Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Very Original Intent, Or, Strict Reconstructionists

Nationally, we have to infer what the founders meant when they wrote the Constitution. We have to read between the lines, we have to read the tea leaves, maybe hold a seance, maybe read the document itself, maybe the Federalist Papers. But we just can't know what they meant by deliberately ambiguous phrases and s's that look like f's.
In Alaska, we still have some of the founders with us. One of the framers of Alaska's constitution spoke in opposition Friday to a constitutional amendment that would allow public funds to be appropriated to private educational institutions. Even so, our legislators are all, no, that's not what they meant back in the 50's when they wrote it, and if it was then they were wrong, and anyway, we're not going to appropriate any money, at least that's not the intent. Although, then, what the intent of changing the constitution is, is a little unclear. I'm pretty sure the next step will be to offer to fund private religious schools, until they find out they're funding madrassas (side note, spell check is resisting the spelling of madrassas that it just provided). They may not be for the separation of church and state, but I'm very sure they're for the separation of mosque and state.

By the way, this is in no way a criticism of private religious schools. We sent our kids to a private religious school, and we did it with our own money supplemented by garage sales and auctions, recycling cans and newspapers and the sale of wrapping paper, magazines, and car washes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Who Says That? You Be The Judge.

If I said, "If gun laws aren't reformed, murders are in the offing," would you think, "Incisive political commentary," or, "Who would joke about murders just to make a pun?"

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Laugh? I Thought I'd Fly.

Why is it that when I say I feel like a blimp, it doesn't mean I feel light on my feet? It doesn't even imply that I can see my feet.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Universal Spoiler Alert

The other day I finished reading Why Does The Earth Exist? by Jim Holt.  The author was trying to answer the question, "Why is there something, rather than nothing?" He looked at the Platonic ideal, religion, quantum physics, cosmology, mysticism and even the idea that the universe exists because it has an ethical imperative to exist; something is better than nothing.
In the end, though, I think the poets can sum up his conclusion even better than he could himself.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Wish It Was Tuppence A Bag

Nothing new in my life, but watching the sunflower seeds visibly disappear from my bird feeder over the course of an hour makes me feel better about my eating disorder.

video

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Exploring The Question, "What's The Worst That Could Happen?"

Karen had her MRI last week, and yesterday we went to her orthopedic doctor. He showed us the images, which looked amazing to me, probably because they were really detailed, and I had no idea what they meant. He said she had a torn rotator cuff and that some of the other tendons were, "hamburger." Yes, that's a quote.  He said that it wouldn't get better without surgery, and probably not with surgery either. I asked if they made a brace or a splint for this condition. They don't, so his recommendation was to keep her arm someplace where it didn't hurt.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.” – Rabindranath Tagore

We went to a funeral this evening. It was sad, of course, not most because I had to buy a new pair of black pants to fully encompass my waist, because, like hell, it hath enlarged itself, and opened its mouth without measure. One of the attendees was once one of my postal customers. She told me that she had asked her new letter carrier what had happened to me, and been told that I was dead. She said that she and her husband were both sorry to hear it, which I was glad to hear. Plus, I wasn't even dead.
Last week we got a Life Alert system installed. So, now, if you need a place to crash, give us a call. I told the lady that installed it that she would have to sign the standard non-disclosure agreement. She said not to worry about it, she was used to squalor. Very reassuring. I realized later that we're not really at the "hold your nose" stage yet, more the "look down your nose," stage.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Saturday Delivery, Or, Don't You Love When Someone Confirms What You've Been Thinking?

Here's a link to an article from the Atlantic Wire that summarizes and links to a couple of other articles about the end of Saturday mail delivery. The main point, and this is true of so many issues, Congress and campaign finance are to blame.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

It was twenty years ago today that President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act into law. Controversial at the time, it has now become a beloved institution. To celebrate, I stayed home with Karen, who is once again having muscle spasms. She was afraid that if she fell again, she'd be unable to get up. I told her that if she fell again, she'd be on the floor, and thus, unable to fall again, problem solved. But, I only told her that in my mind, because I'm not some kind of jerk, or at least not that kind of jerk.

Monday, February 04, 2013

I Say, This Is Absolute Tosh. They Must Be Barking

I went back to work today. Mostly so I could rant to people about quinine, which one of Karen's doctor's prescribed to help control muscle spasms. Which it has been doing since like forever, whenever British expats were sitting around the Raffles drinking gin and tonic through their walrus mustaches complaining about the natives and which when I was a kid, they put in pop. You could mix a drink, and fight malaria at the same time. But regulators, working in the dim light trickling into their offices in Big Pharma's pockets have changed the rules on quinine, and now, a compound that children used to be able to put on their corn flakes if they ran out of milk, has a $95 co-pay. That's a $95 co-pay!
When I got home a took a test of tone deafness and musical memory. I was in the low normal range. They stopped just short of saying, "Your hearing's not too good, plus, we think you might be retarded. Does your mom know you're playing on her computer?"

Sunday, February 03, 2013

"And The Sky Is Gray"

According to statistics I'm making up right now, Sunday is the most depressing day of the week, representing, as it does, the imminent end of freedom and the return to the drudgery of the work week. This is especially true today, since I haven't been to work in six days, and now must face six days straight. And also because the last six days haven't been exactly free, since a lot of it involved taking Karen places like the bathroom and to the hospital for an MRI which she didn't get because after waiting two hours, they told us that the machine was broken, so we still have that to look forward to.
Karen was improved enough yesterday (and it was a scheduled day off, not sick leave, because I wouldn't have a good time on sick leave;  I wouldn't)  that we went to Lincoln (the movie, not the capital of Nebraska) which makes me a feel a little ashamed talking about an impending loss of freedom compared to the weightier issues of freedom and dignity discussed in the movie.
Although, saying, "weightier," reminds me that on Friday, I was going to weigh my self for the first time since last December. But, aside from helping Karen walk down the hall, I had spent the week lolling in pajamas, and I didn't want to make a week of inactivity the prelude to my return to the scale after the Christmas feasting. I'm not saying I had become portly, but Disney Cruises had tried to secure docking rights. Sorry, that was just Goofy.