Thursday, December 31, 2009

Some faves from 2009




tying up 2009 loose ends

Whole bunch of projects happened in the last few months of 2009.

I made five polymer clay Christmas tree ornaments (and only took pictures of one of them before giving them away as gifts).

Christmas tree

Some salt dough halloween goblin heads:


Had my first baby portrait session.




I'm very happy with 2009. I have high hopes for 2010. I hope you have a great year as well!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Local wildlife

IMG_8048 cougar sighting

As illustrated by diagram one, I live on the edge of a small town. But my house is also firmly ensconced in suburbia. Deer, coyotes, nutria, foxes, raccoons... they've all wandered to within less than 50 yards from my street, but I've never seen any come closer. I assume because of the lights and traffic.

My next door neighbor went out for a smoke two nights ago and practically stepped on on a cougar. They're not rare in this area, but it's strange that this one ventured so far into suburbia. According to the state trooper who stopped by, there have been four other sightings in the nearby neighborhoods.

Looks like we picked a good time to go to California. I'll have to ask mom to be extra careful not to let the cats out when she feeds them this week.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

No-Kill myths and resources

I'll go ahead and admit that I've drunk of the Winograd koolaid long and deep.

This post is mainly for my own reference.

~No Kill Advocacy Center
~The no kill nation
~Maddie's Fund

Bite-sized articles:
~What the naysayers say
~Why naysayers are in denial
~No Kill Philosophy in a nutshell
~The no kill equation
~What are animal shelters for?
~Video on animal sheltering
~Pet overpopulation is a myth
~Pet overpopulation is a myth
~Pet overpopulation is a myth
~Pet Underpopulation
~More myths
~Clearing up confusion
~By the numbers
~More tips to stop the killing
~2 myths debunked: "warehousing" and "limited admission"
~Myth of limited admission
~"Why can't I just be happy that at least some shelter pets are saved, even if most are killed?"
~Blaming the public
~Blaming the public
~Not trusting the public
~Sample success stories
~Success stories
~Success story in Chicago
~Why people don't adopt
~Disgruntled former employee is negative about new no-kill policies
~success story in rural VA
~blue-light-specials: not a bad thing
~More adoptions are always possible (bluelight specials!)
~Success story in NV
~What works in Calgary
~Shelters are for animals in need
~Cruel to be kind?
~Don't trust the public
~No kill policies save money
~Awesome policy for seniors and senior pets
~Fewer impounds equals less killing
~No kill is what the public wants
~Statement to NYS Legislature in Support of Oreo’s Law
~What's so scary about not killing shelter pets?

Not all shelters are "just doing the best they can"
~Shelter Tour
~Killing lost dogs and staff charged with animal cruelty
~Shelter kills Oreo despite alternative
~Poor financial decisions in San Fran
~No home is good enough
~Incenting ACO's to seize pets
~Killing before trying in NY
~Shelter directors can be heartless and lazy
~Shelter managers aren't always compassionate
~More people who weren't good enough to adopt
~Homes that are good enough
~Killing kittens
~Volunteers fired for caring for kittens
~Toronto Humane Society
~Shelter laziness
~No kill confusion
~It won't work if you don't try
~Judge to shelter: stop killing redeemable pets
~County tells shelter volunteers to shut up about problems
~Dead cats and politics in Toronto shelter
~Shelter kills lost police dog
~Shelters who silence critics
~Some GA shelter numbers and apathy
~Discouraging adoption and high kill rates
~Shelter killed owner's dogs, doesn't know what happened
~Needless cruelty by shelter workers in NC

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Amusing note on muscle memory


Muscle memory is funny. I'm making a saddle for a toy horse and the cinch is modeled off a western saddle. It's the type I'm most familiar with. So familiar, apparently, that just now when I went to test out the newly finished girth, I started tightening it way tighter than a toy saddle needs to be. 'Oh, right,' I thought to myself, 'this horse isn't real.'

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Retrieverman reminds me that this needs as much exposure as possible.

Every time I see this, I think of Alien: Resurrection. Especially the scene where Ripley confronts the alien-human hybrid while the scientist in the background goes on and on about his wonderful, beautiful butterfly.

You don't need laboratories and fancy equipment to create crippled monsters.

Just because you can create something, doesn't mean you should.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Animals as food

Wow, that seems to be the theme this week in my blog roll.

First Gina Spadafori says everything I want to say, and more.

A great essay from Dr. Khuly about DIY slaughter and the ethics of eating animals.

Skepchick asks what species people won't eat, and why.

Slightly related: Fugly Horse of the Day with (yet more) about horse slaughter.

And in my own life: I bought my hunting license, my dad got a deer (and said he'll share! Yay!), I discovered a farm within walking distance that sells cheap free-range eggs, and I made a delicious stew from the lamb that I helped my dad slaughter, skin, clean and butcher.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009


Once again, Gina Spadafori is more succinct and elegant than I could be:

"Because if you’re going to eat meat — and I do, and so do my dogs and cats — you’re going to kill or have something killed on your behalf. (Actually, that’s even true of vegans: Countless numbers of small birds and animals are killed when those soy fields are harvested. It’s a fact: It you live, something will die. It’s the circle of life, folks, and one day you, yes you and me, too, will be the food for maggots, beetles and bacteria.)"

There's not many people I find myself agreeing with all the time, but she appears to be one of them.

(Dad got a black tail yesterday. In his words, "We eat good this winter")

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sick today

And when Suzanne is home from work with a fever, she does silly things. Like spend the afternoon vintage-izing digital photographs:





Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poor planning

I have nothing against the killing of wolves per se. I can't see myself doing it personally.

But doncha think (I'm talking to you, Montana) it gets a little weird to allow hunting 4 months after a species' removal from the endangered species list? Especially when hunters end up bagging two radio-collared females from the packs you were studying?

I mean, is that not awkward? Couldn't you have, I dunno, waited at least a year or something?

(nicked from Bioephemera)

Neighbor puts lien on dog after volunteering to pet-sit

Apparently mixed breed terriers are valuable now. I'm going to call my local shelter and tell them about the gold mine they're sitting on. And to think they've been adopting out dogs just like this for only $100!

(nicked from stupidpetowners)

Monday, October 19, 2009

How proud is Zelda...

...of getting a 6th place ribbon at her first agility trial?

This proud:


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shrewsberry Faire

I love ren faires. But I admit I go to them for two main reasons.

The animals:





And the costumes:




...and the animals in costumes:



... and the animals that are part of costumes:


(Also, I apparently can't tell the difference between "save" and "publish". So this entry is back dated to when I wrote it.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Natural is Better!"

I hate when people argue thoughtlessly from this stance.

Check out the teeth of this wild dog (living the most natural life possible).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I would like to show you something

You see this face right here?


This is the very face of Patience.


Also: more than a little skeptical.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Behold the carnage

Labor Day evening we had a little adventure. I'm only sharing about it now because our house is finally returning to normal. I've successfully made it to the "and now we can laugh about it" stage of this little journey.

Here's a tip, kids: don't try to multi-task while a quart of vegetable shortening is boiling on the stove. Fun fact: an electric stove does in fact put out enough heat to cause Crisco to spontaneously combust.




Another fun fact: when you use a dry chemical fire extinguisher in a room, it will get on EVERYTHING in that room. Including things inside cupboards and refrigerators.


this comic so perfectly fits my sense of humor there are no other words to describe it

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vintage + dog = awesome

Via the Pet Connection Blog, we find this delightful website of vintage dog photos.

I want more!

So I'm totally going to steal Kim Campbell Thornton's idea and post some of my own. Or, really, my parents'.

Dad as a teenager(?) with the family dog Shadow.

Dad with a relative's dog during a family vacation by the lake.

Mom and dad with their dogs.

Dad's dog Zeke as a puppy. Zeke is actually pretty famous and deserves his own blog post at some point.