Filed under: @ 5:04 pm

An Open Letter to the Members of Arachnidae spp. who Enjoy My Pesticide Free Gardens

Would you octipodious little idiots kindly get it through your hydraulic little heads that I am not edible?

I appreciate that you like the dark, cool environs of my garage, but really now!
The bugs are MUCH better, much bigger, sweeter, and far more prolific say…. OUTSIDE IN THE GARDEN than they are in the garage. If you insist upon it, there are plenty of dark cool spaces out there too.

And I’m getting damn tired of walking into your webs when I walk through the garage door into the house, when I try to get into my car, and when I try to do anything anywhere else in the garage.
I appreciate your zeal. I thoroughly appreciate your insectivorous nature when it is applied to, well, insects. I, on the other hand, am H. sapiens and, thusly, NOT ON YOUR MENU.

There are plenty of insects out in the garden, believe me. You’ll be far happier OUT THERE!!


Don’t make me goosh you!


Reasonable People Too

Filed under: @ 4:01 pm

Y’all have known me for long enough to know that things like scrotums, castration, and relatively graphic descriptions of other subjects likely to cause consternation in the general public will come up in casual conversation. I haven’t the faintest idea why you’re surprised by my previous post. :mrgreen:

Okay, to the point.

See the reason I asked about rubber band castration is that in this economic climate the veterinary community is seeing an upsurge in this type of procedure performed by bozos who are interested in having their male pets neutered, but who aren’t willing to pay more than the cost of a rubber band for it.
Yeah, I showed my hand there. For the record I think it’s a BAD idea for many, MANY reasons not the least of which is that I can still hear many of you screeching “YES!!!! THAT WOULD HURT A LOT!!!”. What a surprise. 🙄

BUT in a lot of cases that sort of thing can’t be prosecuted. In most areas it’s not illegal to practice medicine on your own animals so long as you aren’t doing anything that can be constituted as cruel. And cruelty statutes are based on the public’s perception of what is cruel. Unfortunately elastrator band castration was practiced on farm animals (lambs mostly) until about 20 years ago when it was abandoned because:
a. the lambs are more comfortable, more willing to eat and be normal lambs with conventional castration techniques
b. cutting off the blood supply to a body part is not an efficient means of complete castration in many cases and
c. cutting off the blood supply to a body part and hoping that it’ll fall off without attracting all sorts of nasty infectious bacteria is a fool’s game.

So if it’s not the norm in farm animals anymore, why can’t it be prosecuted as cruel when it happens in pets?
That’s where the “reasonable people” clause comes in. Trying to change the public’s — at least that portion of the public who are willing to try it — perception of something that USED to be the norm is like pushing a rope. Especially when there are websites explaining how to perform elastrator band castration that announce in bold face type that the only reason that veterinarians tell you that it’s cruel, inefficient and dangerous to try to neuter your dog with a rubber band is because we’re out to make a buck…..
Well, it’s an uphill battle.

I have a number of VIN buddies (or invisible friends as some people refer to them) who have dealt with this exact situation in the last few months. I’ve not seen a case myself since I was working in Olympia but I did see one there.
Let’s try for public outcry eh?


Reasonable People

Filed under: @ 9:07 am

Okay, I’m going to take this poll but I’m not going to tell you why.
After the poll results are in I’ll post the reason.

This is for everyone, but I will especially be interested in the opinions of the XY readers of Uncle Andrew.

Would you expect that a rubber band wrapped tightly enough around a scrotum and testicles to cut off the blood supply to be painless?
Is it reasonable to expect that a patient so treated, with castration as the eventual goal, would not suffer in the process?

It’s okay guys, I’ll wait until you stop crossing your legs and whimpering. 😛


Our Glowing Review of Bellevue Roofing

Filed under: @ 5:49 pm

I’ve ranted before, probably ceaselessly, about how I loathed the cedar shake roof that was, until just recently, on our house.
From weathering badly, to growing moss easily, to catching fire with astonishing ease (and yes, I have tried it with the scraps. For the record, old cedar shakes are GREAT kindling.) that roof has been on my nerves for almost 10 years.
So this year we had finally gotten the home equity loan that we took out to pay for the sewer and the rest of the godforsaken (but greatly appreciated) remodel from two years ago paid down enough to consider pulling more money from it for a roof.
We talked to the bank. We did our homework. We had three different companies come out to look the roof over and give us bids.
And we chose Bellevue Roofing. We went with Bellevue Roofing because their bid was comparable to the other two that we had gotten. Because their estimate was thorough… going so far as to be extremely detailed in what services they would provide, defining terms etc. etc. It’s the first time I’ve gotten a four page estimate for a total of something like six line items. It was absolutely clear what we would be getting.
We went with Bellevue Roofing because they are a locally owned company and because they purchase their materials from a locally owned company.
We went with Bellevue Roofing because they could get their people out within *two days* of us signing the contract and they could finish in three. As it turns out, because of one thing and another on our side and on theirs, they didn’t start work for (gasp!) a week after we signed the contract and the vast majority of the work was done in (GASP!) two days.
And I couldn’t have been more pleased about the service they provided. Y’all will have noticed that I’m a little obsessive about my garden. I’m always anxious when I have people working around my garden who might not take the care around my landscaping that I think my landscaping needs.
These guys were GOOD. They were careful about their approach on to the roof, they were careful about their removal of the old roof, and they were extremely diligent in doing the cleanup afterwards. In three weeks I’ve only found the occasional scrap of cedar shake or composition shingle and I have found not one nail. And in three weeks I have done a LOT of digging around in the dirt around the house.
The counter flashing around the chimney needed to be replaced. It’s an odd sized chimney so they weren’t sure that the pre-made counter flashing would fit. It didn’t. So they had their metal shop custom make one to fit and when it was finished (a week or so after the roof was done), one of the owners of the business came out himself to install it.
Bellevue Roofing was thorough, fast, and professional and I would recommend them without hesitation.

The only regret I have is that I’ve wanted to replace those shakes with a metal roof so I can spell things out on the roof in giant refrigerator magnets so people in passing airplanes can read my roof. We couldn’t afford a metal roof so I’ll just have to make do with 50 year composite shingles and console myself with the fact that I’ll *never* (at least not in my lifetime and barring weather, earthquake, or other acts of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) have to replace the roof again. 😀


Shouldn’t we be able to do something about this?

Filed under: @ 5:12 pm

Ever since I first started seeing the woman with the service chihuahua, yes, I did write that right, a service chihuahua I’ve wondered….

See, despite what you may think, anyone can declare just about any animal a “service animal” and because of the way the regulations are stated in the Americans with Disabilities Act, just about no one can question it.
The critter doesn’t have to have any special training, it doesn’t have to have any training at all. Someone with letters behind their name just has to state that that particular critter is, in some way, helpful to the physical, mental, or emotional health of the person in question and you’re in. My massage therapist could write me a letter stating that carrying Flitter around on my shoulder was important to my well being because she provides a constant source of heat and vibration to treat the muscle spasms in my neck.
Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be that formal. You can purchase all sorts of “Service Animal” paraphernalia online and take your precious BooBoo anywhere you like.
Sure you and your animal can be asked to leave a business if your animal is rowdy or disruptive, but because there are so many people out there who are willing to make a big screeching stink about their god given rights to take their poorly socialized landshark anywhere they please because a podiatrist told them it was good for their toenails, very few businesses will take the risk of being labeled as “unfriendly” to service animals. And there have been enough cases of people creating a legal stink that pretty much no business is willing to take the risk of a discrimination lawsuit. Remember the woman some years back whose pot bellied pig created havoc in the first class compartment of an airplane?

I have a unique perspective.
I have dealt with honest to goodness service animals ranging from the traditional guide dogs for the blind, to a dog who could sense sudden changes in her brittle diabetic owner’s blood glucose levels and notify the owner before she even knew her levels were changing, to a dog that helped the social skills of the young son of a client who was profoundly autistic and a real nightmare to be around when his dog was absent. These were all trained, well mannered, well cared for, and a pleasure to deal with.
And then there was the woman with the service chihuahua who “helped me deal with reality” and “helped me remember to take my medications” (and did neither very well so far as I could tell, the woman was crazy as a bedbug). And the woman with the service pug who did nothing so far as I could tell besides widdle all over the landscape, bark at other dogs, and try to bite me and whoever else was interacting with it. And the couple that I fortunately haven’t seen in a LONG time whose service cattle dog won’t let the stewards on the cruise ships on which they travel into their cabin to clean because he’s so possessive/protective. They can’t take him out of the cabin either because he bites passersby, but he’s GOT to travel with them. I think that the service he provides is, as stated, that he keeps the male owner from being seasick. And the most recent abuse I’ve seen is the woman with the chihoodle who was important to his owner’s well being because she’d had a tendon injury in her foot and her doctor told her she had to carry something to counterbalance her weight (um…. a three pound dog can counterbalance a 180ish woman?). This one said flat out that she pretty much only got the dog designated as a service animal because she and her family were taking a cross country trip and while the other pets were staying at home she couldn’t bear to be separated from this one and she didn’t want to have to *gasp* pay to take the dog on an airplane.
Every single veterinarian I know has stories like this.
And every single person that I have known that has has a legitimate service animal is NUTS because these self entitled assholes are going around with their untrained, poorly mannered, poorly socialized idiots just because they can.

There’s a hole in the Americans with Disabilities Act. You don’t have to prove any real need to be able to have your pet declared a service animal. And, as I’ve said, your animal doesn’t have to be trained in any special way or in any way at all. The designation of “service animal” is so broad that abuse is rampant. There’s got to be something that we can do about that.

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