Ride boldly, Lad, fear not the
spills! (From "The Man From Snowy River," by Banjo Paterson)
I'm not the man I used to think I was.
"Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!"
(William Butler Yeats)
For a looong discussion on motorcyling in general and Adventure riding in particular, see the archives (or scroll down) for
the first post on September 28, 2006.
It gives some opinions and ideas, along with a bit of philosophy; one (old) man's view of the world of 2 wheels.
|New Scooter---2014 R1200RT
|Cap'n Ron in the Straits of Georgia
Monday, August 22, 2011
More on Montaigne
12:07 pm mdt
So, where was I? Yes, Montaigne. His language is a bit abstruse, but with concentration, one can glean meaning. Writing
on death, he takes the line that it is inevitible, and we should suck it up and get used to it. Avoiding all talk of it until
faced with it, say at a funeral, only enhances our fear and trembling. We should be more open about it, and get friendly with
the idea, according to him. He quotes, as mentioned earlier, the ancients, who perhaps had more wisdom on the topic than we.
The fact that most of these personages presaged Christianity is perhaps significant, if not just coincidental.
long seemed to me that religion, and Christianity in particular, has a very powerful urge to promise eternal life to those
who conform. I have read, although I am clearly no authority, that Judaism has not traditionally dealt with life-after-death.
Nevertheless, I tend to cleave to theories like those of Ernest Becker, who wrote Denial Of Death. He thought that
the origin of nearly all religiousity lay in the human awareness, at an early age, that physical death awaits, and in effect,
said religion is an attempt to deny that fact by hoping for and promising a rewarded after-life of eternal bliss---but only
to those who adhere to the specific tenets of whatever religion holds sway.
Montaigne says that he lives with the daily
knowledge that he will die. He says that he does not fear death, and is spending his waning years awaiting it, but without
despair. He writes in hopes that his ideas will bear some kind of solace for those not yet come to terms with the fact that
we are here for but a short time, and whatever comes after, we had best make the most of the brief blink of the eye that constitutes
our existence in this physical world.
He claims no imagination, no originality, no fealty to either past or future.
He lives the day, and says what is on his mind. We can take it or leave it. He is not in the least irreligious, but he does
not appear to let doctrine or dogma dominate. He thinks, he writes, and it is for us to read or to ignore.
is interesting that he seems to come and go. His writings are popular, then wane, and his appeal is cylical. Right now it
is waxing. It is worth the effort; in small bits it can be entertaining.
Incidentally, the title of the previous post:
Memento Mori means "Remember, you too must die." Well, that is one translation.
Friday, August 12, 2011
11:34 pm mdt
I have been reading Montaigne lately. He has been making a resurgence, Thanks mostly to a recent book by Sarah Bakewell:
How To Live or A Life Of Montaigne. She gives us a biography of the man, and a smattering of his writing.
you are not familiar with this writer, do not despair, he has come and gone on the scene since he lived in the Sixteenth Century
(1533-1592). He was the originator of the essay, and the very term "essay" itself. It still means, in one sense
"to try, to attempt," and that was what he was about. He wrote more or less "stream of consciousness."
He titled his works, but often wandered off topic and far afield. But, he wrote what he thought, and it all was out there,
something never done before, and often emulated in the intervening four hundred or so years.
Monsieur Montaigne waxes
eloquent on many different subjects, but one in particular interests me, as it did him: death. He says, following the lead
of several ancients, that a man cannot be judged happy until he is dead. Things can change in an instant, and what has appeared
to be a happy life can be altered into misery and despair in the blink of an eye. He allows that all too often a man lingers
too long in this earthly pale, outliving his welcome, so to speak. Death is a respite from the cares of life, and takes us
out of what may have come to be a dismal existence.
We fear death because we ignore it, shunt it aside, deny it,
and make every effort to keep it at bay, but it is t no avail, because it is as much a factor in our universe as birth itself.
Death comes to each of us, and our failure to come to grips with that very basic fact makes it all the more fearful and foreboding.
lost his longest and dearest friend early on, and that event profoundly affected the rest of Montaigne's life. He lived with
the spectre of death each and every day, yet he did not allow it to cast a shadow. He acknowledged it, and that acknowledgement
made it a sort of familiarity that lost its power. Death lurked, always waiting for its chance, but Montaigne went about his
life cheerfully, making the most of every moment because that moment could well be his last, and he was acutely aware that
one day it would be the last moment.
Perhaps more of us should view impending death in a more familiar light. We know
it is coming, but when it happens to friend or family we respond a though it were rare and unexpected. It is not. It is always
there. It is constant and pervasive, and we should get used to it. More on this later.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Not my idea, but worthy of consideration
12:04 pm mdt
I usually do not pass along e-mail suggestions, but here is a post I received earlier today that I think worth considering.
I must admit that it did not originate here.
No matter what your political party, I think we are all pretty
of Congress's shenanigans. Maybe if they were brought down a peg, they
feel more like taking better care of the American people instead of
and their next election chances. I think this email is filled
ideas, so I am passing it on.
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18
only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The
it. That was in 1971... Before computers, before e-mail,
I'm asking each addressee
to forward this email to a minimum
of twenty people on their address list; in
turn ask each of those to do
In three days, most people in The United States of America
will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives
no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
All funds in the Congressional retirement
fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the
Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It
not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as
all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will
rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same
health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
7. All contracts with
past and present Congressmen are void
The American people did not make this contract with
Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen
ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, it
only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the
Maybe it is time.
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!
If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete. You
are one of my 20+. Please keep it going.
just a thought, but I have concluded that we have to do something besides sit around and whine about where things are going.
Most of us agree that the direction is wrong.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
4:49 pm mdt
This government no longer functions. To call it dysfunctional is to fail to recognize that neither house of our esteemed
congress can reach consensus on anything whatsoever. To claim that the recent debt ceiling "crisis" has been solved
by these politicians is to deny the fact that nothing has been accomplished. The so-called cuts have yet to be implemented.
The Super congress committee will meet, fight, make a lot of noise, and come to no conclusion that satisfies anyone. The country
will continue down the long road of decline and economic disaster.
No matter which side of the political teeter-totter
you sit on, you will have to admit that "it ain't working." The Ins are fighting to maintain their position, and
the Outs are bound to throw them out, and they don't care what happens to the economy or the middle class, not to mention
the poor. The poor never were a consideration with these people. They are out of touch with the real world. They are the latest
manifestation of the aristocracy. They are a step above; they are the Noveau Royalty. They are for the most part,
rich before coming into office, and for damned sure rich when they leave. They make upwards of $200K, retire with close to
that much guaranteed, even if they are convicted of a felony while in office (see: Randy (Duke) Cunningham), and have medical
plans that are the envy of the middle class. When they leave office they soon become lobbyists, usually starting out at $200K
or more.They haven't a clue what it means to live at the "normal" level today.
It is usually wrong to paint
an entire group with a tar-brush, but in this case the few who are really for the common man (and woman) are scarcer than
the chicken in Campbell's Chicken Soup. Bernie Sanders comes immediately to mind, as does Russ Feingold---oh wait, the good
people of Wisconsin threw him out last fall. Well, there are a couple more, but their influence amounts to little.
had a recall election yesterday, and the Republicans retained control of their legislature. Wisconsin voters will now see
the results of that defeat, when Scott Walker and his minions continue their gutting of work rules and collective bargaining,
while ensuring future victories at the polls by making voting registration more and more difficult for the kind of people
that might vote them out. So Wisconsin, you, like the rest of us, get what the majority wants---and deserves. Unfortunately,
ALL of us (those of us outside of Wisconsin will feel the effects when our state legislatures follow suit) will suffer. The
first ten amendments of the constitution (Better known as the Bill of Rights), intended to protect minorities from the tyranny
of the majority, cannot protect us from the often misguided majority at the voting booths.
In short, we are screwed.
The country is headed for another recession (none dare call it Depression), and Washington, the president included, spin their
wheels and run around in circles. But note bene: they won't suffer lost paychecks or foreclosed houses. Their pay
and retirement will continue. People like Representative Eric Cantor have a"let them eat cake" attitude. I hope
it doesn't happen to him, but he deserves a fate like Marie Antoinette.
I read a column yesterday by Dan Rather (remember
him?). He now appears on some network nearly as obscure as the channel Keith Olbermann devolved to. His column was upbeat,
and Dan is betting on America. We always come out of trouble he claims. You know, I always liked Mr. R, but I think he is
putting on a brave face, hoping against hope... Call me a pessimist. Call me cynical. I call it Realism---facing
the facts and coming to the only probable conclusion---we are going down the chute, and those who could arrest the decline
are patting themselves on the back, because it looks like they are going to get their wish. Obama will be a one-termer. It
isn't as though he hasn't made it easier for them.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
11:05 am mdt
I have been reading of late, a series of blogs that are quite entertaining. They come from a man who is a former attorney
who chucked it all and has become a writer. He writes well, and his reminiscences about past cases and other events have great
But, he has begun to swerve into mind games, and in his latest chapters is making a case for what I will call
spirituality---I don't think he has used that term---or, specifically in the last published tract, "conscious awareness"
outside the individual's skull.
Now we are approaching things that I hold agnosticism about, if not outright denial.
OK, I'll try to keep an open mind (that ain't easy, believe me!), and consider what evidence is presented before either slamming
the door or opening my arms and clasping this idea to my bony chest.
But in the nonce I am always puzzled by the idea
of spirituality. What is "spirit" anyway? People religious and atheistic (or at least agnostic) often profess spirituality,
and I am non-plussed by the word. I inquire what they mean, and the responses are without fail vague beyond description.
I don't know, it is this feeling I have that there is something out there." Hmm. You have a feeling, and that is spirituality?
Your idea of "something out there" is, not to this mind, very indicative of anything other than a fuzzy thought
that originated within your bony skull. You have given me no information that I can work with to decide just what it is that
you think when you talk about a "spirit" or "spirituality." Just tell me what it is that makes you sense
some "other" be it the nameless "spirit," or God, or Jehovah, or Allah, or, for that matter, Satan, or
your long-dead granny, mother, uncle, or pet German Shepherd.
Religion is falling out of favor in many circles, but
this idea of spirituality persists. "There has to be something out there, something that caused all of this." Really?
What brings one to the claim that some power, god, energy, or spirit HAD to have caused this vale of tears in which we all
exist, however briefly? Could it be that we exist in a world where cause and effect always seem to be explanatory? We are
compelled to move backward in search of answers to whatever question we seek to answer. There must be a reason...
that mind-set, we logically conclude that the universe in which we exist had to have a first cause. That it is another huge
leap to decide that the cause is some incorporate entity that exists without physical attributes, an entity (or entities)
that we call God, gods or by other sacred names, is indeed quite a jump.
It flies in the face of experience to deny
the cause and effect idea. The religious-minded insist that the universe and everything in it had to be caused, because "everything
has to have an origin." They go on to cite their particular version as god, etc. Of course the classic rejoinder to this
is, "So what caused god?" If everything must have a first cause, you cannot logically exclude god, God, etc.,
although my interlocutors frequently try to do so. But there the discussion ends, because said theist has contracted him/herself,
and any reasonable discussion requires certain ground rules, herein violated.
So, I remain bolloxed by proclaimations
of spirituality. Someone, someday, please 'splain it to me.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
A Serious Post Script
On the news wires late yesterday (July 5, 2011): 31 (THIRTY ONE!) more United States military along with seven Afghan soldiers
killed yesterday in Afghanistan when a helicopter was apparently shot down. When will this insanity end? What did these people
die for? This futile effort is wasting our blood and our treasure, and it must end. How many more years and lives have to
be wasted before we come to our senses and DEMAND our government bring this tragedy to an immediate halt? How many?
8:28 pm mdt
"Golly, it's hot here!"
8:19 pm mdt
My Dear Wife went back to Phoenix on the 21st. She had an appointment for a CAT Scan as a check-up on the state of her
cancer remission. No results yet, but of course we are hoping for negative findings.
She will be back day-after-tomorrow,
and I daresay will be glad to return to these balmy days here in British Columbia. In all the years I have known her, and
as far as I know in all the years she has lived in Phoenix and Las Vegas---over 50 in all---I have never heard her mention
the heat negatively. Oh sure, occasionally she will comment on how hot it is, but on this return occasion, she called and
actually had a whine in her voice when she said, (I'm paraphrasing here) "Golly, it is darned hot here." I
think this little get-away will become annual, because the other day she mentioned that wherever the boat is next summer,
she intends to be there. Which is great! I can have the boat and my Sweetie both together! Of course, that is if the boat
has not put us into debtors' prison by then.
Its always something! Finally got the tech down this morning, and it looks
like the autopilot is going to work like it should. He found what could have been a loose wire as a cause for the navigation
portion to fail, then reset the defaults, and Presto! She worked! Bueno!
But, the VHF radio still is not getting GPS
information, and it worked just fine prior to the autopilot installation. It should be getting its data from a separate GPS
than that of the autopilot (the GPS that talks to the chart plotter), so the two issues should be separate. It just seems
too coincidental that the autopilot GPS-related failure and the VHF-related failure occurred at just about the same time.
other issue is the diesel generator set (Genset). It is a Fischer-Panda product, German in origin. While on the cruise with
my daughter and son-in-law, I started it up, and it not only was not charging the batteries, but I found that it was leaking
seawater into the boat in large quantities while running. Further checking showed that it was leaking from the bottom of the
pan the set rests in, and there were no obvious hose or connection leaks. This particular model uses sea water from a separate
sea-cock to cool both the diesel engine and the generator. Apparently F-P gets more juice out of a generator that is cooled
by water flow.
Newer models, as I understand it, are cooled by coolant in a closed system, and I think in my case, the
cooling seawater is leaking after engine cooling, and may in fact have fried the generator. I have a tech/mechanic
coming Monday to have a look. I fully expect that the entire unit, diesel engine and all will have to be hauled out of the
boat and sent off to the Genset doctor. The thing weighs 230 pounds, lives in the main engine bay, held down with motor mounts,
and unless I miss my guess, is not going to fit through the hatch in the starboard lazarette that gives access to the unit.
I imagine they put the boat engine and the Genset in first, then built the boat around them. The joys of boat ownership!
return to My Dear Wife. She went through major surgery, two go-arounds of chemotherapy, and a series of radiation treatments
with no complaints, no whining, no negativity. She didn't even seem to "suck it up," rather, she just went about
it all in stride. I thought she was remarkable in her demeanor. It was just another series of steps in her life, and she acted
as though it was all pretty normal. Of course she had discomfort, but it was not as bad as one might expect (easy for me to
say!), and she fared quite well it seems to me. Whether attitude is key or not is not for me to know, but I do know this:
attitude makes it a lot easier for all involved, patient as well as family and friends. Her attitude is without equal.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
4:09 pm mdt
In late July, and old classmate from aviation cadet days, BK, flew in from Washington, DC for a few days on the beautiful
waters of British Columbia. BK has a Catalina 400 (40' boat), and has sailed for over 30 years. He was great help on this
cruiise, and had some good advice and sailing knowledge to pass along.
We shoved off on the morning of the 23, and
motored out of Ladysmith Harbour, then up Stuart Channel to Dodd Narrows. We arrived about an hour before slack water, but
the current was not too strong, and we passed through the rather narrow gap without incident. Once out into the vicinity of
Nanaimo Harbour, we picked up a bit of wind and set the sails; full main and full Genoa (150%). The wind was light, but we
made it across the Straits of Georgia in reasonably good time, and motored into Anderson Bay for the night. The weather was
a bit cool, and BK marveled at having to wear a light jacket to windward in July.
We had a bit of difficulty rolling
up the both the main and the jenny, and BK opined as to how the main halyard was a bit loose. Upon next unfurling and furling,
it proved to be the problem. Tightening the halyard a few turns did the trick.
The jenny was slightly different. We
unfurled it, then furled it again, and went forward to see how the furling line was going on and off the drum. It appeared
that there had been insufficient back pressure on the furling line when letting out the jenny, and the line went onto the
drum unevenly and too loosely, causing a bundling and rubbing of the rolled up line against the outer casing of the drum.
My opinion was that the furling line is getting a bit "fuzzy" and adds to the friction on the many loops and blocks
between the drum on the bow and the end of the furling line where it goes onto the port secondary winch. BK didn't think the
line needed replacing, and after getting the line snugly and evenly wound onto the drum, it seemed that he was right in his
Next day, we motored across Malaspina Strait to Pender Harbour in dead calm, and took a mooring at Garden
Bay Hotel and Marina. Nice place, and we got showers, and went in for lunch and dinner. Food there so-so. The weather had
improved (got a bit of rain overnight in Anderson Bay), and we were favored with sunshine and fairly balmy temperatures.
day saw some wind, and we spent a leisurely time tacking back and forth up Malaspina Strait to Van Anda and Sturt Bay. Took
a slip there for the night, and once again, Bob treated to dinner up the hill at the restaurant. Good food. They have a resident
cat, a large black and white they call "Sylvester," I presume after the cartoon cat of the same name.
so it went for the time of his stay. We got up to Desolation Sound for a night on the Hook at Gorge Harbour, then the next
night in Melanie Cove, just off Prideaux Haven. Did a stern tie there with the 600 feet of polypropelene line I got just before
departure from Page Point. Food at the restaurant there was excellent.
Next R.O.N. was at Ford Cove Public Dock on Hornby
Island. Dinner aboard.
Next-to-last day spent in good strong wind---on the nose, of course---and we had good sailing,
close hauled back and forth with, finally a good couple of reefs in the jenny. VMG was not too good, however, and we finally
had to roll up the canvas and motor to make it into Nanaimo Harbour by dark. BTW, VMG is "velocity made good," and
means actual speed (or distance) traveled in intended direction of movement. Tacking might get you some good speed, but with
a wind coming almost directly from your point of intended destination, you don't move down course very fast. But it was enjoyable
to get that much wind, no matter it didn't take us directly where we wanted to go. That is one of the sailors' laments: if
you want to know which direction the wind comes from, just point toward your destination. It likely will be blowing from there.
Since a modern cruising boat will not sail closer to the wind than about 40 degrees, one's VMG can be painfully slow. But,
if you are in a hurry, you are either going to have a power boat, or you are going to be one unhappy sailor.
the hook at Nanaimo, cracked a can of chili, made a salad, and hit the rack. Good day!
Last day was all motoring. We
got into the slip at Page Pt around 1215, then BK prevailed on me to do a trouble shoot on the Fischer Panda Genset, which
had gone South on me when my daughter and son-in-law were aboard. It has developed a severe leak, and pumps lots of water
into the engine bay and bilges when running. We started it up, and could clearly see water streaming from under the pan, but
no sight of where it is coming from. This Genset uses raw water to cool the generator as well as the diesel engine, and we
suspect that the generator cooling water is leaking somewhere, probably having ruined the generator. I fear I am going to
have to haul the entire Genset out of the boat and have it sent off for R-and-R. That ought to be real cheap! No good news
there, so we cleaned up and took a drive into Nanaimo.
Later had a meal, courtesy BK at the Mahle House on Cedar
Road---outstanding! One of the best fine dining meals I have had in many a munch. The restaurant is in a converted residence,
painted a charming peach (they call it orange, but that is too harsh), with a very well-tended garden, and tasteful appointments
inside. The owner, in the process, by the way of transferring to a new owner, stopped by to chat. He told us they had been
there for 28 years! They must be doing something right to have survived in a precarious business that long, and BK and I saw
nothing to refute that. The food was excellent, with service to boot. It is in the higher $$ range, but if one has the scratch,
more than worth the cost. Dinner for two, no alcohol, but complete with dessert and healthy tip set BK back about $90---not
unreasonable for this day and age (and in Canada!). I shall return!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
"Neglect" should be my middle name
4:22 pm mdt
I promised myself I would tend this site regularly. I failed. Neglect should be...
My, my, how the time flies!
It seems like only yesterday I posted the last...
Let's see now, where was I? Oh yeah, TRES! He is still with us. He
is now pronounced fully housebroken. Hasn't had an accident for at least a month, and now knows to go to the door when it
is time. Whew! I thought he never would "get it." They tell us that these little terrier (and Chihuaha) doggies,
especially the males, are very hard to house train. But we (mostly My Dear Wife) got 'er dun.
So, this year MDW and
I trekked up to Canada where OH MISS lives. MDW also thought it a good idea to also escape the blast furnace of Arizona summer,
so I rented a little cabin here for her, as she is not, nor will she ever be, a sailor. The boat is just not her thingy, and
she is a JEWEL about my relationship with OM, so, why not? Our little nest is at Seaview Marine Resort, just a couple of clicks
from Chemainus, BC and Ladysmith, also BC. Seaview is a five cottage complex right on the Stuart Channel, overlooking Thetis
Island across the way. We have a nice "ocean" view (yes, I know, this is not the ocean itself, but it is water,
salt water, and close enough to the real thing), and the accomodation is OK. Nothing out of Michelin, but adequate. We have
a livingroom/kitchen, a small bedroom, and a bath. The floor is wood, and there are complete kitchen facilities along with
microwave. One corner boasts a tiny TV (looks like about 12 to 15 inches), but it comes with cable. We are comfy here,
and plan to stay at least through the first week of September, when I probably will drive MDW and Tres back to PHX to enjoy
the last vestiges of broiling weather before the welcome relief of "winter."
I then will likely ride one of
my bikes ( I now have, in addition to "Der Klunkenschifter," a 2009 Suzuki VStrom 650, acquired in May in Greenville,
SC. But that is another story...) back up here, move OH MISS back down to Washington, then load the scooter into the back
of the pickup and motor home for the season.
I got a late start this year with OH MISS, as I took a cruise with RJ,
my sailing mentor, from West Jacksonville, Florida, to San Diego as the second (and only) crew on his newly acquired MainCat
30. We were 51 days from JAX to SAN, and I had a great time. It was my first time out on the Really Big Water, and I loved
it. This little Cat did not ride the waves particularly well, as it is pretty short-coupled, but I handled it without trouble.
bought this Cat (Amaryllis) for his day charter business which he has just started in SAN. He is presently the only catamaran
offering day charters, catering to kayakers and whale-watchers. He takes them for four hours only, and is presently doing
reasonably well with his one boat enterprise. This Cat is one of only a couple of US made Cats that are suitable for the business.
There is an old protectionist maritime law that requires charter boat operations to use US manufactured vessels. The Amaryllis
is 30' long, with a beam of 18', and it cannot be broken down, so shipping overland was impossible. Shipping via the ocean
was just prohibitive, so sailing her around through the Panama Canal was the only viable choice.
As a result of that
and a reunion of my aviation cadet pilot training class in Dayton in May, I did not make it to OH MISS until early June, and
spent a couple of weeks getting her ready. There was an autopilot problem, so I ordered a new one, and the installation, not
yet complete as of this writing, took longer than I anticipated. It works well enough for sailing, but the navigation functions
are still inop---the GPS is not talking to the autopilot, so all I have is heading control along with a good TACK feature,
helpful when single-handing.
My daughter and son-in-law came for a week in mid-July, and we had a nice time up around
Pender Harbour (Canadian spelling) and Texada (pronounced Tex-ay-da) Island. Not a lot of wind, but good weather otherwise,
and we all had a grand time.
Then, I got back to PHX, picked up MDW and Tres, and we drove up in the new car. Have I
mentioned that I do not fly if there is even a slight reason to pass it up? I just no longer enjoy sitting in an aluminum
tube with a couple of hundred strangers belching, farting, and sweating, struggling through the farce of "security"
and hanging around waiting rooms to eventually be herded, like so many bovines through the corrals and into the chute.
In short, I would much prefer to drive, and do.
I may have mentioned that I never had a small dog before. Oh, I think
my very first dog was a Cocker Spaniel, but that was a couple of centuries ago, when I was but a pup myself. I have for many
years laughed at, mocked (not to their faces, of course) and jeered at old men with little dogs. Be careful what you do, what
you say, what you disdain. I now am one. An old man with a small dog, that is. My daughter, upon seeing me with Tres, and
the ridiculous way I behave with him, said, in a most kind way, "Dad, you are PATHETIC." Too true, too true! Maybe
PATHETIC should be my middle name.
For future use