Hiatus by Ron Steinman

Effective immediately, I am pausing my slow blog. I am pushing the hold button. I am going on hiatus. Taking time off. Going on a leave of absence. Don’t know for how long. I’ll be back. Just don’t know when. To be determined.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Posts

Lacey’s Routine: Dog Story 2 by Ron Steinman

Lacey’s Routine: Dog Story 2 by Ron Steinman

Recently my daughter Linda sent me a story from London she saw in the Daily Mail about photographer Amanda Jones and her project, “Dog Years: Faithful Friends and Now.”

Amanda Jones took photos of many dogs, some over a span of twenty years. The photos require close inspection to see the changes the dogs went through over their lives, all of differing lengths. The photos are often moving, enough so to bring tears to any dog lover’s eyes. Seeing those pictures made me reflect on my life with Lacey, my Shih Tzu who died more than a year and half ago at almost 18 and half years.

I am sure my memories are similar to what many of you have experienced. With that in mind here is a day in the life of Ron and Lacey.

I  awoke early to walk her anytime between 7a and 8a after we first stumbled out of bed. When I got home from work then between 2p and 3p, I walked her again and then around 8p to end our night outside. After each walk I would wash her bowl with hot water. I then filled it with cold, fresh water. After she drank, and I wiped her face and told her to “stay,” she did. I used a paper towel to rub her face firmly, but gently. That way her face stayed clean and food did not always stick to her beard.

She usually did all her stuff during that first walk. If she did not, I rarely worried. She went when she had to. She hated walking in the rain. She usually wasted little time in all bad weather. She would wet and then turn quickly toward home, her short legs churning with purpose.

In the morning after her walk she had a snack. I always had a supply of Snausages, her favorite treat. I gave her three that I cut into thirds. I put them on the floor next to her water bowl. She had a small mouth and tiny teeth with which she chewed slowly. She rarely ate from a plate or bowl, unless it was dinner. I will have more about that in a coming post. She ate her snack right away. Sometimes she let me know she wanted more food by staring at me and vigorously tapping my foot with her right front paw. It was never an ordinary tap. It was more like a hard pounding. She wanted my attention and she got it. She did it by sending me a signal. Do not ignore me, she was saying. Take care of my needs. Seriously.

At night when I was home, I kept her water fresh. She hung out with me on the couch when I read or watched a show or sports on TV. If I went to the bedroom to work at the computer she followed me and patiently waited for me to put her on the bed. Sometimes if she tired of sitting with me, she headed to the bedroom ahead of me and stood near the door or in the room itself. Many nights I heard a small yip from her that said, come get me and put me on the bed. She was usually not very vocal unless she did not like a dog in her path. She had negative feelings about pugs and the big forty and fifty pounders whose heads were bigger than she. I had a feeling that Lacey was protecting me from possible injury by a big dog.

Generally, she slept through night, often next to me near my other set of pillows, but not always. In more than ten years in the apartment, she awakened me only once. At least that was the case before she aged badly over the last two years of her life. That last walk at night for her to wet was important because only then could she hold herself the rest of the night.

When I left in the morning and knew I would not return until after dark, I left a light on in the living room, the one by the big chair. She did not like being in dark alone, something I had never been able to understand.

The towels hanging on the stove are Lacey’s. I used them to dry her paws or her face and head after a rain. The towel on the fridge was a hand towel for people. But Lacey’s towels were special and always would be. Until a few months ago, I allowed them to stay hanging on the handle of the stove.

Then, there is this: When I was in the kitchen late at night and Lacey was on my bed in the bedroom, she would watch me from the corner of the bed until I turned of the kitchen light and headed into the bedroom. When I was back in the bedroom, she turned from the corner of the bed, settled into her regular spot near the second set of pillows, and went into a deep sleep. Though she has been gone for many months, there are still nights when I see her wide eyes staring at me until I go into the bedroom, settle in bed and either read or turn off the light and go to sleep.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Chipping Away by Ron Steinman

Chipping Away by Ron Steinman

Recently The New York Times ran a horror story in of all places its business pages. Its effect made me scream, shudder and run for cover.

The story was about the many businesses that now track their employees in the workplace to make sure they are doing their job. They do it by using software in computers and smart phones that secretly track every move the employee makes at the start of the workday to its normal conclusion. So the employee thinks.

Fortunately, I control my workplace. I don’t have to worry about anyone tracking my performance in my office or during my private time away from work. But I am in the minority, the exception to this ugly change in American business.

All the science fiction and fantasy tropes are alive and well in the new America. A new technology is now king. According to those who track workers they say they want to make sure they are getting everything and more from you when you are on the job. However, many businesses continue to track their employees even after work nominally ends.

Big Brother has arrived. Brave New World is a reality. According to one perpetrator of this new shift in the workplace, “We tell people not to focus on the Big Bother aspect. This is all about efficiency.” Nonsense. Fulltime control in the guise of productivity is the new commercial divinity.

Long-range truckers are under surveillance to make sure goods arrive on time and there is no theft along the route. There are bathrooms in Japan that note everything that happens inside that seemingly private place. But this new mode of tracking workers bodes ill for the future of the American worker, especially off the job when he or she has what was once private time.

We insert microchips in our pets so we can track them if they run off or someone steals them. Not a bad idea, but these are animals, our pets. We control them and they have no say in how we treat them. Are people the next candidates for personal microchips? It’s not a big deal to create a chip and then slip it under the skin, preferably in the upper arm. The signal the chip would send would go to a central tracking station where it records every move the person makes in real time. If someone with a chip is not performing on, or, what is worse, off the job, fire him or her. The employer has the evidence and the power. Then send that person to a convenient Disable Station and remove the chip for that business. If the recently deactivated person has a new job insert a fresh chip. The pattern of control will last until the next job and the next chip. The individual loses his or her self and becomes a robot without a soul. That is the sad story of life in the modern world.

I know the once hard-fought rules of privacy hardly exist in today’s climate of overpowering social media. Little remains that we can still revere. But I still believe in privacy. I do not intend to let this die easily if I can help it. Sadly, though, for far too many the concept of privacy is almost dead. Many have no idea what that loss means. That is sad.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tongue in Cheek by Ron Steinman

Tongue in Cheek by Ron Steinman

I am more than gratified with the overwhelming response to my recent blog post, “Catching Up.” To all who indulged, I know you did not regret what you experienced. To those who have not yet done so, there is always time to catch up. Blog posts never disappear. Thanks and stay well. R.S.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Posts, Satire

Catching Up by Ron Steinman

Catching Up by Ron Steinman

It is summer and blogs may not be on your mind. While you were sleeping, on vacation, bored, lazy or otherwise engaged to dive into the good stuff on my Notebooks blog at ronsteinman.wordpress.com, here are some recent posts of mine you may have missed. Take a minute, if you have one, imbibe, enjoy, love or hate. No matter. Thanks for your time. Twitter

Citizen Journalism

The Curse of the Selfie

The Day the Printing Stopped

Amy Who

Hey Snapchat

Saigon on Wheels

Dog Story

Campaigning: Day One

Because I do a slow blog on different subjects, I am aware that not all I write has wide appeal. But try a few of these. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Posts, Citizen Journalism, Dogs, Memoir, Newspapers, Politics, Saigon, Selfie, Snapchat, Summer

Campaigning: Day 1 by Ron Steinman

Campaigning: Day 1 by Ron Steinman

There is much to tire a person during this too long campaign for president. For starters, I am tired of the Day 1 in the Oval Office syndrome. It seems when a candidate opens his or her mouth in an attempt to show the voter he or she is sincere and will exercise the power they believe comes with the presidency, they always refer to that so-called sacred first day in office. The candidate says that he or she will change this or that, that they will get rid of one law or another and they will certainly overturn any lingering executive orders, those if the new president is a Republican who unseated a Democrat, in this instance, Barak Obama. Do candidates really believe the electorate is so dumb to believe a new president has the power to do what he or she wants? Maybe that is the case for many voters. Sorry to discourage you of that notion. But wake up. The president rarely has the power to do what he wants without the consent of or agreement with Congress. Worse is, that for whatever reason, be it laziness or ignorance, the press is complicit is the silly use of Day 1, never questioning the candidates, never doubting the reality of what a candidate so blithely claims. My feeling is that the only thing a new president can and should do on his or her first day in the White House is to find the quickest path to the bathroom.

Leave a comment

Filed under Barak Obama, Congress, Day1, Democrat, Oval Office, Politics, President, Republican, The Press, Voters, White House

The Dance Goodbye: Reminder by Ron Steinman

The Dance Goodbye: DVD by Ron Steinman

This is a reminder that my film, “The Dance Goodbye” DVD is still available on Amazon and all other platforms. Now is the time for you to purchase this fine film about the life, struggles and success of New York City Ballet principal dancer, Merrill Ashley. The film is the story of one of the great ballet dancers of the late 20th Century, the last of the Balanchine dancers, her retirement and her struggles as she moves into a new life after her many years dancing in front of audiences around the world. You should not miss this dance film, a mixture of wonderful dance, interesting, provocative and informative interviews and new footage.

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazon, Ballet, Dance, Dance film, Film, Film DVD, George Balinchine, Merrill Ashley, New York City Ballet