The "Fast" or "5&2" program actually seems to be working. 16 pounds in 9 weeks!



Negative emotions

Sadness -- frustration -- anger.

What makes me feel so badly is the terrible things happening to ordinary people all over the world, every day, more and more.

What makes it worse is knowing it doesn't have to be this way.

We have enough resources on this planet, right now, to feed, clothe, house, educate and give basic medical care to every single person alive today. But, because of the greed and selfishness of a very few -- and they are VERY few indeed -- we fail on a daily basis to do so.

Maybe everyone can't have an Olympic swimming pool, a three-car garage, organ transplants, world travel, and instant gratification of their every whim. I'd say it was a safe bet to say many, if not most people would let some or all of those things go if they knew they would live in a better, more productive, healthier and safer world. Which is what you get when you reduce the gap between the richest and the poorest, and allow the middle to grow.

I'm not talking about "class" here. Just money. And other resources, which money generally buys. Middle incomes can afford all the basics, and a few luxuries too. Plus help those less able to look after themselves.

Canada used to have a society closer to this ideal. We no longer do. I want it back.

My spouse is really good at delivering help one-on-one. Me -- not so much. I'm more of a big picture person.

So, while he builds stoves, gives micro-loans and fund-raises, I'm writing letters to politicians and supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Centre for Information. Because if we don't start soon, that ability to support the planet's population will vanish.

In my opinion, those very few ultra-rich had better start watching themselves, because if the have-nots they've come to rely on for their wealth start to collapse, they'll go with them. And so will we all.

This makes me angry. So I do what I can. Maybe it isn't enough, but I'm trying.


before bedtime

If I go down to the other end of the house just one more time, and wonder when I get there why I went, I think I'll scream.

I'm simply not ready to get old. Not in that or any other way. But my body has notions of its own. Not only is my brain full, my joints are creaky. I would so rather have grey hair than grey joints.

It's a given that life ends, but nobody is anxious for it to happen to them. It's to be hoped I'm not all that close to the end, and I certainly intend to enjoy many more years, but death is a fact. Lest I seem too despondent, I have pretty good genes in that regard. If I haven't totally wrecked myself, I should be good for another 25 years or more.

But, you never know. And some days it seems like I'm on the slippery slope.

I need a good laugh. Where's BBT when you need it?


Points of View

The piece I'm working on right now is giving me some trouble in terms of opposing points of view. I don't want the characters to be entirely black and white, because that would bore the reader. So, I've been casting around among my friends on facebook to look at how their friends approach different issues.

What I discovered truly shocked me. I suppose by now I should be use to the idea that some people are blind to the problems of others, and so self-centred that they feel no duty to assist their neighbours, but I hadn't realized how far into the mind-set of centuries gone by some people had gone.

When pejorative epithets like "undeserving poor", "free-riders", "greedy unionists", "whiny women", "eco-terrorists", "lying scientists" and others spout unchecked in the posts of some who espouse unbridled capitalistic growth, and when these speakers are thick on the ground, there is true cause for worry. Even moreso when they love their wallets more than their fellow humans.

So many of these cardboard characters seem to be Evangelical so-called Christians, many of whom seem to have forgotten the original purpose of their religion. Not much about charity, sharing, and duty to others there. It's all about greed and preventing anyone outside their narrow circle from sticking their hands in the pockets of the chosen few. For such people, while they await the "Rapture" it doesn't matter a damn what we do to the planet and each other in the meantime. Magical thinking isn't thinking at all. But it certainly does appeal to some.

Evolved principles like justice and equity have no place in the closed minds of so many today. Whether they're radical religionists, political fascists, corporate graspers, or just plain greedy and selfish, they seem to be lacking in compassion, vision, empathy and love -- but the main characteristic they lack is a sense of humour! And surely the first and best trait of people is our willingness to see the ridiculous and to laugh at ourselves?  How has humanity managed to breed a whole generation of humourless sociopaths?

All this is very discouraging, and isn't getting me any closer to my original problem of character development. I suppose only reality can tolerate such flat characters as we see around us. For fiction, I'm going to have to blunt their edges with a few more palatable traits, and allow them a few glimpses of someone else's point of view.

It's certainly not going to happen in the real world.



Labels and the words they come from are on my mind a lot lately. Politically speaking (and how you wish I wouldn't) Liberal is the opposite of Conservative...and never the twain shall meet. It's usually framed as people vs money; environment vs money; social values vs money...you get the idea. In many parts of the world, the money "side" is accompanied by inflexible and malicious ideologies, proponents of which hate everyone and everything outside their narrow scope. People even label things as simplistically as "LEFT" and "RIGHT", where for many, "left" = "wrong".

On the other hand, most people are neither wholly liberal nor wholly conservative, in their common senses. For instance, I consider myself to be liberal (opposite = stingy) with friendship, compassion, hospitality, money for both personal pleasure and helping others, and distaste for those who put money over people/environment/social values. But I'm also conservative (opposite = profligate) when it comes to friendship, personal & environmental resources, things I consider to be human rights including freedom of speech, access to clean water/air/food, justice, housing and medical care, and money when it's being stolen to enrich the already over-rich or fund totalitarian regimes. Only we can't call it conservative any more because that's been usurped by the labellers. It's now called "conservationist", which is definitely "wrong" in their eyes.

It's only a matter of time before people start ostracizing the left-handed among us, as they did in the bad old days.


stuff = clutter

Story of my life so far:

1. accumulate stuff, both physically & mentally -- school, work, &c

2. feel overwhelmed by stuff, retire from job

3. attempt to de-clutter life, ongoing

It's not that the stuff isn't mostly worth anything. No, at least at the time I acquired it all, it was worth something to me. Turns out, though, that it's not all worth the same now as it was when I acquired it. I could get all deep & philosophical about this & talk about how we change with age, but it's old news so I won't bother.

The hard part is teasing out the things that matter to me now, and not lose them in a frenzy to de-clutter everything. You simply can't do that, there will always be some clutter. Simplification isn't just a matter of discarding unwanted stuff, it's a whole new mind-set.

I've seen it before in others. Just when you think you're ready to kick back & enjoy everything, you discover that you want to do & be more than that. So, what of all those things you acquired? Well, at least you had the pleasure of acquiring them. And most of what you acquired is useful for someone, somewhere.

Take costume jewellery as an example. Over the years, I've picked up a lot of interesting pieces at craft fairs & from individual makers & as travel mementos. None of it terribly valuable, I've only got a few pieces worth anything. Not even much gold, as I've always preferred silver. So, one of the things I did recently was go through it all and put aside things I'll never wear again. Took the lot to a family reunion & put them out "to a good home". Lots of little girls in the connection (& a few big ones) took up the offer. Feels good on both counts -- I gain some drawer space & they get something they like. Jewellery, if it had feelings, is useful again.

Same thing, only moreso, with clothes. We both went through our closets & drawers with a figurative back-hoe yesterday, and came up with 5 boxes of things that don't fit or we haven't even seen for years to go to the thrift shop. Also a bag of real cast-offs to go to the bin that sells old clothes by the pound for charity. Gain -- more closet space so clothes aren't permanently wrinkled plus good feeling that some less fortunate will get wearable things.

Next? Books. That's going to take a lot longer than the few hours for the jewellery or the day for the clothes.


now that I'm back...

I don't have anything special to say!

It's turning into a long, hot summer, which the garden loves but I'm not so keen on. Restricting my outdoor excursions to early morning & late evening until the prolific mosquitoes chase me back in.

My main lot in life this summer appears to be scaring wildlife. I had a close encounter with a chipmunk this morning. Yesterday it was a very small rabbit, and a cat that had collapsed from the heat in the one patch of shade on my south-facing deck.

There are many other things on my mind, but I have other fish to fry today so now that I know I can post again I'll let them simmer & post them later.