A Small, Inconsequential Death

Yesterday, I was driving Hilde to a doctor's appointment across town, taking the 101 freeway, in the middle lane, when I glance over, and I see...

Oh, jeezus, there's a kitten in the right-hand lane!

And I'm just starting to think, Can I pull over? Can I stop and run back and...? and we're already past the kitten and I look at the right-hand sideview mirror and I see the kitten vanish underneath the wheel ("OH SHIT! JEEZUS!") of another car. Gone, in a split second.

I drove on, shaken, knowing that I had just watched something die.

This is a bad story, isn't it? No happy ending. But these things happen. Animals, pets, stray onto roads all the time. These things happen.

These things happen.

Wait. I haven't told you everything.

When I first saw the kitten, in the traffic lane, it wasn't trying to cross the road, and it wasn't standing still, paralyzed with fear.

The kitten was sliding and spinning across the asphalt, scrabbling desperately for footing.

I think...

...I think it had, just a second before, fallen out of someone's car.

These things, these things, DON'T have to happen. If you're carrying a pet in your car, you DON'T let it run loose inside. You DON'T leave windows open enough for your pet to squeeze out. You DON'T. You DON'T do that, you stupid, careless, senseless fucker, whoever you were.

(link to a short guide on transporting pets: Carrying Pets Safely)


Since The Election...

...I've been:

a) working. More 12-hour days at the Postal Service. They suck.

b) at TusCon. TusCon is an annual relaxacon in Tucson, that we try to make it to every year. A chance to catch up with some old friends, meet new or online people (waves to Will & Emma), usually eat out once or twice (discovered, close to the hotel, the Mei Mei, with very good walnut shrimp and curried chicken), browse books and the art show (got some very nice Leslie D'ellesandro-Hawes colored pencils of young foxes, plus a few other pieces for gifts), and participate in the annual chili-tasting at the Dead Dog party.

c) sick. A few days after TusCon, I came down with what may have been post-con crud, with nausea, chills and headache. Recovered quickly enough to go back to work after one day off, but Hilde came down with a stronger case of it this morning, so I've been plying her with ginger ale and TLC.

d) dealing with an incredibly dumb cat, which I'll tell you all about in a separate post.

Some Links

Some interesting sites:

Mona Lisa On The Web Galleries, resources, and links to hundreds of versions of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Some of the links to versions I particularly liked were:
Robot Mona
Devil Mona
Mona Lisa Simpson

Harold McGee, author of the fabulous food-tech resource On Food and Cooking has a blog, The Curious Cook. Postings aren't that frequent (about once or twice a month), but they're always interesting.

Jason Hill Design Hill is a local artist/designer whose work has been labeled as "Retro-Futuristic", with influences from Pop Art, 1930's travel posters, and The Jetsons. Groovy, man. He's best known for his series of paintings of architectural landmarks; his depiction of the Phoenix Financial Center (aka "The Punch-Card Building") has been gaining ground as a well-known icon for the city of Phoenix.

The Arizona Opera has some particular striking publicity art for its 2006-2007 season. (The link goes to a page showing the art for all five shows; clicking on a particular piece will take you to a page with a larger version.) I particularly like the art for MacBeth and Madama Butterfly; either would not be at all out of place if they appeared in the annual Spectrum best-of-year compendium of sf/fantasy art.


The Day After

Elections are over. A solid shift to the Democrats in the House of Representatives, numerous other Democratic wins in state-level races.

Democrats may have a 49-49 vote split in the Senate (the Virginia race, between Webb and Allen, is narrow and certain to be recounted, with Republicans pulling out all the stops to win; it will be ugly, probably with things like the mob of Republican operatives that near-rioted to stop the Florida recount in the 2000 election, or worse).

Two "independents" (Sanders and Lieberman) were elected, but they probably will effectively cancel each other out. Senate votes along party lines will end up 50-50, with VP Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaker vote. At least this will mean that, unlike the past few years, Cheney will be spending a lot of his time in a disclosed location.

Here's a question:
What do you think Dem-primary-loser Joe Lieberman secretly promised to Karl Rove and the Republican Party in exchange for having Republican support and Republican votes channeled toward his "independent" run?

1) A kidney.
2) A lung.
3) His spine.
4) His soul.
5) All of the above.

Still and all, yesterday's elections seemed like a good smackdown to not just the Republican party in general, but to the Bush administration and to the neocon/fundamentalist extremists behind it.

But a smackdown is only the start to a fight. This isn't a staged, pre-planned WWF wrestling match, where the participants get up at the end, wipe off the sweat and makeup, and go home to the wife and kids. This is a street fight for the soul of our country, and we need to finish the fight.

We've knocked the Republican Party into a gutter. Letting them get back up and start swinging again is not the way to win this fight. While they're in that gutter, kick them in the head.

I want to see facts revealed, and truth spoken. I want to see subpoenas, investigations, public hearings, criminal charges and impeachments.

I want to have pride in my country again.

- - - - -

Here in Arizona...

Jon Kyl retained his Senate seat, but it took an expensive and nasty campaign against Jim Pederson to do so.

The good news, though, is that Congressman J.D. Hayworth was defeated by Harry Mitchell. So long, you cretinous embarassment; maybe you can get your old job as a television sportscaster back.

Nut Jan Brewer (hmm, I meant to type "But", but that's too good a typo to correct) got reelected as Secretary of State. Fout. Frack. Dammit.

There was a long list of voter-initiated propositions on the ballot:

Arizona voted against the so-called "Protect Marriage" act. I was surprised, but pleased.

Before assuming that Arizona has become a left-wing hotbed of Frenchified liberalness, though, a number of anti-illegal-immigrant measures on the ballot DID pass, by nearly 3-1 margins. These included measures to deny bail to illegal immigrants charged with crimes, deny punitive damages in lawsuits filed by illegal immigrants, to deny state educational programs, grants, tuition waivers, and child-care assistance to illegal immigrants.

(Y'know, if you really wanted to reduce illegal immigration, the answer isn't to make life here as miserable as possible for them, it's to arrest and jail the scofflaws who keep hiring them. Put enough businessmen in pink underwear, and there will be laws passed to legitimatize hiring "guest workers", with actual decent wages, working conditions, and *gasp* maybe even some benefits.)

And of course, as always, a new ('cause the ones passed previously were declared unconstitutional) "Official English" amendment passed. Or, as I tend to call it, the "We White People Are Too Dumb And Lazy To Learn A Second Language, But You Brown People Shouldn't Have A Problem With That" measure.

(One bright spot is that State Representative Russell Pearce -- he who sent out links to a White Supremacist website in email to his supporters, and who authored or supported all of the anti-immigrant measures -- was defeated in his reelection bid.)

Update, 2/4/07:In comments, "MB" questioned Pearce's defeat, since he was still listed as a member in the current legislative roster.

I double-checked, and found MB was correct. I hadn't realized, when reviewing the election numbers back in November, that the race for District 18 was to elect two representatives to the state legislature, rather than the one I had assumed. Pearce came in second out of three, so yes, alas, he retained his seat in the State House. Damn. Apologies for the error.


Blogger "Feature" of the Week

I did a first draft of "The Worst Job In The World", which you'll find down below the next post, back on October 27th, and got around to finishing and posting today. . .

. . . to find that it posted under that first draft's date, after the 10/29 "Republican Kool-Aid" post, rather than the completion and posting date.

Blogger used to have an option at the bottom of the editing screen to change the date and time of a post. It seems to have vanished. I'm not sure when, or why.

*grumph* Annoying. Looks like I'll have to kluge in future such instances, by copying a completed draft into an empty fresh "New Post" screen.

Thanks, Blogger!