Hey Bert, I awoke this morning feeling an incredible amount of anger. Inappropriately directed, I'm sure. Immediately recalled hiking along a country road north of Cassie's place. Middle of nowhere country. Late September, beautiful, warm, sunny fall day. Whole forest canopy crimson and gold, contrasting with the green of the conifers. Suddenly I'm struck by the amount of litter in the ditches, both sides of the road. All seems bloody obsessive in retrospect. But I'll tell you anyway.
I paced out a two kilometre stretch, counting everything I found. Spent at least an hour. Twelve cars passed me. So, today I awake with that itemized list in my head. Sixty-three pieces of detritus. Three whisky bottles, empty of course. Six beer bottles or cans. Thirty-five Tim Hortons coffee cups, some fresh, some weathered. Nineteen McDonalds drink cups or coffee cups. Tim beats Mickey D almost two to one. But what appals me, the third place finisher, water bottles. Then a variety of Coke and Pepsi bottles and cans, almost five to one Pepsi over Coke. If I had internet time available I'd probably check comparative sales figures. I'm not alarmed to remember these details but I'm incensed about water bottles.
Remember meetings we went to in the seventies? Ice water in pitchers and glasses at strategic spots along the table. A few brought their own bottled water. We regarded them as left-wingers or out and out nutsies. How ironic water bottles should become such a pollutant.
Next I decided to produce a litter index. You know, fifteen point seven five litter items per kilometre or something like that. Could then define acceptable limits. I had to stop there and take a shower so I'd be on time for my appointment with my psychiatrist.
Combination of things upset me. We saw litter along roadsides in Kosova. But there was neither infrastructure nor municipal services at the time. Very frustrating. But, you know, as services became available and personal pride was restored, littering diminished rapidly. Best to you, Tom
More About Me
I was born in Toronto in 1946, the first of three children of two World War II veterans, both my father and mother having served overseas in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the RCAF. My parents had the wisdom to relocate to Parry Sound, Ontario where I was subsequently raised and where I completed my elementary and secondary school education.
I completed my undergraduate and graduate work in science and microbiology at the University of Toronto before being employed by the Ontario Government in the Public Health Laboratory Service as a scientist in their Toronto laboratory and then director of their laboratories in Timmins and Peterborough, Ontario until retirement.
My science background informs my writing. I published more than three dozen papers in peer reviewed scientific journals. My true interest is fiction, although I found it hard to break the "just the facts, ma'am" scientific approach. In truth, who could resist such a hot topic as Rapid biochemical test to identify verocytotoxin-positive strains of Escherichia coli serotype O157.
My father was a photographer with a photo studio in Parry Sound. But his start was in the newspaper business, first at the Peterborough Examiner after his RCAF service was over. After he established himself as a photographer, he would often work part-time for theToronto Star, Sudbury Star and Orillia Packet & Times.
My mother and father ran the photography business until they decided to close it. Then my father was editor of the Parry Sound North Star, the local twice weekly newspaper. Although I did not know my grandfather, he was long-time editor of The Canadian Florist magazine until his death in 1943.
My first publishing project was putting together a series of my father's photographs in Reflections of a Special Lens. Most of the pictures came from a Kodak photo paper box marked "Book" discovered after his death in 2003. It was such a pleasure for me to do this that I also republished his World War II memoir, Bomber Crew. After that, I started on my own stories.
Facebook and Me
I'm a Rebel
Then uneasy detente
My reluctance to posting reduced
Adapted well, included many new friends and old
Renewed contacts, shaped connections, explored, searched, updated, enjoyed until they cut me off
Denied permission for friend requests for seven days.
Charged, convicted, sentenced by Facebook without a hearing.
Defiant of community rules – too many friends deemed secondary, not known to me,
Though my solicitations accepted without expressions of regret.
Me, a rebel, I suppose,
Choosing to friend.
J. Stephen Thompson's Blog
Writer, Author, Storyteller