Thursday, April 30, 2009

Carlos and Rocky have left the building

Carlos and Rocky came to Culebra...a long, long time ago, it seems now. Carlos is the engineer for the sewer project (before you decide to draw and quarter him, he is NOT able to control the construction company, though god knows he tried). This is Carlos standing next to one of the vacuums. This is what is under each manhole cover. You know, the ones cemented shut that have been dug up about 10 times each? Even on his next to last day, Carlos was teaching me more stuff. He's like that.

Rocky is the environmental guy whose job is to oversee the installation of the sewer and make sure no violations are occurring. And he too is NOT in control of the construction company leaders or workers. Both of them have been always honest with me (their unofficial field reporter) about why everything is so screwed up around here, probably because the reason I met them is because everything is so screwed up around here.

I met them because of my little car dropping into an almost foot deep trench that was full of water and not marked at all. I didn't know who they were, but they could speak English and they seemed to care about my situation. For a long eight months they encouraged me, made phone calls for me, laughed with me, let me cry with them. Rocky would say, MJ, their job is to say No no no and your job is to make them say yes yes yes. They had no connection with the company I was trying to get compensation from, and I know I was a pain in the butt(s) on occasion, but they never made me feel unwelcome or uncared for. I tried to do the same, but it was hard when usually when I saw them it was because of some new outrage being done around town...more holes, more safety violations that weren't just violations, but endangering to anyone driving or walking around. But still, they put up with me and usually with a smile.

Both of them bring their girlfriends here on some weekends, because they really do love Culebra, and both have very strong feelings about not being here for the finish of the project. Of course, by then they'll both have grandchildren and I'll be dead, but hey, a job is a job and when the boss says you gotta go, then it's time to go.

Today I told them both how weird it will be, that the next time they are over here, I won't be saying anything to them about something going wrong. Rocky smiled and said, "Yes you will, MJ, you won't be able to not tell us." Yes, he's probably right.
You tried your best, guys. I'm so glad I met you both and will welcome you both back with a grin and a hug. And I will give it my best shot to only talk happy talk. Really. If I can stop coughing long enough, I'll do that.

Ok, play the song now. I'll miss you.

Green Day - Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Top of the morning, bottom of the barrel

DO read the post below this if you haven't yet, I wasn't going to post again until much later today.
But seeing this, I had to share it because I can just imagine the buzz from those sorts who don't ever check with before passing out idiotic, hateful, prejudicial and/or just plain stupid emails thinking that what Bachman and Foxx said MUST BE TRUE, I mean hey, they are elected officials, right? No, not right. Well, actually, VERY Right. But not correct; sorry, Republicans who are sure Democrats are all from Satan.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

That time of year (off with the save the world hat ond on with the getcher hands dirty hat)

Have I mentioned that everyone, everywhere, should be gardening? Maybe once or twice? Well, I'm not troubled by repetition (as anyone who knows me is all too aware), and decided that as Spring is warming up the world in this hemisphere - while cooling it off in the other - I could still give a nudge to those sitting on the proverbial fence. May it be a picket fence if you haven't at least fondled mentally the idea of putting seed to earth out of your own hand.

Serious gardeners have been starting their seeds for awhile now, mentally planting them according to the timetables of their region, the phases of the moon, and whatever internal and external clocks they use for the creation of foods and blooms in their personal world.

One of my favorite sites for gardening is Pepper Joe's. He's had a site for many years, and is still just as personable as ever. Of course, peppers (hot ones!) are his big thing, but he has some other things as well. But his gardening advice is for anything you want to grow. It's like having the cool garden guy next door hang out with you and tell you all his secrets. Check him out!

Those who live where winter is approaching have put or are putting the majority of their gardens to bed, with maybe some root vegetables left in place for over wintering. Canned and frozen, braided and ground, the garden's bounty will continue into the cold months.

For those of us in almost constantly fine gardening weather zones, the preservation mode needn't be as critical, for we can keep on planting away, though our summer heat will change the needs of the gardens, along with the rainy season.

I've become a big fan of container and raised bed gardening since living in the islands. Especially since where I live on Culebra is about 3 feet above sea level with very clayish, rock filled soil. Though wonderfully, under the mangroves and a literal few feet away from the water, there is this soil that is like soil that has been lovingly tended and composted for many years...because it has, by Mother Nature. But, it's also salty, so when I use it, which I do sparingly, mixing it with bought soil, I have to take it away from the water's edge and let rain water cleanse it. A tip: look around your yard, if you have a yard, to see what your soil is like in different spots. It will save you a lot of time if you pay attention first to where the sun hits most of the day and how close your water source is before you start, even if you use containers totally.

Seed catalogs are fun! Really, I swear it. And for the price of a garden full of seeds you still couldn't buy that vintage leather messenger bag from J. Peterman, so start looking at seed catalogs instead! I know a lot of catalogs are online and from a paper saving point of view, it's best to look at them online. But if you've never held a seed catalog, I'd suggest you order a few. Some of the best are full of great advice, recipes and photographs that make you want to eat the page. Sort of like porno, but different.

Now I could take the time to copy all of this info into my own blog but hey, my Daddy always told me to not re-invent the wheel and a number of people have already put together lists of catalogs I would be suggesting plus a few I didn't know about. One blog among others, The Heirloom Vegetable Gardener's Assistant (not quite rolling off the tongue, but the blog is a lot tidier, and every bit as straightforward AND there is an explanation of the name as well, which I really like) has such a list.

Ok. The first photo I found that I really REALLY liked happened to be one that as I was trying to source where the hell it actually came from (it was found on flickr), I got lost. This guy has way too much energy and I almost forgot why I was on his...plethora of sites within a Wow. Have fun. Who knew gardeners could be so...oh never mind. Here's the pics, 1 & 2, & 3

If you want to see more of the myriad of this guy's work, click on the link, then click on the date in the upper left area of the page, which will take you to an index. Go crazy. But come back before gardening season is over!

Now...where was I? Oh! I like this so much because it takes up very little space and it has a LOT of room for all sorts of great veggies. There is even a cool set up for peas (or some other climbing thing) on the second tier, which could be extended if needed (and it would be).


I wish this were a larger image because it takes away ALL excuses for that tiresome chant "I only have a tiny yard!" Be glad you HAVE a yard for heaven's sake! There are a lot of ornamentals in here and while they are nice, I'm all about feeding your body along with feeding your spirit, so I'd combine both and make some other sort of stepping stone accomodation as that looks like something I'd trip on, real fast. Squeeze in a little bistro table for those nights of wine and rhubarb and you're all set. This blog has all sorts of clever ideas for small space gardening. Enjoy!

Here's that fence you've been sitting on! Get off it and use it.

Again, this blogger is into ornamentals rather than veggies here, but there are some great ideas along with some fun fence work (no epees, take your mask off now, it looks weird) as well.

I like tiered stuff, what can I say? If I could have a loft bedroom space, I'd love it. With a Heidi window. And...ok, right, gardens. Yes...track, MJ, track!

This site is full of all sorts of things, but this is one of them that came across just as I was thinking about doing a post of this sort. The tiered container photos, though very bland, be one of my favorite ideas, just because it shows the versatility of the idea. The first tiered photo was made out of entirely recycled wood (and be careful on that one, don't use treated lumber - it leaches into the soil) so that's a winning factor but this could be done the same way. The big idea is saving space, using space, making something that works for you. Or, if you have a small space and lots of bucks, hire someone and sit going through your seed catalog drinking a summer libation while they do the sweating. I do love to watch a talented worker sweat for me. Hey, it's true. Admit it, you like it too.

Raised bed gardening here:

Raised bed. Square foot. There are so many ways to garden, but this is one of the better ones. Less space is wasted with raised beds, they are easy to work around and again, the soil is simple to improve and add to. This site is full of all sorts of much so that I'm exhausted. So before I try to go on fumble fingered, I need to take my own summery libation into my own garden and finish this post in a bit. Cheers!

Oh dear...all I did was work in the garden; staking a tomato here, picking a pepper there, letting my ice melt...why does that make me so, oh, not bubbly happy, but deeply content? I'm putting *easily pleased* at the top of the list.

I couldn't remember why I nabbed this photo for a second. And then it came to me. Trash can gardening! Just so you know, attractive containers ain't cheap. Trash cans are, relatively so and they are deep - roots can stretch and stretch some more, which tomatoes, for one, love. I'm talking kitchen trash cans here, compactly sized. But hey, if you've got the room, go for Big Buster!

Plus, there is some very cool information on a sort of composting I'd never heard about. Check it out. Again, ornamentals here but...sing the chorus now~~~~~~~~~~

I was going to tell you about upside down gardening, which I've never done. But after doing a fairly long scan of a LOT of personal stories, I think I'll skip it. Better to just use a container if you don't plant in the ground.

On that sane and sensible note...I'll leave you the same way I left. With this guy's blog. It seems he's famous, but I never heard anything about him before (I don't watch television, and I'm not very cool), if anyone cares to explain - I figure one of my daughters will clue me in but please, don't be shy, I'm always open to learning...even if it dribbles out sooner or later, depending on content.

I only came across his blog as he wrote about upside down tomato growing. And the name of his blog, Dispatches from the Island, how could I resist delving deeper? It was interesting and kind of off center funny...and apparently, that is pretty accurate. He and his wife are in Europe now, click on the title to get to the present. Read on, let me know what happens next...and good night.

You never know

I had a whole post that took a fair amount of time about something not so serious, but important to me (and you'll see it soon, trust me!), but then I got this in my email. And it takes precedence over...oh, just about anything else.

"They tell me it's all happening at the zoo...I do believe you, I do believe it's true..."

Please click on the headline to be taken to the original document (which you will need to be on to follow the links as I do not have them linked here)

EPA Fines Construction Companies in Culebra, Puerto Rico for Ignoring Federal Water Quality Laws

Release date: 04/28/2009

Contact Information: John Senn (212) 637-3667, or Brenda Reyes (787) 977-5869,

(San Juan, P.R.) In a move that shows its strong commitment to enforcing rules that protect water quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) levied fines against eight construction companies in Culebra, P.R. for their failure to follow federal regulations for handling stormwater run off from construction sites. The eight companies are Culebra Resorts Associates; Playa Clara, S. E.; Inversiones del Mercado; JOFA Contractors; Caribbean Properties Investments; VPI Construction Corp.; and Víctor Morales all face fines for failing to obtain proper stormwater permits for construction sites in Culebra. Alfa & Omega was also fined for similar violations related to the installation of a sewer line. The companies face fines totaling $205,500.

“The failure to implement adequate stormwater and sewage controls at these construction sites was harming Culebra’s fragile coastal ecosystems” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. “Stormwater runoff carries sediments and other pollutants that endanger sea grasses and coral ecosystems, which in turn can impact threatened and endangered sea turtles.”

The eight companies failed to obtain permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), a program under the federal Clean Water Act that regulates stormwater discharges associated with sewer systems, and industrial and construction activities. NPDES requires owners and operators of construction sites larger than one acre to obtain a permit and to develop and implement a storm water pollution prevention plan, including best management practices to minimize the amount of pollutants reaching waterways.

Breakdown of the fines:
Inversiones del Mercado/Jofa Contractors Corp. $60,050
Caribbean Properties Investment/VPI Construction Corp. $56,050
Culebra Resort Associates $32,500
Víctor Morales $32,500
Playa Clara, S.E. $24,400

Two endangered species of sea turtles, the hawksbill turtle and the leatherback turtle, and one threatened species, the green turtle, inhabit Culebra’s coastal waters. Elkhorn and staghorn coral, both endangered species, are also found in these waters.

Sediment runoff rates from construction sites are typically 10 to 20 times greater than those from agricultural lands, and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than those of forest lands. Sediment discharges from construction sites can cause physical and biological harm to waterways.

For more information on how stormwater is regulated, visit

Follow us on Twitter and visit our new Facebook page.



Please go to the original document to follow the links! Thank you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

People power

I banked with B of A for years, starting with them after they took over the bank I originally banked with in Florida. One day, poof, my bank was gone, and it was B of A. That worked until I moved to the islands, but I always kept my B of A account, because at the time you could not get a debit card at any local bank (I only keep a debit card, because credit cards are not my friends). This remained the case when I moved to Culebra, with only Bancopopular here. I remained with B of A, which was a major pain in the butt, mailing in deposits, etc.

Finally Bancopopular got debit cards here so I dropped my B of A account. And I'm so glad I did because I'd have to do all sorts of mailing and withdrawing my account and the rest of it just to protest this piggish CEO. I have never had any Merrill Lynch accounts, but hey all of you Americans who read this, DO SOMETHING! People do have the power where business is concerned. Use it! I know, personally, at least half a dozen of you have interests in both of those institutions, so unless you are willing to get active and take some sort of action, don't whine to me about greedy, corrupt fatcats or the state of the US of A.

However, if you DO choose to do something pro-active, let me know! The first three people who send something to me proving that they a)withdrew their accounts and/or b) withdrew their accounts AND campaigned for the firing of this man gets a free bottle of my home made hot sauce of their choice, Honey Heat, Manaya Heat or Culebra Pique.

Watch and bur...learn.

After I posted this I was going through my email, clicking my hungersite / breast cancer site/ childhealth /rainforest daily clicks, an auto-pilot task these days. But for some reason I actually was reading the breast cancer one as I was clicking and caught the phrase '...helping underprivileged woman get a free mammogram.' I've probably read that a 1000 times before and not had the word underprivileged really hit me before.

Because if you think about it, a privilege is a kind of unearned position or allowance in one's life; the over the top free banana split because your Dad owns the banana tree farm.

The Free Online dictionary defines it like this:

priv·i·lege (prv-lj, prvlj)n.
a. A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste. See Synonyms at right.
b. Such an advantage, immunity, or right held as a prerogative of status or rank, and exercised to the exclusion or detriment of others.

Hmm. So what context is the word underprivileged usually used? Really poor people who don't have enough food to eat, or enough money to have health insurance, maybe even not having adequate housing or clothing. And those things would be a privilege, why?

Some would say that Ken Lewis is an overprivileged man, which would make sense to me. While no doubt he has worked hard to get to his current position, NO one has worked hard enough to earn (the opposite of privilege, in a sense) the money he earns or allows his slightly less elevated co-horts to earn. Hey, I'll apply that to any multi-million dollar making sports figure as well, but at least that is not being done at the expense of anyone except the fan who has to pay insane ticket prices. That goes in the category of luxary items these days. Whereas Ken Lewis is, in effect, stealing from his employers. You who bank with B of A and Merrill Lynch. You who may bank other places but to whom Mr. Lewis represents a way, an accepted way, of doing business.

Who is underprivileged now?

(adding this due to too much rumor without fact makes for craziness - here is the CDC site link for current info on the swine flu situation)

Piggish CEO's, swine's in the air, protect yourselves (I'm not talkin' pork here)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday, glad for Sunday

A little music, a little beauty. Some say we don't have seasons here but we who live here know the subtleness of Spring, subtle as a visual sledgehammer. Enjoy. And if you don't like trumpet jazz, play this anyway, you might just change your mind...

Thanks, Doug, for the day we'll have to do JazzFest, a slew of us - and thanks, Kim, for your head's up on the flower power explosion! Funny how sometimes you don't know what is just up the road.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's all about the weather sometimes

Today was one of those days that is so welcome for those who live here and so disliked by those who come for a visit, longing for the sun.

I stayed open through a small rain at the cart, selling hot sauce and various odds and ends (thanks, brave visitors!), but had a feeling that the ozone I was smelling, sharp in the air, pre-saged a little more than a quick drizzle. I closed the cart, bought my weekly rotisserie chicken from Dinghy Dock and headed home. A ride speeded things up considerably and gratefully, because the rain was starting already. Thanks, Carlos!

For the next few hours the rain poured down. (c)Whim curled up tight and wide-eyed; then she just shut her eyes, pretending it wasn't happening, the tin roof sounding like pellets were hitting it full blast. I swore I could hear the plants and earth expanding, drinking deep after such a long thirst.

At last it seemed it was over and after so much noise, the calm was almost as much a shock to the senses. The clouds parted a bit and there was some sun, but not much. I could see rocks filled with mangrove oysters at the end of the yard; the tide being as low or lower than I'd ever seen it. The mangroves, bared to the bottom, looked like they were sticking alien toes down to grip the bottom. I thought about how strong and healthy they looked and how quickly they could be destroyed. I hope these wil be around and thriving a long time...

Suddenly the wind picked up out of a dead calm and that cold, cold rain started again, blasting in like it had only taken a rest somewhere hidden before coming back to finish the job. As I was quick stepping back inside, (c)Whim having run before me, I risked a shot down the side yard, while noting that the floor of the dinghy was completely full of rain.

That rain session went on another hour or so and when it ended it was absolutely time to bail the dinghy. The tide was so low and the dinghy so full I was afraid I'd scrape the bottom once I stepped in but didn't. Figuring the size of my jug I use for bailing, I am guessing I tossed out about 30 gallons from the main section...I quit counting when I bailed the forward section, for some reason it makes it go slower.

And then I looked up. This morning there was a huge, but very vague rainbow, like I'd never seen before. A correspondant from St. Thomas on saw and wrote about it as well, weirdly using the same word 'vague' in her description. This one, a double, stretched from somewhere around Brava to Sail Rock and no photo, even if I'd had a panaramic, could do it justice. It was as sharp and clear as this morning's was vague. Powerful, the weather today, and I, who tend to infuse these things with portents and omens and signs, take it for all good, a washing of our spirits as well as our land. A good thing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

There's always something

Not being in the most chipperoo of moods today I was going to forego today's post. Something had happened earlier but I thought, oh well, that was sort of funny and interesting but, I can post that tomorrow. But then something else just happened and if there is one thing that always brings me out of a down place in my world, it's getting my feathers ruffled over something. Maybe this isn't even something to get mad about, but I did anyway.

The first thing was my landlord Greg, who was working on his boat, coming to the door to tell me that there were a hundred or so sea gulls on the roof of my houseboat. I'd heard a lot of them earlier but in my 'I don't really care' mode I didn't look. But...the idea of a hundred gulls pooping on the houseboat, well, that got me up. And there they were. Truly, as Greg said, carpeting the roof. It was time to investigate.

First I had to bail the dinghy of the lovely rain we got yesterday. Then I zoomed off (at 2 mph) to the houseboat. They weren't even twitching. I kept getting closer and they kept ignoring me. They didn't ignore the air horn I blew though. I made sure to stay well clear as 'scaring the shit out of them' was a distinct possibility. I'd also brought along a whirly gig. Stepping onto the house boat I saw about 20 very dead sardines in a pile. And look, another pile...and another. Why, you might be wondering, were there piles of sardines around the walkways of the houseboat? Why ask why? It's Culebra. I probably blew a big party...oh well. They flew away, and then flew back once I was on my own dock again, but without lighting on the houseboat again. Maybe the whirly gig I taped up there was working. Finally they flew over to bedevil someone else with their insane laughter...(and by the way, I love the laughing gulls...usually).

The second thing was, I was peacefully lying in bed, reading, in the full dark of early night when the hell sound of the huge catepillar machine came by. I couldn't and wouldn't imagine what they were doing at night, heading toward Zoni. After awhile, back it came and sounded like it was coming in my door. So I get up and go out to the street to look and damned if they aren't using it to transport a HUGE palm tree! This machine tears the heck out of the roads, by the way. So I run back to the house, grab my camera, get in the car and follow it, because I knew it was on the property behind the screaming church, right around the corner from me. I have no idea what is going on there, but trailers have been put up, construction is going on, porches are being put on the trailers and palm trees are being put in. Unfortunately it had gotten inside the hugely chainfenced yard, but at least I have a photo to show I'm not just making this stuff up. Which I could be. But I'm not. Ring ring...oh Mr. Environmental Guy Rocky? I'll see you Monday...

As for What's in that...Friday. Next weeks, compadres. Next week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thanks for the moments, thanks for the memories

I got a call from Eric that Gail died in the wee hours of this morning. She was on schedule to come back to Culebra today to make that exit from here, but it didn't happen that way. I know she is glad to be out of that hospital, and I'm glad for her.

Friends and family will be taking many trips down memory lane in the following days and nights, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. Because one thing is for sure, Gail didn't choose to go gently into that good night, not taking her leaving any differently than she lived, and that was a big part of what made Gail...Gail.

Eric doesn't stop amazing me with his maturity and huge love for his mother. He shares a passionate core that we knew in Gail - some traits are too powerful to resist, and I'm glad Eric doesn't even try. What a legacy, mother-loved well.

I'll miss you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day 2009

I read a sentence the other day about why Earth Day doesn't work. I only read the sentence because I'm trying to stay away from corrosively infectious cynicism. It's like giving up looking at the color mustard isn't everywhere, but there is enough of it that an effort must be made to avoid it.

Because why shouldn't Earth Day work? Why do we have to assume that people of the world don't care about the planet? Sure, some don't care, but the changes going on at a very basic level show that more than a few are actively caring. Why are there so many solar products? Light bulbs that can lower your electric bill? A swath of netted or cloth bags to replace both paper and plastic bags? Accessable recycling centers in so many cities on the planet? Energy efficient homes both in planning and reality? A list could go on and on, but you get the idea.

The reality is, trying to save the earth is not some passing fad, though there have been faddish moments. This has been going on in one form or another since I was in my teen years and that was back when the earth was still cooling off and it was already apparent we were going to screw it up royally with our 'Gimme gimme's'.

So today, Earth Day, take action, because it's a damn beautiful place and there is no other planet like it. You don't have to save the whole world, you don't have to go to a demonstration. You don't have to knock on doors with pamphlets in your hands. You can do something right in your own home, your own yard, your own neighborhood. It's that simple.

1. Plant one tree. Or one flower. Or one seed. Plant a fruit tree and get all three and more! Then take care of it and let it reward you with its life and beauty and giving into the atmosphere making it easier for you to breathe. Then plant another one. Repeat.

2. Change your light bulbs. The new energy saving light spirals (well, they aren't bulbs, sorry!) are much better than the first ones. They give a more natural light, they are sized more like the old bulb style, better fitting lamps and other light fixtures. They last longer, emit less heat and in general, are just a better deal. Here is how I know. I've lived in this space for almost seven years now. I have spiral lights in every socket but one, a small lamp that just wouldn't fit the old/new spirals. I've NEVER, in the five years or so with the spiral lights, changed any of them. The bulb light I've changed maybe ten times or more. Hopefully there will be a spiral light that will fit the fixture one of these days. But it's always a good reminder of how I don't have to change the other ones.

3. Save water. It's always a good time to shower with a friend! Make sure your gutters are cleaned out, and if you don't have gutters, get some. Get or make a rain barrel to collect rain water. Why do you want to collect rain water? To wash your car, to water your plants, for the day the water goes off, for the day the water is contaminated. This may not work for you if you live in an apartment or where your rain water is nasty from pollution. So help a friend with a house get their gutters fixed up! After all that work, you'll have earned that shower.

4. Plan a garden. Growing your own food is an amazing experience. Sad but true, there really are children (and probably adults) who think milk comes from cartons and chickens from the poultry section. You may not be able to grow a chicken but even in an apartment, you can grow a tomato. People are gardening on the roofs of apartment buildings as well as finding spots for community gardens. Most people have heard about inner city projects where trash lands are being cleaned and transformed. You can do this too. And for those with yards, well...come ON, get busy!

This publication, Seeds of Change, started in 1982. It's still got the good stuff going on.

5. Go out into your world armed with a trash bag (recycle those plastic bags, not just the ones from the market but the clothing store, hardware store or bookstore). There are a bunch of slobs out there, as we all know, tossing the trash of their lives hither and yon with no thought, in either the aesthetic sense or the danger to the world sense. Walking to town, I get to see the good of flowers opening, a horse looking at me, plants changing and growing. I also see woods and water spills and gutter and sidewalks filled with trash. I pick up plastic as much as I can because plastic is the worst offender for not degrading. Now,
I'm not suggesting you pick up something revolting, just the 100's of not dangerous objects we all step over and around every day. When someone sees you picking up trash it makes a silent, powerful statement. Even if 8 out of 10 people ignore that statement, 2 of them are going to either be picking up trash themselves or putting their own trash where it belongs. Try it, it does a body good. And thanks, all of you tourists who tell me about cleaning up the beaches where you walk. You are the kind of visitors we want and need here!

6. Which leads us to my last Suggestion. Turn off your computer. Turn off your television. Stand up and go outside. For a walk, yes. With only one motivation. There should be, at the least, one beautiful place in your world that reminds you why anyone should even bother trying to make a dent in the gigantic task of saving the earth from the damage we've done to her. Keep walking until you find it. Maybe it's not a natural place, maybe it's an outdoor sculpture, or a skyline. It doesn't matter; what matters is that you find your place, the place that makes you care. Because ultimately, that is what Earth Day is really about. Keeping the world we live in right this minute beautiful. If you don't have that place and then you find it, you'll wonder how you lived without it so long. We need beautiful in our lives as much as clean air. And that ain't no tree hugger talk, hear?