Dogs (Mine and those of others)
Cassidy is here. We never bothered to move the couches back after the Superbowl on Sunday, and with two dogs in the house, I'm not very inclined to do so. Everyone kind of gets a spot.
Lucy has been much better after her misfire with the rawhide bone the other week. She's been back to normal speed for a while. I do fear she's getting really, really spoiled these days in Mel's absence and with Jeff the Cat spending more time upstairs and peacefully snoozing during the day.
For those of you who missed it, TST has brought a pup into her own life by adopting a retired greyhound. Before Lucy, Jamie and I had talked long and hard about doing the same, as... hey! it's a dog that's already been trained. And they have a great disposition. Unfortunately, we also read in more than one place that they can chase cats. So if you want to blame someone, blame Jeff.
I am thrilled for TST and her new pal. I believe his name is Holley. May they take over Houston together.
Work is Busy
Work has finally caught up with me. I still really like my job, but I'm past the honeymoon period and its work. I have to plan months out. I need to not screw up.
It's a good thing.
I think Jason will be trying to get us tickets to see Springsteen. Jamie will, most likely, not go.
I want to take Jamie to Hawaii this year. I want to see her dance about in a grass skirt with a wreath of brightly colored flowers atop her noggin. And we should sip fruity drinks in a lounge chair at 6:00 pm.
Is it totally evil that I hope things sink a little lower so I can actually afford to take my wife on a single vacation in this lifetime?
That said, I am dreading (absolutely dreading) the flight. So I can wait.
Friends at my former employing university are on staggered furloughs. If you don't know what this means, it translates thusly: They are not getting paid to work, so the university is sending them away in blocks of time that will, hopefully, not impact the university too greatly. But, basically, everyone is seeing their salaries decreased.
When they start talking about "freezing tuition" at universities, beware. And when you vote for people who vote against supporting university funding, also ponder what that means. Universities need funding for everything from test tubes to trash bags to handicap parking spot paint. When you have no state funding, and you have no tuition money, you're left with the kindness of strangers supporting your favorite university. And when those strangers realize their pockets are empty...?
There's a slight chance that people might not be able to graduate this semester at that school I mentioned if the furloughs get longer, wider, deeper, what-have-you.
Universities get funded from somewhere. And while tuition is expensive, those fees barely begin to cover the total expenses of most schools. Schools like the University of Texas are hard to understand to the outside observer. We can all agree we need the school for the educational aspect, and we can agree that we need something beyond a "teaching college", but its hard to understand the value of the scholarship, research, etc... going on.
Anyway, its easy to be cavalier about Universities and the fact that they cost money, but its a complicated eco-system. If you're concerned its all a bunch of communism, then I'd point to how universities get their rankings, research funding, etc... in what's a pretty straightforward system of meritocracy. In order to draw the right talent (which equates to rankings and research dollars), you gotta have the dough. So if you want your degree to be worth something (or your kid's degree), it costs money. So ponder what having Stanford has meant to Palo Alto, or what having UT has meant to Austin and its industry. Or what the Research Triangle means to North Carolina as per producing talent, which attracts companies, etc... Its an eco-system, and all of these things need each other.
With such a terrific tradition of public higher education in this country, its my sincere hope that a university education does not return to pre-WWII levels of being accessible almost exclusively to the wealthy. Or that public institutions become second class universities.