Honest Seller! Recommended! Credit to eBay! A++++

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Best. eBay. Description. Ever.

Thanks to Scot, who may have blogged this by now, too.

On Being Humane In Troubled Times

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It’s been my intention to try to steer clear of political issues here. If you know me personally, you know my politics. If you don’t, you’re probably not that interested. I don’t find myself surfing the web in search of the random political rants of unknown individuals. That having been said, I’m going to deviate, slightly, from this unwritten rule today.

If you’ve drawn breath in North America any time in the last three decades, you’ve heard of Doonesbury. The comic strip Garry Trudeau started at Yale is consistently both anti-establishment and humorous.

Most of the time. Sometimes Mr. Trudeau gets a bit more serious, as he did this week in a strip where longtime regular BD gets seriously wounded in Iraq.

This is, to my mind, poor form. Not because I’m one of those people that thinks citizens must blindly or even happily obey the whims of a current administration. Not because of my personal politics, or because I’m directly involved with the conflict. My beef is that Doonesbury is a comic strip. While the comic/cartoon medium certainly can create serious, thought-provoking art (check your newspaper’s editorial cartoons), Doonesbury isn’t usually in the serious genre. It’s widely circulated as entertainment and people read it for an irreverant, offbeat, humorous look at issues.

This subject stirred up some response on the MFI Forums this week, you can read the meat of my objection there. Whether or not you think the war is a good idea or bad idea, righteous or wrong, informed or misguided, Mr. Trudeau, you are a public figure that writes humor. The family of a KIA soldier may pick up the newspaper after hearing the grim news and turn to the funnies for some distraction. How will they feel? Did you think about that possibility? If you want to make these kind of statements (and by God I’ll defend your right to do so), I think you should demand your strip be run in the editorial section. You can’t yell “FIRE!” in a theater, and I think that if you want to be humane, you can’t yell “PURPOSELESS DEATH!” on the funny pages.

As they say, “Hate the game, not the player.” A little nod to the individual as you deride the situation into which they are placed is the truly humane thing to do.

Kamma In Action

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This is my kamma this week. Thus far.

Yesterday (a Monday, naturally) I awoke to what I thought would be a normal day in my humdrum unemployed life. I decided to clean the birdcage, which had developed one of Squeeps’ distinctive green poop-piles. Lovely.

This birdcage is not what one might call sturdy. Since I bought it six months ago I have had to replace cheap tabs with twist ties. These are the tabs that hold the whole thing together. And I found myself having to discipline the bird not to gnaw at these new twist tie “toys.” The bottom plastic pan just fell out once while I was carrying the cage by the top handles, denting the newly restored hardwood floors. Grr.

So as I’m lifting the cage down, it swings, bumps against my knee in a firm, but not “bending over with pain oh God my knee oh the agony” sort of way. But the bars of the cage bent, two more connector tabs broke and steam came out of my ears because it hadn’t hit that hard. Made worse when I tried to bend one of the bent bars that the bird could have pushed his head through and it broke. Augh!

Squeeps’ travel cage is very well built, a product of Quality Cage Company here in Portland. So I called them up, wanting a cage that would fit the existing base. No way to tell on the phone, of course, so off I went to far eastern Portland with the caster-wheeled base. They have a lovely 20″x20″ cage, which I purchased but which would not fit in my car. Back home. Kristine leaves virii and microbes cooking at work and we drive back and get the cage. Squeeps loves it, there is much rejoicing and I can heartily recommend you buy a cage built by Quality Cage. This thing is a tank, and very livable.

Onto doing four loads of laundry, barbecueing chicken for dinner, completing an Apache 2 install, finishing the yard cleanup and getting the lawn recycling to the curb as well as 50 pounds of household trash. Yay, that’s a lovely kammic kick for a Monday.

This morning I awake, make coffee and hit the garage for a smoke and a call to Scot Hacker. Hey! There are the six lawn and leaf sized bags of returnable bottles and cans we keep moving as we need to work and unpack. They’ve been staring at us for months, but they never leave. I have contemplated just grabbing someone that’s asking for change at one of the highway entrances, but that’s creepy. Some guy pulling up in his car and saying, “Oh, yeah, I got money. Get in and …” No thanks.

I finish the smoke and phone and head back inside. Start an e-mail and almost immediately the doorbell rings. A twenthirty gal is standing there, and asks if I would be able to help her sister get her electricity turned back on in any way. Oh heck yeah, I could. Jam myself, this lady and six lawn and leaf sized bags of returnable bottles and cans into my car and drive the 2 blocks to Winco. Perfect.

Here’s sincerely hoping someone gets their power turned on, that maybe I helped in some way and a little nod from me to the Forces That Be saying, “I got that one.”