House-Breaking Your Phone–and Lowering Your Blood Pressure

I was too calm at work.  Something had to be wrong.  Then I realized that I had left my phone at home—on the kitchen counter–probably under the bread wrapper.  It was the same unnerving peace I felt on a vacation last summer–when we left the dog with friends. Smudge is a hybrid, a schnorkie-poo, who, in the thankful absence of rats, is obsessed with one thing—the perfect blend of dye, felt and rubber toxins that is the tennis ball.  He is so completely focused on bringing you that ball for you to obediently throw it across the yard/basement/bathroom that he’ll forgo food, rest and common sense—crashing into fences, couches and unsuspecting two year-olds.  If you don’t follow his escalating sequence of hints (sitting patiently, rolling the ball closer, grumbling, grumbling louder), he’ll finally bark at the perfect frequency to shatter even our cheap wine glasses. When we’re having dinner, he’ll politely wedge the ball under my left buttock, sit… Read More…

Blackouts & Cutting Utility Dependence: “Sir, We Would Never Get Anything Done if We Had E-Mail”

The first thing out of my mouth when my son called me at work and told me the power was out should not have been, “Oh my God! Unplug the new TV before it gets fried when it comes back on!” Perhaps I might have first considered, after verifying there were no downed lines on top of my kids, that our poor hairy dog was okay in the 94 degrees. But I didn’t. Or, based on terrible back-flooding of raw sewage in the basement of our first house, you’d think I would remember that without electricity, the sump pump won’t work. The insurance company didn’t come through for the sewage in’95. Flood insurance doesn’t apply if your basement is “flood-ed” apparently. It was a similar corporate shoulder-shrug last year when the power surge from DTE Energy’s faulty do-dad on the pole in our yard (which they acknowledged) was not their… Read More…