Saturday, June 30, 2012

Driving Into Hell

There was a point last night when I realized I was driving into hell and couldn’t do a thing about it.

Thirty minutes earlier I was having beers with friends at an outdoor bar. Temperatures in the Washington DC area had broken records … 103 in DC, at or near 100 in the suburbs. At 10pm it was still 95 at that bar in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The region was under a thunderstorm watch but nothing had happened yet. The air felt odd as I returned to my car and I instinctively knew the storms were coming so my plan was to quickly stop at a McDonalds drive-thru in Germantown on the way home before the rain hit.

As I arrived at the golden arches I noticed two things: the line was seven cars deep and the air was suddenly completely still. I had about ten seconds to decide whether to become car eight or to skip it and get back on the Interstate. A sudden burst of wind made the decision for me.

In the thirty seconds it took to get back onto Middlebrook Road the wind went from calm to 60 or 70 miles per hour and torrents of sideways rain, hail and tree debris began to pelt my car. The sky filled with lightning strikes so numerous it looked like a fireworks show. Midway through the two-minute ride to I-270 an explosive lightning strike lit the sky like an earth-sized camera flash then the entire neighborhood went black; no street lights, no traffic signals, only headlights and taillights.

Moments later I turned onto I-270 and drove into the heaviest rain I have ever seen. Ever. More sideways rain, more wind gusts, cars with scared drivers moving along at 30 miles per hour instead of the usual 60 – 75. No street lights were on at the interchanges, adjacent neighborhoods were dark and part of this stretch of highway is flanked by large trees, adding to the surreal view illuminated by nearly constant lightning. Puddles were forming on the road and small tree branches blew into view. I was driving into hell (minus the fire).

What were my options? Not many. The next town of any size was five exits ahead. The first four of those exits dump you onto two-lane roads surrounded by tall trees. A mile or so off each is a town with no typical business that would be open at 11 at night. The fifth exit is at Frederick, Maryland, surrounded by gas stations and shopping strip centers but those aren’t very well protected either and only the gas stations would still be open. I could return to Germantown but I already knew the power was out and the McDonalds didn’t seem like a good place to ride out the storm … glass walls, etc. So I continued driving.

I normally love watching bad weather. I grew up with hurricanes and tropical rains in Louisiana, learned about tornado warnings and blizzards while living in Wisconsin and encountered a dust storm in Texas once. I was so close to a lightning strike in a parking lot once that the hair on my arm stood up. While living in Maryland I have encountered most of those weather conditions plus a few ice storms. I’ve seen fog in Chattanooga, smog in Los Angeles and vog (volcano fog) in Hawaii and have taken thousands of photographs of cloud formations. I even applied for a part time TV weather man job in Baltimore once and almost got it. Bad weather fascinates me.

But last night, for the first time in my life, I was scared. Really scared! I’ve been nervous or concerned in bad weather numerous times but was never scared. Not like that. The what-ifs in my head made my blood pressure rise as I drove. What if the Interstate floods, what if lightning hits my car, what if a tree falls across the road in front of me or on my car? What if some flying object crashes through my window?

By the time I reached the Frederick exit the wicked storm was “merely” heavy rain. That’s how fast it moved through the area … the severe part lasted just over an hour start to finish and the hell part for me lasted thirty minutes. Fifteen minutes after reaching that exit I was home and the power was still on.

For the next hour I watched the extended tv news coverage. Reporters were out trying to show pictures but because of the storm they couldn’t use the antenna masts on their trucks to send back the feed. Skype has a long way to go as a tool for reporters.

As I write this on Saturday morning the sky is blue and cloudless. The temperature is 78, heading for 100 again. Storms are in the forecast for late this afternoon. My current home is on an acre-and-a-half with at least a hundred trees. It looks like none of them came down. My power is still on and the AC is working just fine. I am very lucky. I am planning to move this summer and my future address is two blocks from the bar where I was last night. I am quite certain the power is out in that neighborhood as it is in much of that county right now. I drove through hell last night but I wonder if that is any better than if I had walked through it to my future home. Even though I like to watch bad weather, I sure hope I never see a storm like that again.

----------------------
I was too busy driving to take any pictures, but click HERE to see some submitted to a local tv station.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Here We Go -part 2

Continuing the train of thought from my previous post ...

Within an hour of the release of the Supreme Court's decision on the health care law this morning, I received 16 emails pitching guests with reactions to the decision. Thirteen were from 'experts' who disagreed with the outcome and the rest praised it.

As soon as the news broke I checked two news web sites to see if I won a bet I made with myself about their coverage. I won! The msnbc site called it breaking news and the article almost seemed to have been written by a Democratic Party spokesman. The Fox news web site had nothing more recent than a speculation pieces written hours earlier. They are both so predictable. And some people dare to call either of them 'news'? And I heard that CNN initially posted the wrong headline. Fail.

So the very same people who are whining about this Supreme Court decision forgot that a Supreme Court decision made it possible for Bush to become President even though he didn't win the election.

By the way, it is called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, not Obamacare.

So what does all this mean for 'us'? Paraphrasing Senator Reid’s statement today: Seniors save money on prescriptions, children can’t be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, we won’t have to fear losing health insurance because we lose a job, we won’t be a heart attack or a car accident away from bankruptcy. Wow, who would want any of that?

Is it perfect? No. Is it better than what we had, or more accurately didn’t have? Yes. Is it creepy having the government mandate that we all have insurance? Maybe, but most of us are required to have auto insurance, so what’s different? It’s a requirement with a good reason. Should we be skeptical of the government and be extra vigilant to make sure this doesn’t get out of hand? Hell yeah!!

The problem with other government programs intended to help people isn’t the program, it’s the administration of the program that often gets bogged down in bureaucracy. And people take unfair advantage some programs. Those are the things to fix, not the programs themselves, usually.

So now the election will be all about health care. Meanwhile the country will continue to be in debt, our roads and bridges will continue to crumble, our education system will continue to slump resulting in our country’s continued loss of importance in the world. And why? Because so many of our elected officials spend more time worrying about elections than about getting anything done.

I usually don’t believe things were better in the “good old days’ but I grew up during a time of “can do” in America. In the middle of social turbulence, protests and riots over racial discrimination and unjust wars, our great country also built the Interstate Highway system and made significant advances in science and health. We were leaders in the world on so many levels. We still should be the leaders. Partisan politics will NOT get us there.

A toast … to good health! And good health care! Cheers!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Here We Go

The next Presidential election is 132 days away but the ads have already begun; and I am already tired of them. How ‘bout you?

The political conventions are months away … the Republicans meet in August in Tampa and the Democrats meet in September in Charlotte. Why bother? We already know who the candidates will be. Chances are you’ve already decided which one you’re voting for.

One of my media jobs involves those Sunday morning public affairs radio shows you probably never listen to. Politics might seem a logical topic choice but I usually focus more on local day-to-day issues like education, health, volunteerism, bullying, poverty, quality of life, transportation and the arts. My five radio stations are in Washington DC and we have enough politics here as it is. But because I am a producer, host and interviewer, I receive a few hundred emails a week with guest pitches. I delete nearly all of them. The spokespeople they want me to chat with usually represent extreme points of view, some topic that isn’t really local or something that is more commercial than community.

One of today’s emails actually pissed me off. It began like this: Today’s Liberals and Democrats have taken their mockery of Conservatives and Republicans to the extreme ... there is nothing the Liberals and Democrats won’t do to tarnish the image of Conservatives and Republicans. What?!, I said out loud, talking back to my computer. While there might be some truth in that statement, this one is equally true: Today’s Conservatives and Republicans have taken their mockery of Liberals and Democrats to the extreme ... there is nothing the Conservatives and Republicans won’t do to tarnish the image of Liberals and Democrats.

Neither side seems to be dealing with issues, neither side is offering solutions to the messes we’re in, messes which were started by BOTH sides. All I hear is one side whining about the other but not offering realistic answers.

And I believe in this piece of reality: the President is a leader but no President can fix these problems alone … and no President is solely to blame for these problems. The current economic crisis began on Bush’s watch but it wasn’t really his fault. Obama hasn’t cleaned up the mess yet, but how could he or anyone else; he has done more than any opposing politician would ever give him credit for, even in the face of actual facts. Is Congress to blame? Yes and no. The Democrats had control early in Obama’s term and let arrogance get in the way of progress. Now the Republicans control the House and have blocked progress for the sake of blocking progress.

While everybody is talking about jobs as if the President, any President, can actually create jobs, the rest of us out here in the real world drive over crumbling bridges driving our kids to underfunded schools, then heading to jobs, if we have them, that barely pay enough to enable us to meet our overblown mortgage payments that came about because we bought during an overinflated housing boom … and that’s those of us who are lucky enough to “own” our homes. Fix education, fix infrastructure, fix education, stop starting wars, start prioritizing things we have to do now to protect our future. Bring our troops home to rebuild OUR country.

No matter which candidate wins, we already know that on January 20th a rich, well-educated male baby boomer will take the Oath of Office. Most Presidents in my lifetime could be described that way and most were career politicians, even the one who was a peanut farmer at some point in his life. At least his perspective was a little more like a ‘normal American’ and he was probably the most honest person to hold that office in the past 100-plus years.

The ‘average’ American is neither conservative nor liberal on every issue. Our opinions relate to our experiences, beliefs and expectations of what government can or cannot do. When will there be an electable candidate for the highest office in the land who is average and normal?

Well, there’s another ‘slam the other guy’ add on my TV. Where’s my remote?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

LOL

Who comes up with this stuff?  I actually busted out laughing in the middle of a restaurant when I saw this on my iPhone, while standing up waiting for carry out.  Enjoy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

An Impact

Have you ever thought about what impact you will leave or have left on the world? Are you here and then gone? Or is there a purpose to your existence? Do you know what that is? Will you leave your mark? Does it matter?

Pretty heady stuff for a 600-word blog post, I know, but this is on my mind tonight. I think that many people get to a point in their lives where they wonder why they are here. It seems to be a boomer preoccupation but other generations consider this too. And many people don’t. I’m not making any judgments.

I do believe that each of us has some kind of impact, whether we try to or not. We affect our family, our friends, maybe our co-workers. Some people are lucky to have a positive impact on people they don’t even know. Some people have a negative impact too.

Even though I whine about the current state of my life, I know I am blessed. I have led an incredible life so far and for the first 45 years of it I didn’t really care that much about my reason for existence or if I had any impact on people. In more recent years I have begun to ask these questions and I even have a few answers. I know from feedback I’ve received that I have had a positive impact on at least a few people I know and on some I’ve never met in person. It’s another thing I am grateful for. I also know I’ve had a negative impact on some people. Although I didn’t go negative on purpose I regret that part anyway.

Is there some purpose to my life? I ask myself that regularly. I can say, without any conceit, that there has to be some purpose for me being here. My attitude and the various things I’ve done for a living all point to at least one simple function: I am here to make people feel good about themselves. It’s mostly a little thing but I feel good about it. As a DJ, I regularly played somebody’s favorite song. As a talk show producer/host I have given a voice to somebody’s cause or situation. As a friend I have been a decent listener and maybe provided some useful advice.

In some ways those things are special but anybody could have done that. You, for example. Maybe you’ve said a kind word to someone or have shown emotional support to a friend in need. Those actions mean you have had an impact on somebody. Some people have had far greater impact; first responders in a disaster, doctors and nurses in a hospital, self-help authors, musicians, preachers and teachers. Nearly all of us have at least some potential to make an impact on the world, whether it is helping hundreds of thousands of people or just one.

At this point in my own life I would like to use the resources I have as a mid-level media type to have some kind of positive impact, not just because it would make me feel good but because I can. Maybe I’ve just answered one of my initial questions, the one about is there some purpose to my life. At the very least I’ve thought it through.

What about you? Have you considered the purpose of your life? You don’t have to have a purpose; you can get up every day and do what you do. But maybe there is more to it. If so, don’t you owe it to yourself and to the world to try and figure it out? Just a thought.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Political Observations

Political season is here. It’s a time we can celebrate the freedom we have to elect our government. It is also a time to endure the obnoxious political ads.

I heard this statistic the other day: 46% of voters have already decided to vote for President Obama, no matter what is said during the campaign, and 46% have already decided to vote for Mitt Romney, regardless of any messages in any ads. The entire campaign will be about the remaining 8% of undecided voters.

Both campaigns are likely to spend a record amount of money on advertising, trying to convince that 8% to vote their way. I’m pretty sure George Washington didn’t spend any money on his campaign.

Bonnie Raitt’s comment during a recent concert: “We’re having an election this year. Actually, an auction.”

Each candidate will blame the other for the economy and everything else that is wrong right now, even though the President, no matter who he or she is, can’t actually control those things.

Boomers like me might remember that there was a time when the candidates really were decided during the conventions. Why do they even bother to have conventions any more? We know who the two main candidates will be. There might be others on the ballot but come November, we know we will either re-elect Obama or elect Romney.

Months ago in this blog, I predicted that Romney would be the Republican candidate, back when there were a dozen or more people seeking that nomination. I also predicted that Obama will win by a very small margin. I got the first part right and I’m holding to the second part. We’ll see in November.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thought

My thought of the day (mostly because I don't have anything else to say today) ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Drama

How does so much drama creep into our lives? Many of my friends have troubling, complicated or depressing things going on in their lives. Is that coincidence or am I a magnet for people with drama? Probably a little both is my guess. I have some drama in my life too, although I really want to simplify it. Drama is fun on stage or television but not in day-to-day life.

One friend's mother is going into hospice care and will likely die within months or even weeks. That is a dramatic struggle for him but there is even more drama involved in dealing with work responsibilities at the same time.

Another friend is trying to save his marriage long-distance and both work and the miles are conspiring against him. I feel his pain and wish I could help but all I can really do is be a sympathetic listener.

Another friend dealt with the divorce of her parents who are in their 70s, while struggling to start her own new career and education journey and her boyfriend just leaves, with no explanation; silent drama.

Another friend goes from boyfriend to boyfriend, is happy with the current one but still missing some of what she had with the previous one.

And of course I have my own, years after I thought I had rid my life of non-theatrical drama.

Back to my opening question: how does so much drama creep into our lives?

Why don’t couples talk, have ‘adult conversations,’ try to work out their problems? Why don’t parents prepare us for their deaths? Why don’t employers accommodate their employee’s personal struggles?

Is this our norm? Why? And are there any people in my circle of friends or acquaintances who have figured out how to live drama-free lives? If so, where are they? I and my other drama-ridden friends need role models for living simple, happy lives.



Monday, June 18, 2012

Glasses

This pretty much says it all today.  Cheers!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dad’s Day

Every year near Father’s Day I write something here about my Dad. As I sat down to write something for this year I opened my post from last year to see what I said then. I really don’t have anything to add; this says how I feel this year as well as last year. My Dad died ten years ago but in many ways I see him every day – in the mirror, for example – or I hear his voice in mine at those times when I say something he might have said. So the rest of this post contains my random thoughts from last year, but they still ring true.

My Dad had a very successful career as an engineer, first with structural design, later electrical and for the last 25 years of his work life he did plumbing design. He was a very behind-the-scenes guy but his plumbing design work can be found everywhere in New Orleans, from the fountain next to Riverwalk to the drainage ditches on the Claiborne Avenue exit off I-10 to the restrooms, loading dock drains and fire sprinklers at Oakwood Shopping Center. Not bad for a guy who didn’t finish high school; he got his GED a few years after I was born.

I am convinced he could fix anything made before the computer age. His hobbies included television and auto repair and his skill levels were on par with professionals. He taught himself how to repair watches and even made some money helping his mentor part time. Did I mention he built the house we grew up in? Literally every nail, screw, pipe joint and electrical connection. That house suffered some damage in the Hurricane Katrina floods and had to be rehabbed but the basic structure exists to this day and the contractors were amazed at how strong the house was.

Dad was stubborn and judgmental. He and I didn’t get along very well from my senior year in high school till I bought my first house in my early 30s. His tour of that house changed our relationship for the better. He finally accepted that my media career wasn’t a fluke and that I was more mature and sensible than he gave me credit for.

Benny led a very healthy lifestyle, always did the right thing, went to church every Sunday till he just couldn’t any more, then endured Parkinson’s Disease for the last fifteen years of his life. That might explain my cynical view toward religion. If you tell me the Parkinson’s was God’s will, I’ll probably smack you, verbally if not physically.

Dad and I were about as far apart as two people can be regarding beliefs on many things but we had similar approaches to problem solving… the same steps with different results. I didn’t realize the positive impact his sense of logic would have on me till after he died.

Even though he seemed like a conformist and a by-the-book man, he really did chart his own path in life. Hmm, I wonder where I learned that.

No matter how much you might try to distance yourself from your parents, you are always in some way a product of their parenting. Celebrate the parts you like. Time will erase the parts you dislike.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. It’s hard for me to admit this out loud, but I miss you.

Bonnie

I saw Bonnie Raitt this week. Awesome show.

She’s on Rolling Stone’s best 100 guitarist ever and 100 best singers ever lists. She’s had hit songs and Grammy awards. She looks as good now as she did back in the day. Her voice is just as strong. Her style was and is a mix of blues, folk, rock and reggae. She’s 62 years old and doesn’t let the impression some people have of that number get in the way. Her show is rockin’, sultry, sexy and funny.

Here is one of her new songs, on her new CD, the first she’s released in more than five years. (This was recorded live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival last month).

 
 
Here is another one:




And CLICK HERE to watch a feature report about her on CNN:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Random Musings

Do you ever “discover” songs on your iPod? I mean a song comes on that you didn’t know you had, one that sounds familiar or maybe the singer sounds familiar but you don’t remember downloading the song. Just wondering. Happened to me last night – a Bonnie Raitt song I didn’t know I had.

I love learning. On the agenda for the next year: Italian (I’ll try again), a musical instrument (guitar or piano are the lead candidates) and dancing (specifically ballroom dancing and/or salsa).

Yesterday I watched an interesting ‘reality’ show called The Pitch, which more or less plays off Mad Men with a modern-day look at contemporary advertising agencies. The ‘plot’ centers around two ad agencies pitching a client for their business. Aside from some fake drama, it is close to real. I’ve been on sales pitches with radio sales people and I have seen the blank stares of clients after you just showed them your best stuff, stuff that you thought would impress them. Ouch.

The letters in Clint Eastwood’s name also spell out ‘old west action’. That’s a very creepy anagram, isn’t it?

I’m writing this while taking a break from something I really don’t want to be spending time on, although it is very necessary. Writing is more fun. Many writers say you should write what you love and write every day. I am attempting that and in some ways succeeding. I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon but writing for a living was a dream of mine at one time; maybe I should go back to sleep.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ray

Science fiction was my favorite literary form for many years and one of my favorite sci-fi writers is Ray Bradbury. He died this week at age 91. You might be familiar with his novels like Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes or his short story collections like The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. He also wrote screenplays, essays and poems. His work inspired television shows, movies and comic books.

Like many people, I call him a science fiction writer but he describes his own work as “fantasy”, which he says depicts the unreal, while sci-fi depicts the real. Interesting distinction. He also wrote detective mysteries in later years and was still writing essays as recently as a week before his death. He died during the ‘transit of Venus’. Hmmm.

I am both curious and inspired by writers and their lives. One thing that stands out in Bradbury’s life is that he didn’t go to college. Instead he spent all of his free time in libraries and claims to have read every book in one of them. My love of learning and of writing came about partly as a result of spending time in libraries in my own youth, although my results aren’t nearly in the league of his. Interesting side note: much of the plot of Something Wicked This Way Comes involves a small-town library. I just re-read that novel last year and am planning to re-read Martian Chronicles soon.

There is much more to be said about him and any Google search will point the way. While doing my own search for background info to write this post I found a few interesting quotes attributed to Bradbury. I’ll leave you with these:

If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.

My stories run up and bite me on the leg - I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Saturday

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are 4,000 words describing slices of my day today.









Friday, June 8, 2012

Confidence Levels

One of my geeky hobbies is studying people’s confidence levels. When I meet someone who seems to be very confident, I want to learn how they got that way. I also want to know what balances their personality, what part of their persona is less confident. And I am curious if they were less confident at some point in their life. Does a person’s outward confidence sometimes mask inward insecurity?

Do you ever think this way? Do you look at confident people as role models for any part of your own personality? How confident are you in various aspects of your life?

I am highly confident in most of what makes me me, but that comes as a result of decades of study, thought and intentional behavior and attitude changes. I was quite the bundle of insecurity in my youth. My parents were generally supportive but one thing they taught me, curiosity, also led me to question many of their beliefs and expectations. As a result I often experienced conflict between charting my own path and living up to the expectations other people had of what my paths should be. I considered myself odd, in a negative way; now I celebrate my oddness. I am not all that odd but I still chart my own path for the most part and I usually have the confidence to do so.

Lists and charts appeal to me so I have a mental (and sometimes written) graphic of my confidence progress from then till now. Geeky, yes! Damn proud of that! Some examples, using a scale from 1 (insecure) to 5 (confident): comfort in small social settings (then 1, now 4s), appeal to women (then 1, now 3.5), taking career risks (then 1, now 4), photography (then 1, now 4.5), writing for work (then 1, now 4s and 5s), writing unrelated to work (then 1, now 4), sex (then 1, now 3s or 4), public speaking without notes (then 1, now 3.5), public speaking with notes (then 2, now high 4s), trying new things (then 1, now 3s and 4s), the total package of what I do for a living (then 1s and 2s, now 5).

Funny thing is this: I have always had high confidence in problem solving and in the ability to get myself out of any mess I get myself into. I give myself 5s in both of those, then and now.

What about you? Think about your own confidence levels and give yourself scores in some of these areas. Feel free to write about it in the comments section. If you know me in real life, email your thoughts to me; because if you know me you know I am insatiably curious about you. And I’m confident that I can make you comfortable sharing your inner thoughts and feelings with me.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Positive

The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.
- Unknown


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trade

Saw this on a friend's Facebook page today.  Sharing ...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Just Thinking About Stuff

Do you wonder sometimes how humans survive on Earth? That thought hit me tonight as I drove through torrential downpours while listening to tornado warning alerts on the radio. We are pretty much defenseless in the face of some unpredictable and uncontrollable weather events and other acts of nature. Yet we survive. Usually

I’ve been reading a book this week about Cherokees. We are a great country, now, but any study of our history in the 19th century will reveal that ‘we’ screwed the original population of this great expanse of land. The book is not a total bitter recitation of atrocities but it certainly does point out a few. Just sayin’.

A year ago at a party a girl asked me what are some things women do that annoy me. That’s an odd but interesting question to ask a man ya just met, isn’t it? We weren’t flirting with each other. We were just in a conversation with a third girl about the third girl’s relationship with her then current boyfriend. I did have an answer to the question, by the way. I’ll tell you later. I saw this girl at a party again recently, at the home of the third girl and her latest boyfriend. I thought about reminding both of them about the earlier chat but decided not to.

Did you see the story this week about the Romney campaign iPhone app? What’s wrong with this picture? Look closely. Geez. I bet that six-year-old in the National Spelling Bee this week would have caught this.



At some point in my lifetime I think I will be asked “What was it like when you had to use paper?” I laughed when I thought about that at work today. One of my jobs is making radio commercials. Years ago, that meant reading a script from paper, following instructions printed on paper, recording onto tape, editing the tape using a china marker to mark edit points, cutting the tape at those points with a razor blade and reconnecting the recording tape with special splicing tape, then recording the finished product in real time onto another form of tape to eventually be played back by the DJ as instructed on yet another paper form. Today I read a script from a computer monitor, record it into audio software on the same computer, digitally “splice” and edit using keyboard and mouse, following instructions that are on another window on the monitor and click and drag the finished product onto another computer which will play it back at the appropriate time, as scheduled by yet another computer, by the DJ who receives instructions on another computer monitor. No paper is used in the making or playing of that commercial.

How do you know when it is time to put down a dog? My oldest dog is not necessarily in pain but his quality of life must certainly suck. He can hardly walk, he can snarl at the other dogs but can’t chase them, he sleeps even more than most dogs now and seems almost frantic with he can’t see the other human who lives in this house (he doesn’t really care if he sees me or not). Elderly humans seem destined to have my dog’s life in their later years. That scares me at some level.

OK, that’s enough thinking for one night. Cheers!