Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recently Thunk Thoughts (#192)

As many of you know, I embrace new developments in technology like I would a porcupine. But Google, which I use as the home page on my computer’s browser, has some spiffy stuff you can add to your page, like weather reports, sports scores etc. I’ve added quite a few of them and it hardly hurt at all.

My favourite of these (and please forgive if I’ve mentioned this before) is a virtual sticky note. I’m an inveterate note-jotter. My house is chock-full of notebooks, pieces of paper and old envelopes with memos scribbled on them.

The problem with paper notes is they’re so darn easy to lose track of. Not only that, but the mere writing of a task-to-be-done on a piece of paper gives me a sense of accomplishment. So much so, that I often no longer feel compelled to actually do the task itself. Obviously, it doesn’t need to be done immediately, or there’d be no need for a note. Which goes a long way towards understanding why my house looks like it does. Somewhere under all the notes lurks a mess.

But I digress.

I’ve been using the virtual notepad to jot down ideas that might be worth writing about sometime. The beauty of it is, it never goes away. I see the notes all the time. Eventually, I get around to expanding on one and presto - I have a column/blog post!

Recently, I jotted down three thoughts. I’m too lazy to expand each into a column right now so I’ll just toss ‘em out there.

Thought #1:

I forget what prompted it exactly, probably some whining from one of the lads when I asked him to do something. But I got to thinking of what the definition of a “real” man was and came up with this: One who does a job that needs doing* without complaint or expectation of reward or praise.

I’m aware that this could apply to a woman too, of course. So let’s make it a definition of “maturity.”

Thought #2:

If your needs are simple, they’re more easily met - leaving you more time (and probably money) to pursue desires.

I think a lot of folks confuse the two, equating desires with needs. That can lead to all manner of problems, not the least of which are children who don’t spend enough time with their parents. You might need a new car but that doesn’t mean it has to be an Audi. Dial your expectations back to the basics - food, shelter, clothing (which ain’t the same as haute cuisine, a mansion and designer duds). You’ll be happier. And have more time for fishing.

Thought #3:

All dogs are not created equal.

If you believe slavish obedience is an important quality in a dog, and apparently many people do, don’t ever get a Jack Russell Terrier. Different breeds suit different people. Some of the unhappiest marriages I’ve witnessed have been between mismatched pets and owners. In these instances, both parties suffer but the animal more so. Please do your due diligence before purchasing or adopting any animal. Talk to friends and neighbours about their pets. Consult a vet for recommendations.

You’ll be glad you did and so will the new addition to your family.

* The key words here are “needs doing.” If the task wasn't urgent, one might get by with simply jotting down a note.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Winter Pics - Starring Benny

Ben appears to be none-too-sure about all this white stuff in the backyard. (You can click on each photo to see them a little larger.)

Before too long though, he's carved himself a path.

The stream tunnels under a small ice bridge. Wouldn't trust it with my weight. Not that I'm large. Heck no. It's the heavy winter clothing. Boots alone are like, 11 pounds. Each.

That tall, oh-so-slim shadow gives you a clue as to the angle of the sun.

Winter's serene, icy beauty is undeniable. In the background, a cedar tree supports its fallen cousin, a victim of a strong nor'easter.

Ben, ever vigilant, suspects the presence of his arch-enemy, Mr. Squirrel.

About two weeks ago, we experienced a sudden thaw and heavy rain. As always, the combination resulted in flooding. The creek usually meanders placidly to the far right of Sons #1 & #2. Here, you can see it running down the center of the pathway, as well as from the left, having curled its way through a stand of cedars.

Back indoors, I took this shot through my none-too-clean kitchen window. Four fluffy mourning doves shelter in a window planter.

The bird feeder out front has been busy this winter, as evidenced by a couple of sparrows and a cardinal, patiently waiting his turn.

Ben is fascinated with Lucy, our African Grey parrot. He doesn't know quite what to make of her and follows her around whenever she's out of her cage. Lucy knows exactly what she'd like to make of Ben -- mincemeat.