Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

Like many people, I took a typing class when I was in high school. This was a time, of course, that was long before the advent of personal computers. In fact, I took my typing class shortly after the introduction of the IBM Selectric, but our Catholic boy’s high school only had MANUAL typewriters.

Because the phrase shown above used ALL of the letters in the alphabet, it became a favorite training aid for our instructors.

Although it’s been almost 50 years since I took that typing class, the phrase came to mind just yesterday, due to a website called BING, which is on my list of “favorites”. Each day, a new subject is the image of the day. On January 1, the image was of the creature shown at the link below:

the little red fox

The various links tied to the picture also revealed the fact that the red fox is listed as “least concern” for extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and is included in the IUCN’s list of the world’s 100 worst invasive species.

Since the little guy is considered such a nuisance, the species has long been considered a target in sport hunting. Fox hunting originated in the United Kingdom in the 16th century, and usually involved the use of fox hounds. Although the fox hunt isn’t always fatal to the fox, the sport has become controversial in recent years because it is sometimes considered inhumane, and the sport was banned in all of the countries in the U.K. between 2002 and 2005.

Although fox hunting is not currently permitted in the People’s Republic of California, the California legislature banned the use of hounds in hunting bears and bobcats in the fall of 2012 - because the practice was considered “inhumane”.

I actually went fox hunting once in Wisconsin, more than 40 years ago, In view of my inexperience with handling guns (then and now), and my poor vision, the target of our hunt was in absolutely no danger.

The bans in the United Kingdom and California exemplify an outlook on life that could be termed “politically correct”. Even though I’m probably closer to the “enlightened man” represented by Alan Alda, even I will admit that sometimes political correctness can sometimes be taken to extremes.

Governor Rick Perry (aka Governor Bonehead) is never going to be considered politically correct by almost anyone, with the exception of a few of the folks in the Lone Star State. In the spring of 2010, he was out on an early morning jog with his dog when he encountered a coyote. He could have turned around and gone the other way, or he could have waited until the coyote went on his way on his accord, but he reacted like any Red Blooded Texan would have - he shot him.

Raising kids, of course, brings political correctness to an entirely new level. You’ve undoubtedly run into situations where your own children became problematic, and virtually ALL of us have encountered parents who “just aren’t raising their kids in the right way”. Although there are often times when all those kids can get us all “wound really tight”, there ARE times when the child rearing experience can be absolutely hysterical.

On New Years Day, Sharon and I saw “Parental Guidance”, starring Billy Cyrstal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei. I’m not going to tell you much about the plot, but you can watch the trailer at the link below:

click on this spot

Go see the movie and enjoy yourself. After all, it’s a brand new year.

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