Monday, July 13, 2015

Day 2036

I started on my new website project today. I thought that this one would be a piece of cake, but I almost immediately ran into a couple of snags. Absolutely nothing is a piece of cake anymore. In my experience, everything from getting a prescription filled to changing a light bulb can quickly turn into an unintended learning experience. Website design is always full of surprises. It didn't take me long this morning to learn that Plan-A just wasn't going to work. That's why I always make sure there's a Plan-B.

The New Horizons spacecraft will reach Pluto tomorrow. I continue to be amazed by the audacity of this incredible journey. It takes Pluto 248 years to orbit the Sun. The last time Pluto was in it's current position in space, the United States wasn't even a country yet and nobody on Earth was aware of its existence. Pluto wasn't even discovered until 1930. A lot can change in a single orbit. The technology that sent New Horizons on its three billion mile trip is over a decade old. The iPhone wasn't even invented when the spacecraft was launched. The fact that everything still works after this nine year journey is a testament to what we can do when we really put our mind to it. Sadly, this golden age of exploration that began with Sputnik is drawing to a close. Enjoy the moment tomorrow, because you won't see anything like this again in your lifetime. We have lost the will to explore. Maybe Elon Musk will eventually figure out a way to get to Mars, but we won't get another first look at a new planet for a long, long time.

The dogs are driving me nuts at mealtimes. The barking has become a permanent part of the mealtime ritual. As soon as I start preparing breakfast or dinner, they start to bark. I'm not exactly sure when this started, but it didn't used to be this way. They don't bark when Janet eats either. It's just me. To keep them quiet, I fill a coffee cup with dry dog food and feed them one kibble at a time. I feed them slightly less at their own dinner time, so they won't get fat from this additional food. Dot and Dash are far more tenacious than I am. Maybe they would eventually quit barking if I ignored them, but I don't have time to find out. Instead of training them, they always end up training me. It all works out OK, I guess. They are still eating exactly the same amount of food as they always were; just in an irritating, unconventional way.

One of my cousins recently sent me a copy of a family history her mother had written for her before she died. I started reading the history today and was totally amazed at how richly detailed my aunt's recollections were. The history was 75 pages long and described a way of life that no longer exists. There were generations of Sealanders that I'd never even heard of. Families were closer then. I'd be lucky if a were able to write a single Tweet about each of my family members. I've just never kept up with anybody. It was fascinating to read about my Swedish and Norwegian ancestors, but it left me wondering if the story ends with me. I won't be taking this family history and passing it down to my children. There are no children, and my own family memories are fuzzy. I can tell you plenty of stories about dogs though.

Watson is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day