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Rumilluminations June 2010
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Tue, June 01 2010 - 6:58 pm

June 30, 2010                                  Valparaiso, IN

Last night I dreamed that I couldn't fit puzzle pieces together as well as I used to.  These were harder than jigsaw puzzle pieces - more three dimensional - and it was a spatial mental problem I was having.

When I got up this morning, I remembered my dream and thought, "Maybe that is just my memory - maybe I was never that good at that kind of problem-solving, anyway."

But no - it couldn't just be my memory, because that has gone 'bye-'bye, too!

Ah, the joys of over-sixtyhood!          

June 29, 2010                                      Valparaiso, IN

I can't believe almost half the year is gone already.

A fire in the vicinity of Flagstaff Arizona has left acres of land ruined, arousing speculation that the landscape will not recover for one hundred years.

What about the oil spill in the Gulf?  How long will it take the Gulf waters and wildlife to recover?

Will they, ever?

The last three months have been very discouraging.

June 28, 2010                                      Valparaiso, IN

The other day I saw my first Japanese Beetle of the year.  It is hard to believe that just two years ago they were crawling over roses and rose of Sharon shrubs by the dozens.

It's just the normal rise and fall of populations, maybe.  Or maybe all our anti-Japanese beetle techniques worked.

Last week I was talking to a clerk in a health food store about growing fruit flies in bottles with agar-agar cornmeal medium in the bottom for a lab at Valparaiso University. The fruit flies who miss out on the transfer to new bottles when the old medium gets too used up end their little lives in the autoclave under intense heat and pressure.

I said we need to clean up our global act or we might mess up our environment so much it is unliveable.

She seemed stunned.  "I hope you aren't saying we are like fruit flies."

Oops.  Of course I was.  Guess it depends on us.  Can we manage to think and plan a little better than fruit flies?

I hope so.

But populations rise, and populations fall.  It seems to be true for human civilizations.

Have we proven ourselves so different from the rest of nature yet, that we can hope to be exempt from that pattern?

Oh, well.  It's almost midnight.  Maybe I'm just turning into a pumpkin.  Now!

June 27, 2010                                  Valparaiso, IN

Yesterday we went to Ogden Gardens and saw (we think) Leland the turtle.  I think it was Leland because he stuck his head up and actually followed the sound of my partner's voice as he moved along the bridge.

Of course I am only half serious, but usually the turtles don't seem so interested in us.

A few minutes later we saw a very young rabbit searching around the mulch looking for something to eat.  It kept moving closer and closer to us.  Strange.

It found a young plant and we watched it begin to eat.  We thought we would hang around until he moved on and then try to identify what he was eating.

He didn't move on until he had stripped it bare, including the growing tips!  A leaf left on the ground looked like an elm leaf and felt rougher than a cat's tongue.  Yum, yum!

While we were watching, we noticed the reddish brown of his still very small front legs.  He also had a little white dot in the middle of his forehead.

After he finished, he kept wandering towards us until he was actually a foot or two from my partner's feet!  This baby needs to learn something about the real world!  Maybe in this wonderful park, though, it is the real world.

On our way home we saw a rabbit of comparable size bolt and run before we got within twenty feet of it.

Funny how a half-mile can change a creature's definition and response to "reality!"

June 26, 2010                                                Valparaiso, IN

I have just been to my second birthday party for a ninety-year-old within the last seventeen months.  I think it is also the second in my life, although we might have had a nuclear family 90th birthday party for my great aunt while she was staying with us 50 years ago.

I was young and foolish then (not that I'm not now!) and I don't recall any such occasion.

When I was in my twenties I thought that growing to a ripe old age was no great accomplishment.  After all, it wasn't the old days.  I was born years after social security was enacted into law.  Why should we automatically respect old people?

We are, as a people (or were, for a while - I guess that is changing again) getting better at living longer, but that doesn't mean it is easy.  Surviving takes toughness.  You have to have all kinds of skills and fortitude just to stay alive.

As many as our forebears?  That I can't say.

But I strongly suspect that for everything that is easier, something else is harder.

So congratulations, all those who have attained the age of ninety years!

You have my admiration, even if the young'uns don't have a clue about what it took you to get there!

June 25, 2010                                     Valparaiso, IN

It was good to hear on Rachel Maddow's show last night that General McChrystal is a liberal.  I guess my fantasies about the far right grabbing hold of him are just that!

Except they have grabbed hold of him, politically speaking, I guess, for propoganda purposes.

Without his permission, I'm sure!

Today about 15 million Americans lose their unemployment compensation.

It continues to bother me that Congress (in this case the Republicans, especially) is willing to spend so much money on war and not for the welfare of perfectly innocent people who just got unlucky in this severe repression.

I'm trying to think of a common thread in the thinking of these people, and one has occurred to me.

It is blame.  For many people, unfortunately, a seemingly sacred flame. 

June 24, 2010                                     Valparaiso, IN

I like the word evolution for change of systems and government, etc.

The use of the word "revolution" by militiamen and survivalists (pardon me if I am confusing different concepts, but I think the cross section between these two might be significant), as if these folks were taking us back to our roots makes my blood run cold.

If you folks take up arms against the government, it will be an attempted coup.  Even civil war is too grandiose a term for the strife and casualties that would result.  Most of us, while very unhappy about many conditions in our lives and environment, could only be harmed by civil unrest.

"Civil war" should not be a phrase to stir an emotion, except perhaps dread. 

"Would you please don't?", as an old boyfriend of mine used to say.

June 23, 2010                                     Valparaiso, IN

I know I'm a wuss, but am I the only one made nervous by the racism, gay prejudice, and now President-criticizing of and by the military?

A bunch of loonies on the far right don't make me very nervous, but generals feeling free to be insubordinate does.

I hope our country is as grown-up as we seemed to be in the year 2008.

And I hope the far-out fringe doesn't manage to persuade a powerful military man to turn his war machine towards his own country.

Oh, well.  I probably have had too much of a dose of paranoia from reading Wildfire by Nelson DeMille!


June 22, 2010                                     Valparaiso, IN

Lewis Carroll wrote about the dangers of Jabberwocks.

I think he should have warned us about the dangers of Jigsaws - puzzles, that is.

We innocently drooped (after a workout, ha ha!) dropped by a garage sale and saw a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle of Proverbs by Pieter Breugel of the 16th century.

My partner has been studying the middle ages a lot, so the puzzle was tempting.  There were so many people doing so many silly things, at the same time displaying the dress of the people and common tools of the times.

It was unopened, (shrink-wrapped no less) and priced at only $2.00!  Who could resist?

Not I.  I forgot that freebies are the first gimmick of pushers!

Cheap or not, Proverbs is the biggest jigsaw puzzle I have ever worked with or without help.  It chews up and spits out more time than the computer game Bookworm. 

Alas for me, I had forgotten about the addictive nature of these beasties.

Jabberwoks must be fluffs by comparison!

So what if I was so enthralled by its variety of color and form that I lost track of the time had to drive the car to the dermatologist instead of ride my bike, thus losing exercise, burning more fuel and raising the cost of the puzzle from two dollars to four (gas money?)

So what if I'm reading less and developing a back-ache only compounded by my breaks from the puzzle to pick blackberries? 

True addicts really have no concern for the fact that their lives are being trashed by their addiction.

When we are done with this puzzle, who knows if I can kick the habit?

I've heard Breugel has another painting-turned-jigsaw with 5,000 pieces, probably no more vulnerable to completion than the building it is named for - the Tower of Babel.

I'm looking forward to it already!  Even if it does cost more than two dollars!

June 21, 2010                                       Valparaiso, IN

The longest day of the year, up here in the Northern Hemisphere.

Midsummer Night is approaching.

Make a list of everything you have done today.  You will be astounded.  And the day is not over yet!

If Shakespeare is correct, we will all be dreaming like crazy in the short nighttime hours ahead.

As for me, I would be grateful for a sleep of seven hours' duration, which I can't seem to achieve even in the winter.

I probably won't get it.  Instead I will be grateful for the monarch butterfly we saw floating and fluttering around our pink milkweed flowers.  The milkweeds, monarch caterpillar food, grow for nothing and are five feet high.

I'm grateful for the black raspberries which I have not so much as watered this year.  They look perfect and taste that way too.

I'm grateful for the nice bath I got to take after getting all hot and sweaty picking raspberries, and I'm grateful for the fact that if you to do that bendy twisty chore during the hot time of day , you don't get attacked by mosquitos.

Funny we don't hear as much about needing to feel grateful in the summertime, the way we hear about it at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is on the cold, nasty days we need to be reminded!

June 20, 2010                                        Valparaiso, IN

Do you want wars in the Middle East to protect "the American Way of Life?"

I got an appeal from the American Friends Service Committee for money which described our U.S. budget for wars.

The total for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is expected to reach 1 trillion dollars this year.

With that amount, AFSC says, we could provide our 15.3 million unemployed Americans with jobs paying $50,000 for one year and we would still have $235 billion left over to build schools, provide health insurance, and support other life-loving endeavors.

I wonder, why do we give our way of life more support than we give to American lives themselves?

Is living more self-indulgently than any king of former centuries more important to us than the lives of our neighbors' sons?

Is it more important to us than our own lives?

Our national budget says the answer to these questions is "yes."

To hell with our sick, nasty, selfish way of life if it means supporting wars of at best doubtful justification over the lives and health of our citizens!

As any addiction counselor will tell you, addiction is not freedom.

Our way of life is not free.  It is very costly indeed.

Yes, AFSC, I would love to support you in your fight against excessive military spending and giving class rosters to the military.

And I guess I have to admit that we who are not hawks are not being very effective in convincing others that these wars are not necessary.

I wish our emotionally paranoid human psyches could catch up with our rationalism and realistic ideals!

June 19, 2010                                       Valparaiso, IN

I'm in a half-seriously superstitious mood.  Today is feng shui day.

We gave away most of my partner's fish, and the last one died.

Now we have no water in our career area of the house.  Stagnant water isn't good for that area, but live fishy water is.

There are now six birds in that part of the house.  Hmm.. birds are kind of airy and squawky.  I've been feeling that my writing might be as noisy as the zebra finch.

The weird thing is, I'm getting more hits than ever on my website because of some sort of internet fluke, but it seems as if I am getting fewer real readers.

Maybe I'm wrong.  I know not all genuine readers get registered as hits on my map, because I've had people quote me to myself as proof that they saw my site.

But I'm in a superstitious mood.  After all, when I had a bread machine in the career portion of my cottage in Corvallis, OR I got a job in a bakery!

Didn't last long, but still....

Well.  It doesn't matter.  Persistence is one of the keys to success, so I'll keep on chirping away here.

Squeegie!  Squeegie!  Squawk!  Squawk!  Squawk!

June 18, 2010                                       Valparaiso, IN

Ha, ha, ha!  Life is so funny!  Yesterday I was inspired to write in Rumilluminations not at all, today I have already thought of four things to write about.

Or is it I who am funny?  Ha, ha, ha, maybe so.

At any rate, right now I'm laughing at the pompous souls who say, "I will not serve!"

We poor humans, and maybe all other critters for all I know, have no choice but to serve.

If you do not choose your form of service, the world will put you to use, anyway.  (Or perhaps, in speaking of and to the haughty souls who "will not serve" I should use the word "universe.")

Maybe your life will be made into a short story by Joyce Carol Oates.

Maybe your attitudes and escapades will be made into a cautionary tale for children or joke-fodder for adults in need of a little comic relief.

Maybe your sufferings will catapult you to be the subject of tragedy, but probably not.

Those tragic figures - kings and great scientists and such - have served.

No, those who will not serve are strictly comic material.

A very rich source of comic material!  And common.  We all know someone like you.

June 16, 2010                                                Valparaiso, IN

I don't get the Angle.

Limbaugh doesn't give me a Rush.

Rand does not inspire a strand of thought in me, and I don't like Paul, sainted or merely envisioned.

My thoughts of Palin are paling.

Bachman ain't Bach, man!

The tea party doesn't want to be tread upon - is tread a portmanteau combo of tea and read?  No wonder they say, "Don't tread!"  They don't read!

June 15, 2010                                       Valparaiso, IN

My feet are whispering.

I got some new footwear that has me walking on clouds.

I've already bought two pairs and thrown away my 12-year-old sandals - three pairs of them - that I bought on sale for 70% off.

Gone are the Georgia Boot sandals (I loved them- hiking boot soles and sandal tops.  They were heavy, too.  A drag to lift but good for bone strength.)

Gone are my black Italian sandals - the most graceful-looking sandals I have ever worn.  I could walk miles in them comfortably, too.

Gone are my red leather sandals that I kept getting compliments on even after the backs of the soles started peeling off.

I miss them, sure, but now my feet are shod in Keen Whispers.

I've bought two pairs, and am contemplating a third.

Well, gee.

I know it sounds extravagant, but it really isn't.  When you only wear any given shoe one day a week for half a year, they last forever.

What will I be buying for my feet in another dozen years?

That's what's so exciting - probably something I won't have even dreamed could exist.

Teletransportation via new shoes, anyone?  Little red glittery pumps ala the witch in the Wizard of Oz,  perhaps!

Or maybe shoes that use the neurons of your own body to transport you literally into virtual reality!

Hmmm... sounds like that might be an Oxyfordmoron!

June 14, 2010                                      Valparaiso, IN

"Silence means assent."

The hell it does.  In my experience, it doesn't.

The proposal, "Let's go to the gazebo," met by absolute silence, means "No."

So forget that "silence means assent" shit, especially if you are dealing with a passive aggressive who won't deal out a downright "no."

If you are the kind of person who can't say no, I don't know what happened to you as a two-year-old, but repeat after me:

"No, thank you!"

"I'd rather not, but thanks, anyway."

"Please, no!"

Failing all else, "No no no no no nonononono!"

Or, "Noooooooooooo.....!" with a Doppler effect - fading as you run away.

June 13, 2010                                         Valparaiso, IN

For lack on any other compelling subject, I will do a little venting.

A couple of years ago at a family dinner, I made a comment about alcohol intake in Russia, or the amount that Russians drink being high.

One person at the table choked dangerously on her food, while another dinner companion, who is a very impressive man, said that my statement was a "misperception."

I backed off immediately, with the observation that maybe the people who had time to hang out and talk with journalists were heavy drinkers.

Since then, I have read several things that convince me that Russians used to drink (before Gorbachev, who successfully albeit temporarily improved the situation) and presently drink a deadly amount of vodka.  A newsmagazine (probably The Week)quoted some statistics in a brief article I read recently, and Fred Pearce writes more at length about the ups and downs of the problem of high alcohol use in Russia in his book The Coming Population Crash    

Political correctness has its place, but holding to it in denial of the facts is just that - denial.  Unhealthy silence about the truth.  I guess that's why Bill Mahr used to call his show Politically Incorrect.   

Perhaps it is time for the politically correct obsession to die a natural death before we all die of boredom.  Come to think of it, I haven't heard much about it lately, anyway.

Glory be to Reality!

Thus endeth the rant for this Sunday, the thirteenth of June, 2010.

June 12, 2010                                          Valparaiso, IN

Today, one of the longest days of the year, still seemed short.  At five o'clock the clouds were so dark it seemed like eight o'clock.

I guess it rained - I didn't hear it.

Last night I went outside and saw my first fireflies of the season.  There were quite a few, and I went inside and turned off the kitchen light so I could see them better.

Instead of more, there were fewer.

I didn't know whether the loss of light turned off their inspiration, or whether they just drifted off across the neighborhood in their search for mates.

During the sinister hours of the night, I imagined they got picked off by predator birds, the owls flying silent and low in the dark without me even seeing or hearing them.

June 11, 2010                                       Valparaiso, IN

I think the earth's loss of blood - the gulf oil spurt - is having an adverse effect on my environment.

I've had more spills to clean up in the last two weeks than I normally have in four months.

The washer tub overflowed.  My fault - I put the drain thingy in the sink.  It didn't just strain.  It plugged.

Consequence?  Gallons and gallons of water on the basement floor, cleanupable by me.

Spilled water.  Spilled milk.  Spilled flaxseed.  Spilled guacamole.

I honestly think the flow of oil out of the gulf south of here is causing a tilt or mushy part or something in the earth under me.

Anybody else noticed the same phenomenon?

I broke my favorite big thirty-five dollar water pitcher that holds our drinking water supply upstairs.

I broke one of my partner's favorite bowls, and one of his plates.

One of my best garage-sale scores, a delicate little oil-slick iridescent wineglass, broke last week.

I theorize there are minute particles of oil in the air, coating everything and making it all unusually slippery.

Today a bird pooped (or should I say guanoed?) on me for the first time in my life!

I suspect it was an act of revenge for what is happening to the bird kingdom on our southern shores.

June 10, 2010                                      Valparaiso, IN

Congratulations, Magnolia Springs, Alabama!  Go for it!  Save Your Shores!

I'm wondering why more citizens don't just take things into their own hands.  Literally.  Why don't Kevin Costner and his brother just get permission from some coastal town or from some relatively deserted beach and do their thing, separating oil from water?

One time I was at Ogden Gardens and I noticed (ha! "noticed" is hardly the word) - I was horrified to see the roses positively black with Japanese beetles.  I went knocking on the door of someone near the park and asked for a bucket with a few inches of warm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid.  He graciously complied (although he must have thought I was more than a little nutty!)

I took the bucket of soapy water over to Ogden Gardens and proceeded to knock about two hundred (yes, I counted) Japanese beetles into the water.  (Forgive me, Albert Schweitzer!)

It was hot and I got pretty tired, so I stopped at 200.  The rosebushes were still crawling with beetles.  I called the park system later and found out they had made some applications of spore.  They have also since planted other beetle-proof stuff like pinks, true lilies and daylilies in those beds.

In the last year or two there have been many fewer beetles.  I do like to think that my contribution made a difference, though.  If I broke any regulations, no one has called me out for it.

My point?

I think every little bit helps.

That's why I was so disappointed when Rachel Maddow picked up a healthy-sized blob of oil on a stick, deplored its presence in the Gulf, and then, in spite of the fact that I was imploring her aloud from Northern Indiana, "Please Rachel, put it in a bucket or a plastic bag, please!  Please, don't put it back in the water!  No, don't!  No!" allowed it, with a rueful grimace to plop back into the sea.

Oh!  She had such a "teachable moment" there!  She could have announced that she was going to spend the next hour or so cleaning up the Gulf! (no pun intended.)  What a wonderful example she would have set.

If the likes of Kevin Costner and Rachel Maddow would set such an example of concern and willingness to act in the face of what really is an emergency, many citizens would follow their lead - if only in hopes of a celebrity sighting!


June 8, 2010                                    Valparaiso, IN

Three of us went strawberry picking at Johnson's Farms on Highway 6 west of South Haven yesterday. 

It was a perfect day for it.  I wanted to quick get on my site and say, pick! Pick!  The high was in the low seventies, sunny with a light breeze.

Stuff intruded:  stemming some of the berries I had picked (their smallest, sweetest strawberries, the young man with the buckets, Ben, informed us);  then I had to take a much needed bath.  Before I knew it the day was half over.

It isn't the first time Marie and I have picked strawberries together, but this time we had the best weather and best picking.

Yet for the first time I thought of migrant workers listening to the Beatle's song about "Strawberry fields forever" and having a completely different feeling about it than we young'uns did.

One hour of stoop or squat labor strawberry picking is plenty!  But do it on the next good day.  Time is running out - strawberry fields might be forever but ripe strawberry time is not!

By the time you have pigged out on all the strawberries you have picked, it will be time to ponder the weighty question:  where will I do my blueberry picking this year?

To those in the South who need to get away from the depressing oil-engulfed waters, try coming to the cooler north for a while and pick berries instead of fishing.

Blueberries are much easier to pick than strawberries.  The shrubs can grow about as tall as we humans.

June 7, 2010                                     Valparaiso, IN

I have an idea about the gulf oil gusher.  How about if BP has to use every cent of the ultimate income from this oil to pay for the clean-up?

Only if it is enough, of course.  If more is needed, so bp it!

Are people trying to clean up those poor ducks and pelicans that we are seeing on the TV screen, the way people did after the Exxon Valdez oil spill?

Has any progress been made on the idea of oil companies putting funds in escrow for cleanup in case of any future spills?

How about the fact that bp is paying millions for advertisements at the time that its lawyers are reportedly trying to drown claimants against them under tons of paper?  Maybe there should be an injunction against them spending money on advertising that they may need to compensate people for their damages.

June 6, 2010                                        Valparaiso, IN

This morning we rode our bikes towards Ogden Gardens.  Suddenly my partner called, "Whoa!  Get a load of this!"

I turned back and saw a rock-like lump right at the edge of the road.  A turtle, cowering in his shell not knowing which way to turn.

Well, no wonder.  Two humans hovering over him, and where was he trying to go, anyway?  The only prospects before him were road and school bus parking lots.

My partner decided he had to be rescued.  The obvious place to take the turtle was Ogden Gardens, a scant quarter mile away.  There were ponds and turtles there.

We walked our bikes the rest of the way with Mr. Turtle in one of the baskets.  He was surprisingly agile about his escape attempts, but didn't manage to make a break.

We put him near a pond edge, with a choice of ground cover or water cover.  Amazingly enough, he chose the most direct route to the water, clattering down precipices almost as tall as he was long.  Clunk!  Smash!

Turtles would make good stunt doubles - er, stunt performers.

He disappeared below the water stat.

Afterwards, we saw a turtle surface in the pond separated by a rivulet from the one "our" turtle disappeared into.  Staring at us,he seemed to be thanking us for his safe return after a harrowing abduction by some little boy.

Of course it wasn't Leland.  It couldn't have been.  But because of that reappearance, he now has a name.

June 5, 2010                                   Valparaiso, IN

Yesterday was a helluva day.

It started out okay.  I mowed part of the lawn in the A.M. before the air conditioning guys came to install our (my mom's, that is, because she forks out the money for stuff like that (well, really, ultimately she forks out the money for the whole household!)) brand new energy saving air conditioner.

They came precisely when expected, earning my joking diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive, and were really lovely young guys.  They said ours was the pleasantest basement they had ever entered in an old house like ours. (If anyone needs basement restoring done, my partner will do it for a very reasonable price - not to say cheap!)

So far so good.

But midmorning I got a phone call that sent the day almost to hell.  It seemed someone had been using my wireless connection to  illegally download copyrighted stuff from the internet.  (Don't even think about it - the problem has been fixed!)  I'm wondering if that is why we have seen, once or twice lately, a vehicle hanging around in the street for no apparent reason.  Could people do such a thing from a vehicle?

And here I thought they might be gathering incriminating evidence against me for my sloppy composting habits!

That illegal transgression on the part of some unknown person cost me and my partner (and very pleasant Verizon tech services people) some five hours on the phone to correct.  (Well, part of that was just me trying to get hold of a real person.  Do you know how crazy-making it is to answer a bunch of irrelevant questions while - well, of course, you probably do.)

Five hours of stress, it was, which my partner melodramatically compared it to trying to safely land an unconscious pilot's airplane with static-y technologically Greek instructions from Control.

Survived, at last, and our day bumpingly returned to normal.  Better than normal really because we had a nice snack at Le Bonne Femme downtown with a very sweet and charming waitress.

Yesterday really was a great day with regards to support people!

Later I sat down to write later and wrote a surprisingly naasty few paragraphs, which I decided to delete almost immediately.  The only trouble is, I forgot to save the deletions, so that particular piece was up for two or three hours instead of two or three minutes.

Oh well, probably no one read it anyhow.  I don't know whether that is a relief or another cause for depression!

Well, at least the tech support people learned some stuff.  And we did too.

Don't leave your wireless connection unprotected!  Getting phone calls threatening potentially ruining lawsuits is not pleasurable!

But the neatest thing I learned is that if you don't have a real address bar on your internet page, you can left click up there on the tool bar and type in Ctrl o and get a window.

Now everything's totally cool.

We and the house!


June 3, 2010                                      Valparaiso, IN

Last night we had a rare good laugh at the dinner table.  My mom used often to quote an ancestor who used to say of the food at dinner, "It's very good, what there is of it."  Or alternatively, "There's plenty of it, such as it is."

The conversation turned in a different direction last night.

My mother had an aunt who was a country doctor.  One day she was asking her patient, a very old woman, whether she had bathed.  The old lady answered, "Well, I washed this way as far as possible, then I washed that way as far as possible."

My great-aunt's instant response:  "Go home and wash possible!"

June 2, 2010                                          Valparaiso, IN

Watching the newscasts about the gulf oil spill, I am completely mystified.

What with all the hazmat tools, techniques and operations on land, I would have thought there would be tons of options for working on oil cleanup.

Especially after the Valdez spill, you would think there would be all kinds of technology just waiting to spring into action at this goilorious oilportunity:

Vacuum cleaners to vacuum up oil and sand and separate them.

Chemicals that just love to combine with oil and transmute it into stuff you can put out to fertilize your gardens.  Modern day oilchemy - transmutation from oil to black gold!

New bacteria designed specifically to gobble up oil, then transform it in their microsopic bods into gases that would help lower the percentage of carbon in the air.

Super-charged particles of some nano-sized ilk or other that could sublimate that oil into carbon-eating compounds that could sink rock-like to the bottom of the ocean, cleaning up the oil gush and the global warming problem in one fell swoop!

Killing two or three birds  with one stone!  I love it - and every time I talk like that our birdies tremble.

June 1, 2010                                           Valparaiso, IN

Guess I'm still feeling foolish, since I wanted to write April 1.  Trying to turn back time against a weird spring and the Gulf oil gush.  Foolish, indeed.

I often fantasize about helping sandbag the banks of rivers during a flood.  But something in me shrinks at the idea of cleaning up oil from the beaches of our southern states.  I don't think it is strictly a health issue for me, although that looms large.

There is something in me that revolts giving my own time and energy for what I believe the oil companies should be doing.  Get your families out there to clean up, you upper echelons of moneyed oil power, and maybe I'll play lady bountiful and trot along to help.

I know the environment is more important than anything else, including religion.  (Praying, for instance, is not going to clean up one drop of oil from the gulf.  But go ahead and pray, if you are so inclined.  At least your heart is in the right place!)

Caring for my elderly mother, I don't really feel free to run around the country helping to mitigate disasters, anyway.

And this will be the clean-up job of the century.  I hope!

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