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Everything posted by Hector

  1. We have a plastic 4-section gate that is made to be used as a child gate in the house. It stands about 3 feet high and each section is 3 feet long. This could be set up in the yard in a square with the human standing inside. It is light-weight and portable and would be easy to move around. I am thinking that this type of gate might solve your problem. My BC-X weighs 68 pounds and he can run 30 mph. If he ran into a person while moving fast that could be a very serious collision. I stay clear of him and don't stand in the middle of the area where he is running.
  2. Thanks for the replies! I have implemented Donna's booby trap with a towel and empty cans. Skiziks has only jumped up there once today, and that was before the booby trap was in place. Maybe getting grabbed and verbally harshly reprimanded is having an effect. (Fingers crossed!!!) But if he jumps up on the towel booby trap he is going to get a very noisy surprise. I may try some of the other suggestions if what I am doing now doesn't stop him from stove-top leaping.
  3. Glad to hear Raven's long journey home is going well. This is quite an adventure for her.
  4. My Border-Kitty Skiziks is now 6-1/2 months old. He has the run of the house and jumps up on furniture when he chooses. We have an electric range that has the ceramic smooth top with 4 burners. Yesterday wss the first day that he has chosen to jump up onto the stove top. Fortunately it was cold at the time. But the ceramic top retains heat for a while after use. If he were to jump up there shortly after we used the stove top he would burn his paws. The four times that I have seen him jump up there I quickly grab him and make a mean-sounding noise and put him back on the floor. I will have to see if that makes an impression on him to not jump up there, but so far it hasn't. Any suggestions? If I can't get him to stop going there I will have to crate him whenever the stove top is hot, and he doesn't like that much.
  5. Joe Anne -- I'm so sorry that Mirra and Thumper are ill. And also it's sad that the GSD had the accident. From the training time that Bailey had with you I know how good you are with animals and how quickly you bond with them. Our positive thoughts go out to you at this difficult time. Hector
  6. I just looked at Streets & Trips to calculate the distance that little Raven will be traveling. It looks like 300 miles by car + 3610 miles by air (Atlanta to Seattle to Anchorage). So that's a 3910 mile trip for the baby. For comparison, a Washington DC to London non-stop air flight is 3660 miles. I hope Raven likes flying!
  7. It is so heart warming to read this thread about Raven going home to AK Dog Doc in Alaska, and all the fun personalities involved in getting her to Atlanta. This is the kind of good times that makes life worth living. I too am eagerly looking forward to pictures from Alaska. Hector
  8. Sally -- Clearly you are right that leopard seals and stingrays are not in the same class. The LS is a carnivore, a predator. Stingrays are docile and use their stinger in self defense, mainly against sharks. But I respectfully disagree that Steve died "through apparently no fault of his own." Steve made a fatal error in judgement. He crowded the stingray into a position where it perceived a threat and it reacted in self defense. It was bad luck that the stinger struck in a lethal place. But there was clearly an error in judgement. My point in mentioning Steve's leopard seal encounter is that IMHO he made an error in judgement there too. Fortunately luck was on his side that time and nothing happened. But when a person makes a regular habit of very close encounters with potentially lethal animals, that is living dangerously. The person only has to get it wrong one time and he is history. Steve's one fatal error was with a stingray. Statistically speaking, getting chomped by a crocodile would have been more likely. But either way he is dead. And I feel very sad about it. Hector
  9. I feel sad that Steve Irwin is gone. He did a lot of good for animals and the environment. Does it surprise me that he didn't live to be an old man? No it doesn't. On the day that his death was reported I watched his "Crocodile Hunter" show on Animal Planet. It was a fascinating show that had been filmed in Antarctica. One sequence caught my attention. There was a large leopard seal on a rocky area next to the sea. Steve, in a lying-down position, approached that seal to where his head was about five feet away from the seal's head. Steve commented about the size of the seal's mouth and jaws. He said something about how the seal could take a man's head into its mouth in one bite and then crush the man's skull. I don't know how fast the seal can move on dry land like that, but in my opinion Steve was way too close to a dangerous wild animal. Fortunately the seal stayed put and did not attack Steve, but it would have been a very dicey situation if it had attacked. My thinking is that a full blown attack would have caught and killed Steve. It was some very dramatic video but I think Steve was foolhardy. That style of approaching dangerous animals is exactly what got Steve killed. Here is a link to a National Geographic News article about Leopard Seal Kills Scientist in Antarctica. They are meat eaters and they are dangerous. I don't think it was a matter of IF an animal was going to kill Steve. It was a matter of WHEN.
  10. It sounds like Zeeke is testing you to see who is in charge of the situation. When he gets into the behavior you describe, you could turn your back on him and ignore him. If you pay no attention to him then he might decide that doing the SIT right away and going outside is better than getting ignored.
  11. AK Dog Doc -- I just looked at the *Kitties for Foo* thread. You have some superb photos there -- thanks for referring me to them. The cheetahs have always been a favorite of mine. The animals look so much better than those in zoos.
  12. Wow Natalie -- that's an up close and personal picture. What an impressive animal!!!
  13. I have used pictures of Skiziks (my Border Kitty) for desktop wallpaper, but for variety I went to Google Images and found this picture of some BIG kitty-kats. I think they are downright cute!
  14. I have a mosquito headnet that I wear whenever I am dealing with wasp nests. Headnet at Campmor I also put on a good coat and leather gloves. I still might get stung if I got into a major nest of wasps, but with only a few they are not likely to get to me.
  15. Our older dog Sadie (Sheltie-X) used to give chase after selected cars as they drove past our rural wooded property. She never actually entered the roadway; she had a trail through the forest that she ran along that went down to the roadway. She ran that multiple times a day at top speed. One day she turned up lame. She wouldn't put any weight at all on one of her hind legs. I carefully inspected the leg to make sure it wasn't broken, and it wasn't. I phoned the vet and talked to him. He said that it was almost certainly a soft tissue sprain or tear. He said that there wasn't really any special treatment that he would do and to just let it heal with time. He said that would take about a month. And sure enough after about a month she started walking on that leg again, and within two months she was back to chasing after the cars, although it was at a slightly reduced speed. Vet fees = $0. Recovery with time = 100%.
  16. That's sad. I really liked him on the TV shows. He seemed to know what he was doing, but apparently he just pushed the envelope a bit too far this time. There are no guarantees in life. AP article about Steve's Death Edited: From the above article: "Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called 'Ocean's Deadliest' when he swam too close to one of the animals, which have a poisonous barb on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said." As tragic as this incident was, think about the name of the documentary -- "Ocean's Deadliest". Apparently they didn't take that name seriously enough. Edit #2 -- Live and learn, I stand corrected. On FOX NEWS they reported that there are only 17 recorded cases of a stingray fatally stinging a human. They said that stingrays are docile, timid creatures that don't attack. Their stinging is a defensive reaction to a perceived threat. A knowledgeable person will avoid disturbing a stingray since their sting is very painful. But the incidence of fatal stings is extremely rare. Unfortunately Steve was somewhat careless and very unlucky.
  17. Joe Anne -- glad to hear that your trees stayed up and that you are OK. My wife has two sisters whose houses are in Lexington Park, MD, just a short distance from the Pax River NAS. Both those houses lost electric power on Friday afternoon and as of 10PM Saturday they still did not have power restored. They got about 7 inches of rain at their location and there were a lot of trees down in the area. TV news reports said Virginia Beach got 10 inches of rain. So it sounds like the worst of the storm was tracking out closer to the Atlantic coast. Here in northern MD I think we got about three inches of rain over a 36 hour period. It was just a steady rain, never really hard, and the wind didn't blow over about 20 mph. I don't know where the strong winds from St. Mary's County went, but it wasn't here. Suits me just fine. Our electric power was down for 2.5 hours on Friday evening. The wind wasn't blowing much at all when that happened so I don't know the cause. Any tree that went down from the wind at that time must have been on its last legs anyway.
  18. That sounds like good advice, at least in principle. The one question I have is about sticking your finger further into Rohan's mouth when he bites. I assume you know how hard he will bite, but you wouldn't want a really hard bite that would get his incisors deep into your finger. That could cause a serious finger infection. Readers on this BB are probably familiar with my Border Kitty, whom I got at age nine weeks. He is now 6 months old and has a wonderful disposition. But at about age 4 months he had to be taught a lesson about not biting. One time he was lying on my lap and I was gently caressing his ears with my finger. Without warning he turned and bit me on the finger -- not a deep bite, but enough to draw blood. It really surprised me and I quickly pulled my hand back. That bite caught me completely off guard, as it was the first time he had ever done that. By the time I thought about it, too much time had elapsed to punish him. I have in mind that any punishment should happen within two seconds or else the animal won't know why he is being punished. I made a mental note to myself -- "he won't get away with that behavior again." The next day he was again lying on my lap, and he again bit my finger. Within one second I gave him a good slap across the top of his head with my fingers. I didn't slap him hard enough to injure him, but I definitely got his attention. He looked up at me in surprise, and I followed that with another slap. He took off and ran out of the room. In a few minutes I went and found him, picked him up, and we went back to the where I had been sitting. I put him back on my lap and petted him gently. I wanted to reassure him that I still liked/loved him. He never bit me again. It only took that one incident of getting slapped (twice) to teach him that biting Dad is NOT a good idea. Whatever pleasure he got from biting was way more than offset by the pain of getting slapped.
  19. Maria, you are in a very difficult situation. It does sound like your father needs rescuing, but if he won't help himself then it is unlikely that you can do much to help him. Sometimes life presents us with what may seem like unsolvable problems. Not all dilemmas have a good answer. As difficult as it may be, it looks like your best course is to distance yourself from your step mom and your dad and work on having a happy life with your immediate family. I was born into a religious cult. Almost 50 years ago I quit the cult and by doing that I lost my family. I have no regrets -- I would do the same thing again in a heartbeat. Best wishes to you.
  20. It is easy to get excited about some new technology and then start thinking that it will solve everything. Unfortunately it is usually a very long way from building a single test model and putting the technology into mass production. If the sun were shining directly overhead 24 hours a day then solar panels could be installed at houses and they would supply all the electricity needs. But on the average it is dark for half of the 24 hours, and for at least a third of the daylight hours the sun is low in the sky. It would be very complicated to have mechanical devices on all the solar panels that kept them pointed directly at the sun as it moves through the sky each day. And when there is heavy overcast (clouds) the sun's rays don't work well. All this means that the time when the sun can supply good power to solar panels is a limited number of hours per day. And it also means that very large (and costly) battery arrays must be installed to store electric power generated from the sun so that the power can be used when the sun isn't shining enough or at all. If a person lives out in a rural area, they may have enough land to put out a big array of solar panels. If a person lives in high density housing in an urban area they don't have any place to put solar panels. I haven't priced it out, but I am guessing that if a homeowner tried to install enough solar panels and batteries to handle all the electric needs of a standard house, the cost would be very substantial. If it were easy and reasonably priced, people would be doing it. But we don't hear about that being done. It works fine on an experimental test basis, but it is not cost effective on a mass production basis.
  21. My working career spanned 35 years. In 1965 I bought a 3/4 ton Chev pickup truck new. I sold it in 2000 with 80,000 miles on it. I only used the truck when I really had to have a motor vehicle. During that time I rode a bicycle about 6000 miles a year (commuted to work) and took the public bus another 1000 miles a year. Riding the bike saved a lot of money and the exercise kept me healthy. I am retired now and this summer I am pedaling the bike about 120 miles a week for exercise. The nice part about bicycle commuting is that it incorporates your exercise into your daily routine. But to be safe a person must be able to ride on low traffic streets away from heavy car traffic. I purposely chose the location of my residence to make that possible.
  22. Washington Post 2005 Article tells the story: Alaska Oil Field's Falling Production Reflects U.S. Trend. The message about the disparity between reality and what politicians say is very telling. The US dependence on foreign oil will only continue to grow. And if/when that foreign oil supply is interrupted or cut off, the US will be in deep trouble. Claire -- The Fiat Panda Car, although not available in the USA, looks like a good car in today's world of high gas prices. The diesel version gets 76 mpg in highway driving, 62 mph in combined highway and urban driving. Do you know anything about the Panda? Is it popular? How do owners like it?
  23. Since I started this thread, I will post my opinion. I admit to being an alarmist, but IMHO the world and especially the USA face an economic catastrophe as the supply of oil dwindles in the coming years. The US economy runs on oil and there is no substitute, as the CalTech article pointed out. People are generally na?ve and unaware of the problem. The news media doesn?t talk about the real issues. If you Google ?proven oil reserves? you will see that the USA reserves are 21.4 billion barrels of oil. With a consumption rate of over 20 million barrels per day, and assuming we imported no oil, our own supply would run out after 1068 days -- just under three years. Considering all the original oil supply in the ground, the USA reached the halfway point of its consumption in 1970. The cold hard truth is that the USA is almost out of oil. We depend on foreign oil to supply us with this indispensible commodity. Meanwhile, the dynamics of the world oil market are undergoing major changes. On a global scale the world?s two most populous countries, China and India, are ramping up their economies. That requires a lot more oil. The market and price of oil is global, so the USA will be competing with all other nations for the limited and decreasing supply. About half of the world?s oil supply comes from the Persian Gulf. It is transported via ultra-large oil tanker ships that must pass through the Strait of Hormuz. That strait is 34 miles wide at its narrowest point and the northern and eastern shores of the straits are Iran. In case you haven?t been reading the world news lately, there in a high worldwide level of concern over Iran?s apparent program to build nuclear bombs. The radical Iranian leadership seems intent on going nuclear and are showing no sign of being willing to dismantle their program. It might very well be that the only way to stop Iran is through military force. But if that were done, Iran would almost certainly shut down the Strait of Hormuz to oil tanker traffic. That would cause economic chaos, the likes of which the world has never seen. Under a worst case scenario, with the Strait of Hormuz closed down, the price of oil could easily triple overnight. The current $3 a gallon for gasoline in the USA could go to $10 a gallon in a couple of days. How would you deal with having to spend $250 to fill up your gas guzzler? In the USA people think they are getting great gas mileage if they get better than 40 mpg. The Fiat car company, Italy?s largest automobile manufacturer, makes the Panda car which gets 65 mpg with its turbo diesel engine. With that high fuel mileage a tripling of the price of fuel would leave you at the same cost per mile as a driver who gets 20 mpg at today?s gas prices. If US consumers had been smart they would have been buying fuel efficient vehicles instead of gas guzzlers for the past 20 years. But no, they wanted size and luxury and ignored fuel economy. We have dug ourselves into a major hole with our own ignorance. That could easily come back to haunt us if a major disaster, such as a serious confrontation with Iran, were to happen in the global oil market. If you are currently driving a gas guzzler, you may want to consider unloading it while it is still worth something.
  24. Has the price of gasoline impacted your budget? Where do you think the gas prices will be in one year, two years, five years from now? Will you still be burning gasoline in your private car twenty years from now, or will some other fuel replace it? These are important questions and unfortunately good answers seem to be in short supply. Here is a link to an article about the future of energy that is the best that I have read. THE END OF THE AGE OF OIL
  25. Hector is a nickname from my college days. It originated from a humorous song I used to sing at Friday night beer parties. The song was about a man named Hector and pretty soon people started calling me Hector. I have been known as Hector to my friends for over 40 years now.
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