Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Day 2080

I was expecting to see lots of cute dogs on the Internet today. Hey, it is National Dog Day. Instead I see a disturbing and very graphic POV video of the senseless murder of two journalists on live TV taken by the shooter himself and posted immediately to Twitter. Is this what our world has come to? It's very sad. There will be the usual outrage about guns and gun violence in the weeks to come, but the problem goes far beyond guns. There are simply way too many crazy people and it has become socially unacceptable to lock them up in insane asylums. When I was a kid, every state had a huge network of mental hospitals and it was a fairly easy process to have a loony relative committed. I once knew a man who was the director of one of these state hospitals. He took me on a tour back when I was in college. It scared me. A lot of the people who were locked up seemed no different than I was.

Later, when my own mother was diagnosed as manic depressive, I became somewhat of a mental health advocate. I never dreamed that mental health advocacy would lead to this. We have gone too far. Giving people Prozac and tossing them out on the street again isn't going to stop school shootings and senseless violence perpetrated by crazy people. We have to develop a way to stop these people before they hurt someone. I'm sure that a lot of you saw the film Minority Report. That's exactly where we are headed if we don't get a grip on this situation. We have almost reached a tipping point. You can see it in the rhetoric of politicians. And you can see it in your friends Facebook postings. I don't care what you think about mental health issues. Society needs stability to survive and it will get that stability one way or another. When crazy people threaten the rest of the world's sanity, the lunacy simply has to stop.

The stock market had a good day, but today's gains did little to assuage my uneasiness. This roller coaster ride has already chopped over 8% off the value of my investment portfolio in just a matter of weeks. I used to take these meltdowns in stride. I knew, and still believe, that the market will always bounce back. The problem is that you can never be sure when it will bounce back. It might be months and it might be years. The older you get, the more you start to think that you might not live long enough to see the next boom in this perpetual boom and bust cycle. My Dad lived quite comfortably off his old fashioned university pension. I don't think many of us who depend on an increasingly volatile market and a 401K plan for security will do nearly as well.

I had a long conversation today with a guy who seems destined to become the new brand manager for a company I work with. I don't know if this is good or bad for me. New brand managers often want to get rid of old suppliers. I was asked for my opinions and I gave them. We'll see what happens. I've had a long run with this particular company, but nothing lasts forever. Hey, there's always room for a September surprise. Maybe the guy actually listened to what I had to say.

It seems like I just took Dot to physical therapy yesterday, but it's already time to take her again. This year is going by very quickly. I'm not sure whether to rest Dot tomorrow morning, or take her on her normal walk. She does seem a little bit stronger. Maybe we can do both. I'm not having much luck strengthening Dot's weak rear leg, but I am getting better at anticipating when she is going to poop. For two day in a row I have recognized the telltale signs and gotten her outside in the nick of time. It's too bad I can't do this while I'm sleeping. That's when most of the pooping occurs.

I hope tomorrow is a calm and peaceful day for everyone. With any luck, Dot will be able to go her full 18 minutes in the underwater treadmill. Maybe I'll remember to take out the trash too. That's enough to make Thursday a success for me. I don't set the bar very high these days.

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