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Friday, March 26, 2004

After re-reading that last post, I feel like I must point out before some smartass (I'm looking at you, Billy) points it out for me in the comments, that it wasn't really a post about dog shit. I'm tempted to say that it's about the Human Condition, but my delusions of grandeur don't reach quite that high. Instead, I'll just say that it was offering a little insight into MY condition, which I don't believe they have a name for yet.

Also, it's the only blog post I've ever seen that mentions dog shit in the literal sense, and I've read a fair number of blogs, but I don't have to mention that.

"You better pick that shit up"

I have a feeling I'm not going to make any friends with this post, but, well, I feel like I must post it nonetheless. I walk my dog 4-5 times a day, which is apparently more than most people do as my neighbors frequently tell me that they've never seen anyone walk a dog as often as I walk Maggie. The walks vary in both length and duration, depending upon the weather, the timing, how I feel and how many good things there are to smell (the last is really more up to Maggie than me). My dog is small, about 16 pounds, and only eats a half cup of food each day (that's a quarter cup more than the vet prescribed, so don't tell me that I'm being cruel), not counting table scraps.

Now I'm as conscientious as the next fellow when it comes to picking up my dog's shit and bringing it home to flush. That said, my unspoken (and unwritten until now) rule has always been that if said shitting happens more than two blocks from my house, and it happens on that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street, well, it's really the city's business, isn't it? No harm, no foul. Of course, were the table turned, and happened to get out of my car and step in dog shit on that strip of grass that someone else hadn't picked up, I'd be spitting curses at the inconsiderate owner for the next half hour. Then again, I try not to walk on that strip of grass if I can help it, thus preventing that from being an issue.

At any rate, today we went out for our walk along what has been, up till now, our favorite path, and about 3-4 blocks from my house, at the point where I usually turn around, Maggie strides over by the street and takes a nice big steaming dump, the kind I prefer not to look at, much less pick up (and yes, in Wisconsin, it does steam at times). When she finished, I looked around, not that it mattered anyway since I had conveniently forgotten to bring my scoop along, and started back home.

Suddenly, a very loud male voice yelled over in my direction, "You better pick that shit up!" I looked around, unsure from whence it came, and started walking again. No sooner had I begun my stroll anew, than I heard it say, "I'm fucking serious, buddy." I looked around again and this time identified the apartment balcony upon which my new friend was standing, holding what appeared to be a beer. I gave a sheepish smile, showed my hands to empty save for a leash and shrugged because, well, I wasn't about to pick it up with my hands. He told me in no uncertain terms that he didn't care how I did it, I had just "better" do it "or else." So, I did what anyone would have done under similar circumstances, and started running. Quickly. But before I ran into the driveway of my apartment complex, I made sure to pause and look around to make sure I wasn't being followed. I wouldn't want him to know where I lived!

After I caught my breath, I walked back to the offending pile (sans pooch) and scooped it up. My new friend, however, was no longer visible and, despite my attempts to hold the full scoop up for all to see that I had returned to take care of my civic duty, I'm afraid he may still think that I am something of a lout. And, while I'm pretty sure that his threat was an idle one, I think that we'll be walking a different path for the next few weeks, just to be safe.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Legally Speaking

This is the most engagingly written court opinion I've ever read. It's also the only court opinion I've ever read, but that's because court opinions have a bit of a reputation for being dry and, well, full of legalese, so I've avoided reading them for the most part. Oh, it's about the recent copyright lawsuit between Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane. I'd tell you who wins, but I don't want to spoil the ending for you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Presenting the All-New, All-Different . . .

I've complained in the past about how much I hated the templates that blogger offers, and my lack of knowledge of HTML prevented me from figuring out how to change the font, size and color of my blog template. Well, thanks to the good folks at BlogSkins and May*Star, I have a new blog template, one that makes me marginally happier. There are still some changes I'd like to make, like swapping the "email" and the "About" areas, but I'll figure those out as I go along.

Oh, and if these colors are horribly offensive, someone other than Will should let me know, as they look pretty harmless in my color-blind sight.

For Billy

So I promised Billy I'd update this thing by last Friday. Wouldn't you know it, though, I went and got sick and couldn't be bothered to post. He's on vacation in Hawaii anyway, so he won't notice for awhile yet.

So, as a part of this update, I list the top five books that I wish I could read again for the first time:

The Castle/Kafka
Oscar & Lucinda/Carey
Gravity's Rainbow/Pynchon
The Great Gatsby/Fitzgerald
On the Road/Kerouac

It's important not to confuse these with my all-time favorite books; these are just books that were wonderfully well-written for the time in my life in which I read them, and which I came to with no expectations as to what they would be like. In their own way, each of these books opened up whole new worlds to me, worlds which can never be opened up again for the first time.

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