Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Neighborhood.. and where it's going

So, I thought I lived in a decent neighborhood. Well, that's not entirely true. I don't really live in a neighborhood at all. It's really more of a semi-main road near the intersection with another even-more-main road. On said intersection (well, at the corner of it.. the corner closest to me) is a Walgreens. I've never been too impressed with this particular convenience store but, given its proximity to my abode, and in particular the lack of needing to cross a street to get to it, it has earned, at the very least, its label.

The first sign of something amiss came last week when, in the midst of a nasty bout of some sort of illness, I set out to purchase some Robitussin. At the counter, the clerk asked for my name and birthdate. I was aware that Florida, like many red--er.. rural--states had instituted laws to combat the use of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) in the production of meth. However, I was unaware that these laws also covered Gualefisin and Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide (the two ingredients in Robitussin.. yes, sadly enough, I read the labels on cold medicine). As it turns out, they don't cover those particular ingredients (no, I'm not typing them again) and the clerk apparently just thought I looked sketchy. On a related note, Florida's "shoot first" law went into effect on October 1, so be careful pissing off Floridians. They can shoot you.

Returning now, however, to the subject of the post (at least, the subject when I started writing it), it turns out that the neighborhood Walgreens may not be so friendly after all, despite its convenience. According to this report out of a different Florida county, the employees are now stabbing each other on lunch break. While this may not be such a bad thing were it to apply to that particularly insolent clerk from the previous paragraph, it is a bit disturbing. Ultimately, this all just confirms the growing sentiment I've had for some time now--I really, really need out of this state.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

please, not orlando bloom....

So, they're revealing the new James Bond tomorrow. Some websites are saying that it's Daniel Craig, whom I've never seen in anything, but some say it'll be Orlando Bloom.... who's arguably still the prettiest, but come on. Any guesses? substantiated guesses? opinions?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Green Guerrilla Gardening

So a buddy of mine on this group blog I post to just put up something interesting:Green Guerrilla Gardening. There's a lot I like about this post despite the alliteration (which I am a big fan of). It has a very hippie, reclaiming the earth kinda feel. If people went about it intelligently it could actually be a really good thing. Of course if people just arbitrarily scattered seeds you could get plant problems in gutters and storm drains, sidewalks getting messed up etc. but overall I like the idea. As I get more and more entrenched in my corporate life, I like to add little subversive touches. I think I'll add this to the list of activities for my guerilla group (subversive sararimen).

So this is interesting, blogger appears to have screwed up, I clicked blogthis in my google toolbar and pointed this post at my personal blog( harshkarma). After 5 mins it had appeared on neither blog and now I find it here at editnote.

Green Guerrilla Gardening

I would like to propose a new quasi-political/philosophical group. I will call this group the Green Guerrilla Gardeners, and the mission statement will include fighting alienation in modern society, constructive anarchy, as well as subtly spreading green values (refer to 10 key values). Yes, I admit that I am a member of the Green Party of Ohio, albeit a right-winger. So sue me, as we say at Moritz--the Democrats are dysfunctional, ineffective moderates to my mind, nationwide and in Ohio in particular.

The idea is to literally plant seeds in any area where they may grow, such as roadside berms, the small concrete islands of greenery in front of Wal-Mart or strip malls, your apartment building, the local post office, next to sidewalks in your neighborhood, etc. It is taking the idea of a community garden and extending it to all areas in to which the public has access. The plants may be subtle or dramatic, from small colorful groundcover to giant sunflowers. Your target and purpose for that area as well as personal aesthetic preferences may determine the seeds or plants you choose. I have no idea whether maintenance people or herbicides will prevent the seeds from flowering, but presume it depends on the particularities of location and seeds we choose. I think it is reasonable to assume that barren spots in an otherwise tended garden accessible to the public like the one outside my apartment are seed-friendly locations.

Why should anybody try this experiment? Primarily because mowed, chemical fertilizer and insecticide-doused lawns are generic, impersonal and boring. Why not do more with them and see how much potential we can coax out of a few square feet of grass here or there? Also, I do not feel I have any part in the community region where the mall or other corporate behemoths take root. If I placed some flowers in their parking lot islands, I would be indicating that I care about the place where I live. I would have a stake in the property and location by planting seeds there. Doing so should cause no damage and in fact might make the location more attractive. If done quickly, or otherwise inconspicuously, it is an anonymous activity, causing no trouble for the guerrilla gardener. It is an embodiment of the idea that there is a place for nature in the most unnatural or moon-like concrete setting, so long as there is a spot with some grass or top soil. It is a reminder of how one person might make a difference in a community, and as such, an affirmation of the individual. I don't know about you, but I really need such a thing at this point in my life, if you can call it that.

I have not yet tried guerrilla gardening, as I must now wait until sping. I also do not have knowledge about plants and the type of soil or amount of sunlight they need. Also, I highly discourage use of non-native plants and invasive species such as wild lustrife, which is pretty but pushes out native species. I also discourage plants that cause harm such as poison ivy or similar irritants as they are not in accord with the philosophical basis of my plan. It is also irresponsible to anonymously plant anything that causes harm—whether we cause harm or goodness to another, I believe we should be accountable for the consequences of our intentional actions. I challenge you and me to give this a try and see if anything beneficial comes of it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I tried to follow the money...

...but I got dizzy and fell down.

However, this one is worth a read. (I don't know if it'll be up indefinitely, though, as it's in the Post's magazine section.)


So, in a bit of largely inconsequential (yet still saddening) news, the Aardman Entertainment warehouse burned down this morning, taking with it all of the Wallace and Gromit memorabilia, props, and sets from everything predating the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. One wonders if someone upstairs is simply daring the American news media to not cover the earthquake story.