♫ Dust In The Wind ♫ (Redux)

This has been a day of … perception and pondering for me.  I admit it … I am depressed in a way I’ve never been before and it is taking its toll on my psyche.  This song popped into my head a day or so ago, and when I looked at it tonight, one part in the lyrics stood out for me …

… nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy

I think there are a lot of people in this world who need to hear and ponder those words.  Anyway, I’ve only played this once in my ‘blogging career’ and that was three years ago, so … not too soon for a redux, is it?


Given the current status of our world, our environment, the health of our planet, this song kept popping in and out of my head today.

According to SongFacts …

Kansas guitarist Kerry Livgren wrote this after reading a book of Native American poetry. The line that caught his attention was “For All We Are Is Dust In The Wind.”

This got him thinking about the true value of material things and the meaning of success. The band was doing well and making money, but Kerry realized that in the end, he would eventually die just like everyone else. No matter our possessions or accomplishments, we all end up back in the ground.

Kansas was almost done writing and rehearsing the Point of Know Return album when their producer, Jeff Glixman, asked if they had any more songs. Livgren reluctantly played this song for his bandmates on acoustic guitar, insisting they wouldn’t like it because it was not Kansas. To his surprise, they loved the song and insisted they record it. Livgren then fought against his own song, but was overruled. “Dust In The Wind” became their biggest hit, but Livgren never did think very highly of it. “I tend to like the more bombastic things, like ‘The Wall,’ he told us.

The song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of April 22, 1978, making it Kansas’s only top ten Billboard Hot 100 charting single.

Dust in the Wind
Kansas

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Oh, ho, ho

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
The wind

Songwriters: Kerry Livgren / Kerry A Livgren
Dust in the Wind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Good People Doing Good Things — Two Young Men

Today’s good people post focuses on young people, for they are the future of our world if we are to have a future, and frankly they have better sense than many adults if the ones I highlight in this post are any indicator.

First, I would like to introduce you to a young man, James Pearson.  At age 17, James already far exceeds most people in terms of intelligence and compassion.

Growing up in Baltimore City, James Pearson of Baltimore, Maryland is no stranger to the impact of gun violence. Baltimore City has the second highest gun-related death rate and 2021 marked the seventh consecutive year that the city surpassed 300 homicides from firearms. After losing a family member to gun violence, James began to think of ways he could take action in mitigating these acts and reduce the homicide and non-fatal shooting statistics in Baltimore City.

In 2021, James launched the Gun Violence Awareness Committee at the Maryland nonprofit Let’s Thrive Baltimore where he served as a volunteer. Through the committee, James—with the support of three other youth volunteers—leads weekly trainings and facilitates conversations for youth in the Baltimore area. Topics, which engage anywhere from 50 to 100 youth, range from conflict resolution to meditation and mental health. The committee would also provide resources around employment preparedness and host job fairs to help youth from low-income families and those considered at-risk find jobs. In the past year, James and his fellow youth leaders held a workshop for over 100 youth on healing from adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma and organized one-on-one prep sessions to support their peers as they completed job applications and practiced for interviews.

Understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach wouldn’t be the most effective strategy for his peers, James also looked into how environmental design could also assist in crime prevention. Per the crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) approach, “when residents see spaces around their homes as their own, they are more likely to take care of those spaces and exert some positive influence over them”. As a result of James’ CPTED activities, he and his peers removed 80 bags of trash, planted nearly 100 shrubs, and removed debris from the area surrounding a local elementary school. By cleaning and beautifying the community around him, James hopes that youth see that they have a stake in their city and that they have access to a safe outlet through which they can make a positive impact.

Now how soon can we get James and some of his friends into Congress?


Next up is Ethan Bledsoe, a young man who genuinely cares about the environment, about our planet.

Growing up in rural Indiana, Ethan Bledsoe, age 18 of West Lafayette, Indiana, would frequently visit the nearby woods to observe nature and its fascinating inner workings: from the geometric construction of spider webs to the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs. Surrounded by nature, he learned to value the Earth and all that it gives us and developed a passion for protecting it. After moving schools in eighth grade, he encountered the concept of climate change through a fact poster in science class then spent hours doing additional research. Rising sea levels, worsening natural disasters, increasing land degradation, and rapid wildlife loss terrified him. He recalled his childhood in rural Indiana and knew that he couldn’t just stand by and watch climate change destroy the nature he loved.

While looking for ways he could make an impact, Ethan was disappointed by what he was seeing: there was a major gap in climate education; politicians would regularly sidestep their responsibility to create policy to address climate change; his city and new school weren’t taking the necessary steps to fight the climate crisis or educate students about climate change; and there was no push on them to change. Additionally, there was a complete lack of opportunities for youth to be involved in the political process or learn about climate action, let alone achieving climate solutions.

In response, Ethan set out to make projects that educate youth in his area about climate change and create opportunities for youth to be involved in the political process. He wanted to engage kids in his community through education and develop opportunities for youth. His first step was to organize a climate strike calling for his school to implement an AP Environmental Science course. Over 300 students attended the strike which led to the school administration approving of the AP Environmental Science course the following year! Ethan has also been determined to educate others directly, so he worked with STEAM programmers at the local library to implement an educational vertical garden program that educated kids on topics such as food insecurity and the importance of plants in climate resiliency.

Determined to increase the number of people provided with accurate information about climate change and actions to combat its causes and impact, Ethan created five little free libraries where the only things included are books and materials that are solely on climate-related topics. The libraries made climate education materials more accessible, equitable, and within walking distance of everywhere in the city. To continue to grow the scale of his work and increase education and advocacy efforts, Ethan launched Confront the Climate Crisis (CTCC), a statewide grassroots campaign. Through CTCC, Ethan and 30 youth activists lead service activities, provide opportunities for youth to take action, educate people about all things climate-related, and advocate for effective and feasible climate action policies.

Thank you, Ethan, for all that you are doing to save our home!


I had another, but I’ve run on long enough, so I’ll save it for next week.  Remember, folks, despite all the ugliness we are seeing in people these days, there are good people out there, and these young people give me hope for the future of not only the nation, but the planet.

Misplaced Priorities

The effects of climate change are predicted to bring us our hottest summer ever and one with even more hurricanes, tornadoes, and extreme wildfires than past years. We are told that we should expect rolling electricity ‘blackouts’ this summer as power companies try to protect the electric grid from damage due to overuse.  We have become a nation known for its mass shootings, known for people who carry a gun into churches, schools, and grocery stores just looking for trouble – we are not safe shopping for food, and our children are no longer safe in school.  There is a war in Ukraine (just in case you’ve forgotten) that is likely to expand into other nations and may well ultimately involve the U.S.  Our voting rights are being stripped, states are passing ridiculous laws to deny women of their rights and children of the right to learn those things they need to know. Far too many people cannot afford adequate, let alone quality healthcare, and the quality of healthcare for the average person is poor, to say the least.  Women’s rights, voting rights, civil rights, are being rolled back by the Courts at an alarming rate.  Racism and homophobia are on the rise, with violent episodes of each happening around the nation.  And yet … what are the people of the United States concerned most about?  Inflation. Yep, the rising costs of fuel and groceries are hitting their pocketbooks directly, so those somehow matter more than protecting the planet or saving people’s lives.  Somebody find me a tiny violin, please. 🎻

Mind you, I do realize that inflation is a problem, more for the poor than for the rest of us.  But it is not a problem that is unique to the U.S. … it is global!!!  Every nation on earth is suffering to a greater or lesser extent for numerous reasons, not the least of which is disrupted supply chains due to Putin’s war against Ukraine!  And the people doing the most complaining are those who, while it may be annoying and inconvenient, CAN still afford to put enough fuel in their cars to get where they need … yes, I said need … to go and CAN still afford enough food to feed their families!  They are more worried about whether they can take a cross-country vacation than whether their own children are safe in school and whether their grandchildren will have air to breathe!!!

These people need to get over themselves, to learn to be a bit more frugal, combine errands to use less fuel, turn the damn a/c off at night, eat chicken or fish instead of beef … better yet, what better time to go vegan?  Life in any nation is going to have its ups and downs … we have far more pressing and critical problems in this country than the price of a gallon of gasoline or the price of grapes.  If we don’t wake up and wake our legislators to the effects of climate change, it will soon be too late.  Oh, speaking of which … a headline in the New York Times caught my eye yesterday …

How an Organized Republican Effort Punishes Companies for Climate Action

A few snippets from the article

  • Across the country, Republican lawmakers and their allies have launched a campaign to try to rein in what they see as activist companies trying to reduce the greenhouse gases that are dangerously heating the planet.
  • In Texas, a new law bars the state’s retirement and investment funds from doing business with companies that the state comptroller says are boycotting fossil fuels. Conservative lawmakers in 15 other states are promoting similar legislation.
  • The pushback has been spearheaded by a group of Republican state officials that has reached out to financial organizations, facilitated media appearances and threatened to punish companies that, among other things, divest from fossil fuels.
  • And last week, the global head of responsible investments for HSBC Asset Management, Stuart Kirk, made a provocative presentation titled “Why investors need not worry about climate risk” at a Financial Times event in London. Describing climate risk as a problem in the far-off future, Mr. Kirk said, “Climate change is not a financial risk that we need to worry about,” adding, “Who cares if Miami is six meters underwater in 100 years?”

If you needed further proof that people live for today and to hell with tomorrow, there it is!  I think we need to be far more worried about global climate change that is a lasting problem, not one that will be solved in our lifetimes, perhaps never if we don’t get busy, than about temporary inflation.  Yes, rising prices are a concern, but not nearly as much so as children being shot and killed in schools, the planet heading toward disaster for all life forms, a war that could yet turn into World War III, and so much more.  Priorities, my friends … priorities.

Wednesday wanderings in mid-May

As always, our friend Keith puts into words what many of us are thinking and feeling. Please pay special attention to his final paragraph, for these are the questions we need to be asking, and the issues on which we need to hold our elected representatives accountable. As always, thank you Keith!!!

musingsofanoldfart

We should have another warm day here, so walking may make us “glisten,” a word my wife uses for perspiration. So, as we glisten on our walk about, let me share a few of my wandering thoughts.

The votes from yesterday’s mid-term primaries are being tallied, so I will save commentary for another day, with two exceptions. With almost 100% of the votes counted, it looks like Rep. Madison Cawthorn will be unseated in his first election as an incumbent. His failure to: realize on three occasions a driver needs a driver license, understand he cannot carry a weapon onto a plane on two occasions, appreciate claiming your Republican colleagues are having orgies and coke parties is not the way to make friends, and recognize that not doing much of anything other than abet the former president’s Big Lie and insurrection of Congress is not conducive to good governance. It…

View original post 590 more words

TokyoSand’s Week’s Best Political Cartoons

As she always does, TokyoSand has taken the time to scour the media for the best political ‘toons of the week.  Political cartoons are appealing because they sum up a situation using few or no words, whereas the rest of us require hundreds or even thousands of words to try to explain the why, what, when, where and hows of what is happening in our world.  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work in finding these gems!


This is only a sampling, so be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons at TokyoSand’s Political Charge!!!

Saturday Surprise — Puffins (& beer) (Redux)

I must apologize for once again reduxing a prior Saturday Surprise post, but I am thoroughly exhausted this evening and my brain just isn’t coming up with any new material!  Still, I think you’ll enjoy this one from September 2018!


Hello friends!  Thanks for dropping by before starting your weekend!  Today is the first day of September already!  Can you believe it?  Where has this year gone?  Here in the U.S., it is a 3-day weekend, for Monday is Labour Day.  My Iraqi friends asked me last week, “What is this Labour Day”, and I had to explain that while it was once a day to honour the working people, now it is pretty much just an excuse for a beer-fest.  Then, of course, I was left to explain “beer-fest” to people for whom alcohol is forbidden.  I fall into these traps often … you’d think I would learn, yes?

I know you all have big weekend plans, but I am still taking you on a short journey today … I promise to have you back in plenty of time to carry on with all your weekend plans, but this is just the perfect weekend to make this little jaunt!  Well … actually it’s not all that perfect, because where we are going is to be rainy and the high temps only around 55° F, or 10° C.  But still … we’ll have fun, I promise.  We can pick up some light jackets along the way … apparently the heat wave missed Iceland.  Oh … didn’t I tell you?  Yes, we are traveling to Iceland!Iceland-forecastWhat do you mean, “Why on earth are we going to Iceland?”  We are going to Iceland to see … PUFFINS!!!  You know … puffins … cute little birds … look sort of like miniature penguins?  Oh, c’mon … it’ll be fun … just hope onto the Filo-mobile and let’s go!

The puffin population in Iceland has been decreasing in recent years.  Though some puffin colonies are prospering, in Iceland, where the largest population of Atlantic puffins is found, their numbers have dropped from roughly seven million individuals to about 5.4 million.  The reasons are many:  fickle prey, overfishing, pollution, and climate change, which is diminishing food supplies like the silvery sand eels, which dangle from the parents’ beaks as they bring them to their young.  In addition, since they are considered to be very tasty, they are hunted as game birds.  No, we will not be trying them!

We have arrived, so let us check out some puffins, shall we?puffin-2.gif

The puffin is not the official bird of Iceland – that would be the gyrfalcon.  But puffins get far more attention, especially from tourists.  Did you know that puffins are only on land for about four months a year?  Right … they will soon be taking themselves back out into the cold Atlantic sea, where they will spend the next eight months or so hunting for fish.  They really only return to land in the spring in order to mate and nest.

Puffins-kissing

Awwwwwwww

Puffins choose partners for life, and while on land, they even share parenting duties, but once they go back out to sea, they go their separate ways until next spring.  I’m pretty sure that is the male’s idea.

puffin-chick

Puffin chick

Puffins are great little swimmers and divers, but when it comes to flying … meh, not so great.  So, watching them take off and land is rather hilarious!

puffin-landingAnd did you know that their gorgeous, colourful beaks aren’t always so colourful?  Puffins molt during their time at sea and shed all the colourful portions of their beaks as well as the black markings around their eyes in the process.

puffin-fish-in-mouth

Lookee what I caught!!!

The joint of their beaks are notched so that the birds can hang on to their catch even while diving back in, open-mouthed for more. One little puffin can carry up to 10 fish in its muzzle at any one time!

Okay, folks … it’s getting downright chilly here, and the rain has soaked through to the skin, so I think it’s time to bid adieu to the puffins.

puffin-1puffin-2Before we head back home, though, there is one last stop I want to make.

Welcome to Akureyri, home of the giant beer can! beer-can-1.jpg

From 1915-1989, beer was banned in Iceland. Although it seems completely counter-intuitive compared to the image of the beer and mead-swilling Viking sailor, the malted beverage was outlawed for most of the 20th century. Today, Iceland has begun to embrace the drink, and a giant beer can at the Viking brewery in Akureyri marks that change.

beer-can-2.JPGStand over there … facing the beer can, to the left, near the corner of the building.  See that pipe?  No, no, no Joe … do NOT drink what’s coming out of the pipe … they say it isn’t potable, but its sole purpose is to add a nice beer smell to the area.  Okay guys … I’m ready to head home now, where the temps should be in the high 70s and the ice in my hair can melt!20180419_141127.jpgWhew … this is better!  Okay, folks … keep safe and have a great time this weekend!


I was reading the comments that were left when I first posted this nearly 4 years ago, and a few of them noted other places — warmer and closer — to see Puffins:

Ellen:  Cap’n Fish’s Puffin Cruises in Boothbay Harbor, Maine is an experience that is not to be missed. They are a family operation, now in the third generation. There are several other cruises as well, but Cap’n is our favorite.

Hugh: By the by, Nufundland also has large Puffin colonies if a person doesn’t want to leave dry land!

David:  If you’d come in this direction you’d have found Puffin Island just off the coast of Ynys Mon (Anglesey) (Wales)

Colette:  We have Puffins off the Northern coasts of The British Isles too Jill!

Happy Earth Day 2022!!!

Today is Earth Day … the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day, to be exact.  Typically, Earth Day is assigned a different theme or area of focus each year; last year’s theme was “Restore Our Earth” and this year’s theme is, appropriately, “Invest in Our Planet”.  This short clip is from last year, but I loved it and so am sharing it again this year.


I am always surprised by people who say, “Yeah, so???” Or those who say “What the heck is Earth Day?”  Or worse yet, those who say it isn’t their problem. Each generation has contributed to the damage that is threatening our very survival, each generation multiplying that damage as technological ‘advances’ come along, many of which only exacerbate the problems.  Modern day jets, oil & gas pipelines, bovine-sized SUVs, food waste, plastic wrappers & containers … all these and more are fairly ensuring that within a few short decades, the planet will no longer be able to support 7+ billion humans, not to mention the plants, animals and insects that were here long before humans.

In part, we need better education about our environment and how to care for it.  But of late, climate change has become a political football with some claiming that it’s a “hoax”, others who are connected to the fossil fuel industries more concerned with their own profits than life on Earth, and still others listening to false claims by the likes of right-wing media and politicians.  None of which is helpful in the least bit — if we are to save this planet for life as we know it today, we must be united, everyone working together to clean up our acts!

So, please bear with me while I explain very briefly.


History – In The Beginning

The concept for Earth Day was conceived in the mind of then-Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Senator Nelson recruited help from Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey and others, and on April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 2018-4Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest honor given to civilians in the United States—for his role as Earth Day founder.

From Then To Now

Through the years, Earth Day has focused largely on global warming and a push for clean energy. Earth Day 2000 used the power of the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC for a First Amendment Rally. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.Earth Day 2018-3Earth Day 2010 saw new challenges:  Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to the narrative—cynicism versus activism.  Still, some 250,000 people showed up at the National Mall for a Climate Rally, launched the world’s largest environmental service project—A Billion Acts of Green®–introduced a global tree planting initiative that has since grown into The Canopy Project, and engaged 22,000 partners in 192 countries in observing Earth Day.


And Today???

No, this is not a picture from Ukraine, but rather a landfill in New York City taken prior to 2001, obviously, for you can see the Twin Towers in the background.

Under the previous administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was nearly decimated and environmental regulations rolled back or reversed.  For the four years between 2017-2021, the United States has stood alone among all nations in eschewing the science of global climate change.  However, thankfully, the Biden administration understands the critical need to address the multiple issues that are destroying our planet and  we are, once again, an active player in the fight against climate change and other environmental issues.  I believe that the vast majority of people in this nation do understand how critical our environment and our stewardship of the planet earth is.  Unfortunately, the pandemic and the Russian attacks on Ukraine have caused problems we couldn’t have foreseen and slowed down our progress on environmental issues.  We simply must get back on track, and soon!  Read the latest IPCC report … we are quickly running out of time!

People today are so worried about the cost of fuel for their gas-guzzling vehicles, but they should be far more concerned about what the drilling, piping, and burning of that fuel is doing to our planet!  Far worse damage occurs daily than is occurring to your wallet!


What can YOU do?

You may think that there isn’t much you, personally, can do to help restore our earth, but you’d be wrong.  Each and every one of us can do a few simple things to help and little things add up to big things, as we all know.  Here are a few ideas from the Old Farmer’s Almanac …

1. SUPPORT OUR POLLINATORS!

Bring native bees and other pollinating creatures to your garden. One way to do this is by selecting the right plants. Need ideas?

2. CLEAN UP PLASTIC IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD OR LOCAL PARK

One of the best ways to connect with the Earth is through cleanups! Go on a walk with a trash bag and help to clean up any plastic that you find. Perhaps you know of a nearby ditch that is polluted with trash that needs a spring cleaning! You’ll start to realize that plastic permeates every aspect of our lives. But as the world wakes up to its addiction, just how easy is it to ditch plastic while growing and storing more of our own food? Don’t forget to recycle what plastic you can. See a Plastics Recycling Chart.

3. SWAP OUT YOUR KITCHEN AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS!

Let’s talk about the cooking and cleaning products that touch the food we eat as well as our skin. This year, we’ve discovered a line of kitchen and household products called If You Care.” Everything’s biodegradable and does not use chemicals or plastic. Think 100% recycled aluminum foil, chemical-free parchment paper for baking, compostable bags made with potato starch, and even vegetable-based inks for their packaging. We love company’s motto: “We care simply because it’s the right thing to do!” You can find If You Care products online and in stores. See the store locator.

For more ideas, visit the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

And just a few other resources, if you’re interested:

And just for fun (and to test your knowledge) … a quiz!


In Summary

This is a post about Earth Day, but more to the point it is a post about the need for Earth Day.  It isn’t just about one day a year, about marches and articles such as this one, but it is about awareness.  The entire purpose of Earth Day is to raise awareness, to stir people to take action.  Climate deniers will continue to deny the need to protect our environment, not because they are as stupid as they seem, but rather because they are as greedy as they seem.  But there is much that each and every one of us can do with very little effort.  Recycle, pick up trash when you see it on the streets or in your local parks, plant a tree, plant flowers to encourage pollination, turn the thermostat down, conserve water, reduce food waste, turn off lights, consolidate errands and trips in the car, walk more/drive less, take the bus … use some common sense and be a good steward of the planet.  And meanwhile, keep petitioning your elected officials at local, state and federal levels … let them know that a healthy environment is more important to you than the profits of the fossil fuel and other industries.  Please … my life and yours are at stake, but more importantly our children’s and grandchildren’s lives are at stake.

Happy Earth Day, my friends!  Why not celebrate by planting a sapling or a few flowers in the back yard?

Note to readers:  Some of this post is a repeat of last year’s Earth Day post, but I have also added new content and resources relevant to 2022 and the celebration of Earth Day.

Using leaf appropriation to tackle the climate crisis

PeNdantry … creator or Wibble … has a way of tackling serious topics with humour, and today is no exception. His reminder is timely … be in the dark for an hour tomorrow! Do your part! Thanks, PeNdantry!

Wibble

Readers of my wibblettes over the years may have got the impression that I’m not exactly a fan of advertising (and that would be right). Even when such ‘communications’ give an honest portrayal of the product or service on offer, all advertisers share one feature upon which they all rely: repetition, repetition, repetition. They insert jingles in our heads to promote their brands, pervert memes such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘green’, and, utterly cynically, employ psychology and their thorough understanding of human nature to persuade us to buy their stuff.

It’s said that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And I can believe it: on my litter-picking walks I’ve collected a great many cans, bottles, coffee cups and assorted packaging, all of which bear proud logos of their respective hawkers. How is it that the vendors aren’t ashamed that their litter is everwhere? It seems to me that the answer…

View original post 255 more words

Spring has almost sprung – and the bees need our help!

With everything happening in the world these days, it’s easy to forget some of the more important things … like bees! Luckily, our friend PeNdantry is here to remind us …

Wibble

Just yesterday (as I write this, on 04Mar2022) a ginormous bumblebee buzzed past me, and said, “Spring is coming!” Well, not literally, but the message was clear. It reminded me of the fact that ‘our’ planet’s bee population is in serious decline (which is almost certainly our fault), and that if bees disappear then we will all starve to death ourselves just a handful of years later.

I’ve been thinking about turning my lawn into a meadow. I’ve long thought that the very idea of a lawn is a relic of a bygone age; one of the many traditions we’ve inherited from our ancestors that deserve to be consigned to the history books. If we were all to convert our lawns to meadows, that would certainly help the bees – and I for one wouldn’t miss the regular mowing chore!

And then, today, I got an email…

View original post 467 more words

On A Personal Note …

Sometimes there is just so much rambling in my head that I cannot focus on a single topic, and this is one such time.  So, I thought to clear out my head by sharing some of those thoughts with you, my friends.

I would like to start by telling you how very proud I am of my daughter, Chris.  Last Friday, she was informed that she had won the monthly “Employee Incentive Award” of $500.  The person who had nominated her for the award was one of her staff members, interestingly, who had argued with Chris on more than one occasion, but in her nomination praised Chris saying she was always there when her employees needed her, worked harder than anybody else, etc.  But all of that isn’t what made me so proud.  That evening, as Miss Goose and I both congratulated her on the win, she asked if there was anything special we would like to do with the money.  Naturally, I told her it was hers to do with as she pleased, and her response was, “Then, I think I’d like to donate it to help the people of Ukraine.”  I get teary-eyed just recalling her words … I’m so very proud of her.

I keep hearing people say we should stop importing oil and gas from Russia.  I agree that it would be in keeping with the other sanctions we have imposed on Russia and that it would make sense in more ways that one.  BUT … I know what will happen to all those voices who are demanding that President Biden ban Russian oil imports … they will have a 180° turnaround when the see the fuel prices at the pump a month from now.  The cost of a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel is almost certain to spike to $10 or nearly so, and those same people will be whining and bitching, blaming President Biden.  I want to say to every one of those people, you asked for it, you got it, so shut the #$%& up!!!  People whining has gotten on my nerves so badly that I’m turning into Oscar the Grouch!  They whine about being told to wear a mask, they whine about the increase in food prices, they cry about one thing and another, never stopping to realize just how great they have it compared to the people of Ukraine, Afghanistan, and many other countries too numerous to name.  Being asked to wear a mask and paying $10 for a gallon of fuel pales in comparison to being shot at!  Perhaps … just a thought … they could walk more and drive less, turn the thermostat down by 5°, turn a few lights out, and stay home instead of dining out or going to the cinema?

Even after the IPCC (Interglobal Panel on Climate Change) came out with dire warnings at the end of last month, at least some people are not taking it seriously.  The former guy was talking to a group of rich jerks who had donated to him when he said, in response to the scientific concept that sea levels are rising as a result of our carbon output … “The global warming hoax, it just never ends. There was a big thing about global cooling — what will be next? I say, great, we have more waterfront property.”  Can anybody possibly be more stupid?  But the worst of it is that his supporters will believe him and will fight against those of us who are trying to stall or reverse climate change, just as they fought against things like mask and vaccine mandates that were put in place to fight COVID, which Trump also claimed was a hoax, or nothing to worry about.  We have a large portion of the population that, rather than listen to experts like scientists and doctors, would prefer to listen to clowns like Trump and Carlson.  They are making life riskier for all of us.

Speaking of the former guy … I am calling on editors of the major news outlets to keep both his name and picture out of their publications for a period of one week … 7 days, 168 hours!  Nothing he does is actually news, but his intent is always two-fold:  to rile and divide people and to keep the spotlight on himself.  Publications like The Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, Reuters and others are guilty of adding to the divisiveness in this country by keeping the former guy front and center in the news, reporting on his every irrelevant word or action.  They are giving those of us with some sense an ulcer, and causing glee among the unwashed masses.  Let them try, just for one week, to report actual news and not mention the former guy … let’s see what happens.

The ridiculous ‘trucker convoy’ reached the Washington, D.C. area yesterday.  I find it ironic that they can create havoc by blocking major highways, making people late for work, doctor’s appointments, meetings, classes and more, and yet they are applauded by too many people.  Compare their actions to those of  football player Colin Kaepernick who in 2016 took a knee during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustice that was on the rise all across the nation, and he was booed, scorned, ultimately lost his job, and still today is a pariah in some circles.  Tell me again that the ‘United’ States is not a racist country … and I will call you a liar.  This nation is every bit as racist today as it was in 1964.  I once thought we had made progress, but we haven’t … not really.

Those in this country who would support the monster Vladimir Putin, who is now killing civilians including children in Ukraine should be made to either shut up or go live under Putin’s autocracy in Russia.  Putin is a murderer and evil oozes from his every pore.  There is not one single reason for people in the U.S. to be praising Putin.  Those who think their rights are so violated here in the U.S. and that Putin is anything less than a cruel madman don’t deserve to live in the U.S. … banish them to Russia and then let them complain about their ‘rights’ … see how long it takes them to find their way to the gulag.

See, I told you I had a lot of things running loose in my mind!  Perhaps now I can focus on something … anything!  Thanks for letting me vent!