Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Cat Dog Symbiosis

Russell and Schroeder, the front yard flamingos.

To you and me our little courtyard in the front of our house looks like a serene and pretty little refuge. Lovely palms, vines, and other flora give it a peaceful look. That is not what our dog Chandler sees. What he sees is the dog equivalent of an Easter egg hunt, or more accurately, a cat turd hunt. Out there among the philodendron are delectable nuggets left by cats from all over the neighborhood. I don't know why they like to shit in our yard, but they do, and every single time I open the door and let my dogs out, Chandler zeros in like a cruise missile. He's on those cat turds faster than grass through a goose. I'm not sure what I can do about the cats pooping out there. I really would like to discourage them from using it as a giant litter box because it stinks, and I'm sure it's very unsanitary. Meanwhile Chandler continues to look at the back yard cats as his best friends. He's always smelling their butts, and nudging them with his nose as if they are some kind of fur covered Pez dispensers. Oh, and his breath, my god you should smell his breath.

Monday, September 29, 2014


I'm going to visit with my neighbor Nonny today. Nonny is ninety three years old. She lives across the street and is one of only three owner/residents on our street. Everybody else around here rents and they come and go, but not Nonny. The other two owner/residents are me and my next door neighbors, the Clampetts, or is it the Honey Boo Boo family? Anyway, you get the idea. I am not looking forward to going to see Nonny today because Nonny isn't across the street where she should be. Nonny is in a hospice. I have been to hospices before. I used to service pharmacy equipment in them. One thing that you could always rely on was that the machines would invariably break down late at night, and late at night is the time of day that hospices remove those who have reached the end of their life. Almost every time I had to go and repair a machine late at night, they were wheeling another poor soul out the door. It is disturbing to me, but I'll still go and visit Nonny. She has always been very sweet to me and Mark, and besides, her nephew told me that they may have put her in hospice too soon. He says that they might send her to a nursing home, or if she can afford it, home with a nurse. So I hope for the best and in the meantime I'll simply think of the good times. Like twenty one years ago when I moved into this house and across the street I saw a seventy two year old woman gardening in her bathing suit. Which isn't nearly as bad as the old guy down the street who gardens in his birthday suit.

Friday, September 26, 2014


I've been slogging through the ten hours of the PBS series, The Roosevelts. So far I've watched six and a half hours of it and I love it. In fact I have always loved history. Other than memorizing the exact dates of things, history was my favorite subject in school. I always figured that if I came within five years of an event on a test, I was good. My favorite history teacher was in seventh grade, Mrs. Sandidge. I think she was around a hundred years old at that time so most of the history of our country she knew first hand and you could always depend on her to set the record straight. One thing she used to do was let us have a day where we could browse the little library she kept in the back of the classroom. It was full of old magazines and history books that included things not in our curriculum. In fact it was in Mrs. Sandidge's library that I learned the story of Fatty Arbuckle and the champagne bottle scandal. I remember that the story didn't shock me, only how great it was that Mrs. Sandidge would have such entertaining reading material. Getting back to The Roosevelts, there is one thing that I learned from watching that documentary, and that is that Teddy Roosevelt was a damn good looking man in his younger years...

...and then he got hit with the ugly stick.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gall Center

Caution: If the "F" word offends your sensibilities, do not read this. Otherwise, enjoy.

I realize that I sounded a bit crass in one of my previous posts, so I would like to apologize to people who work in call centers. At least I'd like to apologize to those who through no fault of their own found themselves with no other option but to take that job, and who when doing that job aren't a big pain in the ass. Now let me explain why I treat them so badly. They call me at least half a dozen times a day. They call at all hours, and when I ask them what they are selling, they always say that they aren't selling anything. They lie. At some point, if I were to go along with them, I would be asked to sign up for something, buy something, or attend some free thing where they would want my money. And when I say that I am not interested they continue to talk and try to convince me to listen to them. That is why more often than not, I end up cursing at them. 
Yesterday at eight thirty in the morning one of them called me. I was irate and I asked them "What the fuck are you selling?" The answer was "nothing". So I told the interloper to get the fuck off of my phone and don't call back. They called back and tried to reason with me. Again I used the magic word, fuck. In fact I used it a couple of times before I hung up. They called back. This time it was a different guy who said he was the supervisor. I told him to fuck off, and hung up. He called back. "Sir, we are just trying to remind you of our four o'clock appointment with you on Saturday."
"Who the fuck are you trying to kid here?" I asked, "You don't have any fucking appointment with me".
From the other end of the phone I heard the man gasp, "Sir, you don't have to use that language."
He was wrong. I did. I did have to use that language because apparently they don't understand any other language. Not English, not anything.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck, fuck, and once more, fuck you. Now get the fuck off of my phone."
I hung up. Moments later the phone rang again. What the asshole didn't know is that I was enjoying myself. It was cathartic. When I was done with the last call, when I had again screamed at the guy that I was on the do not call list and he finally quit calling back, I felt great. I had bled out every ounce of aggression in my body. No matter what else happened yesterday, I did not lose my temper. It is also possible that today I will not lose my temper. I left it all on that guy. Who, by the way, is apparently named Louise Moreau, who is sixty five years old, and lives in a gated community near Orlando. It's an old trick these call centers use. They register a land line phone to an unsuspecting senior citizen so that nobody can trace their sorry asses. I wouldn't be surprised if the next time they do that to me.