Bureaucrats and Trees are a Lethal Mix

For the trees, that is. For a city that claims to love trees, there are a lot of them marked for death. The chainsaws are slaughtering giant trees at Byng Park in Scarborough as I write this. Trees that provide beauty and shelter and shade and air purification. For no other reason than some petty bureaucrats decided that certain trees are invasive. They write pointless multi-page reports and all the reasons look good on paper, but it is pure sophistry. Tress that grew for over 50 years with no problem, but now they have to go. And not only are they being ruthlessly cut down, but the stumps will also be sprayed with a herbicide (which is a euphemism for poison) to kill the sucker growth that will take over.

So they take our trees, our natural heritage, and give us saplings with shallow root systems that can’t survive drought, and poison. The list of people I want to throw into the lake of fire is growing.

A couple of years ago, this same gang of criminals cut down a number of large trees on the main street near where we live. No reason was given. They weren’t dead (unlike people, trees die slowly). Then, about a month later, full-page ads, paid for by the city, appeared in the bus shelters along the same street, promoting the planting of trees because of their importance to the ecosystem in the city of Toronto! This is psychopathic behaviour.

It’s madness. Our beautiful ravines are under threat. Like many people, I love trees and forests. The loss of these trees makes me feel sick to my stomach, sad, furious and depressed.

It really is the time of the Orcs. God help us. Where is Thoreau when we need him.

Good Sayings

As a collector of words, I found this the other day in the back of my Daytimer:

  • Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.
  • Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.
  • Better one’s house be too little one day than too big all the year after.
  • But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads.
  • The key to wisdom is this: Constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.
  • You cannot master yourself unless you know yourself. There are mirrors for the face but none for the mind.
  • Your life is made up of years that mean nothing, moments that mean all.
  • Middle age is ten years older than you happen to be at the time.
  • In difficult times, you should always carry something beautiful in your mind.
  • The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing.
  • There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.

And a friend sent this the other day:

When you’re dead you don’t know you’re dead. The pain is only felt by others.

The same thing happens when you’re stupid.

Gender-Balanced Snow Clearing

If you are wondering why the streets are not plowed first, but the sidewalks and bike lanes are, you can blame Sweden for this current round of insanity.

Sweden brought us the marvelously pointless Vision Zero that Toronto has adopted. More on that in another post.

Read this.

More proof that the world has gone nuts.


Another difficult concept to get just right.

Time is life. If I waste time, I am wasting my life. But Aristotle said that leisure is true wealth.

Set goals and exercise the “want” muscle in your brain. But what if you are content?

Simplify your life. It promotes peace. I see the opposite – complexity and chaos and the eternal hamster wheel of busyness in most lives.

Goals – if the mind doesn’t have a defined target, energy is squandered. But sometimes the target eats up all the energy that your family and friends might like a piece of.

Remember, being productive also means coughing up phlegm. Beware of definitions that might be more beneficial to others rather than you. Every employer wants a productive workforce. Workaholics are good for the bottom line. But who really reaps most of the rewards?

“I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”

jerome k. jerome

Groundhog Day

A friend with my sense of humour sent this. Click on the link below:

Holding People in Their Mistakes

In the book Growing Down by Barry J. Robinson, he writes about this very common attitude:

“Holding people in their sins is a popular pastime. Few of us can resist it. I know something wrong that you have done and, no matter where it falls on the continuum of wrongdoing, it has lodged squarely in my mind. It is the way I see you whenever I look at you from now on. The woman who had an abortion at eighteen. The man who got caught cheating on his wife. The person who failed at his job.”

“And yet, how simple it is to let someone go, to unlock our hold on their sins, and release them to live a new life. It is what human freedom is all about – both the freedom we give another from releasing them from their past and the freedom we receive from choosing to be our deepest and most loving selves.”

He relates a story about a man named Joe and therapist Milton Erickson to illustrate the point. An excerpt about “You can if you’re a gentleman” can be found here.

Potato Ennui Got You Down?

Ah, the lowly potato. So delicious and so dangerous for diabetics.

Here are eight ways to put some excitement into boring old mashed:

  • Roast a yellow pepper under the broiler, remove the skin, puree in a MiniPrep with 35% cream and mash away.
  • Horseradish and sour cream or yogurt in mashed is nice with beef.
  • Throw some carrots in with the potatoes and mash with yogurt.
  • Grated Parmesan and fresh parsley is very nice with this Irish staple.
  • Lobster meat, 35% cream, and a bit of horseradish if you’re feeling well-heeled.
  • Slowly sauteed shallot with goat cheese, yogurt or cream and a little parmesan is quite delicious with the spud.
  • Creme Fraiche and butter.
  • And my favourite: Dice up a bundle of green onions and gently cook in a bit of oil or butter until lightly browned and wilted. Mash with buttermilk. It tastes like sour cream and onion potato chips.
  • And when I say oil, never use Canola oil. It is an industrial oil from rapeseed that they sold to the sheeple as a healthfood. You can read about its sordid history here.

Exercise and Eating – Some Thoughts

It takes a conscious effort to shift long-standing habits.

Exercise is a required component of lifestyle – just like eating and sleep.

Those who don’t find time to exercise will have to find time for illness.

Apparently, 70% of the way you look is based upon what you eat.

The French live to eat. The English eat to die.

Think about how food is affecting you at a cellular level.

Going through the exercise “gate” will develop other healthy habits.

Move your body to tone your mood.

Positive mental health is enhanced by exercise.

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat.

You’ve been misled. A calorie is not a calorie. A Twinkie is not the same as an egg. Think about it.

All of the above makes so much sense, so why do I find it so hard to actually do it? Humans truly are self-forgetting machines. Making a commitment to change can cause considerable anxiety, self-doubt and ambivalence. To maintain the status quo is easier in the short term, but probably detrimental in the long.

My Arm is Out of Prison

The cast for my broken wrist was removed today, after six frustrating weeks of incarceration.

The conditions of parole are exercises for strength and movement.

The skin looks like an elephant hide with a touch of leprosy.

But I’m not complaining. Just yesterday two dear people I knew died. The loss of a loved one puts every other difficulty into perspective.

A Test Of Character?

The Ascetic Experience is a blog I subscribe to because I love the pictures and meditations of this group of Greek monks. Orthodoxy has a unique beauty.

They wrote a small piece about how to find a good spouse, and one of the points was this:

“Observe him around girls or women with whom he is not interested in having a relationship, like a sister or feeble or old woman. How does he behave around them? Here you will see his true character.”

Obviously you can substitute ‘her’ for ‘him’, but I think the point has merit. Every life has value and something unique to offer. Don’t settle for a friend or spouse who ignores certain people or treats them like they’re worthless.

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