Tag Archives: Ramblings

I Believe, the Geese Don’t

One-word Daily Prompt: Believe

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/believe/


I often ride my bike to a nearby condominium complex that has a man-made pond with a fountain at its center. I also enjoy dozens of ducks and Canadian geese that gather in and around that site. A couple of times this year, I saw a huge white swan floating on the water. I nearly took out my phone to take a picture. Another time I saw two swans floating around.

I told myself, next time I will snap a photo of those swans. So on another bike ride, I saw a swan floating majestically at the far end of the pond. As I rode around the curve of the water, I noticed something that looked like a white board jutting out of the water. As I got closer I realized that board was the underbelly of a swan decoy. The geese must have done a massive shoulder shrug (do they have shoulders?) and probably head-butted that phony swan onto its side.

This saved me the humiliation of looking like a fool in front of the owners of those condos while snapping photos of swan decoys. Also my friends and relatives didn’t have to feign admiration of my phony birds.

I went home and discovered websites devoted to selling tools to get rid of geese and their large piles of poop. (Poop like a goose for a reason.) I won’t get started on the piles of waste produced by other animals (ahem, humans), maybe another blog post.

One goose-riddance website said that, “White Swans are very territorial, making it great to help keep geese away!” These geese saw through this deception, I did not.

If the swans don’t work, and apparently they don’t, the website also sells dive-bombing drones for geese removal.  Great, now I can enjoy the water and birds while getting more paranoid by that drone following me. Or is it repelling geese? I usually look on the dark side so I’d guess that dive-bombing drone is out for my blood.

By Peter Massas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Only a Planet

One-Word Daily Prompt: Planet

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/planet/


I’m egocentric. The only planet that matters to me is earth despite the fact that an infinite number of planets may exist.

In my high school days, ecology became the darling of the media and school discussions. Save the planet before we kill it.  “The Population Bomb” was our bible. Earth Day celebrations began and recycling was the buzzword.

My recycling center accepts only clear glass. And I often wonder how many resources recycling actually preserves after factoring in the recycling process. Trucks must haul the used glass, it must be cleaned and remade into another item. Is there a net benefit after all?

The plant hardiness zone of my metropolitan area changed from a cooler 5 to a warmer zone 6. The climate warmed due to  a greater cluster  of people living together; more people, cars, concrete, and steaming piles of garbage.

“The Population Bomb” preached the dangers of the exponential growth of the human population on the planet. The human population still grows every year, but it has slowed down since the highest point in the 1960’s when the book was published.

Today a massive increase of machines/technology shows no sign of slowing down. Computers increase in numbers at astounding rates along with their voracious appetite for fuel.

It is hard to believe that electrically powered machinery did not exist 150 years ago. The instinctive reach for a light switch is as natural to us as breathing.

Machines/technology create better sanitation, crop yields, medical care, making life easier so we love it. Machines require fuel and pollute the planet, making the planet exposed to more toxic waste so we hate it. Machines replace the labor of humans, making life more economically difficult, less meaningful and, coming full circle, making life harder.

Logically the only way to save the planet is by moving backwards. We would have much less including less people, less machines, less stuff. But the planet will probably move on as it has been until machines and people eat up all our natural resources. Feed life or machines. Or will that be one and the same thing? Maybe the planet will just shoo us pesky life forms off the surface.

Nobody Home

DAILY PROMPT
Our House
What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/our-house/


An old, two-story, two-family home in the city. The upstairs was an exact footprint of the downstairs: three bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen.

A very small patch of a yard both front and back. No driveway, only an alley to the garage. The pathway between the house and the neighbor’s was so narrow that you could stretch your arms out and touch the sides of each house.

A girl my age lived in that house so close to us. I played with her through the fence. I don’t remember ever playing with her in the yard. I don’t know why.

The neighbor lady on the other side of us kept boarders. I remember watching her iron clothes one night through a bedroom window that looked into her dining room. About six or seven of her boarders sat around and watched her iron clothes that probably belonged to them. Sometime during my peeping experience, one of the boarders spied me spying on them through the window. They laughed and I ran off.

The key to the house was the hollow, barrel type that may have last been popular a hundred years ago. I still have it since it is an interesting looking thing. If I were crafty I would display it in a nice memory box. No such luck, I have no artsy motivation.

Before I was born, coal used to get dumped through a basement window to power the furnace. The company that probably delivered the coal was People’s Ice & Coal Company. I know that because I still have an awl with their company name imprinted on it, possibly a marketing tool (literally) for their customers. The ice they sold for those ice boxes used to keep food fresh before the electric cord took over. Their motto: Save Food, Flavor, Money With Ice.

The kitchen had neither counters nor cabinets. A pantry right off the kitchen made up for the lack of storage space. An old gas stove sat about a foot away from the wall because it was connected to a large pipe that sat between it and the wall. I remember because I used to hide back there sometimes.

The china cabinet in the seldom used dining room had a ring-style door pull that I repeatedly tried to unscrew from the inside of the door. They said I would become an engineer because of this curiosity in how stuff works. They were so wrong.

Victrola from the attic

Victrola from the attic

When we were moving, the attic was empty except for a wind-up Victrola. They let me ride my tricycle in the attic that day they packed up. From the attic level, the stairway had no railings, it was only a rectangle hole in the floor. I rode toward the hole and down the stairs. I survived as you can see. The Victrola did not, it never made it to the new house.

The day we moved, I stayed in the empty house with my grandmother. I had the house key which was attached to a ribbon. I was terrified of the unoccupied upstairs flat and yet I kept running up and down to the second level, throwing the key out the open window. I must have done this dozens of times before my mother came back to bring me to the new house.

Now the bottom floor was deserted too. I don’t think we locked the door. Soon the wreaking ball came and leveled the house.

Doh!

An HB thought regarding Homer Simpson and his frequent use of “Doh.”

Matt Groening claims that the expression came from an actor in the old Laurel and Hardy movies.  I say the word is a homophone based on the acronym for the Department of Energy or DOE. That’s my spin.

Homer works at a nuclear power plant where safety is not a major concern.  The Department of Energy is a massive government bureaucracy that can frustrate people as well as the next government bureaucracy.  Nuclear energy has a brand new PR that states it is one of the safest forms of energy today. This new PR may be a trick to mislead us into thinking it is benign.  Since we need more energy sources, losing a few lives to the manufacturing of it is acceptable.

And don’t get me started on nuclear waste storage.  There is no safe place to put it.  We can’t truck it across the country to some designated waste site, the cost to keep it safe on its journey is prohibitive.  The waste will stay right next to the plants that produce it. The more plants, the more waste, the more chances for error.  I say “Doh” to nuclear PR.