Dogs & Terrorists & Calipers Oh My!


Here’s Lulu and Fritzi on yesterday’s walk. We have different routes in and around the hood, each with one or two spots where I can hook their leash to something and use both hands to take photos. Our dogs don’t have their own Insta, like so many other daschhunds (I’m looking at you, Crusoe), but I do post photos of them to my personal account, and people seem to like that.

On that, for the past three or four years I’ve been following the account of a Norwegian dachshund, Reinert the Dog. Reinert’s human posts photos and short videos of him on walks all over Norway, alongside fjords, atop mountains, in cities and towns, just all so wholesome and nice, and then one day early this year Reinert died. He was a couple of years younger than our Mister B, who is 15, and I suspect his death was not a natural one … but since his human never posted details, I don’t know for sure. But here’s the thing: Reinert’s Instagram account is still active, only now his human posts archived photos, one or two every day, each with a short caption: “Rest in peace beautiful Reinert 2011-2024.”

When Reinert was alive I clicked “like” on every photo and sometimes left comments on behalf of our three dachshunds. Reinert followed my Instagram account and liked everything I posted, not just dog pics but wristwatch and family photos too. When Reinert died, I thought his human would shut the account down. Instead, he’s kept it going, day after day for months now. I get it that people process grief differently. But I think what he’s doing is weird and cringey, and I no longer click like. Strangely, Reinert’s ghost still clicks like on almost everything I post.

So what else is new?

Well, I’m arming up for a battle with xFinity, trying to cut our car payment-sized internet/cable TV bill down to size. Switching cell phone service from T-Mobile to xFinity may help. Ultimately, the goal is to ditch cable and stream only. We can’t do that without the internet, though, so there’s no ditching xFinity. Short of signing up for Elon Musk’s satellite service, there aren’t any other options.

Car payment-sized. My fellow olds will understand I’m talking close to $300 bucks, and gasp in horror. You young whippersnappers are probably saying “I wish my car payment was that low.” That is if you’re not mumbling about “fucking Boomers taking it all and leaving us nothing.”

The battle’s yet to be joined. The only way switching cell phone plans will work is if Donna and her phone come with me to the xFinity store, and that might have to wait until Friday or possibly early next week.

We’re having our air conditioner checked and serviced today. It’s almost time to switch it on for the summer. It’s also 20 years old, so there’s a possibility we’ll be spending major money, enough to make the cable TV bill the least of our worries. Wish us luck, please!

You’ve probably seen news of increased threats against the U.S., and, like me, assumed they’re terrorist in nature. For sure, attacks against Jewish institutions and individuals are way up, as are threats of violence against elected and government officials. Threats like those come from within, but we can’t forget about the possibility of terrorist strikes from without, especially since October, when Hamas attacked Israel and set off a horrifying wave of reprisals in Gaza and the West Bank, a conflict that has significantly grown with drone and missile attacks by Iran. Who knows when and where outside terrorists will attempt to strike the U.S. again, as they did on 9/11? I pray someone has an inkling, particularly the folks we pay to look out for and prevent such attacks. And that they’re not asleep at the switch, as they were last time.

Condoleeza Rice, in her post-9/11 testimony to Congress, said “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that those people could take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.”

Fuck her and the horse she rode in on. Joe Citizen me, with no intel other than what I could read in the Pacific Stars & Stripes, saw it coming as early as January 1995. That’s when news broke about a Middle Eastern terrorist plot uncovered by Philippine police after a fire broke out in a Manila apartment being used as a bomb factory. The Bojinka Plot was a large-scale, three-phase terrorist attack planned by Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who were going to assassinate Pope John Paul II; blow up 11 airliners in flight from Asia to the United States with the goal of killing approximately 4,000 passengers and shutting down air travel around the world — and crash a hijacked airliner into Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Virginia.

Who couldn’t connect the obvious dots and predict they’d keep trying to use hijacked airliners as weapons? I’ll tell you who: George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice, that’s who. And why? Because they didn’t want to give any credit or listen to the former Clinton administration intelligence officials trying to warn them, ’cause Democrat cooties, eww.

You know the exact same thing would happen under a Trump administration. We can only hope it won’t under Biden’s watch, and if this isn’t the time to be watchful I don’t know what is.

Switching back to the domestic, I successfully used a watchmaker’s tool. The tool looks like a pair of calipers, but its purpose is to compress both sides of a spring bar in order to remove and install watch bands. I used it to remove the metal band from a watch and put on a leather one. The tool defeated me when I first got it, trying to do the same thing with another watch, and I wrote it off as twenty bucks poorly spent. Then, this morning, I took another whack at it. This time it worked, and I think I know why: I was squeezing too hard the first time I used it. A light touch is key, as it is with most things.

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One thought on “Dogs & Terrorists & Calipers Oh My!

  • Yeah my HVAC (package unit) will turn 20 next year… pretty sure I’ll be replacing it then (if not sooner??)
    This year’s major expense: re-stucco of exterior. In a couple years I might decide a senior’s apartment is the way to go. ?

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