Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lots of Nature-y Things....

We're at the halfway point to the week today. Many people have the day off to salute Veteran's Day. Sadly, I do not. Still, I am here, bound and determined to get through my day without too many complications. Yesterday, I was told I needed to start working on something urgent, only to discover that the 'urgent' thing that I had to work with was...broken. Since the person who could fix the broken thing was out for the day, there wasn't much to be done. I spent the rest of the day getting everything ready so that when the problem was fixed, I could go straight in and do my part.

Well, now I just discovered that yesterday's work was a waste of time because they'd changed their minds about something without telling me.

Now, I could get annoyed by this. Honestly, I already have been. Today, however, I'm planning on smiling through it. What else can I do? I'm looking on the bright side- I'm earning my paycheck even if what I'm doing ends up being a bit of a waste of time.

Besides, there are far more interesting things to think about than work. For example, there's this whole H1N1 thing going around. I think it was easier when we called it Swine Flu but it sounds much more official with the H1N1 moniker. Every morning, on the news, they report where the day's vaccine clinics will be. They also list who is permitted to get the vaccine. Yesterday, it was babies under 6 months and children aged five to fifteen who have risk factors. I wondered how they determined that the children between 7 months and four years, eleven months, were not allowed to have the vaccine. Sadly, my coworker's little son who is just about to be a year old was actually admitted to the hospital with a suspected case of H1N1 just the other night. He's doing ok but it's still a little scary.

Also, pregnant ladies and people with underlying medical conditions are usually allowed to get the vaccine as well as the elderly. What I'm finding interesting is that around these parts, there have been several deaths from H1N1. Many of the deaths are younger people in their late 20's or early 30's who have had no medical issues prior to the flu.

I find this fascinating. These are the demographic who are supposed to be the non-risk group and yet they're the ones succumbing to the disease. It's a strange paradox. This is not me trying to be political or to take a stand against vaccination policies. It's actually me just being surprised that no matter what we do, there are some things we just can't control: Nature runs its course and though we try to shape it to our will, it still has a life of its own.

That sounds heavy and deep and I actually don't mean it to be. It's more just an observation. I find it fascinating and slightly frightening how we try to control nature and often end up failing.
It's like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and all that. It's like nature's way of saying: You're too comfortable, let me shake things up for you.

All I know is that I hope that we can control the H1N1 flu enough that it stops being such a worry that as soon as people say, "I think I might be coming down with the flu," people don't jump back with that scared expression in their eyes that quietly says, "what if it's H1N1?"

I heard all that on the news this morning. I did hear good things though. A man caught a 40 lb catfish. He put it back in the lake from where he caught it. I thought that was nice of him although, more likely, he may have had to. It was a whopper fish and it took two men to hold it. I was quite surprised. Also, I learned that almost every mammal stops growing soon after it was born. Recently, a baby giraffe was born at the Fort Wayne Children's zoo. It was cute. The thing was, it was already rather tall and large. I was a little curious how that works. I mean, when a mother giraffe gets pregnant, where does all that neck go? I know I'm wrong but I have this mental picture of a baby giraffe nesting inside its mother like one of those Russian sets of dolls, you know which ones I mean?

I'm probably disturbing you with that image. I suppose it's the same with all big animals. They are born and are huge. Even puppies and kittens surprise me when they're born. We once had this Afghan Hound when I was a child. It got pregnant and had thirteen puppies. I'm not kidding. I think I must have been nine or ten at the time. I got to see them being born. It was horrific and yet...intriguing. They just kept coming out and we couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that our dog had 13 puppies inside her. Also, the whole birthing thing was a bit disgusting. I think my parents were horrified for other reasons, not just as the whole birth process. I mean, even if you end up selling them/giving them away, thirteen puppies is an awful lot to take care of until they're old enough to leave their mother.

Our Afghan Hound days were quite interesting. I think it all started when I said I wanted a dog. My dad, being my dad, took the matter into his own hands and decided that he'd always fancied an Afghan so we got one of those. I think the first one we had was Eliot. Eliot was a grown-up Afghan. Eliot...could run. I don't know if you've ever seen an Afghan Hound run but, like greyhounds, they're fast. Eliot would like to escape from our garden and my brother and dad would spend hours chasing the dog around the neighbourhood. By the time we had the puppies, our back yard was something resembling Fort Knox with fence panels, fence wire and gates blocking in every inch of the yard. We also had a dog pen. That worked nicely. It didn't quite stop them from escaping once in a while and people around our neighbourhood grew used to my older brother running like the wind trying to catch the tall, wiry dogs as they raced around without regard for people's property. Still, it made for some interesting reflections of my childhood.

Nowadays, here in the U.S., my parents have small dogs, Chihuahua's and Yorkies. I think that's a subconscious psychological response to the trauma of the Afghans. You don't get more opposite than a Chihuahua and an Afghan hound. Trust me on that.

Apparently, I felt like blogging about nature today. I apologize for the digressions. Thanks for bearing with me on that. Thanks, actually, for reading.

Happy Wednesday!

No comments: