Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Bad Out There

The city of Detroit has just sold the Pontiac Silverdome (cost to build $56 million) to a private group for $580,000, the price of a nice home.

And you thought you were underwater on your house.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Special Notice

The wife stood in line for three hours today to get the baby a pug vax. We hadn't planned on it taking that long so she brought the Girl with her. The line stretched around the block at a local middle school. I sympathize with my wife and felt badly that she was stuck with the girls alone.

As you can imagine, three hours leaves plenty of time to chat with your fellow vax waiters. At one point a woman was walking down the line and my wife asked how far the line went back. The woman answered my wife and then stuck around a while as she and my wife shared their gripes about the whole process. During a small lull in their conversation the Girl piped in, talking about one thing or another. The woman listened to the Girl intently and then asked my wife discretely, "Is she "special needs?" She didn't say it rudely or obnoxiously, just understandingly. My wife said yes and explained the Girl's circumstances.

When my wife told me this story I found myself asking for details: what had the Girl been saying? how did she speak? did the woman ask knowingly or curiously? I needed to know what this stranger had used to glean her perception of my daughter.

We discuss the Girl's issues in our home regularly, hardly a day goes by without a conversation about it. We have talked to her therapists and doctors about it over and over. We are fully aware of the extent of her problems. We are not in denial. However, when my daughter's disability is obvious to a total stranger during a brief meeting, well, that is something akin to a punch in the gut. It is no longer our problem - mine and my wife's - to worry over, plan for, contend with. It is now my daughter's problem, and no matter what we do the world will notice it more and more. And the world has never been known for its kindness.

I told my wife I was glad it was her that spoke with the woman. It it were me I think I would have started crying.

An addendum: My wife told me that as they waited their three hours in line today many of the kids ran and played on the large grassy knoll next to the line. Two girls, sisters, joined Flyn in a game. As Flyn began telling them a story of some kind the younger of the two girls said, "What? I can't understand you." Her sister stepped in and informed her younger sibling, matter of factly, "It's ok. She still talks baby."


These identity thieves really are dumb as a box of rocks.

Got this today in my junk mail:

Dear Bank of America Cardholder,

This is your official notification from Bank of America. Your online has expired. If you want to continue using our service you have to renew your online. If not, your online will be limited and deleted.

To continue click here and complete the renew form with your current information.

Thank you,
Bank of America Online Banking Support

"Your online"?
"complete renew form"?

Idiots turn to crime precisely because they are idiots. They can't even do this well.

Science Fair Projects From Hell


And a boatload more here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Hey, everybody remember my rant regarding the county health department's failure to deliver pug vax in a timely and effective manner? And the fact that my wife's hospital had requested 3500 doses for staff and patients and received only 50 doses? For everyone?!

Well, we now discover why.

It seems the State of California, responsible for distributing the vax throughout the state, just forgot. According to the infectious disease pharmacist at the hospital, California just plain forgot that our county existed. We weren't included on the distribution list. We didn't show up on the spreadsheet. We didn't count. Only last week did someone in Sacramento realize we were here and now the county gets its vax. Seriously - they freaking forgot half a million people who live smack dab in the middle of the state.

If you live in the county, by the way, vaccination clinics begin today. Call public health to determine where, but beware that they are only dosing 6-24 month olds and care providers for those under 6 months. Pregnant women (the group with a death rate of 1 in 9) are on their own.

Hell of a way to run public health, if you ask me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

How Dey Do Dat?

Courtesy of my uncle Richard, I received this photo this morning. I had never seen it. Taken in 1935, it shows my father's brothers and sisters - before my father and his youngest brother, the afore-mentioned Richard, were born.

From top to bottom, left to right, Robert, 14, Helen, 12, Roger, 10, Don, 8, Doris, 6, Dorothy, 4, and Ted, 2.

My father would come along 4 years later and uncle Richard in 1941.

Of the 9 total kids born to my grandmother, only 5 are still living. (For some reason I think I remember hearing of yet another child who died at birth but can't be certain.)

I feel overwhelmed with 3 kids. How in the world did families cope with this many children in the midst of the Depression?

All of them look healthy and happy here - except for little Teddy. That scowl must be because of the overalls.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Got a friend request this morning from an old high school classmate. She has an abundance of photos from my recent 30th high school reunion - a reunion I didn't attend.

There is nothing - and I mean nothing - that will make you feel older than looking at pics of one of these things. It's like a freaking AARP convention. You can delude yourself when you look in the mirror, but that is entirely shattered when you see your contemporaries 30 years on.

Man, we're old.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are We The New Conservative Parents?

Papa W assists young W with "the Tie"

I recently jumped on the Facebook bandwagon at the urging of my beloved wife. I had hesitated for a long time even though I had an account with FB because I couldn't imagine finding the time to maintain a page there let alone follow the pages of others. But here I am - once you are sleep-deprived what's a little more deprivation?

In the process I have reaquainted myself with some pals (hey all!) and enjoyed gandering at their photos of their growing families.

One picture got me thinking. It was a school pic for the charming boy produced by some wiley characters. In it he is wearing a tie. Based on the other children pictured it did not seem to be a requirement. A tie. It got me thinking.

There's a trend I've noticed. Just hints mind you, but it indicates something interesting to me.

Most of my friends have now produced offspring. Many of them came late to spawning, like myself (though none as late as I), and so I base my thoughts on them. The same may not hold true of younger parents.

It seems to me that as left-leaning as we all are, we seem to be rather conservative regarding our children. The tie is a useful symbol of that.

Most of us were ourselves raised in a rather liberal atmosphere, our parents having broken the bonds of the traditional family ideals they themselves were raised within. They eschewed ties and other conservative trappings favored by their parents for indivdual freedoms. We in turn took advantage of our parents' liberal ethos. Divorce and family dissolutions were commonplace in our generation and provided even less opportunity for parental supervision - more freedom. We galavanted and experimented and explored and indulged. We did not suffer rigidity.

Are we blowing back? Have we re-upped our stakes in more trad values regarding our own kids? Is this, consciously or not, a backlash against the tenor of our own unsupervised youth, the lack of dress codes, the absence of curfews, the latchkey childhoods?

I don't have the answer, nor am I making a judgement one way or the other.

But I will say this: if what we are doing includes the simple perfection of teaching a son how to tie his tie, then that's a good thing.

I should know - I learned to tie mine from a book.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Hate to steal another's post, but it's just too good.

As Sully says,
"An actual animal - from Earth."