Posted tagged ‘perspectives’

Talking to Animals

July 13, 2018

farsideI have always been a fan of Gary Larson’s Far Side and  this cartoon is one of my favorites.  It comes to mind every time I see someone having a long, one-sided conversation with their dog.  Really? my Inner Curmudgeon says.   It’s a dog.  Then I find myself at the cat rescue, where I volunteer, talking to the cats awaiting adoption.  Of course, I tell them all they are beautiful, but to the feisty  ones, I explain that they have to learn to be nicer if they want to find a home.   I tell the frightened or shy ones, We all love kitties here … there’s nothing to be afraid of.   And in the park, I talk to most of the animals, too, but especially the squirrels.   When a squirrel runs up, begging for a treat, I say, Hello, Little Man, then either offer them a peanut or apologize for not having any today.   Do you think its sexist that I call them all Little Man?   It’s hard to tell with squirrels with the evidence hidden behind that fluffy tail, and Hello Little Man / Girl, is so awkward.  I suppose I could say, Hello, Little Bushy Tailed One.  I talk to my grand-dogs, Roxy, Darla and Agnes, too, mostly to tell them what good dogs they are and to learn a few secrets about my daughter and son-in-law.    You know what they say … Out of the mouth of dogs. (more…)

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The Neighborhood

July 8, 2018

neighborhoodWhen my wife Muri and I were looking at our current house in Anaheim Hills, the owner told us it was a very friendly neighborhood that frequently had neighborhood block parties.  My Inner Curmudgeon didn’t see that as much of a reason to buy the house and I was inclined to agree.   But otherwise, the house was just what we wanted so we bought it.   Here we are, 17 years later and there hasn’t been a single block party.  The neighbors are friendly enough but not in a get-together-for-the-holidays kind of way.   Consequently, on Wednesday we were having a minor case of the All-Alone-with-Nothing-to-Do-on-the-Fourth Blues.  A movie is always a good place to escape the blues on a hot California day but, as usual, our choice was limited by the fact that we see a lot of (too many?) movies.  Limited to Jurassic Park Episode 132 or Won’t You Be My Neighbor.   Hmmm.  CGI dinosaurs or Mr. Rogers.   WYBMN had unbelievably good reviews and I’d rather have a sharp stick in the eye than another overdose of CGI, so Mr. Rogers won out.   But I have to admit, the thought of an hour and a half of Mr. Rogers gave me pause. (more…)

Independence Day

July 4, 2018

3dflags-usa1-3I consider myself a patriot. A right-leaning but moderate patriot. I believe that which way you lean … right or left … has nothing to do with whether you are a patriot. In part, being a patriot means truly believing that the way you lean … your political and moral compass … is best for the USA.  That, however, is just a start. In this country, acknowledging that others have a right to believe differently … and say so … is also a condition for being a patriot. As a patriot, I want to post something for our nation’s birthday, something positive, or at least hopeful. Not easy, watching what is going on in my country these days, both sides yelling and calling names. Just out of curiosity, I looked back at Bud’s Blog over the last nine years and found a post, Independence, from five years ago.   We had a different president and a different party in charge, but my message applies just as well today.  In part, it said this:

declaration I got up this morning and read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety, not just the beginning that we all find so stirring. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Stirring. To my embarrassment (blush) as I read on, though, I realized I had never read the whole document, even though I’ve stood in front of it … in some awe … in the National Archives.

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The Cat Whisperer

March 9, 2018

TV ElvisSome months ago, our beautiful Burmese cat, Elvis, became listless and stopped eating. After quite a few tests it was found that Elvis had a massive tumor and we had to put her down.   Very sad.  We haven’t been catless for a long time but for an assortment of reasons, we are not ready to bring home another feline. Until we are, I have arranged to get a weekly kitty-fix by volunteering at Yorba Linda Cats in Need, an organization that rescues cats and puts the up for adoption. Rescued cats are either kept at the facility at a nearby PetSmart or fostered in the homes of volunteers. Once a week I go in and clean the cages for the cats at PetSmart feed them and most importantly, spend some time visiting with them. Many of the cats have lived in homes until owners could no longer take care of them and are quite frightened to be in a cage in a strange new place. Getting them to realize they are safe and loved is an important step in getting them adopted. People generally don’t want to adapt a cat that appears frightened or skittish. (more…)

Doctor Doctor

December 4, 2017

EHHSSchool has always come easy to me.  There was a time when I would have seen that as bragging but in my fifties, a friend taught me the notion of being right sized in the universe, that is, knowing what you are good at, bad at and everything in between.  I do. And I’m comfortable with it.  Now, you might think that having school come easy would mean I was as the top of my class all the time.   That wasn’t the case because of some of the things I wasn’t good at were: focusing on grades instead of fun;  working hard in classes that didn’t interest me;  putting aside the personalities of my teachers; and caring about who was valedictorian.  So, while I made the honor societies, it was often by the skin ofTBP my teeth.  In college, I discovered fraternity life, so while I sometimes made the Dean’s list, sometimes I didn’t.  Parenthetically, college transformed me from a somewhat socially awkward high school kid to a fraternity social chairman and president, in the long run a transformation that would serve me well.   But at no point would anyone have termed me a scholar.  OK, Miss Rocco, my Latin teacher (yes, Latin) called me her on-again-off-again-scholar.  Fondly, I think, if with some frustration. (more…)

Fire

October 12, 2017

Monday morning at 10:00, my wife, Muri, and I set out to deliver Meals on Wheels, our monthly service date. As we left our neighborhood, strong Santa Ana winds were blowing in from the East, filling that air with ash from the recent Canyon Fire.  The fire watch truck was parked at the top of Weir Canyon Road, as it usually is when fire danger is high but we saw no sign of smoke. By 10:30, we had loaded our cooler of meals into the car and were on our way to our first client.  Now, a large smoke plume was rising above Anaheim Hills, so we turned on the radio.  A fast moving fire has broken out near the site of last month’s Canyon Fire.  Evacuation of Anaheim Hills is imminent.   We (more…)

What Would You Take?

September 28, 2017

heloAs I sit here trying to feed my poor starving blog, helicopters fly back and forth at low altitude over our house, rattling the windows, a reminder that the 2,000 acre Canyon Fire, to the east of us, is under control but not out.  Wildfires are a fact of life here in Socal and the heartbeat of anyone who has lived in proximity to the many wilderness areas here is sure to accelerate at the sight of a smoke plume nearby.   And they all look closer than they are.  The Canyon Fire started 5 miles to the East of us, almostcanyon fire exactly where the devastating Freeway Complex started in 2008.  That monster burned 20,000 acres and took 190 homes, several within a mile or so of us.  We were evacuated for that fire and the 2006 fire 2 years earlier because our house is one house-row away from a wilderness area.   As a wildfire veteran, when the smoke first appeared on Tuesday, the first thing I noticed was which way the smoke was blowing.   It was not blowing over our house, which is a good thing, at least for us, but it’s no promise of safety.  In the late summer, early autumn winds shift frequently from primarily eastward offshore to Santa 0926_nws_rpe-l-corefire-wp12.JPGAna winds, which howl westward down the Santa Ana Canyon where we live.   The Canyon Fire spread rapidly eastward toward Corona, prompting the evacuation of 1,500 homes, including our good friends who live in one of the neighborhoods most closely threatened.  It is never good when you see pictures of a friend’s neighborhood on the news. (more…)