Monday, July 26, 2004

Zero the ball python Posted by Hello

Appreciating snakes

Just for those who don't understand my love of reptiles, snakes in particular, I am writing this is response to a note that was posted by a friend.

I do understand why some people fail to see the attraction in regard to snakes. They are cold-blooded. They aren't loving and don't come to you when you call them. They aren't cuddly or cute in the sense that a dog, cat or even a mouse or rat is. Snakes feel no loyalty to those who care for them. There are venomous snakes that kill within minutes.

The Inland Taipan of Australia is one of, if not the most venomous snake on earth. Right here in the United States we have a variety of Rattlesnakes that cause serious illness and death when the bites are left untreated. Eastern diamondback, Western diamondback, Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, Mojave Green Rattlesnake as well as others.

We have the Coral snake which is in the same family (Elapidae) as Cobras and Mambas. While docile and very reluctant to bite, the Coral's venom is highly neurotoxic and can be deadly without proper treatment of a bite. Learn about venom.

Therefore I can understand why some people don't see the attraction for snakes as pets. However, I do feel there is nothing wrong with a person having a python, boa, or most any non-venomous snake as a pet. On the other hand, some of the species of constrictors that grow to be very large, I feel should be left to expert snake handlers and herpetologists since they can be just as deadly as venomous snakes. Ball Pythons don't grow to be a dangerously unmanageable size. They are shy and prefer to stay away from people. That's how Zero was. While he may not have been a cuddly dog, he was shy and gentle and never hurt anyone.

Zero was definitely a real animal. A living, breathing animal. You would have to love snakes and reptiles as I do to understand. But that's just me. I love animals. All animals. Not just a select few that behave in such a way that rewards me. Or animals that are cute, cuddly and playful. But all animals. That includes snakes.

There is much to learn about snakes and so much more to be truly admired about them. Please take time to learn about them and appreciate them as they are then perhaps my love of snakes will become a bit more clear.

Learn more

Reptile search: Herpsearch
Thinkquest: Snakes
Reptile Database
Society for the study of amphibians and reptiles

In tribute to a great herpetologist

Dr. Joe Slowinski's site
Outside Online: Bitten

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

It's been a drag

It saddens me to say that my son's snake died. We think he may have contracted a respiratory infection but I'm not sure. Anyway, I've been SICK about that. Just sick. I'm going to get my son another baby python but it's not the point you know?
I let the little snake down by not recognizing that he may have been ill. More important, I let my son down. The whole thing has just made me cry till I'm sick. I love animals and reptiles very much and when I am responsible for the death of a living, breathing animal, be it from lack of knowledge on proper care and signs of illness or my own stupid carelessness, it simply wipes me out.  I plan to make it a point to learn all I can about pythons and possible illnesses.
And as if all that is not bad enough, at 3:33 am Saturday, a guy called our house wanting to talk to my son Donny- he just kept on and on about it. I wouldn't say anything about where Donny was because the guy wouldn't tell me who he was or anything. He finally hung up.
He called back not one minute later asking for Donny again. I said, look, I'm not tellin you ANYTHING till you tell me who you are and what you want. He says, "Look, Donny owes me money and I want it. If I don't get it I'm gonna kill him. I WANT MY MONEY. I'LL FIND HIM AND WHEN I DO, I'LL GET HIM." Then he hung up.
Donny wasn't home and no one that knew him could find him. I panicked- I started calling his friends to try and find him to make sure he was ok. I had to end up getting the police to find him and bring him home from across town.
With the police involved because of the threat, they located the guy that called. Supposedly, it was a joke. The police didn't think it was a very funny joke any more than I did. They explained that since he had made a threat all he has to do is move wrong and he's going to jail. If that guy does anything else or calls or comes around our house, he's going to jail.
My son as well as several of his friends have said that the person has (seriously) psychiatric problems. That still concerns me since we really don't know what he might and might not do. The police are watching him so I hope this is over.
All in all this has been a very sad and worrying week. Send me good vibes and blessings please!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Strange Happenings

I didn't mention it before but I had a similar experience in regard to Jc getting a jury summons in the mail. The day before it came, I was actually thinking about him getting a jury summons. I knew he would. Other people have seen this from me as well.

Pete knows how many times I have been thinking not only something similar to his thoughts but the exact same thing. It really never ceases to amaze me the number of times this happens to me. People have asked me what it feels like.

It's very difficult to explain. The only way I can even attempt to describe the feeling is that it is like something you already know, such as your own name. The thought is simply... there. Known, accepted.

So, coincidence? A divine gift? A curse? Rogue chemicals in the brain that affect or even control this sort of thing? Perhaps a combination of chemicals, specific metabolic states and outside stimuli that result in what appears to be psychic ability?

In any case, I find it interesting as well as curious when this happens to me. I would like to find some well-written information about this but I don't really know of any good reference sites on the subject.

If anyone knows any websites that address this sort of thing, please leave a post. Also, Deek if you happen to have info or thoughts/ideas on this, by all means write.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Coincidence, synchronicity and things of that nature

Before I go any further I have to say up front that I do not believe in telepathy, prescience or any other of the pseudo-scientific junk that flies around these days. I do happen to believe that sometimes people can be sensitive to things going on without knowing why - this is, I believe, what we mean when we say someone's psychic. Maybe one day I'll write a proper article about the background to that, but not right now.

On the other hand, when something weird happens you have to take notice. And over the last few days something has been bothering me.

On my way home one day last week I was listening to the radio and on one station somebody mentioned the phrases, "under the radar" and, "red alert". I don't remember what they were talking about specifically and at the time it didn't seem significant.

A bit later I slipped a Rush CD in the player. The first track is Distant Early Warning and includes the lines Cruising under your radar and Red alert, red alert. Spooky.

About an hour ago I had a team meeting and our team lead mentioned a new project to do with advertising ocean trips. The project's in-house codename is Cruise Under The Radar.

At this point I knew I had entered the Twilight Zone.

So here it is, official. The time as I write this is 2:16pm Central Daylight Time on July 14 2004. If something very big happens in the next few days that involves something cruising under radar and a red alert, I will be officially going in for the JREF $1 million paranormal challenge. Take note of when you read this, because I may need witnesses.

I really hope I'm wrong, because in this time of terrorist threats all over the place I'd hate to win a cool million as a result of someone getting hurt. But phrases like "cruising under radar" and "red alert" have an ominous tone.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Catalog

Rooting through my mail I found this nifty catalog of really expensive junk that I thought would be fun to look through even though I'd probably never but any of it.

One item they list is a $375.00 "pen safe" What the safe consists of is a small box that will display 12 pens in view and 12 hidden in a bottom tray. The ad states that the pens will be kept under lock and key. I found that odd since the safe has a thin glass top.

I imagined an angry, frustrated burglar saying, "ahhhh nuts!! and me with no key" the imbecile never once considering that a slight flick of the thumb and middle finger would end the pent up frustration and give him access to the wonderful array of genuine imitation plastic pens. This sort of incident is normally reported on the "Stupid criminal of the week" report.

Another item was a gargoyle pencil holder $29.95 each or $27.95 each for two or more. Right away I began a list of lucky recipients for this incredible gift.

The catalog had both front and side views of the holder. I suppose this was so that they could be assured that one side looked just as ridiculous as the other. The pencil cup is to the back of the gargoyle and he has a space in his mouth that holds another pencil. The expression on his face is one of, "Oh please, please, please ..not me please...". It seems the logical thing to me would have been to put the hole for the extra pencil through his head ala Steve Martin style. Perhaps that would have helped alleviate a bit of his pained expression.

And last but certainly not least is the bookmark. $16.95 each or $14.95 for two or more. This treasure of the literary world is made of very thin solid brass and has two strips of leather to mark pages.

The brass handle, did I say handle? That's probably because it looks very much like a handle and along with the strips of leather, looks much like an extremely cheap whip of some sort.I can see Conan the librarian standing in his barbarian garb, cracking his bookmark/whip saying, "Read!!!" Since I like Conan the librarian, I might not mind so much, but for 17 bucks? I think not.

Friday, July 09, 2004

It was bound to happen.

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. I knew that eventually my husbands brain would go after living here longer than a couple of months. He has and is experiencing what we native Americans refer to as "normal American citizen behavior".

This ususally happens within a few months of living here while experiencing all the marketing hype that companies shove down our throats in order to make us feel worthless unless we buy/eat the crap they are trying to sell us.

It would suffice to say that he probably drove by Arbys one too many times and some vessel or something imploded in his cranium when he saw the "Low-carb Arbys plate" that is now available. I blame Arbys for this.

They have changed something that is a basic part of my husband and that is what I like to call the "Roast Beef", or "huge slabs of meat", center of his brain. This area of the brain is controlled by a very basic and primal function which cannot be controlled by anything other than shovelling large hunks of beef into him.

While I try to create dinner menus of lean chicken with lots of healthy vegetables served raw, steamed, grilled or stir fried, his brain throws heaps of some strange unknown chemical into his vessels telling him, "FORGET THE VEGETABLES, EAT AN ENTIRE COW".

Then again he does have a point. Diets that rob the body of nutrients that it needs and gets normally causes health problems. But then it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to point that out.

I am actually considering trying The Fatkins Diet myself. I'll let you all know how it goes. For me, I know it will be difficult to stay off the vegetables but I'll do the best I can.

The Fatkins Diet

These days there's no way that there is anyone left on the planet who hasn't heard of the Atkins™® Diet.

This, the latest in a long line of fad diets guaranteed to kill tens of thousands before sense prevails, tells us that carbohydrates are bad and lots and lots of protein is good and that all those namby-pamby nay-sayers - like doctors, nutritionists and hospital workers - were wrong all along.

The "diet" works this way: you eat loads of protein - meat, eggs, meat, fish, meat, and so on. This induces Ketosis, in which your body dumps water to help dispose of all that extra protein. As a result, your weight takes a nosedive. After a few weeks of this you've lost all the water you can spare, so your weight levels off.

All the same, from a dieter's perspective this is great - at last, a diet that actually delivers on the promise of immediate results! It's a miracle!

It's also a miracle from the point of view of all those food companies that sold out to the "diet", too - they're making money hand over fist from low-carb snacks, low-carb soda, low-carb beer... even low-carb sandwiches and burgers (basically, take a sandwich, ditch the bread and dump what's left on a plate. Voila. If you think I'm kidding, check your nearest Arby's restaurant).

This means that lots of people are making big money from this "diet" and that's good for the economy - and in the US at least, the economy is everything. If something is good for the economy, it's good for everyone. And if a few thousand people end up suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol, death and so on, that's okay so long as the fat cats are getting their slice of the low-carb pie.

Well, I think it's time for the sensible alternative to the Atkin$ Di€t™®. I bring you...

The Fatkins Diet

Like all good diets, the Fatkins Diet is a combination of diet and exercise. So:


If we're going to cut out carbs then we'd better go the whole hog, so to speak. So let's get rid of all the other bad things: protein can go, for one thing. And there's no point losing water... I mean, weight, if all you're going to do is put it back on as soon as you drink anything. With that in mind:


- Lard, with sugar on top

- 6oz glass of corn syrup


Entree: Lard

Dessert: Sugar cookies


Starter: Sugar cubes in vegetable oil

Entree: Lard

Dessert: Brown sugar, with white sugar garnish

The large amounts of fat and sugar induce a condition known as "diarrhea". Weight loss is natural and, in fact, inevitable and unstoppable. (These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, which is probably a good thing.)

From this you can see why the Fatkins Diet is also known as "the Lard-ass Diet".


I've found that the best thing is to run as fast as you can, for as long as you can. Whenever I do that I keep going, past the so-called "pain barrier", until I'm shaking, all my muscles ache like hell and I'm short of breath. It feels terrible, but once the heart palpitations have stopped I always tell myself that pushing myself that ten yards is doing me good.

In summary

So there you have it - the Fatkins Diet in a nutshell. I'll soon be expanding this basic diet sheet into a full-blown marketing campaign, so watch out for Fatkins books, Fatkins lard-bars and Fatkins vegetable-oil sodas in the shops soon. Also, watch for the forthcoming new McDonalds® GreaseBomb with Cheese and No Bread™, which should be hitting restaurants (splat!) soon.

In the meantime, you'll find me in the bank.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Flaming posts. Or a reasonable facsimile.

I would never flame your post nor delete it. Feel free to rant anytime you like. As you can see from my own posts, I do the same and quite often.

Ranting and kooky behavior is I believe the result of a good mind stressed from the stupidity of the mundane, monotone and ordinary. And as we know, stress can make us do some really odd things at times.

Odd as in singing while holding rice paddles above my head and doing the Saturday Night Fever boogie dance while cooking dinner. Actually, I thought holding the rice paddles up was a rather nice touch. Be One with your paddles! Everything Zen.

Giant mice? I think perhaps a vacation is in order. Deer-sized mice... Now there's a horror story.

A grand return

Well folks, been a while since I've posted anywhere, I've been enjoying the funs of life. Or is that runs.. who knows?

After recovering from a 1.5 week migrane, I travelled to a wedding. Well attempted to- seems someone decided to put a herd of cows in the highway, seriously. Stupid drivers? Who needs them! Bovines running at 15mph down a narrow twisty two lane highway always makes interesting things happen. Heck, we were a car back from the black blob of Buger King Beef.

Reminds me of this famed incident in my history, when my roommate (usually back by 5pm on Sundays) arrived closer to 1am. Brian is a great guy, and articulate at story telling. The wonderful thing about that link is he doesn't exaggerate at all- I can attest to his personality, and the facts that were relayed to me only shortly after the event.

Now, Harry Houdini House Guest below here also gets me thinking- what if mice were large enough to make you avoid them with vehichles? Like raccoon size. No, wait, let's go a little larger, more like a 6 month old deer. *shudder*

Haven't seen Kate online in a while, and haven't really gotten to meet the rest of you yet... in fact, since the wedding I've been hiding. I only crawled outta bed to post my inarticulate rant and see if there is still a world out there. Judging by the record low 408 people on the IRC servers right now, I'm beginning to wonder.

Oh, final "rant" note- if you know anyone needing a jack of all trades IT person, contact me! :) (/troll)

Back to my cave. I expect to wake up to see this deleted. Or spammed with flames. Either way, I'll at least have that warm and fuzzy feeling of "Did I really make that post?"

EDIT: Somehow this didn't post the first time. Grr.