Pigment Light

Raccoons: Masked creatures who lurk around your house waiting for a chance to take the lid off your garbage can. Easily recognizable for their prison stripes— or not.

One out of every ten thousand raccoons is born with a genetic mutation that strips them of their black and grey signature colouring. Your chance of seeing an albino raccoon in the wild is about the same as being struck by lightning, 1 in 750,000.

Martin Ouellette is luckier than most, he not only saw one albino raccoon, he saw two— in his backyard.

Martin Quellette/Churchwood Pictures

Ouellette, watching the family of critters who’ve developed a liking for his oak tree, noticed that the regulation-coloured raccoons are protective of their lighter skinned brethren.

Protective, as if they know their lighter-skinned brethren can’t hide as easily as they can. Protective, as if they don’t care about a little pigmentation, or lack thereof.

Shameful, and sad, but often true, animals are more humane than we are.

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Well Heeled

Historically, if you could afford to repair or replace your shoes, you were doing okay. Well heeled became synonymous with affluent. It’s not an expression we hear much anymore. Probably because most of us, at least on this side of ocean, spend our days in high tech running shoes whether we actually work out or not. Europeans, I notice, manage to do casual without looking like they just left the gym, but I digress…

In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where the average house sells for $400,000, what makes a home worth $4.6 million?

The open concept 4700 square feet of living space? Possibly.

The spa, games room, home gym? Could be.

What about the magnificent view of the University Bridge spanning the South Saskatchewan River? Enticing, but…

Personally, I think the house’s hefty price tag has a lot to do with the bathtub.

Yeah, I hear you. A tub, is a tub, is a tub… Not so. Not in this case.

What kind of cash would you plunk down for a house that comes with a tub shaped like a shoe?

Well heeled 🙂

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Long Lost

A Cambridge University student, while doing research on the British poet Siegfried Sassoon, has found buried treasure. A poem penned to Sassoon’s boyfriend, Glen Byam Shaw.

Written in 1925, when homosexuality was still a crime in the U.K., perhaps the omission of pronouns is more than a matter of poetic style.

Not a blast from the past, but a sigh…

Untitled poem
Though you have left me, I’m not yet alone:
For what you were befriends the firelit room;
And what you said remains & is my own
To make a living gladness of my gloom
The firelight leaps & shows your empty chair
And all our harmonies of speech are stilled:
But you are with me in the voiceless air
My hands are empty, but my heart is filled.
Copyright Siegfried Sassoon by kind permission of the Estate of George Sassoon

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Pride

As Toronto gears up for the Pride parade this weekend, I’ve been hearing a lot about a group who feel left out, overlooked. Apparently, these people have been victimized by those of us who strive for an inclusive society with equality for all.

They’re asking for their own parade, calling it STRAIGHT PRIDE. How they can even say the words with a straight face is beyond me!

Not that I’m surprised, we’ve heard this kind of garbage before, white men complaining about how rough they have it because minorities and women are getting all the good jobs. Please! Pass the hat, let’s help these poor souls out.

There are a lot of comments out there on the request for a Straight Pride parade in Boston. Here’s one of my favourites:

Will a Straight Pride parade ever happen? I’m thinking not, but the fact that some people think it should… There are still a few holdouts who believe the earth is flat, doesn’t make them right.

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