April 10th began just like any other day, except it wasn’t. Usually Ruby greeted me at the bedroom door, overjoyed to see me, but this time she didn’t.

It didn’t take long to discover that sometime between 1:30 am, when Mr. K went to bed, and 4 am, when I got up, she had died on the couch in the same spot he had last seen her.

Everybody tells us we should be thankful she died peacefully.

But we didn’t get time for a proper good bye.

She was nine years-old, but because she was white we didn’t see her graying muzzle, so she was forever young in our minds.

And she still partied like a rock star, if only for shorter periods.

She had had a great day on Monday.

We just weren’t prepared.

This is a devastating loss for us. She had such a huge presence, which makes us even more aware of the deafening quiet.

And this next part of the story makes me cry every time I think of it. You can believe it or don”t. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it myself.

DammitDiesel had an odd habit of carrying three pieces of dog food into the living room and laying them on the carpet at Ruby’s feet. Occasionally he’d miscount, but, for the most part, it was three pieces of food, and always on the carpet.

A couple of days after Rubys death we had some errands to run.

When we returned we found exactly three pieces of dog food on the couch, in the spot where she’d last been.

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The Blame Game

I still can’t fully process the events that took place in Newtown CT yesterday and I’ve spent the last 24 hours avoiding numerous discussions about those events.

But in looking at it with fresh eyes this morning, I’m beginning to see a common theme; people want something or someone to blame. I see them blaming the guns, blaming the mother and even blaming President Bush for allowing the ban on assault weapons to expire.

You know what I think? I think the blame lies solely with Adam Lanza, who broke numerous laws when he took stolen guns into a gun free zone.

Maybe what we need to do is make murder illegal. Oh wait, that’s right, it already is. So there’s yet another law he broke.

I abhor what happened in CT. My heart bleeds for those families. But how can anyone honestly believe that more laws would have prevented it? This man had issues that we’ll never understand… and he took those issues to an elementary school. The law was meaningless to him.

I know the requirements vary from state to state, and even county to county, but in this county you have to attend a three hour safety course and provide the names of four character references, all of whom have to provide written information, and at least one of them will be selected for a personal interview. You’re interviewed by a pistol permit officer, fingerprinted and they perform both a a criminal and mental-health background check before a CCW permit is issued.

So tell me, what more should be required of a law abiding citizen before they can legally own a handgun? Seriously. I welcome discussion here. Because I certainly don’t have the answers.

But I do know this… banning guns is not the solution. Because those intent on committing crimes will always have access to them. And while I believe that those of you calling for a ban have the right to rely on local law enforcement to protect you (even if their response time is often too late) I also believe others should have the right to choose to defend themselves and their families from the Adam Lanzas of the world.

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I Hate People Today

I just learned about this. I don’t watch the news, and Mr. K is under strict orders not to relay it to me. But I was in the wrong place at the wrong time online today and caught this headline

16-wk-old puppy lit on fire in Buffalo

Peoples capacity for cruelty is beyond my comprehension.

Stories like this hurt my soul…

Updated: Monday, 29 Oct 2012, 7:07 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 29 Oct 2012, 7:07 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Authorities believe someone sprayed a 16-week-old Jack Russell Terrier with lighter fluid before setting it on fire.

Buffalo Police, Buffalo Fire and Buffalo Animal Control were called to Herman Street on Monday after a homeowner returned and found the puppy in the backyard. Officials say the puppy was no longer on fire when they arrived, but its fur was charred and its skin burnt.

The animal had gone into shock and was taken to the vet. Though the injuries are serious, officers say it is expected to survive.

The investigation into the crime continues.

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Shame on Us

The Gulf oil spill is now two+ weeks old and still gushing more than 200,000 gallons of oil a day. The magnitude of this disaster is incomprehensible. My heart breaks when I think of the the environmental and ecological impact this is going to have. And though it’s easy to sit in front of a computer screen and point fingers, I don’t blame Transocean Ltd, Haliburton or BP nearly as much as I blame us, and our excessive American lifestyle.

We’re self-indulgent, arrogant, bottled-water guzzling, Hummer-driving egotists. Petroleum is used in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. We consume oil, not to mention all other resources, in HUGE volume, with little thought to consequence, and little respect for the planet or the other species we share it with.

Did you know that it takes approx. 17 million barrels of crude oil just to produce the bottled water we consume annually in this country? That’s 17 million barrels. And that’s not counting the transportation to bring it to the store shelves, where we’ll happily pay $2 a bottle for it. WTF?

But hey, lucky for us, we are at the top of the food chain. So who’s to stop us?

Besides, who needs coastlines anyway? Or wetlands. Or manatees…

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Holy Crap…

I can not even begin to describe the torment that is poison ivy.

They should be using this stuff to interrogate terrorists.

To take my mind off the itching, I ate my way through an entire pan of Ghirardelli Ultimate Chocolate Brownies.

Unfortunately the distraction was only temporary. I’m itching again, and I’ve no doubt gained a pound.

I hate to mix medications, but since this appears to be something that chocolate can’t cure, I think I’m going to spend the afternoon with a bottle of vodka.

It’s bound to work eventually… and with fewer calories.

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poisonivyIn case you don’t know what poison ivy looks like, here’s a picture…

Trust me, if you didn’t know what it looked like you need to study this picture.

And if you did know, then you need to pay attention.

I wasn’t paying attention.

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I normally don’t pay much attention to the news. I find it’s bad for my digestion. But this week it’s been kind of difficult to ignore the David Carradine story.

And it makes me wonder if I’m the only person on this planet that feels outraged by the media’s handling of his death? IMO, the details weren’t necessary. A simple “died suddenly” would have sufficed.

So despite whatever else he accomplished in his life, he will forever be remembered as the old dude who accidentally killed himself during auto-erotic asphyxiation. WTH. He had family for crissake. Isn’t it bad enough that they’ve lost a loved one? To have the details (and photos) of his death publicized as they’ve been is unconscionable.

No doubt Mr. Carradine would have preferred that his kink be kept private. I’m betting his family would have preferred it that way too. And since there was no threat to national security, I don’t see how the public is entitled to the mental pictures being drawn by the media.

Problem is, these types of “news” stories sell papers and magazines.

I will never understand the public’s obsession with celebrity.

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Mother Nature is a Cruel Beotch

I’ve always had great respect for nature and our planet. I recycle, I repurpose, I don’t use pesticides/insecticides and if I ever caught you littering it would not be pretty. I even practice catch and release. Well…. unless it’s a spider bigger than a daddy-long-legs. Those I leave to Mr. Kewlstuff, who surprisingly enough, is not afraid of them!?! (Personally, I think it’s all just an act, and on the inside he’s really screaming like a girl. Seriously, who’s not afraid of spiders? That’s just not possible.)

Anyway, the point is, I try to tread lightly. Leave a small footprint. Not interfere.

But after this week, I’m rethinking the interfering part.

The bunny story did not end well, although the dogs played no further role in it. Within 36 hrs. I realized the doe was not returning to the nest to feed the babies. By the time I secured the proper replacement formula, including the acidophilus necessary for their digestion, it was too late. Everything I read said DO NOT remove those babies from their nest. I should have followed my gut on this one and removed them immediately.

So, if that wasn’t bad enough…

Ya know, when that Robin decided to build her nest on the porch, my first instinct was to stop her. The Phoebe had seniority. But again, I didn’t want to interfere, and figured that they’d work it out. I thought the Phoebe had accepted the fact that her new neighbor was here to stay. They wouldn’t turn their backs on each other, but they dutifully stayed on their respective nests. Night before last, on my way into bed, I noticed that the Phoebe was not on the nest. After watching her raise eight broods over the last four years I knew she would NEVER have just abandoned it. This wasn’t going to end well either.

We checked the next morning. Two of the three eggs had hatched, but both hatchlings were dead. I suspect the male Robin had something to do with it. He’d been hanging around a lot the past few days, and since he’s three times the size of a Phoebe, I think he strong-armed them into leaving.

Again, had I followed my gut the ending would have been much different.

Yea, I know only the strong survive. blah. blah. blah. But from now on, I’m going to do what I can to make sure that at least some of the weak ones survive too. I prefer happy endings.

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My Week – The Condensed Version

Okay, so my posts have been few and far between lately. My day job is in overdrive and it seems I haven’t had a minute to spare for the last couple of weeks.

Of course Murphy’s Law rules my life, so when I haven’t a moment to spare, that’s when everything goes amok.

This week;

1. I skated through dog puke at 5am in my stocking feet.

2. The power goes out for about 45 seconds and *poof*. The client’s file that I was working on just disappears. Yes, I had a back-up. That doesn’t make it any less aggravating.

3. After updating my anti-virus program I’m getting false-positive virus alerts whenever I attempt to do anything within my Word Press dashboard. These alerts require a response each and every time they pop up… making it nearly impossible to navigate in here.

4. In the midst of making my kajillionth pot of coffee a client calls. I proceed to finish setting up the coffee maker whilst finishing our conversation, so my mind isn’t completely on the task at hand. When I return to the kitchen I find coffee every where. The counter, the floor, the cupboards. Every. Where. I forgot to put a filter in the basket. Turns out that without a filter the drain in the basket plugs with freshly ground coffee, so instead of draining into the pot, it has nowhere to go but up and out. Just this week I have made coffee with – a) no coffee b) no water c) no filter. None of these methods turns out well but c) is definitely the biggest PITA.

5. Google took over feedburner behind my back. This means my feed address has changed. I’ve updated the addy and can access my feed in Firefox, but I can not access it through IE. I. Don’t. Have. Time. For. This.

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What’s in Your Wallet?

Saturday I received the following “important notice of a change in terms” to my Capital One Visa;

“Due to extraordinary changes in the economic environment, we’re reviewing our existing credit card accounts. Having considered these economic conditions, your account’s current Purchase rate, and the length of time you’ve had this rate and account, we will be increasing your Purchase rate to (insert gasp here) 15.9%”

What kinda crap is that? My current rate is 7.41%!

So apparently, to reward me for making ALL of my payments in advance of the due date, for paying the balance when possible….but always more than the minimum each month, for being a responsible Visa card holder….my interest rate will more than DOUBLE!

So, I figure I have three options;

1. Call and refuse the new terms, thereby closing the account, then paying the balance per the terms of the current agreement – even though we all know that closing accounts is not good for the ‘ole FICO score.

2. Pay the card off in its entirety, leaving the account open so as not to impact my FICO – but exposing myself to annual membership fees on a card I vow to never use again.

3. Stop making payments entirely until they’ll renegotiate the terms. Screw the FICO score – it obviously means nothing anyway.

I’m usually a roll-with-the-punches kinda gal. I don’t get riled often. But I am seriously considering option #3. It’s about time consumers stood up for themselves. I’m tired of being taken for some special kind of stupid. I’m tired of what amounts to corporate bondage. I’m tired of being nickeled and dimed to death. And it’s high time the banking industry was held accountable for lending $50,000 a year wage-earners the money to purchase 1/2 million dollar homes.

Dear Crapital One,

I am committed to providing you with honest and open communications.

Please be advised that due to extraordinary changes in my economic environment, I have reviewed my existing Crapital One credit card account. Having considered my economic conditions, my account’s current Purchase rate, and the length of time I’ve had this rate and account, I will be decreasing my Purchase rate to 0%. This change becomes necessary in light of the fact that you have already received $3.56 billion dollars in taxpayer funded bail-out money. Since I am a taxpayer, I have already met my obligation to you. To decline this change, please call 1-800-BITE-ME by 8:00pm ET, April 17, 2009.


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