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Updated: 12/17/03

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What's on the nightstand

by Alexandre Dumas

stay dry

more rain

Wednesday, 17 December, 2003

Rain, rain and more rain. Oh well. Could be sleeting, freezing, icy gunk instead.

[I'm sure that will come later.]

All my Christmas shopping is done, with the exception of presents for all the assorted office kids. Everything that needs to be shipped is shipped, all but the last couple of Christmas cards are sent . . . I think I'm ready.

Jacque has been sending the cutest e-mails describing Zoe's birthday and latest accomplishments. I told Mom that Jacque is my pick for the next generation Myers-Hagander Communicator. It's those "imports" into the family that always seem to do so well - we seem to pick them pretty well.

[With a few exceptions, of course.]

The dates and location for Trollopfest 2004 have been selected: March 19 - 21st in Sonoma, CA. It's been a few years since we terrorized the vineyards of Sonoma, so they're about due [and hopefully will have forgotten us]. I have a free ticket and companion ticket on Delta, so I think Steph is going to drive down from Ithaca and we'll fly out together. Then we'll just have to find cheapo flights for Laurie and Sarah - but we're not going to make Laurie fly into Oakland this time - yikes!

I have some temporary residents in my office. George has given me his orchid [Ellen and I gave it to him for his birthday a couple of years ago], and a . . . well . . . "science experiment." It's a bottle of 1996 Ferrari-Carano Merlot that he has had sitting in his office since a lunch many years ago. He wasn't invited to the lunch, and was quite pouty about it, so we brought him back the remaining wine, about a third of the bottle. Since then, it has gone through a variety of "growth" stages and looks pretty vile.

He has entrusted me with the safe-keeping of both the orchid and bottle until his employment situation firms up. I imagine I'll have to take a road trip sometime this spring to return them to him.

[Hopefully it won't involve flying . . . I'd hate to have to explain that bottle to the baggage screeners.]

I haven't done a nice fugitive bovine story in almost two years. I've been remiss:

DETROIT, Michigan (AP) -- A steer that fled the slaughterhouse two weeks ago will get the chance to live out his days on a Michigan farm.

After negotiations, the slaughterhouse's owner and representatives of an animal sanctuary reached an agreement Monday that will spare the steer's life.

Instead, the Al Badr Slaughterhouse will donate the animal to the Sanctuary and Safe Haven for Animals, according to Dorothy Davies, director of the Manchester farm. The farm will pay the slaughterhouse an undisclosed sum to cover charges associated with the steer's break, including the cost of a crane to lift the sedated animal, two weeks' worth of feed and veterinary expenses.

Davies said the skittish steer has touched thousands of area residents. About 30 people sent the sanctuary small donations to help purchase the steer, raising just over $1,000, Davies said.

"He put a face on food," she said. "Looking at hamburger meat wrapped in a cellophane package is not the same as looking at that face."

[But here's my favorite line . . .]

Al Badr's owner did not return calls for comment. A woman answering the slaughterhouse's phone said the owner was at a livestock auction.


Quote du jour:

"Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered."

-- William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) English dramatist, poet

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