Month: May 2014

Mr. G and Jellybean: The Happy Story I Needed

At last, a story with a happy ending.  Mr. G and Jellybean were rescued from an animal hoarder and they were sent to separate animal sanctuaries.  Mr. G became so depressed he stopped eating, so a member of the animal rescue drove 14 hours to bring Jellybean to Animal Place.  Mr. G immediately perked up when his friend arrived, and he started eating.

There isn’t much that needs to be said about this story. You can see the joy in Mr. G’s eyes when he sees Jellybean.

Animals are wonderful.


Geek Craft Sunday – Portable Tribble Containment Unit

You never know when you might need one…

The Dandies

Foam core board is a great thing for creating props and you can buy it at the dollar store.

So I said to myself: “Self, what can I make with this?”
And my self answered: “I could make a portable tribble containment unit, but I need some flexible plexiglass.”
So I said to myself: “Good thinking! You brilliant half-Q.”

And then I stopped talking to myself in the dollar store and bought the foam core boards.

wpid-20140525_145836.jpg Be Prepared!

I bought some flexible plexiglass and assembled my materials.
Then I took a nap. Naps are really important in crafting. Take lots.

When I woke up, I started making the portable tribble containment unit.

And there you have it: flexible plexiglass, packing tape, foam core board, duct tape, and electric tape. Portable tribble containment unit with removable lid: geek craft level 10.

Of course, I had to test it out. I put…

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On Writing: Productive Procrastination

Sometimes my procrastination can be productive.  Today I wrote a few blog posts (business and personal), Tweeted (again, business and personal) and sent a dozen business emails.  I got a little writing done, and I’m mostly satisfied with it.  Perhaps procrastination isn’t so bad when it’s done in a productive way.

Of course, if I keep procrastinating, I’ll never get the book done.  *headdesk*  The vicious cycle never ends….

My Problem with Blackfish: From Taiji Dolphins to Marius the Giraffe to Baby Seals

I know, I know.  I’m asking for it.  Legions of activists will froth at the mouth because I’m supporting Sea World…but as a native San Diegan, I’ve seen the conservation efforts firsthand and regardless of my opinion on killer whales in captivity, I know that the work that Sea World does truly makes a difference.  When a seal pup is sitting on a La Jolla street, who would you call if Sea World wasn’t around?  Injured wildlife has a second chance so long as Sea World is present.  And frankly, Blackfish only shows one side of the story.  A true documentary does not push an agenda, rather it presents all of the facts and allows the audience to make up its mind.

But here’s my biggest frustration with the Blackfish people: Where were you with The Cove?  Seriously, that movie received critical acclaim and landed nominations and awards from the Golden Globes to the Oscars…and yet no one did anything about it’s horrific message of slaughter in Taiji.  Sea World may be keeping killer whales in bathtubs, but they’ve never slaughtered thousands of dolphins in the name of science or cuisine on a yearly basis.

This past winter, thousands of dolphins were rounded up in Taiji and slaughtered at such a rate that the water turned red with their blood.  One little dolphin calf, a rare albino, was plucked from the pod, away from his frantic mother.  He was too valuable to kill.  His mother didn’t end up as fortunate.  How can we allow this to continue?

When JJ the grey whale was rehabilitated by Sea World over a decade ago, she was released into the wild with a tracking device.  That tracking device went silent right around the time that the Japanese were capturing whales for their “research.”  JJ was used to people and she often swam up to boats.  It’s entirely possible that she swam right up to the people who would kill her.

When the Copenhagen Zoo had an extra giraffe, poor Marius was tricked into eating his favorite snack so that keepers could shoot him in the head, dissect him, and feed him to the lions.  Other parks would have taken him, but the European Zoo agency wouldn’t let him be transferred outside of their jurisdiction.  Therefore, he had to die.  (This still gives me nightmares)

Every year, baby seals are clubbed to death for their lucrative snow-white fur.  They are skinned so that their ice flows are stained with blood while their terrified mothers watch helplessly.  (The very thought that people can do this makes me sick)

Here’s the bottom line to this little rant: Sea World should absolutely create bigger places for its current whale populations to live.  At this point, returning them to the wild won’t work very well given their dependence on people.  However, with water pollution being what it is, these whales are living in a safer environment than they would be if they were in the wild.  Sea World should not take any whales from the wild from this point forward.  I think they have received this message loud and clear–and I totally agree with it.  Killer whales should not be torn from their pods.  Unfortunately, this was done back when humans didn’t know any better.  Now we know.  Now it needs to stop.

But activists should take heed of what’s going on in the world.  Killer whales at Sea World are safe, and local marine life benefits from Sea World’s conservation efforts.  Dolphins in Taiji need our help.  What is being done to them is the animal equivalent of the Holocaust.  And the fact that nothing is being done is a travesty.  People who have blindly jumped onto the Blackfish bandwagon, simply because it’s the popular thing to do right now, need to see that their collective strength could save lives if they applied their efforts in a constructive way.  They could save the dolphins in Taiji by putting pressure on the US Government to step in and stop the slaughter from taking place.  Dolphins have families and pods and near-to-human intelligence.  Can you imagine being ripped from your family only to hear your family scream in agony as they are brutally tortured and killed?  THIS is barbaric.  THIS needs to stop. NOW.

The waters in Taiji run red every year.  Let the Blackfish people go back and watch The Cove and direct some much needed attention toward saving lives.

On Writing: The Author’s Bandwagon

I think I’ve fallen off the bandwagon.  Lately I’ve been so pressed for time that writing has taken a backseat to everything else.  This is not good.  

I’ve considered things like daily page goals, or word count goals, but generally I feel that with writing nonfiction, trying to work toward a word or page count goal could lead to a bunch of crappy writing.  Instead, I’ve tried to write something solid, and if I’m satisfied with the quality, then I’m happy with the progress.  However, I suspect that I’ll never get done if I keep this system going.

Perhaps there is a happy medium that I’m not seeing.  For now, I’ll consider any progress to be good progress.

On Writing: Hold that Thought!

Last night I started writing the intro to the third chapter of my book.  Then I got interrupted and wasn’t able to come back to it.  There was a 50/50 chance, I knew, that I might forget what I was working on.  Fortunately, it seems to have stuck with me.

Don’t you hate it when you have an idea and you can’t write it down, and then you lose it?  I’m serious when I say I’ve probably written dozens of books over the years…in my head.  I have to work on the “writing it down” part.

I actually dreamed the entire plot of a novel back in 2003.  It was Thanksgiving weekend and I woke up with the entire thing in my head, from start to finish.  And oddly enough, I’ve never forgotten the plot.  It’s as fresh today as it was back then.  One of these days I’m going to write it out and publish it.

One of these days….

Disney’s ‘Star Wars’: Musings and Other Things

Zack & Nick's Culture Cast


I’m a Star Wars fan, but I wouldn’t call myself a “hard-core”.  I like the movies and have sporadically gotten into some of the “expanded universe” stuff.  Every now and then, I’ll get the Star Wars bug to delve into that franchise a bit more than usual.  With all the news about the upcoming sequel trilogy, I’ve gotten that bug again – but in a different way this time.  To be honest, I’m still processing what Disney’s purchase of LucasFilm and the furthering of the franchise actually means.  As a way to figure out what is what, let’s explore what’s happening with the Star Wars franchise and the potential results from it.

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On Writing: That Spark of Inspiration

I confessed to my coach last week that I was frustrated with my book’s outline.  I need to prepare the first four chapters to submit to a agent.  From my perspective, the first four chapters are the least interesting, and yet they’re absolutely critical.  

My coach stepped in and pointed out that by subtly changing my viewpoint, I can make those dull chapters more interesting.  It was almost too simple.  All of a sudden I looked at my outline with a new set of eyes.  I didn’t need to rewrite the outline or change things around in the book–I just needed a new approach.  

And just like that, I was back on track.

Thanks, Coach!