Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coffee and Provocation


A Bone Economy: A nice story about the business of collecting and selling buffalo bones for fertilizer after we had shot all the buffalo out. A parable for the modern economy?   Maybe not.  Some say that the buffalo were not shot out -- that they were wiped out by a series of tick-borne plagues.  More on that in a later post.

A New Monkey Species?  It looks like a new species of owl monkey has been discoved in the Congo.

Jack Russell is the kicker for the Badgers. You cannot make this stuff up.

First they banned all badger-hunting with dogs.  Then, when the British found themselves ass-deep in badger, many of which (allegedly) carry brucelosis tuberculosis to cattle, they had to figure out how to locally reduce the badger population.  The answer?  Not to open licensed and regulated hunting in cattle country (far too logical!).  Instead, the British have engineered a massive badger cull in which farmers and activists are sure to clash

Raiders of the Lost Ark was not entirely fiction.  It seems the Nazis did send out archeological expeditions all over the globe, and on one of them they collected a 1,000 year old statue of a Bhudda made out of a meteorite and with a swastika (Indian version) on it.

File in the folder marked "sh*t happens".  French Hunter shot by dog loses his hand.

How thick is rhinocerous skin?  Pretty darn thick!  Here's a picture from the blog entitled "What's in John's Freezer?"

A "jerky renaissance"?  The Wall Street Journal says such a thing is underway as people discover that lean, dry, seasoned meat is a perfectly fine health food.   "Meat jerky is like Greek yogurt for men," says one sales researcher.

A Moose Message for the Gods?  In the Ural mountains, a gigantic Stone Age chalk carving of a two kilometre-long moose, similar to the chalk carvings seen in Britain, could be the oldest ever discovered in the world.

Urban and suburban coyotes appear to mate for life.   It seems that trait is part of their evolutionary success
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Digging on the Dogs


With Josh M. and Tyler M.   This fellow had a nice little fortress under a small black walnut tree.  Not deep, but enough root and rock to keep it interesting.
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This Stuff Will Change You


Chameleon Cold Brew.  Three coffees in one.  Cocaine for middle-aged, middle-class, middle earthers like me.  The last legal high.
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Discovering America


Terrier work, 1850.  Thank you Instagram.  With Josh Moran and Tyler Muto.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wake Up!



Not for the kids to listen to, but JUST as it should be said! 
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yard Fox



One of my regular night visitors cleaing up some old eggs that were left in the refrigerator too long.  Boiled and split it half with their shells still on, hardboiled eggs make fine fox food.  Dog food is always appreciated as well!
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99 Problems, But Regrets Ain't One

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Not Allowed


We have rules, damn it!  You cannot do all of these things at once.  One at a time, one a time...
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Like Coked-up Furry Missles



Over at The Last Word on Nothing blog, Erik Vance has a suggestion on how to curb the mice epidemic at Yosemite National Park which is spreading Hanta virus to the masses -- drop a truck load of Jack Russell terriers in the park and just stand back:

How can a yappy little dog help us eradicate this plague, you say? Tell me, have you ever played fetch with a Jack Russell? I have no idea what the all-time world record is for fetching, but I am willing to bet it’s a Jack Russell for more than a week without stopping for food or water. They are like pathological fetching machines. It’s like when you throw that stupid ball, for the first time in their little high-strung lives, they actually understand their purpose. Like they want nothing in the world but to chase it and bring it back so you can do it again.

In fact this is kind of true. Jack Russells were bred to catch foxes and dig for badgers in the late 1800s. They are like nuclear-powered hyperactive killing machines who, lacking badgers, will destroy anything that runs from them. My wife’s aunt trains these amped-up little critters and always struggles to exercise them enough. A couple times a year she takes them to a friend’s barn in the countryside and just opens the doors.

The result is freaking D-Day for mice. Like coked-up furry missiles, these little psychopaths zip from one rodent to the next, leaving a wake of carnage. You know how cats like to kill mice? Jack Russells need to kill them, like meth addicts need a fix. They try to stop but just go for that one last hit. So here is my solution. Before winter, invite the JRTCA for a free week in the Valley to see the fall colors. Have them stay in Curry Village, where most of the hantavirus cases happened. And tell them to bring their best dogs.

P.S., a hat tip to Anthony H. for sending this link to me, and a special commendation to the The Last Word on Nothing blog, which is one of the 150 blogs in my Google Reader.    Check it out for yourself!
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Life Worth Living Comes With Risk


In his book, Edible Wild Plants, John Kallas has a very nice disclaimer that I think is worth giving a tip of the hat to:

If you venture out of your nuclear-proof, earthquake-proof, asteroid-proof bunker into the real world, you might be at risk. Yes, it’s true! You may be hit by a bus or get E coli or staphylococcus poisoning from a church potluck. If you kiss someone, you may get herpes, mono, or worse—a tragic relationship. On the golf course, you may be hit by lightning. If you go ice skating, you may break your neck. If you go on a hike, you may trip on loose rocks, fall over a cliff, and die. Or you might be in the World Trade Center at the wrong time.

Look, you can either curl up under your bed covers and live a safe, dull, insulated life reading about other people doing things you wish you were doing. Or you can join the real world. If you venture into the real world, you risk living your life to its fullest. You risk the rush of climbing that mountain, of dancing all night, of scuba diving in reefs of mind-blowing color, of standing in the rain on an ocean viewpoint, watching huge waves crashing against the rocks, of meeting the partner of your dreams. You risk getting exercise and breathing fresh air. You risk making life worth living.

Perfect!

Kallas' book, by the way, is a nice read and available for the remarkably low price of $1.99 from Amazon's kindle store. 

Whether you ever intend to forage or not, this book will at least let you know the names of some of the more common field-weed plants found everywhere in the U.S. and quite edible if harvested at the right time and in the righty way:  Wild spinach, chickweed, purslane, sorrel, field mutard, wintercress, dandelion, mallow, and shepherd's purse, among others.
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bijou By a Nose



A very dead groundhog with a spot of mange is the prize for Bijou, who worked her first one like a champ.  The groundhog is hanging as dead weight while Bijour holds her by the nose. 
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Dog Balls with the IPhone 5


No, not bollocks.  Throwing balls for the dogs.  No, not the most interesting picture, or the best shot, but the first

And YES, for the first time in my life I am on the cutting edge of technology, having bought an Apple IPhone5 on the first day of issue.  I showed up at the local Apple Store at noon, and was out the door with the purchase about 50 minutes later.   I have no idea what those fools who camped for a week were doing.  I simply rolled over my Sprint plan as I was two months out of contract.

The I-5 phone seems to work, but it not yet life changing.  Basically, it has all the features of my Android phone.  I am hoping it is a bit more reliable and easier to use (the screen is bigger), but we will see.  The two features this new phone has that the Android did not is a very nice movie feature and a panoramic photo feature as well, plus the camera resolution is much higher (8 megapixels whatever they are).  I am still setting the phone up with the right "aps," etc., but I got Gmail up and that's half the battle.  I do not have music on it yet, but that would be nice to add.  Maybe later today.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Drone & Ammo Magazine?

Photo source:  Wired magazine.

Back in August, Chad Love at Field and Stream wrote:

Forget those old-fashioned stationary game cameras. Personal scouting drones will be the next big thing for hunters. Maybe not now. maybe not in five years. But at some point in the not-too-distant future, some enterprising company is going to design and market a personal drone geared toward hunters. Bank on it. According to the story, right now anyone can cobble together a viable home-made drone using off-the-shelf components for less than $2,000. And with advances in technology and miniaturization, the cost to do so will only continue to decrease.

Crazy talk? Of course not. We already use drones for hunting -- ask al-Qaeda. And nowdays anyone with a few hundred dollars in their pocket can buy a drone and put a GoPro camera on it and get the kinds of video shots once only dreamed about by Hollywood directors.

How hard would it be to put a small gun on a drone and fly it into forest or field... or through a window for assassination purposes? Not hard, I can assure you. Sure it would probably be a one-shot deal (blow back and all), but you can bet that little problem will be fixed soon enough.

Imagine a world with everyone flying cheap drones with guns on them. The possibilities for extortion, murder, and mayhem are legion, and so too will be the desire and rationalizations of the police, and others, who are likely to use them to invade privacy and snoop in all kinds of ways now unimaginable.
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Zeus, World's Tallest Freak Dog



Zeus is the World's Tallest Dog, and stands at 44 inches at the shoulder. The good news is that they have him on video, because Great Danes are dead at age seven, on average.

Freaks often die early, and the creation of freakishly large dogs like Great Danes results in much-shortened life spans.
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pearl Before Retirement


This is Pearl before she retired.  She did her bit for cause and country, and now she lives the life of luxury with my parents, just a few blocks up from where I work.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Machete Types, Use and Sharpening

A repost from this blog, circa 2005

One of the tools I use at almost every dig is a machete. In hedgerows, nothing works faster to cut away multiflora rose, kudzu, wild grape, errant brambles, honeysuckle, wild cherry and poke berry. In the middle of a dig, a stray root can simply be loped off with a stroke of the machete. When dispatch time comes, a hard hit to the top of the skull with the dull back edge of the machete blade ends things pretty quickly.

A machete is not an axe. This tool is not designed to cut firewood or trees, but to hack through thickets of soft, fast-growing vegetation of the sort we generally find in hedgerows. No easily-transportable manual tool has ever beat a machete for this type of work.

Even an expensive machete is quite cheap, so get a decent one which should run you around $30-$40. You do not want a "cane knife", which looks like a machete but is too light, nor do you want or a K-Bar knife (too small and light), or any other of the other dizzying substitutes you might come across in a store or online knife shop.

I use an Ontario Machete, and have no complaints. One new style of machete I have seen comes with a saw edge along the back edge, which seems like a good idea if the soft steel of a machete will, in fact, hold a saw edge.

Some people prefer various odd types of machetes, like the kukri, but I prefer a simple straight blade which is easy to pack and useful in more situations than a kukri.

No machete should ever come with a pommel guard -- such a thing is real trouble in the brush. A machete is not a sword or a knife -- it is a machete. They are a perfected design, and you want the version that has stood the test of time.

Machetes are made of soft metal and are designed to be sharpened a lot. When cutting a lot of sugarcane or hard brush, they are sharpened once or twice a day.

Oddly, none of the machetes sold in the U.S. come with a sharp blade, and in fact getting one sharp the very first time takes some effort.

Do not use a grinder or belt sander to get a machete sharp -- there is very little chance you will get it right, and a very high chance you will permanently burn the blade.




What you need to sharpen a machete or shovel is called a "flat bastard" file. Put the machete blade in a vise, and draw the file across the edge of the blade at a 45 degree angle away from the center of the knife. Or do it the other way if you prefer -- put the file in a vice and draw the blade across it.

Putting the first edge on a store-bought machete will take time -- don't be in a hurry. When you have it right, be sure to oil the blade with a little motor oil.

When using a machete, always cut away from yourself. Always. Nothing will ruin your life faster than hacking your leg with a machete -- if you survive it at all.

A machete blade has a tendency to glance off thick vines and branches, which can be dangerous. The trick here is to not to try to cut straight across the vine with a single whack of the blade, but to hit the vine or branch with a scarfing blow, designed to cut along the stem in a kind of flat notch. The second whack will generally cut it through, with the blade in good control the entire time.

Your machete should have come with a scabbard of some type. Some are cloth, some hard plastic, some leather. Many of the old jungle machetes (many of which were made in Connecticut, believe it or not!) had light wood scabbards, but these are rarer now.

I keep my own machete sharp with a $1 D-handle knife sharpener bought at the local Dollar Store. The same sharpener helps keep an edge on my shovels, and can be bought at a kitchen supply store for about $10. Try the Dollar Store first -- why pay more?
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Terrier and Man


A pretty good shot of Mountain and I doing what we like to do best.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Terrier Work Inside

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My Head Just Exploded

 
My head just exploded.  Clean up on aisle three!

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The Most Important Tool and Debate




The most important tool is information, and the most important development in the history of the world is that information can can now be easily and quickly shared across time and space. 

Answers to almost any question can be had in a few minutes provided you have access to the internet or a cell phone, or at least know someone who does.

The most important debate is what this marvelous development means for the future of mankind.

Past is not prologue, of course, but the history here is long and optimistic.  Sadly, it is also the most important story most folks know little or nothing about.
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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Perfect Petzzz for Romantics and Pretenders


As I have noted in the past, dogs are over sold:

Do you really want a dog? This is the first question that needs to be asked. You see, most people want a puppy; they do not want a dog. A puppy is cute and triggers both maternal and paternal instincts. They seem like no problem at all. A dog, on the other hand, will get you up at the crack of dawn, will bark in the back yard, will eat your couch, and may occasionally urinate or defecate on your rug. Here's a test: If you will not consider getting an adult dog from a local shelter or over-stocked breeder, you do not want a dog. You want a puppy. And what you need is a cat.


Nows comes the perfect solution when even a cat is too much:  Perfect Petzzz, an animated puppy that "just fell asleep," and in which "the tummy actually goes up and down as they realistically 'breathe'".

They come in in two dozen "just like" breeeds.  Every puppy comes with a puppy carry bag, brush, bed, adoption certificate, and a pet container-style box.  The puppies "breathe" for 2-3 mos. using just 2 D batteries.

Now available from Amazon:

  • Cavalier King Charles Animated Puppy
  • Schnauzer Animated Puppy
  • Bully Bulldog AnimatedPuppy
  • Pug  Animated Puppy
  • Golden Retriever Animated Puppy
  • Black Labrador Retriever Animated Puppy
  • Border Collie Animated Puppy
  • Boston Terrier Animated Puppy
  • Rottweiler Animated Puppy
  • Chocolate Lab Animated Puppy
  • Mutt  Animated Puppy
  • Chihuahua  Animated Puppy
  • Yorkie  Animated Puppy
  • Corgi  Animated Puppy
  • Jack Russell  Animated Puppy
  • Shih Tzu  Animated Puppy
  • Cocker Spaniel  Animated Puppy
  • Portuguese Water Dog  Animated Puppy
  • German Shepherd  Animated Puppy
  • Lassie Collie  Animated Puppy
  • Primar Donna Poodle  Animated Puppy
  • Alaskan Husky  Animated Puppy
  • Beagle  Animated Puppy
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Friday, September 07, 2012

Sympathy for the Devil



Lynn S. sent me a note a couple of days ago:
The most recent issue of Today's Veterinary Practice came at work today, and the cover story was questioning the practice of yearly heartworm tests. Since I didn't get to read it today, I checked the website to see what all's available to read without a subscription, and lo/behold: Doxycycline in the Management of Heartworm Disease.

Still have to find the HW test article, but haven't you been saying this for a while now?!"


Yes indeed. 

Yearly heartworm tests are simply not needed if your dog has been on a regular heartworm medication.  Your dog CANNOT get heartworm if you are simply a few weeks, or even a month or two, late.  Every vet knows this.  Yearly heart worms tests are simply part of a long-running scam in the the world of veterinary care -- a big dollar cash cow they will milk as long as we let them.


As for doxycycline combined with ivermectin, it remains a low-cost cure for heartworm, and this too is not closely held information.

Is curing heartworm expensive and difficult?  No it is not. Any veterinarian who tells you otherwise is not keeping up with the literature. It turns out that even if your dog has adult heartworms, if the dog otherwise appears healthy (i.e. it is active, not lethargic, and does not have a chronic cough), a monthly dosing of Ivermectin at a dosage normally used to kill roundworms (a dosage that is 3 times higher than that used to simply prevent heartworm), plus a once-a-month 5-day dosing of Doxycycline (the same antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease) will kill all the adult heartworms if it is sustained for a period of 18 months. This treatment works better than previous Ivermectin-only treatments because the Doxycline wipes out the Wolbachia microbe that grow in the gut of the adult heart worm, essentially sterilizing all of the female heart worms. A round-worm strength dosing of monthly Ivermectin will not only prevent new heartworm microfilaria from taking hold in your dog, it will also work to dramatically shorten the life of any existing adult worms in your dog. Bottom line: after 18 months of treatment, your dog will be heartworm-free at very little cost compared to other remedies.


On the upside, my heartworm, ivermectine and doxycycline post is read by a couple of hundred people a day and has helped a lot of folks save a lot of money over the years. 

On the downside, this post is also a magnet for illiterate, knuckle-dragging morons who are too lazy to read the post to the end, and/or who are too dumb to follow or understand directions. 

Of course, the doxy and ivermectin post is not the only one that seems to attract the hazy, lazy and crazy.

For example, earlier this week I got this question in an email written by someone who was so lazy and disinterested in her own dog that she did not even bother to type in a subject line:

Hello I know your not a veterinary but I have a dog that has a cut ( I think from a wild hog) on his upper back leg its about 3 inches long and I would say an 1 inch or 2 thick. Do you think putting glue would help? I have been cleaning it it myself every day but I want to make sure I'm doing something right. Its not bleeding anymore kinda looks like its healing. Thank you.


Notice the complete lack of information. No mention on the breed or size of the dog, no information on when this occurred, no pictures, etc.  

What am I supposed to do with stuff like this?

What I do is delete it and move forward. Life is too short to get in a discussion with a fool who has a dog deeply gored by a pig, and who has still not taken the dog to a vet. I feel sorry for the dog, but I managed to disenthrall myself of the notion that I can rescue every animal that is owned by fool some years back.  Rescue Ranger I am not.

Want another?  How about this email I got yesterday?

Hi there:

I just read the information you have posted regarding Ivermectin and dosing. I have a small terrier mix dog that was diagnosed almost 2 years ago with heart worms. He has been absolutely fine with no symptoms until recently. He coughs now, quite a lot. Is it possible to still treat him without him getting sick or dying? I don't want to kill the baby and the treatment from the vet is very expensive. They told me it was hard to treat after they've had them for so long. I have not had the money to do it and would like to try if possible. What do you think? I have 13 other rescues and want to try to treat them myself with Ivermectic as a preventative. I do all vaccinations myself. Is this also good for flea treatment?


Woo-eee!  

You want the gravy on this one? This knuckle-dragger had the stones to embed the contact information of the law firm that employes her on to the bottom of her email!

So, let me ask you:  What do YOU say to someone who has left her dog untreated with heartworm for TWO YEARS, and only now thinks to take action, even as she whines about treatment costs?   And does it matter that this person has 13 dogs?

Guess what I said?
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Mitt Romney Tells a Gay Vietnam Vet...



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Thursday, September 06, 2012

America from the Air



And how do we fly? Forward!
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Attack of the Infected Beaver



Breaking News Local Headline:


Beaver attacks 83-year-old swimmer in Fairfax County

Fairfax County police said the beaver tested positive for the Rabies virus.


In other news, Terrierman's advice of the day:

"Son, love may not be forever, but what you can catch from an infected beaver is, so always swim in a wetsuit."
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How Old Is Mountain?

Click to enlarge


This dog-age chart looks and feels right, as it differentiates dogs by size, which is critical.  

By this reckoning, Mountain is 65 and still boxing above her weight class.

This graphic comes to me via the TerrierClub Nederland's FaceBook page.

In other news, a post from this blog has been translated into Dutch for TerrierClub Nederland's The Terrier Times publication.  A printable electronic version is available here (pages 8-10).
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The Best Political Ad You Will See This Year



Why does this one-minute ad work?

Because it's true, it's personal, it's short, and the metaphors resonate.

It works for the all the reasons that Ann and Mitt Romney's speeches do not.   You can feel this person's pain and see it too.  This is what Mitt Romney's brand of vulture capitalism is all about.
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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Lady from Possum Stroll



Lilly Ledbetter was born and raised in Possum Stroll, Alabama.

Possum Stroll.  Damn I love this country.   Video Link

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Life's Little Instruction Book


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Thousands Dead From Hurricane Isaac



Hurricane Isaac has left an estimated 20,000 dead Nutria (aka coypu) littering the beaches of Mississippi.

"It's a terrible smell," David Garcia, mayor of Waveland in Hancock county, told WLOX-TV. "As this heat continues, they're just going to blow up and pop, making it even more of a health hazard."

Crews over the weekend started removing the nutria, aka swamp rats, though it's not an easy task.

"As they're picking them up, they're busting open," Hancock County Supervisor David Yarborough told the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald.

A federal contractor with experience in hazardous waste has been brought in, but even a handful of its workers had quit Sunday morning, the Sun Herald reported.

Nutria, originally imported to Louisiana from Argentina by the McIlhenny Tabasco  sauce family, can weigh as much as 20 pounds,but typically tip in at 14-18 pounds.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Sailor and Snare


Another old picture of Sailor, this time with a groundhog being snared out, to be let go for another day. 

I designed this light pole snare, which is made from coated cable and PVC.  It costs about $5 to make one, I have never broken one, and they save a lot of damage to the dogs, while allowing wildlife to be released, humanely dispatched without fuss or, in very rare cases, moved.  A good shovel, a light bar, a sharp machete, and this pole snare are all essential gear for American terrier work.
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Sailor, a Muddy Little dog

 
I injured my shoulder three weeks ago, but went out last weekend thinking it was "almost good enough" to dig.  Needless to say, I did the shoulder no failures while I was knocking a few holes into the ground, and spent all of last week in some muscle pain as a result.  This weekend I put on a series of those chemical patches that warm up afflicted muscles for hours at a time. Guess what? They work!

No digging this weekend while the shoulder sets right, but while looking for a vertical picture for someone, I came across this old shot of Sailor and I, both covered in mud.  Sailor was a great little dog.  Behind Sailor and half obscured is Trooper, my old Border Terrier.  Both of these dogs are gone now, and missed.  I learned a lot from these two.
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George Bush Did NOT Keep Us Safe

Over at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf gets it exactly right; George W. Bush did NOT keep us safe:

One of the few times George W. Bush was mentioned at the Republican National Convention came during a speech by his brother, Jeb Bush, who said this about the last GOP president: "He is a man of integrity, courage, and honor, and during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe."

I've heard that before about President Bush. It's something some conservatives tell themselves. But it's got to stop. Personally, I don't blame Bush or his administration for failing to prevent the September 11 terrorist attacks. I'd never say that it's their fault all those people died. Still, it happened on their watch. And there are things they could have done better to prevent it. So while their failures don't, in my judgment, justify anger at that aspect of their leadership, it's just bizarre to affirmatively argue that Bush's defining legacy was that he kept us safe.

Is there any bigger caveat to that statement than 9/11?

What people mean when they say he kept is safe seems to be that there wasn't another terrorist attack like 9/11. By that standard, he kept us no safer than Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama. And even leaving out 9/11, for reasons that are never explained, Bush was president during the anthrax attacks, the Beltway sniper incident, the Los Angeles airport shooting, the Mohammed Reza SUV incident, the Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, and the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina. Again, I don't blame Bush for the victims of those incidents, but to harken back to his tenure as a time when the president kept America safe is ahistorical.

There are, in addition, many of us who think that the War in Iraq made Americans less safe in various ways -- it certainly made the 4,488 Americans who died fighting there less safe, and with uncertain at best safety benefits to those of us back in the United States. The more you look at the evidence, the more you realize that, measured in total citizens killed, keeping Americans safe wasn't Bush's strength. My guess is that the talking point keeps getting trotted out as a vestige of the rally-around-the-president impulse that took hold after 9/11, and because conservatives still feel as though they have to say something positive about George W. Bush's tenure.

How about, "For all his failings, he tried his best."
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Monday, September 03, 2012

Terrier of the Tiger Tower

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l This post was originally put up on this blog in 2004.

The Tower of London once housed a menagerie or "bestiary" with a fantastic assortment of creatures, ranging from wolves, lions and leopards to giraffes, monkeys and tigers.

The "Tiger Tower" stood for over 600 years (beginning in the 1230s), and was located where the gift shop at the Tower of London is now situated. This precursor to the London Zoo provided London residents with a glimpse of the fauna to be found in the larger world.

Among the famous who visited were Samuel Pepys, William Blake (who illustrated his poem The Tyger" after sketching the animal from life at the Tower), and one Geoffrey Chaucer who worked at the Tower for two years (1389-1390).

A terrier features prominently in the closing of the Tiger Tower. By the early 1830s, the close quarters and poor condition of the animals kept at the Tower had become a minor issue. Exotic animals expired with some regularity. They were difficult to replace, and their death made for poor public relations.

Things came to a head on April 29, 1834, when a "large and furious" wolf managed to slip out of his cage inside the Tiger Tower. The wolf immediately headed for the interior of the Tower across a short moat, but he was thwarted by a keeper - one Sergeant Cropper - who quickly shut a door to prevent the wolf from gaining further access.

Cropper's small terrier, always at his side, rushed in to do battle with the wolf. The terrier quickly realized it was over-matched, however, and it raced up the stairs into Cropper's little residence where his wife and daughter were located. The wolf, of course, followed close on his heels, and the battle continued inside the apartment. Once can only be imagine the carnage and sound that ensued, but the battle interlude gave the woman and girl time to flee, though it surely cost the terrier its life.

The wolf was eventually recaptured, but the Tiger Tower was closed the next year and the animals transferred to the newly opened London Zoo in Regent's Park.

In 1852, the Tiger Tower itself was destroyed, although the "Lion Gate" remains. This tale can be found in The Tower Menagerie by Daniel Hahn.
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Saturday, September 01, 2012

A Massive Veterinary Bill for an Upset Stomach



Mountain is the poster child for a ball of energy and so when I found her in her crate Wednesday morning, having vomited up all her food and looking poorly, it was very unusual.

I took her outside and she drank a lot of water.  A good sign, and I left her in the yard all day Wednesday to take some sun and relax, skipping her feeding.

That night, Mountain was still not eating and did not seem interested in water.  I crated her overnight, and when I let her out Thursday morning, she was still not interested in eating and took only a single sip of water.  Not good.

I took her inside and crated her for the day.  That night, she was still not interested in eating, and took only a single sip of water. 

The next day, Friday morning, I took her to the vet at 7:30 AM.  A dog that will not drink is not a good thing, and I was worried.  They said they wanted to keep her overnight.  The next morning they called and said I could pick her up at 2 pm.

I picked her up Saturday at 2 pm, and the bill presented to me was for $921.75.

It seemed she only had an upset stomach.  Here's the bill for that little diagnosis:

  • Physical Exam - $68.25
  • Radiography 1st film - $107.75
  • Radiography Additional Films - $66.25
  • IV Catheter Placement - $76.00
  • Intravenous Fluids (1 qty) - $60.50
  • Hospitalization Canine 0-20 lbs) - $53.25
  • Health Profile Cbc - $144.50
  • Famotidine Injection - $33.00
  • Cerenia < 15 pounds - $32.00
  • Fecal Cytology - $29.25
  • Fecal and Giardia Elisa - $41.75
  • Recheck Exam - $39.50
  • Cerenia < 15 pounds - $32.00
  • Famotidine Injection - $33.00
  • Intrevenous Fluids (1 qty) - $60.50
  • Partial Hosp. dof 0-20 -- $44.25
  • TOTAL:  $921.75

The instructions I was given as I was leaving:  A printed sheet for a "Bland diet for Vomiting and Diarrhea": 
  • No food for 24 hours to let the gastrointestinal tract to rest.
  • Imodium A-D or generic lopramide HCI (available at Target for less than $2) at the rate of 1 tablet per 50 pounds or 1/2 teaspoon  per 15 pounds, three times daily.
  • Pepcid AC (also generic over the counter available at Target for under $2) can be given once daily for vomiting, not eating, or stomach gurgling (< 10 pounds 2.5 mg, 11-25 lbs 5 mgs, 25-50 pounds 10 mg, 50-11 pounds 10 mg)
  • A bland diet should be fed to your pet for three days after fasting.  Make food from 2 parts cooked rice to one part skinless chicken, turkey or lean hamburger.
Yeah, right.  Anyone wonder why I do not go to vets with bills like this?

For the record, Famotidine is just an antacid, and you can order 170 tablets for less that $12 without prescription from Amazon.  I was charged $66 for two tablets.

Cerenia is just an antivomiting medication not very different from dramamine, which is over the counter at a cost of 50 cents a dose.  Cerenia cost $8 for four tabs from Drs Foster and Smith.  I was charged $64 for two pills.

Intrevenous fluids is simply a bag of lactated ringers solution, which costs less than $6.  I was charged $60.50 per unit (not including the catheter placement which was another $76.00).

And yes, I am in the market for a new vet.
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