July, August 1999


1 July 99 ::: Pet Fur :::
A few days ago I read a thing in the Reuters about dog and cat fur. Apparently about 2 million dogs and cats are killed for their fur (in Asian countries) and the US gov wants to slap a 25,000$ fine or one year imprisonment on those caught transporting and selling the fur. Is this not the stupidest thing you have ever heard? What's the difference again between dogs and cats and minks and fox? Oh, yeah, that whole domestication thing. grr. And tell me again, how many animals are killed humanely in the US in pounds due to over population. Gee. 15 million. I do wonder if our humane societies could actually make a profit on selling "pet" fur to rich ugly people...


6 July 99 ::: Afterlife :::
I just got done watching the movie What Dreams May Come. It was pretty good, nice and depressing, you know. It's about the afterlife, that heaven is what we make it, and so is hell. Well, that's somebody's belief at least. Some people believe in heaven with angels and harps and fluffy clouds and all, and hell with fire and devils and stuff. That sounds pretty silly to me. Others believe we just kind of stop when we die. That sounds more believeable to me. But in truth, I don't really believe anything. I have kind of a "wait and see" attitude towards the whole afterlife thing. There is only one way to really find out, after all.


10 July 99 ::: Netscape Hates Me :::
cheri is busy being EXTREMELY frustrated with the (now defunct) netscape site. Grumble, Cursing, Cursing more. Why do I spend all my creative energy on something that refuses to be fixed?? Why don't I just say, "you know what? It doesn't work. Why don't we go do something else."??? Instead I have to keep trying fifty million times. And it still doesn't work. And it still doesn't work even after I send a complaint to the tech support people, not that they will fix it anyway. Cursing. Grumble. Why does netscape hate me?


11 July 99 ::: Rainy Sundays :::
Rainy Sundays are definitely made for relaxing. This evening I parked myself out on my porch with a coke and a book. It was quite nice and I really must recommend the book I am reading. It's 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing. Short chapters make it easy to read for those of us who are easily distracted. And it covers all the bases, from writer's block to grammer to style to editing.

What do you mean, my writing is still crap?! Well, I am only half way through the book, so don't give up hope yet! :)


13 July 99 ::: PSP Pirate No More :::
Today's Lesson: Always check your pockets before you send your clothes to the cleaners. I found a hundred dollar bill in one of my pockets today. You can guess what I did with it. Spent most all of it on computer stuff! heh.

I actually went and bought software I already have. I was feeling bad about copyright with my pirated version of Paint Shop Pro. Especially since I use it on a daily basis. So, now it's paid for and soon-to-be registered. And I feel better. And I will be legal and won't get sued if I ever decide to get ambitious with this site.


15 July 99 ::: Site Babble :::
cheri has an idea for a new site design. Problem is, I am just so attached to this one! I really like the colors of that swirley pastel thingee. But the brain keeps coming up with new ideas, much faster than I am able to impliment them unfortunately. And then I realize that I really should have a STABLE site design, something that I can call my own, my "brand" so to speak. So, I am thinking about adding a new page which show cases my old home page designs. It would also be a place where I could experiment with new designs so as to leave my home sites alone.

Unfortunately there just isn't enough time in the day. Ever have that problem?


16 July 1999 ::: Time Management :::
Yesterday, I ended my entry with "there just isn't enough time in the day." The biggest block of time in my day is work, taking up a honking 11 hours... Getting up at 7am, getting home around 6pm during most the week, and then working weekends too... Ugh. And yet I can't really say it's a waste of time. I do need money in order to live after all. And like any job there are some aspects that are relatively mindless... It's during those mindless tasks that I do a lot of the planning for this site. So it's definitely not wasted time, if anything this site only exists because of the time I spend off-line.

But then again, I consider all the stuff I could be doing if I had a little more time. Yes, yes, that whole Time Management thing. Whatever. I am just not structured enough to be bothered with it!


18 July 1999 ::: Copyright Violation :::
Grr. I just visited a site which infringes on the copyright laws. The site displays several images created by someone else... some of the images have even been cropped and resized at the whim of the thief. On a separate page, this person has a long list of links, presumedly the original artists are in there somewhere, who knows where. I actually visited one of the original artist's pages... He does allow others to display his art, requiring a link back to his home page with a banner. Now technically, the thief does have a link to the artist's site... but it is in no way connected to the stolen images.

So now I wonder... Do I email the person and rant and rave? Do I report this person to their server? Or, do I report this site to any original owners I can find and let them deal with it? Or do I let it go because it is just another blatent copyright violation on the net? I just can't decide what to do about it... Email me comments or suggestions


21 July 1999 ::: A Call to 911 :::
Here I am doing my duty and protecting the world from bad guys. Well, sort of. Last night I got to break up a fight and call 911. You can read all about it here. This is just a long and boring account of the thing, typed up for my own protection.

Oh, and when you call 911, they don't say "What is the nature of your emergency?" like they do on TV. I was terribly disappointed about that! ;) And, yes, that does say that I shouted. Unbelieveable as it sounds, cheri can shout! heh.


24 July 1999 ::: The Good Old Days of Net :::
Just doing some sweet reminiscing here. I have been surfing the Net for a few years now. To be precise, I first got on-line in 1993. Back then I had a computer but I didn't have a modem, I used the school's computers to get on-line. The terminals at the regular computer labs were text based UNIX, no graphics at all... gosh, does anyone remember vi? elm? tin?

And then, too, I was always kind of the odd "man" out... over 90% of the on-line population was male. And these days? 46% of surfers are women!

The rest of the world will catch up with what I am doing some day... It just takes a few years. :)


25 July 1999 ::: Lots of Static :::
Oh, good grief! I finally get my site registered in one of the directories... And right there next to it is a site of the Exact Same Title which was not there before! ARGH! Well, if you care to see me and my neighbor, we are at: http://dmoz.org/Arts/Online_Writing/Journals/Personal/S/

(oops, I'm no longer listed there.) sheesh. Is it just me, or is this web thing just not working out like the storybooks say???


26 July 1999 ::: Think :::
Do you ever stop and think? I mean actually stop, drop everything that you're doing, sit down motionless, stare into space, and just think? I do. And I sometimes wonder: if someone happened to catch me, what would they think? Because I can think for a good long time.

And then, that theoretical person who catches me in the non-act of thinking? They have got to be wondering what the heck I am thinking about. Oh, you'd like to know, wouldn't you... ;)


28 July 1999 ::: About Me? :::
I think I am supposed to have an "About Me" page. Everyone else has one. Except me. I had one once, a long time ago. The only thing I remember from that page was I put that I could work a rubix cube. I can line up the colors in about 6 or 7 minutes. Well, that's kind of cool, but an About Me page has to have more than just that, right? Like maybe the lies on my drivers license? But that is so very physical... and we are in cyberspace where such things do not matter.

It's kind of hard to put down the words that are supposed to define me.... I am a vegetarian, I am a vet assistant, I am female, I am asocial... Maybe I will do the About Me page after all...


29 July 1999 ::: Mission Statement? :::
Yesterday I wrote about my (currently) non-existant About Me page. Today, I am thinking about making a "mission statement" page. It would include my thoughts of the differences between "journal" and "diary", as well as why I write and why I put these writings on-line, etc, etc, etc.

Unfortunately "mission statement" sounds too much like "planning" and "prioritizing" and other evil words like that which I have a hard time swallowing. It may or may not get done, but be sure to check back after this weekend since I seem to have lots of ideas mulling around! :)


4 August 1999 ::: Microchips in Animals :::
         I work in a veterinarian clinic and every once in a while we put microchips in cats and dogs. We use a product called HomeAgain and it's actually kind of a neat process... The HomeAgain package comes with a syringe that has a trigger on it. The needle on the syringe is pretty big, practically just a tube with a sharp point, but the animals don't even feel it. The dog or cat gets the shot on their back, above their shoulders, when the trigger is pressed the microchip goes in.

         There are probably a lot of people out there freaking about this whole microchip business. I'm sure you're thinking, if we can put 'chips in dogs and cats and track them, what's next? Will big brother be tracking humans, or are they already?? eek!

         But it's actually not that bad. The microchip in the dogs and cats can't actually be tracked per se. The scanner that tells us about the 'chip in the animal has a Very short range: probably less than a centimeter. On top of that, half the time the scanner doesn't even pick up the signals the 'chip is sending... it usually takes several scans to get a reading.

         Now that's not to say that technology isn't constantly improving. And I'm sure that big brother would love to microchip all of us. Not that I'm paranoid or anything. :)


15 August 1999 ::: Journals :::
         Lately I have been thinking about The Journal. Not mine in particular, just journals in general. I even wrote a little thing about journals and diaries.

         Actually, you might call it an obsession with journals. I visit several journals on a daily basis. And, you know, it's really kind of difficult to find decent journals that are entertaining... As WC says there's a lot of boring crap out there. Which is perfectly fine... the Net just wouldn't be the Net without everyone's personal drivel. It's important to the person who wrote it. They are the god in their universe. And I am the god in my universe.

         Anyway. Did I have a point here? I really can't remember!


16 August 1999 ::: When I Grow Up :::
What do you want to be when you grow up? When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a veterinarian. And Look at me Now! I have been over worked and under paid as a vet assistant for almost two years now. Wow. And you know? I still pass out at the sight of blood!! heh. Well, I'll never be a veterinarian, but that's okay. I haven't grown up yet so I will just think of something else I always wanted to do. :)


17 August 1999 ::: At Some Point :::
         Every once in a while, I get so un-inspired. I actually want to write something... so, okay, how about a writing prompt. And after many hours of looking for a prompt here's the one that occurs to me: What do I want to do at some point in my life? Let's do bullets.

  • Read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking Why? I just think that it is important to be educated, and I happen to be interested in chaos theory. This book would give me a more solid foundation of science so I could pursue my interest of chaos... instead of just thinking that butterflies flapping their wings is kind of cool.

  • Have a riding horse. Not necessarily own a riding horse, but have access to one on a daily basis. I used to be a pretty good rider, I have ridden out a few bucking broncos in my time. Let me tell you, it is thrilling and amazing to know that you are still in the saddle after a horse has bucked and reared across the entire arena. It will probably take a few months to get back to where I was, but I would love to do that again.

  • Visit a candy store. Not just any candy store, either. When I lived in England I was just a little kid, ages 6, 7, 8, or there-abouts. I got to walk to school, there was a narrow pathway in between the six foot stone walls of people's gardens. I want to walk that pathway as a grown-up. After school sometimes Mom would come and get us (me and my brother) and we would walk to the candy store near the school. Mom would give us some pence and we would pick out all the candy we could... Chocolates mostly, if I remember right, each peice would be half-pence or two pence for the bigger ones...

         Well, now. That turned out much better than I thought it would. cheri's conclusions: Writing prompts are good. Especially if you can come up with a half-way decent one!

         I know, I only listed three and now you are on the edge of your seat, drooling for more. Well, I am done for today, but if I ever get un-inspired again I will be sure to come back to this topic, so pay attention people!


21 August 1999 ::: 26 Days :::
         So, here I am, ladeda, after working 26 days straight, I finally get a weekend to myself. I am having a hard time getting organized... I can't seem to remember what I used to do with my free time. I mean besides aimless Internet surfing and working on a new site design. Is that all I ever did? I don't think so... I vaguely remember reading books. And you know? I think I did cross-stitch, too. Silly, huh? Cross-stitching is such a girl thing to do. But I did it, and might even take it up again. My problem, as usual, is never being able to finish anything. It takes me five to ten years to finish a little sewing project. heh.

         But right now I am most decidedly working on a new site design. The pastel swirley thing has been here for just over two months. Unfortunately, my standards for web design have risen. Well, actually, that is probably a good thing, right? The unfortunate part is just the fact that my artistic talents do not measure up to my new standards. It frustrates me to be able to see what I want in my head, but when it comes out, on paper or pixels, it is warped. Warped, I tell you.


22 August 1999 ::: Writing Prompts :::
         So I'm searching the web for "writing prompts." My advice: Don't try it... you get a lot of tedious bs along the lines of "If I were an animal, I would be... because..." sheesh.

         So next, I go to the tried and true. I have a directory on my desktop called "WriteAboutNow" which contains various news articles which I find interesting. um. There was only one little article there. It was called "Dog Shoots Man", about a guy accidently shot when his dog jumped on the gun in the car. heh. Amusing, but there's not much I can say about that.

         So? What's next? cheri delves deep into the recesses of her hard drive... And we find... nothing. Try back again tomorrow folks!


23 August 1999 ::: TV Violence :::
         What are your views on violence on tv? Personally, it doesn't bother me a bit. Those silly sit-coms get boring after a while, give me some action to jazz up my life a little. Actually, I really shouldn't put forth my opinion at all, since I don't really watch much television. Well. The way I see it, is that tv, like any art, is just a reflection of life. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with art.

         On the other hand, I know that a lot of parents out there think that violent television shows are just plain wrong. Yeah, everyone can see where the parents are coming from... they don't want their kids exposed to violence, sex, bad language, etc.

         But then, I'm thinking, Hey, these people are Parents, right?! If the parents don't want their kids watching violence on tv, then don't let them watch. Makes sense to me... my own parents limited my tv watching when I was a kid. Make the kids go out and play, invite friends over, get some exercise, it'll do them some good, don't you think? And then, too, it's the parents who should be teaching their kids right from wrong. The parents, not the television.

         See? If you people would just listen to me every once in a while, this world would be so much nicer. "Cheri for world dictator!" hehe.


24 August 1999 ::: Work in Progress :::
         How do you feel about showing others a "work-in-progress"? Say you're working on a project in your favorite medium. You're writing a poem, you're writing a novel, you're painting, you're elbow deep in wet clay, whatever. Do you allow people to view your work before it's done?

         I don't. And it's almost a supersticious thing, too. As if, my project will be jinxed if someone even gets a glance at it. And thinking about it, it's only my insecurities showing through in this particular superstition... What if the person sees the unfinished bit and says something negative about it? I wouldn't be able to finish the thing with that black cloud hanging over it. Or what if the person says something positive about it? I wouldn't be able to go on, what if the rest of it doesn't measure up to that first part? Or, the person suggests something to make a change. If I think it's a good idea and I make the change... well, then, the finished product is not entirely mine, now is it? I like to own my creations. And if it's a bad idea, do I just shout at the person to go away 'cause they don't know what they are talking about? heh.

ack! It's a twisted place my mind lives in, I tell you!

No wonder I hated those damnable creative writing courses... All those people giving positive comments, negative comments, change this... Eeee. cheri goes into conniptions just thinking about it.


26 August 1999 ::: Guinea Pig :::
         I just realized that I don't talk much about my companion animal, Adric the Guinea Pig. So, today you get to learn about guinea pig breeds. :) My little friend happens to be a mutt, however his very distinctive markings tell of his parentage... Half Agouti, Half Abyssinian.

         Agouti guinea pigs have a coat characteristic called "ticking", kind of a salt-and-pepper look. Each "ticked" hair on the Agouti is actually several colors: next to the skin it is cream colored, then a black band, then a colored band, then another black band on the outside. If the colored band is reddish brown, the guinea pig is a Gold Agouti, a white band makes a Silver Agouti, and a grayish brown makes the Wild Agouti coloring. All Agouti's have a pale underside and no other markings.

         The Abyssinian breed of guinea pig can be any color. What sets this breed apart from the rest is rosettes. Rosettes, or whorls, are basically cow licks for guinea pigs, the hair grows in a star-burst pattern. Abyssinian's usually have quite a few rosettes which are found all over their body.

         So, little Adric, mutt that he is, has the Agouti pale underside, and maybe 50% of his hair is ticked properly for a Silver Agouti. The other hairs are either all black, or have only one or two bands of black and white. He has a couple white markings on his back and face from his Abyssinian heritage. And a single rosette, right in the middle of his forehead. heh. He almost got called "Hole in the Head". :)


30 August 1999 ::: My Day :::
A day in the life of me

         My alarm starts going off at 7am in the morning. I am at work at 8. I work at a small animal veterinarian clinic. My official title is kennel attendant, but I always add a "slash vet assistant" just to make it sound better. :)

         The first thing I do at work is check to make sure that everyone is still alive. Believe me, when someone turns up dead, it kind of ruins my day. Then I take care of the dogs... The indoors gets hosed down, everyone gets fresh water and fed. The outside runs get hosed down and then I take some dogs out for a walk. Next I take care of the cats... they get fresh litter pans and water and food and their cages are hosed down. Finally, I do the treatments... some of the animals boarding need pills or ointments or whatever, and I just love getting slimey with meat balls and slobber. And then, of course, while I am doing all this, I am constantly being interupted since people are bringing in their animals and I have to go get them from the reception area and put them in their place to stay for the day.

         So now it is around 9 or 9:30am... or if we have a full house it is closer to 10:30 or 11. I get started on the baths. I average 2 or 3 baths a day, usually dogs, occasionally cats. Everybody gets brushed out first, and I curse the owners of dogs with matted fur. When cats have mats, the doc usually knocks them out, and it is actually kind of fun to bath an unconscious cat.

         While I am hanging over the bathtub, the doc and the vet tech are doing surguries. Usually it's boring stuff like spays and neuters and dentals. Sometimes it gets exciting... today they removed a cat's ears, cancer, you know. Or they will stitch up somebody's face, the loser in a dog fight. Or they bring in a specialist to pin broken bones.

         Eventually we get to the "To Do" file, people have dropped off their animals for an exam or a yearly or just go get their toe nails trimmed. Usually it's me and the vet tech that takes care of these, I hold the animal while he does the exam and gives shots and trims nails and all.

         I used to tell people that all I did was pet the dog or cat while I was at work. They usually believe me, too. But really, holding a dog or cat is much more involved. 90% of these animals are scared to be at the vet's office. Most of them do just fine. But I am there to make sure that the doc or tech does not get bit or scratched. It sometimes gets pretty physical with big dogs fighting me, or those damn cats scratching everything they can get their claws on. I have definitely learned my lesson about bites, too... Animal bites are extremely painful and most the time cat bites will get infected. Not fun.

         Then it's that all-important hour: lunch time! :) After lunch there are appointments, people who want to sit with their dog or cat while the doc does the exam or yearly or nail trim. Of course, I still get to hold the animal, but this time it's in the little exam room with the owner hovering annoyingly over me, mostly getting in the way of me doing my job. That's probably the part I hate most about my job.

         In the afternoon, too, the dogs and cats start going home. The owners are always happy to see their little friends again, even if they were only there for a couple hours. You have to be careful with the animals that got surgury in the morning... they are usually still pretty drunk and the cats are all wild-eyed and the dogs can't walk a straight line. We always make fun of them and laugh. :)

         In the end, I make sure everything is okay for the next day. Dog runs get hosed down again and some of the dogs get feed or walked. And when 5:30 rolls around I am definitely ready to leave. Except for the fact that if there is going to be an emergency, the people are going to walk in at 5:20 with their bleeding, heart attacking, throwing up dog. ugh. I hate that. And the dog has usually been bleeding, heart attacking and throwing up all day, and the owner just decided to panic right at closing time.

         Anyway. At some point, I get home, it's around 6pm. I take a shower then I log onto the internet to check my messages. This takes a couple of hours... I have at least 6 email addresses plus several community forums I need to visit, it takes longer if I decide to reply to someone. Then I wander aimlessly for a while. I might surf, I might update this page, I might go read a real book, or play with Adric the guinea pig, or cook dinner, or visit WC, or whatever. My bed-time varies, anywhere from 9pm to midnight. After I get ready for bed, I always write a page or two in my paper journal. Then I sleep.

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