A couple of days ago: I realize that there’s this intense, loud silence full of energy coming from the porch. (All you parents of kids old enough to get into mischief know what I’m talking about!) I go out there, and my first thought is someone had the biggest and neatest poop I’ve ever seen. One long black rope coiled around and around on itself.

Yeah. It’s a black snake curled up on the floor, playing dead while Delilah watches over it. If any part of it moves just a little bit, my cat puts a paw out and the snake plays dead again. Over and over and over and over. (I didn’t think to snap a picture until after the fact.)

I felt for the snake, but not enough to actually touch it. A planter, a magazine, and a quick run out the screen door gave the snake his freedom and deprived Delilah of her “playmate”.



OBESIGENIC: a term coined to suggest that in today’s [Western] society, many things increase one’s chances for overweight or obesity, including availability of fast foods, increased stress, toxic environments, decreased sleep, and a sedentary lifestyle.¬†I came across this word in my reading recently. It doesn’t remove the responsibility from an individual, but it doesn’t make it any easier, either.

Then I came across “smell-o-vision”. It’s not for real yet, but it’s coming. Domino’s Pizza is testing a version of it out in Brazil. Currently, special [pizza] scented ink is used on select rental DVDs, and by the time the movie is over, the player has heated up the ink so that when the user ejects the DVD, it smells like pizza and the printing on top of the disc suggests that a pizza would taste great with the next movie. Not so subliminal advertising. (Heck, Barnes & Noble already sends the smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies every so often through its Cafe and store.) I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before they figure out how to do it during the movie. (Hey, I suddenly feel like a pizza! Hit pause so we can order it. Thirty minutes later: hit pause again so we can pay the driver and dish out the chow. Yes! Now, back to the movie …)

It feels like we live in a war zone. On one side, the advertising and all the companies behind it trying to sell us something, no matter that it’s better for their pockets¬†than our health (be it medical, psychological, or financial health that we’re talking about). On the other side, the individual. Or, the individual consumer if you prefer. We all know what advertising is trying to do. Many of us say we think for ourselves and ads don’t affect us. But big business spends big bucks on advertising … a big argument that advertising does affect us. It’s said that knowledge is power – but is our knowledge affected by advertising that has skewed the facts to sell something?

I worked as a grant writer when I first came to Florida. Given enough time and creativity, I can take the same set of statistics (numerical “facts”) and use that set to prove two facts that are the polar opposites of each other – i.e., mental illness is increasing and mental illness is decreasing. Why would I be surprised to find out that advertising does the same thing?

bumper sticker I had to take a picture of - car belongs to a mathemetician

bumper sticker I had to take a picture of – car belongs to a mathematician

Enough of the rant. I am feeling pleasantly relaxed smelling the rose scent wafting around my home, courtesy of Cheryl and her Haus of Scents (sorry, couldn’t resist the juxtaposition with the above rant). Let’s go to the dog park. I was there last week when a dad came in with two young boys (probably 6 and 8) and a dog. This guy is truly a dad. The lesson started with coming into the park, and how one door needs to be closed before the other one can be opened (to keep dogs from escaping). Then, it was time to teach a new chore to the younger boy. Yep, picking up the poop after the dog does his business. That little boy was so grossed out by the thought of picking up the steaming fresh poo … I looked the other way to hide my extreme amusement. Later, the dad commented that he was killing two birds with one stone by having his boys run after the dog. I told him it looked like he was actually killing three birds and wished him a pleasant evening.

I wish the same for you.