Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oven ready Ginger

This is a picture of Ginger our cat sleeping on the bed. I can't see how he lays this way. He looks like one of those oven ready chickens. It seems unfair that he gets this comfortable on our bed.

The state of the blog.

Very soon I will be creating a second blog specifically for animal related posts etc. I've decide on the basic layout but not style, colors etc. I'll write a post once it's up and running.

This blog will celebrate it's first birthday in June. It doesn't seem that long ago that I began writing on here. With almost a years worth of posts there is quite a large archive of material so read through some of that as well. Occasionally I do a repost simply because some of the stuff was written back in the beginning and it's easier than searching for it.

I have enjoyed blogging and have read some very interesting material on other blogs and met some of the nice people that write them. By met I mean have written comments, email etc and gotten to know some. Not actually in person.

We bloggers are such a large, diverse culture it never ceases to amaze me. But that is part of the greatness of it. There is something for everyone. I love most of the funny blogs I've come across but once in awhile I find one that really makes me laugh.

Just the other day I happened upon Weasels in my shorts and laughed myself silly. Check out the weasels. That certainly isn't the on;y one either, there are loads of really funny pages. I'll post links to more funny stuff soon.

Friday, March 25, 2005

An excellent Veterinarian Clinic in the Dallas area.

If you live in the Dallas area and have pets, I highly recommend the Summertree Animal & Bird Clinic for great veterinarian care. I had quite a time finding vets in our area that care for reptiles but I got lucky and found this one. I'm so glad I did!

As most of you know from a previous post, my ball python, Sierra has been sick with pneumonia for the last couple of weeks. She's much, much better now and is eating again and seems more like her normal self. Pete and I have given her oral antibiotics twice a day since she saw the Vet.

When I first realized she was sick with some kind of respiratory illness, I started looking for veterinarians in our area. After calling half a dozen, I called Summertree Clinic and set up an appointment. I was so worried about Sierra and doubly nervous since I hadn't had any of our pets to this clinic before. It was needless worry.

Right from the start, the Vet we saw was great. Dr. Jennifer Wells has taken such excellent care of Sierra. Dr. Wells made both of us feel so at ease about Sierra's treatment. She is friendly, professional and it is very obvious that she loves animals. Huge relief for us!

If you live around the Dallas area Summertree is definitely a great animal clinic. They take great care of reptiles and birds too. From myself, Pete & Sierra, "Thanks Dr. Wells and everyone at the clinic"!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Joke of the day

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Animal Rights Links

"Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things,
man will not himself find peace." - Dr. Albert Schweitzer

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Listed by state, Anti-Cruelty Statutes

Animal Protection Institute, Pet Shop Laws.

Yahoo! Directory for Animal Rights

Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Feminists For Animals Rights

International Society For Animal Rights

The Philosophy of Animal Rights

The Animals Voice: of Animal Rights and It's Defenders

SPCA of Texas

Animals need our love, care and protection.

More on Boycotting Petco

The Petco boycott link listed gives details on the following information. Information listed here is the work of the webpage owner and not myself. I am posting this due to the seriousness of the problems associated with the poor care of Petco animals.

When you look at the link listed you will see that it is dated in September 2003. I have personally seen infested animals in Petco stores in 2004 and 2005 so it is still going on now and more than in just California, here in Texas too.

Boycott Petco

If you have a Petco in your area, please look carefully at the little animals, furry ones as well as the reptiles in their store. Most parasites are easy to see especially if the animals are infested as badly as the ones I've seen are.

The following is taken from the webpage that I linked. Please click on the "Boycott Petco" link above to read more of the details. This is very serious in regard to the health and welfare of innocent animals. Please help.

The PETCO Boycott

PETCO's Partners


Pet Store Laws
Find the laws for your state

by State

PETA Files Shareholder Resolution Asking PETCO to End Animal Sales
September 3, 2003

PETA is asking PETCO's board of directors to issue a report reviewing all operational costs and liabilities associated with the sale of animals in order to determine the viability of a policy to end such sales.

Read more here

What is a boycott?

A boycott is a form of protest whereby people abstain from buying or using the goods or services of a particular company or organization in order to cause a change. During a boycott, those who are protesting refuse to purchase or use anything from the company being boycotted.

Who is boycotting?

A group consisting of individual animal lovers and representatives from different animal welfare organizations has begun a campaign to stop the sale of live animals at PETCO stores across the United States. Members of the "PetNo" group are involved in letter-writing, petitioning, distributing flyers, protesting, and investigating and reporting their findings through a "neighborhood watch" of local PETCO stores.

Why boycott?

Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. Is the second largest chain of pet superstores in the United States. While Petco does not sell cats or dogs, they do sell many other species of animals. For years, animal lovers have complained to local Petco management and Petco's corporate headquarters regarding the treatment of the animals in Petco stores. Petco's corporate headquarters refuses to acknowledge any problem with their policies, blaming incidents of neglect and abuse on individual stores and store management, despite the fact that these are not franchised operations. A complete boycott of all Petco stores is the only way to get the attention of Petco's policy makers.

I spent what must have been 20 minutes talking to at least 3 employees and both the store managers, and they wouldn't DO ANYTHING! I asked at least 3 times if they would PLEASE sell me the rat so I could get him to the vet myself. They refused, citing their policy NOT TO SELL SICK ANIMALS!

The complaints against PETCO include, but are not limited to:

Obtaining and selling animals from pet mills
Keeping animals in overcrowded and inadequate housing/enclosures
Failure to separate sexually mature male and female animals
Failure to provide veterinary care for sick or injured animals
Your dollars speak for you! If you truly love animals and care for their well-being, don't support their needless suffering and death by patronizing Petco stores.

What you can do:

Show PETCO that the lives of all animals (not just cats and dogs) are more important than bargains or convenience.

Boycott PETCO! Buy your pet supplies elsewhere.
Consider adopting a pet in need of a good home.
Sign the Petition to PETCO to stop the sale of live animals in their stores, online at:The Petition

Write a letter to PETCO's CEO
Brian Devine
9125 Rehco Road
San Diego, CA 92121
Tel.: 800-765-9878
Mr. Devine's Secretary: 888-583-6044 x3046

Tell others! Put a bumper sticker on your car!
Order the new "PETCO kills birds" bumper sticker from the PETA Mall)

Other sites that address the boycott:

Visit the PetNo Home Page to learn more about the campaign.

Animal Lovers Unite - Boycott Petco.

This is an important post. Important for all of us that love our animal friends. As some of you know, I have several pets. I have Sierra the ball python, Ginger the tabby cat, Velvet the rat, and two mice named Stewart and Minnie. If I had the room and money to take proper care of them I would have quite a few more reptiles since they are my favorite.

About three months or so ago I went into the Petco store not far from here to look around. Any time I visit a pet store I like to visit all the little animals and see what they have for sale. They had a few small ball pythons in a tank. As I looked at them I realized that they were literally covered with mites. You could actually see the mites crawling all over the little snakes.

First of all my heart went out to the poor little pythons who were obviously miserable since one of them had mostly submerged itself to try to rid itself of the parasites. Knowing how gentle and sweet natured Sierra is, it seriously pissed me off too. She has never had anything like that and if she did, I would have treated her immediately and never allowed anything like that to get to the point that I saw on the animals in Petco.

My husband Pete (Read Pete's article about Petco too at Augmented Reality) was looking for another place to buy Sierra feeder rats/mice since I've also stopped buying rats from Plano Pets (another pet store in this area) as well because I found parasites crawling on one fuzzy-size rat. That store is suppose to be USDA approved too.

So where the hell is the USDA people to check on those animals? Oh wait -- that's right -- the government doesn't actually do anything other than give that title to a store. They don't actually send representatives out to keep check on the conditions the animals live in. THEY SHOULD. Animals are getting sick and dying because of the neglect and poor care of the people that buy and sell them.

Back to Pete. While googling for another place to get rats, he came across an article about Petco.

Follow this link:The Petco Boycott The neglect and poor treatment and care of their animals is simply atrocious and should not be allowed. Where is the government to intervene and put a stop to this? Why don't they care? Does it take people raising so much hell about it that someone finally gets sick of hearing about it then they do something about it? I for one will never buy anything else from Petco since they feel that money is more important than animals that depend on them for care.

If you care about animals, please check out the link and do not spend one cent in any Petco store. I live in the Dallas Texas area and from the information on the boycott page this is a nationwide problem with that entire chain. The only way to stop abusers like that is to stop giving them business and turn them into any and all government agencies. If one won't listen, call another one. And another and another and another. And I think this needs help from the SPCA. If anyone affiliated with the SPCA reads this, please contact me immediately.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Att: Brit Lovers


"The wackiness and mystery of Britain’s constitutional democracy is exciting and fun until you realise there’s nothing to protect you from its absolutism."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Posts? Posts? We don't NEED no stinking posts!

If you are wondering where I've been, I'll tell you. I've been on a trip around the world. I've traveled so much, my butt is now the shape of an airline seat. That's not true. It's all a big fat lie. A gross infraction of the truth. A serious distortion of the facts. Ok, this time I'll be serious and tell you why I haven't posted lately.

I was on my way to my desk when this really bright light came through the windows and all the sudden the roof of the house was sucked off to the land of Oz. Then these guys that all looked like large bald gerbils wearing silver lamé suits with stilletos came in and stuck a turkey baster into my brain and sucked out my memories. Ok, fine. That is a lie too.

Actually, I haven't been feeling well and on top of that, I've been taking care of my ball python Sierra who has pneumonia. I'm really worried about her so I spend quite a lot of time taking care of her. I have to give her oral antibiotics which is no easy task with a snake as well as take her to the Vet every three days for antibiotic injections. I can only hope that she recovers. She is trying to shed as well so she isn't in that great of a mood.

Normally she is inquisitive about everything and likes when I take her out of her tank. I hope that having to force medicine into her mouth doesn't make her distrust me -- I couldn't stand that. I just want her to get well. She's very gentle and never tries to bite even with all the medical stuff right now. She is a wonderful little snake.

Cat Operas

I have developed what I like to refer to as "Cat Operas". A few days ago, Ginger the cat came wandering into the bedroom like he normally does to have a rest in his comfy hammock. I normally talk to him - Yes, yesss I talk to the cat - with the standard cuddly cat-type comments. I can do a fair imitation of a cat meowing so I usually meow at him so he can feel that we are at least making an effort to learn cat language.

This time I was sitting at my desk writing. When I started meowing at Ginger it just sort of turned into the tune of the Blue Danube so I continued. The cat really seemed interested in my cat song and came over rubbing around my feet. Normally the only time he rubs around my feet is when he plans on biting one of them. This is frequent. This time though, he just loved on my leg. That is until I changed tunes to the Barber of Seville. Now that one he didn't like. He laid down on his hammock and went to sleep.

I think I may be on to something with my cat operas. I want to record a few numbers and sell them for big bucks. Of course the cat will have to get his share since he is the one being entertained and I think his meowing is ©. I can see my cd cover being added to the page of the worst album covers of all times someday with people saying, "look at this -- some imbecile made cd's meowing operas and look how stupid it looks!"

But at least it would make the cat happy. Or maybe he was just humoring me. It's possible I suppose. He has that kind of attitude. He's the sort of cat that will lay there relaxed until you get within easy attack/bite distance then he grabs for your foot or leg. Sometimes both. But Pete is more often the recipient of the double grab move. Those moves could be his way of getting even with us for all the stupid things we've done to entertain him over the last seven years.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Blink And You'll Miss It

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Health Valley crackers are the best!

I have figured out why so many of us American's are losing our minds. It's the packaged food industry that's why.

I have noticed lately that no matter what type of box I try to open it ends up tearing and ripped to bits. And this is despite me being careful to leave the little re-closable tab intact and all. On several occasions when I have checked the glue under the flaps there was enough on the boxes to glue most of a small country back together.

Why is that? Why do they need to slop so much glue on the packages of crackers we buy that you end up irritated, tearing open the damn plastic pack once you've fought your way into the box past the security glue. It's just crazy and personally it ruins my entire cracker experience. How am I expected to enjoy the whole grain wheat crackers then?

Why not carry it a bit further and actually put a tiny alarm on the boxes? Then all that glue would be unnecessary. If you tired to rip the box open before turning off the alarm, the cracker thief would get a blast of obnoxious Slim Whitman music in the face scaring the person half to death. That would do it for me for sure.

Come on all you manufacturers stop welding our cracker boxes shut and let us enjoy them! By the way, the following are my favorites. Stoned wheat! Cool and very tasty too. But who knew wheat could get stoned?

The Hyatt Rodency Repost

After reading about a little bastard mouse on another blog, I thought I would repost this story. I have tried to be kind to the mice but still rid my house of them. Fortunately there aren't mice here anymore or the cat would eat them. Anyway, enjoy!

Well folks, it’s time for yet another commentary on what I consider to be an interesting or unique find. I think this one leans more toward the interesting as it isn’t terribly unique. The object I’m writing about is none other than a “humane” mouse trap. I have a problem with those nasty snap traps because I feel uncomfortable about killing the mice.

There are glue traps that aren’t much better. You place the sticky trap down and the unknowing rodent is drawn to the bait and once he/she steps onto the sticky gluck, they are there to stay. Unless you want to remove the rodent’s feet and I personally feel that this isn’t the best of options. I would then feel really guilty because I would have footless mice roaming the house on tiny crutches. Well crutches until someone designed prosthetics for mice.

This humane, miracle of the new age trap consists of a see through plastic tube/box with a swinging door that allows the rodent in and once he/she enters and retrieves the tasty prize of bread, cannot exit and is trapped until it is released totally unharmed as well as fed, into the wild again. This sounded great! Finally, an easy, safe way to rid my house of the unwelcome guests.

I “armed” the trap with a small piece of cheese. The packaging suggests smearing peanut butter around the outside of the door in order to attract rodents. Since this was too messy and we all know how much mice love cheese, (at least in cartoons anyway) I smeared a small amount of cheese on the trap door in order to lure the tiny beast into the trap. Now comes the hard part, the wait for an occupant. After a couple of hours, what I got when I checked was nada. Now for those of you who don’t know what “nada” means, it means “nothing”. And that is exactly what I got- nothing.

Disbelieving, I peered into the box and lo and behold, my eyes were not deceiving me, it was empty. No rodent, no cheese, no nothing. I picked the box up and inspected it but found neither defects nor any large holes gnawed in the sides where a jail break may have occurred. The tiny escape artist had apparently left the way he/she had come, through the trap door.

I was amazed that what I thought to be a trap was in reality, a small rodent dining car. Rather like a Hyatt Rodency. Accept that little Harry Rodini had vacated the dining car while dragging along a hunk of cheese. I couldn’t believe it. The furry little bastard had ripped me off again! I put the trap down and threw my hands into the air and pretty much gave up on even the slightest chance of any successful rodent removal.

Later that evening once my frustration had subsided, I decided not to give in to the fact that I would be “rodentized” regardless of my good intentions, so I gave it one more try. I re-armed the trap and placed it back in the same spot. Hopeful that yet another member of the Rodent Club would venture in for a midnight snack at the bar, I went to bed.

I slept that night and dreamt of large mice with hacksaws sawing their way to freedom from a cage with plastic bars. There was a big bar/club in the middle complete with tattooed (bearing the word “Mom”) bartender serving several rodents who were having drinks, smoking big cigars and chatting. This was to say the least, an odd dream. Upon wakening, I decided that mouse or not, this day was the end of it.

Sleepy-eyed I walked into the kitchen and opened the cabinet and there in the Hyatt Rodency sat a calm and collect rodent still clutching and nibbling the cheese he/she was lured in there with. Now I don't know if the mice sensed my agitation at having one escape and simply felt sorry for me and decided to stay, but in any case, there it was. I could almost see the outline of a map to get back to the house in its tiny little pocket.

That the rodent might come back didn’t deter my glee at having captured one of the annoying beasts. If anything it had given me a jump-start on capturing more. The mouse was taken to a location of relative safety far away from the house and set free to roam the fields and begin a new life. Hopefully one that doesn’t include my house or me. I went home and replaced the cheese that Harry Rodini had taken to tide him over until his crops come in and began the long wait for another dinner guest.

These are the times that animal lovers dream of. A safely released rodent and the knowledge that more would follow. It made me feel good that my plan to use a humane mousetrap had indeed succeeded and that I could help relocate wayward rodents and their families into a new life of rural farming.

That’s it for now on the home front of the strange and unusual, until next time.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Political comment control

Today I want to mention something I read on a blog that I read regularly and am a guest writer on as well. Check it out for yourself at, Augmented Reality.

I love the post nailing all the half wits that complain about those of us who criticize the president. Read the Constitution, It's our right according to the First amendment of the Constitution.

I agree 100% with everything Pete said on Augmented Reality about this. We live in a "free" country that is suppose to guarantee our right to freedom of speech but some people only want to hear what you have to say if you agree with their ideals and beliefs.

I say bullshit to that! If I don't like something then that is my choice and if someone has a different view they are most welcome to it. I allow others to have a different opinion than me and I expect the same in return from other people.

We pay an incredible amount of tax every year that also says we have the right to say whatever we like. The next thing you know, they'll be trying to ban thinking anything negative against the political administration. Maybe like "Minority Report" where we are not allowed to harbor any negative thought against the president or administration.

If that happened I would hitchhike to Canada and on bended knee offer to mop and clean floors in exchange for living there. Pathetic I know but better that than be told what I can say and think. So please let those of us that want to, say what we feel about the president and administration!

If anyone is still dead set on me not saying how much I dislike our current president and suggest I move out of the country, I will eventually get that PayPal button set up and you are most welcome to donate to the "Move Kate out of the USA" fund to one of the following countries, Canada, England, Germany, Austria, Spain, and several others. You may email me for a more complete list.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Air France

The following is something I wrote shortly after a flight to Paris on Air France. Even with all this silliness, I actually enjoyed the flight. The service was exceptional and the food was pretty good considering that it was airline stuff. Plus they let you get really drunk and act like a complete ass.

Well folks, it's vacation time! This normally means an exciting trip with possibly a plane ride to another state or country. This is the beginning of most vacations where the memories will last a lifetime. And so it began for me, heading to Germany via France.

For the first few hours I was so excited that nothing could have swayed me. But after more hours sitting in a seat with my back screaming that it hated me and would punish me for being crammed into a tiny airline seat for hours on end, I began to get a little on the cranky side and ordinary things started to seem more vivid, more important and a lot more clear.

As I tried to relax, I began to notice some things that I hope I never see, hear, or smell again. I suppose it all had something to do with the length of the flight (heightened awareness?) which lasted ten hours. After that long, it's the little things that you begin to notice. The following is a list that still brings vivid images to my travel-weary mind.

1. A very small drunk little old lady. This seemed odd.

2. A fluorescent pink dress with sparkling plastic things hanging off it.

3. An enormously large, angry looking guy with one continuous eyebrow that repeatedly paced the isle. I was happy that it wasn't me waiting for his flight to arrive.

4. The steward with bright blue eye makeup. It did not suit him.

5. An elderly woman "freshening up" by changing shirts in her seat.

6. French disco music. This is what all we metal fans will listen to when we go to hell.

7. An annoying instructional movie on how Roquefort cheese is made. How red wine is made. A) Why either is made. B) The fact that the entire country of France as we know it would be seriously altered if either ceases to be made.

8. The guy next to me that did not understand the concept of deodorant.

9. The blond woman from Düsseldorf that kept smiling and winking at me.

10. The acidic holes made from coffee being spilled in the floor.

11. Different emergency instructions for first class passengers.

12. The steward's comforting smile when asked about the different emergency instructions.

After my flight, I thought about everything in depth and my one major question for the airline would be:

How much toilet paper can you actually stuff into a plane's toilet without sucking out the entire side of the plane?

Myself as well as this flight are proof that you shouldn't take things too seriously. As flights go this one wasn't really a bad flight, just a little strange. Then again, maybe it was just me.

Om Mani Padme Hum

Having been asked what the symbol means on my flag I will explain briefly using a wonderful description I found on the web.

To get a nice image, I actually scanned a pendant I have of a silver Tibetan Om which is a shortened name for a mantra "Om Mane Padme Hum". The following is the site's definition.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra (prayer), Om Mani Padme Hum, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. Viewing the written form of the mantra is said to have the same effect - it is often carved into stones and placed where people can see them.

Spinning the written form of the mantra around in a Mani wheel (or prayer wheel) is also believed to give the same benefit as saying the mantra, and Mani wheels, small hand wheels and large wheels with millions of copies of the mantra inside, are found everywhere in the lands influenced by Tibetan Buddhism.

Follow this link to learn more about the mantra and Tibetan Buddhism.