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Monday, June 25, 2007

Muzzles and warm weather

Inappropriate muzzles and warm weather can be a nasty combination for your dog. Dogs cool off mostly by panting. Water evaporates from their mouths/tongues and takes heat with it. So what happens when you muzzle your dog's mouth shut in warm weather? They overheat, like an engine without coolant (I know nothing about cars by the way...).
Heatstroke can kill a dog and I don't know of a veterinarian that has not seen a case.
The "banned" breeds in Toronto are required by law to be muzzled. As often as I see a seemingly-responsible dog owner walking their muzzled dog, they are far too often muzzled with one of these:

No. No. No. It is wonderful (and shocking) to see the law being obeyed, but please remember: these dogs cannot cool off while wearing these muzzles. The worst is witnessing these dogs leashed to a bike, muzzles glued shut, and trotting away like a furnace ready to explode... -sigh-
The (what-most-find-) offensive and (not-really-) frightening Hannibal Lecter-type muzzles are indeed those that should be ubiquitous.

Are they? Maybe, but I don't see 'em. They are not heavy, are easy to put on and remove, and allow a dog to open it's mouth to pant and drink. They can easily be cleaned and allow currents of air to pass through them unlike those made from leather or nylon. Most importantly, they will prevent bites, which is the muzzle's main purpose.
While one must be vigilant, don't let the muzzles fool you; the best dogs in the world may be wearing one.

Now that's a muzzle.

I'm sure he's a sweetheart underneath that, really.

I'm not quite sure what this is.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Museum of Creation, Kentucky

I was astounded to learn that a $27 million (US) Creation Museum was built in Kentucky. That it was built in that particular state did not shock me. That it exists at all in the year 2007 is what dumbfounds me. The museum is based on the concept that the world and everything on the planet was created by God in six days. According to the museum (and bible), the world is only six thousand years old. Interesting.
Fossils, according to the museum's creator, are the result of the great flood, for which Noah built his Ark. This was when he rounded up two of every species on the planet in order to preserve the gene pool (funny, I wonder how he determined the sex of the waterstriders, newts, tarantulas, and coelocanths that were on his Ark. Well, I guess he just was lucky...). I guess carbon dating may not be that accurate after all.
In one of the museum's displays, spooky Chucky-like animatronic human children can be seen playing while a Stegosaurus munches on foliage behind them. The museum claims that dinosaurs and Homo sapiens cohabited the planet.
It is believed that we are separated from dinosaurs by at least 60 million years. Again, bus-sized dinosaurs lived 60 million years ago, but the museum claims them to be ten thousand times younger than that.

If what the museum claims is true, the great Irish elk, thought to have lived around seven thousand years ago, would have died off around a thousand years before the world was created.
If God had created it in the first place, why would he have allowed its extinction?

More kvetching about public transit

Two years ago, I gave up my Mini Cooper. Yes, ok, so I used to drive a car, reinforcing the oil giants that we need them.
Well, shoot, we do! I need my freakin' car back because I no longer wish to take the most unpleasant and inconvenient mode of transportation imaginable: the TTC!
At 7:00 AM this morning, I jumped on the 501 from Leslieville heading West. The pleasant, clean, and cool air outside didn't last as it was not less than 90 degrees on the damn streetcar. The radiators were BLASTING heat. All six of us on the double-length car had all the windows open to prevent us from passing out. To boot, the conductor was driving so slowly, a lame tortoise (lame like all things on Queen st) passed us.
Ride the Rocket? Is this a sick euphemism? SlowTurtle, Scuzz Train, or Consumption Junction would be more apt names for the streetcar and subway system in Toronto.
Seriously, folks, something needs to be done. The decent (and not drunk) people of Toronto need a clean, safe, convenient way around the city, without having to purchase a car... though I don't foresee a viable solution anytime soon.

Hmmm.... the streetcar...

or this:

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Great service but...

A very active day, indeed. Spent this afternoon hiking in the Albion Conservation Area, near Bolton. A change of scenery is all I needed from the oft-encountered blight of downtown Toronto.
This evening was spent with friends in the Beaches (or Beach) neighborhood. Warm, fresh air added to the peacefulness of the evening.
For dinner, we sat on a popular patio, had a few refreshing drinks and enjoyed the company of one another.
Unlike what I describe in a previous post, the service was quite good, but the food was terrible. I ordered butter chicken, a popular Indian dish, which the waitress described as "delicious." Oh, by delicious she meant atrocious.
Instead of pieces of boneless chicken (I've never had butter chicken otherwise), I was served a half-chicken, similar to what is served at Swiss Chalet or any other BBQ chicken joint, with the sauce poured over it. Am I a food snob? Apparently not last night as four out of six meals were disgusting. I mean they ruined my buddy's burger for fudge sake.

Please, all I want is a meal that is not gross.


Does not equal