Congratulations, Mr. President

Congratulations, Mr. President
Congratulations, Mr. President

Following that speech, my new resolutions for 2009 and beyond are:
– To reject negative thinking and reject anyone who says, “That is not possible” and seek out those who say “How can we do that.”
– To reject any and all who speak racists comments and to speak up without hesitation, whether friend or not.
– To quit doing what provides no value to others or myself.

Happy Eating Day

Happy Eating Day, everyone! Oh, I know, our American friends are celebrating Thanksgiving but let’s call the holiday what it really is.

A few years ago, a friend of mine spent August through January in Europe and called me on Thanksgiving, very much depressed they didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Despite his best efforts, he could not convince these Europeans to take a day off from work (and the Friday after) cook turkey and stuffing, watch some sports and fall into a food-induced coma.

But even worse than not having an Eating Day, how does everyone in Europe know when to begin celebrating the Christmas Holiday? Having Eating Day lets everyone know it is ok to slough off work, kick back and not really feel guilty about not getting anything done between Eating Day and New Year’s. 

So why not call it Thanksgiving and work on making that a holiday around the world? Because Thanksgiving is the American holiday. Eating Day would be the WORLD’S holiday. After all, we tried exporting democracy and look how that turned out.

So, Happy Eating Day everyone!

Posted by email from rufus’s posterous

Good bye, dear friend

Today, I said goodbye to a very dear friend. He was only 8 years old and walked with me everywhere. I spent a long time howling and crying until there were just no more tears and all that was left was an empty hole that started at the base of my throat and goes all the way through me.

I will miss him terribly. I never thought I could be this sad.

But he gave me things that I could not get from anyone else; fond memories of good times. He allowed me to go places I would not walk alone. He let me be free to be a dog and I showed him how to kick back a little. He touched a lot of lives, even though he may never know it.

So, God, if you’re listening, my friend requires three walks a day; 6:30, 11:30 and 9:00. And don’t try taking the short block in the afternoon because he knows when you’re cutting corners. And every morning, he needs two honey-dipped Tim Bits.. the fresh ones, not the day-old stuff other dogs get. And he gets to ride shotgun everywhere you drive.

And a large cone from Dairy Queen every few months would be a nice touch.

Dogs, cats and rabbits I know are not me

I will never be president. Not just because I’m a dog, or even because I’m a black dog, but because of the animals I have once known and do now know. 

When I was growing up, I used to hang with some dogs who had anti-small dog opinions; very, very strong anti-small dog opinions. We grew apart eventually as their families moved. I never shared their opinions, but they were nice company on warm summer evening walks.

Then, a rabbit moved into our home… and died unexpectedly. So did a hamster, turtle and Guinea pig. There were investigation and people looked at me in a strange way, but nothing was ever proven. Still, people whisper. I had nothing to do with them dying, but there will always be talk.

And lately, I am living with a cat who lies on her back with her paws in the air. I don’t see anything wrong with it, but others find it offensive. And, Lady eats poops from the litter box. 

And, of course, there are the eight or so cats I consort with at my office.

But, I am still me. And I like each of my friends for different reasons, though we each see the world a little bit differently. But, it appears, though, that I could never run for president because of who I know, not because of who I am.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg??? I have the answer.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg… I HAVE the answer to that eternal question and it is the form of a story. Ready??

About 5 years ago, I flew in and out of CIncinnati for a puppy conference and a friend of mind came to pick me up from the airport on a Sunday morning. Being a good friend back, I treated him to breakfast and we stopped off at a Waffle House. We are sitting at the counter and the waitress came over, asked us what we wanted.

I said “What is good today?”

She says, “We have a chicken and egg special.”

So, I asked, “Which comes first?”

To which she replied, “They come together on the same plate.”

Hmmm.. so, the answer is “They both came together.”

So, when faced with a decision on which to make first, the chicken or the egg, make them both and keep them together on the same plate.

The real death of the Dayton Daily News

For those of you who may not know, I was with the Dayton Daily News from 1998-2002. It was perhaps the most meaningful period of my life, in which I learned how to write objectively, think independently, treasure really, really talented people around me, learned how to change the world with little more than a thought and a pen, to learn patience, compassion and humility from greater human beings and learned how to find meaning in a job where I was paid almost nothing and expected to accomplish almost everything. I loved every heartache of the 4 1/2 years I spent there.

Yesterday, I visited the DDN building on Ludlow Ave in downtown Dayton. They were having a public sale where furniture, computer equipment, etc was being sold for whatever they could get. I went to walk the halls for one last time, to hear my friends, colleagues and mentors in my head one last time, to reclaim the same excitement I felt coming into the old newspaper building every morning. I was not disappointed.