Feb, '05

Friday, February 11, 2005, 10:15 AM

-I've been thinking, the last few days, what a wonderful feeling it is to have a doggy or a kitty snuggled in one's arms, asleep without a care in the world; one of the major perks of being human, IMO. And I just realized, after carrying Brunhilda back to the bedroom after her trip to the vet, where Judy heard that there's no hope, that of all the doggies I've called my own she's the only one I've named; i.e. all the others already had names when they came into my life. Sambo, Shoofly, the two dogs of my childhood, named by my mother; Tibor Dog, named by Steve Spencer; White Dog, named by Hank and Nancy Ferguson; now Melanie, named by the wise folk at Sonoma Pets Lifeline. Of all of Judy's rescues Judy has done the naming. Only Brunhilda got her name from me; a perfect name for our little singing sneakthief. I know Judy had thought of her as the young one who might some day take the special place in her heart where aging Sunny Dog now dwells. Youngest Brunhilda dying of hepatitis. We had hoped she might last for a few more years and instead it's been a matter of weeks. Shit.

-Judy just came back from the vet, crying, with Brunhilda in her arms. Judy told me her time has come and my guts went cold; an unexpected reaction that I thought wouldn't be there, by virtue of the numbers of critters we've spread our love between, but there it is. The doc is coming over this afternoon to euthanize her at home. I hate that word. I hate our immature technologies, still better at life taking than life giving.

-Where are the clever ones? My talents, like most everyone else's seem oriented towards just keepin' on keepin' on, not anything outward-oriented that is useful to the world at large. Sure, I can make a few people laugh, but that's just not good enough. I take some solace in knowing that although my personal family tree will produce no fruit, our extended family tree has, through cousins, at long last produced one clever scientist who, instead of heading straight into private practice, has decided to do research. Brunhilda's such a sweetie; I'm going to miss her terribly. And we will be down to six doggies. Shit. Must remember to not refuse hugs when critters need them.

-Roger paid a long overdue visit yesterday; he wanted to play with the ReadyWelder but instead I coerced him into taking a look at the dishwasher, which has been on the blink for a week at least. Sure enough he found the problem and I had the wits to ask him how he found the problem, so next time something breaks I can maybe do a tiny bit of diagnosis on the cheap, on my own. Gave him fifty bucks; less than the scheduled repair guy, whom I gleefully cancelled this morning, but more than he makes at his miserable day job. I nagged him about getting a better day job, but he's not only stuck in his ways, he's also stuck in his parent's trap, now that they're both invalids. He's talking of selling their house to pay for extra care, but he doesn't know where to stash the family after the sale; i.e. the American predicament: home gone, savings gone, shitty job, no future. No wonder places like McDonalds are beginning to fill up with middle aged employees.

-Went to first class last night; sure enough it's going to be all, or mostly, Basic Stamp related and sure enough there are barely enough people to have the class be certified. Teacher dissed Burning Man art, calling it a festival of the mediocre. I'd bet money he's never been there to experience the whole social immersion gestalt. If anything I'd call him a mediocre artist; I ought to know; takes one to know one, heh. I'm supposed to help recruit others to come join us. Rotten location for a technology class: no parking on  campus , a nicely refurbished building right in the heart of downtown SF; as I commented when rolling into class a little late (after parking 3 blocks away (will do better next time now that I've got it sussed)), it's waaay too urban for my tastes. I don't think I'll be lugging Patty O'Furniture to class; maybe a large-ish motor, but nothing so big it can't be jammed into the rucksack along with my laptop, tools, etc. Hope to learn how to run them from a Stamp via the electronic interface that eludes me (reason for enrolling). I offered to move the class to my shop, but of course there were no takers. Not even sure if there's going to be a mailing list, but I still have hopes that it will be fun and a learning experience.

-Tube rolling machine arrived a few days back; got it into the shop with Roger's help. Went with him to Harbor Freight and bought a way cheap wooden furniture dolly to roll it around, until I can decide what to weld up for a proper base. Some time today I'm due to have a visit from  George , who runs Geo's Chop Shop. He's interested in the old bender that's languishing in a corner, largely unused. When I bought it new, to make Z-Keys, it cost something like $3.5k and now the replacement cost has soared to something like $14k, but honestly I don't see the need for a replacement in my future; better to find a local shop that can do it for me on a piece by piece basis. I hope to use the tube roller, then flog it in the same fashion but without the 20-year malingering stage in the middle; possibly B4 year's end. Will see if George might be the one to want it then as well.. Gramatically weird, that, but it makes sense to me.

-It's cold; I started a fire while J was at the vet. Heart feeling cold and sorta empty, even with lamp shining on belly and heater on beside me. Cold world, cold destiny for the whole damned universe. Eugene commented somewhere the other day (was it mailing list or phonecall?), that the purpose of hacking was to fight natural laws of some variety; by that I took it to mean we're fighting entropy. Looks like Brunhilda's losing her fight a lot sooner than the rest of us. At this stage my only wish is that this doesn't lure Judy back to (ultimately destructive) dosey-do with that creepy church she joined when she first came to SR with me. I'm not too worrried tho because she's a smart girl. I think she believes that the best way she can do  god's work  is to go out in the world and rescue critters. I hope this, at least, doesn't change... Sometimes I think the purpose of humans is nothing more than this. We strive, if only to prolong the lifespans of all the unfortunate ones who make it to our door.

-4:15PM: Tears a-plenty today. Hardly seems like Valentine's Day is going to be a hoot. She's gone now, along with hunks of our hearts. The sensitive doggies know something has happened; they were allowed in to see her after it was over; they say it's best to do it that way. Ringo, Sunny and Buddy in particular are needing extra helpings of human; not refused, as we need extra doggy love as well.

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