Yes, I hate the carbon tax, too. Am I happy that our society has reached this point where we need to put a price on our own wastefulness? Hardly. Is it the best option? No. Is it going to hurt? Yeah. Will it disrupt the way our lives go forward for here? That’s kinda the point. Will that be uncomfortable? No shit, Sherlock. But is it the right thing to do? Probably. Am I willing to chip in a little bit more on that gamble if it’s really meant to improve the future of our society? Well, until someone comes up with a better idea, and since I don’t qualify for the rebate, I suppose I’m going to do just that. Everything has a cost to something, someone, somewhere. You may not feel that cost. You may never pay it. But someone, somewhere pays for your cheap gas, your plastic toys, and your discount t-shirts. That cost may be money, time, or the health of people or our environment. And we’ve been deferring, offsetting, skipping out on the bill as it grows and looms and grows some more over future generations. You don’t have to understand it or agree with it: but pretending that it’s a lie or a conspiracy makes you into the fool. So, drive a 4% less, eat a few less calories, put on a sweater and some cozy wool socks and turn the heat down a degree or two, and maybe stop buying so much junk: we’ve been trying that for years, and it isn’t as painful as you imagine. Really.
I’m usually on my way somewhere, so it’s like 95% cardboard to-go cups.
We’ve had a visitor at our house for the last couple days. A small wild frog found its way into one of our flower beds on the weekend, and considering (a) the roasting sun and (b) our not-so-close proximity to standing water, we caught him and set up a temporary home for him in a old terrarium/aquarium we had.
Sure, it’s been damp for a few days lately, but when that sun comes out and-or he decided to try and find his way back home across the busy streets, well… froggy go bye-bye?
So, we set him up with some water and some shelter and…
the last thing we need was a pet frog
It was temporary, of course.
From how I understand it, frogs are a struggling population these days, their numbers dwindling in a drastic way thanks to the destruction of habitat and our use of chemicals effect on their fragile little lifecycles. Every frog counts, eh?
Plus, the last thing we need was a pet frog.
Then the days got busy and the weather turned sour and…
Claire was getting anxious about it. I’d promised her that when we found some time, we’d walk over to the little collection ponds a few blocks from our house and drop off the frog –who she’d since named Tommy– somewhere with longer-term potential… a real froggy-desirable bit of real estate.
It was raining when we got home. But the next few days were not looking very promising for finding a better time to make the trip.
We shuttled Tommy the Froggy into a little jar and got on our grubbies for the walk over to the sure-to-be-muddy pond.
Of course, going on a little adventure to save a somewhat helpless-seeming creature turned into a perfect opportunity for a bit of real-life discussion about nature and the environment. And I feel a bit guilty because I’m not even the one who brought it up. Claire and I, the dog in tow, had an awesome little chat about looking after nature and helping animals, and she even suggested to me that she wanted to be “someone who looked after wild animals” when she grew up. Sure, the I-want-to-bes are as fickle as the weather, but the fact it processed through her brain for the entire duration of an evening walk is probably a win for fatherhood, eh?
We got real good and muddy creeping carefully to the edge of the pond. She opened the lid of the jar and we set it in the grass, nudging the hesitant amphibian out of his temporary captivity and out into the wild and dangerous world. And with a hop and a scurry our little Tommy froggy disappeared into the long, wet grass and was gone from our lives forever.
Maybe he’ll go on to parent a thousand more generations of progeny. Or, maybe he’ll just get eaten by a bird. Either way, he stands a better chance now than trying to eek out a a life under my rose bush.
Frogspeed, little Tommy, frogspeed.
Every day I get up early in the morning and drive to work amongst the hoards of trucks migrating to the oil-fueled town where my non-oil-related job is located.
Every day I watch out my window as heavy equipment destined for some none-too-distant rig is shuttled around or between various industrial production yards.
Every day I sit in my office and I work to nudge the behemoth of the oil giant towards a slightly different course before it crushes my own industry in its steady trudge towards economic gluttony.
Every day I wait in lines, or on hold, or in traffic amongst the throngs of young men and women paid large sums of money to fuel the industrial engine that is big Alberta oil.
I am in the belly of the beast. I am inside it. I am Jack’s medulla oblongata.
But even I am not so far gone as to confuse the dutiful movement of a metaphorical moth towards a flame with some deeper, more nefarious conspiracy. For when we fall out of our critical thinking selves to begin the march towards something of a deeper fiction we lose more than can be imagined.
The Canadian National Newspaper, something of a socialist never-heard-of-til-now newsletter, lost all but shreds of any respectability last week when it published an argument for aliens-controlling the government: Canadians specifically and humanity in general who rejoice about the “prosperity” of the Alberta Tar Sands project, and other such similar schemes, have their mind caught in what is arguably a sophisticated video game, where they have confused a substantive reality of living in a toxic stew, with a manipulated alien fantasy.
The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club. The reason for that, you see, is that when conspiracies are faced with evidence they are often revealed to have more in common with mental disorders.
Hey, I’m all for slowing down development in the tar sands. There is something to be said for ‘sipping’ rather than ‘gulping’ after all. But to wrap some elaborate fiction around a real issue only accomplishes two things: (1) it erodes credibility and (2) it diverts responsibility. And as someone once told me: don’t confuse lazy incompetence with willful and malicious conspiracy.
In an attempt to give Sparkle a little more socializing, we’ve signed her up for doggy-daycare. (Tho, writing “signed up” seems rash. In reality, there was a long waiting list, and just lately we’ve found ourselves at the top.) Once a week our pup gets to go “hang out” at a day-kennel where she can run and play in a supervised environment with all sorts of other dogs. The idea (at least for us) is to provide a little bit more of a stimulating environment so that she isn’t so timid with other dogs as we get deeper into the summer and go on more elaborate walks through the river valley. Also, I need to get her back into shape so she can come running with me. The winter’s been a cruel demon this year, and our short-haired pooch has not been so keen on long walks, even with her coat. So, yesterday was her first day, Karin dropping her off around 7:30 and picking her up at about four in the afternoon. The result: one tired puppy. She crashed on the couch, eventually finding my lap around eight or so, and nuzzling up with her head on my chest. Tired. Tired. Tired. But that’s good. No one wants to be cooped up in a house all day, everyday, especially a fleet-footed dog.
from the fishy business department
I was at the pet store at lunch, looking into the fish food situation. Blue, who has been eating voraciously lately, is not quite out of food — but he may be some day. He has also been very busy building little bubble nests at the top of the water, blowing little globule of air that stick to the single branch of the plastic plant that sticks out of the surface. It was my original intention to see if there was any floating plastic foliage that would amuse him a little bit more.
Instead, I found a sale on a little aquarium decoration that looks like a tiny stump of wood with an assortment of weird plants growing out of it. All plastic. All very minature so that it fits in the teenie-tank.
I dropped it in around lunchtime. Snail-Bob clearly loves it — or is simply oblivious to anything new in his environment. He’s traced nearly every bit of the surface and scoped it once over.
Blue, on the other hand, is not amused. He has been cautious all afternoon, tucking himself into the corner or as far away from the new contraption as fishily-possible. Then he hovers there, tilted upwards at a twenty-or-so degree angle, and stares at it. Then he turns and stares at me for a while, probably considering what he would do if I were just a little smaller. Occasionally, I’ve caught him circling the plastic-wood log, flaring at it, like it’s some sort of evil intruder that can be scared off.
Alas, some day (possibly tomorrow) he’ll be friends again. He’ll figure out that it’s not an enemy — it’s another hiding spot — and then I’ll never see him again.