A simple girl in a complex world

Friday, August 08, 2003

Yo Quiero Tac...I'm HIT!

Rat dogs unite! Stave off the airborne oppressors.



Thursday, August 07, 2003

Every Dog Has His Day?

One certainly wouldn't think gas day at the animal shelter would be Quentin's day. The previously unnamed dog was locked in with 50 other animals, gassed, and survived.

How odd is this? It unnerves me - not that the dog survived, but to think of the horrors of this job. As an everyday American who takes responsibility for her pets (you know, neuters/spays, feeds, waters, lavishes affection, keeps them in her home and doesn't let them roam, doesn't return them to the animal shelter on the same whim as many who spontaneously decide it's time to "own" a pet). I can't stand to think of euthanasia of healthy animals. I've been exposed to the horrid choice of putting an animal to sleep twice now - both were too ill to survive on their own. It is the only experience nearly as gut wrenching as the death of a human loved one.

While Brian may scoff at the "animal lover whack jobs" (I believe he puts it that way) who strive for no-kill shelters, I really think that's ALL you can strive for, hope for, if you aim to effect change. It seems impossible because the American public is an irresponsible society. Still, any steps toward this goal are only positive.

Animals don't have inherent "rights," nor should they. But, to me, animals are more than mere property. They are living beings. A CD strewn carelessly across my floor is property. Any of my five cats is a family member. Perhaps certain laws may deal with both as something as narrow as "property," but I can promise you that there is a discrete distinction in my mind between the two. My cats are priceless. I'm not sure how to codify the distinction, and I am hopeful it will never matter to me. A year and a half when my home was broken into and the lower-level glass door was shattered, the first thing, once our safety was ensured, was to search for each of the cats. All remained. A true blessing.

This story strikes an emotional chord - cats and dogs often do with me. This dog now known as Quentin is in the spotlight, and I hope his second chance will raise some awareness of what happens, ultimately, to the "unwanted" animals in today's animal shelters. It's amazing what societal lore can do for a single "unwanted,", no?

Reminds me of this. I'm sure Michael McNeilley and his estate won't mind me reprinting it and giving it due credit.

Say Goodbye


It's like Frank said when
he worked in the pound,
killed all those dogs

in the evacuator, sucked the life
out of them in the oxygen
deprivation chamber:

he took a lot of them home,
the cute ones, the ones he
couldn't bear to kill -

the ones he wanted to save,
and they ran out in the

broke their chains and disappeared;
one got killed in a fight,
another ate rat poison.

One way or another they died,
every last damned
one of them.

One day someone came in with
5 perfect poodle puppies
and Frank was told

to kill 4 and save one. The choice of
who lived and who died was left
up to Frank,

so he took the runt of the litter,
the one who seemed he could

and he killed the 4 best ones,
reduced their air pressure
to that at 30,000 feet,

where they puked their hearts out
like all the others he
"put to sleep,"

and took the little one and put him
up front in a tiny cage,
where he would appear

pathetic to the general public,
some of whom selected him and
took him home that very day,

but who returned the next week
for another puppy, saying
the one they got

had "just died. He was fine and then
he died. The kids are all
broken up" they said.

And they wanted to know if there was
a money-back

You can't save anybody, Frank decided,
the system takes over
and that's that.

After a while Frank stopped
taking any of them home.
Frank modified

his objectives, but you can't say
he ever really gave up on them.
Like Frank said,

"I don't want to save them, not really,
I just want to rub their
fucking ears."

And he rubbed their ears, the furry discards,
the smart ones, the dumb ones,
the old and the young,

the rejects, the crippled and lame, the ones
with bad markings, the wrong coloration,
With problems beyond

their understanding. And each time before
he put them in the chamber, he looked
into their eyes.

And if there was no salvation, if there was
no redemption, at least there was
someone to say goodbye.


Found again on rec.arts.poems but easier to read here.

mcn is Michael McNeilley, who died 7/16/2000.



Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Stay Out of My Cone, by Tresa McBee and ifeminists.com

I read the article entitled "Stay Out of My Cone" today - can't remember where I found it. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it pointed back to this little website called ifeminists.com. This is really a .net, not a .com, and so I am thoroughly confused about that point, but no matter.

I read these words. I decided to read more.

    What is ifeminism?

    Individualist feminism, or ifeminism, advocates the equal treatment of men and women as individuals under just law. The core principle of individualist feminism is that all human beings have a moral and legal claim to their own persons and property. It is sometimes called libertarian feminism.
You mean, it might actually apply to me?

    Sometimes the inequality works to women's advantage, as in affirmative action laws. Do you oppose them as well?

    Absolutely. Equality means neither privilege nor oppression. Besides which, it hardly benefits women to have a paternalistic state treat them as children or "lesser" human beings who need state assistance to become equal.


    Opposing affirmative action and defending property rights is generally associated with conservatives. Isn't ifeminism just conservative feminism?

    Many conservatives are uncomfortable with the way ifeminism embraces radical civil liberties. For example, ifeminism calls for the decriminalization of prostitution and pornography. To an ifeminist, there is no schism between economic and civil liberties. They are both expressions of an individual's right to use her own body and property in any peaceful manner she chooses.
Yeah, I'll stick around. I never thought I'd be willing and/or eager to review feminist thought. I'm generally a pretty strong individualist with objectivist leanings and a Christian background (yeah, somebody reconcile THAT into a sane human). Still, expect more posts and commentary with thought originating from this site.


Don't Not Sleep and Drive?

Everyone loves a good double negative. How's this for you: Down with the drowsy driver menace to society

Now, there is a point, I'd suppose, to making note of the dangers of driving while sleepy. But a LAW? Furthermore, this is a LAW that will be quite difficult to test - no breathalyzer here.

Might I refer you lawmakers to a more relevant sanction against drowsy drivers - careless and imprudent driving charge, mayhap?

Coming soon - driving while appearing intoxicated.



Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Thanks, Mom, for the Dark Room

I meant to get this up here yesterday, but I tried to balance my reading and my writing, so I had to read more (this is usually the opposite scenario).

CNN reported thus:
    HUNTINGDON, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A woman who locked her 3-year-old daughter in the trunk of a car while she visited her husband in prison has been charged with endangerment.

    Tammy Denise Swittenburg-Edwards, 31, was arrested Saturday at a state prison about 95 miles east of Pittsburgh after prison guards heard crying and yelling from the vehicle and found the girl in the trunk, state police said.

    Swittenburg-Edwards apparently locked her in after prison officials refused the child's entry because she wasn't on a visitor's list, state police said.

    The girl was in the trunk for about 40 minutes while Swittenburg-Edwards visited her husband, state police said. The child wasn't injured.
Wow - poor kid. Dad's in prison, and mom's obviously missing a few brain cells. Hope you got all the good genes.



Monday, August 04, 2003

PETA Post!

Robert Prather from The Mind of Man found it before I did. And this time it's serious instead of merely ludicrous.

Quoting Robert:

    Earth Liberation Front Bankrolled by PETA
    I've never been a fan of PETA (see here, here, here and here) and their support for ELF, a group of domestic terrorists, won't improve my opinion of them.

    The Earth Liberation Front is already considered the foremost domestic terrorist group (see here also) and a quick glance at their website will show why.

    If PETA's support is verified and holds up in court, they should lose their tax-exempt status, at a minimum. If their support can be shown to contribute to acts of terror, they should be prosecuted.

I don't have his links embedded, so you should go and visit for the whole picture. Also, here's Robert's link to the original article.


The Password is "Sedentary"

From iWon's Health section: Mirrors Don't Reflect Kindly on Women Working Out.
    Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fittest woman of all?

    You may not get the answer you desire if you exercise in a gym where the walls are actually adorned with mirrors.

    That surprising finding comes from a Canadian study in the journal Health Psychology. The research found sedentary women who exercised in front of a mirror for 20 minutes felt less energized, less relaxed and less upbeat and positive than women who exercised without a mirror.

    The McMaster University study also found women who didn't exercise with a mirror felt less physically exhausted after a workout, while those who did their workout in front of a mirror reported no change in their levels of exhaustion.

Gyms can be intimidating places with grunters of both sexes (I'm trying to be fair, here), men who can lift three times a normal woman's body weight...with one arm, and socialites who hog machines or benches while gabbing about nothing. But, ladies, the mirrors are typically there for a reason, and that reason is a one-syllable, one-word exercise maxim. FORM. Yes, it matters how you lift and lower the free weights and/or weight stacks. It matters in many ways - from isolating and working the proper muscles to ensuring that you avoid unnecessary injury. The purpose of the gym is not to make you FEEL good while you're there; it's to make you feel fabulous every other minute of the day/week/month/year/life. And do more.

    Further research in "real-world" exercise settings are needed to determine if this mirror-related negative effect is widespread, the researchers say.
I think I'd smack the first "researcher" who approaches me at Gold's and says, "excuse me, are you a sedentary exerciser."

And then he (or she) would know.


Stop the World! Kids Wear Bike Helmets Incorrectly!

Now. If you're my age or a bit younger or older, you probably grew up riding your single, three, or ten speed, without, SHOCKER, a helmet! We're still here!

But, MSN feels the need to write a snippetly article about helmet usage by children and publish it today.

First, "children" aged 18? Um, I'd be remiss not to tell you, but those "children" can vote. I think that's a strange age for a study about children.

At any rate, here's the "state the obvious" quote of the day.

    Wearing a helmet while cycling has been found to sharply cut the risk of head injuries, but wearing it improperly reduces the protective benefit, the report said.

Better even:
    Parkinson urged pediatricians make a helmet fitting part of a child’s regular check-up.
If we do that, then watch for the physicians' helmet certification program and associated malpractice suits.


(Brian, I am sure, is cackling right now. I often gripe at people (usually while driving by - doing no one any good) cycling at speeds at which I believe require a helmet. He's used the word "fascist" in correlation with my ranting. Indeed.)


Aging, Anyone?

I'd say news is slow today at CNN, but I'll disprove that here with numerous postings (as time allows).

I frequent the CNN Health section; probably doesn't surprise anyone. Today, there's an article proclaiming the effort of da Boomers to stave off the outward appearance of getting older.

Me, I'm an Xer. So I can poke fun at the Boomers.

    Doctors say boomers, who range from 38 to 56 years of age, increasingly ask for procedures to reduce other telltale signs of aging such as spider and varicose veins on the legs, brown spots on the hands and chest and wrinkled necks. As boomers stay in the work force longer, and many find themselves dating again, they want every part of their body to project an image of vitality.

    "I think boomers have a basic dread of aging. They just want to be young forever," said Dr. Robert Weiss, an assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine.
Vitality! Image!

    "These procedures can really help how people feel about themselves," Weiss said.
Ah, there it is. Take a big bite outta the "how you look is who you are" cookie. And fork over that 20 grand for the face lift. All better now?

    Beverly Ross, another patient, agrees that the procedures are worth the cost although she might have to skimp on other areas such as vacations. The 50-year-old, who works for the city of San Diego, has two incentives for looking her best -- her job requires her to be in and out of meetings, and she's single and dating. She has augmented work done on her face with procedures such as liposuction and spider vein removal on other parts of her body.

    Ross says in a perfect world, looks wouldn't matter, but "the real world doesn't work that way." She adds, "You have to be happy in your own skin so it is worth the money I spend."
<mystique>Sure, plastic surgery has its place. (I have to mention this lest I be called a hypocrite).</mystique> But, I can't imagine a world in one's own head where happiness comes ONLY from the way he/she looks.

Still, thank you for stimulating the economy. You may have to troll a while, though, Beverly, for the proper 24 year-old boyfriend.



Sunday, August 03, 2003

What I Learned/Did This Weekend

1) I did NOT blog. Sorry.

2) I learned the lychees are to be feared. I had never heard of lychees, but, after dinner at Adam's House of Grillin' last evening, my friend Paul made it his personal mission for me to try his canned lychees (in heavy syrup!). Uh, no thanks. They were white and looked like pear entrails.

3) I need a new computer. It's sad to finally recognize this because this computer has served me very well for a very long time. Perhaps around Christmas I can get the parts together and make it happen. (It's so bad my clock is losing time).

4) Columbia, MO is hilly. I should have noticed that when I lived there, but, no. I am certain I will notice it when I am riding around it for the MS 150.

5) Frank J. of IMAO has updated his Peace Gallery. Brian and I are both modeling the famous Nuke the Moon t-shirt.

6) I spent 91.75 miles on the bike this weekend - 25.5 yesterday and 66.25 today - so that's where I've been. The new sleeveless jersey (of which I now own two) should help even out the crazy "tan."

7) Michael Williams of Master of None has a good post about language.

8) So much time on the bike leaves one tired enough to be in bed by 9 p.m. on a Sunday.

9) News and commentary will wait until tomorrow because of said tiredness.