Sunday, April 19, 2009

I've changed my mind about Republicans shutting up

I wrote an entry some time ago, just after the election, about how Republicans should just shut up, because that's what they told us Democrats to do after the elections of 2000 and 2004.

Now, I've changed my mind.

Please, please, please keep talking, Republicans. The entertainment value is overwhelmingly abundant and wildly, hysterically funny.

With Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage out there spewing conspiracy theory nonsense, with Limbaugh putting his foot in his mouth and Gingrich following suit, you're making 2012 that much easier.

And you have my full support in your willingness to run that farce of a candidate, Sarah Palin, again. As much as I really hate to see her in the news (she is so freaking annoying), I will take the splitting headaches just to watch your efforts go down in flames again.

Look, I'm going to be serious for a second. If you really want to be a viable party, if you want to be the party I thought I was voting for when I voted for George H.W. Bush (how wrong I was), then you have to get rid of the religious lunatics in your leadership. You have to get rid of the conspiracy theorists and the lying, hateful conservative talkers. You have to get rid of the free market ideologists and start engaging in capitalism with rational controls and protections for labor. You do not have to become Democrats, but you do have to get rid of the uncompromising ideology.

This country is not conservative. You did not lose because you weren't conservative enough, as some people would have you believe. You lost because you RUINED THE COUNTRY. That's right. You voted in irrational ideologues who had no business having access to the Treasury, who had no business deciding science policy, who had no business legislating their religion on us, who had no business passing bills of attainder (Terri Schiavo ring a bell), and you expect us to care when you throw your stupid little tea bag parties, where you whine and cry about how you're getting taxed unfairly? Most of the people at those parties received a tax cut under Obama's plan, and the only people whose taxes were raised had them go up four percent. Boo-hoo. I'll take a four percent tax hike for my income to go up to $250,000 per year.

The bottom line is that the more the crazies howl and scream, the more the rational Republicans out there--and I know some personally--will abandon them in favor of more compromise and more rational policy. There is nothing wrong with being fiscally conservative; I don't want the country to spend more money than it takes in, either. My problem with these recent protests is that all the protesters were nowhere to be found when Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress put us into that first ten trillion dollars worth of debt. They did nothing about it. Hypocrites.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Goodbye, Shadow

Last night, I had to put down the first dog I've ever had, Shadow. He was a good dog, and I'll miss him. Anyone who has had a dog in the family understands.

My first thought when I got up this morning was that Shadow wasn't going to be part of my daily routine anymore. I wouldn't be letting him out of his kennel to go outside. I wouldn't be filling the water dish for him; I wouldn't be feeding him.

Shadow loved getting the newspaper. We have had a newspaper box next to the mailbox since we moved into our new home last year, so it's rare that he was getting the paper anymore, but that's something he won't do again.

It's for the best. His quality of life wasn't good anymore and keeping him around would have been selfish of us. We tried to save our cat, Fritz, when he only had a fifty percent chance of pulling through with a liver problem, and after a lot of expense, the heartbreak came anyway, and Fritz suffered the whole time. I didn't want to put Shadow through it. His hind legs stopped working properly last night. Everything he loved to do--chasing squirrels, getting the paper, playing fetch--all depended on his legs. He had skin issues, and he'd been listless, as well.

I sat there with his head on my foot, as he had lain so many times during our down time every evening for so many years before this past year, knowing I had to put him down, not waivering in that decision, but hurting over it anyway.

My wife and I went together, and we both had our hands on him as he died.

I really couldn't have asked for a better dog. He was lively for so many years, but also very obedient. Somehow, he knew his yard's boundaries without anyone really showing him, ever since he was a puppy. He was a great watchdog for a long time. When he went to the vet, they let him have the run of the place.

I know lots of people have lost their animal companions and that my situation is not unique; I know plenty of people, including me, who have lost human family members recently, too. I just had to write about it a little.

In loving memory


pick of the litter

aka "Pouting Pooch"

aka "Crazy Pooch"

aka "Shadow Bear"

aka "Shadow-roo"

"Throw" was his favorite word.

"Go get it" was his favorite activity.

I will never forget the time when Shadow went to get our paper, didn't find it, and went somewhere to get someone else's. To this day, we have no idea where he went to get that paper.

I will never forget the big dog's bark that came out of his mouth at seven weeks.

I will never forget how he'd growl a warning when Heather acted like she was going to pinch him.

I will never forget how he jumped up and down on the bed with Heather in that hotel in Tennessee.

I will never forget how excited he became about going for rides.

I'll never forget how he howled when he was left alone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Daily Download: Ursuline

I signed up for eMusic, and now I get their free daily track. So far, I am sad to report that I'm not impressed. I haven't received a standout track yet.

Today's download, Ursuline, by Malajube, has a couple parts that sound like music, but the rest of the song sounds like the musicians just began playing their instruments together pointlessly. The intro isn't terrible, and there's a mellow interlude that works for me, but the rest of the song is chaos. Maybe that's the point, but it didn't turn me on at all.

I will only say this once: don't let my critique of any song dissuade you from trying it out and enjoying it. Like any art, music is a subjective thing; different people are going to enjoy different sounds. I'm just hoping for a song I can enjoy one of these days. It's been like getting a lottery ticket. You have a small chance to win millions, but every chance to be disappointed.