Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Frickin' Halloween!

You may not have noticed, but Halloween in Columbus is over. It's Friday and I'm taking a nap.

In other words, ring my doorbell and die. Honestly, do either of these dogs LOOK happy to see you?!

One exception:

If you are named Jordan and are dressed as a harmless puddy tat.

Don't judge me for dressing my dogs. Others have inflicted far worse on their pets...
No, this is not Soda. Read more!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Map locating an attack in Syria's Abu Kamal region, near the border with Iraq. Iraq has said that a helicopter raid on neighbouring Syria on Sunday was against an area used by insurgents to launch attacks on its soil.(AFP/Graphic)

I noticed a by-line on Monday mentioning that the US conducted a commando raid inside Syria on Sunday, killing eight people, including children--teeny terrorists, no doubt. (Aren't all children terrorists at heart?) Some no names in Washington said we targeted and killed a top al-Qaida operative with our actions.

That's great. Really, I'm thrilled. Knowing that guy was out there eating felafel sandwiches right in the open like nobody cared was really eating at me. But has ANYONE noticed that we bombed a fucking sovereign country?

No word from Bush. Not surprising. But no word from Obama or McCain, either.

I know they're really busy and all, but what the fuck? How can no one acknowledge the fact that we did this? Can you imagine the reaction had Syria launched a "small but necessary" military action in, say, Missouri, last Sunday?

Syrians mourn next the bodies of their relatives who were killed yesterday in what the Syrian media reported as a deadly US military attack on the village of Sukkiraya. US forces in Iraq staged a "successful" raid into Syria against foreign fighters, an American official said Monday, as a furious Damascus accused Washington of "terrorist aggression."(AFP/Ramzi Haidar)

No, really. Think about it for a minute. We would RAIN TERROR down on Syria--bomb the living shit out of them for looking sideways at us and violating our sacred American earth.

Will someone, anyone, please call BULLSHIT on this? Syria has already threatened to close all educational and cultural outlets for Americans studying abroad (this includes children of diplomats). Although, if we don't care about actions of war why the hell should we care about cross-cultural education. Really, that only stands in the way of wars, anyway.

A Syrian man sits next to blood staining the floor in the village of Sukkiraya, on the Syria-Iraq border, the scene of what the Syrian media reported as a deadly US military strike. US forces in Iraq staged a "successful" raid into Syria against foreign fighters, an American official said Monday, as a furious Damascus accused Washington of "terrorist aggression."(AFP/Ramzi Haidar)

Hypocrisy in its finest form.

A view of the U.S. embassy in Damascus October 29, 2008.The U.S. embassy in Damascus may close to the public, a U.S. embassy spokesman said on Wednesday, ahead of demonstrations planned in the Syrian capital to protest against a U.S. military raid in eastern Syria.REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri (SYRIA)

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Friday, October 24, 2008

All Dogs Go to Heaven, right..?

The religious debate picture here came courtesy of an e-mail from my friend Ann in New Yawk.

My niece, Jordan, and her pal, Ginger Ale.
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

FrankenJack and Jealous Julian

Here is Jack enjoying his "treat" over lunch. So far he has not figured out the "trick" involved--his medicine. Doesn't look like Julian suspects anything either, other than getting no treats at all himself.

Draft horses are very susceptible to jealousy.

For a close-up of Jack's not-so-pretty mug in the healing stages, click on Read more.

It actually looks much better than it did a few days ago.
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Slowly but surely...

Jack the pony continues to improve, and was well enough last night to watch his favorite TV show, Dancing with the Stars. Ginger, who still must be slung up the stairs with a scarf under her belly, simply wasn't up to it. She missed a great one!

I thank God every day for this campaign. Read more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trying to keep a happy face...

Jack the four-legged punching bag is continuing to recover. He is also turning back into his usual feisty self, getting increasingly more difficult to medicate. I'm now sneaking his meds into sweet feed, which means that withing a week he'll be about the same girth size as Julian.

Ginger and Soda with some damn cat

Ginger Ale, 5 y.o. pit bull extraordinaire, whom I adopted after losing my little Siamese because I felt I needed to have a TOUGH-AS-NAILS pet, continues to fall apart at the seams. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. She is down to three legs at the moment, after a bad landing from a failed launch at a spiteful squirrel. I am getting so used to lifting her 78 pounds I may get a lame English Mastiff next time--just for a little more challenge.

At times like these I find it extremely important to laugh.

Thank you, Tina Fey!

Honestly, I don't know what I would do without the priceless comedy coming out of this election. I actually wanted to kiss the photographer who got this shot after the last debate. Keep 'em coming, elite media!

McCain reveals some serious electoral ass envy
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Real Kick in the Head

Let’s start this with a nice “Before” picture.

Little Jack

Jack is my 13.2hh Arabian-Quarter rescue from June of 2006. I did not need another horse when I bought him. Nor could I afford him. I certainly did not need a pony too small for me to ride, much less one too scared of humans to be ridden at all, except under very specific conditions. But he was going to auction—the equine euphemism for slaughter—and he had these super-long white eyelashes….

Jack in spring of 2006. Hard to believe how much greyer he was then. He'll be all white before we know it.

It doesn’t matter why I bought him. It just happened. He’s one of my own, now. And yesterday, I got the call you don’t want to get from your boarding stable—the call that doesn’t begin with “Everybody’s fine…” Mine started with “It’s Jack.”

The call came at three in the afternoon. Jack had been found standing alone in the lower pasture by Dan, head down, motionless. He did not respond to Dan’s call, so he went down to him. And that’s when he saw the deep, arc-shaped gash full of hair and dried blood on Jack’s forehead.

It took me two hours to get my shit together and drive 17 miles south. They assured me he was no longer bleeding, and he seemed alert once they enticed him up to the barn area. They saw no neurological signs, but I was filled with the worst of forebodings, as usual. Cracked skull—untreatable. Brain damage—untreatable. I tore the house apart for every veterinary supply I possessed and drove to the barn shaking so hard I put Galaxy on cruise and tried to regulate my breathing. I was so far from thinking clearly I made a call to my sister to have a cool brain present. It’s one thing when you’re treating someone else’s kid, but when it’s your own—I knew I’d be worthless for making decisions.

When I walked into the arena Dan was holding Jack's lead rope, standing on my mounting block looking down at Jack’s gaping wound. They had been able to squirt one syringe-full of warm water onto it to try and loosen the dried blood and hair, but that was the last time any of us were able to touch that area again. We all tried for at least an hour to get more water or iodine to the area, or to move the forelock, but it was not happening. Tam and Dan drifted back to the house as it became clear we were powerless, and Dan brought in Julian to keep Jack calmer. Julian was revved beyond control, cantering and kicking in wide circles around us, but I don't think either horse noticed the other. Still, it calmed me having them both in there.

It was Sarah who finally called me back to reality and told me to make a decision. That was exactly why I needed her there. I would have stood there staring at poor Jack all night long, trying to heal him with pity. My mind was stuck on “You must let me help you. You must let me help you. You must let me help you.” It was Sarah that broke through and made me hear that I could NOT help him. Not without a tranquilizer or sedative, neither of which we had.

After fucking around for far too long, I finally called a vet emergency line. I sent Sarah home, and she was too kind to me, leaving homemade soup, bread and a cookie in my car for me to discover later. As I waited for the on-call vet to call back, Tam remembered the new vet in Sun Prairie—a vet my co-worker had just signed on to MWI. Again, a perfect example of my inability to think in a linear fashion under duress. Tam reached her, and she was soon on her way.

My gratitude at securing a vet who had no client relationship with me who was willing to come at a moment’s notice was enormous, and I thanked her with every other breath during the whole time she was there—about two hours? She tranquilized Jack and set to work. She had to tranq him at least one more time, most notably when she fired up the clippers. Jack went from head dropped and barely standing to fully alert when he heard that familiar buzz. I was mortified that I still hadn’t gotten him over that fear, and probably apologized twenty times as we struggled to get him shaved. It took more drugs, a heavy hand on the halter, and a rope twitch to get it done. His fear and panic pulsated through my body, and I thought I might throw up. I had worked for two years to get this frightened pony to trust me, and at his most terrifying moment, I was the one leaning on a lip twitch to hold him down. I didn’t throw up and I didn’t let go, but I was bawling inside. I couldn’t bear his pain, his fear. It took us only about ten minutes, but it was the longest ten minutes I can remember recently. I could only hope that his memory of it would be much dimmer than my own.

Jack, as it turns out, was pretty lucky in terms of his actual injury. The doctor believed that the kick just grazed his forehead, and had not made full impact. Someone’s hind foot had peeled back a sizable chunk of flesh and muscle, but it had not reached his skull, and she said there was “no notable dent in the bone.” (Hearing that said out loud is not any more comforting than reading it, for what it’s worth.) As much as I wanted to get a picture of his injury (once a vet tech, always a vet tech) I could not make myself set a flash off in his face, so that memory will have to be mine and the doctor’s.

It was gruesome. The force of the kick had split the skin and forced the flap up under the top of his forehead, along with most of his forelock. It took her at least an hour to clean and debride the wound, finally working the skin flap into position where she could suture it. Had we waited until morning for a vet, that skin would not have been viable, and he would have had a deep open wound roughly 3 inches in diameter that would have had to heal on its own.

Suturing was the other long spell of the evening—though much easier on poor Jack. Prior to beginning this phase, the doctor prepared to inject small amounts of Lidocaine into the skin to block the area. Lidocaine stings, by the way, even if you are swaying from sedation. The doc and I were on opposite sides of Jack’s head, both trying to keep him immobile as her needle hovered over his eyes and forehead. And that’s when we were reminded why God invented luer lock syringes.

Luer lock syringes are the ones where the needle actually screws onto the syringe, as opposed to luer slip syringes, where the needle just slips onto the syringe. 90% of the time, it is much less hassle to use luer slip syringes. And then there’s the other 10% of the time. The primary instance is euthanasia. That particular liquid is extremely viscous, and the LAST thing you want when you are trying to drop an 1100# animal is to get part way and have the force of compressing the syringe shoot the needle right off the end of the syringe, also shooting the rest of your solution everywhere. Anyone who has witnessed an accidentally-interrupted horse euthanasia will never forget it.

But this was no euthanasia—I just wanted to get all graphic and emotionally manipulative on you for a second. This was Lidocaine. And before we knew it, the needle blew off and every cc of Lidocaine sprayed across the right side of my face. Quite frankly, it was hilarious. I can’t speak for the doctor (who was extremely apologetic) but I was so punchy by this time that I couldn’t think of anything funnier. We were still in a tough-hold position where I had no free hand to wipe it off, so I just spit what I could off my lips and we continued on making Botox jokes.

After the mess she met when she greeted Jack for the first time, the doctor did a great job on the sutures. As anyone who has seen suturing can tell you, there’s no shortage of blood by the end. In this case, that was good news, as no blood would have meant dead skin, which was the last thing we wanted. Anyway, by the time we could let up and come up for air, poor Jack looked exactly like what you would imagine a gray/white horse would look like after getting kicked in the head. His entire face was covered in bright red blood. No pictures of that, either. Sorry. As I wiped my face and glasses, the doc wiped down Jack’s face as much as he would allow, leaving him only slightly tinged in pink. She said the pink would go well with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I agreed. Needless to say, we were both punchy by this time.

I was exhausted with relief as she worked up her bill and I helped Jack come back around. I was still convinced he’d never trust me again, but managed to save those tears for the car ride home.


Saturday morning. Looks okay from this angle--though you can clearly see the belly that has him up to 875 lbs!

Saturday morning I pulled up expecting Jack to see me and turn tail for the hills. I had to catch him to give him some paste for pain and a syringe full of dissolved pills for the antibiotic—twice a day for the next ten days, actually. My plan was to first lead Julian up to the round pen, then see if I could get anywhere near Jack.

As I walked down into the back pasture on a straight line for Julian, Jack raised his sore little head to look at me. I stopped where I was, about 50 yards away, and watched in amazement as he walked right up to me and placed his muzzle in my hand. Only the horses could see me cry down there.

A clear shot of last night's work with some drainage, which was expected. Can see some of his sinus swelling, too.

We three made it to the round pen just fine, and what meds didn't splat on me made it into Jack. I stayed with him at least another hour, just watching for anything unusual, and seeing how much trust still existed. There was a lot more that I thought. Can't touch the injured area to check for heat, but he did let me dab his face a bit, and was on me like glue, as usual. So was Julian, who was brimming with energy on such a beautiful, cool day. Soon we'll be running in the empty fields, but today was not the day.
Jules, always ready to go...

The top shot looks okay, but you can see sinus swelling on the lower shot--something to keep an eye on over the next few days. But nice and alert!

Julian makes for a lousy nursemaid, by the way. He did look compassionate for a second in this shot, though, if you feel a need to anthropomorphize...
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Government Seal

Official Announcement:

The federal government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an Eagle to a CONDOM because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed!

Provided from a friend who would probably prefer to remain anonymous in Denver, CO. In case she doesn't, her name is Mo. Read more!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oprah's New Book Club Pick

[Brought to you again by the desolate Sarah Fox of lovely Brawley, California. Sorry, I meant the lovely Sarah Fox of desolate Brawley, California.] Read more!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Bailout Plan, Effective Immediately

[Author of piece unknown--e-mailed to me by Sarah Fox in Brawley, CA]

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.) Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist,then you're not ready to shoot grouse.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

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