January 10th, 2007

Ann Vole

Surounded by death and violence, looking for the exit

I don't remember ever having a dream of being murdered other then the one I had of having a home in Regina (before I did) and being stabbed to death in my own home. Two days later my dad offered me this rental house that I am living in. I am supposed to live in one of the suites as part of the rent-to-own agreement but I will try to get around that due to that dream. My dad's condition is getting worse inspite of lots of medical experts on his case and surgery to the knee. Across the street from a house my parents still own and that I collect rent from each month, some guy was shot (but survived). A few days later, a worker at the convenience store across the street from the conveniance store I work at was stabbed during a robbery and died a bit later. One of the guys accused of shooting the guy across the street from my parent's tenant was taken into custody with police pointing weapons at him (considered armed and dangerous). There was nothing in the newspaper about the fatal stabbing of the convenience store worker but just front-page of the arrest instead. In a previous post I mentioned the fatal stabbing of an animator I am fairly sure I have met in person. She and her husband were stabbed in their home at 5 A M by a stranger. My sister and her RCMP (Canada's national police force) husband lost a close friend (RCMP partner for a couple years) due to a fatal shooting from a fleeing suspect. Within a week two of their pets die (rabbit of cancer and hunting dog with prosects of winning awards in shows being run over). Two years ago another sister of mine was killed in a car accident and the two guys who were in the vehicle that ran the yield sign and caused the accident are two of the workers at the same place I worked at and that same sister worked at (both vehicles were heading to work at the same place) so I knew them... that makes the tragedy of her death all the more tragic.

With all this death on my mind, I am thinking of leaving this city which has the highest crime rate in Canada. The crime rate dropped by 15% last year and our standing as the worst never changed. They expect another crime rate drop this year but the official numbers have not been calculated yet even if it dropped 40%, we would still maintain our status as the worst in Canada due to the wide margin between us and everyone else and the second place goes to the neighboring city in this same province so they should see similar improvements and they have a wide margin to the third place winner of worst crime rates. No matter what they do, we will still be in the worst 5 cities for many years to come. I don't see too much reason to stick around except for one thing... Land values are real cheap but are also starting to rise rapidly. Getting realestate now and selling it in a decade will make me lots of money. If I get this contracting business off the ground though, I can invest in safer locations or make places to sell to those who choose to buy here instead of investing here myself. I want to leave even if it is just to go a few miles out of town (bicycle distance to the university would work nice). Drug adicts and their junkies rarely leave the city limits so it is safe just a few miles out. The RCMP instead of the city police do a much better job with crime fighting due to being paid so much better... Regina police were the lowest paid in Canada two years ago and I suspect they still are at that status. My life is rather important to me as is my relatives and peace of mind is priceless too with big health benefits to being worry-free.
Ann Vole

Are pigs hogging the cartoon character market?

I just had a dream which was the making of a movie that does not exist and the promo for their next movie. This movie was a feature length retelling of the Three Little Pigs done a lot like Chicken Little in visual style but character designs like Disney's original Three Little Pigs short from about the 1930s. The promo for their next movie was a pig-like alien with mottled fur colour including green and purple. They mentioned in this dream that pigs were in most movies but until their Three Little Pigs movie, they were never the main character. Thinking back I think that assesment is right. I think there are more pig characters then of most other species but we don't realize that due to them always being sideline characters. Now there is Charlette's Web that was just remade (for the second time) and Babe movies but otherwise they are generally last on the list of characters.
Porky Pig
Black Caldren
Toy Story
Chicken Little
Barnyard
Happily Never After
Spirited Away
.. I know I am missing a few good examples but I can't think of them.
Ann Vole

The Man Who Planted Bushes

There is a film based on a short story called "The Man Who Planted Trees". The basic premis is a hermit decides to plant trees in this desert area. Every day he plants a few hundred acorns. Later he makes forests with other types of trees. The nearby ghost town becomes a bustling city based on various industries that rely on the forests. The old hermet's place is recognized as old growth forest that needs to be protected and laws are passed that no development is to happen in this forest so they tell the old hermit that he has to move out and do not believe that this guy is the source of the forests and valuable timberland.

I am obsessed with bushes and find that there are species that thrive in every climate and soil condition and most of those produce edible berries. As far as carbon sequestering (taking carbon based molecules like carbon dioxide out of the air and into the ground) dedicious trees do better then other plants due to size and due to annual shedding of leaves and due to being perenials, they are big already in the spring. Evergreens make up for the leaves staying on by absorbing CO2 all through the year when ever the temperature is warm enough. Bushes actually outperform taller trees due to the way they put more energy (and trapped carbon) into leaves and fruit instead of wood which decompose fast and underground instead of wood which decomposes slowly above ground or burns in fires (both of which release the carbon back into the air as CO2). I want all ditches to be grown with low height bushes instead of grasses and all marsh and swamp land to be overrun with peat producing bushes and mosses. Wildlife from bugs to bears thrive on berries including most carnivors to keep them from starving if there is a crash in the population of prey. The carnivor deaths cause the next boom in prey population. These cycles result in lots of animal suffering (for both prey and predators) so bushes can help stop the cycles and keep all the animals healthy. Bushes for undergrowth keep ground moisture high so tall trees do not get so dry in rain-less periods and thus prevent fires. If the underbush is thick enough, it can actually act like fire fighting foam and smother or cool down the fire from falling burning tree parts. I want to figure out how to make automated green house designs to help feed the world but in the testing stage, I need to grow something that is not food due to food inspection complications (lots of red tape and possible law suits due to food poisoning potential) so trees and bushes and food for my animals are the two choices open to my test greenhouses. I may end up being like the man who planted trees with my excess bushes to test how well they grow in different places where no bushes exist now and encourage land developers to consider bushes instead of grasses which need cutting or wood trees with their lifespan (big problem when the whole community's trees die of old age at the same time)
Ann Vole

Stop waiting on the world to change

There is a song on the radio that goes

I'm still waiting,
Waiting on the world to change.

This seems to be the attitude of this generation. They know what is wrong but feel powerless to do anything about it. I am trying to change the world and am having trouble just changing myself so I keep thinking the task is impossible for even little changes to a small part of the world. I need to go forward with confidence though because the few people who are making changes in this world are usually like me with a head full of ideas and no one else to believe in them too. Like that story of the hen who bakes a loaf of bread by herself because nobody had time to help but everyone is willing to help her eat it... these world changers just went ahead and made things happen and as soon as results happen, everyone with money wants to buy into it. What are you waiting for? innovation is not a good idea but rather someone doing something about that good idea. Edison never invented the light bulb but he did start a power generation company and a wire company and a light bulb manufacturing company... all because some magician was only using the light bulb for magic tricks. With customers and profits, Edison lit up the world as everyone with money copied Edison's model.