Necessary Evils

I was at the Henry Vilas Zoo recently, and before that the Indianapolis Zoo during GenCon weekend. I enjoy visiting zoos because I love animals — even reptiles, bugs, and fish. They don’t have to be cuddly for me to find them fascinating — though if they aren’t cuddly mammals, odds are good that I…

A Home for Big Kitties

While we prepare and ponder adopting some new furry friends of our own, we visited one of our favorite sanctuaries over the weekend. Valley of the Kings is a non-profit big-cat rescue located in southeastern Wisconsin, near the towns of Darien and Sharon, close to the Illinois border and only a short drive from Delavan…

Asshole Culture

As if the title weren’t obvious enough, this post contains harsh language and depressing themes. Be warned. ***** It occurs to me that, more and more, Americans (and possibly the world) revel in being complete jerks to other people. Cries of “He speaks his mind.” or “She tells it like it is!” seem to be…

My Green Thumb

I like plants. I don’t have quite the same affinity for them that I have for, say, dogs or cats, or wild birds, but I enjoy tending them and watching them grow. In our tiny, postage-stamp back yard, we’ve had pots that for years now have grown Morning Glories. We added a trellis behind the…

The Problem With Food

Food is in the news these days, and it’s a surprisingly controversial topic. The biggest problem with food — as I see it — is that there isn’t enough of it for everyone. Perhaps the biggest news is the fight over labeling foods containing GMOs — Genetically Modified Organisms — and how major food conglomerates…

For The Birds

I’ve been a birdwatcher since I was 10 or 12; what got me started was the year when Evening Grosbeaks — colorful seed-eaters mostly found north of the U.S.-Canada border — moved south in search of food and a few found their way to our next-door neighbor’s feeder. After that, I was hooked. My brother…