Bad day


You thought I was using hip ’60s slang for drugs; right? Wrong-o! I’m talking about my rarely fed blog. It’s been a downer, man…a real downer.

So, let’s get right to it. It’s been a difficult couple of years. Bad job. (Really bad job.) Beloved pets dying. My mom dying. For a while there, it seemed like nothing good would ever happen again. At first, I started posting about my sadness thinking it would be cathartic, thinking I’d get back to the regular stuff later, but then I’d come back later, and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t post something frivolous after posting about the death of a loved one. It seemed disrespectful. It was depressing. It would have been a lie. So, I’ve stayed away.

But I’m giving you notice here and now. I’m done with that.

Well, almost.

I have one more tribute to post for now. Sadly, there may be some later at some far distant point in the future, but this tribute calls to me now. And I don’t consider it a downer, really. It just is what it is. A goodbye of sorts, a fare thee well, an I’m REALLY going to miss you kind of post. So here goes…man, I hate endings, especially when we’re talking about something that isn’t supposed to end. Boo!

There are few things in life that offer a greater reward than caring for an innocent being whose greatest joy is giving you love in return.  I have written about my dog, Bryn, in these pages before.  She is, by far, the sweetest dog I’ve ever known but one that has had to struggle through life from the very beginning.

When I first held her, she was a week old, and I bottle fed her from the time she was a week and a half old, because, as the runt of the litter, she was not able to get past her other 11 siblings to eat.  I fell immediately in love with her.  The look in her sweet little eyes when I fed her was so trusting, and we formed an unbreakable bond.

We found out at her five week checkup that she had a serious heart defect. An extra artery made her heart beat way too fast, and Dr. Marshall, our wonderful veteranarian, told us that she probably wouldn’t live past eight, and she’d always be smaller than her genes intended. In the five years we’ve had the pleasure of caring for her, though, she’s proved us all wrong. She’s been healthy and energetic, her heart problem has mostly fixed itself and she grew to 63 pounds.

Yesterday, though, it was obvious that she didn’t feel good. She was listless and hardly moved. We got her to eat and drink, but she threw up within 15 minutes without even trying to move first. It got all over me, and she looked up at me as if to say, “I’m sorry…I couldn’t help myself,” but she didn’t move an inch.  I knew then that it was something serious.

I took her to the vet this morning when they first opened, and by then, her eyes, ears and gums were jaundiced. The look in Dr. Marshall’s eyes told me it wasn’t good. He said she looks like she has liver disease or bileary disease.  We took her outside to pee, and it was dark brown, it was so filled with bile. He took blood — a difficult task with her being so dehydrated — and sent us home. Not a good sign, since I thought they’d want to put her on fluids right away. He’s off this afternoon, but he’s going into the office long enough to get a diagnosis from the blood test and call me. Whatever it is, her chances are not good.

I love all my pets, but Bryn is my special girl.  The thought of losing her after five short years is unbearable. She’s lying at my feet now, looking up at me with such love and sadness, as if she knows what’s going on. Our other dog, Max, is just outside, crying for her with such desperation that I can hardly bear to listen.

In a month where I have had nothing but bad luck — a job layoff, a flat tire, my rear car window smashed out by someone for fun, my medical insurance being cancelled by accident — nothing compares to this. I hope and pray that we can save her, but I fear we cannot. Why do things like this have to happen?  She’s such a good girl…such a great dog and such a good friend. :(

Edit: Bryn passed away this afternoon at 5pm after we discovered that her entire belly was full of a horrible tumor. We are devastated. We were so honored to have been allowed to share this wonderful soul’s life, and I will never forget our last moments with her.  She licked us both, wagged her tail and passed away while we held her.  I’m so glad she didn’t have to go through that alone and that she was surrounded by love as she gave us love to the very end.

It’s the day after the NCAA national football championship, and I’m still angry.

You know, it wasn’t so much that OU lost the game — they played hard, and the score was virtually tied until the middle of the fourth quarter — it was the obviously biased commentating that left me so ticked off that I still want to rip someone’s head off. Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis win the award for the worst commentating for a national football championship ever.

Don’t get me wrong; as someone who’s spent my life as a journalist and writer, I understand the need for a hook — that human interest appeal that gets the viewers to stay tuned in — but these guys went to ridiculous levels in their commentary, particularly Brennaman who raised Tim Tebow to the level of messaih. I swear if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was the second coming of Christ!

His most disgusting comment was this one:

If you’re fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it.

Oh, come on! I have no doubt the kid is a great guy and a great leader, but I’d put Sam Bradford up against him any day. He, too, is a great guy and a wonderful leader. He’s also this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, and he was virtually ignored by these two horrible commentators. Fox Sports should be embarrassed by their humiliating display of hyperbole and incorrect information.

Other low-lights of their performance:

  • Going crazy about whether OU should go for it on fourth down on a critical play when it was really third down
  • Stating that Trautwein had a false state twice when it was really three times
  • Claiming an OU defender “horsed” one of the Florida players and calling for a penalty when he had clearly not done that.
  • Actually referring to momentum as “Ole Moe
  • Stating that Tebow’s unsportsman like conduct penalty that cost his team 15 yards was “probably the first thing he’s ever done wrong.
  • Not mentioning Stoops’ very strong ties to the Florida team. He *was* their defensive coordinator after all.

There are so many more. Way too many to mention. If you want a real kick, google “bad 2009 NCAA football championship commentators” and read the comments by viewers. I think my favorite was from a guy named Rob who said, “Tebow cured the announcers of their erictile dysfunction.” No truer words were ever written.

I’m not the only one who feels this way about the officiating. Check out this great article by Chris Burke - BCS National Championship 2009: Thom Brennaman Forces Mute Buttons to Work.

Before I go, a few words about the Sooners. This team has been one of the hardest working, hardest playing teams in the country this year. They have proven the ney-sayers wrong again and again. Sam Bradford has 2008 OU Football Team wins Big 12 titlebeen a wonderful, strong, calming influence for the team and has set a wonderful example. The OU coaching team is one of the best in the nation — Brent Venables, in particular, has worked magic with the defensive line. Congratulations to all of them for a wonderful season, and we’ll get them next year!

Let’s just hope to GOD that we have a decent commentary team to do the game justice!

Boredom sucks.

There, I said it. (And so eloquently, too) Boredom makes every minute seem like an hour, every day seem like a week. Thomas Szasz once said, “Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.” That’s where I am right now; every moment I spend at work waiting for something to do is a total waste of time. I could be doing something worthwhile, but instead, I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting and doing…NOTHING.

Frankly, I doFrom:’t see how lazy people do it. We all know the types who avoid work like the plague, even when it means sitting at their desks staring into space. How can they stand that? I swear I’d slit my wrists!

I’m the kind of person who wants to be busy all the time at work, and if I’m busy with more than one thing, even better. When I’m busy, the day flies by, I’m happier, and I’m more apt to be on top of my game. When I’m bored, the day drags, I’m a drag, and all I want to do is leave and do something productive.

For me, there are two distinct types of boredom. One involves a job where there is often nothing to do. The other involves a job with plenty to do, but the work doesn’t require creativity or strategic thinking. In my current situation, I have both. I’m bored without the work and I’m bored with the work.

Frankly, I can’t think of anything worse.

I look back to the job I had that was my favorite - CommunFrom: Manager at America Online - and it’s easy to see why I loved it so much. I was busy all the time, things were constantly changing, my mind was creative and my thinking strategic. As busy as I was, I didn’t mind working extra hours, because it was more like play than it was work.

Contrast that to my current situation where I spend long periods idle, nothing changes and I’m never tasked to be creative or strategic. No wonder I want to run screaming from the building at 4:55pm every day.

I need some serenity. For the love of God, someone put me to work on something that matters!

Okay, I’m going to come right out and admit something to you.

I *hate* Daylight Savings Time. 

I don’t mean I dislike it. I mean I loathe and despise it. Daylight Savings Time is the DEVIL!

I know at one time it served a purpose.  Back in World War I, it was enacted to give people more daylight and save on fuel consumption for artificial lighting. But WWI was over a long time ago, and we still suffer through it. Last year, they even extended it by a month!  Why?  Still, all in the name of energy savings.

What about my energy?

The Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins is hard, but for some reason, Tuesday is worse.  I look around me today, and everyone is dragging ass.  We’ve all got headaches, we look like death warmed over, and no one is in a good mood.  Is it really worth all this exhaustion to save fossil fuels when there are obviously better ways?

In addition to the already mentioned negatives, consider that traffic accidents increase just after Dayliight Savings Time begins. So do violent crimes, according to some studies. Farmers, whose days begin very early, generally hate it, because they have to begin their work days in the dark.  So what’s it really good for other than making us all feel like crawling back into bed for a week or so?  Not much in my estimation.

I’ve got a much better idea, and over 1,000 US cities have already begun doing it. Forget Daylight Savings Time. Let it get dark. And instead of turning all the lights on in the city, TURN THEM OFF!  People sleep better!  Energy is saved at a rate much faster than DST saves it. 

Just look at this map of the U.S. at night. There are whole swaths of country that are dark.  What’s so wrong with that?  The answer is nothing. I say we go back to standard time and let nature take its course. I’m sure we’d all be much happier people!

Okay, I’m stepping off my soap box. I apologize for my crankiness, but at least I have an excuse! 

Daylight Savings Time — it’s the devil!



I had NO idea how bad the ice storm in Oklahoma was going to be.  According to the news this morning, one in three homes in Oklahoma City is without power — that’s about 600,000 homes– and they expect it to take over a week to restore power.

That’s pretty scary.

Scarier still is the very heavy tree branch hanging over my roof.  With the ice covering it, I’d guess it weighs about a thousand pounds, so if that sucker breaks off and falls on my roof, the roof is toast.  Even worse, my insurance company cancelled me, because I have a tree branch hanging over my roof.  So we have no home owners’ insurance right now and a big hazzard hanging over us like the Sword of Damacles.

Let us pray.

Even though I can’t afford it, as soon as this clears up, I’m hiring someone to cut those branches down and haul them off. 

We’re supposed to have snow this weekend, so it doesn’t look like the weather will be improving any time soon.  (Have I said that I hate winter?  I do.)

As I sit here right now, I’m reminded that my son asked me if I heard the loud crash last night.  I didn’t hear it, and it never occured to me that it could be a tree limb breaking off in our back yard. I think I’ll have to leave early today to check that out. 

Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us! 

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