Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday's Odds and Ends

Some cities, concerned about the amount of litter on their streets, have imposed a fee for using plastic bags at stores. Dallas is the latest. Granted, litter is a problem. I hate to even say how much trash I see along the county road where I walk each morning. I also hate to admit how many times I've seen someone toss a drink can out a truck window as they are driving along. When I was a kid, if I threw something out the car window, my father would stop and make me go pick it up. Believe me, I never tossed even a gum wrapper out after that.

That's a point that a Dallas resident, Barbara Whitfield Streetman made in a letter to the editor. She challenged parents to do what my father did, "Teach kids never to throw anything out of the car window or throw anything on the sidewalks or anyplace. Just carry it home and dispose of it."

What a concept.

Reactions to the latest violence - the mass shooting in Paris - incited the same kind of hateful rhetoric and behaviors as the last two in the United States. Sadly, and I may keep saying this until more than two people get it, that will not stop until people stop reacting with their emotions. Someone once said, "Hate the sin, not the sinner." I think that was Jesus, and so many of the people reacting with hate and anger call themselves Christians?

Hmmmmm.

That's it for my rants today. Aren't you glad? Just for fun I took a picture of my cats this morning. All four of them are on the edge of my desk watching the birds that are fluttering around in the flowerbed. The cats are twitching tails and ears and wishing there was no glass between them and the birds.Every now and then I hear a little chirp and it is one of the cats talking to the bird. I wonder if Harry is saying, "Come here little bird. I won't hurt you."

Harry is the black cat closest to the window
Now for some Friday Funnies. This first one is from Luann by Greg Evans. Luann's parents, Nancy and Frank are sitting at the table in the kitchen working with some papers and Nancy says, "I can't believe it's another new year already."

"No kidding," Franks says. "Time is flying by. When I was a carefree kid, a year lasted forever. Now that I don't have a spare second, the days flash by. Life is backwards."

Nancy looks at him in surprise. "You'd rather rush through joyful childhood and crawl through grumpy old age?"

"Maybe I wouldn't BE grumpy if I had more T... " He looks up. "Wait a minute. How did I become a grumpy old man all of a sudden?"

She goes back to the paper she was writing on. "Time is flying by."

Here's one from Pickles by Brian Crane. Opal is sitting in the overstuffed chair, surrounded by hangars. Nelson stands in front of the chair watching what she is doing. Earl leans on the back of the chair and asks, "What are you doing with all those hangars, Opal?"

"I'm crocheting colorful covers for them."

"Silly question... Why do they need covers?"

"Covers keep clothes from slipping off the hanger. And they're pretty."

"Ah that makes sense." Then Earl walks off with Nelson and says, "I didn't have the heart to tell her I could accomplish the same thing in a tenth of the time with a roll of friction tape."

Finally, this one from Crankshaft by Batiuk & Ayers. Crankshaft and his son-in-law, Jeff, are watching a news program on television and the weather forecast starts. The meteorologist says, "This is the big one, people. The mother of all snow storms.

"We're not going to get inches of snow...!!! But FEET of snow.

"We're going to get snow, snow, snow... and even MORE SNOW!!"

Crankshaft looks at Jeff and says, "He must get paid by the flake."

Another new feature I would like to start on the blog is "Writing Wisdom". Each week I will add some bit of inspiration or advice that I find helpful. This week I found a piece that Anna Elliot wrote,  In Praise of Quitting, for Writer Unboxed, and I found her article very helpful in thinking about projects that we start and then abandon.  I'll just post a short excerpt here, but do click over and read the whole article. It is well worth your time.
Now, maybe I’ll go back to the abandoned story someday.   At some point, I’ll at least pull it out of the drawer and give it a read-through to see if there’s something there.  Maybe there is, maybe there’s not.  But that’s the good thing about stories.  They’re very forgiving.  They’re not going to be mad at you that you walked away and left them to sit idle for a couple of months or even years.  Sometimes they actually even reward you for having walked away by suddenly revealing to you just what the fatal flaw was that made them impossible to finish before.

6 comments:

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Happy New Year! I agree with your rants. Used to be, no one (or at least, very few) would even consider throwing trash around the way people do today. What a shame.

It's nice to see all four of your cats sitting side-by-side.(By-side-by-side) We only have two, and we tried very hard to introduce a third one into the household when her owner abandoned her. Didn't work. At all. We had to take her to the shelter, and that still bothers me.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I don't think that's the only concern. I'm surprised to see it in DALLAS, though. Californians are surprised we still use plastic bags.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/hawaii-plastic-bag-ban_n_4525000.html

http://kdvr.com/2013/08/13/denver-leaders-consider-5-cent-charge-to-use-plastic-or-paper-bags/

It's not just about a handful of rude litterbugs. It's about you and me, tossing them in our household trash, filling up landfills with a product that's not biodegradable.

Maryann Miller said...

Susan, the black cats are litter mates and came here first as kittens. Then a year later the other two came as litter mates. It didn't take too long for them all to start getting along, which was good. I did have a female cat dumped out here a few months ago that none of them would accept, so she had to go to the shelter. I wasn't happy about that, but I couldn't find a home for her.

Holly, the litter issue is about so much more than just the plastic bags, which are recyclable if folks would just do that. But I do appreciate seeing other viewpoints. As with so many other environmental issues, there is no easy answer, but taking more individual responsibility for what we do is a good first step.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Absolutely no argument there. Just wanted to point out it wasn't about litterbugs so much as about reducing landfill or raising revenues to deal with the increasing waste problem. If you search the Internet for "plastic bag ban," you'll see it's coming...everywhere. Coastal communities have a more urgent need, because plastic makes its way to the oceans and injures/kills marine life.

Maryann Miller said...

Holly, I, along with several of my kids, am really into recycling and putting less and less out in the trash that has to go to the landfill. Reuse, recycle, and compost are key words for us. If every family would make an effort to cut in half what they set out to go to the landfill, think of what an impact that would make.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Yep! It would. This just helps to offset the costs of those who choose not to. I've dug out my reusable bags and started trying to work in shopping with a good walk. But maybe not ALL the week's shopping after a 3 mile walk... I should've worked up to that one.