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July | 2013 | PJ Newman



Happy Independence Day to those who have and enjoy it and to those who still fight and die for it.
What with what’s been going on in Egypt recently.
And Syria.
And Texas.

I’ll make this short as I need to get back to the Australian version of Wilfred and the American version (Mifune). I spent time trying to explain independence, the struggle for and the price paid to Mifune a short while ago. I found I had to speak in general terms and then Mifune-specific terms. I don’t think he appreciated and/or understood the concepts. I mean, how do you describe purple to a person blind from birth? Or Mozart to one always deaf? Or flavor to someone who eats at McDonald’s?
I mean, of all people (sic), Mifune should appreciate the concept and realization of freedom. For those of you not familiar with his back-story, Research Assistant Mifune Valentine Damn It Newman (nee Alston) was found chained to an abandoned construction site, where presumably he was left to die. He was malnourished, had parasites, multiple wounds from fights, bad punctuation skills. Six months of hospital, shelter and foster care landed him at the Ham Shack. Jazz was gone. I needed a dog (?). Mifune needed a home.
The rest, as they say, is comedy.
From Day One, Mifune has resisted…..fought….complacency? He escaped our yard at least 4 times the first day and will run off the very second you take your eyes off of him.
Maybe I have this wrong? Maybe he’s happy with his life at home and he’s simply curious/adventurous? He will never replace Jazz and is grossly libeled when compared to his predecessor. Apples and motor oil. I try to provide a loving, nurturing environment for he and Kaiju (the Cat), but being bipedal without the benefit of a tail and/or taste for kibble, I’m dogpaddling blindly. Is that akin to the birthing pains of a nation? Not knowing when or how or even IF to let go? Pack it a lunch and wish for success? Chase it while calling its name while offering a biscuit in one hand and leash in the other?

Been listening to (in no particular order, chronologically or quantitively): Syd Straw (first 2 records), Nicole Campbell, Shaun Tozer, David Torn (duh!), Bruford-Levin Upper Extremities (w/ Torn), Levin-Torn-White, John Tropea, John Klemmer (with John Abercrombie, Steve Gadd, Tony Levin and Bob James), Thomas Newman, Ronnie Lane, John Fahey and KMUN/KTCB (coastradio.org).
Watching: Star Trek (TOS and first 6 movies), Wilfred (both foreign and domestic), Dark Shadows (a Dan Curtis Production), lots of Chinese fantasy/kung fu, Three Stooges, documentaries, Thomas the Tank and YouTube.
Reading List: Explain Pain, On Some Faraway Beach, The Starch Solution, Tape Op, The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Music Theory for Modern Guitar, liner notes and owners manuals.

Day 7 of Summer. Got to spend some quality time with Super Friend Nicole, who spent a week at Arch Cape with family and friends. She and Simone came by Mole End, ate donuts, wondered at bamboo and maybe, just maybe, were able to connect a few more dots. This coming Labor Day weekend will mark 25 years of our friendship. I’d ask for another 25, but I’m not that cruel.

Bad cycle for quadrupeds. My brother Spud bought Harry, his 18-year-old Manx, a first class ticket to Kitty Heaven. The next day or next day, the Mom sent Katey, her 18-year-old skinny skitty kitty, to join Harry. And if not the next day but the next or next day, the Dad unit graced Dog Heaven with Shayna Madl, his beloved Golden Lab of 18 years. Last week, I bought Mifune a pig’s ear (pig was done with it and no amount purse making would make it anything but a pig’s ear). The next day I thought he was dying. Took me a while to associate the two events. Needless to say I wouldn’t have been surprised. Devastated, yes. Surprised…..? Parts isn’t parts.

Thanks for: Guam Bob, Garey Shelton, Bamboo Guy, Wendy Davis, BCAC And Otherness.

Time to let the steam pressure build on the VCR and have Mifune watch Independence Day. Maybe in Spanish.