Thursday, December 18, 2008

Horrible Treatment of Cats in China


Chinese Demonstrate Against Cat Meat Industry
Where do Nanjing's stray cats end up?
Photos of cats packed into crates
Netizens angry about cats on menu (accepts BRIEF comments)
Cat Restaurant (warning: this is detailed and has very disturbing photos)
China Daily Newspaper article

I was doing my morning ritual of looking at the news and I came across a story about cats in China. To say it was disturbing news would be an understatement. I cried a lot.
China has been killing cats, skinning them alive and cooking them alive. This takes place mostly in the Guangdong province, where they eat 10,000 cats per day. These cats are stuffed together in cages and sold as food. The good news is there is an activist group in China protesting this appalling practice and trying to put an end to it. I admire them. They are brave to protest in a country that is intolerant of free speech and civil rights.

Civet cats used to be eaten in China, until that practice was banned due to SARS. But does it really take health reasons to ban inhumane actions to animals?

So I beg you to please contact the Humane Society International and/or the Humane Society of the United States to urge them to take whatever action they can to stop this horrible practice. I will update this article with further contacts as they become available.

Contact Humane Society International (*scroll all the way down to to the bottom of their page for contact form)

Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in the US - Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
(*note, contact page for the Ambassador has been "deleted". Hmm.)

US Embassy in Beijing -Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr

President Elect Obama

Tom Vilsack, appointed Agriculture Secretary by President-Elect Obama
(I am still looking for his contact info. He has an old myspace page.)

Humane Society article about Tom Vilsack

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An easy way to help the auto industry

PLEASE NOTE: This is written tongue-in-cheek style, so to my family and friends, remember you said you wouldn't commit me unless you found me knitting outfits for my cat Abby. (Hide the yarn, Abby)

I have a solution to help the auto industry, eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, create more jobs, and reduce global warming: Lets get rid of all the cars and use horses. This is how and why horses will solve our economy problem.

We'll use all those poor wild horses that are going to be slaughtered. We will hire a bunch of people to tame them (more jobs created). Automakers will now be horse breeders. Car dealers will be horse dealers. They can even keep some of the same names as their cars, Dodge Colt, Ford Pinto, etc.( maybe not the Pinto). The parking lots of showrooms will be converted to horse stalls. There will be an SUV model, complete with a covered wagon. Car part places will now stock horse supplies and accessories, including saddle cup holders. Car washes will now be horse grooming stations.

Gas stations, since we won't need gas anymore, will now be horse feeding stations with water troughs and bails of hay at reasonable prices. Oil companies will be farms, producing hay and feed for horses. The CEOS of the oil companies will be forced to work hard, physical labor on these farms. The farmers will now be the CEOS of the farming industry.

The kids will love it. Merry Go Rounds will be Car Go Rounds, as each horse is replaced with a replica of old cars such as the Toyota Camry and Cadillac Escalade.
The riding age will be 10. There will be horse riding lessons in place of driving lessons. Lots of horse drawn sleigh rides.

Think of the new fashion industry opening up: people will have cowboy outfits.
We won't have to worry about paving roads anymore, since horses will be using them.

Nascar will be replaced with horse races and the racing tracks will be governed by the Humane Society.

The horses will have GPS microchips, in case they get lost or stolen.
I haven't quite figured out how to install CD players and stereos yet. The loud noise might frighten the horses. Maybe we could use earphones.

You could drink and drive all you want, without danger of getting in an accident.

Oh, and I haven't forgotten how to deal with the horse manure: We will get oil company executives, bank executives, and Wall Streeters to be responsible for scooping up the poop everywhere.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

16 Signs Your Home May Be Haunted

There is a chilling, riveting show on TV called "A Haunting" (Discovery Channel, 2pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday). The one hour show depicts allegedly true personal experiences with ghosts and demons. Actors reenact the events interspersed with interview clips from the actual victims and their families. Whether you believe in the afterlife or not, the one hour program is truly entertaining. It has given me a good scare at times, and I am grateful it doesn't air at night

From watching the show, certain patterns and similarities have occurred that I thought might be useful to know either before buying a home or afterwards. Here, for your amusement, is a list to guide you:

Your home may be haunted if:

1. You keep hearing someone call your name and no one is there. (or you could just be psychotic)

2. When sleeping, your blankets are pulled off of you.

3. The crosses on the walls turn upside down.

4. The temperature drops down suddenly in a room and it is August. And you don't have the A/C on.

5. When the real estate lady shows you the home, she not only refuses to go in but won't get out of her car.

6. The price of the home is way too good to be true.

7. You develop strange scratches on your body and they're not from your spouse.

8. Your child introduces you to his new playmate and there is nobody there, but you see a swing moving or toys moving.

9. You walk into your baby's room to find all of the stuffed animals in a circle, and no one in the house did it.

10. Cabinets doors keep opening by themselves.

11. The home was recently renovated.

12. A family member starts glaring at you and talking in a low, demonic voice.

13. The home used to be a funeral parlor/ site of a murder/ on top of a burial ground.

14. When you enter the rental property you find dishes with food on them - as if the prior residents ran from the house.

15. When viewing a potential home, you find the current residents huddled in one room telling you not to go upstairs.

16. All the windows are nailed shut.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You can always go Downtown

I like to support our local businesses during this economic crisis. The larger ones like Wal-Mart will thrive, but it is the smaller places, like our squares, centers, and downtown areas, that may need our help. And if you haven't been to Downtown Nashua, you are missing out on a great shopping experience.

Downtown offers friendly service and a way to avoid the impersonal, claustrophobic feel of shopping malls. There is no need to worry about parking: there is some on street parking and various parking garages. Check out this parking map. And you don't have to feed the meters on Saturday, Sundays and Holidays.

For a cup of coffee, a smoothie,or some yummy gourmet baked goods and delicious wraps and soups, Patisserie Bleu is the place to be. The decor is reminiscent of a French cafe. Go ahead and treat yourself. The owner Deb and her staff are friendly and there is free WiFi there. I often wish there was a candle to capture the wonderful aroma of that place.

Tucked away on a side street is Bonhoeffer's. Choose from a variety of coffees, teas, and smoothies and take advantage of the free WiFi in a relaxing setting.

Need some hardware? How about trying Aubuchon Hardware. Ed, who I call MacGyver, has helped me solve some fix-it dilemmas. You can rent a rug shampoo machine, get copies of keys made, and recycle your cfl bulbs. And these are just some of the services they provide. All of the staff are very helpful and courteous. Aubuchon also stocks some pet supplies and Christmas items.

Downtown Nashua also has events to enjoy. The next event is Ladies Night on Thursday, November 20, 2008 from 5pm to close. You can get some good discounts from many participating merchants. One of the biggest events is the Holiday Stroll taking place on Saturday, November 29, 2008 from 5pm to 10pm. It is FREE. Click on for other events.

There are many more stores and lots of restaurants not mentioned here only because I haven't tried them out yet. But I look forward to exploring those places and I strongly encourage you to do your own exploring.

UPDATE: I removed Absolutely New Hampshire from the article, because it is gone. Thanks to Newts for informing me (see comments).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blackout in Nashua, NH

This afternoon, July 19,2008, there was a blackout in parts of Nashua,NH. I was a passenger in the car with my friend (who shall remain nameless) driving up Main St. when she noticed the traffic signals were out. When we got to the plaza where we wanted to shop, we were turned away from the store because of no power. So my friend proceeded to drive me home. After driving down about three intersections with no working traffic signals, we saw further up Main St. the next traffic signal was working so we stopped at the red light. A guy in the next car started talking to me, something about the power being out. I figured it was just going to be a friendly conversation, you know, one of those moments that boundaries and walls drop just a little bit and you find it OK, during an adverse situation or being stuck in the same situation, to talk to a stranger. He complained that my friend who was driving did not stop at the traffic signals that were out, and that she was supposed to stop. He said, "you blew right by me". She did slow down at each traffic stop, and at one of them she did stop when she saw cars turning onto the main road. I didn't know what to say. I haven't driven in a while so I confess I forgot the rules about these situations, who yields to whom, etc. I just shrugged my shoulders and as the light turned green told him (and I honestly didn't mean it in a sarcastic way) to "have a nice day anyway". My friend seemed visibly upset, so I said, oh he was probably upset because of the heat and the stress of driving and whatnot. It didn't seem to soothe her at all. And besides, earlier in the day,before any power outage, when she slowed almost to a stop where there was no red light or stop sign, I waved on a car to allow him to turn onto our street, assuming that is why she slowed down. It wasn't, but she did let him go. I was mortified, and realized a passenger really shouldn't wave on another car. So who was I to tell her how to drive?

Anyway, getting back to the power outage/traffic signal dilemma, I decided to let my old pal Google enlighten me. I did find this: During a power outage when a traffic signal isn't working, stop at all intersections, then proceed with caution when traffic permits. Oops. Now I know. I won't mention it to my friend, unless she brings it up, because I am not the type to tell people they were wrong (and I think she HATES that), but I sure will tell her if I'm in the car with her and there is another power outage.

So the power is back on again, thankfully. And to that guy who we "blew" by, I'm really sorry. Thank you for enlightening us. And I hope you did have a nice day after all.

New Hampshire Driving Manual (pdf)

American Red Cross: what to do during a power outage