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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   Giuliani schandenfreude
Thursday, January 3 2008
As some of you may recall, Eleanor had surgery this past Spring to fix the torn cruciate ligament holding her right knee together. Since that time the knee has healed completely, but recently she's gone on to develop identical problems in the other (left) knee, so yesterday Gretchen dropped her off at the veterinary hospital so she could have that knee fixed as well. Between that first surgery and this one, we'd done some math and determined (just given the frequency of our encounters with porcupines) and that it would be to our benefit to insure both our dogs. For $400/year, our dogs now have better coverage than we do. So Eleanor's knee surgery this time is going to set us back less than $300.
But with cruciate ligament repair, the ordeal is less about the expense of the surgery than it is about the lifestyle changes necessary during the months of post-operative recuperation. Today Gretchen and I relocated all the audio/video equipment and a fold-out couch cushion down to the first floor office, and then I set up the barricades necessary to contain Eleanor in that space. She'll be spending most of the next two months in that little space, although we don't have to be as strict in corralling her there as we were back in the spring. What with the cold and all the snow on the ground, the only reason she has for going outside is to attend to the basic calls of nature.
Talk about cold, today was the worst so far for this winter, with temperatures falling as low as 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit. It was a struggle maintaining heat in the living room, and temperatures out in the unheated (but insulated) garage fell to as low as 35 degrees.
Before Eleanor came home today, the vet called and told us that he'd detected a heart murmur and advised us to have it further investigated to determine whether or not it would be prudent to put her on special medication for the rest of her life. After getting off ther phone with the vet, Gretchen was quick to observe that this wasn't the path we thought we'd be going down with Eleanor. She'd found her way to the Dutchess County SPCA after being found in a shopping center parking lot. We'd assumed she was a scrappy punk rock dog full of the sort of vigor typical of dogs that don't hail from a puppy mill. But she might well be from a long lineage of terribly-inbred Pit Bulls. Such dogs are not cultivated for their health or longevity, and the criminal subculture responsible for producing them is a circumscribed one, a grim world where genetic diversity is just one of many casualties.

This evening after following them on the web for awhile, I switched on CNN on the television to follow the results of the Iowa Caucuses. My preferred Democrat was John Edwards, just because he seems like the most authentically progressive of the lot. I'd liked Barack Obama initially but now found him tiresome, and Hillary Clinton had never done anything that hadn't seemed calculated market-tested. Still, as it became clear tonight that Obama was going to win the caucuses, I allowed myself to feel good about it. Anything to stop Hillary, I suppose. Obama's victory speech, though effective as raw oratory, was almost completely devoid of substance, which did nothing to ease my basic concerns about the guy. But if he can win, he's my man.
As for the Republicans, I found myself being delighted both by the surprising success of the Creationist Mike Huckabee and the astounding failure or that asshole Rudy Giuliani. Unfortunately, I could find almost no one (either on CNN or in places like DailyKos) spreading sufficient volumes of Giuliani schandenfreude.

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