I am back from my week of furlough. In 40 years in this business, I have been hired and fired but never furloughed.
It seemed to me like a rehearsal for eventual retirement. I went to East 'N Park and was called "sweetie," which decidedly I am not. I mowed the lawn. I went for a couple of runs. I took my dog Sooner up into the woods. I did chores. I puddled about like an old codger.
News was happening while I was away and one part of it - the death of Michael Jackson - conspired to make me feel old. I liked him as a performer well enough but was left puzzled, shocked even, by the general outpourings of grief.
Yes, he died relatively young and that is sad, but I am not of that generation who saw him as a cultural icon. To me, he was just an odd guy with white socks and one glove who sang and danced well. To feel that your life was touched, I guess you had to come of age in the 1980s and I had a head start on that.
The moonwalk of mortality aside, my time off was rather wonderful --- and it was made better by the great weather. The only drawback on this vacation was that I wasn't being paid.
I came back to 460 emails, most of them garbage. Still, it wasn't depressing to come back and any lingering regrets were banished with one reading of an only-in-America story on the PG Web site today ....
Monday, June 29, 2009
The Associated Press
Man, woman both wounded while trying out their new gun
Police say a man and woman have been wounded while trying to figure out how to use their new handgun in their Washington County home.
Police in Cecil aren't identifying the couple wounded last night.
Police say the gun fired while the couple were handling it, wounding the man in the hand and the woman in her hand and biceps. Both were being treated at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Police say the couple simply didn't know how to operate the gun properly.
Oh, so that's how it works!