There Is a Canadian In My Garden – Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

The Canadian is in my garden again…

I woke up in the morning, went downstairs to grab my cup of coffee, and saw him once again shoveling in my garden.

I forgot about my coffee, immediately stormed out into my porch and was starting to shout when something caught my eye, and I stopped.

It wasn’t just Joseph this morning.

There were tents all across the neighborhood.   Cars were parked on my neighbors’ lawns, and there were so many campfires that a smoky haze had settled over the street.  “What the heck…” I said to no one in particular.  I could feel that my mouth was hanging open.  I didn’t care.  I was too stunned.

There were men — Canadians, presumably — all over the place.

Several were digging holes, one was hoeing, and one was hacking at the Johnsons’ tree.  One was even building a small house in the (appropriately) Woodsen’s backyard.   I looked at Joseph, my utter surprise surely written across my face.  He had a satisfied — smug — expression on his face.  “I told you,” he said.  “This is my land.  And this (he waved out at the entire neighborhood– is all of our (he motioned to all the men and tents) land.”  After a moment, he added, “And we are from Canada.”

“Holy heck,” I said under my breath, looking all around me.  I didn’t know how to respond.  What was happening?  It seemed like another hallucination.  But it wasn’t.  What does one do when something so outrageous as this happens in a civilized city?  I’ll just call the police, I thought.

Already my neighbors were appearing on their porches.  The Crosbys stood in stunned disbelief.  Mr. Johnson raced to protect his tree.  Suddenly, Woodsen, an older gentleman — a Vietnam vet and a notorious hothead — emerged with a gun.  “Get off my property!” he hollered, and when no one moved he leveled the gun and shot the Canadian building the house.

Before the echo of the gun had died away, all chaos broke loose.

The wounded Canadian screaming in pain, neighbors chasing after the Canadians, some Canadians racing to the aid of their friend while others ran for safety.  One of the Canadians hurled a shovel, which narrowly missed both the Crosbys.

It was mayhem.

But soon the Canadians were climbing in their cars.  The sound of many cars roared to life, the cars all pulled into gear at once as though on queue, and soon after there was a louder roar as the Canadians raced to safety.

As the last of the cars turned onto the street and drove away, we all whooped for joy at once.  We’d chased off the Canadians!  But then the joy settled into bemusement and even perhaps a little fear.

Wait a minute, we all seemed to think at once.  What was happening?  Why were Canadians treating our neighborhood like a campground?  Would they come back?

Clearly my incident with Joseph had not been an isolated event by a wigged out Canadian.  Something more was at work here.  But what?

Copyright 2017, all rights reserved.

There Is a Canadian In My Garden – Part 2

A quick conversation with a farmer at the Farmer’s Market about her work schedule and season…

The farmer I often buy my berries from every week at the Farmer’s Market looked tired this week. So I asked, “How many Farmer’s Market do you attend a week?”  “Six,” she said.  “We have markets every day but Monday, when we go to Pike Place Market.  So we basically work seven days a week.”  They start getting very tired about this time of year, she said, when they’ve been running to farmers markets every day all summer for months, often on only a few hours of sleep.  “At this time of year, we wake up more tired than when we went bo bed.”  “Do you do this all year?” I asked.  “No!” she said.  “Through October.  Then we are down to 1 day a week. We go through this every year.  The season starts and we’re excited because we are bored, then by this time of year we are tired and ready for the break again.”  

A quick conversation with a farmer at the Farmer’s Market about her work schedule and season…

What ruined the Earth and resulted in Donald Trump – the end of the last ice age maximus

120k ago the last ice age reached its peak – for a million years preceding this humans were trapped on Africa. But 60k years ago the ice retreated enough that humans had room to move – a short time later they burst out of Africa and within a few thousand years had covered the planet. Thus began the exponential process that put us where we are today – overcrowding, pollution, globalization, libertarianism, imperialism and Donald Trump. We don’t need Armageddon, terrorism or guns to start over and to spare us from Trump – we just need the glaciers to come back!

What ruined the Earth and resulted in Donald Trump – the end of the last ice age maximus

“Button, Button” by Richard Matheson was an awesome story turned into a Twilight Zone episode and should be mandatory reading for every person in the world

I first read “Button, Button” in 1994 when teaching High School English. I’ve never forgotten the story, and should be mandatory reading every single grade school classroom in the world, as we live it every single day of our lives.

In the story, a woman is given a box with a button on top.  She learns that if she pushes the button, two things will happen.  First, she will be given cash (I believe it was 10K, which in today’s dollars would probably be 100-200K).  Second, someone in the world that she would never meet otherwise will die.  The question is, would she push the button to cause a random stranger’s death in return for cash?

I love this story, and it’s a powerful theme we face every single day.  For example, if we buy inexpensive but fashionable clothing, we are choosing to endorse companies employeeing low-wage poverty-stricken sweatshop workers (e.g. see “Life in Debt” about workers in Jamaica).  If we watch NFL football, we are allowing billionaires to exploit the largerly lower class, who give up their bodies and brains and job security for a shot at a season or two in the NFL (very few players end up rich).  If we allow CxOs to pay themselves millions of dollars in bonuses while employing working poor by shopping/eating at companies who employ these CxOs, if we continue to allow Boeing and Safeway and Apple and Amazon and Walmart and Alaska Airlines and Ford and so on to continue to control our government,   if we allow for-profit companies to control our healthcare and food supplies, etc etc etc – we are pushing the button.  

So many times, all of us are pushing the button — allowing unseen people to live in misery so we can have something — we are pushing the button.

I’ve gotten better about pushing the button.  I am wearing lulu lemon gym clothes from three seasons ago, I buy my fruit from the local farmers market and my groceries from the locally owned market (although both are more expensive), we grow a lot of our own herbs, I give food to the homeless I see on the street, and I’ve cut down on my NFL watching.  You literally can’t pay me to shop at Walmart, and I take the bus instead of driving.  I have a long way to go, and I will continue to try to get better.  

“Button, Button” by Richard Matheson was an awesome story turned into a Twilight Zone episode and should be mandatory reading for every person in the world

Never Tire of “Survive and Advance…”

I love the ESPN documentary of the 1983 NC State National Championship.  Inspiring, touching, interesting, funny, and nostalgic all at the same time. I watched it this evening for perhaps the 10th time hoping it would improve my fatigue — it didn’t work, but at least I enjoyed the film 🙂

Never Tire of “Survive and Advance…”

Loving the bus

Nearly every day I don’t have client meetings, I take the bus. It means a minimum of 10 blocks of walking (5 blocks each way) and instead of worrying about the road, I stare at my phone, stare out the window, cloes my eyes and think or (best of all) close my eyes and don’t think.  So I’m more fit, less stressed and promoting less traffic and less fossil fuels.  What is not to like?

Whenn I was in high school, I was bussed across the city as part of the desegregation initiative, which means there were a number of times I took public transportation nearly 2 hours.  Those were simple times, and riding the bus today — as a 40-something — takes me back to those times.

Loving the bus