balcony and smoked, gushing over the view of Lake Tom.  The tilapia were swimming languidly, and a pair of white ibises plucked bugs from the shore. 

There was just a tense exchange in the other room.  It lasted less than a second.  Again, it will be okay.

I wish I could fast-forward through the next day or two till Wind relaxes a bit and feels more at home.  He's welcome here.  He's part of our little outfit now.  

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Thought for the Day

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2008 by tom

We all carry it within us; supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep, which is what makes life a problem.
Huston Smith

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Thought for the Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 28, 2008 by tom

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, best start with a small country.

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Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 28, 2008 by tom

Just a few things wandering through my brain tonight.

First off, I got into a discussion today about planets, specifically which planet was my favorite.  I've always sort of resented Saturn, the Liberace of planets.  It just seems so ostentatious with its gaudy, "hey, look at me everybody" rings.  Liberace used to wear giant rings, too, although his weren't 155,000 miles wide.  I half expect the Cassini probe to find candelabras on one mink-covered moon. 

I have to give props to Jupiter, of course, just for being so undeniably awesome.  It's interesting to look at–lots of pretty colors, and the big red spot (more properly known as The Great Red Spot), basically a hurricane 2 to 3 times the size of our little rock.  Hell, Jupiter is 2.5 times as massive as all the other solar planets combined.  We're nothing more than a tick to Jupiter's hound. 

Anyway, Kellee at work said that Pluto was her favorite planet.  I scoffed, of course.  Pluto has been downgraded to a "dwarf planet."  "Dwarf Planet" is Latin for "crappy little dirty snowball." Pluto isn't even the biggest dwarf planet–that would be Eris.  I didn't bother to point out that Pluto exists in the Kuiper Belt, sort of a planetary Island of Misfit Toys, where rocks and asteroids and comets and crap linger across the railroad tracks from where the cool planets live, smoking generic cigarettes and guzzling 40's of Mickey's Malt Liquor.

So Kellee–faced with my irrefuteable rightness–said, "Well, I bet YOUR favorite planet is Uranus!"

I carefully argued my case for Neptune being the coolest planet.  It's a lovely blue color, accessorized smartly with a pink moon named Triton.  It has the highest winds in the solar system (roughly 1500 mph, or 10 times as fast as Hurricanes Andrew or Katrina), and it vents methane gas into the solar system, just like my brother.  Plus, Triton has a retrograde orbit, meaning it was originally one of those crappy little Kuiper Belt dirtballs, untill Neptune cruised by and rescued it. (Think "Pretty Woman," only with Neptune and Triton instead of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts)  The coldest object measured in our solar system was on Triton, at -235 C (second coldest, in case you were wondering, was the Devil Bitch's icy heartless core). 

Then it dawned on me: Uranus just might be my favorite planet, except that I hate its name.  If the four Jovian planets were Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and, say, Jennifer Garner, I'd probably dump Neptune faster than John Mayer dumped Jessica Simpson.  Planet Jennifer Garner is a lovely green, and rolls through its orbit on its side.  I respect a planet that doesn't stand up all the time.  Planet Jennifer Garner lacks the scary weather of Neptune, and her moons are named after Shakespearean characters.  And yes, Jennifer Garner has rings, big beautiful, expensive, Ben Affleck-purchased rings.  As far as the planet…well, you know. 

Which led me to this thought: somebody somewhere was the first to make the eighth-grade joke, "Uranus has rings." Really, somebody had to be first with that one, and he or she (though it was almost certainly a teenaged boy)  has most likely reproduced. 

Oh, enough astronomy for now.

If ever I needed to have a drummer standing by for a rimshot, it was last night.  A friend-girl was saying something about how much of her female plumbing had been removed.  I told her she should have bought the Extended Cervix Plan. (rimshot)

She did a spit-take.  A happy one, thank God.

I was talking to a lady today about how fall is "just around the corner."  I mentioned that we have at least six more weeks of brutal summer here.  She responded sympathetically, and I realized, I don't mind the summer here.  It's hot, yeah, and we had heat indices in the 100's today.  But there's mystery, magic, energy in the heat, in the long steamy nights.  As refreshing as that first cool front will be, it won't feel right somehow.   The constant heat and humidity get old, I admit, but it's how it's supposed to be. 

Either way, at least we're not on Pluto (so nyaah, Kellee).  Happy Thursday.


(Tampa, FL, 0320 EDT, 29 August 2008.  83 degrees Fahrenheit, heat index 89 F–the way summer nights should be)

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Thought for the day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 27, 2008 by tom

(and I should have a t-shirt with this one)

You gotta sin to get saved
–Maria McKee

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Thought for the Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 26, 2008 by tom

A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.
— E. W. Howe

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