Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gone just like that

An old friend of ours died last night. Until yesterday, he was having a very good year.

Ron married his longtime girlfriend Kylie in her native Australia on March 18. I didn't get to the ceremony, but my wife did (she and Kylie are best friends) and she says it was a story book event, at a winery in a beautiful part of the continent. Kylie and Ron were just goofy in love.

They had just moved to West Palm Beach. Kylie had gotten a great promotion at the Four Seasons there and Ron landed a job as a chef at a private club. They seemed absurdly happy.

Ron and Kylie went to a party last night and had a great time. They came home and went to bed, but just a few hours later, he went into come kind of convuslion and died right there. It's not clear what happened, but it looks like some kind of heart attack. He was only about 45.

Now Kylie is alone in a new city, with her fairytale marriage in ruins. And Ron had a sweet little daughter of about 10, who lives with her mom up North. He was a funny guy - always laughing, always joking, always with a kind word. And he seemed incredibly devoted to his two favorite women - his new wife and his little daughter.

Kylie called this morning, almost speechless. She said just "It's over, just like that." My wife jumped a plane as soon as she could.

How do you understand that? What kind of sense does that make? A car wreck? I can understand that. Disease? I have a mental box for that. But a seemingly healthy man in middle age dying suddenly in his sleep? I don't have a place for that. Who does?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ah, maybe reason will prevail

If you recall, the Pentagon is planning to detonate a conventional bomb so huge in the deserts of Nevada that it will create an explosion that will appear to be a nuclear blast. This struck me as a little weird.

Now it appears that it has struck some other people, including some filing for a court injunction, as a little weird too. Perhaps the court will agree.

I do love the fact that the agency conducting the test is called the "Defense Threat Reduction Agency." I guess that 700 tons of Ammonium Nitrate and fuel oil would have that effect on just about any threat one might perceive, or imagine. (For comparison's sake, the Oklahoma City bombers used only two and a half tons of the Ammonium Nitrate-fuel oil mix).

Here's what the government says about this little science project.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

But on the bright side

The only good news I can see here is that this poor man only weighs 85.7 - if he were weighed in stone (my new favorite measure of weight - I am down to a svelt 13.9 - or "13 stone 12" - after topping out at around 14.6 - or "14 stone 8").