I’ve got some bad news, my friends, for those of you who believe that after the human race pillages and pollutes our home planet to death, that we’ll be able to miraculously venture into the Galaxy looking for other Massalias to plant our brassicas. I’m sorry to say it just isn’t so.

I am the MASTER of the Universe!
I am the MASTER of the Universe!

Let’s look at it like this: If the Sun was the size of an orange, the Earth would be a tiny bread crumb floating 20 meters away (20 yards). Try it in your backyard, it’s very telling. Now imagine the light traveling from the Sun to the Earth takes 8 minutes, which it does. That’s 20 meters in 8 minutes which means that at that scale, light would travel through your backyard at the speed of a dung beetle! (whose speed is demonstrated here by Manu crawling across the carpet).

It’s easy to fathom the Earth at 20 meters from the Sun. Now, still at this scale, how far do you think the nearest stars from us would be? A few kilometers maybe? Nope. A few state lines over? Nope.

The nearest stars would be 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometers) away… more than the distance from San Francisco to Paris!

Can I eat the Dung Beetle, daddy?
Can I eat the Dung Beetle, daddy?

So if the Sun was the size of an orange, its nearest neighbors would be like a handful of cherry tomatoes and a few Halloween pumpkins floating about in random directions 10,000 kilometers away. How long do you think it would take that poor dung beetle to crawl from San Francisco to Paris?

On our journey to find ourselves another home in the Universe, we already know that our neighboring stars can’t harbor any planet that could support life, so we would have to explore further, much further, maybe even the entire Galaxy. How big would our Galaxy be at that scale? Let’s say that if the Sun and the Earth could fit into a cozy backyard here in San Francisco, the nearest star would be in Paris and the rest of the Galaxy would stretch over 130 million kilometers — almost the distance to the Sun!

So here we are: for us to explore the Galaxy at the speed of light, it would be like a dung beetle crawling through a piece of land as wide as the Solar System between the Sun and the Earth. Good luck finding something, Mr Beetle! And we don’t even travel at the speed of light yet: our hypothetical Mr Lightspeed Dung Beetle is still 20,000 faster than our fastest rockets.

See the task at hand? Sorry folks, no dreamin’, we’re stuck on good old Earth!

Don’t worry, daddy, I’ll follow the Dung Beetle all the way across the Galaxy
Don’t worry, daddy, I’ll follow the Dung Beetle all the way across the Galaxy

 

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Pius, Pierre, Max, Manu & I, we don’t get out much but when we do, we love that people routinely comment on how aware Max is, and on Manu’s spirited determination. Once, a dainty lady in a boutique even claimed: “I feel a spiritual connection with your son. I think we’ve know one another“. Okaaaay. All that, but never has anyone said our kiddos look like someone famous. And that’s a good thing…

 
Gerber baby all growed up
Gerber baby all growed up

In movie star land, this can be especially touchy.
I’m sure there are people who find Peter Lorre interesting looking, and he does kind of have that baby-esque big head thing going, but hopefully no one makes such a comparison when the child’s mother has sharp objects within her reach.

 

 

A parent’s worst nightmare
A parent’s worst nightmare

With politicians, the slope gets even slipperier. Especially in these times. I mean, you remember that guy right? Yeah, him. I mean, what if? What if it really were true, and you tried to deny it until someone eventually stops you on the street & makes it all real. “Hey, did you notice, your child looks just like Geor…”

 

Maybe a real human isn’t involved at all, as a well-meaning pal lovingly praises, “You know, your baby has a face like that cute little alien ET in that cute little movie”. Before tears, strangulation and the turrets strike, smile knowingly that at least baby doesnt bear resemble to that precious other fellow.

Love thy Precious
Love thy Precious
 

 

Finally, the temptation to project cute little animals onto baby isn’t advisable either. Rover may be cute and it’s true, he may look just like your best friend’s baby, but do your self a favor; extend your life and your relationship a few years longer and bite your tongue — even if it bleeds.

Everything reminds me of my dog.
Everything reminds me of my dog.
 

 

At 2.5 pounds at birth, we’re exceptionally lucky that Monsieur Max and Mademoiselle Manu are as healthy as they are. That they’re such a treat to lay our eyes on is the cherry on top. But even if they did look a little funny, we’d love them all the same!
 
The eyes are a sense far too overused in matters of sizing up one’s character.
I hope we are able to teach our kiddos different.
 
* Some images from “The Poop” parenting website.

CNET has amongst the most inept writers of the tech world but their blogger at The Digital Home is a gem. What a dork! In a recent post, he moans about his lousy experience during the last days of Circuit City — duh! as if the notoriously incompetent salesmen would all of a sudden pull out MBA skills just before their company goes bye-bye…

At the beginning of his long, rumbling, pompous, indigestible prose — even before he gets to meet one of the poor employees — a couple of a paragraphs stand out where the bore shares with us his horrid needs and anguishes and his internal conflicts:

I need a new HDTV. Usually, I buy my HDTVs from Amazon.com because I’ve found it has the best prices and delivery service. But since I knew Circuit City was going out of business, I decided to make a trek down there to see if there were any hidden gems at a good price. Signs said the TVs were 30 percent off, and when I looked around, I realized the inventory wasn’t picked over, as I had feared. There were some nice Sony LCDs on the shelves, as well as Panasonic plasmas.

I was drawn to the Panasonic TH-58pz800u, which was on sale for approximately $2,600 at the store. I own the 50-inch model of that plasma and couldn’t be more pleased with its quality. So when I saw it offered at such a discount, the wheels started turning and I was thinking about how I was going to be able to fit it into the back of my SUV.

I mean! We are on the verge of a worldwide financial collapse; employees get kicked out of their jobs without consideration; families lose their homes, and this young man tries to get us interested in how he’s going to load a $2600 58-inch plasma TV into his SUV to replace his freakin’ 50-inch?!

Who the heck is going to read that? My boss?

These are the comments I left on his column…

I have never seen such beautiful poetry. Your art lifts up our spirits in these times of need. When the world is crumbling around, you continue to hold high the best of the American values. Thank you.

- Homo Consumerus

 

Years of enjoyment. Never obsolete.
Years of enjoyment. Never obsolete.

 

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Pierre left for the office today, and 4 hours later, he walks back in through the door. Why did Pierre return early?

“I got laid off today” he says, walking through the hall, going about his busyness.

That’s just great news. Pierre, the guy who only 3 months ago moved from San Francisco to Sebastopol in order to be close to his job, no longer has a job.

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We moved for the stability, and because it’s a good place to raise kids. But most of all, we moved here because Pierre had been guaranteed one year of job security by his company. It wasn’t like we were on tenterhooks taking precautions should Pierre get the axe (like so many are these days). Then a mere three months and $12,000 in relocation expenses later, Pierre is told to pack up and leave. Bye Pierre, you’re on your own, dood!

 

“Can we buy organic with food stamps?”
“Can we buy organic with food stamps?”

 
The lay off itself does not upset me — economy changes — things happen. The one thing that does is that Pierre was laid off with only 2 weeks notice. No vacation pay. No severance package. No more insurance. Not even the computer that was given to him while on the job (not standard in the industry).

Manu & I dressed for the Women’s Shelter
Manu & I dressed for the Women’s Shelter

Okay, so we panic a little the first day and Pierre jumps on-line to research his options in creating time for us to live while he gets another job. He finds several possibilities. Yay!

 

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So, 2 weeks to find another job, insurance & doctors for the kiddos in another county, 2 weeks to move, lose $3500 in deposit, find a place to live, come up with another $6000 of move in cost out of our fairy dust butt holes.

 

On an aside and calmer note, Pierre and I aren’t too worried because we realize that we’re fortunate enough to have all the advantages that our age, education, resources and our continual good luck bring us.

Pierre is getting responses from good companies, and I’m trying to get my work in galleries. I like Sebastopol. I like being a stereotype family in a quaint little town with a little nanny, a house cleaner, babies, dog parks, and a main street that really is called “Main St”. How fucking awesome is all that? Now we might be homeless in a month.

Well then, as Kurt Vonnegut says, “Hi, Ho”.

As Edith Piaf says, “La Vie en Rose”

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