The information on terrorism has been there for a long time. I’ve been worried about small pox for years, not excessively so, but worried enough to ask my pediatrition about it. Like how long it would take Kaiser to come up to speed on small pox vacinations. I suggested that she take it up with her supervisor. She didn’t take me seriously, not even when I told her that I work in the area of national security. I wonder what she would say today.

Anyway, the information is there, but you have to look for it. It’s not classified or even sensitive. It’s a complicated subject that can’t be spoon fed in the evening news. It still can’t, and that is why there are so many people who are hysterical about anthrax. That and the fact that most people have never been taught to critically think. It’s so stupid because as we already know, when we over use antibiotics, they lose their effectiveness. Perhaps that is the actual intention of the anthrax terrorists.

FYI: Chemical weapons are cheap, costing single dollars, and biological weapons are even cheaper costing pennies. And with terrorists who have demonstrated that they are willing to die to deliver the weapon, the delivery system for a biological weapon becomes very simple, a human body. The delivery system for chemical weapons is still problematic. And of course, there are still conventional explosives and nuclear weapons, but they are not particulary cheap, require expertise to arm, are not that easy to deliver, and are easier to detect.

On the plus side, small pox is not easily accessible. There are 2 labs in the world that have it. It hasn’t been spread around the world like anthrax, and you can’t harvest it from a dead animal or from soil.

But keep in mind, statistically speaking, the greatest threat to your physical safety is a car accident, and the greatest threat to your health, even if you don’t smoke, is smoking. We, USA, continue to be one of the safest places on earth because we, mostly, follow our laws and building codes (e.g. to protect us from earthquakes). We haven’t had to worry about famine for a very long time, and we have an excellent warning system for weather related natural disaters.

Housebreaking a Puppy

To be successful, you must take the puppy outside consistantly, regardless of the weather.

I have found that leashing the puppy to your waist while she is in the house is the best method. You have the puppy under your control, immediately. Combine this with taking the puppy to the poop area every 30 minutes, and you will housebreak the puppy in less than a week (age appropriately, of course). Oh, puppy is crated at night.

Getting a Pet

There is only one reason to get a pet of any sort, and that is because you, the adult, want a pet. Sure, you want to play with it and cuddle with it, but you also want to groom it, feed it, pick up the poops, take it to the vet, etc.

IMHO, you should never get a pet for a child, spouse, or anyone else besides yourself.

I always thought I was a dog person, but I have had cats (well, Annette) for 12 years now. I got Annette because I had an akita and the books said that if I wanted it to be more tolerant of small animals (ie not immediately attack and kill), the best thing to do was to raise it with a cat. Well, that dog is long gone, but I still have Annette.

You can train a cat, just like a dog. Garth, the akita, died a few months after I got him. So it was just me and Annette. I trained Annette like you would train a dog. She would walk on a leash, come when called, play fetch, play all sorts of cames, carry on a conversation (well, she just meowed, but I felt like I was talking to someone).

Cats aren’t as smart as dogs, but they don’t need as much attention either. You can give them that attention, but they don’t need it.

My cats were fine with the baby. And while Annette is an old sourpuss, Frankie is starting to play with Chunguita. Frankie is a little scared of Chunguita, but I think a kitten wouldn’t be. When Annette was a kitten, she loved dogs. She thought they were the greatest thing on earth to play with.

The only issue is cleaning the litter box. If you’ve had a cat, you’ve probably already been exposed to but even so, you should not clean the litter box if at all possible. And if you do, be sure to wear a mask and gloves. Of course, it is much more likely that you will pick up Toxoplasma gondii in the garden especially if your cats are indoor only cats.

I strongly recommend that your cat be an indoor only pet. An indoor cat is not exposed to rabies, antifreeze, cars, fleas, hostile neighbors, coyotes and other preditors, and other diseases and hazards. Cats do not need to go outside.

Celebrate those December and January Birthdays

For as long as I can remember, I have had my birthday parties in December. My birthday is December 20th. I don’t know what my parents did before I can remember, but when I was little, I would have friends over for a traditional birthday party. When I got older, like junior high, I would invite a few friends to go to see The Nutcracker. Now a days, my mother takes us (Mom & Dad, moi, DH, DD, Brother, Nephew, Sister, Nephew-mayber, Grandnephew) all out to dinner. She does that for all my siblings’ birthdays that live in the SF bay area.

The thing of it is that now it’s a tradition. Certainly, when I was 5 and the local siblings were 15 and 16, they didn’t participate in my birthday party, but now at 37, 47, and 48, we all look forward to it.

The Effects of Terrorism

Chunguita has a bug. She’s been throwing up, and she has a runny nose. They probably aren’t related.

The first thing that popped into my head was Anthrax.

And because of where I work and where she goes to daycare, there is a chance that we would be targets. The heighten security is not just for kicks. The mailroom is in my building, but I couldn’t think of a plausible way for the spoors to get into Chunguita’s classroom.

Do I think it’s Anthrax? No … but, still … no, logic dominates.

but still ….

It’s a tough spot. We haven’t gone to the doctor.

The seeds

Everytime I hear my mother make a comment about someone being slim or anything about food, I think she is telling me that I am fat and a pig because she did do exactly that in so many ways for so many years. My SIL, who has the same sort of problem as I do, decided to never make food or her daughters weight an issue. Instead, she offered a mix of healthy snacks and junk food and kept her daughter active. Neice went thru a chubby phase, but as an adult, because she hasn’t spent years fasting and secretly eating (or whatever destructive food behavior you want to choose), she is able to choose to eat healthy and is very fit. (Hm, is this ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good?)

Would SIL and I have issues if our mothers had kept their mouths shut? Who knows, but we wouldn’t be blaming our moms. 🙂 Not for that, at least.

A game we play

When she does something cute and she’s in my arms, I ask her “Is your mama the luckiest mama in the land?” She says yes and gives me a hug. I tell her I love her. She started saying it back, and that progressed to a spontaneous hug and “I ov oo.”

It helps that she likes to hug and cuddle.