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Thursday, April 17th, 2008

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gathering friends | no comment

Cool Words

sidereal (sid-ear'-ee-ul) adj. of, relating to, or expressed in terms of stars or constellations; astral. [From Latin sidereus from sidus "star."]

Haiku Reviews

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood :)

Shhh! Don't tell a soul:
1. We're all alcoholics.
2. Everyone knows.

Japanese Train Station

Tirade's Choice

The PocketMod

"Hopefully we'll win this auction. We're HUGE fans of Stoner Fluxx. We play every night before bed, without fail. The deck we have we bought a few years ago, and the cards are so sticky that it's near impossible to play. Thank you for giving the world Stoner Fluxx. Huge fans." -- Lee and Becca, comments regarding the auction at eBay of an unopened copy of Stoner Fluxx

Proper Bookshelf?

We Got a Dog!

In my last update I talked about various preparations our household has been making for the possibility of becoming dog-owners. Since then, the theoretical dog has become a reality: her name is Molly and she's really very nice!

Like many aspects of my life as a 44 year old, the me of long ago would never have believed you if you told me I would someday own a dog, much less that I would have bonded with it almost instantly. But it's true. Andy Looney, former dog-hater, now lives with a lovely little doggie and is delighted to be doing so.

Molly is a blend of breeds, predominantly Pekinese, and she's about 5 years old. She's friendly and well behaved and the only reason her owners were giving her up was because of allergies that had developed in one of the children in the household. So actually, there's a very sad story in the midst of our happy news, since our gain is another family's loss. Plus of course, Molly is going through a strange transition too, suddenly being taken away from her loved ones and not even being able to understand why it had to happen and that her old master really won't be coming back for her at some point soon.

But happily for us at least, the transition is going amazingly well. I embraced this new change of life with an open mind and a lot of positive energy, but even so I'm frankly astonished at how quickly I've become her alpha male and she's become my beloved pet.

I think a lot of our success is due to the care and patience that went into our dog selection process. As noted, we've spent a lot of time getting ready for this day. Obviously there was also some luck involved, but we got a dog we're bonding well with because we were picky and held out for a dog we knew we'd have the best chances of bonding well with.

Much like myself, Kristin has never owned a dog before and hasn't generally been fond of them, but she too is getting along really well so far with Molly. Again, this success is largely due to careful selection. "She's cool," Kristin says, because "she doesn't do a lot of the things I find annoying about dogs."

As for the cats, they too are taking this new invasion amazingly well. Obviously they took a dim view at first, but again, it's actually pretty astonishing how quickly they seem to have gotten used to having a dog around. Perhaps the Nessa training helped them prepare as well. Also, Molly had been living with two cats in her old home, so she knows how to interact with them.

Anyway, it's still pretty hard to believe, but the population of Wunderland.Earth now includes a dog! And while all of us are happy about it, none of us could be happiest than Alison, shown here on the night Molly showed up, when her birthday cake also became a congrats-on-finally-getting-a-dog cake.

AndyYay for Molly!

Thanks for reading, and have a great fortnight!

PS: For you other dog owners out there, have you ever used a flexi retractable cord leash? Wow, what an awesome invention! It's so much better than a regular leash. It's amazing!

Thought Residue
We had a mysterious lapse in postal service recently, which suddenly resulted in the arrival of a bunch of never-delivered mail from weeks and even months ago. The stale mail came with a cover letter from our local postmaster, apologizing for the mishap and hinting at some sort of strangeness that had been the cause. Apparently our carrier (who'd always seemed like a nice and reliable guy) had begun hiding peoples' mail in his truck rather than delivering it. I wonder what went wrong here, and what will happen next, and if I'll ever hear anymore about our former mailman.

This week I finally got a gadget I've been lusting after for as long as I've had a cellphone: A Hulger P*Phone! It's an old-style telephone handset -- you know, on a cord -- which plugs into my cellphone. I greatly prefer using this larger, more comfortable phone for anything but the briefest of calls. Plus it's just looks great, in a zany, retro way, to be talking on a classic-style telephone handset in random public settings.
"But in the ensuing months, the government's case unraveled, exposing some unsettling truths about the way jailhouse informants are used in America's courtrooms. In December 2006, all charges against the family were dismissed. The federal judge who presided over the trial was so upset about what happened in his courtroom that he has since taken the rare step of speaking out about it publicly. The legal fiasco was partly attributable to familiar themes of racism and overly aggressive prosecution. But the Colomb story is mostly about the war on drugs. It shows how the absurd incentives created by the unaccountable use of shady drug informants by police and prosecutors can quickly make innocent people look very guilty." -- Radley Balko, "Guilty Before Proven Innocent"

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