The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Michael

March 21, 2011

What I Learned From The Rat In My Toilet

The text message I sent my sister Friday night was, “OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There was a rat in our toilet bowl tonight!”

You know the urban legend about rats and snakes and other critters swimming up through the sewer pipes into your toilet? It’s not an urban legend. Not where rats are concerned, anyway.

This story gets pretty gross, so be warned.

We buy Swheatscoop cat litter. It comes in a paper bag, not plastic, and it’s made from wheat, so it’s compostable and flushable. Our cats love it. In fact, they love it a little too much.

[2016 Update:  Today, we use Integrity cat litter.  Swheatscoop switched to a plastic bag.]

Which is why ever since this incident in 2008, we’ve kept the bag out of reach of little critters.

Wheat litter is flushable (as long as your cats don’t have toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that kills sea otters, which ours don’t) but even still, sometimes… Read the rest

February 4, 2010

Disagreeing on Green Values: Why Michael Thinks I’m Ned Flanders

A few weeks ago, my husband Michael forwarded me the NY Times article, “Therapists Report Increase in Green Disputes“:

As awareness of environmental concerns has grown, therapists say they are seeing a rise in bickering between couples and family members over the extent to which they should change their lives to save the planet.

In households across the country, green lines are being drawn between those who insist on wild salmon and those who buy farmed, those who calculate their carbon footprint and those who remain indifferent to greenhouse gases.

Wondering if Michael was trying to tell me something by forwarding that article,  I cornered him one Sunday afternoon while he was minding his own business and quizzed him on his feelings about my plastic-free ways and whether or not he felt I judged him. Here are just a few snippets of our half hour conversation.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhmzgpYCV9w [This video uses… Read the rest

March 3, 2009

A Jedi is always prepared…

… with her/his reusable travel mug or water bottle. And this post is just an excuse to show off the depths of our geekitude last Saturday at San Francisco’s WonderCon comic book convention.

Really, it was a wonderland of plastic… plastic action figures, plastic-wrapped posters, plastic bags, plastic boobs (I think). We only went for the opportunity to dress up in costumes left over from the short film Reservoir Jedi, made by Michael and his friend Andy several years ago, and for the chance to see what Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher look like up close these days.

But even at a fantasy convention, the rules of Fake Plastic Fish apply. Michael had his Klean Kanteen, I had my travel mug, and we both refused the plastic swag bag offered at the entrance to the fest.

We walked around looking fabulous (I would so totally dress like this every day if I could get away with it) but did not buy anything but coffee. On the way to the convention center, … Read the rest

June 9, 2008

Urban Compost + Recycled Potting Soil = Good Tomato Food? We’ll see…

Yesterday, I mentioned recycling the potting soil from my dead roof garden as well as harvesting the compost (finally) from my Urban Compost Tumbler to add to the dirt in the front yard where we planted tomatoes. Back in March, I whined about how the Urban Compost Tumbler was just not as great as I’d hoped it would be. I stopped filling it because it had become too heavy to actually tumble by myself, and we switched to dumping our food waste into our curbside green bin instead, to be sent away to the city’s commercial compost facility.

Feh. I’d rather we could keep our food scraps and use them ourselves. Maybe now that we have a bit of yard, we can switch to the kind of composter that sits directly on the ground. As I mentioned in the March post, we’d had great success with one of those before. (A worm bin is not an option at this time. We have no place to put one and would probably let the worms die, anyway, just like the plants.)

So okay, this… Read the rest

May 1, 2008

I can has floor?

So, with Beth away, I have the floor. Actually, the cats have the floor. They have pretty much the whole apartment. But I should vacuum the floor to protect them from nasty chemicals.

OK, so I’m digressing already. Unlike my previous filling-in-for-Beth posts, this one won’t have a big, unifying theme, like polar bears or general forgiveness. Instead, it will be a bunch of short notes on various plastic- and sustainability-related matters as I’ve been dealing with them. There won’t be a lot of links or pictures, either, because they take a long time to insert, and unlike Beth, I don’t like to, and can’t, stay up all night to write the post. If it were totally up to me, I would just make my supper, make my lunch for tomorrow, and then sit down on the couch with the newspapers and, I would hope, the cats. But Beth has committed me with today’s post. Alternatively, I’d write the post over the weekend, but … Read the rest

March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Terrible Person!

Michael’s 40 years old today. Whew! Look how mature he’s suddenly become.

We celebrated by first attending a seminar on “Greening Your Law Firm” followed by a long walk across San Francisco from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach and back to the Pacific Cafe.

I saw all kinds of plastic stuff to write about, but right now my back hurts and, since it’s still technically the boy’s birthday, I need to go and finish celebrating with him. More tomorrow.

Good night!… Read the rest

February 23, 2008

VBW Day a guest post by Michael, aka terrible person

“I saved Latin. What did you ever do?” — Rushmore

So (I find myself beginning almost anything I write these days with the word “so”. I may have picked it up from my high school Russian teacher, my favorite teacher ever, who was German. Or it may be a translation of “Hwaet”, the Old English word that begins the poem “Beowulf”, which can be and has been translated a hundred different ways, but basically means, “Attention please, everybody! I’m telling a story here!”)

So, those of you who have been reading FPF for a couple of months might remember the post I wrote during Beth’s absence on a retreat (and for the constantly multiplying new readers, here it is) in which I lamented the amount of plastic waste at the law firm where I work as an assistant librarian, especially the number of Firm-provided bottles of water consumed, despite the availability of delicious filtered,… Read the rest

December 6, 2007

I think we all do that sometimes

Beth is away at a three-and-a-half day meditation retreat. She goes on these about twice a year, at a convent in Marin County called Santa Sabina, and they’re very good for her, if only because she spends a large part of the time she’s supposed to be meditating sleeping, and she desperately needs some sleep after staying up till dawn most days writing this blog.

In her absence, I’ll be writing today’s post. Who am I? Her husband, Michael. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you’ll have seen mention of me. I also comment fairly frequently under the name “terrible person”, which is a name I used to use on a local BBS back in the 90’s. This was actually where Beth and I first encountered each other and attracted each other’s interest. You’ve got to hand it to a woman who would be interested in a guy who calls himself “terrible person”. But then, you should have seen… Read the rest

September 13, 2007

A Special Message from the Polar Bear Community

While Beth is taking another night off from blogging in order to get some much-needed and well-deserved sleep, we bring you A Special Message from the Polar Bear Community:

Hey Humans:

Our habitat is shrinking due to global warming. If current trends continue, TWO-THIRDS of our population will be driven out of existence.

On top of that, this past week saw the publication of a report about how the Canadians are asserting THEIR claims to the Arctic. Not to mention the Americans, the Norwegians, the Danes … (Much as we like the Canadians, being nice people who generally don’t invade anyone and have those cool Tim Horton’s restaurants, we feel that the best claim to the Arctic is OURS.)

We think the governments of these countries are actually excited that the polar ice is shrinking because that will make it easier to send ships up here to look for resources.

Oh, did we mention what these resources are?

Yup.

Oil and gas.

Of course.

And what’s… Read the rest