Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Puppies vs. Babies

I have never watched the cable network called The Animal Planet.  And, I never will.  Never.

Before I start getting letters from the ASPCA and PETA, I would just like to say that I like children more than cats.  Or dogs  Or Koala bears.

When I turned on AOL today, I came across the banner that read "Puppies vs. Babies".  I almost threw up.  The competition that will be airing on Animal Planet is trying to determine which is "cuter".  And if you think that your cat or your bird or your schnauzer is cuter than the picture here to the left, then you are as crazy as those idiots on the Animal Planet.

Aren't people crazy enough?  Do you really have to "tongue kiss" your dalmation?  Does little FooFoo have to ride in your lap while you're driving your Escalade down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills?  Or even down Liberty Avenue?  Do you know what will happen to little FooFoo if that air bag goes off?

The other day, someone asked me to be a part (a very small part) in a gathering that will collect money to feed the goddam animals.  (Sorry, but I'm mad, OK?  I know I've really never cursed before in a blog.)  I told this person that when every child in Pittsburgh, or the WORLD has enough to eat, THEN and ONLY THEN will I even lift a finger to insure that some dog gets three squares a day.

Now don't get me wrong PETA, I do not have any fur clothing in my closet.  But I am not an animal lover.  I like animals.  I even think they're cute.  But I do not love animals.  I love babies.  Children.  And yes, even some of you stinky adults out there.

And you wanna know something else?  I'M even cuter than your dog.  Well, maybe... 

Thursday, October 20, 2011


A wise man once said that the only thing that is constant in life is change.  He's right.

And since I turned 62 years old last month, I have noted that things around and within me are changing.  Oh, there's the usual stuff about energy and the new aches and pains that go with age, but that's not all.

I go to this pharmacy about twice a week that has a breakfast counter.  I wrote about it in a previous story.  What I have become less tolerant of lately is the self-proclaimed geniuses that sit in that place, day after day, and spout off huge piles of, as our Irish friends would call it, shite.  There's no easy way to say it.  Their overtures complete with arm waiving and finger pointing make me sick.  Can't people just sit down to a nice, quiet breakfast without all of the morning uproar?  I guess not.  I used to just ignore that nonsense.  Now, I abhor it.

And then there's Bigfoot.  No, not the sasquatch from the upper midwest, but the sasquatch that lives just above me in my apartment complex.  For the last four and a half years, I have been serenaded with her heel-walking technique.  Because of this, I know that she wakes up promptly each morning at 7:15 because that's what time she wakes me up.  And when her boyfriend du jour shows up, I am serenaded with other noises that I understand, but do not appreciate any longer.  And when her demonic children visit every other weekend, it is like listening to a landslide.  Over and over again.

All of this being said, I have decided to move to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  There's too much violence here in Pittsburgh and the shootings and home invasions are getting too close for comfort.  The only violence I hear about in the Old Order Amish is that once in a while, an Amish gang will cut the beard off of some guy.  I don't know what they call that but I call it shaving.  And to my knowledge, it's not a crime.

The Desiderata says "Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth."  I must say that I'm not the most graceful of folks.  And as far as surrendering the things of youth, well, I do that.  But I am darned reluctant to give up most things.  Things that I have carryed around inside for over 6 decades.  Things like knowing that the Desiderata was not found in a Baltimore church in 1692 but rather, was penned by Terre Haute, Illinois poet Max Ehrmann in the early 20th century.

I guess that for me, the universe actually is unfolding as it should.  But to quote the poet T.S. Eliot, my universe is unfolding not with a bang, but a whimper.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I'd like to talk about friends for a minute.  No, not the TV show, however I'd like to personally let Jennifer Aniston know that I'm available.  But real honest-to-goodness friends.  The first thing you have to know is that these types of friends can be usually numbered on one hand.  You recognize these people in your life when you realize that you'd donate body parts for them or spring from your warm mid-winter bed to go to them if they are in trouble.

I believe that these social networking sites aren't worth the powder to blow them all up.  That being said, I do wander on FaceTube every now and then to check up on some dear friends of mine.  They rarely post information there but when they do, it's something that I want to read.

Today, I was appalled at reading one person's posting that said that they would be in the area next weekend.  What you need to know is that for this person to be "in the area" would require a drive of about 22 hours.  This person told her friend that they would be available next Saturday to meet.  The alleged friend of this person then went on to say that that they were not available and then listed an entire litany of worthless and meaningless events that they were involved with and that alas, they would NOT be around to see them.  SHAME on you.  I'm not going to comment to the person who is going to be traveling but I must say that if it were me, that alleged "friend" would be ratcheted down to a lower level of friends near the bottom of my list.

In our society today, we have totally lost the meaning of the word "friend".  We wouldn't know a good friend if one came up and offered their own blood for you.  Now I know that you might be thinking that this is extreme and foolish, but when you put that statement into the context of a person needing surgery and blood donors, it sort of makes sense.  What is true is that we have a lot of convenient friends who we turn to when we have nothing better to do, but very few truly good friends for whom we'd drop everything to help in a second.

One of the other problems today is that we do reap what we sow.  If we aren't good enough friends to others, then when it's time to need a good friend, our personal Rolodex is blank.

There was a song once sung by Ireland's Finbar Furey and written by Donald O'Keefe called At the End of the Day.  It's an old song whose words state; "And when the new dawn begins to break, open your eyes, let your heart awake, be ready to take what the day may send, and be ready to make every man as a friend, nobody knows what a power you've found, so do what you can for the others around, carry them high when they seem to be low, as on your way you go.

Shoot, I don't need to say another word.