Archive for October, 2011

Look

Posted October 20, 2011 By Ruth

when your miniature poodle starts barking and growling at my dog when my dog has done nothing more than sit up from a “down” position, its not MY dog that doesn’t like YOUR dog!

The incredible memory card

Posted October 20, 2011 By Ruth

So, I posted on Sunday about how I put my memory card for the trail camera through the wash by mistake.  Since it wasn’t in evidence when the clothes were moved out of the washer or the dryer I figured it’d gotten washed down a pipe and that was the end of that.  I even shook things out as I took them out of the dryer hoping I was wrong about that. But no luck. 

Course, I was in a hurry Sunday, doing far to much on my day off, so the clean clothes never got put away.  It was tshirts and jeans and the like anyway, nothing that was going to be ruined by sitting in the basket a couple extra days, so no big deal.  Then this morning I realized today was Thursday and I’d STILL not put away the clothes, so after I got dressed I dumped them out onto my bed so I’d remember to put them away before I went to bed tonight, and guess what tumbled out of the pile?  The memory SD card!!  Cool! 

Wonder if it still works after having been immersed in soapy water and heated in the dryer?

Plug it into the computer, and hey!  The computer recognizes it!  Even better….THE PICTURES ARE STILL THERE!!!  Sweet!!  So, with no further fuss, the best of the trail camera shots from last week.

Lions Tigers and Bears (and wolves and…..)

Posted October 19, 2011 By Ruth

Seems a Wild Animal Preserve in OH had a bit of a problem yesterday.  The owner was found dead, and most, if not all, the cages were open and animals roaming free (reports vary as to whether all the cages were open or just some).  Police aren’t discussing which animals they’re missing, but they are making comments about worrying about big cats loose.  Not sure if the lack of specifics is because they’re trying not to panic the public, or because they don’t know exactly whats missing (could be either, or both in my opinion), but apparently there were a variety of big cats, bears, and wolves (along with a bunch of non-predator types) on the property.

Local schools have canceled classes, people have been advised to stay indoors, and call police if they site an exotic animal.

I have to admit that my first response on reading this was to be glad that even if the big cats took off in this direction right away it’ll be a couple days before they can reach my area.  Which is a good thing since I don’t have my Pistol license yet (dammit).  I did see one commenter, on a blog I read, say that he didn’t expect some of the animals to do well over the winter.  Frankly I expect them to do just fine, if they’ve been living at the preserve for any length of time they’ve already had a chance to adapt to the winters, and unlike the average house cat, big cats don’t seem to loose their ability to hunt prey just because they’ve not done it recently (or technically at all, even captive bred cats have killed their handlers on occasion).

New blogger interface

Posted October 17, 2011 By Ruth

Simply put, I don’t like it.  I don’t understand why everything has to look like Google plus, I really don’t, but to top it off, I do quite a bit of blogging from my iPad.  And the new interface doesn’t work right in the iPad default browser.  Screens don’t load correctly, links don’t click correctly, and when I attempt to use the “leave feedback” option IT DOESN’T WORK, instead I get an error message that  basicly states that “oh that form is not working now, the tech folks have been notified, try again later”, except I’ve been trying at least once a day (on both my iPad and the Windows desktop) for a few weeks now, AND ITS STILL NOT WORKING.  Dammit if you don’t really want my opinion then don’t ask for it.  And I’m not the only one having problems with the new interface.

Now to top it off they’re getting ready to force everyone to switch over whether we want to or not.

Did I mention I’m not amused??  (why yes, I’m a bit grumpy this week)

Today’s links

Posted October 17, 2011 By Ruth

Ever wondered if electric car makers are over charging for their products?  How about spending $250 to modify your Leaf’s power cord instead of $6000 for a special charging station?

Via PopehatRighthaven is screwed.

Found via SayUncle: Louisiana decides using cash to buy stuff is illegal.

Don’t piss me off

Posted October 17, 2011 By Ruth

especially when I’m right.

After my rant yesterday I took them time to look up one of the authorities on CWD and send them an email asking if the CWD prions were present in fully formed antlers.  I got back a response this afternoon:

Ruth,
Thanks for directing you question to the CWD Alliance. According to the most recent research, infectious prion proteins are present in the antler velvet of CWD infected animals when their antlers are growing and the velvet is engorged with blood. As past research has demonstrated that prions are present in all blood of infected animals, this is not particularly surprising. Also, we know that infectious prions can be present in the marrow of skeletal bones, mainly due to the blood present in the marrow itself. To date, I am unaware of any study that has tested for CWD in hardened antler. This is likely the case because of what we know about the bone-forming process.

Like all bones, antlers are formed through a process called ossification.  During this process, osteblasts (which are mostly a matrix of specific protein synthesizing cells, prions not being one of them) extract calcium from the blood and deposit it in the forming bone matrix, which is largely cartilaginous in the early stages. When full ossification is complete, there is no blood remaining in the hardened bone. In antlers, there is no marrow in the core of the structure as there is in skeletal bones. So, it is highly unlikely that any blood-born prions remain in or on the hardened antler.  But, as stated before, when the antlers are actively growing on a CWD-infected animal, infectious prions will likely be present in the new tissue, particularly in the velvet.

It seems that no matter how well we document facts about CWD, people will still choose to believe what they wish. In your case, the issue is simpler than whether or not CWD prions are present in hardened antler. Research in 2009 (Trans-species amplification of PrPCWD and correlation with rigid loop 170N, Virology, Volume 387, Issue 1, 25 April 2009, Pages 235-243. Timothy D. Kurt, Glenn C. Telling, Mark D. Zabel, Edward A. Hoover), showed that CWD prions do not replicate in canines (dogs, wolves coyotes, etc.). Essentially, that means that dogs are not susceptible to CWD.

Tell your friends to chew on that (pun intended).

So basically, yes, the prions are present in the velvet of forming antlers, and they are present in the not yet fully formed antlers themselves.  However, once the antlers are fully formed and hardened and the velvet has been shed there is no blood or marrow present in them for the prions to be present in.  And it doesn’t even matter because canines aren’t susceptible!

Now to go piss off someone else……

(and yes, I have permission to post this here!)

Speaking of deer

Posted October 17, 2011 By Ruth

there will be a temporary hiatus in the pictures from the trail camera.  I took the card out this morning to check pictures (there were 18 according to the camera), and stuck it in my pocket for the trip back across the yard.  Came back in covered in mud thanks to having a swamp for a yard (thanks mother nature), and a puppy who likes to splash in it.  So I went to change clothes.  And forgot to take the memory card out of the pocket.  Stuffed the jeans in the laundry, decided I had enough for a full load, and dumped it all in the washer.  Unfortunetly the memory card didn’t come out when the clothes did.  I have this image of it being stuck in a line somewhere, being either a fire hazard or plugging the plumbing line….

Because I have to get it off my chest

Posted October 17, 2011 By Ruth

Cause I have no tolerance for stupidity right at the moment, and maybe if I rant it out here I won’t there?

As any hunter who’s done their homework is likely aware there is a disease in some deer populations called Chronic Wasting Disease.  At this time it is not believed that this disease is transmittable to anyone but another deer or related species (or a laboratory mouse that has been genetically modified to be susceptible to it), but to be safe the .gov recommends some basic safety techniques for hunters to be sure they’re not spreading the disease.  First off is to not shoot or eat any deer that looks sick (duh), the rest basically state to take some extra precautions in how the deer is butchered, including trying to avoid cutting into the bones, spinal cord, or brain of the deer and making sure that certain organs aren’t consumed.  There is also note that the disease appears to be present in the antler velvet (see above link).

Nice and straightforward huh?  Except that with the rise of using deer and elk antlers as possible chew toys for dogs there has been a massive alarmist movement that OMG the DISEASE is PRESENT in the ANTLERS so you could be MAKING YOUR DOG SICK.  Unfortunately a huge number of people believe this, including some vets, so a basic search for “dog chew deer antler cwd” will get you all kinds of alarmist posts stating that antlers aren’t safe due to possibly giving your dog CWD, including all kinds of official sounding and looking articles by vets.  Yet not one of them can actually tell you WHERE to find this information actually saying this beyond their alarmist tendencies.

I can’t find a single instance of the disease being identified in antlers.  I can only assume that the misinformation is the result of one or more people reading antler velvet, and the suggested instructions for removing the skull & antlers for trophies and misunderstood it.

If she was stating that she didn’t want to give HER dogs antlers due to the possibility of breaking teeth, and because the possible potential of CWD worries her I’d be ok with it.  Instead, every time someone mentions dog chews (regardless of the TYPE of chew in question) she has gone out of her way to find several articles (and repeats of the same articles), some of them written by people of very dubious backgrounds, to prove that YOUR DOG COULD GET CWD FROM THOSE ANTLERS!!!!!!!eleventy!!!! So you should NEVER EVER GIVE THEM TO YOUR DOG!!!!!

The ignorance I can deal with, thats solvable, but the outright stupidity frustrates the heck out of me.

Edited to add: and I’m right!

To the idiot in the pets forum…..

Posted October 15, 2011 By Ruth

…..that I occasionally wander through: just because you found it online does not make it true. Just because the author says they’re a vet, doesn’t make it true. Heck, even if the author really is a vet doesn’t mean their opnion is gold, especially when that opinion is based on old information. You have been repeatedly shown that you’re wrong, that even the CDC says you’re wrong. Reposting the exact same information over and over just shows how stupid you are. Reposting the exact same information in the form of reposting the entirety of the same multipage article, instead of just quoting and linking, over and over, not only shows how stupid you are but also leaves you, and the forum as a whole, open to complaints of copywrite violation. If I were mod I’d have already banned you for that last fact alone. If you really are the adult you say you are then just stop it already!

Everyone else is doing it

Posted October 14, 2011 By Ruth

Well, ok, not everyone, but the comments are making me laugh, so I’m going to follow along:

1. What was your first car? Model, year, color, condition?
2. What adventures did you have in it, good or bad?
3. What happened to it, what’s the end of the story?

Well lets see the first car that was “mine” in the sense that I was really the only one who drove it, was a ’90 Ford Tempo, and god did that thing suck.  My parents bought it for $1000 when I went off to college so I could come home for weekends without them having to drive me (I then proceeded to live at college for ever day the school would let me, oh well).  It was technically black, but it was so faded (at 8yrs old) that it looked blue in most lights.  Technically in “good” condition, but only technically.  Parking brake never worked, and proceeded to fall apart within weeks of having it fixed (so it would pass MA inspections), the brakes themselves sucked.  I ended up in my only accident ever in that car when flooring the brakes was unable to stop the car when it was going a less than 10mph and I rear-ended someone.  Infact the cop tried to tell me that I probably hit the gas by mistake.  I pointed out that my bumper had gone so firmly under the rear of the car I hit that when they separated us her tailpipe wouldn’t come out of my bumper.  Turned out it was embedded in some major piece of equipment (I think it was the radiator, but not going to swear to it).  Cop looked at it for a moment, and asked me again how fast I thought I was going when I hit the brakes??  I pointed out that it was stop and roll traffic, and there was no way I’d gotten over 10mph.  He ended up agreeing with me, but it was still my fault for rear-ending the girl.  We should have let the insurance total it after that, but we didn’t.  I drove it for another year till it dang near fell apart around me and we gave up on it.

The first car I actually owned was a ’91 Honda Civic hatchback in white.  My parents bought it brand new off the lot (with as few optional features as possible, car didn’t even have a cig lighter), and when I graduated from college and got my first “real” job they signed it over to me.  By that time it had a few rust spots but was in otherwise good condition.  It had the smaller of the two engine options too, not that it needed anything bigger.  That car MOVED when I put my foot down.  Manual tranny, no power steering, no power anything.  It got an average of 37mph on surface roads and over 42mph highway right up till the day it died.  Gosh I miss that car.  It took me everywhere, did everything.  Handled great in snow, rain, everything.  Then September of 2007 the timing belt broke and killed the engine leaving me stranded in the right hand left turn lane in the middle of a 6 lane road.  Repair shop said it was going to be at least $2k for parts, plus at least another grand for labor.  Which I didn’t have.  Brother of a friend of my husband (then boyfriend), bought it off me for $100.  Bought the parts and did the labor himself.  Last I saw him (about a year ago?) he was still driving it, and said that it was still getting that same insane gas mileage.  I offered to buy it back from him and he refused.