Tag: nature

Writing in The Raw: What More Can I Do?

After having read so many articles on the environment and global warming and as spring was approaching, I kept asking myself, “what more can I do?”   That is, apart from the ordinary efforts, such as  recycling all household garbage, even washing out plastic bags used for vegetables and reusing them again,  going to the farmer’s market for many years, isn’t there something more I could or should be doing?

With the onset of spring, the first thing most of us think about is our lawns, you know, fertilizing, weed killer, etc.  I decided I was going to have a totally organic lawn, free of chemicals.  I never used much other than fertilizer or weed killer.  

For starters, I had heard about and read a little about the benefits of “corn gluten meal” as a weed killer.  I began reading about it on the web at various websites, learning about its properties, how it works and what it actually does.  It is a perfectly natural “pre-emergent” weed killer.  That is to say, that the use of it at the proper time of the year can get the roots of pre-emerging weeds, but cannot kill the already existent weeds.   Most of the organic websites wanted quite a bit of money for this “corn gluten meal.”

I went to a feed store not too far away.  Interesting store, which I had only visited maybe once before a very long time ago. I asked the owner, “Sir, do you have any corn gluten meal?  I am going to go organic with my lawn.”   “No, I don’t have any here, but I can order you some.”  “O.K., how much does it cost and how long will it take, it must be applied at the time the crocuses are blooming.”   He went to look it up, “It will cost you about $22.00 for 36 pounds (that is about $20.00 or more dollars cheaper than organic stores sell it for and it is exactly the same thing), and I can have it here by Monday.”  “O.K., please order it for me.  Now, what about fertilizer – do you have any organic fertilizer?”   “Yes, we have Milorganite – it’s totally organic.”  “What is it?”  “It’s waste, a waste treatment product – I’ve used it on my lawn and my neighbors want to know why my lawn is so green.”  “O.K., I’ll take a bag of it.”  Would you believe that a 40-pound bag costs less than $10.00?  

Of course, I came home and just had to look up Milorganite.   If you’re interested at all, here is more on the product

But, more importantly, it’s what the chemical fertilizers are doing to our earth, our waters, our nature.  

Hello Cruel World: My Plan For Tuesday And Thereafter

Somebody once told me that yawning was a sign of contempt.  So pardon me while I yawn about the Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana primaries and any other ones that might be coming.  And pardon me while I yawn about those anti-democratic superdelegates and their views  And the polling.  And the delegate counts.  And the diaries about people who won’t vote for Obama.  Or Hillary.  And the diaries about how wonderful Hillary is.  And Obama.  And the speculation about the remaining endorsements (Al Gore, John Edwards, Mr. Magoo).  And the talk about the recent ABC “debate.”  And the talk about the brokered/open convention.  This stuff has turned into something stronger than SominexTM.  I’m yawning uncontrollably.  I’m amazed, however, that my yawn apparently isn’t triggering widespread yawns across the country, throughout left Blogsylvania, and beyond.

I have intense, incurable primary fatigue.  My span of attention expired weeks and weeks ago, when it was clear to me that Obama would and should be the nominee and that Hillary was too powerful with insiders and attachment just to stop campaigning.  I don’t care if it was clear to the candidates, because despite the obvious circumstances Hillary isn’t dropping out of anything.  And so, she slogs on.  Slogging tomorrow through Pennsylvania, and on to the next bog.  And those of us in the typing classes, what about us?  She can slog all she wants,but I’m done with this.  Done until there’s a nominee.  Finished until after the convention.  And I don’t want to hear anything more about it until the primary race is over.

I’m yawning so hard my jaw and my temples hurt.  And so I’m going on to the next things.  Of cours, I’m inviting you all to come with me.  In that way this is a Hello Cruel World Diary, a diary in which we step back from the screen and look around at the world outside it.

*Baseball season is underway.  When you watch or listen to the game, it’s about balls and strikes and mostly about making outs.  The strategy has been the same for a century.  Let’s play ball. Going to the ballpark is great.  Even sitting in front of the TV is fine.  Listening on the radio is old school.  And you know what?  They never mention the primaries.  Perfect.

*I’m returning to reading short stories by Jorge Luis Borges.  Two I love are The Zahir and its opposite, The Aleph.  These are particularly good now, because last week, unbeknownst to us in the US Buenos Aires was smothered in smoke.  We didn’t know about this, did we.  Why?  Well, it’s the primary season and our world view (like the Zahir) appears to have become locked on Pennsylvania to the exclusion of the rest of the Universe, especially Argentina, which we ignore even on a good day.

*I’m stepping away from the keyboard and going for a long walk.  With my dog.  Yesterday, I heard a bullfrog for the first time this Spring season.  If I had been sitting at the keyboard, as I am now, I would have missed this.  Or forgotten it.  Or assumed that it was just something else I wasn’t paying attention to.  Yesterday, I was wondering why my dog seemed slightly forlorn.  Maybe it was because she doesn’t give a damn about the primaries and would rather look for rabbits.  And to do that, she prefers to have me along to stir them up.  

*For now, I’m avoiding all essays and diaries about the candidates.  I’m going to go back to reading and writing about other stuff.  Latin America.  Torture.  The law.  Anything but the primaries.

I invite you all to join me.  Enough is certainly enough.  I know I can be a good an excellent Progressive by turning my attention elsewhere.  And I’m going to do just that.

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