Poor Copernicus is deeply traumatized over the loss of Cassi. He escaped in the rain this morning. Then when I was getting ready to drive Luah to the BART station, he escaped again and got right behind the car. Luah warned me and held Copernicus. I put him in the back of the car and we all rode through the rain to the BART station. He stayed with me when I went to buy the final Christmas cards. We came home and he wanted to be by me every minute. Animals understand death and and love deeply. This has been such a sad time. Imagine how much more painful it is to be a parent who loses a child in a war like Afghanistan or Syria; or in a car crash.
We just had a horrible tragedy. Elena took Copernicus and Cassi for a walk in an area that we nick named “Land’s End.” We have been walking dogs there for years with no incident. Today something horrible happened. Both dogs were off leash. Elena tried to get them back on leash. Copernicus came to her but Cassi refused to return. She was captured by 4 coyotes and eaten, The four coyotes then menaced Elena and Copernicus. Copernicus barked but was too smart to go and attack them. Elena started to scream and throw rocks at the coyotes. They left. Those four animals could have easily killed Elena also. This is a sad day for all of us.
It’s such a beautiful day that it feels like a late spring day in South Africa or Australia. Elena and I went out shopping. She got a new dress fr the company Christmas party. We also found some incredible chocolate mints at Macy’s. Our next stop was Brookstone. Elena bought me a massage pad for the back of my desk chair.) I have it installed now and it’s doing wonderful things for my back!) We then went to Gymboree and got some baby clothes for a baby shower. We had a healthy and low-calorie lunch at Cheesecake Factory. We then made the drive home. We are awaiting the delivery of Luah’s new mattress and enjoying an incredible and unforgettable day!
Elena was opening mail this evening and found a big surprise for both of us. It was a letter from President Obama. Enclosed was an inscribed picture of he and Michelle. Also included was a personal letter thanking me for all my help. I was so touched. As the old saying goes: “It made my day!”
Elena, Luah and I were just most privileged to have Monty Heying share our Thanksgiving dinner. It has been my honor to know Monty for almost 40 years. Monty started with the sad problem of growing up in an orphanage. Despite this bad start he got a college degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. He passed the very tough examination for Certified Public Accountant. He volunteered for service during the Vietnam War in the US Marine Corps. He could have used his education and qualifications to get a soft office job. Instead he trained to be a combat infantry man. After completing his enlistment in the Marines, Monty went on to have a distinguished career in corporate finance. He raised two wonderful daughters and is now a grand father. His new adventure in life is his career as a writer. His goal is to share with others the hard experience of being an orphan. Elena, Luah and I realized how lucky we were to have parents who loved us and tried to give us a good start in life.
Yesterday I opened the mail. There was a small card from Overland Park, Kansas. It was handwritten by a Sprint/Nextel employee. He thanked Elena and I for being good customers of Sprint for so many years. It wished us a happy holiday. I was really touched that a big company like that took that time and effort to recognize humble customers like Elena and I.
My friends I always tell you that what one remembers most is the little kind things that people do for you in life when you are “down on your luck,” Elena and I had a wonderful time at Dr. Kelvin Choi’s bowling party at the Sea Breeze Bowling Alley in Pacifica. After bowling quite a while and working up a sweat, Elena and I went to the bar in the bowling alley. She had a margarita and I had a diet coke.
We looked at the television. They were showing the Judy Garland film The Wizard of Oz on Turner Classic Movies. It brought back a memory from 20 years ago and I shared quite a story with Elena. I was living in Cape Town all of those years ago. Times were tough in South Africa. I lived in a barren studio apartment and was virtually destitute. I did not even have a television. I was alone and without a relationship. I only had one thing going for me at that time. I had a very rich Cape Town business man who was a dear friend of mine(. I am not going to embarrass him and mention his name.) Now most rich people are very tight with money and rarely have friends outside of their social class. Alli was an exception. He was a genuinely nice and generous man who was always helping others and doing acts of kindness for those less fortunate.
He was a gracious friend to me. He often invited me to his mansion where his chef cooked gourmet meals for us. He would take me to his study and show first run movies often only available in movie theaters. His staff took me shopping with them to various malls. I never asked Alli for money or a job with any of his companies. I just appreciated his friendship and wonderful company.
I remember the time around Thanksgiving and Christmas. One night I was sitting in my barren studio apartment. I was expecting another lonely and empty night. I was surprised to hear a knock at the door. I looked through the peep hole. Two of Alli’s employees were thee. I opened the door and let them in. They were holding a portable television. One said to me: “You’re an American. That great American film The Wizard of Oz is on television tonight. The boss wanted you to be able to enjoy it.” They handed me a portable television. I thanked them several times and was so touched.
My dad always loved and admired Abraham Lincoln.He felt that Lincoln was the personification of the great promise of the American system. A man or a woman could come from humble circumstances and rise to great office and success.He also kept the paper back three volume Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln right on his dresser. It now sits on the fireplace in our bedroom. I went to see the movie Lincoln yesterday. It’s a brilliant master piece without equal. It’s worth the price of a theater ticket and the hassles of going to the movies.
The movie shows that Lincoln was both a brilliant politician and a wonderful human being with great depth. His intelligence and political instincts kept the border states with the Union when the American Civil War broke out in 1861. By 1865 many of the politicians in the Union knew the civil war was won. They also were tired of the massive blood shed. They were prepared to offer the Confederates a deal where they could keep slavery if they surrendered and came back into the Union.
Abraham Lincoln used all of his intellect and considerable political skills to get the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution passed by a slim 2 vote margin. This amendment abolished slavery for all time. It was later ratified by some southern states after the civil war ended.
When Lincoln is called one of our greatest presidents, he earned the accolade. His brilliant intellect, political skills, and compassion held this country together.
It was a rainy and cool day. I did small things to help others. I bought some food at Safeway and contributed it to the food bank. I went over to see Ed at Pacifica Computer Pros and got a wireless Bluetooth mouse for Elena’s new laptop so that she could work more easily on her laptop. I also ent to Kent Cleaners and got Elena’s new slacks out of alteration. My final good act was to give my daughter in law the money to take an English test that she needed for a major scholarship application. It’s wonderful to help others!
I’m watching the NOVA program on the Mars Curiosity rover. What an incredible exploration tool! I was in Pasadena,California when it landed. The whole town went wild. I never knew how hard it was to convince NASA to build it. It was revolutionary.Some many things had to go right for it to land on Mars. What an incredible accomplishment!!!!