On the Saving of Asses

My new chair arrived last Friday. My ass is saved, quite literally, thanks to a kindly contribution from the Stomp Tokyo foundation, a gift which which took care of the shipping and handling and allowed me to get to a comfortable place much sooner. The downside to that is I no longer had an excuse to finish watching the Boris Karloff non-thriller Voodoo Island, of which I am still attempting a rational critique for the Bad Movie Report.

Other fun involves August, one of the busiest months of the year for dentistry (and likely. other healthcare-type places). A week’s scheduled downtime was truncated, leading to much bitterness on my part, and the writing of this blog at work. In between telling people that no, the doctor will not put off his trip so they can have their teeth cleaned. Well, really, the doctor might, but the front office ain’t.

Okay, real reason for bitching: last Friday, before my chair arrived and my ass was still aching, I got dressed and was heading out to work to find my nine-year-old son watching the morning news, and he told me, “Bad news. Hurricane Dean is going to hit us.”

“How? Last night it was even near the Bahamas.”

“Well, they don’t know…”

“Exactly. They don’t know. Stop borrowing trouble, we have enough.”

I got back from work and started assembling my chair; Eyewitness news was on once again, and the talking points went to, “What sort of damage will result when Hurricane Dean hits Houston?” Not ifwhen. News stories themselves included the word “if”, but none of the lead-ins did.

As a lifelong Texan, I know a bit about tracking hurricanes. The Information Age makes it a little more convenient – I check the Central Florida Hurricane Center daily, which gives me access to all available tracking models. Which is good, since the usual avenues for tracking information seem to be more interested in saying “Everybody PANIC!!!” more than giving me actual coordinates.

Upshot, as I write this, waiting impatiently for the start of my shortened vacation: Dean is between the Yucatan peninsula and Mexico. When Eyewitness News was drooling over the ratings cornucopia of Irwin Allen-type natural disaster, the models showed the northern most track to lead to Northern Mexico – or, as we call it in the cartography trade, “Not Houston”.

I was eventually angry enough to switch the TV over to, God help me, Wheel of Fortune rather than endure one more spouting of sensationalism. There’s a reason I don’t watch TV much anymore, and I am possessed of a powerful urge, should I run into any member of Eyewitness News in the street, to punch them in the nuts. And should it be a female member of the staff, to go even deeper into debt to have testicles surgically attached, so I can punch them.

Gathering and distributing the news used to be a sacred trust. As Criswell used to say, “God help us all… in the future.”

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