Sunday, October 2, 2011
As we were walking in, we passed by a car in the parking lot that was rather disturbing.
Um. I think you left your kid in there?
Yeah that's not creepy at all.
This is for my friend Craig:
AAAW look, little baby pigs! They are so cute:
We stopped at a Fried Foods Vendor, and found the following:
Wait. Deep Fried, Fried Butter? Isn't that.. redundant? How.. how do you even fry butter, BEFORE deep frying it?? I'm so confused. And? YUCK
Just say NO
Not enough deep fried deliciousness? Here's MORE!
Adam wanted to try the Deep Fried Rocky Mountain Oysters ("I like oysters!") until we told him what they REALLY were ("Ewwwwwwwwww!!!")
I'm sorry, but these look like some bizarre sex toys or something:
They had this deal before the Fair, where you could buy Ride Wristbands for slightly cheaper than at the Fair for "unlimited rides". We opted not to get them, since we didn't want the kids to pester us to ride rides all day. I'm really glad we didn't, because half of the rides had these:
We watched them turn away SO many kids/people with wristbands it was appalling.
Because EVERYTHING tastes better on a stick!
Mmmmmmm Unicorns... NOMNOMNOM
This was a pic that was painted along the side of one of the roller coaster rides. WATCH OUT! WATCH OUT FOR THE VAMPIRES!
And now, for the obligatory Metal Chicken pictures. Don't know why? Read THIS, and THIS
It was a great day, and at the end of it we saw Weird Al Yankovic in concert there, where during Wanna Be Ur Luvr he came down the center aisle and sat in my lap and sang to me!! A perfect end to a great day!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I looked at the picture, and Dan looks just like I remember him. He looks like he'll always look to me, because he can't age. And I love him so much. And I'm so ANGRY.
I'm angry that my brother will never be there to do magic tricks for the kids. He would pull quarters out of ears, and make things disappear. To my kids, he WAS magic. Now their memories of him are dim, they were so young when he died.
I'm angry with myself, for not calling him more often. For not taking time out of my "busy" life to keep that connection going. For not arranging to have lunch with him when he literally worked down the street from where I worked. Maybe I would have seen something. Maybe I could have helped.
I'm angry that he had just seemed to be getting his life together. He had just gotten a great job, had taken us out to dinner so excited that he was able to pay for it, it was like he had finally become a grown up. After struggling for years, selling plasma weekly just to buy food, he was on the rise.
I'm angry that a wonderful writer is no longer there to write the quirky, intellectual writings that I know would someday have been published in more than an online venue.
But most of all, I'm angry with Dan. Why didn't you seek professional help? Why didn't you come to your family for help? Why did you do such a stupid thing?? You were SO smart. I was just getting to know the Grown Up you, the older brother I could hang out with and talk to about music and technology, and you went away. IT'S NOT FAIR AND I'M PISSED AT YOU FOR IT.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, PLEASE, seek help. Do it for yourself, do it for the loved ones involved.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
First, it was Facebook. Ok, sure, I joined, played me some Farmville, got sick of Farmville, Friended everyone and their brother, and their brother's 3rd grade soccer coach. Nifty. But have you been on Facebook lately? For every one legitimate post with someone actually saying something, there are 50 spams of "so-and-so needs a sprolecktant prefactorzizant part for their doofliggityplunk in Dirtville, Help out!" or "so-and-so just made a thousand gold widgets playing Deadliest Fungi Hunt, come join the fun!". People, I don't care. I REALLY DON'T CARE. I'm not going to play any of those games anymore, been there, done that. I understand the point of them; they are silly little things to play that are harmless unless you're pumping real world $$ into them. But just trying to wade through the pages and pages of that to glean out real postings is really annoying as hell.
Then, it was Twitter. At first I thought it was totally stupid. Why would people want to know what I ate for breakfast? Or that I'm having a bowel movement? Or that my dog did something cute today? But as I found more people to connect with, and People Of Interest to add to my feed, it got.. fun. I like getting regular updates on my internet friends, how they're doing, quick pics showing little snapshots into their lives. Sharing bits of my life. It got personal. Even though I haven't met most of these people in real life, I feel a connection to them, and really do care about what's happening in their lives, I worry about them.
Then, it was Blogging. Ok, I admit it, I'm a terrible blogger. I just don't have that much to say on a regular basis, or the stuff I do have to say is nothing I would feel comfortable putting out on the interwebs for The World (or certain peoples) to read. So I update when I can, if I feel I have something interesting to say.
Then, it was Feed Readers. These let you keep track of a bunch of blogs you want to read on a regular basis, by organizing them and keeping all updates til you mark them as read. I use reader.google.com. I have a bunch of blogs that I follow that it dutifully keeps posts archived for me til I can go there and read them all. When I remember to go there and read them all.
Then, it was Google+. Really, Internet? Yes, I get how cool it is to have circles that move, so you can micromanage every person you ever knew into nice little boxes that you can label things like, "Former Coworkers" or "Close Friends" or "People Who Smell Like Soup". But yet ANOTHER place to log in to, to check for updates, and try to keep track of? I have Google+ but honestly I never remember to check it, and have barely added anyone into it. It's just MORE WORK.
I AM SATURATED. I work full-time, and ALL "social networking" sites are blocked from work, so I can either try to use my little Droid phone to read/post updates on all these places during work breaks, or wait til I get home where I have housework, kids, dog, cooking, etc to deal with.
I know I could just NOT read all of these, just let them go for a couple days or however long as I do other stuff. I KNOW. But I'm also a control-freak, and knowledge is power, so just KNOWING what's going on is extremely satisfying to me. If I leave off a couple days then that's that much stuff I have to catch up on. I'm also a geek, so I love being on the cutting edge of new technology or apps or the next "big thing". And, most importantly, these are friends and family, I don't want to miss out on what's happening with them. But, I'm tired. I'm tired of trying to keep track of all this stuff. I wish I had ONE place I could just have everything at a click. Some master interface that would integrate ANY social networking stuff I want to do, that wouldn't be platform proprietary or suck to use.
Anyone found anything that is a MCP for all this stuff? That isn't Apple iCloud?
Thursday, July 7, 2011
If you haven't read the story of how we got our puppy Belle, read Rescue From The Rescue first.
We brought Belle home from the puppy ICU on Wednesday, June 29. They gave us a bunch of antibiotics to keep giving her, plus a list of other things to do like nebulizing and coupaging (which is NOT the same as decoupaging, rather disappointing because I could totally get into puppy decorating).
We could immediately see an improvement in how Belle acted. She had longer periods of time with more energy. Apparently no one explained to her that she's on restricted activity for a month, now that she could breathe better she was in full Puppy Mode. Explore! Chew!
Oh, wait.... rawhide bone!!!
Over the holiday weekend, we went to the family cabin, taking both cats and puppy with us. On the drive there cat Sebastian was freaking out at the moving car, and Belle was a little concerned, so they called a Truce.
Sebastian: Belle, Hold me! Belle: Zzzzzzzzz
They did great at the cabin, though Belle was an early riser every day and trying to keep her quietly occupied so as not to wake everyone else up was a challenge!
Belle had a followup vet appointment today, and her x-rays show that her lungs are getting clearer. She's still a little wheezy when she breathes. Not 100%, but a definite improvement over a week ago. Still on same meds and special care, but there's hope for a full recovery. Her temp and heart rate were perfect. Yay! She's gained a little over 3 lbs since she was there last, probably a lot of it fluid weight from her prior dehydrated state.
Belle's favorite way to sleep is on her back. She also loves belly rubs more than any dog I've ever seen. She's quite the exhibitionist.
Rub it! RUB MAH BELLAH!!!!!!!
Laser Dog commands you to rub the belly!
Belle has decided that Sebastian is one big chew toy. Sebastian actually wrestles with her, and never claws her even though he could.
If Belle gets too rough, he just escapes and hops up somewhere she can't reach. This drives her crazy with frustration, which Sebastian delights in. Sometimes Sebastian stands his ground, and you get the Mexican Puppy Stand-off. Which again drives Belle nuts. Ignore the patch of color on the wall, we're test painting colors to figure out what colors we want to paint the walls.
She loves to sit on the couch with her Daddy.
It's a rough life, but someone's got to do it
And no, the costs have not been exaggerated..
That's just the hospital bill, not our local vet bill. Oy.
A coworker friend Leslie works with animal rescue, and she spread the word about Belle's plight out to the animal lover community and my work. I received an email from Kerry with Animal Advocates in Spokane, Washington saying they wanted to help out with the mounting medical expenses we've been incurring for Belle. Neither Leslie nor I have even met these folks, and they still reached out to us. How awesome is that??
They sent us a card with a generous check made out to Belle's Vet. I can't even thank them enough for their kind hearts in helping our little sweetie get better!!
Hopefully things will continue to progress well, and Belle will make a full recovery. A big THANK YOU to all the friends and family that have expressed their concern and support during this whole situation, it's really helped us stay positive and focus on what is important -- Belle getting better!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Can I go home yet?
So far they've tried several times to ween her off of oxygen, but she's just not able to breathe easily on her own yet. She's in isolation both to prevent spread of any respiratory ailment, as well as because we have STILL yet to get her shot records from the rescue group, so until we get her Distemper test results back as negative (which can take 5-7 days), she's a danger to other dogs.
We visited her last night, and could definately see signs of improvement. Her eyes are clear now, and very little discharge from her nose. She still seems lethargic but definately was interested in us. She's still on IV fluids/meds so her little front right paw is all bandaged up. It didn't seem to bother her except when she sat up and tried to shift herself.
Because she's in isolation, you have maintain the Clean Room, so we had to put on plastic gowns and rubber gloves to be able to enter. Petting a puppy through rubber gloves really sucks, it doesn't feel like you're really comforting her, like you're not really making a connection. It reminded me of the TV series Pushing Daisies where the guy has to pet his dog with a fake articulated hand so he doesn't touch it.
Yeah! That's the spot! Scratch!!
We have yet to actually hear Belle bark, through all of this she has only whined once, otherwise she has been silent, and stoic, and pathetically sad looking. She was still coughing periodically when we saw her.
So bored. They don't even have Animal Planet in here..
You can tell she's lonely, her eyes follow you wherever you move, and if you put your hand in to pet her, she tries to snuggle on you and go to sleep.
It was so hard to leave her there, I can't wait until she's well enough to get off oxygen and start taking oral medicine so she can come home!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
We recently moved into a nice large house, with a big fenced back yard. We acquired a second cat from the pound, and decided it was a good time to get a puppy.
After weeks of contacting breeders and finding out they were too high priced, and scouring websites, we stumbled upon a group called Saving Paws of Washington. They are a local rescue group that specializes in finding homes for dogs from disaster areas. They were planning on bringing up 90-120 dogs from the recent Oklahoma tornado disaster. They have volunteers go down, and video tape the dogs for prospective adopters. We fell in love with a little puppy they called Elisa. She is a lab-hound mix, reddish brown fur and friendly waggy attitude. She is 8-weeks old at the time of the video. We immediately contacted them, and put a deposit down for her. We went out and got various doggie accoutrement, excited and impatient for this new addition to our family. Best of all, she only cost $250 so that was much cheaper than a breeder, and we're giving a needy dog a home!
They told us they were bringing all the dogs up yesterday, they should arrive around 9am. We arranged to pick her up at 5pm. It took us less time to get there than anticipated, so we arrived around 4:30pm. As we walked into the little boarding kennel, the smell hit us. It was rank.. a combination of wet dog, dog urine, and dog feces. The place was rather run down, and dirty, and I was very glad we weren't letting our new puppy stay here a second longer than it took to get her unloaded and into our van. Well... we waited. and waited. They told us that the first of two vans had recently arrived, but that the van with OUR puppy on it was still running behind. We went to hang out at the mall and get a bite to eat for dinner, and then came back around 6:30. Finally at around 7:20 the van shows up. By this time there was a crowd of people all waiting to either adopt or foster, some that had reserved dogs like us, others that had just come to see what was available. We are told that they brought 25-30 dogs in each van. PER VAN.
As we waited a stream of workers started down the path from the van on the other side of the main office to the kennel. Each one was carrying a dog crate that reeked. As we watched, we could see that every single crate had two or even three dogs or puppies in it. Surely, we thought, that was just to bring them from the van to the kennel, right? Wrong. As they started to open up the crates to retrieve the animals, we could see feces and urine matting the shredded newspapers in the bottom of the crates. The animals were FILTHY, and stank so badly it was literally stomach turning. We continued to wait as they slowly processed each dog, bringing some out to the waiting families. They put water bowls down outside for these dogs, who proceeded to drink them dry. We were told that our puppy, whom we renamed Belle, was "in pretty bad shape" along with her brother, who was in worse shape. Wait, what?
In talking to one of the drivers, she tells us they drove 3 straight days from Oklahoma, with only one stop halfway to let the dogs out briefly. No food or water was given to the dogs during the trip. Let me repeat that. NO FOOD OR WATER WAS GIVE TO THE DOGS DURING THE TRIP. We are stunned. The older dogs and older puppies seemed to make the trip in better shape, though some of them are clearly traumatized, they won't allow anyone near them. The little puppies fared the worst. We wait as they get a can of dog food into the puppies, and then bring Belle out to meet us. She is a mess. Her fur stinks, and is coarse. Her eyes are so filled with gunk it's surprising she can see. Her nose is dripping yellow gunk every time she breathes out. She is lethargic and seems numb. Her belly is distended, probably from parasites, and her sides are gaunt. She is shocky.
The volunteer coordinator tells us we can take her to a 24-hr veterinary clinic close by, that they have an account with, and they will pay for treatment for her. We jump on the offer, and hurry her out of there. Her breathing is labored, she is wheezing with each breath, coughing from phlegm in her lungs. We head over to the clinic, finding it in a bad area of town. It's dirty inside, and hot, and they are short-staffed so we wait and wait to see the one vet. While we wait we use their little water cooler and get little cups of water to give Belle water. She drinks 3 little cups rapidly, then subsides back into lethargic suffering. As we're waiting, two more of the rescue puppies get brought in by their families, including Belle's little sister Ava. She is smaller than Belle, and black. She is so listless that she won't even drink the water they offer her.
Belle's sister Ava
Waiting to be called back to the vet / Waiting for the vet
The vet finally comes in to check over Belle. He confirms she is severely dehydrated. There is noise in her lungs when she breathes. She has a fever. She probably has "an upper respiratory infection." He says she can either stay with an IV for fluids, or he can give her a shot of fluids under the skin and send us home with antibiotics and a cough suppressant. We'd rather she stay, but when they check with Saving Paws (the rescue people who caused this trauma to her in the first place), they say they don't want to pay for that, to send us home with meds. They give her an antibiotic shot, a shot of fluids, and we're sent home with two pill form antibiotics and a liquid cough suppressant.
We get her home, upon setting her down on the floor she immediately wobbles over to a corner in the foyer and pees on the floor. Well, at least she's eliminating. We feed her some wet food and give her water. She inhales both of them voraciously, then seems to run out of energy and flops onto the floor. We put her into her big doggie bed (she's supposed to grow into it), and she falls into a restless, cough-filled sleep. The pile of doggie toys that we had gleefully picked out lays to the side, she has no energy to even show interest in them. This pattern repeats all night. Lem stayed up with her through the night monitoring her breathing, taking her out to go potty and trying to get as much food and water into her as she can hold.
Sebastian: What the hell IS that thing??
I got up at 6:30am to take over for Lem, he went to bed, and again it was feed/water, wait about 20 min, try to take her potty, then let her collapse in wheezing sleep for a couple of hours at a time.
Briefly on her feet to go potty
No, really.. what the heck IS that?!
I give her a super-quick bath to try to get rid of the stench of her, she wasn't thrilled by it.
Can I go back to sleep now?
Sebastion: You still stink.
By the time Lem got up later this morning, it was obvious she wasn't doing much better. Her breathing was more labored, she was still completely lethargic. We decide to take her in to see our vet, who has Saturday hours. Her temp is up to 103.9 (normal is 100-102). After a vet check, she recommends we do x-rays of her lungs. They look filled with fluid, and the vet fears pneumonia. She also finds parasites in Belle's stool that she's taken an internal sample of, since Belle has still only urinated since we got her. The vet sends us over to a 24-hour emergency vet hospital so they can get her on IV Fluids, and shot antibiotics.
While we're waiting the 40 minutes to see the vet there, Belle starts going into periodic respiratory distress. Her lungs are so full of fluid she is finding it too difficult to fight to breath, so stops breathing for several seconds interspersed with her rapid, frantic gasping wheezing breathes. I run out the lobby and grab the vet that is debriefing the previous patient's owners. He runs back with me, and immediately rushes her back and starts her on oxygen. That was scary as hell. We finally see him, and he lets us know it's pneumonia. He's going to send the x-rays to the guy that reads them to verify. He says she has to stay minimum 24-48 hours, maybe even up to 5-7 days. She'll be on oxygen, they'll do IV fluids and antibiotics, and she may or may not live. They also need to run an array of tests to make sure it's not distemper (since Saving Paws has yet to give us any shot records, though they claimed to have given her 2 sets of shots already), or heart worms, or lung worms, or anything else gross and fatal. The estimated cost of the stay, depending on if she's out in 2 days, or has to stay up to 5 days, is anywhere from $1400-$3200. Our $250 dog has now surpassed the cost of any of the dogs we had coveted at the breeders. We've had her less than 24 hours.
We now wait to see if she makes it, and how long she'll have to be there. Not sure how we'll pay for it, but she's part of the family now. If we had tried to take her back, even if we wanted to, she would have died in that place for sure.
This is Belle, sleeping in exhaustion and trying to breathe, right before she started having serious breathing issues and had to be taken back and put on oxygen.
Here's hoping she pulls through this and becomes a permanent part of our family.
ps. And yes, we're reporting Saving Paws for animal cruelty.
UPDATED 6/26: As of this morning, Belle is still alive. She's slightly improved, eating, done a bowel movement. They hope to have her off oxygen by the end of today. No idea when she'll get to come home.
UPDATED 6/27: Belle is still on oxygen. She has ring worms and they have to test for distemper since we still have yet to get the shot records (if any) from Saving Paws. She has a good appetite, but gets winded easily and is coughing a lot. No ETA on when she'll come home.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Yes, that's right.. Edward and Bella, side by side. Now if only it was Jacob's Pizza.
Just in case you're on a long road trip, and you want to keep track of your deceased mini-passengers:
Possibly repeats, but in case you haven't seen them:
Careful, that stuff will go right to your head. Don't lose it!
Mmm.. A Puffin in every bite!
The only time this phrase is acceptable.
I'm tempted to get this, and send it to everyone I don't like. After I torture The Bieb by poking him to make him sing.
Ok this last one has so much WIN I almost bought it JUST because I wanted to encourage their marketing dept. to continue to think this way: