Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Shock And Awe: The First Wave of the War on Allergies.

It has begun the same way it begins every year. When the temperature outside slowly begins to rise, the days become longer, warmer, and infinitely more enjoyable; that is when they strike. The enemy I speak of is allergies, and the battlefield where the war will be played out over the coming months is from my neck up. The pollen, rag weed, and other undesirable will ruthlessly attack my nostrils, eyes, head, and sinuses; they will burn villages, and take the women as spoils of war. They have the element of surprise, but I have weaponry of my own. It is on these days when the pollen count skyrockets that I commence with chemical warfare of the highest order.

While I certainly don't use Mustard gas or nuclear warheads, the munitions that I resort to are equally effective, if somewhat less apocalyptic. My first-strike is a carpet bombing of known allergenic hideouts with a double dose of Claritin-D, all the while paying no mind to the dosage recommendations on the back of the box. I then saturate the caves of my nostrils with Nasonex, halting the allergens' progress and essentially freezing their Swiss bank accounts and taking away their ability to fund future attacks. Once the Allergy regime has fallen, the urban assault team comes through (in the guise of Vicks Vapo-Rub) to clear the streets and rebuild critical infrastructure.

It is not long before my nasal passage is appointing a transition leader, and holding free elections, and drafting a constitution. The spread of nasal freedom, a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Honk! If you're single.

My office in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. overlooks a medium-sized pond that boasts a resident goose population of about 25 cantankerous birds. They are a somewhat raucus bunch, never quiet for very long, and always adding a less than pleasant background noise to my conference calls and meetings. I can't tell you how many times the person on the other end of the line has asked "Is that noise real?" If they only knew how real it is.

They are there all year long, and never move very far. Maybe they will fly to a nearby field for a midday snack of alfalfa or grass, but they never fail to return, usually as I am settling in for an afternoon of hard work. But with Spring right around the corner, the geese have reminded me that this is the time of year for renewal and fresh starts; yes, thats right, its mating season in the goose world.

They have never been louder. At lunch I will often take a walk around the pond for a breath of fresh air, and the geese make going into the office with its ringing phones and beeping faxes seem like a great alternative. They are paired off, and the males spend the better part of the day with their heads down chasing the females around the pond. The females are collectively playing hard to get, all of them honking in displeasure at the males' advances. I think to myself, "Keep at it fellas, they'll give in." And given nature, I am sure they will.

But over in the corner of the pond there is a lone goose, who is swimming around a drain culvert that sticks up about a foot out of the water. Its about 15 inches round, and is a rusted-brown color that vaguely (and let me be very clear: VAGUELY) resembles a goose. The goose swims around the culvert, honks, and continues to swim. The cycle goes on for hours. I leave for the day, and the single goose is still trying to convince the culvert that he's the one. But as you can presume, the culvert doesn't respond to the goose's advances. The goose is getting the cold shoulder, and he knows it, and it doesn't please him.

But I don't feel bad for the goose, because once his hormones calm down, he will forget about the culvert that wouldn't put out, and will move on with his life. He'll swim around the pond for another 12 months, free of worrying about keeping up a nest, or sitting on eggs, or waddling around with 6 or 7 goslings in tow. No, I don't feel sorry for the goose at all.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Lets try this again.

So I learned something incredibly useful when I started my first blog, The Mud Room, a little over three months ago. Mainly I learned that keeping a blog or website up to date is tough business, especially when other, more important priorities crop up and restrain you to an office chair, or in my case the Hart Senate Office Building. Meetings, lunch and dinner appointments, and the Federal budget season tend to make unnecessary musings irrelevant, and this blog is certainly an unnecessary musing.

Now having said that, I wouldn't have given this another go if I didn't at least want to try to keep a blog updated with fresh and exciting material. So unlike when I haphazardly built The Mud Room, I have put a fair amount of time and thought into Kline Online. Instead of just throwing something together and posting it online, I have tried to be thought-provoking and to use incisive wit with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, sometimes I lack the ability to think myself, and at times like these there is little hope that I will provoke thought in others. And sometimes, despite my best efforts, I lack any wit at all, let alone incisive wit.

But I hope that times like these will be few and far between, and I look forward to providing anyone who might be interested with my views, opinions, and limited (and I do mean limited) knowledge of world events and current affairs. If I ever upset you with my writing please let me know, and in an attempt at fairness, if I ever impress you with my writing please be kind enough to let me know about that, too. I invite you to check back often, and to let us all know how you feel about what I'm writing, or about anything else, in the comments section of the Blog. Thanks, and be sure to come back and visit real soon.