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When I was a young boy, my favorite place in the entire world provided shelter from the blistering summer sun beneath twisted, tangled California Live Oaks. The arroyo lay carpeted in a crisp bed of fallen leaves, beneath which water always flowed. Toward dusk, living creatures moved from their dens and resting places--small amphibians, birds and mammals--coming out to hunt, or be hunted.The contrast between the busy streets of my home town and this quiet place, which lay within a thirty minute bike ride of my house, drew me with increasing frequency as I grew older. My mother never complained when I brought new 'pets' home. I kept tadpoles in a jar, toads and snakes in a terrarium, then dutifully returned them to the 'wild' after observing their behavior for a little while.The day I saw an army of bulldozers arrive, my heart sank. Although somebody once told me that the subspecies of California Live Oak native to the San Rafael hills where I grew up lived in no other place on earth, the giant machines knocked them to the ground without mercy. In their place, a massive, fetid, noisome mountain of garbage rose toward the sky. I vowed to leave that place and live somewhere far away, where my new 'favorite place' could remain pristine. I swore that I would forsake California for Canada.Although that memory has faded, and its impact muted by a myriad of different experiences, somehow it retains an influence over my attitude toward people and the world I observe. It could be a better place, if something within us would change--That restless desire to instigate a revolution lies at the core of what motivates me to write. I put words on paper in the naive belief that somehow you will be different after my work has been read. This is not arrogance,merely hope.