Psalm 23:4 - Pit Bull Translation

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for I am the baddest dog in the valley"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

They Just Don't Make Things Like They Used To.....

I haven't even had this lap top for a year.  It's still under warranty.  So imagine my surprise when I got the blue screen of death a couple of weeks ago.  Once again I had a warning and backed up my hard drive the day before it died.

It made it in by the warranty date by a couple of weeks.  Usually it's the other way around with the repair people telling me how sorry they are that the warranty just expired.

So I'm grateful it didn't cost me anything to fix it but I gotta tell you that I'd of been screwed if I needed this thing to make a living (and not just the time sucking beast that it is) because it took forever to get it back.  They had to wait for Toshiba to send the "rescue disks".  In this electronic day and age can someone explain to me why repair people had to wait for disks at all?

Sigh, at least I'm back in business.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ohio is rejoining the United States of America!

"Is it safe to come out yet?" Almost, Blink - Almost! This little pit bull impostor just heard news that Ohio Governor John Kasich is expected to sign HB14 in his home state. When he does, dogs just like her can come out of hiding -- They can be judged by their behavior instead of their looks. History is ALMOST here!

(Alright, she really is a pit bull, but if she lived in Ohio I'd have to pretend (and believe me they killed them anyway even without proof on just looks alone) she was something else or they would of killed her)

Those days are coming to an end.  Thank you to all the pit bull advocates who work so tirelessly to bring sanity back into dog laws across the country.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"It's Halftime in America"

I saw this commercial being talked about on Facebook.  Which means people have probably been talking about it for a while.  Since I'm about a week behind everyone else's times I'm sure you've seen it.  But it's a first for me so I'm sharing.  I read that there have been complaints that it is political.  I really like the message.  It must have worked as a commercial too, since I wanted to go out and by a GM product. 

I don't care if it's political.  I get annoyed by people who get their panties in a bunch over "political" stuff.   If you don't like it.  Tough!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Almost Fell Off the Beam Last Night

As an alcoholic I sometimes have "alcohol" thoughts.  Just passing thoughts about having a drink, or sometimes if I'm feeling restless, irritable or discontent I ruminate about how "just one" would take the edge off.  Of course I've never had "just one" in my entire life, so who am I kidding.  Fortunately, not myself.

Last night I'm driving to work and a thought passed on through about how refreshing a gin and tonic would taste.  That thought almost immediately progressed to how good a pitcher would taste.  Followed by how nice it would be to just tie one on and not have to deal with the feelings of irritability, restlessness and discontent that I have been dealing with recently.   

Life on life's terms hasn't been easy lately.  I'm tired, physically and mentally.  I know that while getting drunk sounds like a great way to take a break from reality, it's really a fools dream.  Opening that door is a ticket to hell and the path back out is littered with those who don't survive.

I don't want to go back there, I can't.  So I start making phone calls.  Reaching out to my AA friends is my first line of defense when my disease gets a step up on me.  So I start dialing.  I get someone on the phone and one of the first questions she asks me is, "Is it possible that I ingested something recently that could have triggered the allergy?"  You know what, now that you mention it I had a cold last week and took some cold medicine I've never taken before.  I took it for a few days and then realized that I was getting excited waiting for the next dose to be due.  Normally I don't take anything without looking at the ingredients.  It's just too risky.  But I didn't at the time.  When I realized that I was thinking about the next dose I knew something wasn't right and read the ingredients.  There it was, the second ingredient, alcohol.  Crap!  No more of that medicine.  So I thought about it for a day or two then forgot about it, end of story? Apparently not.  Alcoholism (and food addiction, for that matter) is cunning, baffling and powerful, a week later and the power boost my disease got by me ingesting alcohol is still affecting me.

Last night I came the closest I have ever come to picking up a drink since I've been in recovery.  The important part is I didn't, but that doesn't mean that I won't face this challenge again.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of- Follow Up.....

This morning I received a call from my vet.  She was wondering how Malka was doing and wanted to know if we had followed up with the local SPCA.

My personal beliefs are that you take responsibility for your own actions and as much as I was disturbed by what happened the facts are that Malka was not on our property and not under our control and that is why she wandered into a mine field of traps.  What ever my personal beliefs are, trapping is legal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  So anyway......

The vet was concerned because state law states that the traps have to be checked every twenty four hours once they are laid out.  Since several of the animals in the area were in various stages of decomposition obviously that had not been happening.  She suggested that I go over and take some pictures and forward them to the SPCA for follow up. 

She's right and I agreed.  I wasn't exactly excited to go there, to say the least, but I felt the purpose was worth it.  The Scientist agreed to show me the way. 

Baseball Boy, who has been working hard to come to terms with what he saw that night, wanted to go.  I didn't think that was a good idea at all, nope not at all.  He actually slept last night for the first time, why would he want to go back and refresh that picture.

Fortunately, I have learned from program and past experience to really listen when someone expresses interest in something instead of just blowing them off because of what I think. 

Baseball Boy makes his case.  He states that a large part of his fear came from the fact it was so dark he felt closed in and trapped.  He said he thinks he would feel better if he saw the area in the day light with me there to help him understand what had happened to the animals.  He also felt that seeing it without Malka laying on the ground would leave him with a better picture to replace the one in his head now.  I found myself agreeing to let him go.  I still surprise myself sometimes.  The Vet didn't want to go, so she stayed home, no explanation necessary.

As we are walking The Scientist and Baseball Boy are pointing out some of the areas they searched that day.  When we get close to the large branch pile we stop.  I confirm that they are up for this, since it's not really necessary for them to go any further.  Both feel they need to face their fear.  I am impressed by their courage.  I didn't want to be there and I wasn't there Saturday night.

As we walk around to the other side of the branch pile they pause.  It's not what they remember at all.  I am relieved.  As much as I would have liked to forward pictures to the SPCA for follow up I really didn't want to see the scene of the crime.  I am far from squeamish,  there was nothing there I hadn't seen before, I just didn't need to add another scene of carnage to the already full catalog in my head.

Who ever owns the traps must have heard what happened because there was not a trap to be found.  The only carcasses were the remains of two deer who had obviously been dressed, and they were together in the pile.  All the other remains were no longer there.  The innards of the deer that had been spread around as bait were gone.   The Scientist and Baseball Boy were able to point out where everything had been, clearly someone had put a lot of effort in cleaning up the scene. 

So there won't be a follow up with the SPCA who really needed pictures to start an investigation.  I don't care, I'm just happy that the traps are no longer laid out.  I'm not naive enough to think that they haven't been moved to another area but at least my children will not have to loose sleep wondering if any animals are losing their life back there every time they walk down that road.

So how's Malka doing:

Malka's injuries were worse than they first appeared but fortunately she's recovering.  Apparently she was in worse shape than we thought originally.  The swelling in her leg has slowly gone down, and she only has a slight limp.  But on Monday morning when I took her out to potty she peed three times in different spots.  Not normal for her.  So I grabbed a urine sample and took it down to the vets.  We had the results later in the day.   Her already weak kidneys had begun to shut down.  They are improving but this caused a sludge type substance (has a fancy name that I can't remember) to be excreted through her urine.  She also has a lot of blood in her urine too.  The kidney failure caused her to not eat.  She needs good food and lots of extra fluid to flush the crap out of her kidneys so they can hopefully heal.  So I broke out one of my get the dog to eat tricks.  You take a pound of chicken livers and put them in a big pot and fill it with water.  Bring it to a boil until the livers are well cooked.  It is gross but just what the doctor ordered for a finicky dog.  A couple of pieces of liver along with a couple of cups of the water from the pot in their regular food and ta da the dog eats and gets extra water too.

Yesterday afternoon for the first time Malka showed definite signs of improvement.  She's eating more heartily and is acting more energetic.  She'll also be on antibiotics for a month so she doesn't develop any secondary infections.  She's had problems with her kidneys before.  In a few weeks we'll rerun the tests to see if her renal function has returned to her baseline normal. 

I'm just happy we have her back.  Even another hour out there and she probably wouldn't of made it.  Every day we have her is a gift.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Problem with "Learning the Hard Way"

is that sometimes it results in death.  Hopefully not yours (although sometimes that the case) but in this case it was the death of two of our chickens.

When The Scientist was a toddler I used to ask her, "do you want to do it the easy way or the hard way?  The choice is yours."  It didn't take her long to figure out that the easy way was the preferred choice.  Of course this came back to bite me later on when she was forced to do things the hard way to get the result she wanted, but I guess that part of the learning curve too.  As a small aside:  One day we were pulling into a shopping center and she asked what store we were going into and I said, "The hardware store."  She started to cry and said she didn't want to go to the hardware store she wanted to go to the easyware store.  Chalk another one up in the tell your therapist when your 30 column.  Anyway, no surprise, I digress.

In the winter the kids regret having chickens.  It's cold, the wind whips across our yard, it gets dark really early and they eat more, mostly because they are bored but also because they burn more calories keeping warm.  So for three months out of the year there is a lot of complaining about who's turn it is to care for them. 

Well, this winter they started getting lazy about making sure their feeder was always full.  It was rarely empty but instead of constantly filling it they would wait until it was empty to fill it.  The reaction that caused was subtle and not recognized until it resulted in a very painful lesson for them. 

You see hens have a pecking order (pecking/chickens/get it?).  We can't do anything about it and it changes as the birds age, new birds are added to the flock or just because, but if you spend any time observing them you will clearly see who's in charge and who's at the bottom of the order.

So what was happening, unbeknown to the kids, was the chickens were rationing their food because there wasn't a unending supply of food anymore.  The dominant birds were preventing the two birds at the bottom of the order from freely eating.  Even this probably wouldn't of been enough to kill them, they were getting some food.  Then the straw that broke the camels back occurred.

Every now and then one of the hens doesn't make it back into the coop at night.  For whatever reason they fall asleep outside and when the coop gets closed up they wind up spending the night under the stars.  This can be a problem if there are predators in the area but our run is enclosed so that isn't as much of an issue. 

The two hens at the bottom of the pecking order for a reason that will remain unknown didn't return to the coop one night last week.  What made this even stranger was it had been pouring rain all evening and they don't normally like to be out in the rain for long.  The kids are supposed to make sure everyone is in before they close it up, but that doesn't always happen.  It's dark, cold, windy, raining, essentially miserable; no head count usually occurs on those nights.

When the sun came up Baseball Boy went out to open up the coop for the day.  He found Oreo and Jersey laying in the run next to the coop.  Both were soaking wet and had died during the night.  The temperatures had dropped dramatically and I was surprised to find both birds were underweight.  I think that between being wet and too thin they were unable to withstand the cold overnight.

This isn't the first time we've gone out in the morning to find dead hens.  You learn to accept that farm animals do not have the life expectancy of family pets and they in general live a riskier life.  But that doesn't make it any easier on the kids who almost instantly realized what happened and that the birds being underweight contributed to their demise.

So they learned a lesson the hard way, and Oreo and Jersey paid the price.  I'm sure that they would would cry and want to learn it at the easyware store, if only that were possible.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In My Head.....

One of the guys I work with showed me this video last night. He thought it was cool and had a catchy tune. For the love of G-d I can not get it out of my head. I must have watched it 50 times today. The Scientist and I are hooked. The Vet just shook her head and walked away with disgust after the fifth viewing. Apparently, we are just having a little too much fun for her taste. What do you think?

Click the link below.