Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What's good about living in Canada?

Let me see now.

It's not January or February.

It's not the fine upstanding politicians.

As he so often does, Seth Godin has the answer. It's Robertson screws.

These are so damn good they must be just about the best thing about Canada.

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Sounds of summer

As I stepped out of the workshop a few nights ago I heard a moth battering itself against a light. The spring peepers were going at it, though not as deafeningly as a month ago. But the real treat was the snipe making its strange winnowing sounds from high over head. Last year we had no snipe and really missed its aerial performances, so this years return was very pleasing.

The next morning I was looking out the bedroom window when something 'whooshed' by the open window. I was just in time to see a raptor chasing one of the pigeons that feed here. It made a brave attempt to get away, but got caught crossing the field, at which point the two birds seemed to merge into one and fly off into the woods. I say 'raptor' because I really couldn't identify the attacker, though my best bet is that it was a sharp shinned hawk.

There was a small pile of downy feathers on the lawn, so it must have made a first strike there. A little later I noticed a couple of barn swallows picking up the feathers, presumably to line their nest.

This year has seen a huge increase in the number of squirrels and snow-show hares. The bunnies seem exceptionally laid back and come right up to the house. One evening I saw three sat in our drive way, and once disturbed one right up on our verandah.

On the other hand, ruby-throated humming bird numbers seem to be low this year. Usually they are battling over the feeders and we have to put up four feeders to try and keep them satisfied. This year two feeders seems sufficient, and I haven't seen a single fight. The weather this year has been cold and wet, so maybe they gave up on their migration and nested further south.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

"They" should do something about it.

Boating blogger (say that quickly ten times over) Sue, of Retirement with No Problem, draws my attention to some fairly typical bureaucratic nonsense in her post " River Rubbish - What a farce! "

It seems like the town council (someplace in England that I never heard of), the district council and the Environment Agency are passing the buck when it comes to clearing some junk out of the local river. You know it is getting petty when they start involving lawyers, when they should in fact be sitting around a table together and figuring out how they could work together to solve a problem for the citizens and taxpayers that pay their wages.

Of course, the chances of that happening are pretty remote. So maybe the local citizenry needs to stop complaining that ' "they" should do something about it ', roll their sleeves up and clear their river up themselves. Done properly, and with the support of the media, they might even be able to use name and shame tactics to get someone in authority to take responsibility for this river.

There are of course bigger issues at play. Like why do some morons feel that it is ok to dump stuff in the river in the first place?

Most importantly, why are various levels of government, and the organisations within them, allowed to pass the buck like this?

Maybe because the rest of us let them? Maybe because we let them forget who they work for, and who pays their wages?

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