Eulogy for my Departed Pyewacket

Pyewacket enjoying the sunshine

On Wednesday, I buried my closest friend. For five years, for twenty-four hours a day, Pyewacket was my constant companion. He sat with me while I worked, we played when I came home. He rested with Jennie and I at night, and he ate his meals when we ate. When we traveled – be it for an afternoon or a week – he always greeted us at the door.

Pye was loyal to Jennie and I. He was friendly to our visitors, and he helped us through our most difficult days. He was cheerful when weren't. He was kind to Jennie and me, when we were mad at one another. He kept his claws, and he kept our trust that he wouldn't use them. He was fastidiously clean and thrifty with his food and treats, never discourteously demanding more. He obeyed our commands. He bravely cornered unwanted vermin invaders. He sat quietly and contemplated nature as it played outside our windows.

Few cats exhibit the esteemed qualities of a good, ole hunting dog. Pyewacket was always exceptional.

I guess when you grow old with a pet, and you know that its time will come soon, you steel yourself against the inevitable loss. Expecting death makes accepting it easier. But Pye's death came suddenly and despite excellent health; I was unprepared, devastated and questioned the justness, the fairness. So while the wisdom of Nature, of life, and of death itself eludes my capability to comprehend it, I can lift a prayer of gratitude for the time I did have with Pyewacket.

And Pye's sudden passing reminds me that our time on this ground is brief, and that the quality of our character and of our relationships is our sole remnant when our life is, alas, snapped away.

When we do nothing, the vultures win.

A vulture overlooks an emaciated Sudanese girl in 1993. Photo copyright Kevin Carter and the New York Times

In 1993, after capturing this heart-wrenching image, photo-journalist Kevin Carter walked away. He was less than 1 kilometer from the U. N. food camp toward which the Sudanese girl was crawling, yet he offered no assistance. No one knows what happened to the girl. Presumably, the vulture ate her.

She was the first victim of his inaction.

In 1994, Kevin Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for his effort. Two months later, he rigged a garden hose from his truck's exhaust pipe to its passenger window, rolled the windows up, turned the engine over, and laid down. He was later found dead.

He was the second victim of his inaction.

When we do nothing, the vultures win.

Dwarf #1... of 7.

"Smash the control images, smash the control machine."

Love Canal, not quite as it sounds

Love Canal is a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, which became the subject of national and international attention, controversy, and eventual environmental notoriety following the discovery of 21,000 tons of toxic waste that had been buried beneath the neighborhood by Hooker Chemical.

Maybe we'll find unconventional assets in the "War on Terror" hidden in this little gem.  (See also Next.)

National Doughnut Day

Have you taken an opportunity to enjoy National Doughnut Day?  If not, head out to your local 'nutery (I prefer Krispy Kreme)!

The Greensboro Daily Photo it's nice to get outside...

Beer with more proof than some Vodka? You betcha.

...[O]ver the last 12 months ... [beer has moved] into the 40+% ABV realm of spirits such as gin, rum, brandy, whiskey and vodka, creating a new category of extreme beer.... New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume. The astonishing aspect to these recent developments is the how quickly a new market can evolve after ten millennia of time-honored tradition...

Congratulations Dr. Thacker on winning the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award!

ACM has named Charles P. Thacker the recipient of the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his pioneering design and realization of the Alto, the first modern personal computer, and the prototype for networked personal computers.
More from Association for Computing Machinery. And thanks to Jimmy Carter for being the first President to have the foresight to use computers in the White House.
Syndicate content