Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Another year flies by.  And next week the world ends (Mayan calendar. Dec 21st)  But just in case it doesn't, here's the annual letter.  No cards this year.  But for a good cause.

Everything is sooo big!

Back in February we flew in this little 12 pound ball of fluff from Kentucky.  Now he’s 45 pounds of mostly muscle, teeth and fluff.  His name is Chester.  Born on the day we had to put down 15 year old Jessie the Cocker, he’s about a 2/3 scale Golden retriever. Lighter fur than Donald Trump.  He’s a rare breed.  Way back in the day, a certain poodle was put into the bloodline as the breeder played Genetics. Dad was a shrimp.  Not seafood, short.  Mom was a beautiful white Golden.  Or White-en.  She should have been named Betty, but was DameMutworthUptail  or something ASPCA friendly. As a pup, Chester’d eat anything.  I found a light cord where he chewed through and bared both wires.  Somehow he survived.  And the house didn’t burn down.  I haven’t been able to teach him to speak English, but I swear he whined “Rigatoni” once.

I love rabbit poop!

I own the world.
Mrf mmrrrf mrrrrr.

Chester, earlier in puppyhood, would eat any plush toy we gave him.  It wouldn’t take but a little chewing, OFF goes the leg, OFF goes the head, stuffing being swallowed like cool whip.  Of course we’d try to carefully monitor him and when the stuffing became exposed, we’d trash that little piggy or ‘coon or hedgehog or whatever.  So Chester gets better at it – faster – bigger sharper teeth.  Pretty soon he’s swallowed a squeaker.  It’d be funny if he’d fart a squeal, but more’n’likely the squeaker would plug his intestine, and we’d face serious surgery.  After a quick consult with his trainer, we took him to an emergency vet (of course it was the weekend) where they induced vomitage. Somehow they had an old Madonna movie... said it works every time!

BANG! We were hit by lightning.  It scared the beejesus out of us.  There was beejesus all over everything.  Again, no fire, but damage included both computers (Compu-Toast!), an air conditioner controller, the pool equipment master control board, and other fun repairs. No hole.  Metal Roof.  It was like being on the inside of an exploding bubble of light and concussion, but very very fast.  You don’t say, “Were we hit?”  You say “Where were we hit?”  One of my mirrored hard drives was dead, the other iffy.  Both computers were later replaced.

Taking this as an omen (not really), we put the house up for sale (really.)  Selling these days is mostly via building an internet presence.  We are very present and very internet, and have had a few nibbles but haven’t hooked a buyer.  After a showing, one realtor left a door open.  Not to negotiation – she left a door open.   I see no critters appearing yet, but that’s sloppy realtoring.  If the doorknob is a challenge, then I’d expect a buyer’s contract in Crayola.

So where will we go?  Don’t know.  Austin, yes.  Roof, yes.  Running water, yes. Toilets, hopefully. Why are we selling?  Downsizing.  We are at some sort of crossroads.  Life.  It’ll getcha.

By the way, when warranties expire, things break, die, or stop working.  In my experience that's in 7 years.  We have been here 8.  Have seen a lot of repair people lately.  One day we had 12 guys working.  You can't sell a broken house/waterheater/refrigerator/stove - you name it.  Heck, back in Minnesota the house sold with a new AC and heating system, new floor, new roof, new driveway, new landscaping and more.

About Christmas, whatever happened to tinsel?

Here in our little community of about 150 homes, there seems to be a holiday decoration race.  CREWS are at work making spirits (if not streets) bright.  They line the roofs, the gardens, wrap trees, and it’s not even cold yet.  I remember doing it myself as a kid on two of our overgrown shrubs, hanging the good lights – the big bulbed ones, on the coldest day ever.  It seems a lot of the Christmas Deco-dollar has landed on giant inflatables of the jolly old elf, be he in a helicopter, 18 wheeler, or beer truck.  This year, due to Chester, we won’t risk tempting him with a tree and decorations just right for clogging intestines.  He’s a smart dog, but still a pup.  He can hear the big cats (Lions and Tigers and Panthers) Oh My! from the local ‘rescue zoo’ a few miles upwind.  He always give me the look that says, “That’s not right, Bob.”  Feeling completely scrooged we are skipping cards again this year, but will donate to instead.  Sorry, post office. is very worthy.

You KNOW about the Mayans and the predicted end of the world on December 21st?  It’s an earlier version (or later) of Y2K.  If somebody doesn’t run an end of the world sale – “put it on the credit card!” – then the advertising community will let us all down.  If you were going to end the world imagine the show you could put on.*  Of course there are billions of stars with billions of planets so you know they come and go.  Our hubris makes us think it won’t happen here.  Hey – wait – don’t mean to bum you out.  Just saying…  

*If I was to produce the end of the world it'd be commercial free, that's certain..  I'd reunite the Beatles.  They'd seem huge, spread across the sky, backed up by some crazy Grateful Dead lightshow.  They'd do a medley and maybe even a new song or two, then,  The End.  As they finished, luminescent flakes would fall all over the world, like snow, even indoors, but when they touched anyone they'd have an orgasm and pass.

...meanwhile we dance with danger at the fiscal cliff.

Fiscal Cliff Santa

The Family Crest
Looking forward to the new album by The Family Crest, a band we fell for in San Francisco and have subsequently seen in a house party here.  Helped fund it on Kickstarter and even though thousands of people kicked in too, it’s so nice to be able to help a creative venture, especially when the talent is so good.  The best way to describe their music is cinematic, visionary meets pop.  I know, it’s special.

Well, not so much biting sarcasm this year, so no ointment will be needed now.

Happy and Merry!!!

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