My thumbs-up and thumbs-down nominations of the week:
Thumbs up to our Clearwater veterinarian. My wife and daughter recently took in Chrissie, a dog we've had for nearly 15 years, to be "put to sleep" because she was suffering from various old-age infirmities and lymphoma. (Chrissie, by the way, was named for Times staff writer Christina K. Cosdon, who rescued her from the middle of Missouri Avenue on a rainy night those many years ago. Our family adopted the dog when nobody claimed her at the SPCA.)
Several days after Chrissie's demise, we were surprised to receive a basket of flowers at our home. Attached was a card that said, "In memory of a special friend, Chrissie, from all the staff of Court Street Animal Hospital."
That act of kindness almost did me in more than missing the dog.
Thumbs down to phone solicitors seeking money. I resent phone solicitors in general, but especially those calling for supposedly charitable drives. There are more of them doing it all the time, and some don't even limit their calls to once a year.
Some of the callers, I know, work for professional solicitation firms that skim a good chunk of the money off the top. After I lost my cool with a caller the other night, it also struck me that these charities are lazy. Why don't they put on pancake breakfasts or rummage sales or fashion shows instead of just calling and begging? I think my days of contributing to these groups, even the legitimate ones, are over.
Would this suit?
A Clearwater police officer, who shall go unnamed, suggests amending the city's T-back ordinance to allow the skimpy swimsuits only on women and men weighing 97 pounds or less.
Can you top this?
The UPARC Foundation is on a roll, featuring at its last three annual prayer breakfasts football coaches Sam Wyche of the Bucs, Bobby Bowden of the Seminoles and Steve Spurrier of the Gators. Whom should the foundation go after next year? Send or call me with your ideas. It's not too soon to start planning.
The ATM syndrome
An acquaintance, after reading about the latest shooting and robbery at an automated teller machine, suggested that banks hire off-duty police officers to hide near ATMs and, when someone attempts a robbery, "blow him away."
Of course, "blowing him away" is not acceptable in a civilized society, but people are getting sick and tired of having to make lifestyle decisions based on whether a thug could get them.
Here's to women
March is Women's History Month, and a seminar devoted to "Celebrating Women" sounds as if it would be worth spending next Saturday on the Clearwater campus of St. Petersburg Junior College.
Keynote speakers will be WFLA-Ch. 8 newscaster Diane Roberts talking about "Successful Women" and Mary K. Wilson, a church musician and half of the John and Mary K. Wilson singing duo, discussing "Women in the Arts."
Seminar topics will include "Women in Leadership Roles," "Women in Politics," "Women as Mothers _ How to Redirect Children's Behavior" and "Today's Women and Self-Esteem."
The seminar is sponsored by Women on the Way and Partners in Self-Sufficiency, which will use the proceeds for scholarships. The $25 cost covers a continental breakfast, lunch and an afternoon dessert, as well as the seminar.
Call 791-2555 or 461-3453 Monday or Tuesday to register.