The pieces of you I see

Winter is a gentle reminder that no matter where we go, with whom or how we get there, we leave a very small piece of us behind. Dogs have always known this, but humans need to be reminded from time to time, lest they forget.

Why we have snow in winter.

(The full photo.)

zoeyandmytracks

Who writes the music?

Who wrote the music

Watch the video below. It is a commercial for a bank, y’know, one of those “money is everything, must make profit to define success” places. The particulars are here and here.

The next time some bean counter wants to strip away the thing that makes your product, program or anything you are working on beautiful, show him/her this video and ask:

“Who wrote the music?” and “Why is the older left-brained hand still playing?”

I think I made my point.

The last Sundae of the season at JDs Custard

It was the last day of the season at JD’s Custard in Englewood and we couldn’t miss the going-away party. Here is our visit.

We all piled into the puppy mobile:
Event Van
Charlie didn’t really want to ride, but I had him on a leash so he had little choice. But once he was in, he wasted no time competing with Zoey for the front seat.

JDvanriding
JDvanriding1

We arrived at the custard store and there was nobody in line ahead of us. AWESOME, though I’m sure they got pretty busy as the afternoon went on. I ordered a single vanilla scoop for Sallie, Zoey and Charlie. Cindy helped me carry it out to the van.
JDlastdae

The dogs ate their custard in the van….
JDinvaneating
JDsallieeatinginvan

but then Charlie needed to check out where the custard came from, so we went exploring.
JDcharliescout

After all the custard was consumed, the carnage was horrifying….
JDcarnage

so the human had to steady his nerves with some Tim Horton’s coffee.
JDtimscoffee

And we are all set for next year. We’ll be ordering our usual holiday peppermint, eggnog and chocolate custard soon. Yes, chocolate is a holiday flavor!

Thank you for another great season, JD’s. We didn’t visit nearly enough but we promise to make up for it next summer. Enjoy the winter off.

Good vs bad cholesterol

Bad cholesterol is when you spend an entire life feeding your body processed, high-fat, high carb foods, sitting alone in a beanbag chair in your underwear, with a game controller in your hands. Your arteries eventually harden, you suffer a heart attack and die alone, undiscovered for days in front of a television with a test pattern.

Good cholesterol is when you spend an entire life eating good food, high in fat, rich in taste, enjoyed in the company of friends in the best kitchens and around the liveliest tables, enhanced with stimulating conversation and encouraged with laughter. Your arteries eventually harden, you suffer a heart attack and die surrounded by friends and family,

We all eventually get to the ultimate destination. Be sure to choose the journey wisely.

* * *

Trying out the sound…

The real economic freedom in America

On Monday, Barack Obama delivered his second Inaugural Address. While the Right and the Left will argue over what was said there, here is the passage that I think embraces the struggle over not only “entitlements,” but of wages and unions, the dignity of work and the value of one’s life over another.

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

Systems that take care of our common needs free us to contribute more deeply. Teachers just want to teach, welders want weld. They do not want to be fighting their employers for job security, a livable wage or decent working conditions. That is why we need unions. The energy teachers spend fending off the barbarians nipping at their heels is energy that saps them from being outstanding teachers. Same with artists, poets, writers, musicians, journalists and philosophers. They just want to create, not worry and fight about making enough to make a living. When we rob them of their work, we rob ourselves of our own cultural advancement.

Doctors want to treat patients, not fill out forms, run small businesses and fight insurance companies. Every battle with an insurance agent robs us all of that doctor’s potential contribution to advancing health care to its exception.

Most of us will get old. Most of us will need medical care. All of us need education. When we free ourselves of that worry of how we will gain an education, survive our old age and our health, we free ourselves to live and contribute more deeply. This is not a liberal idea; this is a community idea. This is one area that our government can and should help us achieve.

It is not about cost. It is not about socialism. It is not about creating a nation of takers or Welfare Queens. It is about extracting excellence from citizens by freeing them from the anxiety of old age, student loan debt and bankruptcy due to ill health.

We should keep in mind that when the Founders drafted those documents Conservatives claw back to some almost two hundred fifty years ago, they were looking toward the future and seeing us as we are today. Perhaps we should honor them by looking forward to the country the United States of America will be in the next two hundred fifty years instead of pining to get back to the good ol’ days of the Founders.

So quiet and delicate that only dogs can hear it whistle

While everyone was listening to Jodie Foster stumble nervously and reluctantly toward her coming out, her real message to the world was whispered so quietly only dogs heard her.

In case you missed the Jodie Foster Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, here is a transcript of that passage. It is at the very end.

I will continue to tell stories, to move people by being moved.
The greatest job in the world. It is just that from now on, I may be holding a different talking stick.
And maybe it won’t be as sparkly; maybe it won’t open on three thousand screens
Maybe it will be so quiet and delicate that only dogs can hear it whistle.
But it will be my writing on the wall, Jodie Foster was here
I still am and I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely.