Friday, January 01, 2010

The Dougloid Papers-Cranky Four Year Old, Not Ready For Prime Time

This month marks the fourth anniversary since I began this project, and as we did last year it's time for a little self analysis-scrutinizing the old navel, y'know?

Since last year, Jake returned from his all expenses paid tour of Paktia province in Afghanistan. As we expected he's learned a lot since he left, he had his bell rung more than once, but for the meantime he's parked at Campbell. He's also set sail on the sea of matrimony and we've got plenty of good things to say about his choice in womenfolk-this one seems to be a keeper as near as we can figure, and talented and smart in the bargain.

Jennifer seems to go from strength to strength, and she has turned her setbacks into positive things that others will benefit greatly from. We're proud to have had a part in that, small though it is, and what comes through loud and clear with both of these folks is the commitment to service to others. I don't know where they got it from, but the world's a better place for it.

We are not happy about the choices some people around us have made-they're offensive, dangerous, and poisonous, and we earnestly hope that they will see the error of their ways, although the chances of that are slim to none, based on past performance.

The economy has not gotten a great deal better, and it's removed at least one part time job I had-which led to me starting another enterprise which has shown some signs of life-it is in a state of becoming but you can check in occasionally and see what's going on at I'm always bemused that occasionally people will pay me to do things I like to do and be with people I like to be with.

We've had a lot of snow here, so I've had more than enough shovel time than I like. If I had a few cans of hair spray I'd go outside and try and hasten global warming.

The motor vehicle fleet has improved mightily and we are happier for it. This past year we acquired a new Honda Fit, which is "the berries" as Al Capone sometimes observed, a nice serviceable Ford Ranger pickup for suburban chores and general schlepping, and a self propelled Snapper mower that takes what was a tiresome chore and turns it into a stroll in the garden with a friend. It also does a better job cutting the grass.

The Snapper was quite a find-it had been moldering in someone's garage for four or five years, covered in cobwebs and dust, and followed us home from an auction for a mere twenty smackers. Not expecting much, I changed the oil, dumped a quart of Mr. Mobil's best in the tank, gave a tug on the cord and it started on the first try. Fifteen bucks worth of parts put it in fighting trim, and we sold the old hand bomber Murray for twenty five bucks. We came to find out that the Snapper sells new for about $700, so that put us about $650 ahead, tax free to boot.

We were wrong on our last year's prediction that bankruptcy judges would get the ability to cramdown residential mortgages, and nobody seems to be talking much about it anymore. The economy's like a punchdrunk fighter, operating on reflex and instinct but little else. It remains to be seen whether we'll make any progress this coming year, but if the past is prologue, the Walmartization of our manufacturing is going to continue bearing dark dividends.

Film at 11, as they say.


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