Sunday, March 31, 2013
Recently I read Tania's post about rising early and the mundane ordinariness of Monday mornings and once again I felt that soft collision of connection between the two of us. In reality, we're worlds apart - geographically, in age and culture, and probably many other things, and yet there is something that I recognise in Tania. I'm not sure if it's my life now or memories of my past but that
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
As I have noted in the past, AKC dog registrations are falling so fast that they may have no dogs to register at all by 2025. See the numbers yourself.
So what is the AKC doing about that? They are in a bit of a pickle, as the culture of dogs in America has changed, and so too has the American social scene, but the AKC has not kept up with the times, and they continue to double down on deformed, defective and diseased breeds.
But suppose defective, diseased and deformed dogs were a business plan? Suppose instead of being a business liability, they could be turned into a feature?
That seems to have been the AKC's thinking when they began to market themselves as a veterinary referral service. We not only recommend defective dogs, we also recommend veterinarians to fix those dogs! Perfect.
What? You cannot afford all those expensive veterinary fixes? No problem --the AKC sells pet insurance too!
Now the AKC has moved one step further, and they are offering a "hot line" where you can make a telephone call to a supposedly "expert" nameless, faceless dog trainer who, for all you know, is nothing more than a call center in Bangalore, India.
The AKC writes:
"We have a special offer for you as the owner of a recently registered or listed dog with the AKC. The AKC® GoodDog!SM Helpline is a new telephone support service that provides dog owners with access to a live trainer. This service was developed for owners who need advice on training their dogs. There are no appointments to set-up, books to read or videos to watch. The AKC® GoodDog!SM Helpline uses only positive reinforcement training methods that are effective for both owners and their dogs. Best of all, this support is good for the life of your dog, so advice from puppyhood to the senior years will be just a phone call away! Visit us at AKC® GoodDog!SM Helpline to learn more and purchase at your special price of $59.99 (regularly $79.99)!"
Right. Help is just one high-priced phone call away.
This is "dog training" that involves no hard work or time since there are "no appointments to set-up, books to read or videos to watch."
And only positive reinforcement methods are used because that's exactly what works for all dogs and all problems in all situations, from deer chasing and cat killing to inter-pack aggression to food guarding.
Oh, and never mind all those string leashes attached to too-thin choke chains that you will find being used in every AKC ring in the country. Those don't work. Just ask the nameless faceless expert dog trainer who is only one $60 phone call away.
Operators ("live trainers!") are standing by.
Working around the house from
north face to south face.
All the empty pots, tubs and wagons will soon have flowers.
Opposite side of walkway
The bud became a bloom
The sun rises in the east and slowly lights up
this side each morning,
peeking through the trees.
Those are bottle brush soon to be filled with red 'brushes".
They are 20 years old and on their last legs..
Certain times of the year you get bee bombed
when you walk along the path.
Had coffee here on the porch this a.m.
Doorway into the sun porch that you all like.
I see I need to retighten all the twinkle lights out here,
they're a mite droopy.
Of course Howie snuck into this pic,
I almost made it without him photo bombing..
I'll finish up the yard this weekend.
I'll spare you the dog run and such.
Enough of my yard already!
I hope everyone has a blessed weekend with
their loved ones.
I'm playing yard hooky with a pal today.
(oh and Ellie I wanted to write you
but you are "no reply comment",
with no email address...
BC is a lovely place, indeed it is)
Cats Need 9-Lives in Australia
The Australians do not play around when it comes to feral cats and fox. Hunters and land owners shoot them on sight and very serious poisons are used to try to eradicate them, all in order to try to protect native wildlife from small mammals to endemic birds. One example: 3,000 feral cats were recently shot during a 16-day period in Queensland to keep them away from a 29-square-kilometer sanctuary designed to protect the endangered greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis), a defenseless, two and half pounds marsupial that looks like a cross between a mouse and a rabbit.
The Real Snake in the Garden of Eden Was Man
Scientists say humans wiped out almost a thousand species of birds--- most of them of the big, flightless and tasty variety -- from Pacific Islands during the Holocene period as early humans arrived a thousand years before the first Europeans. I have written a little about this before -- see More People Meant Less Moa.
A Massive and Long-term Pedophilia Scandal Will Do That!
“According to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, in 1984, nearly 90 percent of Irish Catholics went to weekly Mass. In 2011, only 18 percent did.” Source.
Is Horse Slaughter Less Cruel Than No Slaughter?
Bloomberg editorial board member Marc Champion wonders whether the ban of horse slaughterhouses in the US has actually increased suffering for the animals, and whether there really is a good case for managing unwanted pet and feral horses as a meat market. He notes: "All things die, including horses. The attempt to prevent the U.S. from reopening slaughterhouses for the animals is surely foolish. Consider what has happened since the last horses were slaughtered in the U.S. in 2007, after Congress banned the Food and Drug Administration from funding the inspection of horse slaughterhouses. Since then, as a Bloomberg News story reports today, the number of horses that the U.S. ships out of the country to be slaughtered in other North American countries more than doubled, to 197,442. So in our anxiety to be more humane, we have subjected the animals to a long and inhumane truck ride before they meet the same end in other countries."
How Gun Paranoia is Benefiting Wildlife:
Thanks to massive amounts of wasteful gun and bullet buying by a poorly-informed public too easily manipulated by the NRA, a record $882 million in dedicated taxes was collected to be used by the states to fund wildlife and recreation protects. Over $522 million will be used to acquire or long-term lease conservation and hunting lands under the Pittman-Robertson Act. Want to know more about the Pittman Robertson program which has more than 40 MILLION acres of land set aside for citizen hunting all over the country? Just click here.
According to the Venerable Bede, Easter or Eostre, was the pagan goddess of fertility, spring and the dawn.
Her symbols, we are told, were flowers, rabbits, and eggs, as well as the sun and the moon.
According to an ancient German tale associated with Eostre (a tale that seems to first pop up as a Brother's Grimm's Fairy Tale), a little girl found a bird in the snow that was close to death, and she prayed to Eostre, the Goddess of Spring, to help the bird.
Eostre appeared, crossing a rainbow bridge, with the snow melting before her feet as she walked. Seeing that the bird was badly wounded and cold, she magically turned it into a rabbit so it could survive the blustery winds. Unfortunately, however the transformation from bird to rabbit was incomplete, and the rabbit retained the ability to lay eggs. Nonetheless, in thanks for savings its life, the rabbit took the eggs that it laid, and decorated them, offering them up as gifts to Eostre at this time of year.
Yes, a pretty crazy story.
And no, I do not make this stuff up (someone else does that).
- Related Post:
** Happy Festivus
Some days, where you stand depends on where you sit.
Sitting on a doctor's guerney with a serious infection tends to focus the mind.
And if it does not, then God has a way of sorting that out so that only the smart survive. It's called natural selection.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Worked in the yard all day.
Leaf blower running off and on off and on.
Roses bushes coming on strong in rose garden.
I bought the weather vane for my Dad,
over 20 years ago.
He sent it back to me before he died.
Banks roses still with me and
the trumpet vine is flourishing.
Yes that is neighbors roof
we're all crammed in around these parts.
Most of pea gravel in this area cleaned of leaves.
That curve is the rose garden and extra seating for parties.
Side yard cleaned up waiting for plants to give bursts of color.
I'll be heading to nursery this weekend.
Justice peeking through front gate.
Repaired three fountains, the sound is once again
following you from front door, up the side and into the rear yard.
Walkway is so monotone until plants arrive,
then all the old pieces pop.
Yes, it all stays out year round, weathering away.
Howie in foreground checking it all out
I have completed about 1/3 of the yard.
Once I'm done, it'll be good until late fall
when I have to do it all over again.
I suppose it is still easier than dealing with snow.
Today was high 70's
Don't hate me
We'll soon be in the 100's
Over at Pharmalot, they note that:
Two years after filing a widely publicized lawsuit, a Colorado couple has reached a settlement with Pfizer over allegations the drugmaker failed to sufficiently warn that its Rimadyl medication, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment for dogs, can cause severe harm. And now, the couple plans to take the proceeds to start a campaign to raise awareness about what they say are the dangers of the drug.
Yep, Rimdayl is not a completely safe drug. It is, however, an extremely profitable drug for a veterinarian to prescribe. I have written about this before in a post entitled Rimadyl: Relief From a Swollen Wallet. As I note:
[A]lmost all Rimadyl sales by veterinarians for short-term use are a rip-off; you could be using buffered children's Aspirin or a low-dosage of Ibuprofen for a lot less money.
At the core of the scam you have drug company that has created a "me too" version of Ibuprofen that they sell through veterinarians. Veterinarians sell the drug at a big profit (more than 100 percent markup) and also create client dependency as folks have to come back in those cases where a recurring condition (like limber tail) might arise. The drug company makes a lot money, the veterinarian makes a lot of money, and you, the customer, are out of money
If you are interested in saving money and ditching Rimadyl (and the veterinary dependency that comes with it), be sure to read my post on aspirin and Ibuprofen use and dosage in dogs.
Dosage is critical with all drugs. As I note, "ANY medicine is a poison if it is not given in the proper dosage." And, just to put a point on it, Rimadyl might be the right drug for your dog in certain long-term-use cases. Again, see the link.
As for the Colorado dog that was the basis for this latest Rimadyl lawsuit, Pharmalot notes:
After two weeks in the hospital, tests showed severe liver degradation. By the end of July 2009, Sophie was dead. By then, the couple racked up about $30,000 in expenses and, after being alerted, Pfizer sent a check for $1,000, matching the average amount offered to pet owners who participated in the class-action lawsuit that was resolved in 2004. However, they rejected the payment (back story is here and you can click here for the lawsuit).
So how much was the settlement for? Pfizer will not say and "the terms of the settlement are confidential" so we will never know.
That said the owners of Sophie, the now-dead Colorado dog, are taking all of the settlement money they did get and are using it to launch an awareness campaign about the dangers of Rimadyl. They have already created a "Friends of Sophie" web site and Facebook page. A brochure to be distributed to veterinarians will be forthcoming but, of course, that brochure will probably not matter in the slightest since Rimadyl sales are mostly about profit, not about efficacy or need.
As I noted in an earlier post about Rimadyl and the rather famous problems associated with other Cox-2 drugs:
Cox-2 drugs like Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra have all been implicated in heart attacks and strokes in humans, and Vioxx was pulled after it was implicated in killing perhaps as many as 20,000 people. Bextra too has been pulled from the market, and Rimadyl, once sold to humans, is now only sold for veterinary use, under the theory that dogs do not typically suffer from hypertension.
Will your veterinarian tell you all this? Not likely! You see, there is too much money to be made selling Rimadyl
And has that changed? Nope, not a bit.
- Related Posts:
** Rimadyl: Relief From a Swollen Wallet
** Is Your Veterinarian Clean? Don't Count On It.
** A Business Plan Based on Fencing Out the Truth
** Veterinary Trades Say It's Time to Rip-off the Rubes
** Pfizer, Pfrauds and Pfools
** Year Round Dosing for Big Veterinary Profits
** Low Cost All-Worm Treatment
** Lyme Disease: Hard to Catch and Easy to Halt
** The Billion Dollar Heartworm Scam
** The Billion Dollar Lyme Disease Scam
** Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Dogs
** Vet Pricing Has Nothing To Do With Care
** Glad We Could Help
** The Billion Dollar Vaccine Scam
** Antibiotics for Less Without a Prescription
Yes, it is.
And, NO, I have not yet read Headley, Fuck, Fuck, and Curti’s bitch paper.
If someone is a member of the British Veterinary Association and would like to send me a PDF of the paper, I promise to read it and report out to the world.
“Ovarian Teratoma in a Bitch,” S.A. Headley, E.J. Fuck, E.T. Fuck, and C.E. Curti, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, vol. 191, no. 1, July 1, 1987, pp. 81-83. and also Veterinary Record, 2006 Apr 22;158(16):565-7
My understanding is that spaying prevents cancer of the uterus and ovaries in the same way that clear cutting prevents forest fires.
Update: Here is the paper, and I have to say it was less interesting than I had hoped as it deals with a single incident. The most alarmingly and eye-opening part of the paper was the fact that the owner went so long before taking in his dog despite the fact that "he had noticed an unusual increase in the size of the dog’s abdomen almost one year previously..."
The loss of you lingers - Letters of Note
Baby shoes at Tipnut
How to survive hard time - grandpappy info
Documentary films to watch online - some good documentaries for Easter viewing
For the knitters - a baby cardigan
What could be better than a story of birth at Easter - watch Petal's baby stand up for the first time. This is unbelievably cute and life-affirming. This will make
The story in The Sacramento Bee is summarized in this paragraph:
A day after confiscating a Rio Linda family's pet deer – saying chances were "very slim" they would release it into the wild – California Fish and Wildlife officials reversed course Wednesday and did so, alarming experts who say the doe won't be able to survive on her own.
People making deer pets is a big problem for the deer, as they inevitably end up in semi-suburban areas where lazy road-side hunters find them all too tempting.
This deer was going to end up dead one way or another, as no deer ever taken in as a backyard pet ever had a happy ending so far as I can tell. You think a hunter will not shoot a deer with a big red bell collar hanging from its neck? Experience proves you wrong!
The notion that deer cannot be "re-wilded" back into the forest is simply not true.
Preston Doughty, who is president of Austin Wildlife Rescue in Texas and described as "a specialist in deer rehabilitation" says:
"She's going to walk right up to a dog or a horse or a human who will slash her throat."
Really? I kind of doubt it.
Deer are around horses all the time, and both seem to sort it out without too much bloodshed.
As for people and dogs, we might calm down a little here too, eh?
The notion that all people and dogs are psychotic killers is provably false.
Yes, dogs will chase deer, but remember that we actually have to teach most pet dogs to hunt and kill, and this wide-ranging "pet" deer has probably already seen a few chasing dogs and knows what they are about.
As for people, hunting season is eight or nine months off, and though I have spent a lot of time in the woods, I have not met too many people in the woods with big knives who were hell-bent on slashing deer throats.
We might remember too that animals "rewild" all the time. Ask anyone who has dealt with feral cats or feral dogs. Ask any falconer who has released his passage birds after a year or two. Ask any wildlife rehabilitator who has taken in a baby animal, nursed it back to health, and dumped it out of a pet container and into the wild again.
This deer was already roaming the family's rural property in Rio Linda -- it was not in a paddock fed from a grain trough.
This deer was already eating wild food on its own, even as it grew parasitic on extra backyard handouts.
Will this deer do fine if it is released in deep woods with patches of good meadows around? The Department of Natural Resources think so, and they are willing to release it rather than simply kill it. That seems like a good decision to me.
That said, deer do not liver forever, do they?
The average deer in America is dead at age 3 or 4. A very old big deer is no more than age 6 or7.
So will this deer eventually be killed by a car (as its mother was), or a hunter, or die from disease, starvation or predation?
Count on it. We all owe Mother Nature a death.
For this particular doe, however, the call on that debt is not this week. Why is that a bad thing?
This would have been me in 1981. I was going to college and living in Oberlin, Ohio in the big Queen Anne-style house behind me, which backed up to a farm which, in turn backed up to a reservoir and a small bit of forest.
My dog in these days was Barney, another mutt terrier rescued off the streets. He was a great dog. I was known as Barney's owner, which tells you quite a lot about the both of us.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Our blogging workshop at the Maroochydore Library.
I've been very fortunate lately to have been involved in writing and blogging workshops in the Sunshine Coast libraries. We do the last one today. My business partner and friend, Ernie Marcum and I, delivered the 16 workshops at every one of the council libraries. It was exhausting, we had to leave home far too early and too often, we
I don't have a honey do list,
I have a damn I have to do this all myself list,
and guess what?
S**t gets done.
In the process of a "check off all this crap on the list" mania,
I have been known to get a mite
uh... crabby, moody, frustrated, irritable...
OK generally pissed off
that King Putz planted trees that were way too large for my postage stamp yard,
that they are all deciduous requiring major leaf cleanup and that they were all given to me as Mother's Day gifts so the guilt of
chopping them down and making stump seating and/or ash plate chargers out of them that I could boast about on pinterest
is out of the question..
and my affordable yard cleanup guy who always helps me
this time of year, is in jail.
Allergies, my newest friend the past 4 years
are loving the exposure to all the pollen, leaf mold
and pine buds I am exposing them to.
They are flourishing and rewarding me
with cotton throat and itchy eyes.
If you add that to the torn yoga pants,
coffee stained, once long sleeved t-shirt that I unceremoniously cut the sleeves off, (while I was wearing mind you), braless with the pendulous wonders hanging free, and throw in
my needing to be dyed, 1 inch root showing hair pulled back
in a pony tail so tight, I have an "eye lift" ensemble
well, is it any wonder I do not have a honey
to "DO" the to do list?
Is it a sign of my age that I no longer care who drives by and sees me in the front yard in this condition? They all speed by way too fast, so I am just a blur anyway. I do however try not to bend over with the uh "posterior" of me facing the street.
One does need to follow some neighborhood decorum.
The backyard is the target today,
as much as I can stand before my eyes swell shut.
Yeah, yeah hilarious...
I'm organized and hilarious but not a size 2.
The universe has some sense of fairness.
Mixed bag of indignities
from an old bag who loves ya
The cartoon is trying to be funny, but the dog with the brochures actually has a point, and I have even seen Bob Bailey himself make the point, which is that some of the more extreme clicker training advocates are more about the Cult of Clicker than they are about actually addressing the real needs of dogs and dog owners.
Dog training has been around a very long time, more than one technique works, and not all techniques work to solve all problems on all dogs all the time.
But is that what you hear from the pure positive clicker crowd? Not so much. Instead they tend to do what so many cults do:
My advice is to be a practical dog trainer.
Two books that look at the world of dog training through more than one lens (and are recommended by me) are: Mr. and Mrs. Dog (my review here) and Cesar's Rules (Smart Dog's review here). Neither of these books are a course in dog training. Instead, they are windows into a simple idea: that dog training is not about philosophy, but about what actually works to make dogs and their owners happy and whole.
Sure, in theory, theory and practice should line up, but in practice they rarely do. Dogs are not quite as simple as so many of us want them to be.
- Related Links:** Going Negative as Dog Trainer Marketing Tool
** Support Positive Dog Training or I'll Beat You!
** Stupid, Ignorant, Delusional or Terrified?
** Calm and Assertive Clicker Training
** Are You An Old School Dog Trainer?
** Death from Snake Bite Before Discomfort?
** They Invented Animal Training?
** Clicker Training Does Not Require Empathy
** The Three Parts of Operant Conditioning
** Your Dogs are a Mess (and your kids are no prize)
It's been a while since I put up any "house porn," so here you go.
This one is an 1855 Victorian in Worcester, New York. Asking price: $650,000 which includes 190 acres.
Private elegant compound in the Northwestern Catskills. Lovely 1855 Italianate Victorian house and barn.
Sited on 190 spectacular acres with mountain views, trout stream, clay bottomed swimming pond, perennial beds, fruit trees and stone patio. Thoughtful sophisticated renovation.
This 3,500 sq ft home and gardens are in excellent condition. 10 ft high ceilings, original moldings, and hard wood flooring, smart layout with great flow. 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
It is coupled with a 5,000 sq ft post and beam barn that is totally renovated. The barn workshop/studio could provide a professional artists studio or a turnkey upscale woodworking operation. It is fully heated with separate zones, plumbed and has a top floor that could be guest quarters or house a nanny. This configuration could provide an opportunity to work and live full time in the country ending the dependence on city life.
Accessible from the New York thruway, 50 minutes to Albany and Amtrak, 30 minutes to Cooperstown. More pictures and information on website: http://www.centervalleyhome.com
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I am using this post today to write about email safety. I know this isn't my usual topic but I've had a lot of emails lately that are obviously from hackers who have hijacked someone's email account. There are two things here to watch out for. One is not having your email hijacked in the first place, the other is what to do if you receive one of these emails.
Even though this isn't
- Is Lyme Disease an Alien Life Form?
The pathogen that causes Lyme Disease -- Borrelia burgdorferi -- does not run on iron like every other life form on earth. Instead, it depends on manganese, which means that when the liver produces hepcidin to fight the infection, that natural iron-inhibiting hormone does nothing to starve the pathogen, which is why Lyme disease is so robust absent a good dosing of Doxycline.
- Zeuterin Sterilization for Dogs:
The FDA is expected to green light Zeuterin as a new, safe, cheaper and faster way to sterilize male dogs age three to ten months. Zeuterin is a solution of zinc gluconate, a natural spermicide, which is injected into each testicle leaving it incapable of producing sperm. No anesthesia is needed, and the dog will continue to have about half its normal testosterone production, which has health benefits. Dogs that have been "Zeutered" will have a microchip implanted that notes that fact and/or will be tattooed with a number that includes the letter "z".
- Falcon Genes Sequenced for First Time:
Scientists from Cardiff University in Wales have sequenced the genome of peregrine and saker falcons for the first time.
- Mark Kleiman to Become Washington State's First Pot Czar:
The first marijuana licensing and control official for the state of Washington is Mark Kleiman, someone I have mentioned before in the context of operant conditioning for criminals, which is exactly like operant conditioning for dogs and other forms of wildlife. See Training Humans like Dogs and Watch the Cows.
- Border Patrol Uniforms Made in Mexico?
Yep, that seems to be the case. And why not? Remember that every self-righteous union organizer is standing in front of you in clothes that are made overseas and advocating for a massive amnesty for illegal aliens that came to America in order to take a job that would have gone to an American if decent wages and working conditions had been offered.
- The Sheep are Worried, the Dog is Dead:
A friend who rescues dogs in the U.K. just had one of her very fine rescues shot for sheep worrying. Sheep worrying is as big an issue in the U.K. as deer chasing here in the U.S., but in the U.K. they have removed the best tool to end it. Saying no to e-collars means saying yes to shooting dogs and dogs being killed in traffic due to chasing deer. Read what Temple Grandin says about that.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Want a Better Condom:
Too much information? No, really, they are just trying to save the world and a few million lives by making sex a little more fun. All good. All very good.
- And While We're Trying to Save the World:
Dean Kamen (the inventor of the Segway and hundreds of other things) and Coca Cola have partnered to put the Slingshot freshwater machine into villages across Africa. This is a machine that can process 50 gallons of filthy water (including pure urine) into distilled water as fast as you can say "Bob's your uncle."
- Maybe This Priority Is Not as Twisted as It Sounds:
A new U.S. Study says more people in the world now have cell phones than modern toilets. Crazy? Not really. Remember, a cell phone can bring you information, a new way of living, a job, personal security, political power, and even tell you where you need to go.
- Even When the Cat Wins, It Loses:
A male mountain lion that grabbed a pet Dachshund off its leash as it was being walked in a gated community near Colorado Springs, Colorado has been trapped and euthanized by state wildlife officials who deemed the big cat a threat to public safety.
|Mildred Jeter Loving and Richard Loving, 1965.|
Mildred Jeter Loving and her husband, Richard, refused to accept Virginia's ban on interracial marriage.
Their opposition to the racist marriage laws of Fairfax, Virginia (now the richest County in America), led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that, in 1967, struck down similar racist marriage laws across the country.
Yes, the current President of the United States is the product of a marriage that was illegal in many states back when he was born.
That was then, this is now, and a similar ban on same sex marriage is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
May the spirit of Mildred Jeter Loving look down on the Supreme Court and guide their hand.
Let Loving guide the way.
All the girls all dance with the boys from the city,
And they don't care to dance with me.
Now it ain't my fault that the fields are muddy,
And the red clay stains my feet.
And it's under my nails and it's under my collar,
And it shows on my Sunday clothes.
Though I do my best with the soap and the water,
But the damned old dirt won't go.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Here is Hanno bent over planting seeds and seedlings in the late afternoon sun.
Not only is March the best time of year for me with the weather, it's also when we see the re-emergence of our beautiful vegetable and herb garden. We're both looking forward to a good growing season this year and hope to have an abundance of fresh organic food to eat and share. We are committed soil gardeners,
It's snowing at the end of March and as a consquence there are calls for criminal charges and the beheading of the weather-predicting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.
Please. Phil never claimed to predict the weather -- that was something others claimed for him, and it was all a small government con that became a big government con. Phil had nothing to do with it!
Please. Phil never claimed to predict the weather -- that was something others claimed for him, and it was all a small government con that became a big government con. Phil had nothing to do with it!