Going green: I didn’t mean my sinuses had to save the earth too

I have never been considered a shiny-happy, uplifting person to be around. I’m known for sarcasm and associated with the phrase Get Over It. But goodness, I hope I don’t come across as whiny. I’m sure there are some days that I do, no doubt about it. Still, there’s a blog I keep going back to because this poor, poor person just has so many annoying relatives and bad things happening to her and she just keeps making excuses about how it’s never her fault, her life is unfair, she surely couldn’t do anything to improve her lot, and when things get better she’ll do x and y and never complain…. then good things happen and guess what? She complains. I can’t stop reading it because I wonder how hypocritical the next post will sound. Ok, now I’m sounding bitter. I guess I’m just glad I’m not around this person, say, at work, because I think she’d drive me crazy! I don’t think this blogger reads here so if you’re all paranoid or something, don’t be. Most blogs I find either funny/entertaining/interesting/educational or just realize I don’t have a lot in common with the person but it’s their life so hey, blog what you want. I rarely visit I Can Has Cheezburger either but I see why it has a following.

Ah, the internet. One of the best inventions ever. Why is watching other people whine or fight with each other so entertaining? When my grouplist readings lapse as I get busy, I sometimes stop back in only when I get an announcement that it’s back on moderation due to some controversy. That’s a great time to get caught up!

Meanwhile, if you work in a cubicle and have a computer and coworkers around, this video will make you laugh. Note the Lundberg guy. My favorite part is the CRT on the copy machine because the guy can’t get his document to print.
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My work week has been pretty intense, but so far my laptop has cooperated, so I’ll let it live.

And pet sterilization is now the law in Los Angeles!

Now I shall whine: I have had a sinus infection for over a week, and I’m tired of the reverse-sneeze-sounding (you’ll know what it is if you have a dog) attempts to get the green strings to either be in my nasal area or in my throat but not stretched in a gooey line to be in both places at the same time. I can actually pluck them out like a slimy noodle. Gross, huh?

Recycling teeth

So, any guesses on how much I’ll get for cashing in my old crowns? (Hint: you are looking at three to four thousand dollars of work, and my guess is dividing that by 100 will be close.)
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And here’s the evidence of the long restoration:

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Scene of the crimes (looks like it was impression day based on the pink goo in the gun)

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Taking measurements with molds (you should have seen the crazy contraption I wore on my head when they adjusted my bite)

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Rare footage of the prepped front teeth. This was in May, and I wore resin fakes for several months while the rest of the teeth were prepped and then permanent crowns were made. I think the lowers in front may have been already shaved in this picture in prep for veneers… I don’t even recognize my old teeth anymore.

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And finally, in the little bathroom next to the clinic, someone had made repairs in the wall with a rather janky patch. Sometime after this helpful graffiti, it was more properly repaired. The clinic is on IU’s Indy campus, and the whole place has the flavor of state university rather than traditional dentist. (One place I looked when deciding how to do this project had LCD screens on articulated arms at each dental chair so you could watch cable while waiting and be sold dental procedures with video explanations.) I appreciate that state school dollars aren’t being wasted on decor (or drywall patches, apparently). Maybe some money will be freed up now that the basketball coach is gone.

I won AGAIN

Let me tell you about the time I won jewelry because of my guinea pigs. There was this contest on the radio that I used to hear on my way to work in Culver, IN, ca. late nineties. I worked in a barn-turned-lab with a host of interesting characters, where we made antibiotics and had old mustard gas out in the back forty sheds. Everyone needs a job like that when they’re just out of college. Nowhere else I’ve worked have I gotten drunk IN the company break room WITH the general manager. Anyway, a local grocery store, Martin’s (remarked by more than one of my outta town boyfriends {not that I’ve had very many} to be the blood-dripping or vampire grocery store because of the way the letters look; the blood thing ties in in a minute–you’ll see!), sponsored the radio contest. The DJ would ask a question that would require one to look at that week’s Martin’s grocery ad to find the price of a certain sale item. If you called in with the price, you won something.

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Well, the question was about the price of parsley. Now, I had guinea pigs, and for as long as I’d had pigs, parsley was free at Martin’s with any other produce purchase. I buy a hell of a lot of parsley these days for rabbits and I sure wish we had that deal around here. (I did get an amazing deal on parsley this week: check out this single bunch that was selling for 89¢!)
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My dad, the only person I know who looks out for even better deals than I do, was all about the free parsley when I was a kid and our pigs sure ate a lot of it. So I called in on my way to work (I can’t believe I had a cell phone then–I bet it was that bag phone) and won a gift certificate to a jewelry store in downtown Mishawaka. I think I may have gotten a bracelet with it, or perhaps I never redeemed it. Anyway, that’s the last contest I remember winning. The other significant one I remember was betting against the Cubs and the Pirates won so my brother had to clean the guinea pig cages, but that predated the parsley contest by several years.

So earlier this week I won a $25 gift card at Hope for the Hopeless because I gave blood in January. Then tonight I found out I also won the blood-donation contest at Manic Mommy’s blog! (Watch the video at the end of the post to see all the names pulled.) There were 33 entries (4.125 gallons!) and several prizes, and somehow I won the biggest one! I swear I don’t know these people–I don’t even know where they live–but karma or something has it in for me in a good way these days. This comes on the heels of several financial windfalls of sorts (I did deserve/earn some of the others), but then February always seems lucky since my birthday, tax returns, raises and bonuses, and paying off the holiday bills while simultaneously not having as many expenses because it’s too cold to go do anything all happen about the same time.

Do you ever have lucky spells? I do. I don’t want to believe in spells of luck, but I do feel like I have them. I also have bad luck spells (I think the last one was a car wreck, two tires blown out by potholes, and some major home repair happening at the same time), but I notice/appreciate the good luck more. They do seem to come in threes, like the fabled deaths-at-the-same-time, but maybe it takes that many in a row for anyone to notice something as a trend. I don’t know what defines a statistical trend but I bet three in a row isn’t enough. We usually go by a run of seven at work, but I suppose it’s case by case, depends on the number of data points, and the limits/standard deviation.

ANYWAY.

I thought I’d take a Publisher’s Clearing House winner picture (in other words, sitting right here at my desk without combing my hair or getting out of my sweats covered in bunny fur) with my dog, who I thanked in my acceptance speech over at Manic Mommy’s comments, and the pictures turned out like a photo booth event! They are not unlike the one I posted in my Yahoo! Personals ad years ago that netted me a few losers and then finally David. My ad was titled Good Speller Seeks Same. He must’ve been one because he didn’t even have a picture on his ad and I went out with him anyway.
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So, as I told Manic Mommy I’d do, I plan to give most of the winnings to the bunny rescue. But I really like this shirt that is part of the prize! I might drown in it, though.
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It occurred to me that I’ve donated blood in Muncie, South Bend, Seymour, and Indianapolis (those are all Indiana towns, you visitors), as well as Massachusetts and Florida. I really get around!

Have you donated blood lately?

Adding this the next day:
Lest my goofiness over winning and all cloud the big picture, I do have to remember there are real people out there being helped. Sure, I think of accident victims and the acute need for blood. But this woman, Billie, has a serious illness and has blood components delivered to her body every month, which have been pooled from thousands of people! Such medical intervention is amazing to me and makes a single donation seem so small.
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I truly am lucky that I am healthy and that the people close to me are too.

Milo, TV star

This morning, my foster bunny Milo was on the Fox59 morning news during a pet segment with Indy Tails Magazine (we know their representative, Erin, as a vet tech at one of our local bunny-specialist clinics). Indy Tails had featured the Critter Castle, which Milo modeled.

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Erin posing with Milo
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We may have our own segment closer to Easter as well.

February is national Adopt a Rescued Rabbit month! Indiana House Rabbit Society has about 60 foster rabbits currently looking for homes. We just rescued our 400th rabbit in January, Arwen!

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Arwen was starving in an outdoor hutch along with her bunny friends. A stranger fed the neglected rabbits and finally convinced the owners to relinquish them instead of eat them. Arwen is recovering from ear mites and spay and will be up for adoption soon.

Even the pretty black and white ones

I heard about the slaughterhouse video from the Humane Society of the United States a couple of weeks ago, but did not watch it because I’m way too sensitive for stuff like that. This morning coworkers were talking about the massive beef recall it spawned, one person yelling for the other to stop talking about it because she couldn’t think about the downed animals, and the other coming to my desk to tell me he was done eating beef and that the processors should be put in jail for endangering human life. This struck me as interesting (and depressing) on a couple of points: first, that people don’t want to face horrible things about animal suffering and just prefer to let it continue, and then that other people aren’t concerned at all about the animals and just want to sue over mad cow disease.

Obviously we all have different motivators, shock-inducers, thresholds for action, what have you. Had it not been for the work of undercover animal rights investigators, though, who are vilified or considered crazy by the average person and targeted by ridiculous laws like AETA, my average American coworkers would not have to face knowing that yes, cattle in slaughterhouses are abused, and that yes, you might eat tainted meat from sick livestock.

I’m just wearied by the news and not interested in passing judgment. I think it will take a bigger wake up call than this, though, for people to incorporate a little compassion and safety into their hamburgers.

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In the video, workers are seen kicking cows, ramming them with the blades of a forklift, jabbing them in the eyes, applying painful electrical shocks and even torturing them with a hose and water in attempts to force sick or injured animals to walk to slaughter.

I still haven’t watched the video. You can read the HSUS article, where there is a link to the video if you can stomach it. There is also a short New York Times article about the recall. Much of the beef went to school lunch programs and food for the elderly, poor, etc.

I won!

Another installment of Amy Downloads Camera Phone Pictures!

Walt removes stuffing from yet another toy. (There was another casualty later that night.)
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I’m king of the world! (He fell asleep on top of the pigloo later.)
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Ah, Valentine’s Day… Hug’s and Kissess for everyone. Love, Kroger
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I made jacket potatoes stuffed with sauteed garlic and baby portobello mushrooms, tofu, and the insides of the potatoes… then happened to heat up a fake chicken breast thing (also made from mycoprotein: a whole fungus meal!), resulting in a strangely symmetrical plate. David had seared ahi tuna, the more normal plate in the background. Note our OSB-topped coffee table.
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Miffi grabbed all the carrots when I was trying to give her only the green tops.
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Last week was one of extremes. Work sucked ass (even at home every night on my laptop, pager, and cell phone), but then had high points as we solved issues and I had good financial news, including finding out that I’m done paying for my teeth (for you newcomers, that’s 26 crowns and a bunch of ancillary work). My birthday was one of the sucky work days, then spent visiting David’s mom as she came home from the hospital without an appendix, then trying a new-to-us Iraqi restaurant that disappointed. After the good financial news (good enough that I still did this after having car repairs and dog grooming expenses that same day), we went to R Bistro for a really nice $$$ dinner. We haven’t been out to a place with a fancy chef in a long time and it was really wonderful. I’ve never had butternut squash, spinach, and goat cheese with Buerre blanc before.

Now completing a tiring weekend by snacking on real parmesan (not going to attempt the long/real spelling) and red wine… mmm.

Oh! And I won one of the bloody contests! Of course the award was a gift card to a steakhouse, so she’s adjusting it a bit. 🙂 Anyway, lots of people gave blood during Melissa and Manic Mommy‘s contests, which is really the point. My entry was a January donation.

I’d say the week ended on an up note!

Nicky: This blog saved a life

Updated below

The cocker spaniel stray I took to the pound on Saturday was quite scared at the shelter. He did really well with me, but wasn’t so good once there. But check this out:

    My friend Dawn (runs our rabbit rescue) reads the blog post and calls another friend Kate (does rabbit rescue and poodle rescue, but I didn’t know she knew some folks in cocker rescue!). Kate contacts her cocker rescue people and starts the conversation about helping this dog. They say this pound doesn’t have a very good record with scared cockers, unfotunately. A shelter volunteer recently had to plead with staff to save a cocker’s life by letting it go to rescue.
    Kate calls the pound and gets the dog’s ID and learns he has been tagged “very fearful,” which is basically a death sentence. I think he was only being held because strays are kept for a certain number of days. Kate asks the pound to call her before euthanizing him. Meanwhile, a cocker rescue says they will take him if the pound will release him to them, and Kate finds a helpful person at the shelter too!
    By now the dog’s cage bears a sign that says “Do not euthanize, contact Kate/cocker rescue!”

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    Doggie goes to his rescue foster home on Tuesday!

The pound had given the pup a heartworm test but couldn’t vaccinate him because he was fearful and wanted to bite. The foster home says he’s doing better now that he is in a safer environment and he will be bathed/groomed today. They think he’s just over a year old but has been outside fending for himself most of that time.

Hooray for the saved doggie! Thanks to Indy Cocker Haven and Indiana Cocker Rescue for helping!

Update from his foster mom:

Kate,

Thank you for sending me Amy’s assessment of “Nicky”. At least this is the new name I have given him and he seems to like it. Yes, he is now jumping on me and acting quite Jolly when free and runs right outside and has now learned to go into his crate for a treat.

We did tackle some grooming and a bath this evening which was not fun for Nicky or for me. He was terrified of just the scissors, let alone a razor, so we had to drag out the muzzle, so that I could at least trim all of the mats out with the scissors before getting a bath. I was able to trim one foot of toe nails, but will wait for help to hold him to finish that as well as any razor triming on his face. We did his bath and once I saw that he was going to settle down in the tub I removed the muzzle so we could have a clean face as well. He actually was quite good with the bath and it was a good thing as he was loaded with fleas, which I suspicioned . At least he now is flea free and clean and partially trimmed. I decided when he goes down to be neutered , they can trim his nails and his muzzle while he is under anesthesia. This will help this time and let him settle in easier before having to endure the final grooming . They don’t usually mind the clippers on there neck etc, like they do there muzzle.

I think he will be okey, but I don’t feel I will place him with children. Might have to watch that biting when he gets scared or is in strange situations.

Ruth Ann

Guess what I found

Heading home from gym/grocery shopping/lunch carryout, I stopped for fuel. The pay-at-pump was messed up so I had to go inside to wait in line behind people buying cigarettes and lotto to get the pump started, so I was at the gas station longer than normal. As I was finishing fueling, a stray dog came wandering through the pumps. One guy told it to go home and everyone else ignored it. He was heading for a very busy street, so I chased/called/coaxed the dog to come to me and I put him in the car to take to the pound.

(This is the part where I drive away after the flurry of activity, hoping this stray dog doesn’t trash my car, and hear a loud THUNK as the diesel nozzle I forgot I still had connected is pulled out of my car and hits the ground. At least I’ve never done that before.)

This dog SMELLED TERRIBLY BAD. I don’t think he’d ever been groomed or bathed. His leg and belly fur was all matted and overgrown and he chewed at his tail like he had fleas. But after being initially shy, he was friendly and rode in the car well and got excited to see us in the backyard, wagging his tail and wanting to go out on the leash.

I felt his adoption prospects (after a BATH) would be pretty good since small friendly dogs usually appeal to adopters, and in any case I did not want him to get hit by a car, so I took him to Animal Care and Control. The place and the lady and the microchip scanner scared him, though, so he snapped at the intake person and growled at a dog in another cage. I felt so badly for him in that place, but yet knew it was his chance. Part of me hopes whomever let him get so skinny and dirty and stray (and unaltered) never comes to claim him, but unless he chills out at the scary shelter, he won’t do well on the temperament test, which is GNI.

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In which I learn to download from my camera phone

It’s the mother of all bad signs posts!

I bought my cell phone pushing a year ago, and took some pictures with it (I’m surprised at the good quality actually!). I finally bought a microSD card so I could store more pictures and video (and it’s an mp3 player too but I haven’t loaded any songs). But I didn’t download anything… until tonight.

There are dental pics and bunny pics which I will share soon, and even a rare David-with-goatee pic, but today will just be for the bad store signs pics.

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Meijer with a double whammy

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Menards, where my expectations aren’t as high but I’m still amused by the bad signs

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Someone apparently ran into the drive thru speaker at this McD’s, so it was hobbled together with electrical tape and leaning precariously.

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I was amazed at the bad use of plaid.

Target must have hired a real gem to make their signs!
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And my favorite, because WalMart laughs at the dangers taught by practical chemistry. (Note the products shrink wrapped together, and the bleach wipe bottles on top for garnish.) No worries, though, since I emailed hazmat@wal-mart.com to let them know. 🙂 Of course, their MSDS search page references a “Frequently Asked Question’s” page, so I’m not sure we have much hope.
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Drunk Scrabble

has devolved into my perusing blogs (but accidental new ones, since I don’t have bookmarks for blogs on this computer), while David plays a submarine game where he is so sidetracked by his dog licking his forehead and beer and the Scrabble game and general conversation and a glitch in the sound card that he doesn’t even notice the enemy until it attacks him for several seconds. He’s now entering the Sea of Japan.

Amy, on the sub game: Pausing is not real life
David: When you’re drunk, it simulates soberness

Meanwhile, even on the fourth rum-n-Coke, I still spelled dalliers and quandry. And then rime, which David did not believe was real. Then I took a couple of turns for him.

David is now talking about his por-tee-doh tubes.

I have been fascinated by the Google street view today. We found our house (and the neighbor taking out his trash). It’s bizarre that someone drove around and photographed every street in town. Try it at http://maps.google.com/, typing in your address of interest. If the street is outlined in blue, you’ll be able to see photo-travels of every house along the way (and any pedestrians and cars and such who were out at the time).

And I just happened upon this depressing article, which reminded me:

    an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production
    livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation
    2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days
    if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius
    Though some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, the majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds cattle, pigs and chickens
    In Iowa alone, hog factories and farms produce more than 50 million tons of excrement annually
    If price spikes don’t change eating habits, perhaps the combination of deforestation, pollution, climate change, starvation, heart disease and animal cruelty will gradually encourage the simple daily act of eating more plants and fewer animals.

Can anyone tell I’ve also been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The China Study?

I shall go sleep it off now.