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Dizzying Intellect » Smilish.

Category: Smilish.

Hope, Change

There’s this lady in my group — she’s not on my team, but we’re under the same guy — she’s this teeny, cute little thing. I don’t think she’s even five feet tall. We were in a meeting last week, and one of the guys on her team said she punched someone.

She blushed furiously, but they pushed her to tell the story. She went to the Inauguration in DC, with some friends and their collective kids. While they were there, she caught a guy with his hand in her purse, trying to steal her wallet.

Did she hand it to him, graciously, assuming he must need the money? Did she sit down and cry? Cower in fear? Nope. She punched him in the stomach, and he ran away.

Everyone in the meeting laughed, and it is pretty funny. But when I said “Good for you!” and started clapping, everyone else followed suit, and she blushed even more at the round of applause.

I think there might be hope for the world, yet.


Literally, I mean. This is really sweet.

Jenna and Barbara Bush wrote a letter to Sasha and Malia Obama, giving advice and their best wishes — as well as recounting some memories of their own, from both administrations. They were seven, Sasha’s age, when Bush 41 took office, and they spent their holidays and vacations at the White House, just like any kids would visit their grandparents.

Sasha and Malia, we were seven when our beloved grandfather was sworn in as the 41st President of the United States. We stood proudly on the platform, our tiny hands icicles, as we lived history. We listened intently to the words spoken on Inauguration Day service, duty, honor. But being seven, we didn’t quite understand the gravity of the position our Grandfather was committing to. We watched as the bands marched by — the red, white, and blue streamers welcoming us to a new role: the family members of a President.

Some of it’s purely fun kid stuff:

– Slide down the banister of the solarium, go to T-ball games, have swimming parties, and play Sardines on the White House lawn. Have fun and enjoy your childhood in such a magical place to live and play.

– When your dad throws out the first pitch for the Yankees, go to the game.

And some is serious advice that they may be a little young to appreciate quite yet. But it’ll click in a couple of years, when it really matters.

Many people will think they know [your father], but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.

Read the whole thing. I can’t even imagine such a crazy magical place to be, as a young kid — and some of the mental images they conjure up are really pretty lovely.

What do you do?

My cousin’s getting married in India this weekend. We were pretty close as kids, but grew apart as we got older. She lives in DC, and I’ve only seen her maybe twice in the past five years. But I’m close with her mom (who’s my parents’ age, but actually in my generation), and her grandmother (my aunt) is one of my very favorite people on Earth.

So. Opinion. How good of a gift would I have to get her, to be able to crash the wedding without having her kill me?


For the Conservative Who Has Everything

Because you know you want it:

The Sarah Palin 2009 Calendar (via Tammy Bruce)

Actually, I was looking around after seeing that, and this is much cooler. Though, not nearly as convenient in an office cubicle:

Sarah Palin Life-Size Standup Poster

Awesome. :o)

King, President, etc.

I’ve had a messy, frustrating, generally bad week, and next week’s lining up to be worse. I have nothing for you, really.

As a peace offering, read the whole story behind that famous meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon.

It is December 21, 1971, the same day Kurt Waldheim was chosen to succeed U Thant as Secretary General of the UN. But Bud Krogh doesn’t have anything to do with that, because he has two minutes to prepare for Elvis and try to think about how he’s going to pitch this to Nixon, who may or may not be aware of who Elvis is.

Elvis wants to give Nixon a loaded handgun as a gift but is told that’s not a good idea. Thought that counts, though.


Dogs In (And Out Of) Combat

Hot on the heels of the news that Ratchet the Iraqi dog has finally made his way home to Minnesota, here’s an interesting story on a hospital for American combat dogs in Texas.

This makes me happy. Dogs work as diligently as they do, for humans, because they think of us as family — part of their pack. The idea that they wouldn’t be treated for injuries sustained in protecting us is unthinkable to me. I’m surprised but thrilled to find out that the military agrees with me.

A new $15 million veterinary hospital for four-legged military personnel opened Tuesday at Lackland Air Force Base, offering a long overdue facility that gives advanced medical treatment for combat-wounded dogs.

Dogs working for all branches of the military and the Transportation Safety Administration are trained at the base to find explosive devices, drugs and land mines. Some 2,500 dogs are working with military units.

Dogs injured in Iraq or Afghanistan get emergency medical treatment on the battlefield and are flown to Germany for care. If necessary, they’ll fly on to San Antonio for more advanced treatment — much like wounded human personnel.

To treat the trainees and injured working dogs, the new hospital has operating rooms, digital radiography, CT scanning equipment, an intensive care unit and rehab rooms with an underwater treadmill and exercise balls, among other features. A behavioral specialist has an office near the lobby.

Working dogs usually enter training at 1 1/2- to 3-years-old, and most can work until they’re about 10, he said.

Then, the military tries to adopt them out and “station them at Fort Living Room,” Vogelsang said.

Fort Living Room. I love that line.

Second Chances

Two years ago this week, there was a bad accident on the highway near here. 41 horses (and a mule) were bound for the slaughterhouse, when their truck crashed. (If that picture of the snuggling horse with the ‘X’ spray-painted on its f’ing side doesn’t make you choke up, you’re dead to me.) Sixteen of the horses were killed in the accident.

The surviving twenty-six horses and the mule were given a reprieve. The highway patrol turned them over to the local Humane Society, who have their own ranch out in Union. The horses were seen by veterinarians, their wounds tended to, and they generally regained their health. Several of them have been adopted out in the past two years.

I’m a big supporter of the Humane Society, and I’m fascinated by Longmeadow, so I knew all of this. But I saw this on the news last night. Several of the horses that weren’t adopted, the ones with the nicest dispositions, have become “therapeutic horses” at a center for disabled kids in Wentzville, called Therapeutic Horsemanship.

Here’s a video that talks about how therapy horses help with balance and learning to walk, and with autistic kids. They also improve self-esteem and awareness.

This just makes me so happy. The horses were saved from both slaughterhouse and wreckage, and they get a great new home with lots of land and other horses, and everybody benefits — horses, doctors, parents, and kids.

Heaven’s Angels

Be still, my heart. This is so awesome.

Tattooed Bikers, A Dog’s Best Friends

A motorcycle gang of burly tattooed bikers, who prowl the streets of New York, protecting puppies and kittens. You couldn’t make it up if you tried. They have a dispatcher who takes calls about abuse and various crimes. Then the gentlemen of Rescue Ink take off, catching crackheads who steal people’s pets and sell them for drugs, and mouthbreathers selling puppies to train for dog fighting and an early death. They adopt some of the animals, and help find homes for the rest. And they work with some people who just need their animals fixed, or simply don’t have enough shelter or water for their outdoor pets, even building doghouses if necessary.

And they can be intimidating, it appears. :o)

Go read the whole thing. And be sure to check out the pictures.

Good Hearts

So I was driving back from the range just now, and I was almost home when I saw a turtle in the road. I swerved to avoid him, and then — since it was late Saturday morning and there was very little traffic — and this will surprise no one — I stopped the truck, got out, picked up the turtle, and carried him off to the side of the road.

Note: I’ve heard that you have to take them in the same direction that they’re going, or they’ll just keep crossing. That they have an almost magnetic sense of direction. Anyway, there’s a little stream down that way, so I figured that’s where he was headed.

The thing that did surprise me? When I turned back around, there was an suv stopped behind me (she could easily have gone around). She rolled down her window, and yelled with a smile, “I was just going to do exactly the same thing!” Then she waved and drove off.

Can I just tell you how odd that is in this city? I’m going to be smiling all day, thinking of one good-hearted person in this town.


Notice: I had no idea anteaters were this cute! Like fuzzy, adorable little aliens. (Go look at the rest - especially the last two.)


That is all.