Late Monday

So, derpfish really is dying this time, though he’s putting up a hellofafight.  I am sure any less stubborn fish would already have died as the growth around his head is now bigger than his head.  Doesn’t seem to be fungus, or at least no fungus cure works, or ick or velvet or anything else vaguely listed in any books.  I’ve found before the problem with small “cheap” pets is that even “simple” diseases can take them, as there’s no real vet knowledge.  The advice seems to be “flush him and move on.”  BUT despite myself, to me the dang fish is a person.  I mean, I thought he’d be more like a plant, and I never thought he’d live three years either since I bought him at petco, which has a bad reputation for fish.  So he’s dying by inches and I’ve tried everything, leading Robert to nickname him “Derpy, the perpetually medicated.” Now I don’t think he can eat with that thing on his head, though he tries.  OTOH he’s still… ah eliminating, so he’s eating something.

When he’s gone, I’ll stick with dogs and cats and things that people know how to treat.

In the meantime, he’s caused me to be … not afraid, but reluctant to come to my office, since it’s inevitable I’ll find him doing the backstroke fairly soon.  Which is playing havoc with my writing and even blogging.  (Neurotic, me?  Don’t be ridiculous.)

Look,guys the sad confession is that I get attached to the strangest things.  When I was little the family quickly found they couldn’t give me animal shaped treats, crackers or even chocolate, because I invented complete lives and familial relationships for them, and refused to eat them.  I remember the chocolate lady bugs my brother ate because “it’s a sin to waste good chocolate” and I cried for days.

Maybe it’s related to the ability to care for people who exist only in my mind, who knows?

Anyway, so much for my absence.  This last week we lost Leonard Cohen.  Yes, I was a big fan, starting with his old songs that RES calls, not inappropriately, “the ones with interchangeable girls providing backup.”  I wanted to write a whole post about him but I find I can’t.  My family doesn’t GET my Leonard Cohen “thing” and all I can say that to me particularly as he got older, his voice and the interlocking meanings of the lyrics take me to some mystical place where the gateway for writing works best.

I associate some of his songs with some of my books, or scenes in my books.  This one for instance, has a strong connection with A Few Good Men:

And some of them I associate with certain times of my life.  I loved this one as a teen:


Anyway, I hope he’s gone home beyond the veil, where it’s better than before, and that I still get to meet him someday.  Yeah, I know, artists, and none of us live lives that can be considered meriting of an after life much less a happy one.  But I trust that the Author who creates us understands we did our best.  And I’ll stick with Heinlein who said something like it’s possible that there is no afterlife for some or even most people, but to completely extinguish some entities would be a violation of every principle the world runs on.  At any rate, Cohen’s sense of mysticism often echoed of a near-courtship of what we’ll call for lack of a better word G-d.  I hope he now sees clearly what he tried to glimpse through the inadequate human mind and fix in inadequate human language.  And I hope he finds happiness, because for ardent souls peace might not be enough.

And now, for the election, now almost a week in the past.  Does everyone feel like they’ve been living through a week of years?

I don’t need to communicate I’m still happy we don’t have Clinton.  The epicenter, the storm of media covering for her, of our cultural institutions idolizing her, and of her very corrupt character, all of that made her uniquely dangerous, and I’m glad she’s gone.

What we have? Does anyone know yet?  I’ve been hearing rumors through my channels (is it normal at my age to know any number of movers and shakers, even if they’re not the ones the public easily identifies?) that have me guardedly optimistic, the emphasis being on guardedly.  BUT oh, h*ll, it’s so much better than I expected to be at this point.

Of course if the rumors I hear are true, the man IS fundamentally dishonest and some factions of his supporters will be greatly disappointed.  BUT his dishonesty would be in the service of a greater honesty.  Bad for souls, speaking of those, but I think sometimes the very craft of politics depends on people like that.  Which is why I couldn’t do it, being, as my mom used to say “of the kind who’d rather break than bend.”

And it’s still possible, perhaps likely, that it will all go sideways.  But that is nothing new for us, the lovers of liberty.  In a way government is antithetical to liberty, and though we need it, it’s a constant fight to keep it from devouring them.  In the end, I voted for the candidate less likely to put an end to my inflexibility with a bullet to the back of the head.  Not the one who will FOR SURE not do it, but the least likely.  It is, possibly, what I do — what everyone does — every election.  We should be grateful in America it is less likely than in any other part of the world.  (Which makes the histrionics of the paid protesters all the crazier, and the fear they instill in the innocent more fury-inducing.)

What I do know is that one cannot put faith in princes, and that what made Hillary uniquely dangerous at this juncture is still a problem and still waiting remedy.  If we don’t walk this back, not matter how little, the next statist candidate that the media adores (which in the US means socialist with a D after his name) will destroy us as surely as Hillary would have.

So, the culture is still there waiting to be taken.  Pick up your kit and follow me, into the trenches.  The advantages of a culture war is that even those of us who are old and ill can fight, and even those who don’t create can provide perspective, review and dissemination.  Onward.  Even if all we conquer is an inch of no man’s land, we’ll have moved the dial far more than we can guess at, and left our weapons for the next wave to pick up.

For my own field, for slingers of words and creators of characters, for those who labor in the world mines and build entire feelings on nothing, for those who love humans with all their flaws, and want to see them have a future, come on.  We’re marching on. Human Wave, oh! Be not afraid.

Just remember nothing worth doing is easy, simple or fast.  Be patient and work.

I will be looking over your efforts from yesterday sometime today.  Right now I’m going to replace some more of my blood with caffeine, take ibuprofen for the unbelievably bad sinus headache, and then lay down words, because I’m very late.



149 thoughts on “Late Monday

  1. Look,guys the sad confession is that I get attached to the strangest things.

    We aren’t surprised by this confession. Look at us. Don’t we count as some of the strangest things? We are thankful for your habit of strange attachments.

          1. *does some quick math* I think that would be his grandparents’ generation, or great-grands– she was a house-wife just after WWII, no?

            1. As you can see by this book cover, she is an author, one who doesn’t have to worry about her characters arguing with her.

              Is it any wonder she’s more than happy?

        1. Didn’t the police just describe a fortune teller wanted for fraud as a small medium at large? Yeah, I think I saw that…

          1. Back when “Medium” was still on the air (and I was still watching television) I observed that it was a rare “Medium” that was well done.

    1. Icons and avatars, poetry quoters
      Lotsa puns, stories, soap box that loiters
      wild fancies fly with three moons on their wings…
      these are a few of the strangest things.

      1. When the Prog fights
        And the Lib sings,
        When I’m feeling sad,
        I simply remember all of these strange things
        And then I can go
        Quite happily mad!

  2. This is why I have stopped accepting responsibility for pets — I am “too old” to handle stress of outliving another one and too old to be confident of outliving any pet with a significant lifespan, such as gorgeous black kitten on display in adoption booth at local cat clinic — the one who upon seeing me leapt into the window to look at me and make sure I looked at him (her?) and could see what a wonderful kitty she (he) was and imagine how marvelous life together could be.

    1. The wife makes me go to PETCO now to get dog/cat food. The last time she went she left in tears as the same thing happened to her when a cute little tabby fluffball really implored her to pick him up…….

      1. We want to go down to one cat, but we’ve never managed this before. SOMEWHERE in the register of such things, our family is supposed to have four/five cats. One passes on, another shows up in circumstances we can’t refuse. I’m a little worried, because any day now…

            1. Fish aren’t the problem.

              *A* fish is the problem.

              When there’s a fills-one-shelf-of-the-book-shelf sized block of water that’s got between 45 and 125 guppies in it, it’s a lot less traumatic.

              1. One of the people I train with was complaining that their chickens were now producing too many eggs.

                I said “So have chicken for dinner a couple times a week until you only have enough eggs”.

                Apparently this just isn’t done because they are *pets*. 18 *pet* chickens.

                No, chickens aren’t pets, even in times of stress they are still food.

                1. You can freeze eggs, just not in the shell. Break open then blend until just mixed. They will keep for up to a year. Use three tablespoons of the mix equivalent to one whole egg.
                  Worked my way through high school in a bakery. Eggs were bought in five gallon tins and all the recipes called for eggs by the cup.

                  1. Ho, ho, ho… You reminded me of my summer with a bagel bakery.

                    One of the incidents was when the baker was hung over, and managed to put too much yellow food color in the bagel mix. Why do they need yellow color? Well, that bakery used dried eggs, and apparently they weren’t yellow enough, so they added food coloring to get them right. Except, when you double the food coloring because you’re still too drunk to remember what you are doing, the bagels are BRIGHT YELLOW.

                    The owner thought about it, then stuck up a sign saying “Sunshine Bagels, Special Today!”

                    He was not amused when several customers came back the next week and asked for more of those Sunshine bagels, because they tasted so good. But, being a good businessman, Sunshine Bagels went on the menu. Once a week, as I remember.

                2. Well, isn’t that a terrible problem to have.

                  They don’t have neighbors willing to buy a couple dozen off of them?

                3. I knew a guy who said he was in poultry husbandry…until they caught him at it. Another guy…will have to wait for another time.

                  1. LOL …

                    Blames the dyslexia. I have learned far better than to trust my own sense of spelling, but reliance on the aid of spell check proves once again misplaced. 😉

        1. We’re going to stay at two cats. We’re going to stay at two cats. We’re going to stay at…. I know, Peter could really use a golden lab. And he loves dogs, and misses having labs. And it’d get him walking more, because dogs need walkies…

          But we’re going to stay at two cats!

          1. At peak kids 15 years ago, we had 3 cats, 2 dogs, 1 rabbit, and an indeterminate number of fish……

            1. The stray we took in at the previous house got named Sextus, because we couldn’t think of a name for the life of us, so after two weeks we decided that since he was my sixth cat (Diccon, Chester, Ursula, the Pobble, and Seshet), we’d try the Roman system. The name fit, and we had him for about eight years, until he passed from extreme old age, having been a seniour cat when he moved in with us. Of course since then we’ve had Gideon (who also moved in with us), Iris, Alice, and Angel, the last three from the local shelter. Somehow I don’t see naming the next one Undecimus or Undecima, no matter how you pronounce the “c”.

          2. A few years ago we were down to one cat. A very friendly skinny stray showed up, with EPIC sad eyes. I know a lot of dogs who do sad eyes well, Misty was the only cat I know who could equal or exceed them. Our family went from,”We only need one cat.” to “She looks like she’s starving, give her a little bit of food.” to “She gets along with Dr. Seuss, maybe we should let her in.” to “She’s PREGNANT!?” to [shock] “EIGHT KITTENS!!! We are now housing TEN CATS??”

          3. I had never thought I would be willingly living with a large group of rodents, but you never know what will happen. Right now we are housing nine mice, two hamsters and a rabbit that belong to The Daughter and her roommate. They are visiting while The Daughter and her roommate await the apartment complex’s exterminator to get around to fumigating their apartment. At the moment it appears that the exterminator might as well be named Godot.

      2. On our walk to synagogue this Saturday, a half-grown cat walked up to us, right in front of the Experimental Model’s stroller, and rolled over as if asking to me scratched. “You’re not our cat,” I told him. He let us pass him, then ran ahead about twenty feet—look back, mewed, waited for us to catch up, and rolled over again. Kept this up, with variations, for two blocks, till he decided stalking the pigeons might be a better bet. But until then, he was trying real hard to get adopted.

        (I felt bad about leaving him but we can’t afford a pet right now, and he was looking like he’d do okay as a city stray.)

        1. We did acquire a cat that way. She started following us on a walk as cats are wont to do, but she didn’t give up after a few blocks. She was also racing up every front walk which had steps from the sidewalk, and coming back down looking dejected. We found out the next week as we went to put up fliers looking for her owner that she had belonged to a woman who had been murdered a few months earlier by her crazy psychiatrist soon to be ex. Which explained the step thing. (Their house had steps from the sidewalk to the front walk.) The neighbors had been feeding her, but they all had plenty of pets already, and she hadn’t shown any interest in moving in with them. As they put it, “If she wants to stay with you and you want her, go for it!” She finally had to be put down last year after 18 years with us so she would have been 19 or 20.

    2. While I love pets, especially dogs, I have allergies. Also why drag one with you when you travel or leave it alone or with a stranger.

  3. The Dems have four years to come up with a new candidate. Eight years if Trump turns out to be half-decent. I’m curious who they’ll pick. It’s possible that it’ll turn out to be someone who isn’t even on the radar right now.

    1. They have Keith Ellison from Minnesota (see Powerlineblog for details) planning to run for head of the DNC, so thy can go FULL progressive Leftist on us.

      1. So they can try guilt-tripping the country into voting for the first Muslim president?

        I don’t think that’s going to work out very well.

      2. And the dreams of Michelle running, and signs Chelsea may be groomed for politics now. And if her mom is still alive and kicking who knows. Guys, at best you maybe got a short interlude here, a temporary slowing down. Even if the tide starts to turn now a bit you’d still have to wait until you have a generation or two who were NOT educated in your current centers of learning before you can start to relax. Until then any turning might well turn out to be merely temporary.

        1. Ugh. Ya. Trump will be ‘proof’ there is no need for any experience to be president. So definitely can see MO trying.

        2. Rust never sleeps and Liberty, like virtue, must be constantly defended.

          That is why slavery* is so attractive to so many: it doesn’t have to be defended.

          *servitude, dependency, whatever synonym irritates least

        3. Running Hillary Clinton again?

          Oh, it has been done successfully. Thomas Jefferson was the first to have lost and then won. Richard Nixon managed to win the office eight years after having lost it. William Henry Harrison lost as a Northern Whig, but managed to win the next election as a Whig, only to die shortly after taking office. Andrew Jackson managed to loose as the last Democratic-Republican candidate, then helped to create the Democrat party and won. The oddest of all is Grover Cleveland who won, lost and then won again.

          Hillary Clinton’s first attempt to become nominated had not gone well, Bernie Sanders almost upset her this time and after the presidential campaign she just ran? I doubt that Hillary would get the nomination of her party again.

          1. If nothing else, even the Dems are starting to acknowledge that running Hillary was a catastrophic error.

            But on that note…

            I’ve been informed via Facebook that there is apparently a sudden upsurge in “Biden and Obama are buddies!” “memes” (more like videos that purport to show them getting along splendidly). This has made me wonder if Biden, despite his age, has decided to take one more shot at the White House. It certainly seems like something that could be prepping the groundwork for that.

            1. Biden, despite his age, has decided to take one more shot at the White House

              The entire anti-Biden campaign can be video of young women and underage girls cringing as he gets handsy with them, run on continuous loop.

              Best (?) part is there’s no audio to edit. Just film, taken by news reporters and already shown to the public.

            2. If the Democrat party chooses to nominate VP Biden I wish them their due. He has never managed to make it very far in the party nomination process, once have spectacularly flamed out due, in part, to a ‘borrowed’ biographical speech.

      3. Yup. You guys lost by not being left-wing enough. You lost by not pushing identity politics hard enough. Good strategy. Go with that.

        1. Pushing identity politics…seems like there’s room for a White People’s Party. I keep reading it IS the next Minority. Slogan: White People, NOT White Sheets.

        2. And Democrats, please keep up the insults, sneering condescension, and arrogant attitudes. Please enlist more elitist celebs to talk down to us as well!

      4. Ouch. And I do not recommend Al “ballots in the trunk” Franken either.
        Yeah, those two are “my” senators.
        See why I think Caligula might have been on to something?

    2. It will have to be someone who isn’t on the radar now. Their current radar only has the old worn out and tired past their sell by date Democrats on it, not any of the new improved varieties.

      1. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii. She’s a veteran, a Hindu, Samoan ancestry, and I’d vote for her.

        1. Have you looked at Tulsi Gabbard’s record? That she is a veteran is laudable, but have you looked at who has endorsed her and at her politics. She resigned her position as the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse Bernie Sanders.

    3. You know, the current media and Democrat (BIRM) freakout is going to help Trump get re-elected. All he has to do is run ads featuring the current predictions of doom and tyranny and then ask – assuming that those predictions don’t come to pass, in which case there won’t be a re-election campaign – what are they lying about now.

      The leftward tilt of the media has been the Democrat’s trump card (pun totally intended) for the last 50 years, but between the Internet, cord-cutting, and the wholesale abandonment of any pretense of objectivity the media is only slightly more trustworthy than gas station sushi. And it’s only going to get worse. The media’s ability to shape the narrative is nearly gone and will be almost totally extinct four years from now. The Left is trying to push back with things like complaining about “fake (i.e. not supporting the Progressive narrative) news” on Facebook, but it’s a losing battle. If Trump can avoid literally shooting a puppy during the State of the Union he’ll win re-election against anyone this side of actual Jesus.

      1. It’s a losing battle only if we fight it. Twitter shadowbanned Scot Adams for supporting Trump, remember. They could leash social media.

      2. I suspect that Hillary’s efforts to head off any potential Obamas this election will also bear fruit in 2020, with a fairly weak candidate offered by the Democratic party.

        1. Remember that people thought something similar in 1992 after several of the top tier Democrats declined to run against a popular incumbent H.W. Bush. I’m sure there’s a charming sociopath or three hanging around in various state legislatures.

      3. Not just the predictions; the actual events will be just wonderful. “I’M too unstable to be around nukes? Seriously?” with scenes of the meltdown in the background.

        1. You know, CBS probably thought they won a point when they got Trump to call for his supporters to stop attacking people, but 4 years from now he’ll be able to say “when I was first elected, I called for a calm and peaceful transfer of power in the American tradition. Where was my opponent?”

  4. I understand the attachment to strange things. I still hold on to childhood toys that are all but worn out because “but they have a HISTORY with me” as if they could remember and know. I have cried over appliances breaking, not because of the expense or hassle of getting a new one, but because I LIKED the old one and it served me well.

    1. A sort of loyalty-to-items.

      I like to think it’s an outgrowth of being responsible with the stuff that you use– no, hurting it wouldn’t cause damage, but even if you can replace it without the cost meaning anything you just don’t go all destructive.

  5. Once you take responsibility for any living thing, you can’t be indifferent to its’ passing.

    1. I once drove over a toad and when I managed to stop got out to see if I had killed it. But unfortunately I hadn’t, it’s tongue was hanging out of its mouth but it was walking, and at the same time touching one of its forelimbs to it’s head, as if trying to brush the pain away.

      I picked it up and put it under the front tire of the car, then jumped in and started rolling, and I very much hope I killed it that time (did check but found nothing, although I did get some distance before I managed to stop again so it’s possible I checked the wrong spot).

      And I still tear up, right now, when I think about that. It’s one thing to kill something, so much worse when they are hurting and it’s your fault.

      1. Or when you can’t help. Which has happened with pets. I may, sometimes, resort to euthanizing a bit too fast, but I can’t stand the idea that something is hurting.

    2. I hate to admit that is one of the things that scares me about myself. I am a bit too good at dissociation.

  6. RAH was openly hostile to religion and skeptical of the possibility of an afterlife. These are among the very few points of his with which I disagree. I look forward to discussing this with him in the afterlife.

    1. Heinlein was so many things, it’s hard to pin down. Go read his elegy for Theodore Sturgeon. There are other points too, in which he believed or seemed to believe that SOMETHING goes on. Just not perhaps in the form anyone expects.
      BTW he also wasn’t … inimical to religion. Read Tramp Royale, and how he and Ginny attended the Presbyterian church in some Asian country.
      Considering where and how he was raised, I kind of get hostility to organized religion. I have a friend also raised the same way who has the same attitude.

      1. Okay, Sarah. You’ve piqued my curiosity. I’ve read Tramp Royal, but I haven’t seen his elegy for Ted Sturgeon (another favorite of mine). Google doesn’t seem to have anything on it.

      2. Remember, views expressed by a character are not necessarily those of the author, even when that character seems an obvious sock puppet of the author.

        Hostility to organized religion may indicate more hostility toward the organisation than the religion. Many organized religions seem to be organized to protect against actual faith.

      3. I think it was Methodist. Godbody opens with Heinlein on Sturgeon, the greatest essay any 20th Century writer wrote about another.

  7. his old songs that RES calls, not inappropriately, “the ones with interchangeable girls providing backup.”

    I must confess that I do not recall having ever voiced such an insight, so I might be receiving undeserved credit for stumbling into a true thing.

  8. I had a Lenard Cohen 8 track tape back in the day and wore it out. Yet, I somehow never got another one. I look at my old albums and cannot recall how the collection came to be. Some very obscure artist and some absolute favorites that are missing. I think I actually bought stuff I liked that didn’t get heavy radio play.

    1. I know it was just a typo, but now I am longing to hear the infamous lost album: Skynard Does Leonard: Leonard Cohen’s greatest songs, performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd (with bonus track: Leonard Cohen’s cover of “Gimme Three Steps.”)

  9. When I eat gingerbread men I bite the head off first so they don’t suffer. People who first nibble at the arms and legs before putting them out of their misery are just cruel.

    And I get really strange looks when I tell people that.

    1. I don’t like eating food that has a face at all. I much prefer chocolate eggs at Easter to chocolate bunnies for precisely that reason.

  10. Pingback: Culture wars
  11. I grew up on the farm so while I don’t like seeing animals suffer needlessly, I don’t have the qualms that many folks have. I do realize that I’ll get too old for pets one day.

    And I do think the lesser of two evils won the election. We still have time to stock up on more ammo and supplies. Maybe we can de-program some folks, but MSM and MSC has done a number on the greater population.

    1. “Hallelujah” has always struck me as somehow blasphemous… and the scene in “Watchmen” for which it was used as background music didn’t help.

      I don’t cringe as much hearing it as I do when “Imagine” comes on the radio, but…

      1. Thank you for putting into words for me.

        I’ve never been able to figure out why people think that’s a ‘Church’ sort of song, but I’ve also never been able to articulate *why* I found it wrong.

          1. Yet the first time I remember hearing it was as an offertory. (My Church is pretty lenient about what gets used for that–I played the Popper Tarantella last summer for an offertory.) People keep using Hallelujah as Christian pop music, and it’s always bothered me.

  12. I spent the afternoon and early evening with The Daughter at the vets waiting for the specialist to see one of her mice.

    While I sat I watched a somewhat exasperated woman with three small children, dealing with a large ginger tom cat. The first words to me were, ‘I’m seeing to a cat and he isn’t even mine.’ I noted that cats adopt people. She told me that yes. The cat had adopted her family, starting with the children, without first asking permission of the adults. She had made every effort to locate his original owners, but so far with no luck. So she was now in the process of seeing to his care. He had just had his shots, and was letting everyone in the place know that he had been very badly used.

    1. I’ve been adopted by cats myself, in the past.
      The last one has moved on and out to another family, as my neighbors all have cats, and mine did not like to share with lesser felines.

      1. When we lived in Ireland we acquired or rather were acquired by a large black and white Tom. One night as the rain was beating against the windows my mother looked up and saw this bedraggled cat looking in at us. My father said, “Oh, let the poor thing in.” We did and he made a bee-line for our then cat, Jenny’s food dish in the kitchen and polished it off. He would stop by every couple of days for the next few weeks, and then one night Jenny went out and got herself hit by a car. (Honestly, good riddance, she was the only cat I have ever truly disliked; she had two modes, sleep or attack and draw blood, and she wouldn’t even catch mice when you handed them to her.) Even before we found her body, Gaston had showed up at the door, and he never left until many years later, a week or so before my parents moved back to the US, when he went and moved in with the neighbors. There were suggestions that he had pushed Jenny.

  13. Two or three summers running, as a child, I had a succession of praying mantises. (Mantii? Dang, now I have to go look it up… Oh – “mantis” or “mantids.” Well, there’s another few neurons tied up with trivia.)

    Um. Okay, past the bedtime here. Anyway, they always perched in one corner of my desk, and seemed interested in what I was doing when I was sitting there. Never got upset when I made sudden movements, just cocked their heads at me.

    I was always very sad when they hit the end of their life cycle (much shorter than a derpfish).

    Overly strange you were and are not, Sarah – please let that be true, or I have some real problems here.

    My best wishes to Derpie.

  14. Last day of high school I wrote puns on Leonard Cohen lyrics with cartoons in Leslie’s yearbook, because of course I couldn’t tell her I was desperately in love with her…

    New York Times actually got the point that Trump was elected by rural flyover people who finally decided they would not ever again vote Democrat, and would not vote for Republicans who only spit on them a little less than the Democrats.

  15. I’ve found before the problem with small “cheap” pets is that even “simple” diseases can take them, as there’s no real vet knowledge.

    Any vet. students reading? This here is what is called “opportunity.” Yeah, it’s not flashy research, but sometimes things pay off in the damnedest places. No, it won’t save derpfish – but it might get you somewhere. And small generally means fairly quick reproduction (of both critter and effect) and you can do it yourself more easily than with larger animals. Elephants might be fantastically wonderful, but can you afford a herd of pachyderms?

    1. No, actually, there’s not much opportunity there. I did rabbits for quite a while, and when the value of the animal is less than the cost of the vet’s time . . . for every person who will pay through the nose to keep a $25 rabbit alive, there are a thousand who will do what they can to make it comfortable at home and wring its neck when it reaches the point they can’t. For a fish valued at pennies, like my sons’ goldfish? Nope.
      I learned how to give injections to rabbits, how to measure and mix antibiotics, because it was stupid to pay $50 to a vet for a $25 rabbit, but a $7 package of tetracycline or penicillin (actually, I don’t remember how much the injectable penicillin cost) was reasonable.
      A few people get attached to cheap pets to the point of spending $$$$, and I guess it’s becoming more common as more people have less contact with animals, but small animal vets tend to focus on critters that are fantastically expensive because people just can’t go out and buy another parrot for a buck, like they can a chicken. (And while you probably can’t get a vet for a chicken, you can get oodles of good information to identify and treat anything infectious and treatable on your own, because big chicken operations can’t afford to lose tens of thousands of birds and have put the money into it.)

      1. No, not for the “it’s my pet, pls fix” folks. For the pure research that everyone else is ignoring. Granted, most will not pay off. Get rich? No. Get published? Maybe.

        1. Bio students, then, not vet. *grin*

          Not-little-brother’s actual-sister is a vet, no research time for her. Not-little-brother, though, as an assistant professor (?–he’s on the track where when he finishes his PhD he changes to tenure track), he gets to research when he’s not teaching.

              1. I am against racism in all its forms.


                If there is a race to be won, where lies the finish line? Are there prizes? Prizes! Prizes! There must be prizes!

                1. At last the Dodo said, `EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.’

                  `But who is to give the prizes?’ quite a chorus of voices asked.

                  `Why, SHE, of course,’ said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way, `Prizes! Prizes!’

                  Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round.

                  `But she must have a prize herself, you know,’ said the Mouse.

                  `Of course,’ the Dodo replied very gravely. `What else have you got in your pocket?’ he went on, turning to Alice.

                  `Only a thimble,’ said Alice sadly.

                  `Hand it over here,’ said the Dodo.

                  Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying `We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble’; and, when it had finished this short speech, they all cheered.

                  Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she could.

      2. The Daughter’s mouse Mycroft has been with her since his birth. He has developed tumors, something to which mice apparently are prey. She will be having the vet remove a couple of his tumors in order to be biopsied. She accepts that if it proves to be cancerous the options are palliative care and/or euthanasia. (She has expressed concern about how euthanasia would be carried out for a mouse.) Yes, it will cost her, but she feels that in keeping Mycroft she has committed to this mouse’s care, therefore she must do what she can for him.

  16. Look,guys the sad confession is that I get attached to the strangest things.

    I doubt there is a person I care about or feel some kind of attachment to that doesn’t

    The weird quirks of sentimentality that lets us love derpy fish, particular stuffed animals, or, in my personal weirdest case, a set of fairly bog standard plastic kitchen measuring cups, is a touch of humanity I would had to see disappear.

    1. I expect that the regulars’ attachment to the Constitution here qualifies to a great many as ‘the strangest thing’.

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