Tag Archives: Cat

Slab Of The Future Ringing In My Pocket

I was lost. Not on a mysterious island with a smoke monster lost. Not crying desperately for a warm bed and maybe a fire to keep the creatures at bay lost.

Nope. Merely lost.

I’d thought I could find my way from our rental house in Key West to the transition area for the Bone Island Triathlon, in which my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be On The Move, was competing. I was supposed to meet her as she came out of the water from a one-mile swim and before she left on her 56-mile cycling course.

Unfortunately, I’d lazed around in bed for a bit too long, much too confident in my own ability to navigate the twisty streets of Key West based only on a hazily printed map of the area that the triathlon people had sent to us. I thought it would have been easy.

I was, of course, wrong.

I’d hopped onto my rental scooter and taken off in the direction I thought led to the transition area. After my first guess turned up empty, I started doing the most unmanly but most dudely thing I could think: I started asking for directions from the race volunteers.

To a man and to a woman, they all responded with, “Um. . . I dunno.”

Which was about the time that I remembered I had a slab of the future riding along inside my front shorts pocket. I had a device on my person that was so advanced that a person from 1980 would have had to cart around a couple of semi-trucks behind her to achieve only half of what this phone could do.

In less than three minutes I had precise directions on how to get from where I was to where I needed to be. An everyday occurrence, yes? But think about it. Think about all that can be done by a little slab of glass, plastic and metal that we throw into a bag, or slip into out back pockets without a second thought.

It’s a little bit of a miracle, really. And the younger dudes and dudettes of the upcoming generation are never going to have known a time when they didn’t have an automatic map, dictionary, thesaurus, comedy club, movie camera, still camera, sound recorder, game center, instant communicator with anyone and everyone at every time thing sitting in their pockets. The only thing it can’t do is initiate a beam up to a starship.

Seriously, dudes. I think it’s probably time for us to just sit back and appreciate all the wonders that are filling the world around us at an ever-increasing rate. This is the future, dudes. It’s here in some places and it’s protruding into the present at an uneven rate. But it’s here.

And I think we need to understand just what a wonder it can be.

We don’t have to be lost. At least, we don’t have to be as long as we remember we’ve got something besides change in our pockets.

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A Field Of Waving Hands

by Richard

Where did all that enthusiasm go, dudes? Where did it go?

For those of who aren’t following this bit of blog religiously, a little update is in order. As part of the growing up and getting out initiative, I’ve gone out and gotten a new job outside the home.

I’m currently a Title I Tutor at a local elementary school. I’ve previously talked about what a great school it is, full of dedicated teachers who are giving these lucky kids a fantastic education.

What really struck me this last week, though, was the kids themselves. For the most part, whenever a teacher asks a question she’s answered by a forest of upraised hands, most of them waggling back and forth like a hyperactive dog’s tail after he’s just discovered coffee-dog biscuits.

Seriously, dudes, these kids really, really, really want the teacher to call on them. Heck, even kids who don’t know the answer to the question are raising their hands, sincerely hoping they will miraculously find the answer once the teacher calls their name.

Is it that these little dudes and dudettes want the teacher to validate them? Because, to the young, the teachers and other authority figures are important, nearly as important as pleasing those same figures?

Or is it that the kids want to be seen as smart? After all, this is an elementary school, well before those times when being seen as the smartest kid in the room is a detriment. Do they actually want to be seen as knowing the answers? Do they care?

I’m not sure. All I do know is that they do want to be called on. They do want to answer the question. No matter what the question was.

There’s certainly no shortage of persistence in those rooms. If the teacher calls on one kid, the hands go down slowly and reluctantly, simply biding their time until the next question is asked and the hand can shoot up once more. And the kid who just answered the last question? Her hand is back up there with all the rest.

That, dudes, is enthusiasm, no matter the reason behind it. It’s a familiar lament, but if we could only bottle that enthusiasm and sell it to the old and the tired. Anyone older than 17, in other words.

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Operation Mighty Hunter II: The Aftermathening

by Richard

Thanks to my cunning plan, lightning-like reflexes, eagle eyes, steely determination and the good luck of sitting down and doing nothing while a mouse ran by and then stopped to cower where I could reach him, I had managed to overwhelm the enemy.

With extreme-ish prejudice, I semi-terminated the mouse leader, exiling him to the great outdoors, home to many wonderful sights to see, like swooping owls, slithering snakes and ravenous raccoons, all ready and willing to show a mouse a good time. Well, a good time for them. The mouse? Not so much.

Still, dudes, I had to conclude that Operation Mighty Hunter II was an unqualified success. What I didn’t know was that, although I had struck a mortal blow to the leadership and the morale of the Rodentia enemy, Mickey still had some fight left in him.

Through painstaking intelligence gathering techniques too classified to go into here, I managed to piece the following together to explain the horrific events that took place on the morning after the conclusion of Operation Mighty Hunter II.

During the night, numerous members of Mickey’s warrior elite met and screamed at each other, all knowing their cause was lost. All determined to strike one final blow against the massively noble warrior who had taken out their leader. In other words, dudes, me. They wanted to take out me.

Finally, the biggest and meanest of Mickey’s fierce fighters, staggered free from the SqueakerDome where many mice entered, but only one mouse left. He knew what he had to do.

Working swiftly, Mickey cobbled together an explosive suicide vest made from C4 and gelnite as well as some seriously destructive bits of cardboard he happened to have around. Strapping the explosives around his chest, Mickey went to stand sentinel in the laundry room closet, confident in the knowledge that he would drop to my head, cling to my hair and manage to detonate his explosives, thus wiping out the greatest warrior Mickey had ever known. And the mouse.

Fortunately, mice aren’t known for their prowess with explosives. Or suicide vests. Or, really, long-term memory. Apparently, they forgot that I didn’t have any hair on my head.

I went into the closet to get food for the lazy, good-for-nothing cat who couldn’t close the deal on Operation Mighty Hunter I and Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog.

From high above in the closet, Mickey dropped squeaking his ultrasonic battle cry. Fortunately for me, I was so very sleepy, I didn’t notice when Mickey hit my bald head and then started sliding free. I just casually brushed it away.

Mickey fell to the floor. Well, almost. He hit in the middle of Buzz’s water bowl, the sides too steep for him to climb out. With the vest weighing him down, Mickey didn’t stand a chance.

Later that morning, I went back to the laundry room to find Mickey floating, face up in the water dish, his corpse poisoning the water hole in one final act of defiance, the vest nowhere to be found.

That’s the part that worries me, you see. That there might be another Mickey, maybe even a female, who desires revenge, who we could call Minnie, just for the heck of it, waiting. Waiting and planning.

And remembering the ancient Rodentia proverb: Revenge is a dish best served. . . with cheese!

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