Archive for the ‘Dear Diary’ Category
Of course I voted in favor of fluoridation.
Some of my friends feel differently, and that’s fine, but I wanted to share my process for voting and why I vote the way I do, maybe in the hopes that it’s a process that’s useful to people.
When I heard a friend of mine was (vehemently) against fluoridating our water supply here in Portland, Oregon, I was confused. Wasn’t that the weird issue that came up in the 50s and turned out to be nothing?
But people were pretty upset about it all, so it seemed smart to do some research.
I think if someone is voting on a moral/ethical issue, they need to consider their values. If we were voting on gay or women’s or minority rights, I would turn to my values of egalitarianism and equality. If I were voting on a new education bill or policy around environmental standards, I’d be considering my beliefs and ethics around children and the environment, but I’d also try to figure out if enough good is being done to justify the costs of doing it.
No one seems upset about the costs of Fluoridating our water (it’s relatively cheap.) So it seems (to me) to be an issue of public health and science.
So, like any good voting citizen should, I researched.
I read this: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/
and then this: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/01/20110107a.html
and this: Fluoride Paranoia and Betteridge’s Law
(I also read some ardent anti-fluoride sites, which I’m not going to link … because I found them alarmist, undocumented and generally irrational. Google fluoridation, they’re easy enough to find.)
Anyway, from reviewing data, I found the issue considered, tested, safe and generally good for the community. A no-brainer.
I marked yes on my ballot, politely declined my friends’ anti-fluoridation invites and got on with the next issue.
It is my hope that if you haven’t voted yet, that you look at real research and data before you decide.
But regardless, when the vote is done, we will go one way or another. Personally, I hope the winner is choice that will help poor people and children live healthier lives, but we’ll get by either way.
Regardless of how they vote, my friends will still be my friends, and we’ll deal with our decisions the best we can.
Seems like there are distinct opinions about about the emotional experience of animals, especially pets. I guess I’ve seen the gambit between deep anthropomorphizing of a rich series of motivations and strategies painted onto cats meowing and dogs panting, all the way to folks taking on the cold Descartian idea that animals have no feelings whatsoever.
I’m pretty deeply on team animal rights, but I also feel pretty sure that we can’t just paint our emotional experience onto other species and call it good. Y’know?
Anyway, I have this cat, Nephilim Supercat Linnaea, and jesus I love this cat so freakin’ much. And I’m pretty sure she loves the living hell out of me. Neffy begs to be picked up when I come home, she purrs whenever I get near her, she follows me from room to room, she often sleeps next to me. It breaks my heart.
I adopted Neffy from a shelter. The day before, they had rescued her from a cat-lady hoarder situation. She was so skinny, we thought she was a short haired runt.
Elina and I have been doing our best to make sure Nephilim has a happy life. Not to drown her in bizarre cat objects, but to keep her healthy, happy and make it clear she’s safe and loved and will never go hungry again.
Elina found the witch mouse. I didn’t think much of it either way. It was just a little purple mouse with a black witch hat on it’s head. It had some plastic or something inside so it crinkled when squeezed. I think it cost her a few dollars.
Besides me, there’s nothing Nephilim loves more in the world. She’s okay with string and laser pointers and she really likes to chew up plastic bags, but she freakin’ loves this mouse. She has other similar toys, but none of them are her teddy bear like witch mouse.
And, trust me, I relate. I carried around Ruffy, the little blue dog knitted by my mom. I did everything with Ruffy till he was threadbare. I think Mom patched that toy dog for me at least three or four times. She kept him after I grew too old for powder blue knit dogs. Last time I saw Ruffy, I was shocked at how tiny he’d become.
The hat didn’t last long, and then went the eyes. It doesn’t look like much of anything anymore, but she carries it around with her like a teddy bear. She’ll drop it at our feet so we’ll throw it. She brings it back to us over and over, like a dog. She entertain herself with the beaten up thing for hours. She brings it to bed with her when she sleeps.
I spend a ridiculous amount of brain power on worrying about how I’m going to replace it for her when it finally comes apart.
So, there’s my cat, who I love to death, who loves me to death, and who loves the shit out of her ridiculous purple teddy mouse.
Whatcha think? It’s not a 100% what I was expecting, and the journey here was insane, but it’ll do for now.
A couple details and a mild rant:
You’ll notice some dust in the corners and cracks in the walls. I’ve got the fiction section most of the way there. Expect that to get seriously awesome when I launch my serial novel at the end of February.
The music section needs a header graphic and is currently just old stuff, but I’m playing with my schedule and trying to figure out where I can fit music in with writing and money-work and friends and cooking and and and … whew.
The shop section is just a placeholder for future stuff. I’ll probably turn it off soon and restart it when needed.
I should probably redo my bio too. *makes note*
Not to end on a downer, but there’s a few things I wanted to get off my chest about the redesign. I’ve been debating whether to share this, but I think I need to say a few things:
So, as a lot of you know, my day job is web design. It’s practically criminal that I didn’t just buckle down and redo the site myself, but I needed a lot done. The fiction section, journal and music section are essentially three blogs controlled by one interface and I’d been thinking the site needed an update for a year or so. The more I thought about how much work it all needed, the more I dragged my feet.
So I finally bit the bullet and started shopping for a web designer to do the update. I didn’t look very far, but went with a person a friend of mine recommended. I wasn’t blown away by this person’s stuff, but I convinced myself they might be able to stretch a bit. (Honestly, that should have been my first warning bell.)
Long story short, I think the designer was in the middle of some life problems and the work was obviously outside their ability.
What they delivered was a mess.
I empathize with their problems, but, hell, if I had done a job half as shitty as they did, I’d own it and offer a refund.
As it was, when I discussed the problems, they got defensive, doubled down, talking to me as if I didn’t understand web design, (which I’ve done as a living for over 18 years.)
Eventually, they grudgingly agreed to a partial refund, saying it was only because I was a “fellow writer.” (More likely, they didn’t want me bad-mouthing them to my writing friends.)
Anyway, I eventually did a quick redesign (you’re looking at it.) The backend is still wonky, but I’ve got it at least working.
So, here we are. I’m not going to call them out. Hopefully they learned something. I sure did.
So, it’s been forever since I’ve written an update. I wanted anybody still around to know that I am still alive, having a great time in Portland, still writing, etc etc etc …
I also have some exciting updates to report:
First and foremost is my serial novel “The Curious Investigations of Miranda McGee” which will be coming out at the end of this month. In the next few days I should have art and banners up, so watch this space. It’s going to rule!
In other news, I’m still doing my best to find balance in my life between money work and writing and social time. It’s a challenge sometimes, but generally things are great.
And, as usual, I’m biting off too much. I have two novels currently in the works, and am trying to finish a number of short stories. I keep saying that music is coming soon too. We’ll see. More about that later …
Anyway, nice to see you again. Expect more regular updates from here on out!