The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

When I wake up early in the morning

I almost slept through a story on Morning Edition just now, about sleep:

In our fast-paced, global society, many people consider it a big plus to need as little sleep as possible. But almost every sleep researcher will tell you that most people need at least seven hours of sleep for biological and psychological health. So there is a glaring disconnect between what the messages in our culture say about sleep and the messages we receive from scientists.

RIP Cali

A very old friend of mine put her dog down this evening. I know how hard that was. Cali had a good life, and was loved. And she knew it.

Every dog owner has to face this eventually: dogs only live a few years. That doesn't make it easier.

In the Jewish tradition—in which I was raised, despite both my parents and me being devout atheists—we always acknowledge the sadness lurking behind joy. It's a Jewish curse to find the cloud behind every silver lining. We dip an egg in salt water at Passover to remind ourselves of this. Not to mention the not-so-far-from-truth Jewish joke about the widow at the funeral shouting "how could you do this to me?" So maybe it's inappropriately personalizing someone else's pain, but a friend going through this reminds me of how short Parker's life will be, and how important it is to cherish what he brings to me, which is absolutely no less than how much Cali's life brought to my friend.

So, Tink, I know what you're feeling. And I know Cali was a happy dog, and loved you unconditionally, and lived as long as she could. Nothing else really matters.

Dr. Spock can rest in peace

I don't usually comment on stupid celebrity tricks—that's my friend Katie's job—but this made me laugh out loud. Despite her obvious successes as a mother, apparently Lynne Spears (Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears's mom) will not publish her upcoming Christian parenting book after all:

Lynne Spears' book about parenting has been delayed indefinitely, her publisher said Wednesday. Lindsey Nobles, a spokeswoman for Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson Inc., said Wednesday that the memoir by the mother of Britney Spears was put on hold last week.

She declined to comment on whether the delay was connected to the revelation that Spears' 16-year-old daughter, Jamie Lynn, is pregnant.

Update, via Cele|bitchy: Bonnie Fuller has a good take on this at Huffington Post.

Home

Phew. Aside from a 10-mile backup on I-65 north of Indianapolis, the return trip went fine. Parker has now logged three entire days in the car without puking. And now he's curled up in his crate on his smelly blanket just waiting for me to turn out the light. Smart dog.

Alma mater to host debate

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday that my undergraduate alma mater, Hofstra University, will host the final debate in the 2008 general election cycle:

"We are extremely pleased and proud that the Commission has chosen Hofstra University for one of America's most important political events," said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. "The presidential debates are pivotal events that can shape the course of the election, and our students and community will be able to witness, first-hand, the democratic process."

President Rabinowitz will soon announce plans for a series of academic programs to be held in the months leading up to the debate that will provide students and the community with insights into the process and workings of the national election. "With Hofstra's unique academic strengths, particularly with our Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency and our vibrant academic programs in political science, journalism and mass media, and law, we are uniquely poised to take advantage of the special opportunities a presidential debate offers. We plan to maximize every opportunity to involve students, faculty and the community in this historic event."

The debate will air Wednesday 15 October 2008 at 9 pm EDT.

No word yet on who will attend, but several qualified people have applied for the job.

Aussie puppy photo

First, a clarification: the Daily Parker may be two years old, but the Actual Parker is 17 months old (Friday). The blog is not the dog, as it were.

Second, Dad dug up this 12-year old photo of his dog, Reggie:

All together now: Awwwwww.

People may not gather from the photo of the adorable-looking fluff-ball that Australian Shepherds are "tricky." As in, darling Reggie here tried to kill me on more than one occasion before he was a year old. I wasn't even on a bike or horse, which would have truly brought out his protective instincts. Now that he's 12, though, he's a very sweet old dog.

Really cool gadget

I want one of these:

Obviously printed photos are so last-decade. Digital photo frames allow us to go directly from shooting to displaying our photos with no messy meatspace-based printed version needed. The eStarling 2.0 Wi-Fi Photo Frame takes this concept to the next level by connecting to your local Wi-Fi network and allowing you to send photos to it via e-mail or RSS photo feed.

With full web-based access you can control exactly the photos you want on your eStarling frame at any time from anywhere in the word. E-mail photos as .jpg attachments and they appear on your frame.

I heart ThinkGeek.