Skunk from rear
Skunk tail down
Skunk against electrical cords
He's a packrat, which protects my own accumulation of decades so I really SHOULDN'T complain, but it does get frustrating to keep computer magazines from the mid 1980's for their archaeological value. A friend at IBM Research once explained that Paul's skill was not just in his ability to pick up new technologies by inhaling them, but in his instinctive use of each one in exactly the way it was designed to be used. To misquote science-fiction guru Heinlein, Paul "groks" computers, and has since he got into the field in 1962.
As a kid, his parents were shaken up by an IQ test that rated him at some ridiculous number, but certainly he's one of the sharper ones. The good part was that he got out of public grammar school on Fridays so he could be "expanded" at museums, and such. The bad part was the pressure. Now he can learn for his own innate love of learning.
We have gone down so very many pathways together. Without a murmur of complaint, he's slept for days beneath a dining room table while we copied hard-to-find British TV shows in marathon copying sessions. When I wanted to find out about my father's family, he suggested we drive to upper New York state, and then spent hours patiently photographing town records and tombstones. Though neither of us have ever worn a costume, he's loved attending fan conventions, and proudly turned our friends into aliens, and won fan prizes for his widely appreciated music videos. And when I needed to come up with memorable activities to "slow down time," he was out there with our camera trying hard to catch those little firefly buggers on film for me.
But the claim he'll always have to my heart is that he is a decent man.
He's always ready, and happy, to help a friend in need. He stops and moves turtles off roads. When our little white Bichon insists on sitting with him, he'll scoot forward in his chair so that the pup always has a comfortable amount of space on the chair behind him, whether Paul is comfortable or not.
And, while he might not agree with all of my enthusiasms, he'll support them, and he'll support me. I'm sure the wild animals who've spent the winter in our garage beneath heat lamps, on comforter battings, would thank him, too, if they could.
Some might say he's a pushover but, if he is, it's because his heart is a mile wide, and I'm very grateful that there's room in that wide open heart for the whole world, and for me, too.