Monday, July 19, 2010

Paen to my Big Black Dog

Just about 13 years ago my ex partner and the kids and I brought home a little black Labrador puppy.  He was soon named Scout and joined our family.  He grew from a puppy to an adult and though a large dog he was always gentle and friendly.  He had a loud bark and terrified anyone who visited, but truth be known, he was harmless.  He had a great disposition.  He grew up with the boys (three of them) and was a friend not only to us (his people), but to the two Beagles and to the cats (there were many and various.)

Scout was enthusiastic and loving.  About six years ago I moved out of the house.  Scout stayed with my ex, but I still thought of him as my dog.  Whenever I visited he greeted me cheerfully, I was not forgotten.  As he aged he had developed gray hair so he was no longer all black.

Last week, Scout became unable to walk.  His rear legs became paralyzed.  My son and I took him to the Vet.  Apparently, it is common for large dogs to have spinal and hip degeneration in old age.  Scout could no longer be himself.  He couldn't go out and run as he once had loved to do. He couldn't control himself.  The decision was hard but Scout's final moments were with my son and I.

What can I say about a good dog other than I will miss him.  He was part of my family and I loved him.  I sure hope there is a doggie heaven and that Scout is with Lady and Max, the beagles who were his companions for so many years.   Goodby Scout!


PS:  This wasn't really a classical paen because it wasn't a song.  It was meant to be a tribute, and in that sense, I believe it is a paen.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Doing Something -Gulf Disaster Relief

Yesterday I took a large number of pictures of an event designed to help bring relief to the people of the Gulf coast who's lives have been so greatly affected by the Oil Disaster.  Yes, I call it a disaster!  Untold quantities of oil have been released in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. That oil has to go somewhere!  It is currently going to the shore of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.  It is almost certain to affect a much greater area in the near future.  We will be dealing with the effects of this disaster for many years to come I am sure.

I group of people, musicians and others, have started a project to privately raise funds for Disaster Relief.  This project called "Give to the Gulf" had a press release event yesterday and that is the event I photographed. I will put up some of the photos on a separate page.  Look for the tab at the top of the page.  I will tempt you with one here.
This young singer named Jackson has contributed his talents and music to help in the Relief effort.  For the web site of Give to the Gulf go to You can find some of Jackson's music there to download from itunes.  The small price you will pay will all go to relief efforts in Louisiana and the area with the help of the United Way of Louisiana.  Musicians can contribute their talents by adding their music to the music to be downloaded and there is a link on the site for that.

I am in New England which is far from the Gulf but I hope to do my little bit to help those effected by the great and terrible oil release in the Gulf.  Visit the site and download a tune or two. For a news report follow this link to NBC 30 News.

Another News Channel, WTNH in New Haven put up a video report.



Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Loose Some Weight (Give to the Gulf)

There is all kind of weight.  What I am feeling and have been feeling for a while is weight in my soul.  To understand a little about this weight follow this link.  I had to use a link because I don't have any of my own pictures to use and I didn't want to steal someone else's picture. It's a picture of an oil soaked Pelican from the Gulf Coast and the article speculates on whether it is better to save animals so stricken or to kill them.  Which would be more humane? The oil (can one really call this a spill?) disaster in the Gulf of Mexico just tears me apart.  I feel for he animals that are damaged and killed. I feel for the people whose lives and livelihoods have for ever been changed (maybe even destroyed.) It all weight very heavy on my soul.

I think the great weight comes from a real feeling of helplessness. I also feel rage!  It just seems that one stupid move follows another.  Money and technology seem to be useless.  Don't get me going on the way politicians are behaving!  Members of Congress apologizing to the Oil Company?  Get real! 

There is going to need to be a relief effort in the Gulf area and possibly in other areas (dare I mention the possibility of damage to the East Coast of the US and maybe damage as far away as the coasts of Europe?).  People's lives have been changed and there is going to be a continuing need for clean-up (can there ever be a real cleanup from something like this?)

Someone local here in Connecticut is trying to do something to help in the relief effort.  Some Musicians and others have mounted a effort to put their Music up on the Web for sale through itunes with the proceeds going totally to the Gulf Relief Effort.  This is a wonderful thing for these people to do! The effort is called "Give to the Gulf" and you can find their web site by following the link or going to

Buying a few tunes from itunes can make a difference.  Music can sooth the soul and these pieces of music might just lighten your soul a bit.