Trying to keep track of where all the time goes is just impossible these days. I've certainly had a lot of distractions.
Yummy stuff. Dragon Boat Festival is coming up soon (June 8). Mom doesn't cook any more so her vegetarian or traditional version of zongzi will not happen this year. I did find a page with a pretty classic version of zongzi, and am really happy with the find. Google images of this traditional Chinese food stimulates the appetite for me! :) Of course, it's a pretty huge undertaking (like making homemade tamales but since they are bigger servings, goes quicker) so I'll be trying to find a local place where I can pick some up premade.
Something new to me that I learned this month came by way of Marlene in an email where she mentioned chicken diapers. I had to find a site that featured them to learn more about this oddity and now it doesn't really seem that odd. Chicken diapers allow chickens to kept as house pets. Chickens do make really sweet affectionate companions, except for the occasional rooster from heck (they can get dangerous if they are unpredictable and aggressive, especially if their spurs are long an untrimmed). Some roosters have very nice personalities. If you do not have a good ratio of hens to roosters, your hens will get rather bedraggled; the roosters are pretty randy guys. My chickens have always been livestock and live outside except for that period of time that they need to be under the heat lamp--new peepers from the post office are always exciting! A sick or injured bird however, would be kept in the house, in a cat crate where I could give it attention through the day. It's so easy to imagine making a house pet of one. Imagine a pet rooster waking you up from your headboard in the morning. No snooze button? Maybe some corn scattered on the floor! And you get a few eggs a week from your hen, but if she has no nest, every day could be an Easter egg hunt. :)
HSUS was pretty interesting in the recent week. A stable link to the WSB exposé on HSUS is here. It's been quite an eye opener to see the obsessive levels to which censorship can happen.
Other finds this week. The Library of Congress has some famous and interesting photos on its own Flickr account. From a pit bull chat forum, I learned about this beautiful blog where a man travels on his bike with his pit bull who rides a sidecar. They have beautiful photography there. Check it out, Ara and Spirit's blog, The Oasis of My Soul.
A really funny video. I always wince when it looks like people are getting hurt, but overall, I really had a good laugh with this one. :)
I've had a Twitter account for many months but didn't make much use of it. I've found it very handy for following issues in legislation, foodie blogs, posts about science, agriculture, my breed, genetics, games, humor, photography, news, photo editing and seriously, all manner of other things that interest me. I've added a sidebar to this blog that shows my latest 'tweets' and connects to my Twitter profile.
Helmut at the beach with a Great Dane. (pic from earlier this year, via Geno) It's just always great to see happy pics and good news about dogs. :)
'Animal Wrongs' seems to be a better and more accurate phrase than 'Animal Rights' as practiced by HSUS, PeTA and other supporters, including some local animal shelters. Lots of reports suggesting reform abound, but they are still killing pets as they see fit and making it difficult for pet lovers to keep their rights. Seems counter intuitive regarding 'humane' organizations but until reform happens, we still have quite a fight at hand.
CA AB1122: WHY HSUS DOESN’T WANT “TRANSFERS” OF ANIMALS April 19, 2009 How does HSUS Work Against Pets+Owners?
HSUS passes laws (HSUS has almost 200 laws for this year) then uses those laws for cases it plans to bring forward, then uses those cases in their incremental process to bring down both interstate commerce and pet ownership, kennels, pet stores, dog breeders, along with difficulties for agriculture and other animals.
We can guarantee that the CA Prop 2 (battery cages) will come back to haunt us in pet ownership, or farming. HSUS will probably find some other ways to outlaw farm animals or make a huge problem for farming–after all HSUS right NOW is trying to outlaw all “non-native” species including birds, herps,guineas,ferrets, turtles and many other common species in the USA that have been owned for 50-100 years.
Ownership in the law, is of the highest legal nature, and as a concept, usually means the ultimate control over the item owned. It also usually refers to having the control legally over such item (property) and also the right to use it for as long as is allowed in the law, and in many instances, to bring a lawsuit where the owner’s rights are affected. Guardianship does NOT necessarily mean any of the same things, which is why animal rights prefers it over “owner.”
CA law has statutes that show one of the main incidents of ownership in property, is the right to TRANSFER it (Bias v Ohio Farmers Indemnity Co (1938) 28 Cal.App.2d 14,16). Or, “A common characteristic of a property right, is that it may be disposed of, transferred to another.” (Douglas Aircraft Co. v Byram (1943) 57 Cal.App.2d 311, 317)
Thefore we can see why Peta wanted to take possession/ownership of different animals because after they owned them, they could just dispose of them in the garbage dump (after killing them via lethal injection)—and they suffered no consequences. [Actually it appeared there was fraud in the procurement of the animals but we don't know if they were hit for that.]
And, we can see why HSUS doesn’t want animals TRANSFERRED to others because that’s an element of OWNERSHIP.
The obvious next step for HSUS is to claim if animals can’t be sold or transferred, then that means THEY ARE NOT PROPERTY.
HSUS is currently trying to outlaw the use (import, export, transport, breeding) or movement in interstate commerce of any non native species via HR669 in Congress by using the Lacey Act. See the PIJAC website for details, or see the post on this site with the link to PIJAC.
This would encompass virtually every bird, reptile, amphibian, fish and some mammals kept as pets. In general only a small number of species have caused environmental issues (in FL and HI.)
This nonsense by HSUS subterfuge has not been lost on us.
We are VERY aware of what HSUS and Animal Rights are trying to do. Clearly the agenda is to chip away at the ownership of animals until we miss the fact that the WORDS USED FOR OWNERSHIP have been eliminated, then next thing you know—-HSUS has eliminated the ownership of animals. No transfers, no selling, no bartering, no trading, etc. This has already been attempted in HSUS anti pet laws where a dog with cropped ears couldn’t be transferred/owned by a rescue because the rescue didn’t have the documents proving how the ears were done.
It would be easier to make “owning” something next to impossible, or exorbitantly too expensive or far too much red tape, than to outright say “you can’t own that”–which is Animal Rights done the HSUS way–as can be seen by the multidue of 180 Anti pet laws HSUS is pushing just this year…..
HSUS has a habit of purposely drafting bad laws, then getting them passed, then taking cases, and using the laws that HSUS has HELPED PASS—as proof that such ideas have already been cemented IN THE LAW. In other words, HSUS makes the very laws it fully intends to use as part of a case it has already planned, then if they win that case, it will set some precedent in the law. THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE HSUS GOAL—TO SET ANIMAL RIGHTS LAW PRECEDENT……………………
If you value your ownership over your pets and animals, and the fact that pet-related businesses are allowed to profit over the selling, buying, trading, owning, or otherwise pet-related legal businesse ownership; if you want CHOICE in what dog or cat or bird or fish that you can BUY, own, or trade or sell; if you want the ability to eat the foods you like (milk, eggs, cheese, meat) then you do NOT want to support ANY HSUS LAWS.
As has been stated on this blog ever since it started—you don’t join the KKK if you’re Black, you don’t push Hitler if you’re Jewish, and you don’t help HSUS if you value ownership of animals.
And because the Pet connection blog online, is one that keeps saying (especially author Gina Spadafori) that HSUS can be trusted to do the right thing—where HSUS cannot be trusted at all…………….it is our opinion that Pet connection lacks the ability to discern Animal Rights in disguise—-and we do not recommend anyone following the opinions of much of the blog—mostly because Spadafori only harps on Peta–but not HSUS.
Just because one authors books, doesn’t mean that one knows Animal Rights. Further, Spadifori harped on Petland claiming that they should be OUT of business if they didn’t ADOPT out dogs, rather than SELL them? That is a very very dangerous proposition, and one that we surely don’t want to push as owners. NOT if you understand the HSUS concept of animal rights–which we don’t believe Spadafori understands [unless she is animal rights herself---]
HSUS is the FAR more dangerous group—if you understand Animal Rights. Spadifori also commended HSUS on filing the lawsuit against Hunte and Petland—that is a mistake, because it indicates that one does NOT understand what HSUS is doing strategy wise.
For example, HSUS pushed the Stevens free speech case, so that Stevens would be prosecuted for selling videos which showed dog fighting (he didn’t make the videos)—BUT the Appeals court held that the statute used (which was likely pushed by HSUS)— which was set up for “crush films”, could cause LEGAL acts to become illegal if the law was upheld, and might even cause the Disney film (Bambi) to be illegal. [See the Stevens case on the Front Page on this blogsite]
Another case is Amazon, where after HSUS pushed the Stevens case (Stevens convicted under the statute ) HSUS sued Amazon to stop the sale of chicken videos or dog video sales, claiming they were violating the law. Another case is the PA commercial kennel laws pushed by HSUS and ASPCA, where after the law was passed, HSUS then sued Petland and Hunte, no doubt so they could use their own law that passed (PA) as proof of concern over the commercial kennel issues. All of this is just a part of the pattern and practice of getting incremental steps in place, passing laws, filing lawsuits, and using the laws to set up precedence for HSUS Animal Rights. We don’t doubt for a second that their entire 16 attorney team or 160 member team or whatever, just goes to the conference room and has a session on strategy for the next 5 years.
Don’t think for a second that we haven’t noticed it, because we knew it a long time ago. Another example is the DNA testing and Breed Specific Legislation that HSUS “claims” it doesn’t support?
HSUS filed an amicus animal rights brief in the DENVER 2008 case re BSL, [yes, we did read it]—- claiming that the DNA companies claimed their DNA test “was 99% accurate.” Then on the animal law and historical society page (Michigan School of Law, Animal Rights Section)—the school has pages which show “how DNA proved” that a particular dog WAS NOT a pitbull subject to BSL. But the key really is, if they can prove it ISN’T a pitbull, and it’s actually 99% accurate, can it prove that IT IS A PITBULL?
And that’s why HSUS put that amicus brief in the Federal Court to Denver. So when that issue comes up down the line, HSUS will be the first to claim that DNA testing should be used [to have pitbull dogs killed], because it’s 99% accurate, despite the fact that the AKC and UKC don’t have the exact same breed name/types for American Pitbull Terriers, or American Stafforshire Terriers. AKC doesn’t recognize the APBT. But that won’t stop HSUS—you wait and see. They like to keep people fooled.
Any Animal Rights group like HSUS that has that much time and money into killing pitbull type dogs is definitely going to try and eliminate more of those dogs, use such dogs as a ploy to raise more funding, and then kill more of them. We have long ago figured out HSUS’ pattern and practice, and that’s why we keep telling everyone not to trust HSUS. They are just Animal Rights that think no one can figure out what they are doing.
You don’t have to be an attorney or have a legal education to figure that one out. And you don’t even have to be a pet owner. You just have to have some logic and common sense to see what is going on.
Not in our lifetime, never, never ever. The demise of HSUS will come first. Because too many people will see what they are REALLY doing. Help us spread the word! Tell everyone you know and make it a point to tell at least 10-50 other people. This is the only way that legislators are going to figure it out, and the only way the public will stop donating.
People that donate to HSUS Animal rights might as well donate to PETA. Because they are carrying out the Peta agenda.
There's been some good news but it's still no time to sit back. To see an example of how convoluted and disgusting some of the problems are, see this article on the removal of Ed Boks from L.A. Animal Services. He was major component in pushing some extremist bills in L.A. County and attempted to get all of California to buy the rotten goods.
One of the things that has taken so much time from me over the past weeks has been the effort to keep up with over two dozen animal related bills on the California agenda. The extremist strategy of chopping up the concepts of larger failed bills, into smaller bite sizes, makes it considerably more difficult to get people to realize that all of the bills are part of the greater goals.
Now for some fun. I just have to share this video. No need for captions on this one. :)
And more fun! Free game giveaway of the day is "Around the World in 80 Days", with only eleven hours left for downloads of an unlocked version of the game as I write. This is a beautiful match-3 game and it comes with a screen saver that increases options as you gain levels within the game. Gamezebo reviews this game and gives it a nice write up.
My favorite email program for over a dozen years... Pegasus mail, now has a Wiki. :)
We had an interesting evening Monday night. Apparently Comcast, our broadband company had local connectivity taken out due to the local storms. Well, I could have used dial up if I felt hard-up to connect, but pages load soooooo slow that way. The thing that really got hubby was the fact that our Comcast service for TV connection was taken out. I was watching him listen to TV -- although video reception was a joke, he could still listen to some of his favorite shows. Later, he was watching one of our smaller old TVs with the rabbit ears, which did a reasonable job picking up TV video and captions. I've worried about how so much of our lifestyles depend on electricity, and typically in my area, there are usually about 3-5 days a year where we might not have any power at all for half a day or more. Just one night of not having Comcast connectivity was interesting in its own way. And speaking of wikis, I noted that there is a section regarding customer satisfaction on a Wiki, about Comcast.
In 2004 and 2007, the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found that Comcast had the worst customer satisfaction rating of any company or government agency in the country, including the Internal Revenue Service.
Believeable. There were entire weeks last year when we had little to no reliable internet connectivity at all. (We buy local TV channels and the TV service was fine during that period.) I won't even get into some of the strange mis-aliasing that I've seen taking place on Comcast for their email customers who were subscribed to any of the forums I administrate. :p
Now something a little bit different. I keep laughing every time I see this captioned video. :D
I ran into this amazing video a couple months ago.
I haven't run into any help files that allow me to stop the autoplay. What an amazing woman. I wish I could hear what she does, but apparently she can't hear what she plays, so much as sense it in other ways.
Got an email yesterday that advised a 'blue plate special' on some casual games at Sandlot. Only $5 a game. Not bad! And there's a pirate themed one called "Pirate Island", apparently a variation on 'match 3' with some pretty interesting graphics. :)
Also ran into a google ad for yet another Pirate-themed massively multiplayer web game called "Dogs at Sea III". One of my goals this year is to at least try a MMORPG for a few hours. As yet, I haven't found one that has a theme that really appeals to me. Maybe I'm just not MMORPG material, but maybe it is just because I'm not sure what I want to see in such a game. I certainly won't be able to get involved with guilds/alliances and planned battles since I'm often away from the keyboard when things get interesting (speaking from recent experience with simple real time chat services!)
About Dogs of the Seas! "Dogs of the Seas" is a browser based Massive Multiplayer game.
You start your adventure as an unknown pirate in the heart of the Caribbean. Battle and Trade your way to affluence and standing. Your armed battle ships that sail through the Caribbean shall make you famous and dreaded pirate! Find valuable treasures, or hunt for other dreaded pirates. Take missions from the local agents, and qualify for adventurous smuggler jobs, pursue other smugglers or take part in regular events. Handle and trade with rare goods or produce valuable and powerful ships or cannons. Wild computer pirates and peaceful dealers populate the Caribbean waters along with thousands of fellow pirates. Sink your opponents and plunder their vessels in real-time battles player vs player (PvP) or against the computer generated factions. Trade with alliances or friends on the high seas for valuable possessions. Create an alliance or join another to participate in the political turmoil of the Caribbean.
Lastly, this picture of a vast assortment of fresh lokum (Turkish delight) at an Istanbul market has been driving me nuts. Must go to Eve's Market and pick up a few boxes this week.
Try Guild Wars, which really doesn't need much financial investment or time, and you don't even have to be in a guild. It is based on fantasy, which means it has a bit of a Lord of the Rings feel to it, though.
Mark, thanks. I have landed on links or read of some MMORPGs that have something like a week for a free trial. I'll just have to pay attention to more of them. Guild Wars, hrm...
I was gifted with a subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM, see also 1Up.com) which often features MMORPGs. I need to begin reviewing the publication and site with MMORPGs in mind when other things slow down a bit. EGM's hilarious responses in the "letters to the editor" section are always the first and sometimes the only thing I find time to read! LOL.
Oh, and free peek at EGM can be found at Zinio.com.
A pic from Geno! Dom with a NICE whopper of a Christmas present -- and Helmut, the Anatolian, up close in a sweet holiday blackberry picture.
Here's a Christmas pic from Rebecca showing Helmut's sister, Jasmine. Jasmine has happily adopted Rebecca's daughter's pug puppy for a bud. :)
Holidays and the end of the year can be such a mix of celebrations and losses. We've had great sadness over the untimely passing of several Anatolians and of other dogs belonging to friends and acquaintances in recent months. Two of these Anatolians were littermates to Ruya. One died after spay surgery and the other appears to have died in her sleep, cause unknown. :(
I also finally discovered the reason for the recent weird computer behavior and keyboard malfunctions when my motherboard suddenly failed in the middle of December. So apparently it had been gimping along and causing illogical patterns of malfunction. The good news is that despite the fact we couldn't plan a budget for this unfortunate event, the rebuild of this desktop machine is coming along nicely, albeit, a bit slowly. But it will be a pretty nice machine soon enough. Here's a useful page that was very helpful when I discovered a crash and a bad driver install had corrupted networking services in my registry.
Sending belated Christmas and holiday wishes for all. May the new year be brimming with the good things; with happiness, health, good luck, prosperity and success for us all. :) There is so much for which to be thankful.
Couldn't resist posting a fun video of Lucy tackling a job at a chocolate factory. Captioned, of course!
I tried it out a couple months ago. The doggie image is based on an old gif I made when I first created my Semavi dog, Anatolian icon. Actually, it was in PCX format back when and the original didn't have a spike collar -- I just added the collar for this exercise. The dog is not a very good likeness of any of my dogs, but at the time it was all done dot by dot twenty years ago on an old XT computer with an old DOS computer, no Windows! I just hang on to the pic, never sure how I'll torture the thing next time I run into it. The odd thing about it is that over the years with different base image rendering programs, the proportions of the leg and body length changes depending on the program and font that renders it. Sometimes the image is very square and other times it is stretched left to right. I haven't tried to figure that out.
In this image for this font creating exercise, below, you can see what I mean about the changing proportions. :) You can see it rendered above in Wordpad, along side other decorative fonts for fun. Real useful, ha, I know!
Give it a try if you've got a logo or evil little icon you want to mess with.
Now for --- Something less intensive...
I found a wonderful captioned Bill Cosby video. Enjoy!
Bill Creswell finds captioned online videos or he captions many of them himself. He adds them to a VodPodfeed via a widget which provides a constantly updating, wide variety of interesting pieces, from movie trailers, to music video with captioned lyrics, topics in disability, political stuff, oddball humor; many other things. He has another feed of his collection here http://ccmovies.org/ .
So cool! Much appreciated. I told him so. :)
I added his vodpod widget to the left panel of this template. You can find it quickly by clicking here. Take a look at some of the vids in the feed. There are many more on his various webpages, and the widget box gives a link to one of these collections. Thanks again, Bill! :D
Jamie Berke at About.com mentioned an interesting article about the idea of potentially using infrared to stimulate nerve cells in the ear to detect sound at a level better than that of current cochlear implants. The idea of being able to hear music again is very intriguing. The idea of ultra sensitive perception is something that transcends the imagination (or mine at least... I start thinking too much!)... I really wonder what it is that one actually senses when infrared is used this way. For some reason I get a weird vision of Telltale Hearts in the walls, alien communications, ticking watches, and peeling paint or other odd things I'd rather not be hearing. Time will tell if this technology will actually be useful.
Electrical stimulation of the inner ear by a cochlear implant produces blurred maps, but the light stimulation produced maps that were as sharp as those produced by sound in hearing guinea pigs, says Richter, who presented the findings at the Medical Bionics conference in Lorne, in the Australian state of Victoria, earlier this week.... [get the full article here at New Scientist]
On LGD-L, (Livestock Guardian Dog discussion List which also has a library on subjects regarding these dogs), we read about how flockguardian dogs work with livestock and sometimes run into stories about various species kept under LGD care. One type of goat I hadn't heard of on the forum is a Moroccan goat that climbs trees. One of the by products of tree climbing goats is argan oil.
Chickens do have amazing abilities. I thought this was one of the better videos on chicken head orientation. :)
Constitutional crisis? I thought it a bit odd, what is going on for Donofrio. He set up a Blogger blog when another site of his went down temporarily. The Blogger blog has since been taken down for about 24 hours as of this writing.
Semavi Kale Shadow (Ruya's sibling pinto sister) caught on a picture after she ran in and rolled a puppy for unwanted behavior among Shadow's sheep. You can see from her expression as she leaves the crumpled puppy, just how she feels. Yeah, I know there are 'all positive' dog training advocates that argue that dogs don't do the 'alpha wolf roll'. I don't have time to argue with them. I don't think they've observed how large dogs keep order, which age ranges and the types of infractions - it is complicated and justice is administered 'to effect' - not at all like some sort of 'thug city'. Mama dogs teach their kids the law of the tooth and fang and normally one or two lessons can instill certain respect for the life of the given student. :)
Above type scenario came to mind when I saw this... it is a video showing some chickens disrupting squabbling ruckus from a pair of rabbits.
The hens are beautiful. I would love to have some Light Brahmas again some day. They are a really gentle breed despite what the video may seem to show. Pretty substantial in size, slow to grow, good layers, broody, good moms, light brown tinted eggs.
Just read that BoingBoing has a new game related blog starting up, Offworld. Might be kind of fun.
CaptionsON.com's video(clicky!) has a very nice video, briefly discussing and demonstrating the benefits that can be had with captioned video for the diverse population of people (many who are not deaf) that are inadvertently forgotten, when people create online video without captions. Click the movie above to see! Below are some of the points that make captioning so important, as listed on CaptionsON.
Captions matter because captions are.
Free to viewers of television and the Internet.
Accessible to individuals living in nearly every household in the United States.
Professionally produced in the US by highly skilled stenographers and offline captioners. Stenographers transcribe the audio portion of a live program as it is being aired and send the captions across the country in seconds. Offline captioners transcribe prerecorded programming with 100% accuracy before it airs.
An essential service for the over 31 million individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, giving them access to the audio portion of programming on TV and the Internet.
A tool that improves reading and listening skills of children and adults by visually tying words with sound.
A way to strengthen language and comprehension skills for those learning English as a second language, marrying the spoken word with the written word as well as reinforcing grammar and sentence structure.
A great way to engage and exercise the mind by challenging the viewer to focus on reading, listening and comprehending in real time
Able to enhance family time by not only allowing all members of the household to enjoy programming at lower volume levels but also knowing the added benefits captions are bringing to everyone – regardless of age.
Pixar began working on an animated movie about an German Shepherd a few years ago. Disney wanted it and but not in the four years that Pixar would normally take. Disney has changed the story a bit, and the doggie hero is called Bolt. Bolt will be coming out this Thanksgiving holiday. I initially thought it was a Pixar movie, but in its current form, it is not. It is a Disney movie. I won't be able to watch it in theaters but look forward to seeing it when it's out on DVD. Here is a trailer that was captioned by Bill Creswell. Yay Bill! :)
A couple days ago I discovered NASRN's blog. (National Anatolian Shepherd Rescue Network.) I'll be adding their blog link to the Anatolian Blogroll whenever Blogrolling is back up again. Blogrolling is reportedly undergoing a rewrite so it might take a little time. Anyway, I'm linking to it here for now.
Unrelated: Note to self... get a replacement box of baking soda next to the stove to quickly put out cooking fires.
Okay, I ran into some really funny video a few days ago and the best part is that not only is it really hilarious stuff, but it is captioned!! :D
The Youtube homepage for this series of movies is WatchTheGuild, and they have Season 1 available here. I will embed the first clip of Season 1 below so you can get an idea what it's about. It really is hilarious. I haven't played any of these massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) but I know dozens and dozens of people that do, -- some with almost entire families in different locations around the world meeting and playing a game periodically. Some people really get into it (maybe too much!) and others play off and on. Being reliable with your group is important to the gaming and social success of a guild or group. For example, it may take a team of players with a wide variety of skills to kill a virtual dragon. This sort of game play isn't my thing, but the fun thing about these clips is how realistically they depict or parody real time social network individuals. If you like this clip below, head over to the homepage linked above and watch more as you find time. :) Fun!
A week ago, I mentioned a couple free anime styled MMORPGs. If you just want to check them out, go here for "Winterland Online" and also check out the drop down menu for a list of their other virtual worlds at the topmost right.
While everything isn't final yet, electoral college matters among other things -- the basic elements of world economy, broad international lack of stability, and the position of being the world's most powerful leader will truly test his mettle and show us if he really has a strategy or has been a novelist and poet all along. His anticipated tenure will sorely test the soured faith of hundreds of thousands newfound proletariats, from countless populations of inter-conflicted and indeed clashing special interests. And to begin with, he has already lowered the bar to define who are the bourgeoisie, he has over half the country uneasy with his lack of accountability, which includes his being held up to less scrutiny than other 2008 candidates and even a plumber, up to this point. (probably politically incorrect to do, if we are to consult our mainstream media's recent actions as our guide.) Hoping for the best.
Now time for a little Cat Music or at least some grins. :)
I can't hear a thing on the vid of course, but there is a bit of open captioning. The part of this clip that made me laugh was what appears to be a sort of 'dueling pianos' demo at a tempo slower than that of "Amazing Grace". Having played piano for about ten years as a child (in Japan), I do know what those keys sound like that the kitty is pressing and maybe I need a disclaimer for my subject line. ;)
Above, a Sim 2 creation with two of her Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.
No, The Sims 3 isn't out yet, but it's getting more interesting all the time so I just had to post! I still haven't found much time to do much of anything with my Sims 2 game in the past year or so, although I install the expansion packs as soon as I get a chance - just so I know the newest disks work. It's such a fine game if I can ever get back to it. Unfortunately, its not really a quick little game, like Tetris or Solitaire, because it is about families and little simulated people and their lives.
The simulated scene above shows a young lady who has just bought a house. She brought two Anatolian Shepherd Dogs created from the family creator in the game. The three are not really even familiar with each other yet, although the lady looks comfy to be with her dogs. They need more relationship points before they are close friends and the dogs need to learn basic obedience. My girl hasn't bought any furniture for the house yet, and it's a small one at that, since she didn't have a lot of money (simoleons) to get started. I'm going to have this Sim lady help me do a doggie tutorial eventually. She will probably have a big garden, grow all of her food, a pond where she can fish, and lots of space for her pets. Since her property will have lots of trees, for fruit and landscaping, she's likely to have some wolves as visitors. I like to think she'll be close to nature and I'd like her to meet and marry a rich celebrity Sim -- but since she's a family oriented girl, she might be happy with any compatible sim guy. Since neither she nor I know the neighborhood where she has just moved, she'll have to socialize in her town and maybe do some traveling. Hopefully, she'll fall for a great guy amd eventually have some great kids, some of whom may go to college. I can't remember what she wanted for a career (these are spontaneous and part of their "Life Time Wants", or goals for the game play). I'll have to check it out again some time. I really love The Sims 2!
With all the busy stuff in life lately, I have been avoiding peeking at anything about the next generation game. ...except for small doses. :)
In fact, I'm beginning to think that the next generation game, The Sims 3 will be out in the stores (next year) before I get anywhere with my Sim 2 families. And... and, and (sigh...) The Sims 3 is looking very promising indeed. (and resource hungry, I'm sure!)
So, I just saw an announcement with a link to a brief and humorous Sims 3 trailer showing a simulated brawl between two Sims 3 simulated VP candidates.
I really appreciate the detail that goes into animating these sims. Some of their actions are things you direct them to do with mouseclick menus, but many of the little details of things that sims do are spontaneous and you can't always tell what they are going to do next. It's a pretty deaf friendly game, although the sims do like to sing and dance. They don't speak English, but their own langauge which is called Simlish. People who can hear what they say can't know for sure what the words are, but like people who learn to speak Klingon, there are actually word patterns in their speech. However, hearing or not be you, they are very expressive with their hands and faces. :)
The kids btw are really cute. (and they get their genetic traits from their parents, as do the pets, which are breedable). Intriguing, eh? :)
Click here to see an avi video file, created by another Simmer (a Simmer is someone who plays The Sims) of her Sims 2 toddler child who is having a tantrum about getting out of her crib. The child's parents have taught her how to walk, and this unlocks interesting potential for her problem solving ability which you can observe in the clip. It's really cute. I like how she looks both ways to see if anyone has observed, before she makes a break for it. ;)
In a move to make videos easier to understand without volume or for the hard of hearing, YouTube has given users the option of embedding closed captions that show up as semitransparent overlays.
The news link above has a link to a Closed Caption (in English) Japanese clip. It looks pretty awesome so if you want to see an example, go there and look.
Here's what the controls on a real Closed Captioned video on YouTube looks like note the far RIGHT hand side:
There are volume control, the control to expand to full window, and finally the NEWest control! The Closed Caption control is on the far right hand side and expands on mouseover to gives you the option to hide or show REAL Closed captions!!
Well... I did search on YouTube on the keywords "closed captioned" but just end up with all the usual clips that don't actually have captioning at all, or are at least, OPEN captioned, by having text inserted into the images in the clips (which I do appreciate!).
Above video is linked to Harkle.com. See Harkle.com for their collection of found CC online videos - Chad Vader is pretty funny. :D
Well it is NEW, and I hope people using Youtube will take advantage of the CC tool. For example: I hope some of the National Geographic clips will start to utilize them too! (you can lead a horse to water but... )
Surprisingly the company is not providing any tools to help users monitor their current usage. An FAQ on Comcast's support site simply suggests that customers do a "Web search" for bandwidth metering software that will track this amount for them. Going forward there may be plans to set up alerts over certain thresholds, or bundle some official tool as part of the company's starter software.
I got the above picture from Geno, showing Helmut sharing something with a kitten. I love the picture, and isn't Helmut cute? (see more of his pictures on his label link) :)
Nathan Winograd's blog has some heartwretching pics and movie clips from animal control scenes. He labeled several of them as occuring at L.A. Animal Services, where Ed Boks is the General Manager. Mr. Boks has been very busy in the past year or so, trying to institute broad punitive legislation against pet owners and to cover the entire state of California. As can be seen from his actions and from his record (which includes being problematic to rescues), his interest in the welfare of animals is questionable and his interest in appropriately written legislation is poor as well.
See him below, in his own words -- what he has to say when questioned by Senator Cox.
There is a petition to have Ed Boks removed from his position as General Manager. If you agree, please sign the petition. This IS bigger than L.A. -- there are many areas around the country that are dealing with the Mandatory Spay and Neuter bills due to copycat officials that think L.A. has a good thing going. Amazingly they have not looked at the increase in animal deaths and abuse due to the MSN propaganda coming out of that area. The spending and the deaths of animals has INCREASED! These bills are seriously problematic at many levels.
See Lloyd Levine in his own words... tell Senator Cox what the bill really means in this clip.
The bill in its present form is a dangerous one and needs to be killed. Thanks for all that have been helping to get the information out there!
No on California AB 1634 "California Healthy Pets Act" Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception
My old copy of NexTalk has been getting a lot of use in the past few weeks and suddenly it kept crashing or just truncating my phone sessions - requiring a reboot to resume a call. Ugh! So I decided to uninstall and clean out the registry and file folders of the program and then reinstall an upgrade. I went to download the program again and was happy to find that the newest version is designed so that it also works on Vista now and has a FAX option. Interesting. Anyway, with Vista capability, now I can install it on my (new to me) Gateway notebook which has Vista installed. :)
The link for NexTalk is here. This is a free program that enables a deaf person (who wants to use the computer interface) to call a person who can hear. An operator types text messages back to the deaf person, typing out whatever is being said at the hearing end. It works a lot like using a real time instant messenger. Thanks to all those wonderful relay operators out there that make these services possible. :D
Now here's a wonderful video with text, showing a sweet dog named Cowboy learning something new. :)
. . . Because people who love you sometimes want to use your laptop computer to make use of real or imagined, undocumented but desirable features. Two videos below with the second one being loosely applied to laptop computer technology that doesn't exist (yet) -
Tech Support in the Middle Ages (things haven't changed much!) Video with English subtitles. If you haven't seen this one before, be sure to watch it to the end. ;)
A Cell Phone that does everything! (ewwwww...) No captions on this one but it's pretty self-explanatory.
Some nice news on one of Vick's former pit doggies at Mercury News. (EDIT: I originally posted a link directly to the article but it is doing some Mercury News related odd login/redirect and page failure thing! --so here's the full text followed by the original URL)
Kids, elders befriend a Vick fighting dog By Linda Goldston Mercury News Article Launched: 01/31/2008 01:42:57 AM PST
[picture of Leo above]Caption: Leo, one of the 50 pit bulls confiscated from former NFL star Michael Vick,... ( Stephanie Lam )
He faced a life of fighting, a cruel death by hanging or drowning if he couldn't make it in the pit.
Now he brings smiles to children, tears of joy to seniors.
Leo, one of 50 pit bulls confiscated from former NFL star Michael Vick's dog fighting kennel, has a new leash on life, thanks to a South Bay rescue group.
He also has a new job: He's been transformed into a therapy dog. Instead of risking his life in a dog fight, he will help fight the fear and loneliness of children and seniors in hospitals and convalescent homes.
"He'll put his paws on the bed and give them the soft warm 'love me' eyes," said Marthina McClay, a dog trainer and founder of Our Pack, Inc., who has worked with Leo since Dec. 16. "That's why he's such a good therapy dog. He's very polite."
When Leo arrived in the Bay Area, he had scars behind his ears and showed signs that handlers at Vick's Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia were starting to condition the pit bull terrier for fights, McClay said.
"He was starting to fight or had done some fighting but it hadn't gone on long enough that he was beyond repair," she said. "Now he's fine and loves to play with other dogs."
Leo shares toy bones with McClay's female pit bull, Hailey, and gives a wide berth to her Chihuahua. He greets visitors with a wagging tail and piercing brown eyes. But there is no jumping up on anyone. This dog sits down and watches you to see what comes next.
"He's a fabulous dog," McClay said. "A real sweetheart."
After authorities seized dozens of dogs from Vick's property in Virginia, the animals were kept in shelters while investigators put together their case. A court-appointed attorney for the dogs decided which rescue groups could take them. Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls or BAD RAP, an Oakland-based pit bull rescue group, helped with the evaluations and drove 13 of the dogs to the Bay Area.
Pack got one of the dogs, Leo, and BAD RAP placed the rest in foster homes.
Vick, former star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, is serving 23 months in prison after pleading guilty to a dog-fighting conspiracy.
Dogs bought for fighting went through a testing process; if they didn't perform well, they were drowned, electrocuted or hanged at Bad Newz Kennel.
Even though he has minor scarring from fights, Leo likely would have faced one of those violent deaths, McClay said.
"He just wants to play," McClay said as Leo snored on her couch.
McClay and others said the Vick dog-fighting case is remarkable because the dogs were not euthanized.
"People stood up and said, 'Wait a minute,' " she said.
What the rehabilitated dogs are showing now "is their core temperament," McClay said. "Their hallmark is people-pleasing. Otherwise, Michael Vick couldn't have done what he did.
"The dogs aren't criminals. The humans who abuse them are the criminals."
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED For more information on pit bulls, dog training and Our Pack, Inc., see the Web site at www.ourpack.org. ______________ Contact Linda Goldston at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 920-5862.
ORIGINAL MERCURY NEWS URL- http://www.mercurynews.com/lifeandstyleheadlines/ci_8126693
Breed Specific Legislation is WRONG!
And time for some Deaf silliness :) No captions on this one, but it's all quite clear!
I'm still trying to shake off a bad cold and just have been too tired lately to keep up with any reading. I have previously read much ado about potential problems from cell phone radiation exposure but until recently, I just really haven't been paying much attention since I don't one. James used the landline primarily but his cell phone useage has become frequent and habitual -- time for us to wake up. Just saw this new article last night about how cell phone use interferes with sleep. Other general warnings which compare cell phone radiation to wireless laptop use. Interesting.
Last month, I read some articles regarding internet accessibility regarding how deaf captioning in online video shows (the professional ones) are so lacking. For example, you can watch some of the same newsclips on TV with the captions but the online versions never do have captions. From one of the articles discussing this issue, I ran into some delightful YouTube films that were captioned (Yay!) and had to do with with deaf topics. Here's one of them that has humor from Deaf culture featured. :)
Jamie Berke at About.com has a wonderful article explaining about how exhausting or frustrating it is for hearing impaired students at school, and actually applies to some extent for all deaf and hearing impaired in almost all social situations... see the Classroom Ghost.
On a lighter note, thanks to Diane who posted a link to a "Human Tetris" clip last week, I ended up looking at several hilarious clips showing a Japanese game show with a Tetris-like theme. Good laughs are much needed sometimes. :)
I've decided to start a new label/category on this blog for subscriptions, because there are a few services that I think are pretty handy or entertaining, even if I don't always find the time to catch up on these things!
I've had a YouTube membership for some time, but since I'm not really into the hobby of finding time to make video to put online, a membership is handy just so I can tag favorite videos to make them easier to find or to be able to subscribe to favorite video posters so one knows when something new is online. Handy!
One of the YouTube member video makers is National Geographic! I only wish there were a caption mode for the deaf on these vids. But after having made my own first Anatolian Shepherd Dog video that I tested on YouTube, just to see what I'd learn, I am a little more acquainted with the issues making quality video for the half size resolution that YouTube uses. And National Geographic does that very well. Of course!
Since I've subscribed to the channel, here are today's updates at National Geographic at YouTube as quoted from the YouTube subscription service.
Stuffing Dead Pets? I know that stuffing a pet is never going to be my thing. I have known of some European breeders who have kept at least one cured pelt of a special guardian dog - one was a wall hanging of a Kuvasz which someone once described as having dense swirly hair - this is kind of like having a huge bearskin rug on the wall. I guess the latter choice for our big livestock guardian dogs makes more sense to me - although I'm not inclined to do this either. From a genetics and historical point of view, such a pelt can serve as an interesting example of what some feel should be the classic coat in that breed. I think more people that I know, would rather have handmade garments made that have some of the shed undercoat and/or hair from their dogs, especially while the dog still lives, but also as a useful keepsake after the dog passes. Again, probably more practical with these large LGD breeds due to volume and length of the fiber - compared to say an English Bulldog. A knit scarf for example, part wool from a fiber animal, and mixed with shed hair of dog is said to be incredibly warm. Probably more of us who can, will keep the ashes of our beloved friend in an urn until another decision is made regarding its disposition. Some of those who can bury their deceased dogs, will do that. It's just so sad to need to have a beloved animal rendered (like my deceased Arabian mare), but we can't always get what we want.
On a happier note... For more video and a chance to be interactive, Delta Society is taking votes from the public for Pet Partner of the Year - see the finalists, some video and cast your vote here.
This is Helmut, after having a good time in the corral when I took some video.
Well, finally some homemade video! It's not Steven Spielberg or Pixar for sure but we had fun. :)
The two vids below are actually the same four minute composition in different resolutions featuring "Three Anatolians in a Corral". The Youtube one will be better for those with slower connections but it's harder to read my text additions. The larger one below it is huge .... well, normally I format blog posting widths to fit on small resolution screens but am making an exception for the high resolution version of this vid -- until this posting ages enough and I move with a link to it to its own page so it won't cause problems with viewing other archives with which that post is connected. IE users may or may not be able to play it online, so try the link to download.
I converted the MOV file from my still Kodak Z650 Zoom camera to AVI, after which I was able to explore Windows Movie Maker with the video. Okay the actually footage is not very good since my fancy digital Kodak camera cannot do Zoom while in video mode like a real camcorder can. But it's still footage that some may find entertaining, and I enjoyed it because it allowed me to learn some more tricks with my resident programs. Certainly any footage taken with less than a 1/4 acre will not suffer as much from lack of detail on the subject dogs, but I wanted this footage because I wanted to get video of the dogs romping around the corral. Boone is not in the video because Coco smells so interesting to him now (she's not in heat yet) and I just wanted focus on the current project.
The original video is taken in a large screen mode on my camera, so converting to the half size YouTube resolution causes some loss of detail in the text I added. I think the solution to that is to shrink the movie first, then add the 'captions' (grin). If you do have broadband speeds, then see the second version. You can also use your right mouse button to view the larger one in full screen because it is not a flash file.
This was really fun to watch! You did a great job! :) So cute to see how high they hold their tails, like waving flags. Coco is amazingly gorgeous, with interesting spooky eyes. Of course, all of them are gorgeous! Bizarre about the camera not zooming... seems like a rather obvious feature that it should have.
I always want to know just HOW do they do this stuff? But sometimes it's just enough to be able to watch and marvel at it all... (No -- no, no... it isn't enough!! That can't be an illusion! ...can it?)
I wish more video was captioned for the deaf, but there's plenty of text to be found on this subject if one looks for it. A link to a Tax Law blog is in the Related Links below and has interesting comments and links. (and I can't figure out if this stock image listed under 'taxes' is a man being shaken for change or bullied to tears, but probably the same effect anyway!)
Local attorney acquitted on federal income tax charges Cryer stopped filing income taxes more than 10 years ago July 13, 2007 By Loresha Wilson
A Shreveport attorney who has challenged the government for years on the legality of filing federal income taxes has been acquitted on charges he failed to file returns.
A federal jury unanimously found Tommy Cryer not guilty this week on two misdemeanor counts of failure to file.
And according to Cryer, the prosecution dismissed two felony charges of tax evasion prior to trial.
Attempts by The Times on Thursday to reach U.S. Attorney Donald Washington or Bill Flanagan, first assistant U.S. attorney, were not successful. Calls made to the two were not immediately returned.
"The court could not find a law that makes me liable or makes my revenues taxable," Cryer said. "The Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot impose an income tax on anything but the profits and gains. When you work for someone you give your service and labor in exchange for money, so everything you make is not profit or gain. You put something into it."
Cryer was indicted last year on two counts of tax evasion. The indictment alleged he evaded payment of $73,000 in income tax to the Internal Revenue Service during 2000 and 2001.
Cryer created a trust listing himself as the trustee, and received payments of dividends, interest and stock income to that trust, according to the indictment. He also was accused of concealing his receipt of the sources of income from the IRS by failing to file a tax return on behalf of that trust.
"I determined that my personal earnings were not 100 percent profits, some were income," Cryer said. "I refuse to file, I refuse to pay unless they can show me I have a lawful reason to pay."
"What I earned was my own personal labor. I am giving something in exchange. I'm giving my property and I don't belong to anyone else."
Cryer says he stopped filing returns more than 10 years ago after he investigated claims that income tax was a sham. He contends the law doesn't actually tax personal earning.
I got a kick out of the fun facts about making the movie. One of which is "There are about 500 sticky notes in the video, including a butterfly and 4 or 5 stunt butterflies." I enjoyed the movie and hope Savage Chickens does well in the contest.
I have a heck of a time trying to edit video. I've got a few clips that Dave Koerner took during one of the visits he had here a year ago. I've been trying to edit them in Movie Maker (MS), but I really don't have talent for it and keep doing something that makes the program crash. Whenever I get it done, I'll post it here on the blog.
But the real reason for this post is that there are lots and lots and lots of Turkish dog lovers (especially overseas!) who take lots of footage of these beloved dogs! Americans seem to be a little more camera shy, or are much much pickier about opportune times for doggie videos, therefore the times never come. . .Carol Burnett has a message for us about not saving up for the best time but to enjoy it all now... don't have a link!Some of it is pretty nicely done, considering the resolution and our raw attempts at amateur movies. Some of the video captures cute moments such as these big guys getting tackled by little toy sized dogs. :) Funny! Unfortunately there are also rather unpleasant vids showing people sparring with their dogs - so if you're gonna go looking at videos, do realize that there's a fair bit of that out there. Ugh! I won't dwell on that now. I'm supposed to be de-stressing!
I liked this video and gave it a four for effort and the obvious work that's gone into it. Shows some really nice dogs, some variation in color and type, and pretty much showing just how important it is to realize there is a lot more to the story of Turkish dogs than certain Wikipedia donators are willing to admit. This appears to be compiled from various sources. A few of the human faces and dogs are recognizable from points of contact I've had around the world, but most are not. And the text, I appreciate! The closest thing I can get to captions sometimes. :) :D
A hen at Judy's place, with her chicks in a tree! James and I continue to be tickled with this photo over at Judy's Ravenwood Farm Tails blog. It's in the July archives there.
Chickens instinctively roost at night, and domestic chickens sometimes prefer a tree over other offerings. The puzzle is, how did these chicks which are only just starting to fledge get up in the tree?