Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Good Day. An Uncertain Tomorrow

A Galapagos land turtle can live over 200 years. With a dog you're lucky to get 10. If my wife and I are extraordinarily lucky, our dog will see his 10th birthday on December 30. Since his diagnosis of bone cancer more than 8 months ago, we've gone through several "final" things with him. We've wished for him to be here for Halloween and my wife's birthday and he was. Now it's about making it to Christmas, my birthday, and his birthday. One last victory lap. All seems well right now. He still gets around ok, taking his nightly walk to the mailbox or to the affectionately titled "Pee Corner", where all the bushes are.  Because he's down to three legs now (a "tripawd") he can't make it very far before stopping to get some rest. Imagine if you had to go everywhere by hopping on one leg. Maverick's at 75 percent leg capacity and still gets more exercise than most of the supposedly healthy humans I know.

Soon, we'll start seeing the endgame approach. The cancer has spread to his lungs. Coughing will increase, appetite will decrease. He'll yelp at the slightest touch. The nose will no longer be cold and wet, and the sparkle will be gone from his eyes. This will come sooner rather than later. It could start tomorrow. Everyday for the last nine months, that's been my thought. It could start tomorrow.

Maverick's big comfy bed is put next to ours each night. He chooses to sleep next to me as I'm closer to the doorway and the window, places where threats could occur. Ever on guard, he's what I see last at night and first in the morning. Of the numerous advantages to having a dog versus a kid, the best is that a dog never talks. I wish that could change, if only for a day. When that day comes I just want to know that we've done the right thing, that the pain has become too much, and he has another Gate to go guard for us.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Over It

I've been on the wrong side of the last two presidential elections. 2008 didn't bother me that much. I understood why people voted for Barack Obama. He had the silver-tongued skills of the slickest car salesman at a time when the country was floundering. People lap that stuff up even in the best of times, so back then as home prices were plummeting and layoffs (the polite word for "firings") were rising, it was a tonic that the majority glugged with glee. Obama being black certainly helped. It allowed guilt-ridden whites to show (to themselves ) that they weren't racist by voting the man in. I get all that. In a way, I was somewhat curious to see what would happened.

Nothing happened. Nothing's been accomplished. No. Nothing.

Yes, a sports metaphor is appropriate here. A football coach gets dumped and the replacement promises changes. Progress. Improvements. After four years the team is, at best, the same. What happens to a boss in the real world who flounders for four years? He's soon the ex-boss (NOTE: Notice I didn't say "she". Female CEOs have teflon. They'd have to be caught with a basement full of 14 year old boys, and even then, she'd probably get a Lifetime movie out of it). But this isn't the real world. This is politics. And, sorry to say, the general public is so monumentally stupid they fall for the same lines of b.s. every time.

Up against Obama was a proven business leader. His skills on the international stage were sketchy, but the Number 1 issue on the minds of the voters this election was the economy. Jobs. So naturally, the voters choose the candidate who'd never created a job before over the man who created tens of thousands. Hell, Obama even told people not to "blow a bunch of cash in Vegas" (TWICE!) and got 56 percent of the Clark County vote. How the hell did this happen?

People usually get what they deserve. Make bad decisions and you end up suffering for it. Dependent on drugs, pills, booze, gambling. Spending instead of saving. Babies out of wedlock. All of those things lead to a crappy life down the road, and there's usually no turning back from that death spiral. Unfortunately, it now seems like those that make the poor decisions have grown to such numbers that they're the ones in charge. The politicians pander to them, and it's people like me who end up having to bail them out. Based on what the last four years have wrought, I have no optimism for what the next four will bring. I hope I'm wrong. Usually I'm not.

I've never seen people so happy for a future of skyrocketing deficits, unemployment and general malaise as I did last night. Sad thing is, they don't know any better. The tired, poor, huddled masses have hit critical mass.