Thursday, March 31, 2005
  my new-apartment shopping list.
(blame dawn. she complained about the lack of posts. no, honest.)

1. toaster. until i buy one or open a new checking account or something, i'm going to go to the office if i want crunchy, brown bread. it's close, but going five blocks in my pjs on a sunday morning is kinda going to suck.

2. trashcans. until then, i guess i just flush everything and cross my fingers it goes down. ("c'moooon, milk carton.") damn, i hope my landlord isn't reading this. if so, kurt, i'm kidding! (there is a chance; he mentioned that he liked my blog the second time we met. i immediately sped home to see what embarassment i had posted lately. apparently he googled me to make sure i wasn't a child molester or something.)

3. silverware. as aforementioned. until then, tgfs (thank god for sporks).

4. one of those little things you mush the corner of the kitchen towel into to get it to stay. ya know? weird stuff becomes desirable when you're in a new place, i guess.

5. a chinese lucky cat. every apartment needs one of those, right?

6. a bedskirt. who wants to SEE the bed frame before they stub their toe on it? takes the element of surprise right out of it. pain's still there, of course. woo.

7. pots, pans. i have neither. luckily, i have a debit card and no qualms about eating out.

8. a couch. my living room is empty save for a long table against the wall. not too homey. although it may not be so bad if i get a pillow for it. hmm!

9. a tv stand. i have a tv, but nothing to put it on but the floor. hrm. btw, i won't have cable -- for the first time in years! i've been eating and sleeping law & order at ed's; like a reptile with the sun, i'm soaking up these life-giving (cathode) rays while i can.

10. a litterbox. unless, of course, i want to wake up with the kitten using me instead. (see christmastime post about that one.)

11. curtains. god, spending $$ on this kinda thing is going to suck. welcome to sucky adulthood where you need CURTAINS, stacey!

12. sheets that, ya know, match. see #11. i have a lot of sheets, but am realizing a full set will entail a lime-green flat sheet, an ivory & magnolia floral fitted, and jersey-knit cobalt pillowcases.

13. a blender. i read somewhere that every woman needs a blender. not sure why, but i don't wanna be left out. while i'm at it, i may as well get my little fish a bike. (btw, i named him PHINNAEUS, like julia roberts' baby. get it? phinn? fin? I AM SO GOOD.)

ok, that's all for now. back to work!!!

oh yeah -

14. an ostrich egg. the cool thing about me is that i'll probably get one of these before i get a toaster. you gotta have your seven-year-old-trapped-in-a-27-year-old's-body priorities!
  OMG! it's me!
Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure

they even got the hair right!!
i'm feeling like i've had sort of a, ya know, tough year so far.

i'd write it all down but i'm trying to get my voice to sound again like i haven't been crying so i can do these recordings, and that will so not happen if i start to write.

it's just kind of a sad thing to feel like you're not good enough for the life you're happy in. what do you do with that?
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
  graphic pic - sorry.

i'm not one much for live target practice, but i can't say i'd protest it here. assholes.

(hey, sealers, thanks for giving me yet another reason to be ashamed of being human.)


and a human society employee's diary of the hunt.

  saying hi :)
hey few readers!

i don't have any pics to post or anything, so i'll do another one of those nice little numbered-list entries. that way, if the subject is boring, you know you can skip to the next number.

1. the job is fine. i don't give much in the way of updates, but i guess that's good - no drama, ya know? my co-workers are nice. i love the office manager, paola. love, love, love. she's a neat woman. as i've told ed, anyone who can be clever in their second language hugely impresses me. we hired a new guy, a 24-year-old straight-outta-jersey yarmulke-wearing guy. a new dad. seems nice, although i still can't wrap myself around the idea that he's a dad at his age. but it's not like 24 is too young, right? i guess i'm just getting old and shaking my head at all these crazy kids. oh yeah, back to the job - to give you an idea, one of the two "companies" i'd guess you say that i work for is a VoIP phone. right now, i'm doing the online tutorials for the product. e.g. "to make a phone call." i record my screen and then i record the voice. then i read a blog or two to let my brain recover.

2. i'm fine. a little stressed (i seem to be in short supply of money and of time, and this new apartment thing isn't helping in either department). a little sad (residual tortellini sadness inevitably leads to sadness about other things; last night i started crying when i realized my dad's birthday is coming up). a little sniffly (i spend most of my home hours snuggling with a cat against its will, which strangely doesn't help the allergies much). a little hungry (i'm trying to eat better). but overall, i'm fine.

3. ed is fine. no, really fine, if you know what i mean.
that's all. :) (hi ed!)

oh, also, he rocks. i'm a member of bally's. nice one in east fort lauderdale. the one in our area, however, sucks. i don't know what machine is which, there are no labels, if you want to do anything on a mat, you basically have to STAKE OUT an area between two machines, etc. it sucks. so i've "moved to wisconsin" and hopefully can get out of that contract. in the meantime, i'm paying $50 for a gym i can't go to (seeing as how i live in la crosse) so can't really afford to take on a second membership. enters ed. he got me a $21 month-to-month membership at his gym (24-hour fitness) and paid the $80 joining fee, as well as the required first and last month's membership fees. HOW COOL IS THAT? HOW COOL IS HE? yay, ed!

4. thank you for the tortellini condolences. i see little reminders all over: a tortoise figurine on my desk, her hay-filled flower pot, the salad mix i'd share in the fridge. and over all, i have a sinking, "i'm forgetting someone" feeling at all times. then i do an in-mind checklist and realize everyone is accounted for. it's tortellini i'm worried about. it makes me sink to think of her. i worry where i failed her and wish i would've realized something was wrong before.

5. despite aforementioned worries, i want to get another tortoise. this time, a red-foot tortoise, native to south america. that means it's basically adapted to our weather and will be healthy and happy here. that's at the top of the "what to do when i have a spendable $100" list. i'm reading and reading and figure i'll take her to the vet every three months or so to make sure i'm not walking her down an unhealthy path without realizing it. it's not a tortellini-replacement; i just want that cuteness in my life again and to do a good job and grow a big, healthy tortoise.

6. the apartment is ready.. tonight! go me, first apartment. why hasn't anyone sent me silverware yet? this means i have to use sporks from taco bell. dammit, people.

7. oh yeah - the bird is fine. it turns out she was good about not picking at her lasered area, so the vet told me she wouldn't need a cone. i screamed at him (in my head): then what the hell am i spending $400 on?! the $400 still kills me (and no cone!), but i saw reege and her boyfriend feeding each other this morning and am convinced it was absolutely the right thing to do.

8. the camera is back. but is still broken. so i get to send it in again. cry!

did i miss anything?

oh yeah, dawn has a blog! she thought i knew about it because it would show on her comments she leaves on my blog, but i just read those when they're emailed to me. so, yay, a blog to read! :)

i'll try to post something non-drivelly sometime soon. if i don't, please forgive me in light of #2.

ps: sharks!

pics taken off the beach in, um, deerfield beach. how cool is that?
Monday, March 28, 2005
my precious little tortellini died yesterday.

i'm not sure why. i just went to say hello and she didn't respond.

she hasn't been eating well lately. to remedy this, i've been putting her outside on the weekends, letting her eat wild-growing weeds and enjoy the sunshine. ed and i had plans to build nicer indoor and outdoor pens. he was set to start this weekend, actually. i was going to plant a little weed garden for her. i've been in contact with a breeder to get her a little buddy.

yes, she was a little hockey puck, and far from the most exciting pet, but she was adorable and i loved her. i remember when i was carting her to and from work every day, i could look in the back seat and she'd be trudging around, looking for strawberries.

see those precious little eyes? pinpricks for nostrils? scaly little fat legs with cute little claws? precious little pink tongue? (well, you can't see all that, but trust me - she had 'em.)

rest in peace, little baby. i'm truly going to miss you.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
  The Blue Planet was on the Discovery Channel.
Kitten likes the part about the tuna.

Kitten in a box!

Watching it from a box nonetheless! How cute can you get?

Just for her, I bought the boxed set!

Monday, March 21, 2005
  this is mine on april 1

sorry the picture is crooked!

yeah, i figured since i've been getting mail here at ed's for a whole two weeks, it's time to move on. you know, confuse the family in wisconsin with some more addresses in cities they've never heard of. so i'm getting a place about a half-mile from my office in hollywood that's full of windows and wood and fans on the ceiling.

don't worry - ed & i are fine. but, you know, i've never lived anyplace by myself before, the time when dawn and i were roommates aside. so this will be great for both of us - i get a place to eat cookie dough from the tube in privacy (i'm kidding; i haven't done in years) a couple of nights a week and ed gets a place to come visit on the weekends within bike-riding distance of young circle and the ocean.

i'm really, really excited. the place is adorable. i have my own porch (and yes, ed, there will be lots of front-porch sittin') and a dozen walls just begging for photographs. however, i've taken stock of what i have to fill this apartment and so far it seems the list ends at manatee figurines and magnets for the fridge. so, if anyone has something that would qualify as Grown-ups' Stuff (say, an extra toaster.. or some forks), i'd gladly take them in. email me!
Friday, March 18, 2005
  Hit the turtle with a.. hammer?!
Petfinder PetNotes

Another example of why I completely hate hate hate people.

Also, this ad is cute because this turtle "loves eating strawberries and worms!" Just like me!
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
  The lengths poor Lucy has to go to avoid nose kisses from Stacey.

Wondering where she is..?

"Drat, she found my hiding place!"
Friday, March 11, 2005
  i'm really enjoying these pictures
Happy Snaps Daily

someone has a chair fetish!
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
  dive report - key largo 3/6
NOTE: NONE OF THESE ARE MY PICS. they are thanks to google image search. sorry! my camera is in the shop! i'm sure my pics would be just as good, though. no, really.
after an evening in the water with the dolphins and our first night in the room with a view, we went on my second ever key largo dive, my first ever wreck dive, and my first ever dive where nothing went horribly wrong. unless you count the few minutes of diesel sickness on the ride back, but i'm going to not. so - yay! :)

ed & i went with our friend ernie and his new fiancee (and brand-spankin' new certified diver), cyndi. there were just two other folks on the boat, a married couple on vacation from atlanta.

we dove with quiescence, which is nice because they have six-person boats rather than the 20-something boats i've been on. this is appreciated because there are fewer people to jostle you about on the boat and fewer people to crowd the site underwater.. or, in my case, fewer people to mistake as Part of Your Group and follow off. baha, i'm so cool. also, our captain.. was his name mike? anyway, he was great. after a dive, when you feel like you're mr. heavyfoot, there is nothing more appreciated than a little help getting onto the boat and out of your bc. and when dive #2 came around, i realized he had switched my reg over to the fresh tank for me! omg!

we first went to the bentwood wreck. according to the herald, this is a 300-foot foot freighter at depths of 25-45 feet. it was a nice and easy little dive. navigation wasn't an issue - as long as we stayed by the wreck, we were fine. so we just cruised around, looking at the various fish who've taken residence at the wreck. the wreck was pretty deteriorated, but it was still a very new thing to see something so "out of place" in the water -- one part of the wreck looked just like a huge bookcase that had crashed to the floor and crumbled. the holes in the wreck served to remind you that the sandy bottom you were swimming over wasn't just the ocean floor.

this is the bentwood before it came to rest on the ocean floor.

and this is what it looks like in the blue. this pic makes it look tiny, however, and it's not.

our second stop of the day was at french reef. it was absolutely beautiful. colorful fish everywhere, swim-throughs to lose your camera in (sorry, ernie) , and plenty of places to investigate. a few times, i noticed couples of blue parrotfish zipping by that were so close to one another, my first thought was that they were mating or performing some mating ritual. then i realized they were both brightly colored - not the same size or identical in appearance, but both definitely vivid enough to be males. i heard that's how they do things in the keys, so i'm not terribly surprised.

this is one of the swim-throughs. i bonked my tank on the ceiling of this very one!

every time i see a queen angelfish, i have to stop for a moment. They. So. Pretty.

on this dive, i also spotted my first grouper. a couple, actually. people on past dives i've been on have seen grouper, but i was too engulfed in adjusting my weight belt or clearing my mask to notice.

groupers are neat. big lips. (no, my standards are not very high for what i consider to be "neat".)

stoplight parrotfish are very common, but i still am happy every time i see one. they're so pretty and are always so busy mawing at one thing or another. goats of the sea. that somehow doesn't sound like a compliment, does it?

we saw the midsection of a huuuuge green moray. ed said it's probably the biggest he's ever seen, and it was obviously the biggest i have. i wanted badly to see its little old-man face, but it was tucked into the rocks.

ed spotted a hogfish, which he pointed to and patted his tummy. i have yet to track down the diver's hand signal for "ha ha, marine sanctuary" so i had to roll my eyes instead. unfortunately, i doubt ed could see. hogfish are so ugly (this pic is far too kind) that i kinda feel sorry for them. everyone likes to eat 'em and who is gonna take up that cause?

there were barracudas hanging around, which i like quite a bit too. they're always just there, suspended in the water. the myth that they're scary strikes me as pretty funny. unless you're a fish, i suppose, but i can't imagine they're the ones that started that whole thing.

at one point during the dive, every fish in our immediate area DARTED AWAY at the same time. that's, like, hundreds of fish. moving like they're panicked. when we discussed it at the surface, it turns out ed & i had the same thought: "SHARK!" alas, if there was one, we didn't see it. i'd love to see a shark. or a flounder. (i'm not picky. )

on our way to the surface, we noticed a big group of barracudas in the water looking like they had been stacked on top of one another. it was a tower of barracuda. *guitar riff* awesome.

all in all, a beautiful day on and under the water. diving: yay! :)

  why is it that every time my home state makes the news, i wince?
Animal Concerns Community

for when killing bambi just doesn't seem wrong enough.

this one is even my hometown? (well, close enough.)
Monday, March 07, 2005
  marine mammal encounter 2005, take two
Some friends who knew my critter-lovin’ leanings told me they saw on Univision that they were calling for volunteers with wetsuits to help out with the stranded dolphins that have been all over the news down here. Here I had thought that they (whoever “they” are in this case) would have all the help they needed – in the Florida Keys, there really shouldn’t be a shortage of people who want to help dolphins, for crissake. After a bit of tracking down the right people online, I called the Marine Mammal Conservancy who told me to call back the next day, when some of the animals would be moved from Marathon to Key Largo, which would be more in my neck of the woods. Saturday morning, the Key Largo line was busy busy busy, but I tried again in the afternoon and, lo and behold, the lady who answered said they desperately needed help. Ed was in the middle of a regatta, so I signed us up for the 8 p.m. to midnight shift that night.

When Ed got home, we packed up emergency-style and made the 1.5-hour drive, found the Calusa campgrounds, which was our home for the evening. Ed, the poor thing, ate his dinner (consisting of a Lunchables pack) in a panic in the car, then we drove over to the site where the dolphins were being held. For those of you that know Key Largo, it’s right by the Bell South tower. We got out of the car and started gathering our things when an open-backed truck drove past us… carrying two dolphins. Whaa.

They used Publix trucks. See the dolphin's scratched-up little face? They were all messed up there from the stranding - bleeding, scraped. Mew. Yahoo photo.

We suited up in one of the tents that were pitched and had a quick briefing about how to hold the dolphins (one hand on the pectoral, one on the dorsal), areas to avoid (rostrum, genitals), and signs to watch for (steady four-times-a-minute breathing, heartbeat). And were then sent into the (cold!) water, at which point I was GIVEN A DOLPHIN TO HOLD. Just like that!

Yahoo photo. My camera is in the shop. Sigh.

For you non-locals, this story broke last Wednesday, when 70-100 (I think they’re still finding them, actually) rough-tooth dolphins stranded off of Marathon. I’m just now understanding the seriousness of stranding. They’re not just “stranded” in too-shallow water; they’re there for a reason, and stranding causes additional stresses and injuries. For example, illness, errors in navigation (theory), and parasites can cause an animal to strand itself – or, this case may be because of sonar use during navy exercises which were being conducted that day off the coast of Marathon. To a dolphin, a sonar pulse could seem like a very big, scary “noise” which may cause it to surface abruptly, causing what divers would call the “bends”.. Then they’re weak and they’re hurt and they come to shallow water, where we find them stranded.

At that point, volunteers go into action to keep the dolphins hydrated and nourished, protected from sunburn, above water and able to breathe, and monitor their vitals. The ones that are deemed to ill to improve are humanely euthanized. This hurts me so bad (I'm trying to avoid a tasteless pun here) because, as most people realize, dolphins are very intelligent and social. Euthanizing a dolphin isn't just ending its life - it affects all of its dolphin family. Sadness!

So anyway, Saturday at 8 p.m., Ed & I were in the water, walking the dolphins. I got the impression that they were weak, definitely - why else would a wild animal let a big pink person walk them around? But it was a things-are-improving kind of feeling rather than a sad one. Because of the transport, all of the dolphins were being supported at first, but one by one were let go by their volunteers as they seemed to be able to swim independently. By the end of the night, only a handful of dolphins were still being supported. One had pneumonia and was refusing to eat the dead fish a volunteer was shaking in her face ("It's alive, no really!")... but that would just take time and some more pedialyte to get better.

My dolphin (yes, I have taken ownership) let me walk it around for about 10 minutes, at which point Volunteer Coordinator Girl (VCG) asked me to let it go and we'd see how it swam. It was fine. In that short amount of time, I smiled to myself at the sound of the swimming dolphins' breathing, at the sight of a blowhole taking in air (it looks just like a belly button that, ya know, closes), at the heartbeat I could feel when my arm became too weak to hold the animal by its fin so instead basically hugged it. It became agitated as other, We're-Already-Swimming-Independently-Ha-Ha dolphins swam by a little too close, and I once had to calm it down, but other than that, it went.. well.. swimmingly.

This is what we were doing. Pic courtesy Yahoo news.

Ed's dolphin at one point started taking him for a ride that very much reminded me of the shark scene from Ace Ventura, Ed being whipped around the water by an unseen underwater force. Funny. And there his dolphin graduated to unaccompanied swimming.

At that point, most of us in the water were put on Fence Duty. Never ask for fence duty. It's cold over there. A soft fence is put up in the water to enclose the dolphins but, unfortunately, sometimes the dolphins swim into it. They were especially fond of one of the corners for some reason. So we were all given a section of fence to monitor to make sure no one got stuck in it. It was just about this time that the wetsuit started to lose a little of its magic, so there I was at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night, tangled in a fence and wondering what shade of blue I would become during the next two hours. Or would it be purple? Could I get hypothermia in 70-degree water? Why is my head cold even though it's not in the water? I wish that older guy weren't here so I could yell over to Ed to remind him of the story in the Onion about a dolphin having gaynar. I wish I had to pee again. I think my fingers are going numb. Are there hot showers at the campground? WAS THAT A MOSQUITO?! (Unfortunately, yes it was. Damn mangroves.)

Then a dolphin swam up to me. "Yes?" I asked him. No answer. He just kinda sat there, close to me. I put my hands underneath his body and enjoyed the feel of his heartbeat while I listened to his breathing to make sure it was okay ("one one-thousand, two one-thousand..."), then supported him with my knee. Then another dolphin swam by, throwing a beer can at my tired little dolphin as he passed, and my dolphin swam off in such a way that I can only describe as catlike. Not that cats swim, but I got the distinct impression that I had held the dolphin for a split-second longer than he wanted and this was Completely Unacceptable.

Then I was back to my lonesome, dolphinless little fence duty. Sometimes they would swim closeby and I could enjoy the moment. Sometimes they would glide by in tight packs of twos and threes and you were reminded how uncool and ungraceful people are in comparison. Then one of the dolphins swam into the fence and I had to back it up and send it on its way. So dolphins can be goofy too.

this is where we were, only it was dark. pic courtesy of yahoo news.

A veterinarian that was on vacation from Quebec had come in the water at the same time as us and her dolphin wasn't doing so well. She walked her little dolphin around gingerly for the whole time we were in the water, smiling patiently at it. Then I hear her ask for my help and realize that another dolphin had nudged himself between her and the dolphin she was supporting. They checked the number on his/her tag. "4, what a surprise." I guess these two dolphins had just wanted to be together the whole time. Sisters, mother-daughter, boyfriend-girlfriend, who knew.. But what a sick dolphin wants, a sick dolphin gets, so another volunteer was set to rafting dolphin No. 4 up to his/her buddy and they both immediately calmed down. So sweet. :)

At some point, a nice girl noticed the next-to-crying-but-I-think-crying-ice-would-hurt look on my face and offered up her dolphin. "She'll help keep you warm. And walking helps." And so, right around hour 3, I was given the job of walking around another dolphin. She became my good little turner as we did laps, trying to avoid the deeper areas. I warmed up and felt good and decided I could stick out my four hours, even though Ed and the nice older guy that came in the water with us were already on shore. Then some guy was sent out to relieve me of my dolphin (bye, sniffle!) and I hobbled back to the shore.

I went over to investigate a pool that was set up by the tent and - bahaa! it housed a mama and baby dolphin. The mom was tired so they were keeping her and the baby a little warmer and a little closer monitored. I felt the water and it was like a HOT TUB, at which point I had to resist the temptation to smack the volunteer who got that cushy assignment across the head. Turned out she was a really nice girl, so I'm glad I was able to keep myself strong.

Then we went in the tent and sat as close to the heaters as we could without, you know, burning ourselves. Then the VCG that I had taken to mocking in the water told Me, Ed, and the Really Nice Girl that she needed us back in the water to relieve some other folks despite the fact that a new shift was set to take over in just a few minutes, at which point we put our FREEZING wetsuits back on and marched back to the water's edge like we were walking to our deaths. Bless their hearts, no one answered when we called out for someone to replace. So then we got to shiver-walk our way back up to the tent, where a nice guy gave me a hot chocolate he had bought for HIMSELF to me just because I looked that miserable. Then we got to put on dry clothes.

The girl is aforementioned VCG. I forgive her for being so crabby. And suggest she buy a drysuit. Pic courtesy of Yahoo news.

Before leaving the site, we stopped at the baby pool to see what was happening. They were tube feeding the baby dolphin.. pedialyte via beer bong. There were probably ten people assisting this effort, all huddled around this tiny dolphin. "The mama's coming up!" someone warned. A girl answered, "She just wants to see what's going on." That girl scooted to the side just enough to let the mama dolphin up, so she was part of the half-circle surrounding her baby. My eyes teared up when I saw that - trusting these sweet hippies with her baby, but wanting to watch what was going on. Ahh. :)

We found out at the dive shop the next day that one of the dolphins had died mid-morning.. maybe the one with pneumonia? A volunteer was holding it when she realized it had stopped breathing. Jesus, how hard would that have been? I thought they were all going to be okay.

Updates from the southern Keys:,0,7182952.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

I guess they'll be doing this for a couple of more weeks - they wait until all the dolphins are better, then release them as a family - so we may go again this next weekend. And I may get a thicker wetsuit.

Saturday, March 05, 2005
  i'm going to help dolphins!!!
from 4-8 pm tonight, i'm going to help the dolphins in key largo!!!
Friday, March 04, 2005
Ocean Alliance - VOYAGE OF THE ODYSSEY - Bowcam
Yahoo! News - Science Photos - AFP

I really wish that I could see a nice picture of an animal that was neither: a) taken in a zoo, nor b) accompanied by a shocking/depressing fact about its tenuous existence. Sigh.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
okay, now that i know at least, lemme think, three people are reading my blog, let me post a little news bulletin:

1. i have to send my digicam in to canon to be repaired. the shutter release button is being sticky and now it started making noises when i focus. i'll be sans cam for 10-15 business days (plus shipping time). as you can imagine, i'm devastated. what kitty cuteness will the world miss out on because of this?!

2. reege the parakeet goes in for surgery tomorrow morning. she will have to wear a little parakeet-sized cone around her head.

3. i will not have a camera to witness said cone-bearing parakeet. come to think of it, i do have my old, unreliable digital camera. i guess i'm going to have to fight with that big brick of a camera..

4. i am starting spanish lessons - tonight!

5. i've been working on ed wrote a program for his clients to be able to maintain their own websites and installed it (is that the terminology? probably not) for me to use on estacey. so, it's taken some work to use as a suitable replacement for my blogspot blog, but i think it's coming along.

ok, i think that's it. have a nice day!
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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