Saturday, June 10, 2006


Blogging’s been sparse around these parts, and in my fantasy life a lot of people want to know why. It’s not because I’m lazy. It’s because I’ve been very busy. Let’s see – what have I been up to? Oh yes. I took on a part-time job that requires my getting up at 5 in the morning. Since that used to be my bedtime, it doesn’t jive too well with my blogging habits. (This illiterate Microsoft Word program just put a squiggly red line under ‘blogging’ (there! It did it again!) because it doesn’t recognize the word.) So I’m tired all the time. I do the yard work, but that makes me even tireder. So I spend a lot of time napping, and when you do that, there goes the blogging. (Squiggly line. I’m afraid if I keep using the word this program will freeze up on me.) Anyway, while on this new job (it’s actually an old new job; I keep re-enlisting every few years) I did get to see something interesting. While driving past the ninth tee the other day (yeah, a golf course) I saw one of those long-legged, high-stepping water birds with a long tubular neck and a beak like a dagger pecking at something in the ground. Then he tosses it in the air and I see it’s a snake. He tosses and catches, tosses and catches, and finally works it into position to slide it down his throat. A few more head jerks and the snake disappears. Except for the tail. That wraps around the bird’s beak just beneath his eyes. A few more twitches and the tail disappears. The snake was alive going down. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be digested alive. Actually I haven’t, but I do now. You could see the bird’s throat convulse every now and then as the snake thrashed around. What if it was a water moccasin, which isn’t unlikely? Is the bird immune to the venom? He didn’t seem worried about it. I had stopped the machine I was riding to watch. After swallowing, if that’s what you can call it, the bird gave me a look that was hard to read. It wasn’t fear, I can tell you that. Another thing I saw was a guy walking his golden retriever in the early morning hours. He was carrying a golf club and the dog trotted beside him with a golf ball in his mouth. The dog would drop the ball, the guy would hit it, and the dog went after it. I love dogs.

In spite of the weariness I have been keeping up with things at my usual minimal level. For example, I noticed that the U.S. Senate failed to abolish the death tax. That means that when mom and dad leave you their stuff, which is what’s left over after everything else they earned has already been taxed, they’re going to tax you again. They’re going to profit off your grief. They’d tax your passage to purgatory if they could. As the famous poem goes: You can’t take it with you/ in a coffin lined with lead,/ So tax’em while they’re living/ And tax’em when they’re dead. Did you know that Mexico has no death tax? No wonder those illegals send so much of it home. I got this fact from Larry Kudlow at Townhall. He thinks those of us who want the illegals to obey the law are xenophobes. I’d supply the link, but it requires opening another window and I just woke up from a nap.

I also noticed that the U.S. Senate failed to vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment. It was actually a vote on a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority, so the simple majority amounted to a loss. They didn’t pass it because – even though to a man and woman they all believe in the sanctity of the union of one man and one woman – they think this issue ought to be left to the states. (I wonder if they think that way about abortion.) So I guess that means that when enough state supreme courts, like Masschussettses’ (try those syllables on for size), impose gay marriage upon their non-constituents, or when the U.S. Supremo Commandantes do the same thing, all those senators will change their minds.

I also noticed Al-Zarqawi’s mug on the TV. He didn’t look well, ashen, to say the least. I didn’t pray for him. It’s not that I tried and couldn’t think of anything to say. I made a conscious decision not to. Bad Christian me. It was more fun trying to imagine what the afterlife must be like for him. I figured I’d let Nick Berg pray for him, across the great abyss.

Bern and Cedar are coming to town for the Women’s Open qualifier. (Bern will try to qualify, not the dog.) I bought him a new treat called T-bones in hopes that he will like it. I can’t wait to see him. I mean them. Bern text-messaged the other day:
    ”Can I borrow 1200 dollars?”
    ”First say yes or no.”
    ”For what?”
    ”I want 2 buy a dog.”
    ”You’re joking, right?”
    ”Sort of.”
    ”Call me.”
Phone rings. I chastise her for complaining about not having enough money to go to tournaments and now she wants another dog.
    ”But he’s so cute.”
    ”Where are you?” I hear a cacophony of sounds in the background, some human, some not.
    ”You’re in a pet store, aren’t you?”
    ”Why aren’t you on the course, practicing?”
    ”I already did that.”
    ”What kind of dog is it?”
    ”A miniature pinscher.”
I told her to forget it, reminding her of the time a pinscher I’d thought a friend bit me, and ever since I’d just as soon put a bullet in their brains as look at them. Besides, it would end up eating Cedar.
    ”No, no. It’s miniature. It stays that way.”
    ”Yeah, a miniature murderer.”
    ”Oh, he’s sooo cute.”
    ”They’re always cute when they’re puppies.”
    ”But cedar needs a playmate.”
    ”Yeah, but not an executioner.”
    ”Well then can I get this little hamster? It’s sooo cute…”
    ”So you want to get something even Cedar can eat. Trust me, a hamster and a dog will never be playmates.”

And on it went a while. I convinced her to wait until the season was over, so she would have sufficient time to give to a new puppy. But I can assure you that Cedar will have his playmate.


Amy said...

Yes, inquiring minds do want to know why :)

If you right-click on a word with red or green squiggly lines (red for spelling errors, green for grammatical errors) you can choose to have Word ignore it, or add the word to Word's dictionary.

William Luse said...

Hey, Amy, I knew all that. Except the last part about adding it to the dictionary. One thing I have found out: I spell better than Word. Most of the time.

Ellyn said...

A hamster could give a dog a run for its money. Providing you put the hamster in one of those exercise balls and then supervise very, very carefully.

I prayed for Al-Zarqawi - though not with a lot of fervor. And I certainly enjoyed seeing him lambasted and scoffed at - not exactly charitable to the dead but, well, he deserved it. (My 2 favs: 1 - The Daily Show showing tape of his body being carried away while they played that Bad Day song that American Idol played for losers 2- The comment that for a lean, mean fighting machine he looked like he had taken a few too many trips to the buffet table.)

William Luse said...

I just don't understand why she'd want a rodent for a pet. I tell you, if it's furry and has eyes, she wants it.

I was at some website checking out news headlines and saw links to videos of several of Zarqawi's beheadings. I watched one, of a fellow named Armstrong. It was even more horrifying than that of Nick Berg, because the quality was better. It takes a lot longer than I had supposed to die in this fashion. I'm a grown man, fairly callous and indifferent when measured against most good people that I know, but I almost lost it at the sight of what one man can do to another. I hope Zarqawi's somebody's buffet in hell.

alicia said...

she wants a pet because they are child substitutes - but at least she knows the difference between humans and animules (unlike those idiots in the Spanish Parliament who want to give the great apes civil rights that are denied to the unborn).

Amy said...

One thing I have found out: I spell better than Word. Most of the time.

That's because MS Word's dictionary was created by software engineers, not English majors :)

William Luse said...

I'm pretty sure she knows the difference, Alicia. Pretty sure. Not absolutely but...

I know some English majors who don't spell too well either. I've noticed that if you write a sentence in which you leave the y off the word 'they', Word won't pick it up. Once I used a word that I happened to know had 3 different acceptable spellings. Word underlined it, but could only give me one option.

TS said...

After meeting this charismatic Cedar, I'm surprised Elizabeth never seems to want a dog.

MamaT said...

Oh, and my 2 cents on the dog? If she wants one, find a decent breeder. Yes, they are cute in pet stores, but they often have hidden problems or issues that don't show up until later.

I've never met a dog that I didn't like (I have THREE, which is WAY too many), but I'll never buy a dog from a pet store again. I've had two big heartbreaks over pet store pups.

Ask your vet about reputable breeders--he can find you one.

William Luse said...

Elizabeth doesn't have room for a dog. In Chicago, you can pay a lot for an apartment that hardly has room for you.

You're right, Mama T. Cedar has such a problem (nothing we can't manage), but he came with a guarantee that there wouldn't be any.

Steven said...

Dear Bill,

The bird you describe is an anhinga, a common enough critter around here. But I've never seen one swallow a snake--that is COOL! Mostly see them sunning themselves, wings out to dry.

Curiously the anhinga is also called the "snake bird" not because of its diet but because of the resemblance of the head/neck to a snake. Wow, you make it seem almost worthwhile to get up when God is still sleeping. Almost, not quite, but almost.



William Luse said...

Anhinga. That's good to know, because I didn't know it before. I tend to call everything an egret (unless it's obviously a pelican or a seagull.) My kids used to ask me, "What kind of bird is that, Daddy?" "I think that's a white egret." And if they saw a blue one it was blue egret (one of which I saw get eaten by an alligator, also at a golf course). I was able to hide behind the "I think." Now I can tell them the truth in at least this case.

And no, it's not worth getting up at 5 just to watch a bird eat a snake.

Do you happen to know the name of the bird with the curved bill? He goes around poking in the dirt with it. He's small and white. Hangs around water but not in it. Proboscis something-or-other?