Hello, forgotten thing

ted | chicago,house,junk,the fam | Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Still here. Still alive. Moving soon.

The Doctor got her dream job. Congratulations!

Spent 2 weeks in Slovakia for work. I liked it there.

Found out work won’t have a position for me where we’re going.

Had a fast roadtrip down to see the fam over the holidays. Everybody seems to be doing good. Found out what “PDM” stands for.

Turned in my resignation notice at work. Looking for a J-O-B in the Baltimore area. No offers or interviews yet.

Slowly panicking.

Not as much packing, mostly throwing junk away.

Trying to get the house repaired good & on the market fast.

Still rock my khakis with a cuff and a crease.

Rest in peace, Mingus.

ted | chicago,the fam | Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Saturday was hard. We made the decision to euthanize one of our greyhounds, Mingus.


He had been acting a bit out of sorts for a week or so but the noticeable weight loss and not eating really got our attention. I took him to the vet Saturday morning, expecting some costly diagnostics and overpriced medicine, then to bring him home and a few days later have him back to his normal, happy self. But the prognosis was not good – quite bad, in fact. Infected fluid and blood was filling his abdomen. He would either need to be hospitalized over the weekend with intravenous fluids and antibiotics or sent up to a distant animal hospital for an ultrasound and surgery. Even with option #2, the doctor gave him a 50% chance at best, assuming they were able to diagnose correctly from the ultrasound. Waiting and seeing would just put him through more misery and the surgical option even moreso, not to mention his odds of survival were slim.

He’d just been to the vet in December and everything was stellar – his blood work, temprement and vitals were all exemplary. Then one day he just stopped being as active, as happy. One day he’d be better and the next day worse.

The vet told us there was nothing that could be done, that even if it was detected earlier, It was clear how much of this he was hiding from us, how much pain he was going through. The vet also told me it was terribly difficult to do, but it was the right decision. I petted him as he slowly drifted away, finally getting relief from the pain.

Mingus came to us through USA Defenders of Greyhounds group from the track in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he raced as Mc Ten Yard Pin. He had an awful kennel name – Gangy – and having just re-read “Beneath the Underdog”, I thought Mingus a fitting name at the adoption. He was funny, quiet, loving and very relaxed, spending most of his time laying around on his bed, the couch, our bed or any other comfy flat surface he could find just as you’d expect a retired racer to do. I’ve never met a dog so large and polite – he wouldn’t step over an extension cord laying on the floor unless you told him it was OK, but he would hop up on the couch and curl up right next to you without a second thought. One minute you’d think he was the meekest dog on the planet, the next he’d be trying to climb into your lap or casually tasting your drink on the coffee table. We took him on thousands of miles of road trips, many of those rolled by with his head stuck out the car window, slowly painting the side of the car with slobber. He was the first dog we could call our own. And we miss him terribly.


Closure, of sorts

ted | the fam | Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Big Daddy has been interred next to my Grandmother, his wife of 60 years, and much like the day of her burial, it was unseasonably cold on 2008 April 14. Only took a month to get everyone together, but it was done. Dad read a bit from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, Mom read a Celtic prayer. Charlie put his box down in the hole – quite a ways right of center, just as he was in life – and I sprinkled him well with whiskey. Then in turn, we each turned over a shovelful of that deep red Georgia clay over him.

After everyone had a turn, Charlie and I did the bulk of the backfill with Dad working the tamper. We all said goodbye one last time and went our separate ways for the day.

Two days earlier, we had the memorial service which for the most part went rather well. I read a passage from the book of Wisdom, which certainly had its moments – I especially like “In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble”. No, it’s not disingenuous for a verified Slack Master like myself to read passages from the Christian Bible – that day was all about Big Daddy. Or so I thought it was to be. At some point during the reception some manner of verbal altercation took place which I can’t go into detail upon right now, suffice I shall refer to it as The Church Altercation until it has been resolved further. Most people were very well behaved and dignified as they should be; and they drank champagne and ate tiny sandwiches made with roast turkey or pork tenderloin and shared stories about Big Daddy, as it should be.

Clem H. Fortner 1917 – 2008, RIP

ted | the fam | Friday, March 14th, 2008

I got a phone call this morning just after my alarm went off. I knew why I was being called as soon as the phone rang.

My Grandfather died early this morning.

Finally, I think, he will be at peace. He had been through several surgeries, mystery symptoms, hospitalizations, tests, treatments, medications, interventions and other wonders of medical technology in the past five months until he finally decided he was tired of all that crap and opted to enter hospice care a few weeks ago. My cousin Christie summed it up very nicely by saying, “He has had 90 years, and been hale and healthy through most of them. We have been fabulously lucky to have had that time with him. And I am grateful.”

I’m grateful, too.

He was a magician, a ventriloquist, a mentalist, an amateur radio operator, helped put out forest fires in Oregon for the Civilian Conservation Corps, an Atlanta policeman, a private detective in the Fulton County Public Defender’s office, an ornery ol’ cuss and one of the wittiest men I’ve ever known. He even had a girlfriend – his sweet thing, Miss Jean. They used to get together to have dinner at his house and invariably would wind up grilling ribeyes and drinking Evan Williams Green Label bourbon. Later that night he’d call me up, two sheets to the wind, start singing a bar of “Sweet Fern” and telling jokes.

He is being cremated and in a few weeks, everyone will get together for a memorial service and a brunch where we’ll share stories and memories of him as a celebration of his life. Afterwards I’ll probably head back to my brother’s house and have dinner there. I have a feeling ribeyes and bourbon will be on the menu.

Big Daddy, as we called him, frequently told my brother and I that he wanted to live to be 110 and die in a whorehouse fight from a jealous husband. I’d like to think he’s going to get the next twenty years to warm up. So, rest in peace, Big Daddy, K4PKQ – silent key.

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