Saturday, November 07, 2009

Chinatown Turtles

Went to Chinatown looking for pocket watches today, picked up two nice gold-plated Bulova watches, should make nice monk presents.

Also picked up four tenants for the night... tomorrow to free them in a lake somewhere. They came in these little tacky plastic boxes and were frantically trying to escape to something a little more high-class. They calmed down a bit when I moved them to my garbage bucket - hey, turtles have standards, too. One of them is sleeping, the rest are swimming around making squirting noises.

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And no, I'm not naming them after Renaissance artists. I'm not naming them at all, I'm sure they have nice turtle names that they use to call each other in whatever language turtles speak. Or not... that's their business.

17 comments :

  1. It might be a good idea to avoid setting non-indigenous animals loose in the California wilderness.

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  2. They're not indigenous?

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  3. And what is indigenous, anyway? They certainly weren't indigenous to the plastic box I found them in, and they'll be much happier in a lake or pond somewhere.

    "The essential quality of life is living; the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution: and we are part of it."

    -- John Wyndham, The Chrysalids

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  4. phalanyani11:59 AM

    can monks touch gold-plated watches?

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  5. I love turtles too, but seriously you can't release them in a lake yet; raptors (big fish, raccoons etc.) will pick-off, unprotected baby turtles in a heart beat....definitely raptors will. You must take care of them for at least a little while. Please, for the love of turtles everywhere. They need to mature a bit so they can fend for themselves; think of your your karma if nothing else....

    SAVE THE TURTLES!!!

    sorry, my 2-cents.

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  6. "And what is indigenous, anyway? They certainly weren’t indigenous to the plastic box I found them in, and they’ll be much happier in a lake or pond somewhere." Are you aware of the fragility of California's ecosystems, a biodiversity hotspot unique in North America? Do you know what an invasive species is? Do you not care for ecological management? Do you not feel any responsibility for support environmental welfare? Do you believe that releasing non-indigenous turtles will have no effect on the local ecosystem? Are you aware that there are laws in this country that prohibit releasing red eared sliders into the wild? Please consider the unintended consequences of your actions.

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  7. Thank you for your concern, but the merchant assured me they have not a scrap of gold in them.

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  8. I don't intend to save, them, just free them. It's up to them to save themselves.

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  9. I'm certainly not one of these careless Buddhists. Your article mixes data sources and flies in the face of the consensus in the scientific community—a consensus based on research rather than mere speculation. Please heed the call of Californians who care about our environment, even while you may not: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6DaTaRqvR4

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  10. If I do not care, why should I heed their call? It's clear we have different ideas about what is important, but the article you cited draws no conclusions that I can see make the article I posted "fly in the face" of it. I wonder if you actually read either article, or just made up your mind in advance? Both articles are based on research, and both agree that "uncertainties remain and further research is necessary." But this is not my argument. Your concern, along with the concerns of the California environmentalists is unfounded. Change is a part of reality, and if we cannot accept change, we cannot accept reality. I am not trying to change an ecosystem, I am only trying to free these four beings that have come into my care. Once they are out of my care, I will forget about them. If you choose to carry them on in your heart after that, that is your choice.

    Clearly, this weblog is the wrong place to try to share good deeds; there are too many people here quick to criticize the good deeds of others rather than even trying to see the good in a good deed.

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  11. I must apologize for my words written this morning during my breaks on an all night project. My language was entirely careless and, as you rightly noted, neglected both the overall theme of the article I cited and its relevance to the article you posted. There is more that could be said and clarified, but this would of course be pointless, not least in light of your consummate complacency. The goodness of your actions lies in the goodness of your intentions, a quality it is in my best interest not to besmirch. I am glad for these recent discussions, for in your words you have lived up to every aspect of your reputation that has been related to me by the Thai monks I have talked with.

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  12. phalanyani9:23 AM

    :o)
    ...
    not concerned.

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  13. That was VERY interesting....and I disagree , your Weblog is a great way to illustrate Buddhist principles, in this case the performance of good deeds (central to the issue of Karma). I for one am interested in how a Buddhist interacts with the world he encounters and not just what he preaches. It may not always win you a popularity contest because the issue of what constitutes a good deed sometimes is a bit subjective, but in the end people will understand Buddhism on a more practical level... my 2-cents

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  14. Your apology is admirable. No offense taken, I appreciate the feedback and I am glad you did not take my harshness the wrong way. It's hard to know what is right sometimes living in the West, and easy to make the wrong decision, even living sheltered from the ways of the world as a monk.

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  15. I shouldn't have questioned your intentions either, please accept my apology for being so judgmental.

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  16. If we don't question, we don't come to the truth... I appreciate the feedback :) monks can be weird to lay people sometimes, and vice versa.

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