20 November 2008

Delusional Bitch Redux

Well, apparently some people just don't learn. There I was, happily walking the mutt brigade on the sidewalk when out pops a white furry impediment with the urge to say! Delusional bitch was on someone's front stoop, talking with who I can only assume to be the occupant, while the dogs roamed about the yard. Tawny barked, or the world would have obviously ended, and Ms. Bitch appeared from behind the foliage to give me a dirty look. HOW DARE YOU EXIST! Okay, I'll kept that in mind...

Obvious solution - take Zero and Tawny around the danger zone (translation: in the street, where parked cars block sidewalk creatures from view). While implementing said plan, white puffy dog of indeterminate lineage and beige chihuahua of disobedient lineage decide to follow us. Despite commands ordering them to cease and desist, furry puff did not heed until Ms. Bitch was on top of him. Chihuahua made it into the street before stopping, but refused to obey any of the "SIT!" commands thrown his way. Meanwhile, my perfect angels and I continued on our merry way, all three of us laughing at the stupidity we just witnessed.

The more I think about it, the more 's comment strikes me as being an accurate prediction.

An Email Exchange With My Dad

me: Have you guys managed to retain my previous emails about the flights, or do you need me to resend those missives?
dad: Probably have them, but wouldn't be just as easy to send them as to ask if i have them?
me: Then you wouldn't have had a chance to bask in the glory of my amazing sentence in which I use an archaic word to refer to modern technology. Duh.
dad: I'm more impressed by the use of the proper grammatical structure for the prepositional phrase!

17 November 2008

Psycho Bitch, Meet Delusionial Bitch

Some of you may know about my neighbor, the seemingly nice lady who misinterpreted watering my plants for the weekend to mean eviscerating my garden and inserting new plants of her choosing. A second invasion (after I got home, no less) and a padlock later, she promoted herself from evil bastard to psycho bitch by keeping the HOA's gardeners away from the communal plants OUTSIDE my garden walls.

Lucky me, she's now got competition for most infuriating neighbor.

Every morning I walk Zero and Tawny before leaving for work. They are always on leashes, and I always pick up after them. Tawny finds it necessary to bark psychotically at the other dogs, usually while lunging forward. She doesn't bite or growl, but it is enough to make the more timid dogs nervous. This leaves me holding onto her leash as tightly as I can, to prevent any kind of incident. Last week, one of the woman who I see every morning, commented that I was doing everything wrong and instead of holding onto her leash so tightly, I should be petting her and telling her it's okay. Uh, yeah, no. Meanwhile, her dog that WAS NOT ON A LEASH, was waddling over to get in on the action. She obviously wanted me to let Tawny bark up close and personal.

I tried telling her that Tawny is 13 and has been acting this way for over a year, since she was attacked in the park. Regardless of what I do, she'll stop when she's ready. But no, I obviously hadn't been really trying. Even her kids didn't always get things the first time. Needless to say, I didn't waste my breath listing all the things we've tried, including suggestions from the vet.

Okay, so she's not the nicest person in the world. Or she might have even thought she was helping. Then today happened.

Tawny had just released a large, stinky pile of crap onto the world. Quick! Must bag before stench kills everyone! Or Tawny could see some dogs coming and start barking. Lo and behold! It's the same woman, but this time with BOTH HER DOGS OFF LEASH. I got to stand there, holding Tawny (quietly shushing her, if only because it makes ME feel better), while waiting for the moron and her parade to pass. Well, she got about 10 yards away from me before she realized that she was short one dog. The tiny one had been interested in Tawny and Zero, but the bigger one had wandered off behind some bushes. And he refused to come out. It took the dog whisperer herself a few minutes to convince the dog to come out, all the while glaring at me since this was obviously my fault.

Round 2 came while I was dropping an envelope in the mailbox. She snuck up behind us, so Tawny didn't get to start barking a warning with the usual head start. A few evil glares later, and she was across the street. Meanwhile, a man I didn't recognize appeared with similar mail-induced intentions. He commented on her stupidity for leaving her dogs off leash. That's when manna from heaven rained down upon me and mine. Her perfect dogs saw some crows and thought DINNER! They bolted into the intersection, right in front of not one but two cars! She yelled them to come back, but her calls were unanswered by the larger one, who was perfectly happy in the middle of the road in front of a car. The other trotted most of the way back before stopping to ponder the meaning of life.

After the dumb dog finally decided that he really didn't need to nap on the limit line after all, the man and I exchanged a knowing look, along with some laughter. And so delusional bitch was born.

Note: No dogs were actually hit by cars, and delusional bitch's two eventually made their way back onto the sidewalk, safe and possibly sound.

12 November 2008

Things I Forgot to Do Last Night

1. sleep
2. remind myself not to watch Monk, even though it was the only thing even marginally acceptable at 0400

03 November 2008

California Proposition 2

The Standards for Confining Farm Animals initiative statute, better known as Prop 2, strikes me as being somewhere between common sense and ethical business practices. Under Prop 2, calves raised for veal, hens producing eggs, and pigs producing piglets would be given enough space to stand, turn around, lie down, and stretch their limbs freely. In other words, humane treatment.

Since there is a limited amount of space in the back of a semi, exceptions are provided for transportation, as well as for veterinaries and a few other specific situations where providing adequate space to stretch and turn would be nearly impossible, if not insanely cost prohibitive.

As California pig and calve industries are tiny, especially compared to the $337 million egg industry, most arguments focus on hens and egg production. Both the arguments for and against Prop 2 are fairly predictable: Even animals destined for slaughter deserve better. It'll increase the final cost to the consumer. The extra few pennies per dozen are negligible compared to the cost to the animals. Cheaper eggs will be imported from Mexico and neighboring states. And so on. However, there is one argument that the No on Prop 2 party keeps bringing up that will ring loud and clear in the heads of voters - higher production costs will push animal facilities into other states that don't have such regulation, and the ones that do stay will be breeding grounds for disease.

If hens were allowed to socialize with free birds, then yes, diseases would increase. However, nothing in the proposition says anything about open air cageless facilities. The animals would still be nice and safe inside, just with more space to exist in. As an added bonus, animals with more space are less stressed than those squished in a box, which makes the spaced ones healthier overall.

Okay, so depending on who you ask, you can get differing opinions on the health benefits to both humans and animals. But what about industrial farms picking up their hens and driving away? California already has budget problems, so the potentially huge lose of the egg industry's taxes would be a particularly nasty blow. At the same time, egg farms in other states must be drooling over the thought of Prop 2 making their imported eggs cheaper and gaining market share. That's why agriculture companies from Iowa donated nearly a quarter million dollars to the Yes on Prop 2 campaigns. Oh wait. They didn't. But they did donate that much to the No side. Now that's interesting...

When Arizona passed a similar law in 2006, the industrial farms didn't run away as they threatened to. Instead, the law provided a catalyst for reform across the nation. If Prop 2 passes, the same thing is likely to happen again, but this time with egg-laying hens. California won't be losing millions in tax revenue, much less thousands of jobs. Proposition 2 will be getting a Yes from me.