Friday, November 26, 2010

Requiem for a Cat

In 1994, my sister-in-law, Linda, queen of the animal rescuers, delivered to us a kitten. Someone had thrown it out into the parking lot of the office building where she worked. It weighed a little over a pound and most of that was ears. My wife was reminded of Ichabod Crane in the Disney cartoon version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and that became his name.

After we moved to Colorado in 1996, my wife was having to go back to Houston to help take care of her parents. Ichabod became my friend then. He was never a stand-offish cat. He loved to be held and cuddled and would hunt you down if you weren't in his line of sight. He and our dog, Isabel, got along famously. Ichabod would let Isabel drag him around by his collar then would roundly bat her around the nose when she stopped. It was hilarious to watch.

Ichabod had not been himself lately and, on Wednesday, my wife found blood on his backside. She took him to the vet and found that his kidneys had failed and that he was very dehydrated. The vet gave him some antibiotics and we brought him home so we could discuss our options. We went back to the vet today and found that, even if we bought him some temporary relief, he would continue to go downhill and the treatments would be very stressful for him. We made the decision that we had to let him go. Ichabod McKinney, the coolest cat that ever was, died peacefully at 3:47pm, November 26, 2010.

I had never really been a cat person but I loved that cat. I miss him and know that we will never have another like him. I hope that he is happy wherever it is that cats go and has plenty of boxes to climb in and out of. Goodbye, Ichabod. I will never forget you.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I watched the news this morning. Big mistake. There was a fire in a townhouse complex in Webster, TX, a small town close to the Johnson Space Center. A woman lived there with her 4 children. She was able to get out with one child. Firemen rescued another. 2 died in the fire. She and the firemen tried to get them out but the flames were too intense. They had pictures of the two children - a lovely 12 year old girl and a 9 year old boy. All of the bystanders including the mother could hear them screaming for help. How do you get past something like that as a parent?

I did not know any of these people but I just can't get it out of my mind. I realize that things like this happen but I just don't know that I could live if it were my children. To make things worse, the boy that was rescued by the fireman is in critical condition and may die also. God have mercy on them all.

Friday, July 30, 2010


When I was a kid, I did some math and figured out that, when the year 2000 arrived, I would be 53 years old. In my minds eye, I could see me at 53, long, straggly gray hair hanging over my eyes, leaning on my walker with drool on my chin. Well. today, I am 10 years older than that and still no walker (some days I wouldn't mind having one) and no drool running down my chin (except when I watch the weather with Kathy Sabine). I find myself waxing philosophical about all that has past and I still find myself looking forward with optimism at what is to come. I hope that I get to hang around a couple of more decades to see 8G phones, 4D movies and whatever else the wonderful world of technology holds. Mostly, though, I want to see my grandchildren grow up and have families of their own.

When my mother passed away, we buried her ashes in the cemetery in the small town of Van Alstyne, Texas, where my grandfather had purchased plots for all of us years ago. When the service was concluded, I looked around at the hundreds of markers in the graveyard and realized that I was related to most of the poeple interred there. At that time, I finally found some peace with the idea that, some day, I would join all of these predecessors in this final resting place, that I was not going to be an exception to the rule. I have my time and my place and I am going to enjoy every second that I am given but, when my time is over, I know that the world will keep turning and my family will continue onward. And I am OK with that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation - such a short word for such a wonderful state. As I sit here in my real home in my adopted state, I feel normal for the first time in months. I didn't realize that the change in location had discombobolated me quite so much (OK, maybe that's not a word but it should be. If Palin and Bush can do it, so can I). I know that this is just temporary, that all too soon, I will have to fly back to the humidity-soaked jungle that is Houston, but right now, I am just chillin' and diggin' it. I actually slept until after 7:00am, an unheard of act of pampering for me. I hope to do it for the rest of the week.

Friday, May 07, 2010


This is a poem that was written by a third-grader in connection with Writers in the School program in Houston, TX.

To the child who is not strong
my friend, get up from the couch,
and climb the highest mountain
in the world
And I will wait for you
on top of the mountain.
Show the world
that you are much stronger
than a hurricane.
Do not say that you are not
worth anything.
If you want,
I can give you my strong hands.
Never, my friend,
throw your dreams
away in the trash.

Perhaps there is hope for the world, after all.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Back to Exile

So my week back in Colorado ends today. I hop on a plane at 5:22 and get back to Houston at 8:58, tired, hungry and generally sad. And I miss the Oscars to top it of. Watching the Oscars was a tradition with my parents as they were as dotty about movies as I am. It was really important to them who won what. Oh, well, at least I won't get irritated with the dude who wins for best shoes in a comedy or whatever and takes 20 minutes to thank his orthodontist, druggist and his third grade substitute teacher.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica - where do they go?

Wonder no more!!!

It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.

If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried.

The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing: "Freeze a jolly good fellow." Then they kick him in the ice hole.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Well, the new job is working out just fine and I work with a great bunch of people. They believe in having fun at work and so do I so that works out well. I'm learning all about oil and gas operations. I figured I knew what oil looked like and I get gas all the time so I didn't have much to learn but I found out I was wrong. There is a lot to know so I am keeping busy. I'll keep plugging away.

I also get to go see agents where the oil is like Odessa, TX where only rich people have lawns. Lots of dirt but not much grass. They also have possibly the worst water in the civilized world. Natives don't notice but us furriners won't even brush our teeth with it. Oh, well.