Monday, January 17, 2011


I stop and look over my bifocals at the word.

Wow. What a mouthful.

On the back of the toilet is shotgun reading material ( print stuff for a short stay). A Menards ad, a Harbor Freight sales flier and the newsprint Times book review. Only in a print version of a book review would someone get away with using a word like calamitously.

In a job interview for a company that spends millions on technology to develop life saving medical devices and cutting edge products for our brave new world, the interviewer is distressed by the candidate's lack of enthusiasm. Just before he thinks it's time to end the interview, the woman uses a phrase uncommon in everyday speech. He's impressed. He concludes that this is a smart person and hires her on the spot. In time she becomes his number one assistant.

In the same book about technology I'm reading at the moment is this quote by the main character. Speaking of the Internet, he says,

"It's like sports- fun, expensive and it really doesn't matter."

The speaker doesn't file sales tax reports like I do. It does matter.

In several Wisconsin counties taxpayers fork over a portion of their paycheck to pay for the sports arenas. Most do so willingly because they're passionate backers of their favorite team. That's OK. But what about people who aren't fans. The little income they make, they try to stretch to meet car payments, food bills, and to buy a few new clothes for the kids. It isn't fair to pay for that stadium. I could go on, but it's an emotional issue not based upon fact.

I remove two "friends" from my Facebook account after I glance at an entry in which the wife of this couple converts a prayer into a so-called humorous tribute to the local football team. I mention it to my wife whose first response is "blasphemous". My wife is not a religious fanatic. When our bookkeeper quits without notice, her response was, "Not a very Christian thing to do."

At first light both of the "kids" walk down the steps to the back door of the breezeway. Mandy takes three steps and does her thing. The cat refuses to step in deep snow. After breakfast, brave cat tackles the snow. I see his tracks around the deck. He begins his walk close to the house where snow has melted. Mandy retires to the futon upstairs.

The Pooch is now snoozing on my desk next to the computer. He gave up trying to persuade me to let him out, which included a spell of lap cuddling and a lot of purring. The routine is the same. After a few minutes he'll get bored and stand in front of the kitchen window looking pathetic with a mantle of snow. I'll let him in. He'll jump on the island and beg for treats. After tousling with the dog, he'll sit on the back of the couch until his memory of wet fur, deep snow and cold paws is erased with thoughts of chasing birds.

Ah, yes. It is winter.

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