Okay, you know what? I’m as egotistical a bastard as they come, but apparently even my self-love has its limits. After skimming through four years of Whatevers today for the Hate Mail book, I appear to have reached that limit, since by the end of it I was rolling my eyes at my own writing and thinking, boy, you’re just one smug son of a bitch, aren’t you? Yes, that’s a pretty good sign to take a break for the rest of the evening. Hopefully I’ll look better to myself tomorrow. Or maybe Monday.

The Return of the 30 Second Socratic Dialogue!

One of the things about putting together the Hate Mail book is that I’m going through old versions of the Web site and finding lots of forgotten stuff there. For example, this cartoon, which was part of a philosophy book proposal I put together back in the days when I didn’t have any books published, so no one would buy a book from me. The philosophy book proposal, incidentally, is not entirely ridiculous for me, being that I have a philosophy degree. Ironically, however, the illustrator of this piece, Richard Polt, is actually a professor of philosophy and has written a book on Heidegger.

But enough about that. Here, once again for your viewing pleasure, is the 30-Second Socratic Dialogue!


Rex in Repose

The lovely object you see here is an urn, done in canopic style, and made to hold the ashes of my cat Rex, who died in the past year. It was made for me by T. Dane Haggard, a frequent reader of the Whatever (you’ve seen him in comments as “Dane”), who I must say not only made a gorgeous piece of pottery, but rather exactly estimated the correct size of the urn needed to hold Rex’s ashes: The ashes fit perfectly inside. Dane also provided the handsome satin-lined wood box you see behind the urn, in order to store and display the urn. In all, a beautiful and extremely thoughtful piece of work from Dane; there is no better place, I think, to keep the remains of my cat.

Here you can see the current resting place of Rex the Cat: On the top of my bookshelf. Appropriately for a canopic urn, just as the Ancient Egyptians had servants in the afterlife, so you can see the stuffed effigies of Socrates and Charles Darwin, tasked to serve Rex in the afterlife, to feed him tender bits, pet him at his request, and to pick up the vomit he so loved to hork in surprising places around the house, and is now no doubt continuing to do so in his new kitty heaven environs. Certainly a job worthy of great philosophers and naturalists!

Thank you, Dane, for such a fine piece of work. I am honored to have gotten it, to rest my cat in it, and to have it in my home.