Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ferret Care Guide

The following is a care sheet that I wrote for my sister who is going to take care of my ferret Zelda, since my job does not give me the time to do so anymore. I am posting it because there is a huge lack of information about ferret care and I think this letter may be helpful.

I was so happy when I found out that you would be interested in taking care of Zelda. I know that you guys have wanted one for a long time but there are always issues with having one in xxxx. I wanted to write you a letter to try to bring you up to date with what it is like to own a ferret. A lot of people go into this blind and get surprised. Ferrets are not like dogs or cats, they have a personality that is all their own.

When I first got Zelda I was still in a wheel chair recovering from my accident. I spent a lot of time with her and that is why she is so people friendly. Now don’t get me wrong. Many ferrets are very people friendly but Zelda definitely takes the cake in this department.

Ferrets are very strong willed and will not give up on something once they get their mind set to it. One of the most important things to do when you first get a ferret into a new environment is something that is referred to as “ferret proofing.” You need to get down on your hands and knees and try to see the room that the ferret will be living in from the ferret’s perspective. Ferrets are capable of compressing their body so they can fit underneath many doors and into holes that may be in the walls. It can be very difficult to rescue a ferret trapped in a wall. I have heard many horror stories. Best practice is to prevent it from happening. I prefer “gorilla tape” as it is strong and will easily plug up most holes that you do not want your little fuzzy getting into.

Remember that if you do not know where your ferret is that you must shuffle your feet when you walk. Stepping on ferrets is the #2 killer of domesticated ferrets right after reclining chairs. Ferrets are extremely social animals (more so than dogs) and they will want to follow you around everywhere. Always be aware of where your ferret is. With that being said, when you leave the house it is always a good idea to have the ferret locked up and in her cage. Ferrets are very intelligent and inquisitive and have a tendency to constantly get themselves into trouble. Caging them is for their own protection and is not really that cruel considering that they tend to sleep for 20+ hours a day.

Speaking of sleeping ferret….. The nice thing about ferrets is that they do sleep a lot. They are not necessarily nocturnal or diurnal. They tend to adapt to your schedule. When you come home and have some time for her simply pick her up out of her hammock and hold her for a couple of minutes. When she starts to get squirmy set her down and play with her. Remember that most ferrets will need to go to the bathroom within a few minutes of getting up.

While Zelda is litter trained, you need to keep in mind that using the litter is not the same with ferrets as it is with dogs and cats. Ferrets are very fastidious but generally are hard to train because they have their own Ideas about where they think they should be allowed to go. Zelda on the other hand is very well trained. I had the good fortune of being able spend mass amounts of time with her as a baby. In her cage she uses the litter box exclusively. Outside of the cage she is trained to go on newspaper. She will be instinctively attracted to corners to go to the bathroom. I recommend folding newspapers into squares and placing them into the corners of the room that she will be in to see which corner she likes the best.

Remember that when it comes to going to the bathroom, even the best trained ferrets (I believe this to include Zelda) only have about a 90% hit rate. Luckily ferret waste is small, does not permeate or smell, and is easy to clean up. Do not strike her or yell at her when she misses. Physical punishment will either be seen as mean or as an invitation to play. If seen as mean she will protect herself, if seen as an invitation to play she will play rough. (Hey you started it after all)

When ferrets do play with each other they do tend to play really rough. Ferrets have tough skin and have to be taught that humans do not. Zelda has been nip trained and she will not bite unless provoked. Sometimes when playing she will put her mouth on your hand but she has never applied pressure or broken the skin with me. Whenever she gets a little to rough just yelp and she will quit and start licking you to say she is sorry. Be cautious if you are ever introducing her to new people or other animals as you can never know (as with any animal) how they will react to unique situations.

Ferrets are a member of the weasel family. Like all weasels they are born with scent pouches (yes just like a skunk) in order to protect themselves from predators in the wild. When Zelda was a baby she had these pouches removed at the same time that she was spaded. Any animal that was born with scent pouches will still have a bit of a musty smell whether or not they still have their pouches or not. Now Zelda has never been that bad. I have always cared for her hygiene very well. There will be a slight odor though. I have supplied a skin conditioner that “can be” used up to three times a week if necessary. And a shampoo that can be used every 6 weeks to 6 months. You want to bathe her as little as possible as excessive bathing causes the oils in a ferrets skin to go into overdrive producing an even smellier ferret. The conditioner is not as big of a deal. Zelda seems to be fine for 3-4 months. Bathing her 3-4 times a year seems to be sufficient. Also washing her bedding and cleaning her cage regularly will help keep any unpleasant odors at bay.

When bathing a ferret prepare the bath with her out of the room. Make the water a little more than luke warm and set her in the tub so that she can stand with her head out of the water. Take the shampoo and scrub her down. Rinse her off and set her into a pile of waiting towels that you have previously warmed up in the dryer. Sit back and watch her dry off. There is really nothing more entertaining in life that watching a wet ferret dry herself. She will probably have to potty shortly after her bath so have some newspapers ready to go in the corners too.
A ferret’s nails can get long and sharp. It is a good idea to trim them about every 6-8 weeks. This is a two person job. One person needs to scruff her by the back of the neck. This will make her go limp and allow the other person to handle her paws without her squirming to much. Ferrets have a vein in their claws that you do not want to cut into. It is visible as a red line inside her claw. Make sure that you leave some space between the end of the claw where you are about to cut and that vein. If you cut into the vein it will hurt her and now you will also need a paper towel to stop the bleeding.

Ferrets do not bury their waste like cats. Many tend to have allergies to pine as well and wood chips can splinter their feet. The best litter to use is recycled newspaper litter. It should be changed daily. Do not and I repeat DO NOT ever use clumping cat litter! Ferrets think that cat litter is a great environment to play in. They will dig and burrow in it, but if they ingest it, then it will clump in their stomach and kill them. Keep them away from cat litter at all times.
In the wild Ferrets are strict carnivores. This means that they only eat meat. While humans process carbohydrates as energy a ferret’s body treats protein in the same way. For food I have found that the best is Marshalls ferret diet. Cat food will do in a pinch as it is 80% protein on average but the ferret diet is 100% protein and nothing can top it.

Ferrets love sweets but sweets are very bad for them. Zelda has a shaker can that I put crasins in. These are not great for her but in small doses (1-3 a week) I believe that there is no harm. The best part is that if you can’t find her you can just shake her can of treats and she will come running. Try not to go overboard with the treats. You don’t have to give her one every single time you shake the can but make sure you give her a reward once in a while.

Zelda love boxes, balls plastic bags and dirty clothes. When you are about to do a load of laundry make sure that you are aware of where she is. It is not unheard of for a ferret to be sleeping in a pile of dirty clothes that ends up getting washed.
Zelda loves to play games. Some of her favorites are

1. Chase-easy game, you chase her then she will chase you. (Remember to be careful where you step. Ferrets can changes directions in an instant.

2. Burrito- This is one of her favorites. Lay her down in a hand towel and roll her up. Then zip the towel out from under her and wave it in the air over her head. She will go crazy and often do what is commonly referred to as the “weasel war dance.” This is what ferrets do when they get really excited. The will jump all over the place and twitch back and forth while making a chirping noise. She will do this when she is really happy.

3 Dig dug- give her a cardboard box filled with paper or clean dirt and let her have at it. She will be occupied for hours. Will probably need a bath in the case of dirt.

Zelda will walk on a leash but don’t expect her to act like a dog. She will have her own agenda and want to explore on her own terms. A harness is the best thing to walk her on. Make sure it is snug (ferrets are notorious escape artist) and make sure that the other end of the leash never leaves your hand. Feel free to call or write me an email if you have any further questions that I forgot to cover.

Questions from my sister

The girls can't stop talking about Zelda!! One question xxxxxx has is: How long do ferret's live? Also xxxxx asked were will we get her food?
We are on our way to Santa Cruz today. We are leaving at lunch time and won't be back til Sunday. Hope you have a good weekend too!
Talk to you later


I will be bringing out two seven pound bags of marshall ferret diet. One of those bags typically last about 3-4 months. Since you wont be able to buy ferret food in xxxx you will probably have to order it online. I would reccomend ordering the next bag once you start in on your last bag so that you always have one back up in case it takes a little longer.

Ferrets have a very high metabolism and monitor their own diet very well. There is no need for you to put them on a feeding schedule. Just make sure that their bowl is always full and they will eat when neccesary.

Ferrets typicall live 5-8 years. Some ferrets have made it to 10. Typically ferrets will die of one of several types of adrenal gland disease, lymphoma or cancer. During this time they will crave sugar. (which buy the way in large amounts can bring on certain types of cancers in ferrets earlier on) I had a roomate with a ferret in Los Angelas that had cancer. She was 8 years old. We let her, at that time, eat all of the "craisins" she wanted. She died a happy ferret. Ferrets are "crazy for craisins." Sorry, a little inside joke with Zelda and I. Anyways Zelda is almost 2 years old, so she has many good years ahead of her.

I would reccommend checking out the book "ferrets for dummies." It is probably the most inclusive information about owning and taking care of a ferret.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Beat the fuck up!

I was talking with someone the other day about all of the insane things that have been going on in Vegas lately. There have been, shootings, car bombs and even people jumping off of the Stratosphere. We started to discuss how people didn't screw around as much when the mob ran Vegas. I got me to thinking about how people tend to behave better if they know that the punishment for their actions will be severe and instantaneous. Then I saw this story on the AP. This guy saw a crippled woman on crutches and decided to rape her. Thankfully there were 5 people who not only saw it but did something about it. They beat the fuck out of him. The picture and story are below. Kudos to these 5 heroes. The only thing they did wrong was not killing this fuck!

SALEM, Ore. -- Five Good Samaritans stopped a rape in progress in a south Salem neighborhood, according to police.

Officers said a 22-year-old woman on crutches was walking near the intersection of Liberty and Boone streets southeast just before 1 a.m. Saturday when she was attacked and assaulted by 37-year-old Paul Landingham.

According to authorities, a car with five people was driving by, saw what was happening and came to the woman's rescue.

Three men pulled Landingham off the woman and held him until police arrived at the scene.

The victim was transported to an area hospital.

Landingham was taken into custody on first-degree rape charges.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

How to live until tomorrow

Murder and violent crime are on the rise!!! Is it really as bad as it sounds? Actually it’s not, even though it’s true. You see on a percentage basis crime has always been about the same. What has changed is that the human population of this planet has swelled to an enormous 6.7 billion. Since there are so many people on the planet, there will be more opportunity for conflict. It seems that while human decency is waning, there is a self deserving attitude that is ready to defend its ego at any cost. The result can be bloody. With this being said it is important to remember that the little things matter. A little courtesy and respect can go a long ways. Here are some examples of behavior that I believe could help the system operate much more smoothly.

1. While driving When someone puts their blinker on to come into your lane, let them come in. To many times I see this happen where someone will speed up so that no one can get in front of them in their lane. What is the reason? Is there a problem with having one more car in front of you? Do you feel that this makes you less of a driver? Do you feel like this will save you anymore than 3 seconds for the destination you are getting to? Let them in!

2. In the laundry room If you are one of those people who either cannot afford your own washer and dryer, don’t have room for them or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of owning one then you most bump elbows with the general public in the laundry room. Best practice here is to always have your cycles timed out and remove your clothes immediately after they have finished. This is not always possible though as life is busy and often requires you to multitask. With this being said you need to realize that if you are not present when your cycle is finished that someone else has every right to remove your clothes and place them nicely in the basket that you will leave by the machine. You must not get upset even if you are only one minute late to pick up your laundry. The person waiting for the machine doesn’t always know how long the clothes have been sitting there.

3. In Public This one is going to seem obvious but it is not practiced that often. If you bump into someone or in any way mildly inconvenience them say “I’m sorry” or “excuse me.” Do this even if you are not sure if it was your fault. This is not admitting fault and it should not be damaging to your ego to say. It also lets the person know that you did not do it intentionally. A lot of bad situations could have been avoided had a person just not been so pig headed that they didn’t feel like they should have to say they were sorry to someone.

4. In Public (continued) When someone affords you a favor say thank you. Try it with me……. “Thank you.” Now that wasn’t so hard was it?

5. Be on time Nothing says “fuck you” more than showing up late or standing someone up. Be a person of your word. Arrive when you say you will. Don’t keep people waiting. This doesn’t mean speeding and putting people in danger. This means planning ahead and preparing. This means not being afraid to end your current engagement so that you can make your next one. This means giving yourself the space and time to accomplish all of your objectives and not overbooking yourself. At the very least give plenty of notice if you are not going to be able to make it.

6. On the Sidewalk Do not stop in the middle of a walkway. If you have a sudden thought or can’t figure out where you are going then move to the side. Also, being on a cell phone does not give you permission to break this rule.

7. Speaking of Cell phones Talking on a cell phone in public is undesirable but acceptable. Keep your voice down though. If you have to yell when you speak on your cell phone you are either starved for attention or you need to upgrade to a better service provider.

8. Help others in their career There is no reason to hold other people back at work. Helping people under you get promoted makes you look good because you trained them well. Helping people over you get promoted leaves more room for you to move up. Try to stick to the infamous rule here. If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything. Believe me, the point will come across about a bad employee when no one will comment on them. Speaking badly of others in the workplace is political suicide.

9. Do not give money to beggars. People carve out their own lot in life. If you have decided to be lazy, do drugs, not get an education, then you are responsible for your own fate regardless of your personal life’s circumstances. Not only does giving money to beggars decrease their motivation to find work and become self sufficient but it also brings more beggars into the area making it much less desirable. There are plenty of social programs to help these people. If they are really not capable of figuring that much out then what more are we supposed to do?

10. Judge on merit It is in our nature to size people up at a glance. Give people an opportunity to prove themselves beyond that and you may just be surprised at what you find.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My evil plan!

I suppose everyone has their fears. I would like to think that there is not much that I am afraid of but it turns out there was quite a bit. I have spent a large majority of my adult life making it a point to overcome those fears. Interestingly enough the less difficult ones have taken me a longer time to get to.

When I was a child I used to dance up a storm. My favorite was the Ghostbusters soundtrack. I would put it on and dance around the house in my little Ghostbusters t-shirt. There was really no technique or specific steps that were being adhered to but it was fun and that is all you care about when you were a child.

As I grew up and became more aware of what people around me thought of me, I suddenly was not as willing to spaz out to the Ghostbusters soundtrack or anything else for that matter. At some point though I realized that I really liked girls and that girls really liked dancing. I had a best of R&B CD that I used to put on in the living room when no one was home so that I could attempt to practice my moves. Unfortunately for me I did not have any proper instruction and I eventually became frustrated and gave up.

Not having the ability to dance became a very big issue for me. It was awkward to be a social functions where dancing was occurring. Sometimes even dates were awkward if there was a live band, DJ and/or a dance floor. In high school I specifically sought out girls that weren’t really into dancing. This seriously limited my options. This was such an issue for me in my teen years that I once even considered marrying a girl simply based on the fact that she hated dancing.

As I moved into adulthood dancing sort of became a non issue. I played guitar in bands so I was the one making the music. Eventually when my musical career came to an end I was able to pull off moves with girls without ever getting into a situation where dancing would be necessary.

As fate would have it, I ended up falling in love with and marrying a girl who was a prolific swing dancer. She never pressured me to dance. I would go to clubs with her and she would dance with random people. I never had a problem with it and I never got jealous. It was something that she loved to do and I was not going to stop her.

One day the idea hit me that it might be fun if I learned how to swing dance and surprised her with it. I went to a local dance studio in Las Vegas and met with a cute little swing dance girl named Diamond. Although I thought that this might be a crash and burn situation I was determined to at least give it a solid effort. I forked over the $1000 for 8 private lessons.

Now I don’t mean to gloat here but it turned out that I was a natural at dancing. At least I was at swing dancing. By the end of the 4th lesson I was so good that my teacher thought I was lying about never dancing before. I knew all of the basic moves in east coast swing and several advanced flourishes. Not only that but I could execute them smoothly.

Getting to the classes was a different issue all together. Since learning to dance was supposed to be a surprise to my wife I had to keep it a secret. The only time I could go to lessons though was right after work. I would go to see Diamond, dance with her for an hour and then show up at home hours late from work and smelling like stripper perfume. I would change into another shirt and blow cigarette smoke all over myself to get rid of the smell.

While I was never suspected on the being late front (I always said I had to work late) I did almost fuck myself over. I was going through my phone calendar with my wife looking over my shoulder and the word “dance” came up. I quickly said that that was the name of the room I had to be in when I worked late that day and it slid by!

Since I was getting good I thought it was time to take my evil plan to the next level. I contacted one of my wife’s friends through MySpace and explained everything to her. I asked her to call my wife and invite her to go out dancing. Then I told my wife that she was responsible for planning something for us to do on the upcoming weekend. Sure enough when the weekend came around my wife threw out 4 options one of which was dancing with her friend. Much to her surprise I said “Let’s go dancing with your friend, that sounds like fun.”

It was blues night at Boulder station casino in south Las Vegas and we were sitting at a table listening to the band play. I was practicing the dance moves silently to the music with my feet under the table. My wife was looking around for her friend who had already told me that she would not be able to show up. She was starting to get upset because she thought that she was stood up. Suddenly I looked across the room like I saw something. I got up and started walking. She followed me. I turned around and grabbed my wife’s hand, looked her in the eye, and told her that her friend was not coming and that I had not been working late. You could see the look of devastation in her eyes as her first thought was that I was cheating on her with her friend. Then I said I have been learning how to dance and I started dancing with her. We made it through about 4 bars of music before she was crying and we had to sit down at the table. We danced to one slow song later that night.

Now we go out swing dancing every single weekend. Every time I pick up new moves and I feel quite accomplished. I am told that my moves are smooth and fluid and no one believe that I have been dancing for such a short period of time. It feels great to finally get a hold of something like this and to be able to walk into a situation where there is dancing and hold my own. Most importantly it demonstrated to my wife how much I love her and gave us one more thing that we can enjoy with each other for the rest of our lives.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I wish he would have killed him

Father Attacks Son's Killer In Courtroom Link

The father of a shooting victim was detained after he attacked his son's killer in the courtroom Monday. He has since been released by police, according to county officials.

Antonio Clifford, of Cincinnati, admitted in court that he robbed and shot 28-year-old Joshua Sweat, of Weirton, in a parking lot last year in downtown Steubenville.

After the plea, Mike Sweat, the victim's father, leaped and began to choke Clifford. Amid screams from both the victim's and the killer's families, it took dozens of law enforcement officers to control the crowd. Moments later, everyone was ordered out of the courtroom.

The outburst was in the wake of two other victim impact statements from the victim's mother and sister.

"I truly believe if you are ever set free to live in society, there will be another victim -- another family -- that is shattered," Ginger Sweat, the victim's mother, said to Clifford.

The defense and prosecution came to a plea agreement after deciding that, based on the evidence from the crime, Clifford did not initiate the robbery that took place.

Clifford, who faced the death penalty, was sentenced to 33 years to life in jail after he pleaded to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.

The aggravated murder charge carried the most weight in the sentence. Clifford received 20 years on that charge.

Assistant Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Keenan previously said Sweat came from Weirton to the empty parking lot in downtown Steubenville to meet with the three suspects for a drug deal.

When they met, police said the suspects robbed Sweat and Clifford shot and killed Sweat.

Clifford is one of three men charged in connection with the crime. Byron Johnson, of Steubenville, is serving a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty to murder.

Patrick Thurman, also of Steubenville, previously pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Personality Defect Test

Take the test Click here

Your Score: Smartass
You are 100% Rational, 71% Extroverted, 57% Brutal, and 85% Arrogant.

You are the Smartass! You are rational, extroverted, brutal, and arrogant. In fact, you could very well be the anti-Christ, as you are almost the exact opposite of everything Jesus was supposed to be. While Jesus says love your enemy, you say love beating the crap out of your enemy. While Jesus raises the dead, you raise hell. While Jesus walks on water, you tend to sink. You probably consider people who are emotional and gentle to be big pussies who are obviously in lesser stature than you. You have many flaws, despite your seeming intelligence and cool-headedness. For instance, you aren't very nice. In fact, you're probably an asshole. And you are conceited and self-centered. Not only that, but you are very loud and vocal about all this, seeing as how you are extroverted. There is no better way to describe you than as a "smartass", I'm afraid. Perhaps just "ass" would do, too. But that's a little less literary and descriptive. At any rate, your main personality defect is the fact that you are self-centered, mean, uncaring, and brutally logical.

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.

2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted.

3. You are more BRUTAL than gentle.

4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.


Your exact opposite is the Emo Kid.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A different take on Gas prices!!!

I am in favor of high gas prices. I am sick of hearing people whine about high gas prices. I wish that gas prices were higher. I would like to see gas around $5-6 per gallon. Here are my reasons.

Reason #1- Less cars on the road! High gas prices will stop a certain portion of people from driving. It will force people to use public transportation or ride a bicycle. This may benefit some of those fat and lazy assholes that are always cutting people off. It will keep people with old cars that can’t afford to pass emissions from being able to afford gas as well. This will have the added benefit of cleaner air in our cities. Even those that still could afford to drive would likely drive less and find alternatives when they were available.

Reason #2- It seems like poor people are shitty drivers. They drive crappy cars and they just don’t care. I am always getting cut off by some piece of crap pinto that is blowing black smoke out of the exhaust pipe. In many cases uneducated equals shitty job equals poor pay equals poor person equals shitty driver. High gas prices would take the ability to drive away from the poor and the uneducated. This would be a huge bonus to the safety of our roadways. These people are the same people that think that they can lower gas prices by circulating emails telling people not to buy gas on Tuesdays. OK idiots, so then everyone just gets their gas on Mondays or Wednesdays instead!?!? The same amount of money will be spent throughout the week anyways. Even though it makes no difference I always make sure to buy some gas on one of those boycott days whether I need it or not.

Reason #3- Let’s punish those jackasses that buy an SUV the size of three highway lanes. If you want to drive a car that gets 3 miles to the gallon so that you can look like your favorite rap star, then that is fine. But you will have to get a second job to be able to afford it. Less SUVs means a cleaner environment.

Reason #4- If gas prices get high enough and enough people seriously can’t afford to buy gas then we will be forced to look for alternative energy sources. If we are not getting all of our energy from other countries then there will be no need for us to send out troops to those countries to be involved in their affairs.

Reason #5- Because driving and low gas prices are not your right. All of you red blooded American rednecks out there need to understand that this is a world economy now. We are not self sufficient. If the stock market takes a dive in china, then we get affected. If there is a problem with oil production, supply and demand will shoot up the price. So you have some options. Buy a more fuel efficient car, ride a bike, take public transportation. Your hard work and intelligence put you in the place that you are currently at in life. You made it happen, it did not happen to you. If you find that you cannot afford to do certain things that you want to do, then you either need to get a second job, get a better job, or shut the fuck up and accept your lot in life to be mediocre.

I have absolutely no issues with paying extra for the “privilege” of driving. In fact I think that this spike in gas prices is long overdue. You do not get to have everything in life handed to you. It takes away from those of us who have busted our asses our whole life to get to where we are. Your time is over, ours have come, and gas prices are just the start.