January 17th, 2007

wait, it's _wednesday_? are you _sure_?

Yesterday we went to playgroup at Town Hall, where we were Alone for the first half hour. Teddy was a little bored, but we had space to roam, so we did. Then T. with her sons J. and N. showed up. That was nice. T. is a librarian working a couple part time gigs, one at a college the other at a town in MA. She runs the mailing list for the playgroup, which is to say, she doesn't do much with it, because we asked her to be put on it months ago at the playground and I did not see e-mail, nor did my husband, and she had both our addresses. I know she does not often send mail to the list, but I also know she sent at least one since she had our addresses. Since I hadn't really talked to her myself at the playground, even I am hesitant to postulate antipathy. Anyway, gave her the e-mail again and asked her to send me e-mail so I'd have her address. Have I seen anything? Oh, you _know_ the answer to that.

She's much more sensible than some of the other new arrivals in town who are incensed by taxes/quality of services/behavior of old-townies in general. But still. There were moments when I really wondered about her. She thinks the town website should have meeting minutes on it and says other towns do. Well, sure, but other towns have new residents (don't expect the old-townies to be able to use a word processor, much less supply minutes in electronic form) with children who are out of diapers. Most of our new residents are overwhelmed with toddlers still. It's going to be a little while. I'm not arguing the principle of the thing. I'm just saying that anyone contemplating a webmaster gig in this town should think long and hard before pursuing it. She also talked to the head of the local library, thinking maybe she'd get a job in town. Ha! That would have been hilarious. She realized after an hour on the phone what a bad idea that would have been. Well, she thinks she realized.

Child care cancelled both days, yesterday saying it was snowing (was not! whatever) and today on account of having to work late at the regular gig. Will we see her tomorrow? Maybe. Hope springs eternal. I must be in a slightly pissy mood right now.

I did the smart thing today, and took Teddy to Hampshire Hills and abandoned him in the nursery for most of an hour so I could get a half hour on the machines. I forgot headphones (durn it -- there's a TV even! Altho I couldn't find the controls) and reading material. When someone showed up on the next treadmill I begged her to grab me a magazine. She picked up a holiday issue of Parenting for me, bless her heart.

I read _Appetite for Profit_ by Michele Simon. There's a one-word rec from Marion Nestle on the cover: "Brilliant!" While this is an example of logrolling in our time (Nestle is quoted extensively within the book), I must nevertheless concur. Fabulous book. Chatty guide for activists. A lot of what she says applies outside of the battles with Big Food. She had one interesting piece of analysis.

Big Food has been getting a bunch of laws passed around the country to protect the restaurant industry (and other components of Big Food) from possible future lawsuits (obesity, etc.). This is a little weird, because no one is really making any progress on those kinds of lawsuits, which makes this kind of activity seem awfully proactive. While that might be brilliant, this kind of legislate out of existence judicial recourse may yet turn out to be unconstitutional. So there is a question: why do it at all? It surely isn't (yet) necessary. Partly, it is to avoid the process of discovery, which so thoroughly did in Big Tobacco (if this is why Big Food is running scared, contemplate the implications: what might they be hiding?). Bu Simon suggests they may be doing this in part because the lobbyists who work for the trade groups need to justify their existence (and their big bills). They scare Big Food, Big Food ponies up, the trade groups continue to wallow and the lobbyists oink all the way to the bank. The colorful language would be my commentary. I had not previously considered this aspect, but it makes a great deal of sense and not just here.

Like a lot of other people, Simon would like to see the sustainable agriculture, farm-friendly, organic, vegan, vegetarian, tread lightly, slow food yada yada crowd all get together and Imagine A Better World Together and work towards that, rather than this nibbled to death by ducks reactivity. I think it's a great idea, as long as we continue to react to the nibbling ducks.