Runaway Future

22.8.2007

sit…stay…

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 23:52

vacation was pretty good, a lot of drinks and a lot of red meat. We stayed up til the wee hours of the morning watching the sky rip itself apart over the lake during that lightning storm. The time off ended with my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, which was a nice way to cap everything off, seeing the whole family. I need to take more meaningful time off.

My dog died while I was on vacation. A month to the day from when she was going to be 11 years old. From what I understand, she fell on Wednesday night and broke some ribs and maybe punctured a lung. When my folks took her to the vet on Thursday, they also found a previously undiscovered tumor. Unfortunately, the tumor was inoperable and that, in combination with her other injuries, forced the hand and she had to be put down.

Our new house in Sable River (well Mom and Dad’s house, not really mine as I have a dwindling number of possessions left there) has these stairs that go into the basement family room. They’re wood and lacquered and kinda steep and the dog, with her bad hips (like Labs are prone to having) had a hard time getting up them at times. Often you’d have to sort of support her back legs, because the stain on the stairs was too slippery for her paws or something. She couldn’t balance herself. I don’t know if that’s where she fell, but…well, I blame those steps.

When Mom and Dad showed up at the cottage on Thursday, as soon as I saw them I knew something was up. As silly as it sounds, I remember thinking that I was a bit relieved that it was just the dog, as the mind has a tendency to race and jump to conclusions at times.

Everyone has asked me if I’m ok, because well…she was a member of the family. If you know my family, you know how much we loved that dog. The quickness of this all, the shock of it, it’s almost cauterizing, cutting off the nerves because it was so fast.

Out of everyone, Mom and Dad will take this the worst. Hell, Mom’s eyes welled up every single year on the first day of school when my sister and I would leave the house for the bus. She still does it when they leave us after a visit here in Halifax, or when we leave them in Sable. The dog really replaced my sister and I when we moved out, making the house a little less empty. Spending Sunday night at the house, it now is empty. Everything seems sterile and quiet. At the same time, a lot of the decorating and knick-knacks around the house are yellow Lab related, like wall hangings or a cross-stitch or a door stop. It’s…well not really morose or creepy…just sad. An empty house filled with constant reminders.

They buried Tasha in the field beside the house. Dad showed me the plot when I was home. Then he got choked up. It was only the third time I ever saw my Dad cry.

11.8.2007

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 17:58

Just a few quick things:

Tried to make me go to rehab….. The ironing is delicious. Too easy to make a joke.

The Baiji (or Yangtze River dolphin) is being listed as fundamentally extinct. Way back when, Douglas Adams wrote about the dolphin and efforts to save it in his book, Last Chance to See. Here’s an excerpt from that.

Apparently Eastlink is upping their High Speed from 10mps to 15mps. Allegedly at no extra cost, even though my bills just starting showing up with an extra three bucks on them.

I got (“borrowed”) a subwoofer for my office. Spent all afternoon on Friday making the windows rattle.

The Rhino party is making a comeback. Gotta wonder about any lawsuit filed as Satan versus Her Majesty the Queen.

This might not be the most important news item about Global Warming, but it’s interesting nonetheless. A small error and a lot of the stats that are being continuously brought up aren’t completely correct. “5 of the 10 warmest years on record actually occurred before World War II.” Be interesting to see if that story has legs and who uses it.

I really need to start running again. Soccer’s been a good replacement, but I miss the run. Maybe even the gym once and a while.

I’m considering NaNoWriMo. I could do it, maybe. Depends on my other writing obligations.

Vacation next week!

8.8.2007

who watches the watchers

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 23:04

Almost a month ago, I posted about my own fear and dangers of Facebook (wow has it been a month, this summer is going too fast and yet, I look forward to the stability and familiarity that the autumn always brings, and then suddenly, it will be spring again and we’ll repeat it all anew, or maybe this time everything will be different.).

As is always the case, something has come along to solidify those concerns further. As everyone knows, the next US presidential election race is heating up and so we have tired imagery of 9/11, freedom and terrorism being trotted out once again to scare the voters into voting one way or another (just recently, the boys and I played a drinking game, watching CNN and drinking each time terrorisim, 9/11 or freedom were mentioned. Then a bridge collapsed and suddenly we were out of booze).

Anyway, sadly as part of the political rhetoric and blatant tragedy hijacking that goes on as part of any presidential campaign, we have this curious story. It even made it’s way all the way to the BBC. For those to lazy to read, Rudy Giuliani (former NYC mayor during…guess what…9/11) is a top candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. His daughter joined a Barack Obama Facebook group(aka the other side of the US political coin, some might even call the Democrats the ‘heads’ side of the political coin, I just wonder if they give you a coin to flip before you go into the voting booth). Alright, ignore the fact that his daughter is only 17 and can’t actually vote and ignore the fact that she’s fundamentally estranged from her (there’s a reason she uses her mother’s last name and it’s not just for privacy). Wait, back up a second…privacy. Yeah, one of Slate’s reporters apparently goes to Harvard and because Guiliani’s daughter is going to Harvard soon, the intrepid reporter snooped her on Facebook and wrote a story about it.

Naturally, as soon as the daughter got the email from the reporter (no she was that cheesy that she tried to get a comment from the daughter using the Facebook messages), the daughter got out of the group and apparently her account is gone altogether now. Absolute crazy invasion of privacy, political posturing and making a story where there isn’t one.

Thankfully, the general public agrees and the Fray (Slate’s comment box) thread on this article is particular expressive. It even has a little comment from the Fray Editor:

Whoo, boy… you’re not happy about this article. A representative sample of feedback from the Fray follows.—G.A.

Alright, so there’s the story. Invasion of online privacy, making a story where there isn’t one, exploiting a teenager who has a strained relationship with her father to make some sort of stupid point. But there’s more.

Ready for it?

Here’s the rub: Facebook allows you to search for people. Any people. Any people on Facebook pretty much. So the author’s name is Lucy Morrow Caldwell and she apparently goes to Harvard. Type that name into Facebook and no one who goes to Harvard shows up. Same with Lucy Caldwell or Lucy Morrow. Get the punchline?

Someone either removed her Facebook profile or made it invisible for people to find on Facebook. Or maybe writes by a penname. Why? Well privacy, we have to assume. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the state of journalism today.

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