a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: July 2019

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Scooter at Disneyland

SUMMARY: It's not all fun and games

Facebook July 11, 2019: My comments (edited here) on a Disney group discussion about scooters

I've been to Disneyland many, many times.

My historical approach has been to cover as much ground as quickly as possible--e.g, dash over to Disney California Adventure (DCA) for ice cream at the Pier and dash back to Small World [at the far side back in Disneyland itself], or some such. And walk over from the offsite hotel and arrive at rope drop and stay until the park closes, hauling my camera and lenses with me, trying to take fun photos of many details and of my friends.

The early crowd, waiting in Main Street for the rope to drop to allow us into the rest of the park

It has been much to my dismay that my body no longer allows me to do this. Last time I went, I rented a scooter. I will say that it allowed me to do much, much more than I did the previous trip, where I tried to walk the whole thing but pretty much died in agony after a couple of hours each day.

I will also say that riding a scooter took a bite out of the fun--there is no dashing from place to place in a scooter because you don't want to hit anyone in the dense crowds or who isn't paying attention and walks right in front of you.

And taking photos as I go--no, can't really stop in the middle of the walkway, people will get upset, and it's difficult to steer off to the side, and it's not very maneuverable to get a good shot. Plus, now I'm at butt level instead of being able to see over or around people.

Taking photos of Linda and Paul at butt level from my seat

On the other up side, I *can* walk, and I can walk "quite a bit", just not nearly enough to get through part of a day at Disneyland. I wasn't overweight, I'm not old looking (well--anyway, *I* don't think so), I'm not visibly crippled. I'd use the scooter for the longer stretches, then park it off to the side and do the rides at that location, repeat, repeat, repeat. No one said anything to me about why are you using a scooter if you're perfectly able to walk--if they had, I'd have explained that my severe arthritis and nerve damage aren't visible on the outside.

I did hit a small child once while I was in a crowd, moving inches at a time, and the kid literally spun an inch or two in front of me; I immediately released the handle, but I dare anyone to react quickly enough to not move those couple of inches. Parent gave me some nasty words. I don't recall saying anything, because what can you say other than pointing the finger back at them. and it is, after all, the happiest place on earth and I try to remember that and act accordingly. :-) Thanks for reading. I'd so very much rather be walking.

Mr Fox No.12 did *not* need the scooter but, you know, red privilege and all that.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Ecology, Its Price

SUMMARY: We live in world-changing times--literally--
From Facebook: My comment on another writer's posting of the article mentioned below, June 30, 2019.

Back then: In high school, I wrote and delivered (many times) a [winning] speech on "Ecology: Its Price", went on a campaign to convince my parents to never again buy TP or paper towels or tissues that were dyed pretty colors (it was pretty common back then to have paper that matched your room...and I loved it until I read about the dyes and dying processes) and to recycle all our metal and glass, which we had to take down to the local volunteer recycling parking lot at the Junior College, smash them ourselves, and toss into huge bins for later pick-up, long before anyone thought it was cool (or required!) to do that kind of thing. A few very small steps in the right direction.

In between: Since then, on my own, I always recycled everything that I could, carrying them to recycling centers until local garbage companies started providing separate bins for curbside recycling.  I compost my own food waste so it doesn't go into landfills. (Used to compost all my yard waste until just a few years ago, due to my physical limitations.) Since then, it gets harder and harder to give up the things that one is accustomed to. I don't often eat meat any more. I'm resisting putting A/C into my house. But ...

Now: ...I still drive a gas-powered minivan [because I have larger dogs and need room for their crates and gear, right?] and drive places a lot and am planning my third round-trip flight to Walt Disney World in 4 years and have realized that the amount of plastic that I bring home just from the grocery store is insane but despair of having the personal energy to bring it back down again (I was perfectly happy to bring home peanut butter in glass jars; why would they mess with perfectly good washable reusable recyclable glass and metal packaging??).

Future: I'm pretty terrified about living to see how our current ecological disaster plays out. And my part in either mitigating or making worse. Driving--flying--home energy use--plastics OMG--diet--changing how I shop and how I prepare food--saving water--crazy things like, if I don't eat meat but I own dogs, there'll still be a meat industry for pet food, yikes--  I donate to organizations that I think have the right idea and that take action on the ideas, and I'm including political influence in there. One thing at a time, I suppose, like anything else. One small step at a time just like I did Back Then.

(In response to someone posting this article about what climate scientists do at home to save the planet, which has good but tough ideas on how they've changed, and scary comments on how scared they are.)

A post in 2020 covers the same awards but digs much more deeply into pollution and its history in my lifetime and my experiences.