Sunday, January 1, 2006

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but ever since 2000 I’ve felt a bit like I’m living in a science fiction novel. When I was a kid, the year 2000 felt impossibly far away — so far that the fantastical science fiction stories set in those post-2000 years, with their exotic technologies, didn’t seem so very far-fetched…

Now we’re actually living in those times. The prognostications of those science fiction authors weren’t, I’m afraid, any more accurate than anyone else’s. But certainly the changes have been great in magnitude, and mostly interesting and enjoyable and making life generally better. I’d much rather be living in 2006 than in 1956. I can almost hear the liberal whining as I write that, that firm belief that things have gone solidly downhill in America and the world (especially since Reagan). But they’re all delusional; they just dismiss somehow the vastly increased standard of living (and not just in the U.S., but worldwide), the tremendous advance of medicine (with the corresponding increase in life expectancy), and the life-enriching technological developments that we use every single day (imagine — a car that goes for tens of thousands of miles between repairs, or phones that you put in your pocket and let you talk to your friends and loved ones wherever you might be!). Yup, they just ignore all that and concentrate on persuading themselves that they are worse off this year than they were in any year of their life…

Screw 'em.

I’ve had a very nice morning on this first day of 2006. All simple, little things:

— Maka Le’a, our new little kitten, played happily on my chest as I sat reclined. His goal was to eat my thumb, then my nose, and finally my ears. He failed, but punched many tiny holes with those needle-like kitten teeth and claws. Kittens are outrageously cute, but they are unexpectedly effective fighting machines…

— Our Lawson Valley sunrise was gorgeous, full of saturated reds and blues. I went outside to watch it unfold, and as I watched a Southwestern Airlines 737 passed about 2500 feet overhead to my west (on approach to San Diego). The sky in that quarter was still dark grey, but the orange-colored jet was brightly lit by the rising sun. It was like a little moving, sparkling jewel in the sky, with the same color scheme as the sunrise on the other side of the sky.

— We had rain last night, a great way to usher in the new year in this fire-prone area. It wasn’t a whole lot (0.2"), but it was enough to wet down all the fuel in the chaparral. And that means a greatly reduced fire danger for us. Better yet, the Weather Service is predicting a sizable storm will hit tonight and tomorrow. Oh, I hope they’re right — an inch or two of rain right now would turn our hills green and practically eliminate any fire danger until next summer…

— Debbie and I are healthy (if you don’t count the holiday overeating!), as are our animals. Debbie’s off to an agility competition, where one of our dogs (Mo’i) just earned his “Excellent B” rating on jumpers and weaves. She’s hoping he will earn that same rating on the standard course today, and also hoping that Le’a will qualify on a run or two today.

— We hear from our breeder (Sheila Miller, of Battle Mountain, Nevada) that she believes the breeding of Picaboo “took", and that means puppies around Valentine’s day — and one of that litter will be our third Field Spaniel, if all goes well. Big, anticipatory smiles in Lawson Valley.

Oh, there’s much more, too. It’s good to be in 2006.

When you hear those whiny liberals complaining about how awful everything is … stuff something in their mouth, will ya?

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