Tag: Sept 2008

Water and Plastic
sat 6 Sept 2008

Entry #1 of 4 on this page (tagged: sept)

the kale, surrounded by irises

In an effort to keep the kale alive in my poor little garden, I've been watering every day for the past month. It's a royal pain. Since we don't have a hose, I have to fill up a big watering can in the kitchen sink and then carry it around the peninsula, through the porch room and then water the plants in the garden. Six times every morning. ugh.

My mom was saying that no matter how much they water their garden, it's only after a rain that the vegetables actually perk up and start happily growing. She said something about the goodness that is rain and I agreed with her, having noticed the same thing.

But, thinking about it, I believe it's less about the goodness that is rain and more about the badness that is our running water. Bare minimum, we've got chlorine and fluoride in our drinking water, both poisons. And whatever is in the pipes, or peeling off the pipes between the treatment plant and our home.

And then you've got all the junk that the water treatment plant can't filter out or kill. The hormones and poisons that have run off from our factory farms. The antidepressents, diet pills, cholesterol drugs and etc that we give ourselves are getting "recycled" in our water supply.

The plants in our gardens are probably all "Are you trying to kill us?! Jeez!"

Of course, all of this jacked up water wanders its way down to the ocean. But today I'm not talking about the dead zones we've made. Today I'm talking about plastic.

Plastic never goes away. It just breaks down into smaller bits of plastic. And then it blows away, floats down in the river, ends up in the ocean.

An area of floating plastic trash was discovered in 1997 by Capt. Charles Moore in the North Pacific Gyre. He estimated the floating plastic vortex was about the size of Texas.

Today, the floating plastic trash has split in two areas. It's the size of two continental United States.

oh, the plastic is not just floating out there. It's busy poisoning and killing marine animals. Plastic leaks out the chemicals we put in it (to change it's physical properties) but it also soaks up "oily" toxins from the environment.

And marine animals eat the plastic. Because it looks like food. Because there is nothing else to eat? There is more plastic than plankton in the gyres.

The animals choke on the plastic. Or they starve to death, full of plastic. Or they get sick from the toxins, and get eaten by someone else. Plastic and the toxins it carries is in _Every_ living being in the ocean.

Oh, and guess what? We feed fish meal, aka ground up fishes, to the domesticated animals in our factory farms. So there's plastic and its toxins in the dead animals and dairy you eat. On top of the poisons we feed them on purpose.

  You can avoid the plastic in your diet by going vegan!

  Recycle! All plastics except #6 (styrofoam) can be put into the recycling bin. Avoid styrofoam like the plague. Do not throw electronics away, take them to a recycling center.

  When you have a choice, don't choose plastic.

Plastic is in everything, and it is too late to clean up our oceans. But there is no reason to contribute to the problem, especially where easy solutions exist... Like reusable shopping bags.

Trashed: Across the Pacific Ocean, Plastics, Plastics, Everywhere by Capt. Charles Moore
The story of the discovery of the Texas-sized "eastern garbage patch" in 1997.

The world's rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan
Today, the plastic patch in the North Pacific Gyre has split and covers an area equal to two continental United States.

Algalita Marine Research Foundation
Set up by Capt. Moore to study our plastic problems. Dang, check out the photo gallery.

2008.09.11 A Local Plastic Update

One of our local grocery stores has decided to discontinue plastic bags! It's the second store to do so in our city, after Trader Joe's. Yay, Market of Choice!

Newspaper Article: Grocery drops the question: It's paper only

Scanner Wanderings
Fri 12 Sept 2008

Entry #2 of 4 on this page (tagged: sept)

My mood lately: Excitable about random copyright-free graphics, with an unfortunate lack of focus. :)

Barbara Sher defines Scanners as "people who have so many interests they're unable to choose only one". Check out her book, Refuse to Choose

My goal this week was to come up with some art for my September postcard exchange. It's our third monthly exchange, and I had many ideas but nothing really interested me enough to actually work on it.

In an effort to get inspired, I joined groups, I looked at photos, I drew sketches, I visited Flickr sets. I got many more ideas. Yep, I have ideas for hundreds of postcards.

Fortunately, one of the groups I joined was PostCrossing. So I can send the hundreds of postcards I have ideas for, all over the world. Goodie!

'Course, the postcards in "idea-form" are pretty useless. I need to actually make them before I can put a stamp on them and send them into the world.

After I signed up at PostCrossing, I went to fix up my profile. I tried to upload my avatar... and it wouldn't let me! It said the size had to be at least 140x140.

My Avatar

This is the avatar that I've been using for the past 10 or 11 years. It's 64x64 pixels and it doesn't look so good when it's blown up larger.

So maybe I need a new avatar? But then the question is, do I draw another unicorn or do I make something entirely new?


I considered making a switch to Verdella the Vegan Dragon. She's green at least which is my favorite colour... but technically she's someone else's art: My SO bought her for me at the Saturday Market, which means she's handmade. (And I would love to spread the joy of dragon stuffies, but they don't have a website yet.)

Bottom line, I don't want to use other people's art for my avatar.

And speaking of lines. I just ran into this post at Smashing Magazine, Download your fresh <hr>-line now! and oh my goodness, just look at all those wonderful dividers.

It reminded me of a project I started many moons ago... Static-Bar Creations

Fun, huh? :)

But then that reminds me that I really should work on a new web site design. I love my Rainbow Elephants but they've been up for a very long time. A very long time.

my Scanner Mascot

Yeah, I seriously need those eight arms!!

rnd chit chat
Mon 22 Sept 2008

Entry #3 of 4 on this page (tagged: sept)

The other morning, I woke up thinking that I should change my last name. It's not something I've ever considered doing, but I kind of like the idea, now that I've thought of it...

I love my first name, both my full name, Cherissa, and my shortened, used name, cheri. I am indifferent about my middle name, Anne. My last name... I guess my feelings are: I could do without. The only good thing about it is that it's only five letters long.

At some point, ages ago, people's last name indicated a little bit of who they were. Like John's Son, or a Miller or whatever.

My new last name will be Vegan, I think. :) That definitely indicates who I am, and it's still only five letters! ha!

Cherissa Anne Vegan. CAV.

Have I mentioned my African Violets? My Grandma grows these like crazy, and wanted me to have one. So my Mom brought me one when she visited me during my birthday this May.

When I transplanted my new African Violet, I accidently broke off two leaves, so I planted them back in the original pot. The one leaf grew new babies almost right away. The other leaf just sat there. It was turning itself towards the light, tho, so I figured it was growing roots and stuff.

Last week, I found the second leaf finally had a baby. And then I noticed that there was another baby growing behind the first leaf! It had a long stem, trying to get out behind the leaf to reach for the light.

And then, this past week, the second leaf has a second -- and maybe a third -- baby growing! Yay, African Violet Babies Everywhere!

Aren't they cute when they're little?

I am not very adventurous when it comes to food. I'm a pretty picky eater, I guess. But I do try to buy new and different things at the grocery every once in a while.

Yesterday's grocery run came home with two leeks. When I talked to my Mom, I brought it up because I wanted to ask her how much of the green I should cut off.

Mom: *pause* Do you Like leeks??
me: *cheerfully* I don't know!
Mom: 'Cause they taste a little bit like onions.
me: *pause* oh.

laughs. Yeah, I don't like onions! But I'm going to try the leeks in soup. We'll see how it goes.

Today, during my walk around the block with my SO, we saw two sheeps! They were happily munching grass on the other side of the creek. And they were both black. And they both still had their tail. oh, they are so cute.

SO wondered if they were someone's pets. I hoped they had escaped from one of the sheep farms in the area... Escaped from being turned into lamb chops, you know.

I know they could survive the winter, out by themselves, our winters are so mild here. There's plenty of grass for them to eat. If people would just leave them alone, is all.

Let the sheep go free!
go vegan!

Banned Books Week
sun 28 Sept 2008

Entry #4 of 4 on this page (tagged: sept)

Banned Books Week
"Celebrating the Freedom to Read,"
September 27 to October 4

Books aren't actually "banned" in the US. They are just complained about. And of course, that makes me want to read them. ha!

Here's the list...
  "10 Most Challenged Books of 2007"

... of which I proudly own two:

  Number 1, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, Illustrated by Henry Cole
Nice story and cute artwork, this book was at the top of the list last year as well. Of course, I have major problems with jailing innocent animals in zoos... but the book is a jumping off point for many conversations. Exactly what is needed in children's books, of course!!

  Number 4, Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass
um. It's been a year since I read this and I still remember this book. So it's really good story telling. Decent movie too. ;)

I try to add to my collection of banned books every year... I'm interested in reading #10 The Perks of Being A Wallflower and #8 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

From my post last year, S8:2007.09.29 Banned Books Week, I _did_ read Fahrenheit 451 and The Handmaid's Tale #37 on the big List of 100.


  The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990 - 2000 How many have you read?? Be sure to check out an Event at a library near you! Some interesting stuff here (run by Half Price Books but not updated in a while).

  Banned Books group at GoodReads Yep, I just joined. If you join, please 'friend' me (riftvegan)and let us know what banned books you've read!

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