Stream of Waste

I took the garbage out and to the street yesterday evening. It isn’t one of my normal chores. For whatever reason, when setting up our household, it fell into being Denise’s job. Likely something to do with Jake? I don’t remember.

I grew up taking the trash out and to the street. Back before there were wheels on garbage bins and careful control of amounts in the form of OFFICIAL bins. It always was my chore. I remember living in Eugene and separating carefully washed recyclables for what I thought then was an overzealous theory.

But, mostly, I don’t think much about garbage or our contribution. Sure, I read the MNN and Treehugger articles about food waste, landfills, plastic pollution, etc. I think about it in the abstract and think “We need to do more.” I feel a twinge of guilt when I reach for some over packaged something. I grimace as I fill an insulin reservoir and end up with a ton of garbage–wrappers for the reservoir, the insertion kit, the used reservoir and insertion kit, the box for the insulin, the huge wad of instructions, the little plastic cap on the insulin. I cringe as I toss my empty med bottles, and remember I saw something somewhere about how to donate them. (because reusing them in this house is not something we need to do–we’d have enough in one month.)

Back to garbage night and taking it to the street. I did it. Then I came in. I immediately it seemed had one more thing. Oh and another thing. I made two more trips out to the street. Then all through the night, I was intensely conscious of everything I had to throw away. I didn’t want Denise to come home to half full trash cans. That is why I thought about it. More than that–I realized that we don’t have to do this and by changing our habits–from purchasing, to cooking, to simplifying our house and reduce the inevitable garbage and recycling to almost nothing. I certainly have read all the articles. I know it is possible. (at least one of my coworkers has a family of five and only throws out less than one small bag of garbage each week)

I need to act. Me. Not just hope the government or companies or someone makes it too hard for me to toss something in the wastebasket. We can’t keep waiting for supermarkets to reduce packaging and force us to use reusable. We need to do it ourselves. For us, for our children and grandchildren, for the sea birds and diversity of species.

Holidays and hashtags

I love nearly ALL holidays. #Talklikeapirate day excluded. But, go ahead and sign me up for #gruntledworkerday and family favorite #pigday. I even have a special Pi Plate for Pi Day.

Not only do I really love these reasons to celebrate, remember, acknowledge, special days and just plain silly days–I’ve been using them as themes at work since the Internet began. Ok, since the mid-90s. Back in the day, as we say around here–it didn’t MATTER that the holiday had a million character name. Sure, a slow internet connection might make lag a groaner for International Buy a Priest a Beer day (September 9), but you could use as many letters and words to get the point across as you needed.

In fact, with the right set up, you could probably get hundreds of interactions on that one holiday. Now though, we have Twitter. And that means…140 chars. Minus a link. Minus the chars for the pictures–because really a picture is what makes someone click over to the site. So, that leaves 94 characters plus or minus a few to come up with something to say about those things. Then subtract a tag–say #NationalDogWeek, you’ve got 78 letters and spaces to get your point across. Know what? I am pretty sure that your average Bob book has more.

So, if you have a holiday or hashtag–keep it short. Because I do want to share something about it.

The Cubs Game

I had a magical birthday month. Denise thought of everything and anything for my birthday. Then Mama topped it off with a fabulous birthday cake from Sugarees. (Seriously, look them up. Our non-cake eating family pretty much argued over the leftovers of the caramel cake Mama and Julia gave me)

But, one weird and deliriously happy day was going to see the Cubs game at Wrigley Field. I’ve long been fascinated by Wrigley. And the Cubs. Yes, I am a born and bred Marylander and that means the Orioles. I’ve been to a couple of their games and was…bored.

Back to Cubs day, it was a perfect day–not too hot, not too cold. The stadium had just the right amount of wind. We went on the El which was fun. We didn’t have to deal with traffic. Really no wait. And I have an affection for public transportation–at least from time to time. Denise took pictures of me in front of a bunch of the statues. She’d given me a Cubs hat the Friday before, so I could look the part. We bought and ate lots of ballpark food and drinks. I got my First Cubs Game Certificate. We had one of the professional photographers take our picture. Denise ordered a copy when we got home.

We watched the game. Thankfully, not a long one. Not a boring one. (Well, maybe there could have been a bit more I don’t know–play from the Braves)

The crowd was nice, polite, not a bunch of beer sloshing, scream at the players type. Staff was great.

Denise bought me a Rizzo jersey. I wouldn’t have bought it myself. I was cringing at the prices and even stopped myself from getting her a Cubs nightgown when I went to the gift store on my own.

The game ended. Cubs WIN! We rode home. We got home to anxious dogs who hadn’t seen us for hours. We were tired and had definitely “gotten our steps in.”

I left wanting more Cubs. Mostly just wanting more magical, crazy days of doing something we just don’t do. (Sports. Spend frivolously. Spend time in a crowd, but together.)


Sometimes I wonder why I click on articles. “Click bait” articles. One today: 10 Things You Don’t Know You Can Do With Facebook.

I clicked. I read. Yeah, I knew all of those things. I work on Facebook as part of my job. I have lived online for 20+ years. I keep on top of industry news–because that is MY JOB. So, why when reading a non-tech site would I click to find out the “secrets of Facebook?”

Because I am curious. Because I am just like everyone else and there might be something worthwhile. I will resist viral videos and titles for a long time. “You won’t believe what happened when this father and daughter…” but if enough people share it–I will look. Usually I believe it. I also enjoy it many times. Sometimes I wonder if all the world is mad and my friends are just too far from being me because I won’t get it. At all.

What I don’t understand is people who click into articles they feel are click bait and comment on how horrible it is for a site to use such techniques. Why not? You were curious enough to click. Just because you didn’t learn something or agree–that doesn’t make it a bad article. The 10 Things You Don’t Know You Can Do with Facebook piece was like that. It was probably a good article. It just wasn’t helpful to me.

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