Man’s Best Friend

Today we had to euthanize our family dog of 12 years. Beau, a Vizsla, was about as good a family dog as you could ever expect. Loyal, obedient, and incredibly tolerant of young children doing all manner of wrongs to him, he was the definition of unconditional love… all he ever wanted was for someone to be there.

In September he developed a mast cell tumor and while chemo and a new drug called Palladia were improving his condition we knew that he could not be fixed, and around Thanksgiving he took a turn for the worse eventually stopping eating altogether and without the energy to get out of his bed.

People often say that their pets are as much a part of family as your children but it’s not until you are tested with something like cancer that you really find out. To be really honest, after $5,000+ in vet expenses, too many shuttle trips back and forth to count, extensive efforts with food to get him to eat to maintain his already diminished weight, and a bunch of drugs administered morning and night, I started to get really resentful because after all, he is a dog and not a person… massive guilt quickly followed for blaming him for something he did not cause or ask for and anger at myself for feeling such a way about an animal I was responsible for caring for. To the end I gave him the best care I could, I think he knew it.

I don’t think you really realize that dogs have the emotional life of humans until they are in their final hours. 3 days ago when he stopped eating for good, it was pretty clear that he had given up the fight. As he became more gaunt and his tail stopped wagging, he not only lost the tools but also the heart.

He will be missed.

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Hey That $30 Billion Loss is Really Good News

Here we have it, straight from Tim “Turbo Tax” Geithner’s staff:

“The real news is the projected loss came down to $30 billion from $44 billion,” Sperling said, noting that auto sales have improved ahead of what many analysts had forecast. The administration still holds out hope that if things improve, the administration could still recover more.

[From Obama administration predicts $30B loss on auto bailout | detnews.com | The Detroit News]

A few weeks ago I wrote about the extreme chutzpah that GM’s management displayed when attempting to portray paying back $6.7 of the nearly $60 billion in taxpayer money they received as a testament to their solid financial footing. Little did I know then that their message spin would look modest compared to the Treasury Department attempting to spin losing $30 billion as good news.

The other half of the pull quote above is also worth noting because Treasury official Sperling points out that auto sales have improved considerably better than forecast… uh yeah, that’s what happens when you give away $3 billion of taxpayer money to car buyers. We’ve gone from “hope” being a campaign slogan to a strategy… brilliant.

When the final version of history is written on $GM I hope it will read as a massive looting of bondholders and taxpayers for the benefit of the UAW.

I Want My Mobile TV

This study falls under “stating the obvious” but it is interesting nonetheless for 2 reasons, the mobile component and broadband/TV convergence.

Nearly half of Internet users would be interested in watching TV on their netbooks, cellphones and other devices, according to a new study set to be released Wednesday by a coalition of public and private broadcasters.

[From We Want Our TV Mobile, Study Says – Digits – WSJ]

If I could get reasonable quality television content on my iPhone (or Droid or Pre or Blackberry or whatever) of course I would want it. I love games on my phone for the same reason, it’s occupies my attention when I have downtime. While not my preferred device for enjoying games or television, my phone is convenient and accessible.

On the convergence topic, I recently bought a new Samsung LED flat panel and Samsung Bluray player for my home and with these two products I see first hand how the internet is shaping future viewing behaviors. Both have ethernet connections and while the flat panel uses this currently for firmware updates there is no reason why content could not be piped through this connection with a simple upgrade.

The Bluray player, on the other hand, uses the broadband connection to deliver content from Blockbuster and Netflix on demand services, Pandora, and Youtube. All of these content platforms are drop dead simple to set up using the on screen guide and the result is a really cool convergence experience that seamlessly moves you from satellite/broadcast to DVD to streaming.