Wednesday, March 28, 2007

OK, long-time Bloggers .............................

HOW/WHO do you go to when you have "issues"? PLEASE don't recommend the 'help groups' - for whatever reason, my "nickname" isn't acceptable .....................
Frustration, thy name is BLOGGER!!

TWO BLOODY WEEKS LATER .........................

I am able to access 'the Dashboard' - via the "sign in" link at DW's blog - LawDog's, Holly's, Flying Flo's, AD's - NONE of them permitted the full loading of the sign in page .............................
While I have it open this time, I'm by-God getting a contact eMail for Blogger, to be able to raise hell tomorrow, when I'm once again unable to access MY blog!
Went to see the Lipizzaner stallions perform @ the Toyota Center here in Houston Sunday - what magnificent creatures they are!! On the way home, we saw the aftermath {severely crunched vehicles} of a horrendous accident, on US 59 Southbound, for those of you familiar with the Houston area - a mother and her pregnant 18 year old daughter were killed - the jerk responsible for their deaths jumped out of his pickup, started running, was hit buy another car, got up & kept running .......................... here's the kicker: the SOB is an illegal - he'd been arrested & jailed THREE TIMES PREVIOUSLY for drunk driving here ....................... luckily, the cops were able to catch him, and he'll be facing charges of intoxication manslaughter {if the world were FAIR, he'd be facing premeditated capital murder charges} - no bail, so he will presumably be held until his trial, at which time he will be going to prison ...................

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The saying, 'No good deed goes unpunished'?

Ye-eah, that would be me .............................. {Holly & Flo already know this, via eMail ;-) }

The floor in our laundry area has been buckling since July - the top layer actually split open about 3 weeks ago - the Spousal Unit decided to take Monday & Tuesday off, to fix it - turns out, last time it was repaired, some idjit decided to go really cheap & used particle board, stapled to the 2" x 6"s - then used "sheetrock mud" to fill the gap/level it to the plywood it was adjacent to - the particle board was black with mold - he got a SawZall & cut between the 2 x 6s - then I got to pry it off where it was stapled - my right elbow has been giving me fits for a couple of weeks - swinging the hammer didn't help - and the Spousal Unit put 1" plywood down, with 2 x 4s between the 2 x 6s for bracing - using wood screws & nails - but, there are several HOLES under the 2 x 6s - ShortSh#t {aka Pedro, aka ThunderPaws} decided to go adventuring - and the Spousal Unit "boarded" him under the trailer - I'd gone outside for something, and the neighbor's cat {the one I just took for his shots} was raising he## at the skirting - I came in and made a feline 'head-count' - SS was the only one unaccounted for - the Spousal Unit pulled the skirting out - sure enough, there he was, cobwebs on his whiskers - the neighbor's cat, BJ, was still letting his displeasure be known - I got some wet food and tried to entice SS to me - he FINALLY came over & I was able to scruff him - of course, HE tried to get his teeth around to my hand - I held onto him, while waiting for the Spousal Unit to come over & help - all of a sudden, there was some rather severe pain in my upper right arm - BJ decided that, since Stubby was no longer here, if I'm outside, I'm to give him {BJ} my undivided attention - BJ finally removed his claws - the Spousal Unit got hold of SS, and we got him out from under - got SS in the house - all while I'm bleeding rather profusely - later, I was returning borrowed tools, and BJ FOLLOWED me - when I left one neighbor's house, and was out of his line of sight, I could hear him calling to me - and again, this morning, I'm feeling like the Pied Piper of cats ......................... and I'm STILL bleeding, and it hurts from elbow to shoulder - I figure it's due to the aspirin I've been taking per doc's suggestion ................................... but all OUR cats are present & accounted for, and BJ has decided our porch is HIS sole turf ............................ while soaking last night, I heard another stray outside {I call him Chumley-Bumley, Flo - ;-) }, but BJ wouldn't permit him to come up for groceries .................................. ;-)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

DON'T put me in the middle, if I don't have a

dog in your fight!

A neighbor is going through some health issues, that preclude his doing a lot work-wise ....................... the owner of a property adjacent to his asked if he would build a deck/porch - neighbor said sure - then the owner gets someone else to build the deck/porch - neighbor went OFF - the owner of the other property comes over to ME, asking MY intercession - he's "afraid" of the neighbor - now, as I said, neighbor has health issues - plus, he's about 5'7", MAYBE 160# soaking wet, and 55+ years old - the owner of the other property is 6'2"-6'4", 200# easily, and about 35 years old, works in oil fields outside the U.S. - but he's "scared" the neighbor will come after him with a gun ...................... nevermind that the neighbors don't HAVE any guns ....................... and this young, obviously NEUTERED male wants ME to intercede for him - why not go to the neighbor's wife?

Have I mentioned that I don't care for males who have no sense of their own testosterone? Hell's belles, our neutered male cats have more ba##s than this .......................... person ...........................

I guess I just got spoiled, in the Marine Corps - I don't recall a single instance of doubting a Marine's testosterone levels ...........................

Friday, March 9, 2007

Oy vey iz mir!!!

So, it turns out, much of my problems with my computer/accessing the blog, is/are the youngest of "da Boyz" {Tigger & FizzleDizzle} - they decided that the PS/2-USB adapter for my mouse needed to be jumped on/batted at/generally there for their amusement - they bent the outer cylinder of the PS/2 portion .................... it's now in a USB port ........................ ;-)
Took the neighbors' male dog and their cat for 'cheap shots' today, to the "Mobile Vet" - now that they're taken care of re: rabies, they can be neutered - also got Stubby 'K' & FizzleDizzle their shots - after bringing them home, another neighbor was asking if I knew of an outside cat that needed a home - Stubby MAY be going to his daughter's - they have a couple of ponds on their property, with snakes - he reassured me that Stubby would be fed, loved, have shelter, AND that his daughter will keep Benadryl on hand in case he's bitten by a snake ...................... but as an un-neutered Tom, Stubby will probably just have to spray, marking his turf, & the snakes will decamp for other areas ............................ the gentleman who's our neighbor also reassured me that, if Stubby isn't being cared for as necessary, he'll bring him back to me ..........................
I wrote this a couple days ago, to post here, before I realized my problems accessing .........................
Don’t know how the REST of the country is dealing ……………………..
With the news media doing their collective best impression of Chicken Little re: the “early” application of daylight savings time …………………………. Here in the wilds of Houston, one would think we’re re-experiencing ‘the Millennium’ – and the denizens of this part of Texas are too collectively stupid to figure out how to change all the clock-dependent gadgets’ times …………………… {have I mentioned how I loathe being addressed as though I’m an idiot/3 year old child? ;-) }
AND, another thing – SUVs have been getting bad press for years now, because they protect the people riding in them, to the detriment of people in other types of vehicles. Now, I’ve always heard that Volvos are extremely good vehicles, as far as protection of the passengers – again, it would seem that would occur to the cost of people in other vehicles, but you never hear of put downs of Volvos …………………………

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Blogger has been EXTREMELY difficult for me to

access the past couple of days ....................
As a public service announcement:

I got this from my neighbor today, & I just verified this with my progeny - she just had a case last week of raisin toxicity - grapes are not near as bad, as the chemicals aren't as concentrated as in raisins - you CAN give your dog(s) vegetables - sweet potatoes are especially good for dogs - but NO raisins!


Please Pass This On To Anyone Who Has A Dog
This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet.

My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix who ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7AM. I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet,and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but....

Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give I V fluids at 1 = times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.

The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids.

At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care.

He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated
and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin.

Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler's. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.

Friday, March 2, 2007

DragonWatch has a WONDERFUL post on illegal immigration ........................

be sure to check him out!

Tolewyn, LawDog's relation, has a brownies recipe on his recent post .................. sooooooo, in the spirit of friendly competition, I submit 's Baked Fudge:

Baked Fudge
Submitted by: Suzanne LeVieux-Hall
Rated: 4 out of 5 by 13 members Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour Ready In: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Yields: 12 servings

"A sweet gooey mixture of sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs, butter, vanilla and pecans becomes an irresistible panful of baked rich sweetness."
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
powder 4 eggs, beaten
1 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. In large bowl, sift together sugar, flour and cocoa. Add eggs. Add melted butter, vanilla and pecans. Pour mixture into 8x12-inch baking pan.
3. Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place baking dish on towel, inside roasting pan, and place roasting pan on oven rack. Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until firm.

NOW, I don't make "male fudge" {think about that term before you ask what I mean ..................... ;-) } and, being from Hershey, I add 25-50% more cocoa - leave the other ingredients the same ...................... ;-)
I'd make this for my students down in Mexico - I'd have to hide it from our fellow teachers, as they would devour it before my students got any! Also, as you can see from the ingredients, it is in NO way 'low calorie' - but, it's SO rich, a little goes a long way ............................

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Hat tip, Jerry H. - my question below ...........................

The Real American Idol

Why the New York Times buried Maj. Bruce Crandall's Medal of Honor on page 15.
Thursday, March 1, 2007 12:01 a.m.

Amid the mad jumble that makes the news in our time, the White House on Monday held a ceremony for a Medal of Honor recipient. His name is Bruce Crandall. Mr. Crandall is 74 now, and earned his medal as a major, flying a Huey helicopter in 1965 in the Vietnam War.

The Medal of Honor is conferred only for bravery in combat. It is a military medal, and it is still generally regarded as the highest public tribute this nation can bestow. It is also very rare.

Still, the Medal of Honor does not occupy the place in the nation's cultural life that it once did. This has much to do with the ambivalent place of the military in our angry politics.

In the House debate just ended on a "non-binding" resolution to thwart the sending of more troops to Iraq, its most noted element was the Democratic formulation to "support the troops" but oppose the war. We will hear more of this when the members of the Senate debate their own symbolic resolution.

In last November's congressional election, the Democrats picked several military veterans as candidates to mitigate the notion, a burden since Vietnam, that an endemic hostility toward things military runs through the party's veins.

Those Democratic veterans won. Notwithstanding the bitter divide over Iraq, the presence of these veterans in Congress should be a good thing, if one thinks that the oft-publicized "divide" between the professional military and American civilians is not in this country's interest. It surely cannot be in the country's interest if over time more Americans come to regard the life of U.S. soldiers at war and in combat as an abstraction--as say, mainly Oscar nominees or as newspaper photographs of scenes of utter loss at arms.

Two men have received the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq: Army Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, who died defending some 100 fellow soldiers, allowing their withdrawal; and Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, who died after he dove atop a live grenade to protect his squad. (Cpl. Dunham's act was the subject of a 2004 Wall Street Journal story by reporter Michael M. Phillips and later a book, "The Gift of Valor.")

Bruce Crandall's Medal of Honor, at an emotional remove of 42 years, offers a chance to ponder just where the military stands now in the nation's life. The particulars of Lt. Col. Crandall's act of heroism, and what others said of it at the awarding of the medal on Monday, offers we civilians a chance to understand not merely the risks of combat but what animates those who embrace those risks.

Mr. Crandall, then a major, commanded a company with the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, carrying soldiers to a landing zone, called X-ray, in the la Drang Valley. An assault from the North Vietnamese army erupted, as described at the White House ceremony Monday. Three soldiers on Maj. Crandall's helicopter were killed. He kept it on the ground while four wounded were taken aboard. Back at base, he asked for a volunteer to return with him to X-ray. Capt. Ed Freeman came forward. Through smoke and bullets, they flew in and out 14 times, spent 14 hours in the air and used three helicopters. They evacuated 70 wounded. The battalion survived.

A Medal of Honor requires eyewitness accounts, and an officer there attested, "Maj. Crandall's actions were without question the most valorous I've observed of any helicopter pilot in Vietnam."

Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, spoke at the ceremony of what he called "the warrior ethos." Look at his words and consider whether they still stand today, or whether as a matter of the nation's broader ethos of commonly accepted beliefs, they are under challenge. Gen. Schoomaker said: "The words of the warrior ethos that we have today--I will always place the mission first; I will never accept defeat; I will never quit; and I will never leave a fallen comrade--were made real that day in the la Drang Valley."

At issue today is the question: Is that ethos worth it, worth the inevitable sacrifice? And not only in Iraq but in whatever may lie beyond Iraq?

The secretary of the Army, Francis Harvey, went on in this vein: "The courage and fortitude of America's soldiers in combat exemplified by these individuals is, without question, the highest level of human behavior. It demonstrates the basic goodness of mankind as well as the inherent kindness and patriotism of American soldiers."

An American soldier in combat demonstrates "the basic goodness of mankind"? And the highest level of human behavior? This was not thought to be true at the moment Maj. Crandall was flying those choppers in Vietnam. Nor is it now.

To embrace the thoughts of Gen. Schoomaker and of Secretary Harvey is to risk being accused of defending notions of American triumphalism and an overly strong martial spirit thought inappropriate to the realities of a multilateral world. This is a debate worth having. But we are not having it. We are hiding from it.

In a less doubtful culture, Maj. Crandall's magnificent medal would have been on every front page, if only a photograph. It was on no one's front page Tuesday. The New York Times, the culture's lodestar, had a photograph on its front page of President Bush addressing governors about an insurance plan. Maj. Crandall's Medal of Honor was on page 15, in a round-up, three lines from the bottom. Other big-city dailies also ran it in their news summaries; some--the Washington Post, USA Today--ran full accounts inside.

Most schoolchildren once knew the names of the nation's heroes in war--Ethan Allen, John Paul Jones, Stephen Decatur, the Swamp Fox Francis Marion, Ulysses S. Grant, Clara Barton, Billy Mitchell, Alvin York, Lee Ann Hester. Lee Ann who? She's the first woman to win a Silver Star for direct combat with the enemy. Did it in a trench in Iraq. Her story should be in schools, but it won't be.

All nations celebrate personal icons, and ours now tend to be doers of good. That's fine. But if we suppress the martial feats of a Bruce Crandall, we distance ourselves further from our military. And in time, we will change. At some risk.

Is it just possible, that we've seemingly lost our collective respect for people such as LtCol Crandall, due to the 'feminization' of our culture? LGBT has NOTHING to do with my premise - it's the arc of the pendulum that has elevated "feminine qualities" over, and to the detriment of, any presumptive masculine qualities ....................... at 40+ years from my youth, I can cheerfully acknowledge that I was a 'tomboy' - climbing trees, building forts, playing shoot'em up - today, such behavior is not only verboten for girls, it's forbidden to boys - sometimes, hearing men whine, I truly want to smack them, grab them by their stacking swivels and yell "Grow a pair!!" No, I don't want a return to Ozzie & Harriet - but dammit, Guys, stand up for yourselves ..........................