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Rediscovering AnimalsĀ 

A Wedding, Thankfully

One more quote from "1001 Funniest Things Ever Said:"
(Hamilton Books) Eddie Cantor : "A wedding is a funeral where you smell your own flowers." Well, not quite. In this season of holidays, I remember our New Years Eve wedding. I Really Enjoyed it, in spite of everything that happened, which, luckily, struck me funny at the time.  Read More 

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Being Thankful For Smiles

Another bit of wisdom from Hamilton Books.
This time it's a quote from Charles Gordy in "1001 Funniest Things Ever Said": "A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks."

DeeDee, my Pointer-Heeler after-the-fire-sale rescue dog birdsitter, smiles. Yes, she does. She's got a big one. Most dogs smile, sort of, but Dee Dee's lips curve up at both ends as her jaw drops open in a joyous, unmistakable grin. It happens when I approach the dog den (my art room). It makes her irresistible. Scooter's smile is not so obvious, but its' there, with a generous wag of her tail. Of course, some dogs don't smile with anything but their tail, but check out their eyes. It's a rare dog that doesn't add at least a quick, hopeful glance to their tail wagging.

That glance is the first thing we were told to reward in dog school. it's also the first thing to look for in a puppy up for adoption, especially if you hope to train the dog for a significant job, like bird-sitting in a yard next to a canyon where coyotes dwell. Puppy shopping also involves rolling young canines over with one hand to see if they bite you, tolerate it, or look you in the eye with a quizzical expression that says, "What's next mate? Can I go home with you?" That dog is a sure bet. He or she will care what you want and how you feel, at least, and will be a good student if rewarded for trying and never punished for coming to your call.

Smiles are a good bet for us, too, sometimes the best bet we have. Happy Thanksgiving again.

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Serendipity or Just Good Timing? Nonfiction text re steady state economics parallels fiction in The Webs of Varok

Review of Enough is Enough by Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill (to be released in January)

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH makes it crystal clear how and why we need to convert to a steady state economy. It is a book for anyone concerned with today's dilemmas, and an excellent text for students preparing to design the future. Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill have handed us the prescription we need to cure the ills of our overused planet and to secure a perpetual, humane future for its life. There is no illegible scrawl in the prescription. The directions are laid out with precision--even the troublesome imperatives, like population stability. Each section begins with engaging anecdotes then illustrated with simple graphs. Read More 

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A Digression--of Sorts

It's election day. My adolescent duck, Puddles, a purebred Khaki Campbell, is finally learning she can't go through the chicken wire fence to get to the pond. Now she knows, sometimes, that she must turn away from the pond and go around the fence to get out of the pen through the door. Then, and only then, can she waddle up the path to the pond.

Do you suppose we could all take a lesson here? Too often our brains want to take the direct path to the pond--whatever that represents--like, for example, a stable, equitable future with rewarding jobs for all. People need jobs, so grow grow grow--money and business, anything. Batter down the fence to get there if necessary. Our brains are so focused on the pond, they simply can't see any open doors that might lead to the pond by a different route.

I couldn't "teach" Puddles to go away from the pond in order to get there. If I tried to usher her around the inside of the pen to the door, she would panic and run and eventually get there, but she wouldn't have learned anything. Several times she had to do it herself--actually turn herself around by trial and error, if her memory failed, and get out the door to the pond. Only then did she learn to take the indirect path on purpose.

So it is with us humans, even the candidates, as we decide, or not decide, how to vote. We see the pond we want, but we haven't yet learned that the chicken wire fence called growth is not the way to get there.

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