Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Couple of Things & A Vignette

I've been thinking about Hunter S. Thompson's suicide.

His friends and admirers have been describing his decision to commit suicide as the logical, perhaps inevitable act of a man who was determined to control his own destiny.

A few years ago, I began a short story with: "Melissa Jaffries pondered her mind's image of Ernest Hemingway cramming the business end of a shotgun into his mouth and pulling the trigger which -- for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction -- probably vacated his brain from his skull in a New York minute and, like toilet paper spitwads, most likely mucked-up the walls and the ceiling of that bedroom in Idaho with the most god-awful mess one would ever want to see or, indeed, even imagine. "But, then, one would never want to see something like that, would one?" she asked, smiling at Gertrude, her red-ribboned Calico; smiling at the absurd notion that death was Hemingway's final frontier which he quite deliberately intended to conquer before it conquered him. She had determined that one could never really conquer death; one simply slipped into it by accident, deliberately, regretfully or furiously, depending upon luck, health or psyche. No, Hemingway hadn't conquered death. He was just dead. Period. No great, final, symbolic statement to the world there, Ernest. Just fucking dead."

And, I've got to say that's how -- at least for today -- I feel about Hunter Thompson's suicide. The guy was probably so fucking drunk or high or both at the time he pulled that trigger that he probably didn't know what the fuck he was doing.

And, by the way, I thought Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was for shit. Truly, for shit.

But, that's unfair, isn't it. The man's dead, for heaven's sake. (It was for shit, though.)

You know, I've suddenly realized (yes, I know, most of you have understood this for a very, very long time) that the day a sitting President of the United States is reelected, he is immediately a lame duck. Politicos really don't have to kiss his ass as deeply as they had before he won reelection ... witness just a wee bit of Republican dissention over Dubya's social security bamboozlepalooza; witness just a wee bit of moderate Republican disconcertion with Dubya's and DeLay's embarrassingly obvious suckass machinations (feels good, huh, James Dobson, Archbishop Chaput) with the Schiavo tragedy. (God, please, let that dear soul pass!)

Vignette - Ronnie Coombe

Ronnie Coombe, apartment 3C, who is in middle management at a downtown Denver investment firm, steps from the shower and towel dries himself while still standing in the bathtub. He has called in sick to his work, "Fuckin' flu, man," and has arranged to see a man about a horse.

Ronnie Coombe stands about five-six, blond hair, emerald green eyes, well-defined musculature, slightly bowed legs. His thirty-three years do not show physcially; he appears to be no more than twenty-four. But, if one is able to get Ronnie aside and listen to his soft-spoken, serious story about the way it was in Viet Nam; about the blood and deaths; about the American soldiers high as kites traipsing around the green muck of Southeast Asia with known futures of lost legs or severed spinal cords or mangled arms or. "...gettin' your balls shot off, man or losin' your ass, man, just havin' your ass blown off your body..." Yes, if one is able to get Ronnie off to himself he will tell you about the way it was and that he is not as he appears. He has seen hell and has flirted with the devil himself.

But, today, Ronnie Coombe is off to see a man about a horse.

Ronnie Coombe grew up in west Texas, on the hell-hot, dry and stingy earth where the color green was as rare as a cool breeze in July. But, it was there that Ronnie began to understand that the most beautiful, precious thing about that inhospitable existence -- and, perhaps, about the world in general -- was a horse. And, horses he had had. His father had kept no less than six horses on the ranch. And, from shortly after the time Ronnie had mastered the art of walking, he was on a horse. Always riding. Always loving the strength, the giving strength of the magnificent animals which he not so much rode as became one with.

"My horses got me out of the war whole," Ronnie would tell those of us who had managed to get him alone. "When the shit was flyin' in Nam; when you knew there wasn't any fuckin' way you were gonna live through that shit, man, I would just let my mind go and, in my mind, I would climb on Bingo or Blackjack and I would fly; I would fly through that fuckin' mud and grime; fuckin' bullets and artillery whizzin' by my head and I would get out of it, man. They would take me out of that shit. Every time, man, Bingo or Blackjack would just carry me away."

Ronnie Coombe buckles his belt, grabs his keys and heads out the door of Apartment 3C to see a man about a horse.

A Little Spring (2" of Snow for Denver Today)

A Little Spring (2" of Snow for Denver Today)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

An Easter Post

The Mormons have a television commercial running that depicts what I suppose is their perception of Jesus and those to whom he ministered. (Or, indeed, does it depict who it is the Mormons wish to bring into the fold, as it were, through the commercial?) In the commercial, Jesus is a white guy with red hair. Every one of Jesus' followers are white guys and gals. The sick, the hungry, the dying to whom Jesus speaks and comforts, touches and heals are, yeah, really, really white people.

There's no real reason to spend any amount of time pointing out that Jesus wasn't an Iowa farmer; he was a Semite as were his followers, as were the folks he comforted and healed who lived in what we today call the Middle East and, well, those folks weren't white people.

But, in this new age of neocon revisionistic the truth doesn't matter, bucko, it's the message, dummy, it's the message that counts, I guess we could expect no less from the Mormons.

I was thinking about the term pro-life and, of course, the logical obverse of that term anti-life.

I was thinking about my own mother's and father's deaths, both of which were preceded by a familial determination that extraordinary medical measures to prolong their lives for an hour, a day, a week were just simply obscenely gruesome given what we knew at the time; given that my family seems to be -- although religious to a degree -- inclined toward the simple truths of what our hearts and minds communicate to us in a kind of evolution of the species (we have evolved!) understanding of what is right and wrong; of what is intellectually compassionate and what is emotionally absurd. No, no need to go into the Schiavo case.

No, when my family made those decisions about my mother and father they were not decisions that were anti-life. No, those decisions were made with the understanding that life is the greatest gift we have; that life is God's (whomever or whatever you believe God to be) greatest gift to each of us and that we make of it what we will. And, at the end of that great gift; when life becomes something more spiritual than real; more ultimately beautiful than bedpans and feeding tubes; yes, at the end of the days of our parent's or our sibling's or, yes, even our dog's (our precious children's) lives; at the end of the days of our loved one's lives, there is nothing anti-life in that equation when we, the living, nod our heads and agree that the pain must stop; that the obscenity of prolonging the pain must stop.

I've not run for four days now because my lower back is fucked royally; my hips ache immensely; I'm coughing and wheezing with the asthma I'd thought I had left behind more than forty years ago. But, life is good; life is worth the deal dealt. Life is ... a shot of Wild Turkey with a little 7Up just before bedtime. Huh!

No, I really don't believe Jesus had red hair. But, then, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that we found no WMDs; it doesn't matter that Tom DeLay is an absolute sleaze; it doesn't matter that Dubya's sixty city tour touting his social security fix is, well ... the ultimate Bamboozlepalooza of our time costing us -- the American taxpayer -- about $35Million; it doesn't matter that Dubya's out to get the United Nations and the World Bank. No, none of that matters.

What matters, on this day of Easter, is that I pray (hope) your family -- and not the President or the United States Congress or some judge somewhere -- will be the final decision-maker when it comes to letting a mother or a father or a sibling go on to a life that, oh, God willing, is as fantastic as what we, the benefactors of what began in a bubbling pool of primordial oooze, surely believe to be a better place where, hopefully, we'll all meet up once again -- dogs included. Blogs however... Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Jesus didn't really have red hair, did he?

Vignette - Missus Crawford

Missus Dorothy Crawford taught geometry at Abraham Lincoln High School when I was fifteen. She was a large woman; not fat, but quite tall and -- as they say -- big boned. She was a woman who obviously, if she had not become a teacher, would have become a real-life Mame. She was outrageously outgoing, colorful, irreverent. She was fond of wearing brightly colored clothing and huge clumps of jewelry not only around her neck but on her wrists as well. And, the jewelry was usually strings of quarter or half-inch orbs which would click constantly with her incessant movement about the classroom and by her habit of fingering the orbs; a calculatingly self-induced click, click, clickclickclickclickclickclickclick which helped to produce the atmosphere of her classroom.

Missus Crawford taught geometry. And, Missus Crawford taught us a great deal about life, as well.

"Alright," she would holler -- she never merely spoke -- let's discuss what I have put up on the chalkboard." She would then rise from behind her desk, begin fingering her orbs and walk to the back of the classroom, behind us ... the silence of the room broken only by the click, click, clickclickclickclickclickclick of her jewelry.

The figures on the chalkboard would be a few of the problems we had been sent home the day before to solve.

"Mister Richardson," Missus Crawford would suddenly scream from behind our backs, "tell me about the problem marked number one."

Mister Richardson who, like the rest of us, was attempting to catch his breath from the shock of Missus Crawford's unseen although not unexpected outburst from his rear, studied number one for a moment and said, "Isosceles triangle."


"Any fool knows that, Mister Richardson," she would shout, moving silently to Mister Richardson and placing her big-boned grasp on his shoulders. "Tell me something about problem one that any fool does not know," she would say, applying pressure to her hold on his shoulder.

Clickclickclickclick. Click.

"Ah," Mister Richardson would say. Dale Richardson was a good-hearted boy who was, I believe, one of Missus Crawford's fools who would never catch on to the program; who would never understand the point of Missus Crawford's geometry class.

"Thank you, Mister Richardson," Missus Crawford would say after Dale Richardson's silence had, once again, formed a heavy, oppressive, uncomfortable pall over the classroom. "Miss Montgomery," she would then scream and Miss Montgomery would recite one-hundred and fifty things we all should know about an isosceles triangle; the unseen things which are whispered by reasoning called deductive which, obviously, Miss Montgomery had picked up somewhere along the way. Equal sides, the angles, the result of bisecting and that of turning it on its side. Miss Montgomery's dissection of problem one left the utter, essential, unseen -- but nevertheless there -- guts of the isosceles triangle hanging palpably from the ceiling to the floor.

After Miss Montgomery had finished her recitation, the resulting excitement from Missus Crawford would erupt with, "Yes! Yes! Yes! It's there! This is not geometry we are talking about," she would scream, barging to the front of the classroom, holding her arms extended as if directing a choir in adulation of a God more robustly Baptist than Catholic. "This is life, ladies and gentlemen. Look at it, study it, know it. There is so much more here than any fool is capable of seeing. And you are not fools. You are not! Believe it! You are so much more than what you see when you look in the mirror. We all are. If the isosceles triangle is more than what it appears to be -- Glory Be! -- you and you and you," she would say, pointing at our faces and clicking to beat the band, "are infinitely more than what you see and infinitely capable of achieving your most outrageous dreams."


Click. Click.

"Mister Anderson," she would bellow, moving to the back of the room, "problem two."

Missus Crawford is a remembered teacher from a time when American education was still devoted to the insistence that students learn without the empty and phony rhetoric of politicians demanding that no child be left behind.

I suspect no teacher would ask of their students any higher honor than to be remembered.

Mount Evans This Morning

Mount Evans This Morning

Merle - Munching

Merle - Munching

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Lower Back Pain, Tragedy at Red Lake, Schiavo and Robert Novak

I suspect about ninety percent of the population of the world experiences, at one time or another in their lives, what is called lower back pain. It's a bitch. Actually, it's more than a bitch. Sometimes, when you get it bad -- really bad -- you conclude that you've probably got incurable cancer of the hip or spine or kidney(s). Then, after popping a few anti-inflamatories, the pain eases a bit, and you're kind of reassured that it's probably just lower back pain ... regardless of how dramatic the whispers from that little voice in your head happen to be.

My lower back pain began as pain in my left hip two days ago when I crawled out of bed and immediately plopped down on the floor -- as I always do, hooking my feet under the bed -- to do my sit-ups. Fuck! I said to myself, as I knew, I just fucking knew ! that the pain in my left hip was going to become lower back pain and that it was going to rule my life for probably the next week or so. So, I didn't run my daily mile-and-a-half two days ago (hoping that I could preclude the exacerbation of the insidiousness of this stupid little glitch in my life), nor did I run it yesterday.

Today, I crawled out of bed, hooked my feet under the bedframe and, nope, wouldn't you fucking know it, I couldn't even complete one sit-up. Fuck!

And, those of you who've had lower back pain and have visited your friendly physician to report your malaise, will recall that your friendly physician has suggested Tylenol or Aspirin or some other anti-inflammatory, pain-easing pill. No x-rays, no CAT scans, no MRIs to determine if you're in the throws of a life-grabbing cancer of the spine or the hip or the kidney. Nope. Take a pill. You'll be fine in a week or so.

Those of you who run every day will know the fucking disgusting frustration I am currently feeling.

I like that word, fuck.

Now, the Denver Post provided an article on the Red Lake killings, which provided some insight into what it was that led Jeff Weise to kill nine people and himself there in Red Lake, there on the Chippewa reservation. But, of course, we don't have Jerry Weise around anymore to explain to us what it was, what the real pain of life was that led him to do what he did, there on the reservation there where: "... local residents sorted out raw feelings, they also broached some tough issues: too many guns, not enough parenting, persistent alcohol and drug use and not nearly enough for kids to do on a reservation 32 miles from even sleepy, small-town Bemidji."

Interestingly, the story in the Post notes that they, the Chippewa, once had a roller rink where the children of the tribe could work out their adolescent energy. And now... Well the roller rink has been turned into a casino.

Of course one must wonder where Dubya was on this one. Oh, yes, Dubya was able to cut short his little vacation on the ranch to come back to Washington to sign the disgustingly hypocritical and blatantly political Schiavo bill, placing jurisdiction of the case in the federal courts. But, for the Chippewa, for the pain and suffering of the Chippewa, Dubya was nowhere to be found. Just no fucking political hay to be had with the Chippewa in Red Lake.

The Schiavo case is a sad one. The politicalization of this sad, sad situation is embarrassing. The party of Lincoln has become the party of the born again theocracy. Fuck State's Rights! Fuck the familial responsibility!

Finally, Robert Novak's column today -- I'm not even going to provide the link -- provides that the Schiavo case is not about politics but about the deep-felt passions of the politicians advocating the reinsertion of Schiavo's feeding tube. He ends his op-ed piece by suggesting that it is a crime to starve a dog to death but, apparently, not a crime to do the same thing to Terri Schiavo.

Step back a bit, folks, 'cause this hits a nerve with me and my vitriol may cause unintended consequences (spit in the face of the innocent!).

I am a dog lover. I love dogs in the way that many people find really weird. Dogs are my children. They enrich my life immensely. I have had to make the decision to put down more than a few of my children because it was not only the humane thing to do, but it was the right thing to do; it was the right thing to do because it preserved the dignity of my children's existence; it assured that their death would preclude the unnecessary suffering that would, naturally, accompany their continued painful, hurtful suffering in this world.

Fuck Novak, who, incidentally, ought to hang it up, 'cause he's become just a wee bit irrelevant in today's world.

I do like that word, fuck!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Get the Kids Out There, By God!

One of Dunner's posts reminded me of something I wrote as a preface to a short story, probably in about 1983 or '84, when Middle America was responding in it's inimitable way to the emergence of children with AIDS wanting to attend public schools.


And, so ... the good American mothers whose corpulent girths are well-earned from good lives lived caring for their men and their broods (Do you see the children now? Right now? Sucking their thumbs and clinging to the bottom hems of red or white or blue down-filled parkas which their mommies wear over Middle American broad shoulders and big breasts?); the good mothers with curlers in their hair and carrying homemade placards (“Johnny, where’s the green magic marker for Chirssake!”) which are thrust in front and above their pincurled heads housing brains which got them out of high school and into the sack; oh, the good mothers shout, “NO AIDS ... NO AIDS ...,” as they follow one another in a little circle (their broods a-wagging behind them) upon the sidewalks of Anytown, U.S.A. Ah, yes, and I wonder -- a twinkle in my eye -- after counting the kids clutching the moms, which one of you ten precious pups will become the scourge your mommy now fears, ‘cause if I’m not mistaken, buckaroos, your mommies ain’t half as afraid of AIDS as they are of queers.

p.s. You might want to take a look at this biography of Ryan White.

Political Hay from the Schiavo Tragedy

This story out of the Washington Post notes: In a memo distributed only to Republican senators, the Schiavo case was characterized as "a great political issue" that could pay dividends with Christian conservatives, whose support is essential in midterm elections such as those coming up in 2006.

This kind of stuff is nauseating.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Terry Schiavo - The Rude Pundit, Once Again, Puts It Into Perspective

No Evolution for IMAX - Science Just Ain't What It Used to Be

Also from the New York Times, it seems: Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures.

Oh, Lord... All I can provide is some dialogue from the great play, Inherit the Wind, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, that deals with the infamous "Monkey Trial," that took place in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. The name Drummond = Clarence Darrow. The name Brady = William Jennings Bryant.

DRUMMOND: In other words, the court rules out any expert testimony on Charles Darwin's Origin of Species or Descent of Man?
JUDGE: The court so rules.
DRUMMOND: Would the court admit expert testimony regarding a book known as the Holy Bible?
JUDGE: Any objection, Colonel Brady?
BRADY: If the counsel can advance the case of the defendent through the use of the Holy Scriptures, the prosecution will take no exception!
DRUMMOND: Good! I call to the stand one of the world's foremost experts on the Bible and its teachings - Matthew Harrison Brady!
DAVENPORT: Your Honor, this is preposterous!
JUDGE: I - well, it's highly unorthodox. I've never known an instance where the defense called the prosecuting attorney as a witness.
BRADY: Your Honor, this entire trial is unorthodox. If the interests of Right and Justice will be served, I will take the stand.
DAVENPORT: But Colonel Brady-
JUDGE: The court will support you if you wish to decline to testify - as a witness against your own case...
BRADY: Your Honor, I shall not testify against anything. I shall speak out, as I have all my life - on behalf of the Living Truth of the Holy Scriptures!
JUDGE: Uh - Mr. Meeker, you'd better swear in the witness, please...
MEEKER: Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
BRADY: I do.
MRS. KREBS: And he will!
DRUMMOND: Am I correct, sir, in calling on you as an authority on the bible?
BRADY: I believe it is not boastful to say that I have studied the Bible as much as any layman. And I have tried to live according to its precepts.
DRUMMOND: Bully for you. Now, I suppose you can quote me chapter and verse right straight through the King James Version, can't you?
BRADY: There are many portions of the Holy Bible that I have committed to memory.
DRUMMOND: I don't suppose you've memorized many passages from the Origin of Species?
BRADY: I am not in the least interested in the pagan hypotheses of that book.
DRUMMOND: Never read it?
BRADY: And I never will.
DRUMMOND: Then how in perdition do you have the gall to whoop up this holy war against something you don't know anything about? How can you be so cocksure that the body of scientific knowledge systemized in the writings of Charles Darwin is, in any way, irreconcilable with the Book of Genesis?
BRADY: Would you state that question again, please?
DRUMMOND: Let me put it this way. On page nineteen of Origin of Species, Darwin states-
DAVENPORT: I object to this, Your Honor. Colonel Brady has been called as an expert on the Bible. Now the "gentleman from Chicago" is using this opportunity to read into the record scientific testimony which you, Your Honor, have previously ruled is irrelevant. If he's going to examine Colonel Brady on the Bible, let him stick to the Bible, the Holy Bible, and only the Bible!
JUDGE: You will confine your questions to the Bible
DRUMMOND: All right. I get the scent in the wind. We'll play in your ballpark, Colonel. Now let's get this straight. Let's get it clear. This is the book that you're an expert on?
BRADY: That is correct
DRUMMOND: Now tell me. Do you feel that every word that's written in this book should be taken literally?
BRADY: Everything in the Bible should be accepted, exactly as it is given there.
DRUMMOND: Now take this place where the whale swallows Jonah. Do you figure that actually happened?
BRADY: The Bible does not say "a whale," it says "a big fish."
DRUMMOND: Matter of fact, it says "a great fish" - but it's pretty much the same thing. What's your feeling about that?
BRADY: I believe in a God who can make a whale and who can make a man and make both do what He pleases!
VOICES: Amen, amen!
DRUMMOND: I want those "Amens" in the record! I recollect a story about Joshua, making the sun stand still. Now as an expert, you tell me that's as true as the Jonah business. Right? That's a pretty neat trick. You suppose Houdini could do it?
BRADY: I do not question or scoff at the miracles of the Lord - as do ye of little faith.
DRUMMOND: Have you ever pondered just what would naturally happen to the earth if the sun stood still?
BRADY: You can testify to that if I get you on the stand.
DRUMMOND: If they say that the sun stood still, they must've had a notion that the sun moves around the earth. Think that's the way of things? Or don't you believe the earth moves around the sun?
BRADY: I have faith in the Bible!
DRUMMOND: You don't have much faith in the solar system.
BRADY: The sun stopped.
DRUMMOND: Good. Now if what you say factually happened - if Joshua halted the sun in the sky - that means the earth stopped spinning on its axis; continents toppled over each other, mountains flew out into space. And the earth, arrested in its orbit, shriveled into a cinder and crashed into the sun. How come they missed this tidbit of news?
BRADY: They missed it because it didn't happen.
DRUMMOND: It must have happened! According to natural law. Or don't you believe in natural law, Colonel? Would you like to ban Copernicus from the classroom, along with Charles Darwin? Pass a law to wipe out all the scientific development since Joshua. Revelations - period!
BRADY: Natural law was born in the mind of the Heavenly Father. He can change it, cancel it, use it as He pleases. It constantly amazes me that you apostles of science, for all your supposed wisdom, fail to grasp this simple fact.
DRUMMOND: Listen to this: Genesis 4-16. "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the East of Eden. And Cain knew his wife!" Where the hell did she come from?
DRUMMOND: Mrs. Cain. Cain's wife. If, "In the beginning" there were only Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, where'd this extra woman spring from? Ever figure that out?
BRADY: No, sir. I will leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
DRUMMOND: Never bothered you?
BRADY: Never bothered me.
DRUMMOND: Never tried to find out?
DRUMMOND: Figure somebody pulled off another creation, over in the next county?
BRADY: The Bible satisfies me, it is enough.
DRUMMOND: It frightens me to imagine the state of learning in this world if everyone had your driving curiosity. This book now goes into a lot of "begats." "And Aphraxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber" and so on and so on. These pretty important folks?
BRADY: They are the generations of the holy men and women of the Bible.
DRUMMOND: How did they go about all this "begatting"?
BRADY: What do you mean?
DRUMMOND: I mean, did people "begat" in those days about the same way they get themselves "begat" today?
BRADY: The process is about the same. I don't think your scientists have improved it any.
DRUMMOND: In other words, these folks were concieved and brought forth through the normal biological function known as sex. What do you think of sex, Colonel Brady?
BRADY: In what spirit is this question asked?
DRUMMOND: I'm not asking what you think of sex as a father, or as a husband. Or a Presidential candidate. You're up here as an expert on the Bible. What's the Biblical evaluation of sex?
BRADY: It is considered "Original Sin."
DRUMMOND: And all these holy people got themselves "begat" through "Original Sin"? All this sinning make 'em any less holy?
DAVENPORT: Your Honor, where is this leading us? What does it have to do with the State versus Bertram Cates.
JUDGE: Colonel Drummond, the court must be satisfied that this line of questioning has some bearing on the case.
DRUMMOND: You've ruled out all my witnesses. I must be allowed to examine the one witness you've lefy me in my own way!
BRADY: Your Honor, I am willing to sit here and endure Mr. Drummond's sneering and his disrespect. For he is pleading the case of the prosecution by his contempt for all that is holy.
DRUMMOND: I object, I object, I object.
BRADY: On what grounds? Is it possible that something is holy to the celebrated agnostic?
DRUMMOND: Yes! The individual human mind. In a child's power to master the multiplication table there is more sanctity that in all your shouted "Amens!", "Holy, Holies!" and "Hosannahs!" An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is more of a miracle than any sticks turned to snakes or, the parting of waters! But are we now to halt the march of progress because Mr. Brady frightens us with a fable? Gentlemen, progress has never been a bargain. You've got to pay for it. Sometimes I think there's a man behind the counter who says, "All right, you can have a telephone; but you'll have to give up privacy, the charm of distance. Madam, you may vote; but at a price; you lose the right to retreat behind a powder-puff or a petticoat. Mister, you may conquer the air; but the birds will lose their wonder, and the clouds will smell of gasoline!" Darwin moved us forward to a hilltop, where we could look back and see the way from which we came. But for this view, this insight, this knowledge, we must abandon our faith in the pleasant poetry of Genesis.
BRADY: We must not abandon faith! Faith is the important thing!
DRUMMOND: Then why did God plague us with the power to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one faculty which lifts man above all other creatures on earth: the power of his brain to reason. What other merit have we? The elephant is larger, the horse stronger and swifter, the butterfly more beautiful, the mosquito more prolific, even the simple sponge is more durable! Or does a sponge think?
BRADY: I don't know. I'm a man, not a sponge.
DRUMMOND: Do you think a sponge thinks?
BRADY: If the Lord wishes a sponge to think, it thinks.
DRUMMOND: Does a man have the same privelage that a sponge does?
BRADY: Of course
DRUMMOND: This man wishes to be accorded the same privelage as a sponge! He wishes to think!
BRADY: But your client is wrong! He is deluded! He has lost his way!
DRUMMOND: It's sad that we aren't all gifted with your positive knowledge of Right and Wrong, Mr. Brady. How old do you think this rock is?
BRADY: I am much more interested in the Rock of Ages, than I am in the Age of Rocks.
DRUMMOND: Dr. Page of Oberlin College tells me that this rock is at least ten million years old.
BRADY: Well, well, Colonel Drummond! You managed to sneak in some of that scientific testimony after all.
DRUMMOND: Look, Mr. Brady. These are the fossil remains of a pre-historic marine creature, which was found in this very county - and which lived here millions of years ago, when these very mountain ranges were submerged in water.
BRADY: I know. The Bible gives a fine account of the flood. But your professor is a little mixed up on his dates. That rock is not more than six thousand years old.
DRUMMOND: How do you know?
BRADY: A fine Biblical scholar, Bishop Usher, has determined for us the exact date and hour of the Creation. It occured in the year 4,004 B.C.
DRUMMOND: That's Bishop Usher's opinion.
BRADY: It is not an opinion. It is literal fact, which the good Bishop arrived at through careful computation of the ages of the prophets as set down in the Old Testament. In fact, he determined that the Lord began the Creation on the 23rd of October in the Year 4,004 B.C. at - uh, at 9 A.M.!
DRUMMOND: That Eastern Standard Time? Or Rocky Mountain Time? It wasn't daylight-saving, time was it? Because the Lord didn't make the sun until the fourth day!
BRADY: That is correct.
DRUMMOND: The first day. Was it a twenty-four hour day?
BRADY: The Bible says it was a day.
DRUMMOND: There wasn't any sun. How do you know how long it was?
BRADY: The Bible says it was a day.
DRUMMOND: A normal day, a literal day, a twenty-four hour day?
BRADY: I do not know.
DRUMMOND: What do you think?
BRADY: I do not think about things that... I do not think about!
DRUMMOND: Do you ever think about things that you do think about? Isn't it possible that the first day was twenty-five hours long? There was no way to measure it, no way to tell. Could it have been twenty-five hours?
BRADY: It is... possible...
DRUMMOND: Oh. You interpret that the first day recorded in the Book of Genesis could be of indeterminate length.
BRADY: I mean to state that the day referred to is not necessarily a twenty-four hour day.
DRUMMOND: It could have been thirty hours! Or a month! Or a year! Or a hundred years! Or ten million years!
DAVENPORT: I protest! This is not only irrelevant, immaterial - it is illegal! I demand to know the purpose of Mr. Drummond's examination! What is he trying to do?
BRADY: I'll tell you what he's trying to do! He wants to destroy everybody's belief in the Bible, and in God!
DRUMMOND: You know that's not true. I'm trying to stop you bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States! And you know it!
JUDGE: I shall ask the bailiff to clear the court, unless there is order here.
BRADY: How dare you attack the Bible?
DRUMMOND: The Bible is a book. A good book. But it's not the only book.
BRADY: It is the revealed word of the Almighty. God spake to the men who wrote the Bible.
DRUMMOND: And how do you know that God didn't "spake" to Charles Darwin?
BRADY: I know, because God tells me to oppose the evil teachings of that man.
DRUMMOND: Oh. God speaks to you.
DRUMMOND: He tells you exactly what's right and what's wrong?
DRUMMOND: And you act accordingly?
DRUMMOND: So you, Matthew Harrison Brady, through oratory, legislation, or whatever, pass along God's orders to the rest of the world! Gentlemen, meet the "Prophet From Nebraska!"
BRADY: I - Please-!
DRUMMOND: Is that the way of things? God tells Brady what is good! To be against Brady is to be against God!
BRADY: No, no! Each man is a free agent-
DRUMMOND: Then what is Bertram Cates doing in the Hillsboro jail? Suppose Mr. Cates had enough influence and lung power to railroad through the State Legislature a law that only Darwin should be taught in the schools!
BRADY: Ridiculous, ridiculous! There is only one great Truth in the world-
DRUMMOND: The Gospel according to Brady! God speaks to Brady, and Brady tells the world! Brady, Brady, Brady, Almighty!
BRADY: The Lord is my strength-
DRUMMOND: What if a lesser being - a Cates, or a Darwin - has the audacity to think that God might whisper to him? That an un-Brady thought might still be holy? Must men go to prison because they are at odds with the self-appointed prophet? Extend the testaments! Let us have a Book of Brady! We shall hex the Pentateuch, and slip you in neatly between Numbers and Deuteronomy!
BRADY: My friends - Your Honor - My Followers - Ladies and Gentlemen-
DRUMMOND: The witness is excused.
BRADY: All of you know what I stand for! What I believe! I believe, I believe in the truth of the Book of Genesis! Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings-
DRUMMOND: Your Honor, this completes the testimony. The witness is excused!
BRADY: Isiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah-
JUDGE: You are excused, Colonel Brady-
BRADY: Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah-
JUDGE: Court is adjourned until ten o'clock tomorrow morning!
DAVENPORT: Your Honor, I want to speak to you about striking all of this from the record.
BRADY: Haggai, Zecharia, Malachi...


The Daily DeLay Sleaze (This One Takes the Cake!)

I had a problem with the United States Congress spending time holding hearings on steroid use by baseball players. Was that really within their (the Congress) purview? Was that really something that required their official interjection?

But, suggesting that the Terri Schiavo case was something requiring Congressional oversight takes the cake. This story from the New York Times make me squirm with the realization of how sleazy American politics has become (or, indeed, has always been). And, once again, the sleaziest of the sleazy is Tom Delay.

For Republicans, it was a chance to try to carve out new territory in the "culture of life" issues so paramount to passionate religious conservatives, who have flooded Congressional offices with messages beseeching help in keeping Ms. Schiavo alive. For Democrats still struggling in the wake of their defeat in the November elections, the case offered a way to portray their newfound willingness to move to the center on such issues.

And for Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader facing inquiries into fund-raising improprieties in Texas and potential violations of House travel rules in Washington, taking a prominent role in rallying conservatives to the Schiavo cause also provided a sudden distraction from his troubles.

"To friends, family and millions of people praying around the world this Palm Sunday weekend: do not be afraid," said Mr. DeLay, who interjected himself forcefully into the case, in a pointed religious reference during a Friday news conference. "Terri Schiavo will not be forsaken."

Does this man have no decency?

Vignette - Jaime

Jaime Guzman, apartment 2A, dusts the seven crucifixes which hang on the walls of his apartment. The flickering illumination of the votive candle on the small altar he has set up in the corner of his bedroom burns beside a plaster representation of the mother of Jesus. A flickering shadow of the weeping Virgin is cast upon the wall. The 3-D picture of Christ, whose head is crowned with thorns from which bloody rivulets flow, alternately closes and opens its eyes as Jaime passes in front of it.

Jaime wears nothing except a black jockstrap against the chocolate brown of his skin. He is only five feet tall and his body is reminiscent of what it was when he was an infant; a slight bulge to his stomach – without being fat; a wonderfully round, pleasingly protruding ass; a slight definition to his pectorals. There is no bulging or sculpted musculature to Jaime’s body. No, his body remains as infantile as when he nursed at his mother’s breast.

Jaime’s bedroom closet door will not pull shut. There are simply too many gowns; too many sequined wraps; too many fake fur coats (and, one genuine fox shoulder drape that he picked up for a song at Value Village). The floor of the closet is covered with multi-colored high heels and flats. The shelf above the clothes holds several Styrofoam heads without eyes, each covered with a full head of luxuriously thick brown, red or black hair.

Jaime Guzman dusts his crucifixes as Donna Summers blares from his stereo; as he takes his infant steps throughout the apartment; as he mouths the words of Ms. Summer’s song, Enough is Enough; as he makes the sign of the cross each time he passes the altar where the Sweet Virgin weeps.

Merle (In Profile)

Merle (In Profile)

Just Slightly Ruffled

Just Slightly Ruffled

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Vignette - Mr. Elmo Lincoln

Mr. Elmo Lincoln.

Yes, I was then in junior high school when the name, Elmo Lincoln, surfaced. I was thirteen or fourteen years old. Steve Peterson was also thirteen or fourteen years old. And, Mr. Elmo Lincoln was … ancient. He drove an old, battered, green Ford station wagon that was loaded with most of the stuff that comprised his life. He was always there – a three or four day growth of beard on his face, a soiled T-shirt; thick, black-rimmed glasses – sitting there behind the wheel of his old Ford. And, he was always there outside the school at 3:30 when classes let out. He would park along the sidewalk upon which more than a few of us traversed on our way home. One day, Steve Patterson pointed him out to me.

“That’s Elmo Lincoln,” Steve said. “I catch a ride home with him sometimes. He’s an old queer. He likes to feel you up. He’s harmless, though. Just an old queer.”

I then looked at Mr. Elmo Lincoln. His eyes behind the lenses of his glasses were huge, as he watched Steve and me cross the street in front of him. And, as I turned my eyes away from him I wondered if Mr. Elmo Lincoln was living my fate. Was I, one day, condemned to living in my car and watching the boys as they emerged from the school and feel up the one or two brave boys who dared accept my offer of a ride? Would I shave every third day in the filthy bathroom of the Conoco station two blocks from the school? Would I wear soiled T-shirts and threadbare jeans? I assumed that I would. Mr. Elmo Lincoln was, afterall, the only queer that I knew … besides, possibly, myself. At thirteen or fourteen the possibility of my queerness was just beginning to become something to be considered … not the obsession it would become at fifteen.

One day – in the spring of my thirteenth or fourteenth year – my father, the cop, came home from work one day and showed me a photograph of Mr. Elmo Lincoln with a sign hanging around his neck that had some writing on it. There was a front view and a side view in the photograph. “Have you ever seen this guy?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “That’s Elmo Lincoln. He hangs around the school.”

My father’s eyes bulged. “You know his fucking name?” he asked.


“He ever talk to you?”


“You ever get in his car?”

“No, but Steve Patterson has.”

He wrote down Steve’s name in his notebook. “And, that’s how you know his name?”

“Yes, Steve told me.”

My father studied me closely for a moment. Then he said in a dangerously quiet voice, “If I ever hear of you getting in his car I’ll beat the shit out of you. You understand me?”

“Yes,” I said.

My father knew, of course, that Mr. Elmo Lincoln’s days of lusting after the boys outside of Kunsmiller Junior High School were numbered. He knew that the next day I would be called into the principal’s office where a detective would question me and Steve Patterson about Mr. Elmo Lincoln. And, I suspected my father believed that a clear and ominous warning needed to be communicated to his son that it was not normal, it was not natural for one male to touch another male in a gentle or loving way. He, my father, certainly had never touched me in that way. He was prepared, as always, to beat the shit out of me for indiscretions far less serious than allowing an old queer to touch my thigh.

My father was telling me that he forbade me to be queer.

And, I never saw Elmo Lincoln again.

Wolfowitz Again from Alternet - Good Read

"In 1967, Robert McNamara, the captain of the Vietnam tragedy, left his post as secretary of defense to become president of the World Bank. So Bush is establishing a bipartisan tradition: you screw up a war, you get to run the World Bank. With this announcement, the impoverished of the world have less reason for hope."

Mao at American Universities - Or, Just Plain Old McCarthyism?

Wolfowitz to the World Bank? What? Why?

The Daily DeLay Sleaze

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

What's Up With Bill Maher

Watched Bill Maher last night. Just curious, what's up with him? He sounded like he's become the newest neocon champion for preemptive war and the killings of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. In fact, at one point, he suggested that "civil war" [in Iraq and other places in the world where Dubya wants to take democracy] was probably just a necessary component of the democratization process.

Maher was also spewing what sounded like Dubya's line on Social Security.

What's up with that?

Daily DeLay Sleaze

Monday, March 14, 2005

Vignette - The Old Woman

Before I started running the standard route -- a twenty-four block loop of our Northwest Denver neighborhood -- I used to walk it every morning at about 6:30. And, every morning, half-way through the loop, I would pass an old woman walking in the opposite direction. She was a frail thing, weighing probably no more than eighty or eighty-five pounds. She always -- whatever the weather -- wore a bandanna tied tight -- a double knot I think -- under her chin. She always wore pants, usually a lime green polyester. And, on cold or just chilly days, she wore a cotton jacket (never a coat). Her white, plastic purse was secured to her body with a long strap that criss-crossed her chest, something which I'm sure the good people at the assisted living center (where I surmised her daily walk commenced) admonished all the women would preclude a purse from being snatched in this unkind and dangerous world. She wore thick glasses and her eyes were always -- except for once -- directed upon the sidewalk where her next step would be taken. Her steps were deliberate and each step was preceded by the placement of a cane in front of her, held securely in her right hand.

The old woman and I shared a glance at one another just once. I read her eyes that day and concluded she was absolutely terrified of me; terrified, perhaps, of the world. So, I didn't say anything to her. Usually I say good morning to passersby. But, there was just something that told me not to speak to the old woman that morning. And, I didn't.

I believed (although I had no idea if it was true or not) that the old woman walked each morning to Saint Dominick's on Federal Boulevard for the 7 a.m. mass. I believed or, perhaps fantasized, that the old woman was an old nun whose devotion to a mean and vindictive Church I had long since given-up was the motivation that sent her out into the unkind and dangerous world each morning, there in our shared neighborhood, there upon the same sidewalks we both trudged, day after day after day.

I don't see the old woman any more now that I run the standard route. I wonder about her, though. Is she all right, is she healthy, has she broken a hip, has she had a stroke? And, yes, I wonder, too, why I never spoke to her. Would it have been so hard for me to have said, "Good morning," to the old woman? Would it?

Daily Dubya Sleaze

Daily DeLay Sleaze

Yeah, It's Time for Another Monkey Trial

Beware TABOR - Tax Payer Bill of Rights

Israel to Take Out Iran - Yup, I Believe It

Taking the Times Kristof to Task on the Death of Environmentalism - Good Read

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Calvin at the Fence

Calvin at the Fence





Thoughts and Stuff

David and I went up to Berkeley Park this morning which we've been doing now for the past two or three Saturdays. I don't take Melissa to the park any more for what I've described in prior posts as "...our daily run..." Although, I think she could still keep up with me, her old hips are failing and I really don't think she enjoys the run that much anyway.

So, my days have changed slightly from when I'd load Melissa up in the Explorer about 6:30a.m. every morning, head to Berkeley park where we'd run the circumference of the lake ... about 1.2 miles. No, now, each morning, I walk her up to Highland Park and then back home which is only about, at most, a half mile. I then change my shoes and run what David and I call the "...standard route..." which is about twenty-four blocks of our immediate neighborhood or about 1.8 miles. This is the same route David, Melissa and I walk every day when David gets home from work.

Melissa and I also make a daily return visit to Highland Park so she can do her noontime business.

So, every day, I'm still running/walking about five miles (my 10,000 steps). Gotta keep moving. My parents didn't keep moving once they got to be my age -- even younger -- and, as a consequence, I believe they died too young ... an unnecessary consequence of letting age get the best of you.

Monday, the 14th will be the first anniversary of the day we let Calvin go due to the insidious affects of Lymphoma. I've posted several of our favorite pictures of him, above. He was an absolute sweetheart who weighed in at about 135 pounds. We miss him immensely. Still.


I have set some priorities for myself (including the upkeep of this blog) which, hopefully, will see my first novel published. I can tell you it wasn't that hard writing the 115,000 words which comprises the content, the story (the helluva good story, if I do say so myself!); no, the hardest part was/is preparing the query letter, the plot summary, the chapter summary and outline and then finding some publisher or agent to take the time to read it and hopefully request some sample chapters. It's a long, onerous process, but, that's the priority for me right now. As a consequence, these kinds of posts on this blog -- which I still value -- will be scarce. I've just simply got too much to do with my other writing (the second novel is half done). So, you'll probably be seeing more pictures and one line links to stories or sites that I think are informative, important or links that just simply provide some good reading.
So, adieu for now.

The Death of Environmentalism - Good Read

Egyptian democracy - Sure!

Continuing Sleaze from Tom DeLay - GOP House Majority Leader

Gray Front Amassing

Gray Front Amassing

Riding the Waves (A Storm a Brewing)

Riding the Waves (A Storm a Brewing)

Merle in Profile - This Morning's Run

Merle in Profile - This Morning's Run

Guessing - The Season's First Little Blue Heron This Morning

Guessing - The Season's First Little Blue Heron This Morning

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Thoughts, Sense and Nonsense

Every day I read the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and, online, I read the Washington Post, the New York Times, AlterNet and AlterNet Peek. All of this input, first of all, to keep me informed; but, secondly, to keep up this blog; to continue to preach the polemic in opposition to the most insidious and absolutely successful machinations of neocon liars and historical revisionists ever -- no, I won't use that word -- historical revisionists to emerge during my lifetime.

Why do I make this effort?

Sometimes, I think the pictures I post are the most important reflections of life in my particular little spot on this earth. The ducks and the geese; Sweet Melissa (my Alaskan Malamute); the wonderful trees and the lake at Berkeley and the squirrels and the birds and, oh, so many images of what life is here in my particular comfortable corner of the earth. What matter the Washington Post and the New York Times?

Sweet Melissa's (picture below) recent bout with unexplained diarrhea has resulted in a $700 visit to the animal hospital where an ultrasound was conducted (of her bowel and leaving her sweet little tummy pink and hairless). She was given a powder antibiotic which, I have googled, is given to chickens and cows and other livestock. They also gave her a general dewormer. She is, I am so happy to report, doing much better. Her eleven-year-old hips are for shit and she's limping slighting on her right front paw. But, the most immediate threat, the diarrhea has been conquered.

Now, as a good, gay, patriotic, progressive, liberal, community-activist, tax-paying citizen what then becomes more important? Is it the Washington Post and the New York Times that drives my passion; that spurs me to action and reaction?

You know what? At least for today, fuck the Washington Post and the New York Times , fuck Dubya and his minions, fuck the United States Congress -- fucking Democrats included -- which, alas, haven't the gumption, the balls, the courage to do the right thing (witness the recent bankruptcy legislation) for the American people. Yes, fuck them all.

At least, for today, my passion, my prayers, my thanks is for Sweet Melissa. That's the extent of my interest in the world ... at least for today.

Truthtelling - Religious Beliefs vs. Religious Right

I once concluded that "truthtelling" is: Truthtelling is that component of ethical behavior which, if consistently practiced, establishes the extent to which one is perceived to possess integrity.

But, my conclusion was arrived at within the unholy and onerous womb of the highly- charged political environment of city government. Suffice it to say -- in my humble opinion -- there were not many within the political realm in which I strove to survivie who, at the end of the day, possessed integrity.

This from AlterNet is very, very interesting and informative (which is taken from Jim Wallis' new book, God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (Harper San Francisco). . It reads, in part:

Truth telling is also a religious issue that should be applied to a candidate’s rationales for war, tax cuts, or any other policy, as is humility in avoiding the language of “righteous empire,” which too easily confuses the roles of God, church, and nation.

The religious right’s grip on public debates about values has been driven in part by a media that continues to give airtime to the loudest religious voices, rather than the most representative, leaving millions of Christians and other people of faith without a say in the values debate. But this is starting to change as progressive and prophetic faith voices are speaking out with a confidence and moral urgency not seen for 25 years. Mobilized by human suffering in many places, groups motivated by religious social conscience (including many evangelicals not defined by the religious right) have hit a new stride in efforts to combat poverty, destructive wars, human rights violations, pandemics like HIV/AIDS, and genocide in places like Sudan.

The religious right’s grip on public debates about values has been driven in part by a media that continues to give airtime to the loudest religious voices, rather than the most representative, leaving millions of Christians and other people of faith without a say in the values debate. But this is starting to change as progressive and prophetic faith voices are speaking out with a confidence and moral urgency not seen for 25 years. Mobilized by human suffering in many places, groups motivated by religious social conscience (including many evangelicals not defined by the religious right) have hit a new stride in efforts to combat poverty, destructive wars, human rights violations, pandemics like HIV/AIDS, and genocide in places like Sudan.

In politics, the best interest of the country is served when the prophetic voice of religion is heard—challenging both right and left from consistent moral ground. The evangelical Christians of the 19th century combined revivalism with social reform and helped lead movements for abolition and women’s suffrage—not to mention the faith-based movement that directly preceded the rise of the religious right, namely the American civil rights movement led by the black churches.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bits and Pieces

From the Washington Postthis morning on the intellect of the GOP, a report that Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev) -- who wants to run for the Governorship of Nevada in '06 -- gave a Lincoln Day Dinner speech which, according to the Elko Daily Free Press, "...brought the crowd to a feverish pitch." The one of two hot, neocon buttons Rep. Gibbon's used was abortion. But, there was a problem. Jimmy stold the speech (which was copyrighted) from somebody else.

This was great fire-breathing stuff, surely one of Gibbons's greatest, most thoughtful addresses. Unfortunately, Free Press reporter Dave Woodson wrote Friday, it was lifted wholesale from a copyrighted speech by Alabama State Auditor Beth Chapman, given at a Stand Up for America rally in Alabama on Feb. 2, 2003.

In fact, 15 paragraphs of Gibbons's speech were lifted from Chapman's 21-paragraph talk. But surely not his best line -- the one where he says: "I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else." Surely that's Gibbons's?

Then we've got these gems from AlterNet Peek:

It's the occupation, stupid Or wait, actually he gets it. Bush: "We want democracy in xxx to succeed. And we know it cannot succeed so long as she is occupied by a foreign power..." Unbelievably, that "xxx" up there contained "Lebanon" and not "Iraq." Allow prof. Juan Cole to give you a stroll through the history of terrorism and why Bush just got it right on... (Brad Blog & Informed Comment) Posted by Evan on March 7, 2005 @ 5:26AM.

'Thank God for 9/11'So it turns out that the crackpot Westboro Baptist Church (whose website reads "God Hates Fags") ran around with big colorful signs just after 9/11 which read: "Thank God For 9/11." Couple quick observations. After the discovery of Ward Churchill's somewhat less inflammatory words a few weeks back (watch Ward on Maher), right wingers were calling for an overhaul of academia. Will their cries to remake the church be as loud? And, where is church outrage? (Crooks and Liars) Posted by Evan on March 7, 2005 @ 5:19AM.

Finally, the New York Times, "Quote of the Day:"

"I don't need any money; I have plenty. This is why it is easier for me to take this money."
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, on political fund-raising.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ann Coulter - Just Gotta Love Her

The United States should just one night roll over and crush them (Canada).

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sweet Melissa

Sweet Melissa has, over the past three weeks, experienced, um -- no delicate way of saying this -- very loose stools and some very runny diarrhea. Sorry.

Melissa will be twelve in September and I cannot tell you how discomforting it is to know something is wrong; something needs to be corrected.

Her regular vet put her on five days of Flagyl which, he hoped, would take care of any parasites which may have been causing her problem. Didn't work. Okay, then, he puts her on five days of a Sulpha antibiotic which, again, does not work. So, what's next? Ultrasound of her bowel and abdomen.

Okay. We all know what it means when the vet wants an ultrasound of the abdomen. We're looking for masses and, she is, after all, eleven years old and, for goodness sake, she's getting up there, George, and well...

Well, since my vet is a rather small operation, they have to bring in someone to do an ultrasound. So, I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, I called them and suggested that I take Sweet Melissa to the hospital where they could do an ultrasound TODAY. My vet agreed and, yesterday, I took my little girl to the hospital where, amongst other things, they shaved her tummy and did an ultrasound.

And, I am so, so very happy to report that no "masses" were seen; that her bowel -- for whatever reason -- is slightly inflamed which is, most likely, causing her diarrhea. The hospital took a "stool sample" (which my vet never did) which was unremarkable; gave her a "general" deworming medication, took blood and sent me and her home with an antibiotic and a "bland" diet. If she does not improve, the next step is a "scoping" of her bowel.

It has been almost a year since Sweet Melissa's yardmate, Calvin, left us to chase rabbits in the sky due to the insidious affects of lymphoma. I'm not ready yet to lose Melissa. She is my constant companion; she is my love ... besides David.

I had to get this post off my chest, so to speak. Sweet Melissa is a beautiful baby, witness the below picture.

Sweet Melissa

Sweet Melissa

A Hint of Spring

A Hint of Spring

Now, Isn't That Clever! Our Neighborhood Dog Groomer.

Now, Isn't That Clever!  Our Nighborhood Dog Groomer.