Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Problems and Solutions

Problems and Solutions

When I saw on that the United Nations had approved a resolution on Darfur, I thought that perhaps this ongoing genocide was going to be one problem that would finally be solved.

But obviously it's not so.

The deal that has been done is a watered-down version which lacks the originally proposed threat of future sanctions against Sudan and, additionally, does not permit intervening peacekeepers to confiscate illegal arms.

So it's a feel-good vote which will allow a whole bunch of politicians to go through the motions of dealing with the problem without actually solving it.

Here on the home front, we have our own problems, but, overall, we're making a pretty good fist of solving them.

Our biggest problem is the challenge of persuading three-year-old Cornucopia to make the transition from toddler to elegant young lady, an elegant young lady being one who does not poop in her panties.

Cornucopia has the theory of the toilet down pat, and can actually use the device, but very often opts not to.

However, at least she is now going to daycare in her "o-ne san" panties, ie the proper underwear worn by an older person. She still comes home, though, in paper panties, which are always dry when she's uplifted from the daycare center (they are, I check) but often wet by the time she comes home.

My wife has decided that in two weeks we will take the plunge and ask the daycare to send Cornucopia home in proper underwear rather than paper panties. It's summer now, so laundry burdens are a lot more manageable than they would be in the wet winter.

We have just been through the rainy season but the hot steady days of summer now seem to have settled in.

Cornucopia may have been causing another problem. My wife has always suffered seasonal spring hayfever because, like millions of other people living in the Tokyo-Yokohama area, she is allergic to cedar pollen.

The neighboring hills and mountains are awash with oceans of commercial cedar plantation, which has gone uncut for decades because the bottom has dropped out of the cedar market. The simple solution would be for the nation state to order the chainsaws into action, clearfell the cedars and replant the hills with pinus radiata, our standard commercial forestry tree in New Zealand, a tree which grows quickly on any kind of soil you care to plant it in.

The hayfever season is long since over, but my wife recently noticed eye itchiness. She started sneezing, and so, too, did Cornucopia.

Finally, my wife twigged, and may have cracked the problem. Over the past week, or maybe a little longer, Cornucopia has routinely been picking wild grasses to take home. These have feathery heads, the kind of heads you could use to tease a kitten, and it's quite possible that they've been shedding pollen or whatever all through the house.

I personally struck a small problem recently with my running program. After my first proper run (which was actually more of a walk) I was surprisingly stiff and sore the next day. I realized that, while I had warmed up, I hadn't bothered to warm down properly. An entirely fixable problem, I think.

The two photos at the top of the blog show, first, the railway crossing that I reach after descending from the daycare center, and, second, the big and usually deserted park which includes a bar which, although it is a little low, can be used for doing chinups, as long as you're prepared to bend your knees a little.

Way back when, years ago, I used to be able to do about ten chinpus in a row. But the first time I tried to pull myself up on the bar in the deserted park, the maximum number of chinups that I could handle was precisely one.

The bar (or, more exactly, the three bars) can be seen in the park photo in the foreground.


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