Sunday, January 20, 2008

What Kind of World is This?

I went to the library, yesterday. One of the best places to spend time. All my life libraries have been important to me. Books entertain me, teach me about other worlds, give me new insights, educate me, bring me delight.

Compared to Holland, where I grew up (did I?) libraries in Canada are superb. Yes, in Holland fees had to be paid to take out books. But even though we were poor, some money for borrowing books could usually be found. Buying books was for birthday presents, St. Nicolas gifts, or other special occasions. That wouldn't have filled my time spending in bed when I was ill and Mom had to go to work, asking the neighbours to keep an eye on me and see to my needs. Sometimes I managed almost three books a day, being deeply into the stories with blood-red cheeks, forgetting time, and discomfort.

Having come to Canada I was pleasantly surprised that books from the library were free to read. What a gift. With hardly any money to get by, most of the time, food for the tummy sparse, books, food for spirit and soul, were in plenty supply. What better way to learn about your new country, learn the language and feel the culture?

Yesterday, having chosen my books, checking out, I picked up a bookmark of an unusual big size. Ha, maybe I wouldn't lose that one so easily! (You wanna bet?) At home I read the bookmark. Discovered that it was a plea for money.

Apparently funding for libraries is not that generous anymore. They struggle. To accommodate all the new technology, all the new information, to expand the way they need to, they have to beg the public to “BE A FRIEND.” Being a friend means donating money from a suggested 50 dollar to 500 dollar or more. There is also a margin for less.

Same as with the theater. Always that cart in the mail for more money.

Same as with World Wildlife of which I am a member. No matter how much I donate, and how many animals I adopt, there is always that letter with a million thank-yous, and the card to please donate more. Oh how I would want to.

Same as with the Red Cross. They sent me a calendar. A thank you for past donations. An expectation that I donate more. I let it go for the time being, not exactly swimming in give-away money. Another letter came, expressing disappointment at me for not having reacted, and having received such a nice calendar. Well!!! I hadn't asked for that calendar. I didn't even need a calendar. They could've offered it for a price. I wrote a cheque for ten dollar, while worried about my shrinking bank account, sent it off and felt real cheap. Had to remind myself that every little bit helps and the money is really needed.

Then there are the phone calls. Nice policemen begging for money to sponsor poor kids to go to the circus. Pleas for children's wish fund...

I never give to causes that come over the phone. I deplore the pressure. No matter how heart breaking the story.

But somehow, one is always made to feel inadequate. Little guilt feelings try to dominate. Saying no to causes legitimately in need, causes tearing on your heart strings, causes you know are for helping the world, and peace, and loving care...

Not always in the way I believe care should be given. Somehow I don't see that a very sick child needs to go to Disneyland to feel cared for or have fun. Maybe for mom not to have to work, a warm, caring home surroundings, a pet to cuddle, a favourite meal, are better food for the little tyke craving love?

Much in the news now is the matter of weapons. People getting killed by gun-happy youths & adults, just like that. Roadside flowers, little altars, grieving crowds, wailing, helplessness...

So people stand up and demand to make it illegal to carry weapons. Good idea, I think. Won't cover the whole problem, but a good, worthwhile beginning of tackling it. Right?

So most Canadian politicians agree. So one stands up and says, “No, that is no good. We should extend jail sentences to discourage people from killing each other.

Pardon me? We should not take away the temptation, but use taxpayers money to lock away the person that was provoked, tempted, or just plain angry?

And what about so many voices speaking up now to protect the environment. How come most people seem to agree that drastic measures need to be put in place. Most countries, politicians, believe that doing sonic explosions in the arctic seas should be stopped to protect the whales that get confused, their own sonic communications being shattered, and they end up being seriously wounded, and dying. How come Bush can decide that, never mind, we should go ahead with the sonic try outs, never mind the whales? Same as how he didn't get most votes, and became president. Same as he bombed Iraq for unverified reasons, against the will of the United Nations, and destroyed cultures, people, environments...??? And all the soldiers going to war, killing, being killed, supposedly to make a better world, but for all eyes to see, the world, and life thereupon, is getting more unbalanced and poorer all the time?

Wild Thing

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You know what BUGS me?

I don't get it. Is there some kind of universal message to that? Am I not supposed to communicate with Larry Keiler? There is no problem with his friend Gary. I can e-mail- talk to him as much as I want. It is the blog talking with Larry that is boycotted.

First I could get his mental blog page, no problem. Then came a time that I could not comment on his blogs. My comments just would not publish. Then after much brainstorming, I discovered that I could talk to him anonymously. So I sneaked through. Then Larry brought my attention to another sneaky device, “nickname”, Ha! Now I could finally publish my comments again as Wild Thing. Brilliant.

For a while that worked. Then, suddenly, every time I turn up that page, the whole program freezes. Cannot scroll down or up. Cannot click that page away. Nothing. Everything just stuck. Only thing left to do is to log off. Then log in again, and I can go to other programs. No problems with the dovetale blog or anything else.

I commented on one post, the third last, I think. I think that came through. Then the problem started. Every so now and then, when I try again, I can scroll down to comments, but when I click it, and the next page comes up, It won't budge. It freezes non-reversibly again. Sigh!!!

No trouble shooting has helped so far. M@ is puzzled, Larry is puzzled, Wild thing is puzzled.

Can there be a bug in just one program? Has a trickster placed him/herself placed between Larry and Wild Thing, laughing wickedly at my frustration?

Wild Thing

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blue Jay (Version 2)

Blue Jay

(Version 2)

A blue jay has no pigment,

its feathers are filled with air,

and blue is just a figment

of the light refracted there.

If you were lacking colour

and people stared through you,

could life be any duller,

and wouldn’t you be blue?

It now becomes apparent

why jays are territorial.

Since they’re so transparent

they need boundaries arboreal.

Respect the jay’s contention

and see its point of view...

the right of its intention

to be both colourless and blue.

(Larry is too lazy to try and figure out the code that will correct the goofy line spacing.)