Friday, June 6, 2008

A Dog's Life

Is this the picture of relaxed or what?

This is my main man, my four-footed squeeze, Madison, reclining next to his stuffed duck, which he played with until he flopped over into this exhausted heap.

The other day I discovered a doggy friend of mine, L's Cozie, has the very same duck. L and I recently entertained one another squeaking our respective dogs' ducks over the phone. Actually, rather than squeaking, this toy makes a noise that I presume is supposed to be a duck call. It sounds more like a large dog fart. But anyway, Madison loves his duck, and Cozie loves his.

Same dog, different angle. Isn't he pretty? He needs a bath and a trim, but I haven't had the energy to get him to the groomer yet. Soon, baby, soon. Meantime, I've been brushing him with a gadget that looks like a looped curry comb. The fur flies-- into the air, into my mouth, into his water dish, onto whatever I'm wearing--why is it I always seem to take a notion to brush the dog while I'm wearing dark pants?

Madison has been worried about me the past several weeks. He managed to get his 90 pounds up onto my bed various times to check on me and has started sleeping on the floor at the foot of my bed or in the hall just outside my bedroom door instead of his regular bed on the couch. I realize he sensed that I wasn't feeling well. But now that I'm better he's still keeping close tabs on me. You never know what your human is going to get up to!

This is Madison looking forlorn because I wasn't throwing a toy for him to fetch. I was busy with the hose, washing and refilling his bowl, watering my rose bush, and filling the bird bath. He thinks when I'm in the yard I should spend 100% of my time throwing something for him to chase. When I'm not around he chases squirrels and chipmunks. So far he's never caught one. They're onto him and know just when to run when I let him out. The squirrels in particular like to tease him, running partway up a tree, then scolding him loudly. He barks his head off, of course, and I swear I can hear the squirrels laughing.

Yep, it's a dog's life.


The Lost Weekend..and then some

Well, well, I can't believe it's been over 2 months! Most of my readers already know, but I was ill and just not up to posting, but I'm much better. Still not quite back to "normal", whatever that is, but getting there. So I figured it's time to get blogging!

While I was ill, I spent some time thinking about time. I frequently felt I was "losing" whole days and weeks of time. My markers, my daily schedule of what to do and where to go, all disappeared, except for Dr. and hospital visits. I slept odd hours, sometimes sleeping 12 hours at a stretch, sometimes staying up until nearly dawn and then napping later in the day. Once I began to feel as if I was getting better, I felt like I was surfacing through time like I would have surfaced from being under water. Two months had gone by. While it was happening I had no concept of the amount of time passing, so it didn't seem that long. How odd it felt to have "lost" a sixth of a year.

Time is a strange concept. When you're really bored, or when you're looking forward to something special it can drag out, especially if you're a kid. Remember how it seemed after Halloween that Christmas would NEVER get here? Remember when school let out for the summer how it seemed like you had an eternity of softball, swimming, and just plain fun ahead of you?

If you're dreading something, or enjoying yourself doing something really special, time can seem to collapse, with the hours and minutes rushing by. How about that last few days before school starts in the fall, when time flashes by. Or that special vacation, or honeymoon, or visit from a loved one that you want to last forever but just flies right by.

Of course, although our perceptions of time passing may vary, time itself is unchanged, right? Time is linear and only moves in one direction--it marches on. Or does it?

Several months agao I saw a TV program about time. It was fascinating, but the part I remember most vividly is an experiment that was done to show that time really CAN be slightly speeded up or slowed, and not just because you perceive it to be. Recent physics discoveries also have shed some light on the nature of time, which is apparently affected by gravitational fields. Within the intense gravitational field of a black hole, for example, most likely there is no "time", as we know it. Moreover, it is now thought that on the subatomic level, i.e. quantum physics-wise, time actually runs backwards for some subatomic particles. (Please don't ask me to explain this. I'm taking it on faith, since I can't get my brain around it either.)

So what about traveling in time, like Marty Fly in "Back to the Future"? Is it totally science fiction dreaming to consider the possibility of time travel? Serious cosmic scientists used to scoff at the very idea of "time travel". However, the scoffers are no longer scoffing, at least in theory. While it's not likely that a "time machine", like a souped-up Delorean, would enable one to travel though time, it is postulated that if one can move fast enough and far enough, it could be possible theoretically to travel in time. Fast enough and far enough is the rub, of course, since we're talking really fast (near the speed of light) and really far (to stars that are light years away), which is not doable with our present technology. But one can't help but think along the line that a hundred years ago getting from New York to Los Angeles in a few hours was not "doable" with the technology of 1908. Hmmmmm.

Well, it's all very interesting, and I guess as good as any topic to restart my blog. There's an excellent and beautifully illustrated book, "The Mystery of Time" by John Langome, which delves into the way we humans have evolved in our concepts of timekeeping, mechanizing time, fine-tuning time and theorizing about the nature of time, including time travel. I bought it after watching that TV program. I end up with more books that way....