When I was a kid there was a popular series of television commercials for margarine that ended with the words, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature,” followed by dramatic thunder and lightning triggered by an angry middle-aged woman. (As a middle-aged woman there are so many places I could go with this line of thought, but I digress.)
The point of the commercial was that you can’t trick Mother Nature into thinking something unnatural is natural. Back in the day, folks thought margarine (manmade) was better for you than butter (natural). Fast forward 30 years and we’re back to butter is better and margarine is basically one molecule away from plastic. Mother Nature wins. Again.
Along that same line of thought, it’s fairly obvious that the recent problems with the White River (algae overgrowth and mysterious rock slime) are caused—at least in part—by human activity in or near the river, and can probably be solved by changes in the same. The question becomes, who is going to be the bigger person? Who is going to be the one who says, “My actions may or may not be part of the problem, but in case they are, I’ll make changes in what I do in order to heal the river.”
I think we’re all in agreement that the overall health of the river is more important than anyone’s individual wishes. At least I hope that’s the case. Time will tell.
It was an honor and a privilege to serve as a judge for a couple of county fair events. It was also a responsibility I didn’t take lightly. Judging a fair entry is a lot like writing a book review: totally subjective. I’ve been on both sides of book reviews, and I know it can be painful. Here’s what I try to keep in mind: learn from your errors, but don’t let them become your identity. Actually, I have to apply that philosophy every week to putting out the newspaper. It would be easy to become paralyzed by every mistake I find (usually within an hour of sending pages to the printer), and the occasional negative comment, but that’s not productive. Pressing forward is productive. So, to all the fair entrants this year, count yourselves among the brave for submitting your work to public scrutiny. It’s a good lesson to learn while you’re young.
My pedestrian crossing pet peeve came up again this week, partly because someone tried to roar through a stop sign when I was already halfway across the street last week, close enough I could have reached out and touched their bumper. I’m sure they were in a desperate hurry to get from one side of our 13-block town to the other, but the next time that happens and I’m legally in the crosswalk right-of-way, I’m getting license plate numbers and calling the police.
Writing about it here is mostly for my own catharsis, because I’m reasonably sure the kind of folks who have to race through an intersection in Meeker are in too much of a hurry to read. Obviously they haven’t read the Colorado driver’s manual, either.
And then there was a Facebook discussion about people rolling through stop signs and stoplights. The newspaper office overlooks the Sixth and Main blinking stoplight, and I’ve been watching folks do California stops at that intersection for the better part of the last year. Now, I understand we’re all in a giant rush to get to the other side, but in all seriousness, school is about to start and our precious little ones will be walking to and from school again. A little patience, a little wisdom and a little common courtesy will go a long way toward keeping them (and everyone else) safe. That two seconds you might save rushing through the intersection isn’t worth a life, an injury or a traffic ticket, is it?