Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Day 2241

I've gotten so intrigued with watching Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky that I'm tempted to bring the telescope home from the storage warehouse and take a look at all five planets while they are still visible. I need to remember why the telescope is in storage in the first place, however. Telescopes are bulky and take a while to set up. Dallas skies are filled with the light pollution you find in any large city, so it is difficult to see anything fainter than a bright planet anyway. The only place in the yard with a good view of the sky is near a busy street filled with people going to work in the dark with their headlights on. I'd have to get up even earlier than I already do as well. It's hopeless. Occasionally, when I travel, I wind up in a place with clear dark skies and I'm amazed at how many stars there are. You never see these stars in Dallas. I'll add clear dark skies where you can see the Milky Way to the list of attributes I'm looking for in that mythical retirement destination Janet and I will probably never find.

I got up early enough to see the planets this morning, but it was so cold I immediately wished I was back in bed. We didn't see many other people walking their dogs this morning. Neighbors looking out their kitchen windows as they drink their morning coffee must think we're nuts. We're always out there bundled up in every coat we own, walking a crippled dog who can barely move. Even though she is slow and sometimes forgets where she is, Dot absolutely loves these walks. She gets to smell things, bark at neighborhood cats, and survey the park she has known all her life. We watch her carefully to make sure that she is not overexerting herself, but at least for now, our early morning walks are the best part of her day.

Maybe the walks are the best part of my day as well. Until recently, my days were filled with a seemingly endless series of deadlines to meet. I was in demand and almost always busy. All that has changed in the past couple of years. It's quiet now. Most of the clients are gone. Some abandoned me for larger, full service alternatives, but most simply retired or faded away. Throughout my career, my best clients have always been five or ten years older than me. That makes them pretty old now. Quite a few people I've worked with over the years have died already.

I need to figure out what to do with my time. I take care of Dot, write the blog, and keep the house from falling apart, but that's not enough to keep me from getting a severe case of cabin fever. I really don't have any hobbies. I write, take photographs, have made films, and can design websites, but these were never hobbies. They have always been tools I could use to make money without having a boss to report to. Photography and writing are freedom, but they are not necessarily fun. I'm not sure I even know what fun is.

Dot's vet wants me to give her a Xanax before we go to physical therapy tomorrow. I don't think this is a good idea. Dot is a little anxious riding in the car, but she doesn't have enough energy to mess around with any type of sedatives. I've never taken Xanax myself, but if it makes dogs lazy, relaxed and sleepy like it does with people, she could never finish her workout in the underwater treadmill. I think I'll just get started a little earlier tomorrow, so I'll have plenty of time to stop the car and re-position Dot if she gets stuck. If we drive slow, everything should be fine. So, how am I going to be early for our appointment when I'm perpetually late? I think I'll just wait to take a shower until after Dot's therapy is finished. That should give me plenty of time. If everybody had plenty of time and didn't go through life in a hurry, they probably wouldn't need Xanax anyway.

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