Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gnawing Through the Straps

"Sometimes, it's just not worth the effort to gnaw through the leather straps."
--Emo Phillips

I’m driving in early this morning, listening to NPR, and I gotta tell you, it’s tough to get motivated some mornings. My son, the Sports Anchor, tweeted to me last night, he’s so over reporting on mediocrity. Can’t blame him, after Sunday’s botched game-ender by the Texans, and last night’s heartbreaker between the Rockets and the Bulls. It’s enough to turn you off of sports and drive you to a business talk station...which is probably why you listen to me now.
We all want to make sense of things.
We’re all working harder than we ever have, bringing home less than we need, and at the end of the day we stare across the dinner table at each other and wonder, what’s it all for?
You want examples?
Another Ways and Means Committee Chairman has been found guilty of ethics violations. Same song, sequential verse; the only difference is that this time it’s a Democrat; last time it was a Republican. Some things never change.
I scan the morning headlines, and I want to scream.
Some jerk towing company on Galveston Island ripped off a trucker’s trailer with a bull dozer on it, charged the driver $15,000 for the towing charge after four days of haggling, caused the shipper to miss the boat, literally, so now the trucker doesn’t get paid the $30,000 feight fee. What a mess. 
Where’s the common sense?
Who charges $15,000 to tow a parked trailer with a ‘dozer on it?
I’m working with our HOA management company and they think that our neighborhood is just going to roll over and pay a higher fee next year because things are going up. Really? 
When I question policies and contracts, I get the cold shoulder from the management company. I found an insurance policy for nearly half the cost of the existing one--which was jacked up because someone sold the previous HOA Board a Terrorist Policy three years ago, for which the agent received a handsome commission. Let's think about this: Terrorist Insurance for a neighborhood association? 
Meanwhile, We in Texas, pay the highest homeowners insurance premiums in the country. Why is that? It’s because the fox is in the hen house up at the state legislature, and you’ve got the Insurance industry calling the shots on the rest of us. 
Why can’t we fix that? 
When do you get fed up, or mad enough, or broke enough, to tell your legislator to make it right??
I’m still torqued over this stupid, insipid, ridiculous--and I believe illegal--Transportation Safety Administration policy of groping passengers before they’ll let you on an airliner.
This morning I learn that, with unemployment flirting with with 10%, there is an undeniable bias against unemployed job applicants by hiring managers...because the applicants are unemployed. 
Well, duh.
So, yeah, I'm a little irritated, to start of the day.
"Target" the Rescue Dog Euthanized
But the capper for me today is the story of “Target,” a rescue dog that saved the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan, survived being shot by the Taliban, was brought to the US by his handlers, appeared on Oprah, and was living in Arizona... Target the Rescue Dog was euthanized over the weekend because of a freaking clerical error, and an owner who was either too stupid or too lazy to put a tag on the dog’s collar, or get a chip implanted.
I have a friend who's a plucky reporter on a local TV station, who has an adorable pooch the entire community loves. The dog decided to tour the neighborhood last week while the intrepid reporter was out of town...which caused untold pannick and angst, and generated a storm of Tweets, e-mails, and Facebook posts to rally a search party. 
Happily, the prodigal pooch was found and returned, and they’re all living happliy ever after...but I was shocked to find that my friend hadn’t had a chip implanted in her dog. Yet.
She said, "the dog's always with me." 
Uh-huh. Except when it's not.
There some things that are just beyond our control.
Sophie, Our Family Mascot, w/chip.
You and I cannot legislate morality, nor can we effectively protect ourselves from the stupidity of those around us; but we can sure prevent many of the problems that would cause us to question whether we should just leave the leather straps in place, by taking pre-emptive steps. 
Like microchiping our pets. Or using tags. 
Even the US government knows enough to put dog tags on people. For Target the Rescue Dog, there’s no second chance. 
Is there for your family mascot?

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