Dog Eats Toad – Everyone Loses

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While it may seem like the only excitement worth mentioning revolves around our dog doing things, this is not the case. I worked most of last week to get together enough grade A Emu’s to a craft fair up in Brisbane. This was also not something I organised myself, and essentially piggybacked on a friend’s sisters loose offer to put my brooches in with their (amazing) stuff. I’m not really sure of the tactic of surprising people with 12 pieces of original “artwork” to sell, is really going to make me popular on this handi-craft scene, but it’s a learning process.

I also finally got around to creating an Etsy site – taking as many “natural light photos” on my lunch break at work, with my camera phone. I really love my Nexus phone. I’m sorry Travis for kicking up a fuss over your refusal to provide me with Apple products for my birthday. Anyway, for the starting (by no means final product)  see kathandtrav  on Etsy for more !

Travis also bought a record player on discount. We have no records. No one I know has any records (except the friends mentioned above, and really, I’m not going to bother them with favours for awhile).  I had just left him at the mall for 2.5 hours while I had gotten my hair done. I was not about to tell him he couldn’t have a discounted record player. We also learnt that there are no records for sale on Gumtree (the craigslist equivalent). We are now listening to the radio built into the record player. Will we ever listen to vinyl? The jury is out.

Most importantly this weekend – Arkie ate a cane toad and tripped out.  He was panting and running around in circles and acting …well.. like he was high. We called the vet to make sure he wasn’t going to die (while he was hiding under our bed eating cardboard). The vet advised us to check his gums for slime, and then wash his mouth out. How? We asked. By taking a cool cloth and wiping the inside of his mouth. We were fortunate that either the toxins in his blood stream or his overall good nature stopped him from biting anybody. It also did the trick and he eventually went to sleep and stopped circling the house. We actually didn’t know that he had eaten a cane toad, or that this is what would happen to him if he ate a cane toad – the vet we called was the one among us that knew right away what was going on. Also how to clean out a dogs mouth after he has ingested a toxic, psychotropic amphibian.

More love for Australia.

Lizard

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Fact – before I got a dog, I “rescued” a half dead skink from our side walk. He lived in a Pyrex glass dish for a week and eventually I bought a terrarium (and some crickets for him to eat). It’s illegal to keep wild skinks in Australia so I didn’t tell the pet shop guy about my damaged skink. It was actually probably more so that I didn’t want him to think I was a weirdo.. Which happened a lot my first 6 months or so. Anyway, the skink was eventually released to be eaten by a bird or equivalent, and we got a dog… How far we have come, I left this guy to his own devices on our gate. Even though it looks like his spinal cord is hanging out. As the Aussies would say … he ll be right.

Another round of name that insect !

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We think it might be a mosquito … We were tempted to leave it on the ceiling as a warning to any of his friends…but today someone called our place a dungeon (just because we live in a basement suite that doesn’t see a lot of natural light …) so we cleaned it up pretty quickly.

Travis’ hands are wet because he just washed them (after squishing the mosquito).  It’s not insect blood or something equally disturbing and gross.

On Thrive

We just finished Thrive, it’s about the man – you know, “the man” It’s funny because it’s mostly things that I’ve heard before about economic hit men, governments being controlled by corporations, the pharmaceutical industry and oil companies killing alternative energy and cures for cancer. It also touches on symbols, alien life forms, u.f.o’s and crop circles. Really, it’s a very diverse movie.

The part I liked the best was at the end where they gave some solutions and ways that anyone could help change society, the planet, our current off the cliff course. A lot of it was based around information – keeping the internet free, discussing ideas – and participation through non – violent resistance, and critical mass movements. After suffering for several weeks after coming home from Vancouver, where I felt people just cared a little deeper about issues (probably because we are all broke and have more time for free activities, like thinking about stuff and talking shit with each other). I did realise that people are getting it right all over the place. In Vancouver, we didn’t really use a car, were eating locally grown food, making our own fun – neighbourhood potlucks, bonfires, camping, hiking, being outside – most people I know in Vancouver do it – because they have to.

Once people have more money they can…. go out on boats, or…. go  driving around buying stuff. Or maybe not – Vancouver is a weird place sometimes. Wealthy people can go to Whole Foods and get even better quality (or just cleaner looking) veggies, and grassfed beef. I was just about to blame the baby boomers – but even my parents and their friends spend a lot of time on their bikes, or in each other’s yards or homes. I guess it’s the positive outcome of the recession? A general lack of a disposable income = less impact on everyone and every thing? I have to think then, why I assume that Australia is somehow worse. Maybe because where I live a lot more people are employed by the mines – which means a disposable income, money to burn on the weekends and a big truck / SUV?

Anyway – my conclusion after my crisis returning to Australia, was to try to ride my bike to work most days during the week, and to stop getting coffee in a take away cup. I’m not 100% successful, but am probably operating now at about a 75% success rate. The people that work at the coffee shop were initially very much weirded out by me brining my own mug. They now are used to it, and ask where it is if I don’t bring it in – another way to get me to bring my mug in. It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction towards producing less waste, and giving people an option. My best friend from Vancouver, now on a sail boat somewhere in the Med. mentioned that you will never win people over by shaming them, or making them feel bad about their choices – everyone has to walk their own path and is going to walk it differently. The best you can do is provide a sounding board and options, a – this is what I do, you don’t have to do it – but I think it works for me. This was probably the best advice moving forward. Just because I feel really passionate about something, doesn’t mean I can guilt others into thinking and acting the same as me.

This was also, I think, one of the parts I liked the most about Thrive. It gives very simple and straightforward options that anyone could do. It doesn’t convince people to change by making them feel shitty or telling them the world is coming to an end – it gives people autonomy to do something practical towards changing the world and creating a better situation for everybody.

I will have to take a look at the website because I want to know more about the aliens. I stared at Travis for that part of the movie because he has had more experience in that area than me – especially having a degree in Space Engineering and working in Aviation. When I first met him, I was pretty well convinced that an invasion was imminent. One of the reasons I liked him at first was because he seemed to have the inside scoop on that sort of thing. And that he listened to me and sort of took me seriously. He actually said, if you were to meet an Alien – the best thing to do is prove that you are intelligent…with math !” I was done.

For more on the Chilbolton Crop Glyphs click here (this is a pretty interesting story, I thought)

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