Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It's been a while...

I figure if anyone is left reading this blog they may think I died or something. But I haven't. Not yet, anyway. I've just been really busy with new things.

The coolest thing is my new computer, a MacBook Pro. It's my first Mac and I am in love. Within half an hour of playing around with the Mac I practically threw my year-old Gateway laptop at Larry and said, "Here. You can have it." My two other PC's are now treated like red-headed stepchildren. I touch them only when I have to and when I do it's with disdain and grumbling. I fantasize of the day I can drown them in the bathtub and replace them with desktop Macs.

I also got a new horse. Well, really another large pony. "Oliver" is a beautiful 9-year-old flashy bay Quarter pony. At 13.2 hands (a hand is 4" for you non-horse folk, and horses are measured up to the top of the shoulder), he's perfect for both me and Alex. I used to hate being small and short. Now I'm thrilled because it means I can still ride ponies without looking ridiculous. Except when I fall. So far that hasn't happened with Oliver. 

Oliver was given to us by Alex's riding instructor, who got him last year from a Prestigious Area Show Farm on trade for a larger horse. This winter has been bad for horse owners, and she didn't have enough hay for all of her horses and ponies so she asked us if we'd like to have him. Of course we said yes.

He needed a tune up after standing around much of the winter, so I've been hacking him out behind the house. He's a bit cheeky, but is coming along nicely. Here we are having a nice turn around the field:

In the back of my mind, the cynical part of me worried that Oliver had some terrible health problem, and that our kindly instructor had just been waiting for the perfect suckers to come along and take him off her hands before he bankrupted her. But yesterday the vet came and announced Oliver was Healthy As A Horse.  The only thing he needed was to have his teeth floated. Again, for you non-horsey people an explanation: horses get sharp points on the back of their teeth that from time to time must be ground down with a mechanical rasp. The horse must be drugged for the procedure, and Oliver was given some good shit because afterwards I had to hold his lead rope to keep him from falling. Or floating away. Alex took this picture of me being all supportive of our poor drugged pony.

Work is going well. As in well, I mean I-could-pinch-myself- well. Last year when the newspaper laid off those of us who were copy-editing part time, I thought, "Well there goes the end of some pretty easy income." But fortunately it was the kick in the pants I needed to get myself organized with my freelance work. Now I've got more stable work than I've had since I can remember, while those who remained at the paper assuming they were safe are finding themselves jobless. It's a scary time to be a writer unless you have a niche. I count myself fortunate that I do. Let's hear it for porn.

The family is well. Jess graduates from college in May. I can hardly believe I'm going to be the mother of a college graduate! Wes is in school still trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. I told him good luck with that. John graduates this year and will continue on to a program for autistic young adults. Alex continues to astound me with her knack for self-directed learning. She's not flagged once in her studies, despite being consumed with interest in riding. Lucas has somehow managed to sit still long enough to learn to read and Larry is preparing for the upcoming farmer's market season.

Life is good, at least for today. And if something bad happens tomorrow we'll just weather it as we always do - with good humor and optimism.

Hope all of you are doing equally well. If you stop by and read this, show a little love. I'll try to get by your blogs as well.

UPDATE: After posting this it occurred to me that my readers might appreciate a little something slightly controversial from me, given my protracted absence. All I can think of to state is that I've been following the elections closely this year, and is it just me or does Hillary Clinton come off as a total cunt?

UPDATE II: Mike Huckabee just conceded, paving the way for McCain to lose without being bothered by competition in his own party. I wasn't surprised that Quirkabee stayed in the race as long as he did, but was kind of shocked to see that he claimed to be a conservative when he's married to another man. 


JohnR said...

So what do you think of the govt shutting down horse slaughterhouses?


I heard about a horse auctioneer who had to shoot 28 horses taht he can't sell and he has no slaughterhouse to send them to.

laughingwolf said...

grats on it all, hon!

and yes, hillarious is just as you say... what's wrong with those mofos in ohio and texas? grrrrrrrrrrrr

laughingwolf said...

ooooops! furgot!

welcome to the mac world!

tis true: once ye go MAC, ye NEVER go back :P lol

Morgan said...

JohnR, I think it's a misguided move to ban slaughter. I adore my ponies and have rescued several in the last year from bad situations, vetted them and found them new homes.

But not all horses are suitable for homes. There are horses that are too sick or dangerous to be used for their intended purpose. And horses, being expensive are hard to keep around just for the novelty of their company.

A safe horse or pony is worth its weight in gold. A chronically ill or dangerous one can bankrupt or kill you. For those horses, slaughter is the most humane option. Without it, they are left to languish in neglect and misery.

Horse activists will tell you this is a terrible, inhumane stance but it is not. The problem as I see it is not in the end but in the method. Slaughter should be an option, but it should be carried out in as humane a way as possible.

To prevent horses from ending up in slaughter, things need to be fixed on the front end. There are too many horses and ponies being bred. That needs to stop. People are buying horses and ponies without any prior knowledge of what to expect or how to care for them. It's worse now that the slaughter ban and hay shortage has caused horse prices to drop down to next to nothing or (in the case of Oliver) nothing.

People are ending up with horses in their backyards before they realize that in some areas there isn't even hay to feed them. Or underestimating the cost of care. As soon as reality sets in they just move the horse on to the next home. No wonder so many horses end up neurotic. Instability can do that to you, and horses need stability.

In a perfect world there would be no need for slaughter, but as long as the human-made need exists, there should be a place for it.

Morgan said...

Ha, Wuff. Yeah, that computer is the Mac Daddy.

And I don't know what's wrong with the people in Ohio and Texas. I'm not doubting that Hillary is experienced, but her experience seems to be mostly in the realm of cutthroat politics.

She has done some good things, like getting the children's health insurance pushed through on the state level. But I don't like her overall plan to make health insurance mandatory. It may start out as affordable, but since she's supported by the drug and insurance lobby it won't be long before those affordable premiums skyrocket and the uninsured will be forced to pay, just as we're forced to pay homeowner's insurance we can't afford.

The drug and insurance giants will be looking for paybacks, and with Hillary forcing us to pay the premiums they'll have us all by the short hairs.

I like Obama's plan - and his more level-headed approach - better than Hillary's. He doesn't have the experience, but he seems to have a better temperament.

But I'd still vote for Hillary before I'd vote for McCain.

laughingwolf said...

since 'they' decided long ago she would get the nod, despite what voters want, it's moot the canadian feds fessed up to the leak that sank obama in ohio.... :(

Morgan said...

That was a bit convenient for the Clintongs, wasn't it Wuff. But on the other hands, if the Obama campaign really did take one stance with the voters and another stance with our northern neighbors on NAFTA this is something the voters need to know.

The only difference between Clinton and Obama here is that if Clinton had done something like that she would have made sure it never got out. That's the difference in "experience" she's talking about. The Clintons are much better at hoodwinking the voters.

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

To be honest I think the “crop” of candidates gets worse every election.

No one dares to even dream about leading anymore.

They all remind me of the French Dissident meeting with other officials when suddenly chaos erupts outside and looking up they see a huge mob rushing past the building down the street

The Dissident jumps up and heads for the door

“Where are you going? His officials ask

He replies:

“I MUST find out where the people are going…

So I can LEAD them”

I swear if the whole country was running towards the cliff like lemmings – all the candidates would be talking about would be who is most qualified to get us to the edge faster

I am glad for the demise of the Hukabee campaign, for I have been plagued by visions of Armageddon should he become president.

I am glad to be back around the blog world too as I have been out of touch for too long

laughingwolf said...

yes they are, especially hillarious herself, privately apologizing to us she knows WE were not responsible for the 9/11 'terrorists'... but would she do it publicly? PHAT CHANTS! no political hay to be made in that! grr

Morgan said...

Bobb, I raised my first eyebrow at Huckabee when he put out that floating cross ad. Even if he was pandering, that was pretty damn disturbing. I think he was just plain nuts, and still will be when he runs again in four years.

And I agree with what you say about the current crop. Something in me has hope springing eternal. Every election cycle I scan the field and wonder if there's anyone out there who can turn us aside from our march into National Self Destruction. But there isn't. We just get more divisive, more fractured, more ridiculous.

I do think Obama has the better chance at forging some sense of unity. Clinton will be a complete disaster. She and Bill love the games and will use her term to pay back all the enemies her husband didn't get to pay back before he left office. And the Republicans will be driven mad by having the Clintons back in the White House. They'll turn persecuting them into a fulltime mission while we common folk continue to try and scratch out a living in this crumbling US of A.

I really wish I could afford to leave, but from what I'm reading the UK isn't much better.

O, Canada. Have you a room?

laughingwolf said...

always room for our american brothers and sisters, m'dear... bring yer greenbacks ;) lol

thimscool said...

Good to hear you're doing so well Morgan.

Roland said...

I think McCain is less bitchy than Clinton, but I would be tempted to vote Green party if they were my two choices.

Glad that things are going well and interfering with your blogging. That is as it should be.

Morgan said...

Hi Luke. Hope you are also well. How are the Prince and Princess? I bet the baby is really growing! Does Atticus still like being a big brother?

Roland, I agree. Interference with blogging is vital to well-being. And you may be right about the green party. The part of me that would vote for Clinton was given pause by that ridiculous homeschooling ruling in California. Methinks that court is made of Clinton's kind of people. And yet I could not, would not vote for McCain.

Roland said...

Would not, could not, vote for him?
Should not, good not, vote for him?
-Dorktor Snoose

Morgan said...

Not in a box, not with a fox. I wouldn't vote for him here or there I would not vote for him anywhere. I could not endure that kind of pain. I will not vote for John McCain.

Roland said...

How very Suessy!