His journey to the dark side is complete!

My friend who’s a new iPhone, iPad user has in fact taken quite well to the conversion.


How do I know this?

A running conversation through airports across the nation. via iMessage; Messages sent at oh dark thirty (his time) from his iPhone. 

And the final proof!

A status email sent this morning that ended; “sent from my iPad”



Welcome to the dark side my friend.

You’ll enjoy the products and I’m sure that more Apple devices are in your future.

Your expression when I showed you what an iPad and Apple TV could do together, told me you’ll have a couple within the month. That didn’t even include my showing you how to manage porn.

I also suspect that you will replace your Windows computer with a Mac of some kind. It’s inevitable.

I love it when not only do I convert someone, I’m especially gratified when they take to the conversion like ducks to water!

Now if we can just get you over that pesky data cap fear.


Happy Birthday USMC!


Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

Yes, you’re 238 years old today… but you look simply marvelous!

With profound thanks to all Marines past, present & future for your service, and allowing me the luxury of sleeping soundly at night.

You guys attending the Ball, have a blast! Drink and be merry, if you drink too much… call someone to drive you home. Your life is way more important than leaving your car in a lot over night.

To the Marines in my world, who’ve shaped my life for the better… 

I love you all. 

Any of you that know me, You know I’ll come pick you and your buds up & make sure you’re safe while you sleep it off. Call me if it comes to it.

Semper Fi, my friends.

It’s been a rough week, The eldest dog died.

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As I mentioned elsewhere, I’ve been dealing with a very sick dog.

Thursday night the poor guy started regular seizures about every 3 to 4 hours. With each seizure he got weaker, and lost more control over his legs and body, in the end he was completely blind. 

Whatever was going on was major. Just as we panic when our bodies betray us, so do dogs.

In the end he was panicked so much that we couldn’t get him to calm down before the next seizure hit. 

The other dog was frightened too. His health is good but he knew something was seriously wrong with his buddy.

Friday morning the seizures were coming faster and we knew it was the end, and time to let him go. 

The vet did a quick exam to see if there was anything to be done aside from euthanasia.

The opinion of the Vet and the Technician who’ve know the dogs all their lives was it was time. All that could be done, had been done and while the dog was between seizures and relatively calm & comfortable it was best to do him a mercy.

So my family is down to three.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the floor and setting aside whatever I’m doing to reassure and comfort the remaining dog.

They escaped an abusive household together 9 years ago. They wouldn’t be separated at the animal shelter (They’d both stop eating) We adopted them both, and never separated them.

I’ve been watching carefully to make sure that S. (I’m not using his full name. I’d prefer he barked at you if he doesn’t know you) is eating properly and not getting too depressed.

He is boycotting all the dog cushions. I think it’s because we were having to rotate the cushions and their covers after each seizure and “His” cushion got used repeatedly by our sick guy.

Hopefully that will pass & he’ll decide it’s ok to use the soft cushions instead of the floor. 

He doesn’t seem to be looking for his buddy per se, but he’s acting a little lonely. 

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I scheduled a quick grooming for him Friday afternoon, (He really likes the groomer) that took his mind off all that had been going on Thursday evening & Friday morning.

When we got home, he was confused at the absence of his friend. Eventually he laid down on a cool spot and got some deep restful sleep. 

Eventually, I laid down on the bed, within a few minutes I was being nuzzled then there was a big sigh as he snuggled next to my chest. He’s always done this when he’s upset, sick, or hurt. We slept like that for about 3 hours.

Several years ago after the fire here at the house, these two dogs pulled us through some really dark and tough times. 

One of the things that they helped us with was priorities. Or responsibilities to them always came first. In return, they gave us boundless love and attention. Sometimes it was as simple as nuzzling a foot, or leaping on the bed in the morning with a toy that got dropped on my head. Their needs focused our attention on what was important.

All the rest of it was just noise.

I find myself in that same space. S. needs attention and concern. We’ve been walking in the mornings during the past couple of weeks (we used to walk in the afternoons with his buddy.) He’s enjoying the exercise, as am I. 

Over the past weeks he’d accepted that his buddy couldn’t be with us on these outings.

He forgot this morning that B. wasn’t here at all and went looking for him in the yard and all the rooms of the house. You could almost see the realization as S. couldn’t find B.

S. had gotten in the habit of coming back from a walk and then telling B. all about it.

It was one of those ‘gotcha’ moments that bring a tear to your eye. 

I just cuddled S. and told him it was OK, He’s a good boy.

The telltale to his being upset and depressed, was that he didn’t want his after walk treat.

We’ll all get through this it’s just going to take time.

B., you were a great dog, I miss you.(Yes, even your snoring like a freight train.) I pray that you’re playing with other dogs somewhere in a sunlit grassy field. 

Here are a couple of PDFs friends have sent with loving, comforting, emails. B. was a sweet dog and even those who were afraid of larger dogs loved him.

Pet Death.pdf

Rainbow Bridge.pdf

Good News Everybody!


The Supreme Court of the United States today gutted DOMA and effectively said that Proposition 8 here in California was unconstitutional, by allowing the 9th circuit courts ruling to stand.

This is a good day.

At the same time we know that the well funded, fundamentalists will begin their campaigns to take away the rights and privileges that have been restored to the GLBT community.

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Today is a sad for me personally.

Today marks the Fifth anniversary of a friends death.

John would have been leading a band of happy folks over the SCOTUS ruling. I have this weird image of him playing his trumpet or his sax like the pied piper. Wait, he also played the flute yeah that’s what he’d be playing.

I found out that he played the flute one Summer afternoon when he was on leave from the Marines. He was sitting on my back patio in a pair of olive shorts just noodling with some classical piece of music. He looked up as I came in from work and morphed the classical piece into the riff from Jethro Tull’s Aqualung. Then he moved on to a medley from Songs from the Wood.

He did it so seamlessly that I never noticed the transition. He gave me a gift that day. He perked up my mood and put a smile on my face even though it had been a really BAD day at work.

I still smile when I hear music form those albums because I see John sitting on the patio relaxed and happy, playing his flute for an audience of one.

Five years on, and I still miss him. Every once in a while I’ll hear someone whose voice sounds like his. Now though I smile instead of feeling blue.

John wouldn’t want me to be sad, especially not with the news today. The image of him leading a group of smiling people his flute sparkling in the sunshine does put a smile on my face. There are times when I wonder if he somehow puts funny images in my head to cheer me up on his birthday and on this date.

Yeah, I get misty-eyed thinking about him, but I can’t stay blue. An endless line of memories and laughs we had flits through my head and I end up smiling & feeling happy in spite of myself.

So John, in honor of you…

I’m going to smile, be happy and drink a toast to the good news. Then I’ll toast to you, our friendship and loving each other like brothers.

Your light and joy aren’t forgotten and you have a place in my heart forever.

Not a good morning.

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Because last night I didn’t sleep very well.

What can you expect when you’re in a sleeping bag on the floor? I guess I’m getting too old for “roughing it”

Why was I sleeping on the floor?

Well, the older of the two dogs had some sort of seizure last night about 10PM. The only thing I could do was hold him and talk to him.

The seizure passed after maybe two or three minutes but the dog was still panicked by it. I laid with him on one of the dog cushions just talking to him and petting him. 

The other dog who is normally such a jealous guy seemed to know something was wrong. He let me cuddle and talk to Butch without interference.

Around 3 hours later Butch decided he wanted to get up. He walked around tentatively but as obviously still weak.

By around 1:30 I’d decided that I wasn’t going to leave him alone, so I pulled my sleeping bag out and had just settled down when Butch laid down beside me and drifted off.

That’s when I discovered a couple of things.

One, fat as I am I have no padding on my hips and Two, the carpet I was sleeping on has some kind of lump right in the small of my back.

I’m not moving, I don’t want to disturb the dog. I cat napped through the night.

This morning the dog is moving slow but according to the web that’s not completely unexpected. He’s going to the Vet this morning to see if there’s anything that can be done or if this is simply a function of him being an old dog.

Then I’m going to do Poo patrol in the yard and some weed whacking (Which is overdue). That will give me to opportunity to see if there’s anything in the yard that may have acted like a poison. I’m concerned about one or two of the neighbors who may have indiscriminately used poison trying to control moles or other rodents.

If one of those came to my yard to die that could be a source of poisoning as well.

Sounds strange that I’m hoping it’s poisoning… But that’s something that time, care and plenty to drink can repair. There’s not much I can do about it if its just old age. 

I hate making end of life decisions, but don’t want the Dogs who have been my loyal friends for so many years to suffer. 

Letter to a wayward child

I don’t understand.


I treated you as an adult, I stayed out of your affairs, I offered advice sometimes unasked but only because I thought you could use a different point of view. Was I not fair? Didn’t I welcome you into my home? Didn’t I treat you well?

You used my vehicle, you were an equal.

You repaid our kindness by breaking the few rules we have in the house. You were always late with your part of the rent… and I said nothing.

I even asked if you had enough cash to be able to cover your part, if you’d ever said no… It wouldn’t have been a problem. I’d have handed the rent check back. I was more interested in making sure that you had what you needed.

I made myself available to you… all you ever had to do was call and I’d have been there. If you were too tired to drive, I’d have come to get you.

In the end you weren’t even bothering to text anyone to say you were ok. Another rule broken… It’s not like you couldn’t, you & your girlfriend were texting each other 50 times an hour.

You were never where you said you’d be, certainly not when you said you’d be there.

I teased you about it but wasn’t upset by it, you’re young and sometimes being young means that you forget things. You’re easily distracted by the next new thing or experience.

Then I realized you were lying…

The realization began when, one day you asked me what my mailing address was . I innocently gave it to you. Later when I asked what you needed the address for, you told me you were updating your address book. I took you at your word.

A few days later, you asked me if I’d checked my mail… I said yes, thinking you were offering to make the post office run.

A week or so later, when a certain piece of mail showed up. Everything was clear… You’d used me. You’d been sneaky, and you’d facilitated someone else’s sneakiness.

In the bargain, you’d placed me in the middle of whatever was going on and you’d done it without any consideration for the position you’d put me in.

I waited for you to ask about it, I wanted a few minutes to talk with you about it. Instead, you were like trying to capture lightening, I couldn’t get enough of your time to even find out what you were doing much less have a conversation. Then there’s the question… Did you really think I wasn’t going to notice what you’d done or question it? Really?

From then on… I watched you more closely.

I listened very carefully to what little bits of information you let slip as you breezed through on your way to your next destination.

More and more often your stories didn’t match up. What you said about where you were and with who changed with each telling.

How many times when you said you were camping were you really camping? How about those times when you said you were staying at your Dads place?

Given the nearly 10,000 miles (As a conservative estimate) you put on the truck… I’m inclined to believe you were doing a lot more than just driving around the local area.

I came to the conclusion that I simply couldn’t trust you. I was going to ask for the keys to my truck. I wish now that I’d installed a tracking device on my truck because I suspect it would be very interesting to find out just where you’d been.

Then you announced you were moving out immediately.

Again breaking the rules…

The rental agreement said you were supposed to give 30 days notice. When you get into the real world and aren’t living with your girlfriends parents I expect you’re going to learn a lot of nasty lessons very quickly.

Honestly though, it was a relief. I am glad to have nothing but the tail end of the drama to deal with. I’m glad to have my house back.

Don’t get me wrong, you could have stayed here till the cows came home, I wouldn’t have asked you to leave. I’d made a commitment to you and I was going to honor it. I’d have simply made sure that everything was secure when we weren’t around.

I would have continued patiently trying to show you that being an honest, honorable man, and doing the right thing is important and valuable.

These are the same things your father taught you, but for some reason you don’t seem to have learned the lessons.

I thought you were just lying to me.

As you were moving out I found out that you’d brought the potential for trouble right to my door. I believe that you were going to leave without even warning me.

I finally connected all the dots, when I spoke with your Dad this week.

After you moved out, I discovered that you’d been lying to your Father, Me, and I can’t even imagine how many other people.

Your Dad was pissed off at me, because he thought you were asking me for advice and I wasn’t letting him know you were making bad decisions. You knew this, yet you never said a word.

UP to this point I was annoyed, and hurt. Because I thought it was just me you were lying to.

After hearing your Dad, I was flat out pissed off!

All the times I asked you if you’d talked with your dad, and you said “Yes”, you were lying.

Those times when I gave you my opinion of a situation and suggested that you also get your Dads opinion, you just blew me off.

You never once spoke with your Dad. When I asked, following up about your dads opinion, you lied to me again.

You have no place here.

Your keys won’t work, you can’t even access the WiFi anymore. I can’t trust anything about you. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust you again.

In time, I may be able to forgive you. But I’ll never be able to forget it.

I hope that your Dad and I can put our friendship back together, I honestly don’t know at this point. What I do know is that it’s going to take a LOT of work, Thanks for that by the way…

You need to consider the collateral damage you cause. I touched on this briefly several weeks ago when I told you you were jamming us up not by what you did… but by not doing what you said you were going to do.

Knowing what I know now… I would and perhaps should have let you leave your Dads house for some of the less savory options you were planning.

God knows it would have been a lot easier, and my home wouldn’t have been disrupted by the constant drama.

I was trying to be a decent person… You used that against me.

I was acting to protect you and your Dad, I didn’t what to see him brokenhearted if you followed in the footsteps of your siblings.

I hoped and prayed that you were different and for a time I believed you were. I actually believed that given some time you’d move back in with your Father and everything would work out, especially when it became obvious that you had no intention of trying the military again.

I can’t believe that I was so very wrong in so many ways about you.

You really should consider a career in acting. You’re good at it. Then again, so are sociopaths.

Now A lot of people are broken hearted and I know none of us will ever know the whole truth about anything about you.

Who are you really?

Do I want to know?

Probably not…