August 7th, 2006


You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille

Well, collinsmom went down to Razzberry last night and got all moved in. Classes started this morning at 8:30. *gasp* Pray for her, please.

I staggered up and read my e-mail, got the trash put together to take out and went to my office. Dropped The Pathfinder (newsletter of SI-NAUMS) in the mail, along with an anniversary present for stryck and anher (their 5th is August 11).

Got home, ate an early lunch, and addressed myself to the task of gruntling the dog. Poor Sassy has been overheated, bored, and depressed. And this morning, I found some dry crunchy turds under my computer desk that weren't there last night. They looked a bit small for doggy doo, and a bit large for kitty caca, but Cuthbert having his own litter box, I figure they're Sassy's.

So I took Sassafras to Flatwoods Park and did a big ol' nature trail with her. She got a chance to get her paws muddy and sniff all sorts of weeds and scents left by other critters. The cicadas were singing, birds were fluttering in the underbrush. Good stuff. I gave her some water, then put her back in the air-conditioned car for a ride through the country. She's exhausted, but happy, and I figure she'll be good for a while.

Now, there's laundy, a pile of dirty dishes, and who knows what else to be done. Then there's more unpacking (O, be joyful). My goal is to clear the attic door today, so I can get upstairs and reach -- MORE boxes (yay! I win).

Luckily, there are few big deals going on in the parish this week. I do need to get around and meet some of my shut-ins. And this weekend, I'm supposed to go with that_guy_zach up to Naperville, IL, for a wedding reception for friends who got married in Africa last month. But that's about it.


They call me Mr. Natural

My visit to Flatwoods Park with the dog today caused me to muse upon Nature. Specifically, to muse upon the interaction of the public with parks. You see, they are in the process of taking a really nice little nature trail out at this park and paving it to death. I mean, we're talking an eight foot wide, raised concrete driveway all around the loops of the trail, with big honkin' bridges and stuff.

I suppose there are trade-offs to be made for accessibility's sake. You want the public -- all of the public, including people in wheelchairs and babies in strollers -- to be able to enjoy the great outdoors which their (families') taxes pay for. On the other hand, paving Nature in order to enjoy it seems self-defeating to me.

And when we go from this little old county park to our crown jewels, the National Park System, you face the same problem in greater magnitude. Yes, we'd like everybody to see the Smokies or Yosemite. But do we want to make it so easy to visit that we build all-asphalt "camp" grounds for gas-guzzling, polluting RVs?

Call me a hippie, but doggone if this song doesn't run through my brain:
Don't it always seem to go,
that you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
Pave Paradise, put up a parking lot.

I guess, though, that we have to make some compromises. Perhaps there is a scale of compromises. Some places need to be completely accessible to everyone who wants to go there, no matter their degree of mobility or style of travel. And some places need to be severely restricted to people who are willing to make considerable effort to prove their ability to Leave No Trace -- and if you need a wheelchair ramp, too bad. And there are several degrees of accommodation to be made between those two extremes, I think.

So, I have a set of questions for my LJ friends.Collapse )
roadkill soup

Okay, I've had it with Animal Planet

I was just watching a special on predators (first sharks, then scorpions or something). Anyway, the host is seen ripping across the Desert Southwest on an ATV.

The desert is one of the most fragile environments on earth, and ATVs are basically just a way of saying, "the world is my cesspit."