Squirrelish aspirations

Ode to the Squirrel who
much as I sat unawares
reading in the park
as one does
snuck upon me
if only, it would seem,
to punch my left buttocks;

Praise forever the Squirrel who
one verdant morning
quite out of the blue
except was its daily routine
flew in through the window
and convinced a hapless suitemate
dressed for goodness knows why
as the Red Power Ranger,
for a good ten minutes
to chase it about the parlour;

And glory be
to the Squirrel who
for unknown designs
bounded up to my grandmother
looked left and looked right
and ran off with a pumpkin
as its worthy prize.

Surely creatures so amused must be our gods.

Deadly turns

So many things in this article are close to home. Those roads are very near where I grew up; my mom used to drive every day up that way; and my grandma volunteers at the Bagg Farm all the time. :'(

Honestly it’s a wonder there aren’t more accidents like this on rural roads and bridges. I’m so glad there aren’t, but there aren’t on-ramps—it’s usually just a middle-of-the-city intersection (with defined main road has right-of-way if there’s traffic; but no stoplights), but with speeds of 105kph / 65mph—and growing up I avoided the highway where I could. Gravel has better traction in icy conditions, too. But that doesn’t solve the problem that certain neighbors (cough cough you know who you are) planted trees right up to the intersection (how is this legal???), so you can’t see on-coming cars at said gravel road intersection (even though it’s legal, wtf are you thinking?!). Going the other way, the intersection with Highway 13 is always missing gravel because you have to peel onto the highway, making a left turn before traffic in either direction closes the gap, in order to get to town. Somehow I think it would be more effective to argue that this is a bad design based on the fact that the township/county has to continue buying and laying new gravel to fill the holes caused by repeated rapid acceleration, than by pointing out the safety concerns of ubiquitous high-speed ninety-degree left turns. Alas.

I wonder if the caption-writers noticed that most of Torchwood series one is captioned “♫ Ominous music ♫”, or if it’s just an accident / although not totally inaccurate?

While I’m glad President Obama is calling attention to the gun problem in this country, I wish news organizations (cough cough NPR front page) weren’t making the latest shooting just about the president’s speech. (BBC has more info, but the headline focuses on Obama; CBC has more context.) I don’t want or expect gory details, but I do expect news coverage of a massacre to talk about the fact that people died and how terrible this is, and not that the president of the United States is “visibly angry”. Maybe the president is right, and news reports of mass shootings are so routine that news organizations thought that an elected official being upset is more newsworthy than the event itself. How terrible is that even.

(EDIT: Just to note, though, the overarching general indicators leading to shooting sprees isn’t mental illness; pretending otherwise unnecessarily excuses violent actors and stigmatizes those who do suffer mental illness and are more likely to be victims of violence than its perpetrators.)