When I was teaching at an outreach school in a small Alberta town, I worked with a master educator who had one of the best life plans I ever heard about.
He made up his mind early to master his subject (history) teach 20 years in the public system then move to the outreach model so that he could help those kids who slipped through the system. He was very good at what he did.
He also invested early is a beautiful piece of rolling Alberta land with gentle hills that isolated him from his neighbors. Over the years he build on additions to his house which was a gorgeous log cabin style mansion.
He had horses and llamas and chickens and in the back of the house, a lush Japanese style garden complete with a Koi pond.
Now when I met him he had been teaching at the outreach school for about 20 years and in that time he would inaugurate each new school year with a new school of small little Koi fish.
Knowing very little about this colorful carp species I was surprised that something as big as your thumb needed a tank as large as a shuffle board table with glass walls about a meter high. It was a pretty elaborate aquarium set-up.
Over the months however, with the constant feeding and care the fish got from him and the kids (who gained lessons in calmness and responsibility from the environments the aquarium provide) the fish grew, and grew and grew. Soon they were the size of your forearm or bigger.
Often, if the kids or teachers felt stress they would walk around the tank and the fish would follow right with with them. It was like taking a dog for a walk. That was the most amazing thing to see. We all sorta got attached to the fish.
Then, at the end of the school year, he would invite all of us and the kids and their parents to a huge BBQ to celebrate the end of the school year. (the fish were not on the meal you freaks). The highlight of the party being the releasing of a new crop of large Koi into his outdoor pond.
The weekend after the party he came into the school and we could all tell that something was different. He was avoiding eye contact with me. Soon I learned why.
During the night the big boy, who I named 'Shi Hulud' after the sandworm god from 'Dune' was found dead by the side of the pond. It seemed he had jumped into the air (I like to think to find me) and landed to far from the pond on the grass and couldn't get back to the pond.
He died. That fish who I loved from a baby and who I walked with most everyday was dead and for weeks I was devastated. We had a nice service for him but I didn't want to see him. I had someone else place his body in the nice wooden box I had specially carved a message on for him.
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.