Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inspector Gadget: Goodbye Gutenberg

Jeff Bezos, the founder of, has a vision. He wants to replace these . . .


. . . with this:

Cheap Piece of Chinese crap

Call me a crusty old curmudgeon—go ahead—but there is no fucking way I will ever give up real books for an e-reader called the "Kindle" (whatever that means). It has a GIGANTIC 6" diagonal grayscale screen, holds about 200 "books," and is notorious for flipping several pages at a time instead of just one—the traditional way of reading anything.

Personally, I think my bookcases would look pretty stupid, not to mention superfluous, with just a Kindle sitting there, recharging every few hours for two hours at a time. And something the Kindle fans may not know about: Flash memory eventually wears out, just like it does on iPods. Library here today, gone tomorrow.

Hmm, not a bad idea for schlockmeisters like Nora Roberts and James Patterson . . .

Monday, December 15, 2008

'Tis the Season to Woof & Meow

During this time of economic chaos, meaning the poor are getting poorer, there is a class right at the bottom of the totem pole: homeless dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and other assorted critters. These domesticated animals—unwanted, dumped, neglected, subjected to cruelty and torture—are also least able to take care of themselves. They remain totally helpless regardless of how rich the banks are getting.

So Martha and I are celebrating Christmas differently this year. Instead of spending money on gifts, we are sending it to a charity we've supported for over twenty years: the Denver Dumb Friends League. Unfortunately it is a kill shelter, and last year they had to destroy almost 30,000 animals. 30,000 kills for just one shelter, which sounds like an oxymoron. On the other hand, they managed to place another 30,000 through in-house adoptions, rescue groups, pets for the elderly, and other programs.

(Click on the photo to see it full size.)

Our own little guy, "Irish", was on a kill list somewhere in Phoenix the day he was rescued, and that would have been horrendous because he's so loveable—and loving in return.

His snoring lulls me to wakefulness

Our long-time friend Rhonda is now an official foster home for Heartland Humane Society, and she has a new blog called Almost Home. Not only does Rhonda write about fostering, but her photography is incredibly good. If you're the type who has difficulty reading, stop by her blog just for the pictures.

So I think this is going to be a pretty heart-warming Christmas for Martha and me. No socks made out of burlap for me, and no Paris Hilton fragrance, the one called "Spring on the Hog Farm," for Martha. Maybe, just maybe, we will save a beautiful little animal for someone to love.

And love is what Christmas should be all about.

Denver Dumb Friends League
Heartland Humane Society

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane . . .

I thought these childhood photographs were long gone until I happened to be rooting around in Martha's home office supply cabinet and I found an envelope full of priceless snapshots. Boy, I can't wait to share some of them with you, fellow and fellowette bloggers!

Darn good advice, Mom. I was somewhere around three in this photo, and I started smartening up immediately. I was a competitive little shit and there was no way I was going to grow up more stupid that my Pop.

Mom was right on the money again, but I was way ahead of her this time. I knew I was in trouble help-wise way back when Pop took me to the first day of kindergarten and he couldn't get the school door open. He kept pushing it and pushing it until he was hyperventilating from mumbling so many dirty words. It was an itty-bitty blonde girl who saved the day when she elbowed her way past Pop and pulled the door open as easy as pie. "I feel sorry for you, kid," she said to me, while Pop was grumbling about not noticing the big sign on the door that said "PULL" because he didn't have his glasses with him . . .

Mom didn't know any Spanish, so I switched to English. I don't have the poem, dammit, but I remember the words dumb, rum, bum, and the ending line, "You're a crumb." My teacher really liked it and she gave me an "A" . . .

[Thanks to Jim Unger and his great Herman comics. And thankfully, this isn't my real Mom and Pop.]