Thursday, September 30, 2004

I clearly haven't been getting out enough. Went for a walk in the wildflower meadow behind the retirement complex in our neighborhood, and saw several elderly buckeyes flapping around. This isn't totally earthshaking, because technically we're in the range of Junonia coenia, but it's sufficiently uncommon at this latitude to make a sighting something special. The fact that I didn't notice any until the end of September indicates that I haven't been playing with the bugs as much as I should.

Shame on me.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The things I most want from the next place we live:

* A maximum of one car would be necessary. That's one SMALL car -- no bigger than the size of the smaller one we have now. It would be especially nice if the car happened to be a gas-electric hybrid. No more flatulencing around with two vehicles. On the extremely rare occasions when we needed an extra car, we could rent one for a few days.

* It either has to be in a city, where we can walk everywhere, or in a much smaller town -- with sidewalks -- which doesn't have traffic jams. No more sitting in long lines in Sprawl Central, getting honked at for not making my left turn across two lanes of traffic when only one of them is even remotely visible. (Where the hell did all this traffic come from in a city of less than 80,000 people, anyway?) It would be REALLY perfect if we could walk to work.

* If we have a yard, we wouldn't have to keep anything resembling a lawn. Natural tall grass full of ants, snakes, butterflies, and wildflowers would be nice. Or, if it's in a climate that doesn't support tall grass -- well, maybe native desert or shore or mountain plants.

* It would have lots of small local businesses -- restaurants, grocery stores, and other shops. When we really wanted to treat ourselves to a restaurant lunch or dinner, it would always be in a place that had no duplicate anywhere else.

* Public transportation would be always available, safe, and reliable.

* Everybody would have health insurance, as well as access to safe public schools and affordable post-secondary education.

* The top players in its government wouldn't mistake belligerence for decisiveness, fearmongering and obsessive secrecy for security, deception for strategy, brainless jingoism for national pride, kneejerk sloganeering for religion, perfect makeup and expensive clothing for substance, anti-intellectualism for egalitarianism, topheavy private corporate power for prosperity, or successful advertising campaigns for democratic process.

Come to think of it, I'd settle for a subset of the above.