Category Archives: Other Stuff

COVID-19, Oil Pipelines, and Water

It’s so great that oil is practically worthless now! Now if the governments would just stop bailing out those companies. We don’t need to extract and use more fossil fuels. We already KNOW they are a limited resource. We already KNOW that the environment is utterly destroyed by these processes, polluting ground water and aquifers and land for animals (including human animals) and plants.

We don’t need more pipelines, and more use of government violence to violate ancestral lands, medicine bundles, and the bodies of the matriarchs. We don’t want the RCMP used as a tool of colonial violence against the land and the protectors of the land.

What we want is clean air, clean water, healthy forests, thriving ecosystems, and an abundance of pollinators and scavengers and all the other bits and pieces that make up a healthy planet.

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Universal Basic Income and COVID-19

If we already had Universal Basic Income (UBI) in place, COVID-19 would have had way less  economic effect on people, especially poor people, especially renters and students and workers in the gig economy. If everyone had a certain amount of money every month no matter what, we’d all be able to pay our rent and get some groceries during quarantine / isolation / lockdown / social distancing.

Just give every single person in the country, regardless of income or employment status, a certain set amount. The rich would end up paying it back in the their taxes, but at lower income levels, people would have disposable income (thus stimulating the economy, because disposable income and spending are what do that, NOT jobs—jobs are just a means to the money). The costs of this would be balanced out by the fact that we wouldn’t need any more welfare system, no Employment Income Assistance for people on disability or out of work, All those systems would be dismantled: no more welfare fraud lines, no more meetings to prove you’ve applied for a certain number of jobs, no more rent on huge office buildings to house these systems, , etc. And if that doesn’t save enough money yet for UBI, then tax the rich, tax the corporations, and tax the churches. Tax them at the same rates as individuals. It is fucking ridiculous that huge corporations get tax breaks while people on disability can’t make ends meet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He was a Terrible Cat, and I Loved Him

 

Near the end of February, my sweet and terrible Orange Cat died. It was sudden and swift, and utterly unexpected. It is amazing what a huge space that little cat took up in my heart and in my home.

 

He’s been with me since he was eight weeks old. He and his brother came from the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter, where they were dumped off in a box in the middle of winter along with their mom and another kitten. When my now-ex and I went to the shelter looking for one short-haired kitten, the mom and one sibling had already been adopted. These two remaining kittens were tiny fuzzy balls, one orange face and one grey with a vertical white stripe along his nose.  Apart from their color, they were identical in shape and movement: their little tails twitched simultaneously, their sweet heads tilted at the same angle; they moved and reacted in unison.  They were adorable! Continue reading

Weekly Pet Peeve: Cats at Night

You cat owners out there probably know that cats are nocturnal. That was a nasty surprise to me when I got my Kittenz five years ago. The cat I knew before that, Rakkertje, was already a sedate eight or so years old when I moved in with my then-partner. Rakker spent most of her days on a sunny windowsill, and most of her nights on our bed, with an hour of hunting mice in the yard around twilight.

That’s what I expected of the Kittenz (aside from the yard bit, as they are indoor cats). Boy, was I surprised to find out that no matter how much I played with them, kept them awake, interrupted their naps, and adjusted their feeding times, there would be a nightly hour (at least) somewhere between 1 and 5 am in which they’d be running around wrestling, jumping, singing, and stalking each other. And that’s on a good night! On a bad night, their schedules are staggered, so as one finally curls up to sleep, the other stretches, jumps lightly off the bed, and commences his hour of nocturnal frenzy.

I love the Kittenz. That is a fact. And I will never give them up. But I am a light sleeper, and insomnia is A Thing for me at the best of times, so I can tell you with a fair certainty that I will never get a cat again once these pretty Boyz are gone.

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes (or, My Brush with Going Viral)

I had an interesting WordPress experience this past weekend. It made me appreciate how this going viral thing works.

Back in May 2015, my friend’s dog Cookie died and I wrote a blog post about it (When Good Dogs Die). The pain of her loss was too fresh for my friend to want to read this post, and as time passed, it slipped both of our minds.

This past Saturday, I was at Cookie’s mom’s place with The Fluffy Dog for our almost-weekly playdate. We were talking about old dogs, and suddenly she exclaimed “Oh, I didn’t read what you wrote about Cookie yet!” And she felt she was ready. So when I got home later that day, I facebook messaged her the link to that post. She read it and shared it on facebook.

Now, Cookie’s mom is heavily involved with dog rescue and dog sport (agility and flyball, mostly). She has just under 200 facebook friends, and it seems that most of them are also committed Dog People. By the time I went to bed on Saturday, there were over a dozen comments and more likes on the post. Not too much. A nice number of people saying nice things about my tribute to Cookie, and remembering Cookie themselves.

What was fascinating, though, was what was happening on WordPress. My stats were jumping! Continue reading

Using Euphemisms for Death

So Qrys and I were talking today about death. She was wondering about the origin of “passed” as a euphemism. And that made me start wondering about death euphemisms in general. Why do people use euphemisms like passed, kicked the bucket, gone to a better place, departed, and so on? Qrys and I both prefer just to say that somebody died, and so we’re genuinely curious about why there are so many other ways of saying the same thing.

Here’s a little poll. Also, if you have more to say in the comments about the origin and use of “passed” in particular, I’ll pass that on to Qrys (see what I did there?)

Lest We Forget

Twenty-five years ago today In Montréal.

Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student

Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student

Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student

Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department

Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student

Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student

Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student

Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student

Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

Twenty-five years ago today. We remember you. We remember you. We remember you.