Hey! I want one, too… Chicken vs. Lamb

Ok, I want to know why the average American in a city doesn’t give their sheep a ride around town? Inquiring minds want to know. Sometimes I think we here in the US are too dull, too straitjacketed living in our safe planned communities.
Here in California there has been a huge furour, well if you own birds or chickens, about the Exotic Newcastle Disease. The said avian ailment has been severely sickening, usually to death, the average 10-15 chickens per 10 sq. foot pen that the US poultry industry keeps together in close company. Needless to say the multiple billion dollar poultry industry in Calif. has pressured/lobbied/etc the State to go and clear up the disease.
Guess how they have done it? If you have a backyard chicken or even a parrot or finches in the house, and a bird in the neighborhood has gotten sick with Newcastle, then the State or County task force has been coming and killing all of the healthy birds on the block. An actor in LA recently made a big stink about this to the LA Times (note that the LA times charges for archive articles), after the Task Force folks came to get his parrot, who was not sick. And when the actor refused to have his parrot put down in the name of the poulty industry, he got a big sign on his front door that said “Bio-Hazard”. Nice.
Hello…. Maybe the poultry industry should stop packing the birds in, give them some room, a wee bit of fresh air, etc, and maybe they wouldn’t pass disease around amongst their commrades so fast. Or on the other hand maybe the average citizen could get a goat or sheep, instead of chickens, and have a built in lawnmower and fertilizer….
At my house, I would prefer a goat to the mow&blow guys, because the mow&blow guys are kicking up a lot of dust every monday and tromping in the flower beds, and have been caught twice now using weed killer spray on the flowers. Given that the landlady pays for the service, I don’t really complain to her because it would change nothing and add ill will. But it would be more fun to complain about the goat eating the flowers. Alas, due to the “No Pets” clause to the lease, I don’t think a pygmy goat is in my future.
Letter to the Ventura County Star: Task Force killing too many birds
Parrot Society of LA on how to appeal your bird’s imminent death

First Iris of May

First Iris of May

For my birthday, my mom gave me a bunch of flowers to put into my new little garden along the driveway and fence. The iris has decided to put out two blooms in 24 hours. I guess this means that it is happy.

Norton doesn’t like Mozilla?

I have been a dedicated Netscape user since 1994 or there abouts. I use IE only to check my web design sites. I eschew Outlook, and use Netscape Mail.
But there has been a bit of evil lurking underneath the silver cloud of my contrariness. Gurgle. Erg. This evil bubbles up about every 3 weeks since SXSW… If I have Netscape 7.0 open at the same time that Norton Anti-Virus does its automatic Live Update, then for whatever reason, Netscape does not see my user profile anymore.
Imagine my panic the first time this happened, no mail, no bookmarks, no address book. ((Large screams echo’d through the house and down the block)). Now I back up my whole Mozilla folder once a week to the e:\ drive, and when it happens again, it takes me about an hour to get Netscape to recognize the backed up profile.
Given that it just happened again around 5pm today, I am still in high Adrenaline rush over the whole thing. I just disabled Live Update’s ability to update itself, and will only do it myself when everything else is closed.
Anyone have any idea why Norton and Mozilla are not playing well together on Win XP????

Cinco de Mau at Detroit

Dave “The Chairman” Mau left me a message on my answering machine the other day to tell me of the plans for this year’s Cinco de Mau BBQ, and he told me to tell the world.
Hello World, go to the BBQ, all are welcome.
This year the Cinco de Mau will not be held at Dave’s house but at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, Dave will be BBQing, and there will be live music. The bands will be Starpool (former members of Save Ferris) and Busstop Hurricanes.
My first Cinco de Mau party was at the Calvin Room in 1999. I went over on Dave’s invitation for a wee bit, as I was supposed to meet Jez at the now infamous Manic Hispanic show at the Foothill. Dave’s party was fun, great bbq, and a pinata with lottery tickets, lemon drops, and condoms in it, I ended up losting track of time and never getting over to the Foothill.
Much better than getting beat on by the Long Beach Police at the Foothill…. (Damn glad that Gabby is sober now…) The stories of the proceedings between Gabby/Manic and the LBPD and the crowd and the ensuing brawl vary depending on who is telling the tale. Rather glad I was eating BBQ in HB. (wimp)
Anywhoo, given that Manic’s show went off without a major hitch on Sat. May 3rd, this leaves the OC club populace free with out debate to hie on down to Detroit on Thurs. May 8th.

Congrats to Manic Hispanic!

Manic Hispanic - Mijo Goes to Jr. College

I’d like to extend a big congratulations to Steve Soto and all the gentlemen of Manic Hispanic for the release of their excellent 3rd cd today on BYO Records!
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend their CD release party and Cinco de Mayo show this last Sat. at the House of Blues Anaheim, but the band’s fans on their Message Board are giving the show rave reviews.
Some cynic may say, “Hey Jen, you are just saying all of that because you are friends with Steve and you did their website.” Um…. no, the CD is very good, very funny, and I am very proud of those guys for their great music and Gabby’s 2+ years of sobriety (Go, Gabby, Go!).
Good on ya, boys! I hope you have a great show with NOFX tonight in San Francisco!

Getting Feisty with Spam

Sept. 2001, when I was on a one year contract as an adjunct art professor, we attended an Art Dept. retreat where the evening entertainment was sculpting Spam (the processed meat product) into famous works of art. Yikes! I watched from the sidelines.
The current war against internet spam, I have stepped off the sidelines and have personally joined the fray. All of us get obnoxious emails encouraging us to enlarge our peni (dang, I didn’t know I had one!), increase breast size (actually, I would like to go down a cup or two in size, thank you), or get a mortage (on my income in SoCal? Not a day before I am 85), etc etc etc etc.
In fact, today, Sunday the 4th of May, I had 14 messages awaiting me in my primary email box. Each and every one of them was unsolicited SPAM! Not processed pork coming to me through my computer, but bad email.
About 2 weeks ago, I decided to fight back. Now, when I receive a spam mail obviously intended for a man (Increase your Penis size 2-3 inches!), I kindly email back the sender – “Thank you for your informational email. But unfortunately, I am a female, not a male, and I do not have a penis.” Then for personal entertainment, I thoroughly insult the sender with creative insults that would make the Iraqi Minister of Information proud of me.
Yes, I realize that by replying it now has confirmation that I exist, but it makes me feel a great deal better to know that some email bot is getting a foul multiple syllabic response…. Not that it cares, but I feel a wee bit more empowered against the onslaught.

May Day Project

Ok, Heather Champ put this up as a link today – The May Day Project.
Here’s what the May Day folks have to say:

over one day in may, people all over the world will be taking a photograph an hour to illustrate a day in their life. will you be photographing yours too?

Lucky and others – I think this is a grand idea. Pick up cameras… put the photos up on one’s blog, send in the link.
May 10th (the day of the project) is a Sat, and I may be in Parker, AZ, for my brother’s birthday. Pictures of my dad’s Mallard RV….

Good News: More Work

Ahh… the life of a freelancer….
ergh…
((sounds of screaming and tufts of hair falling out))
I only know one freelancer who really seems to have the whole thing down pat (all bills paid a month in advance, no debt at all, and a healthy retirement fund at 30), she also grew up as a missionary kid and loves Target. Those of us who grew up as a Feast or Famine Hanen seem to be repeating the generational family habit…
I have dabbled in freelance artwork, design, and writing since 1992, but did not make the full break from day job or adjunct teaching until August of 2002. I am now 8 months into my full-time self-employment adventure, and am mostly on time with rent, not on time at all with minimum payments of debt, and occasionally eating strange combos of rice, dulse flakes and whatever is in the frig… But I am happy in a way that that I never was in cubicle-land of temp jobs, commercial real estate, higher ed, etc.
The Good News is that one of my main web design clients, after 7.5 months from my original proposal and 3 months after a revised proposal, gave full approval yesterday of a complete re-design of their website. Their site was originally designed in 1998, and has been updated by interns until my coming along last spring. In the year since I started working on it, I have updated and corrected code (no html, body, or title tags at all!!!!) on all the pages I have touched.
I am very excited to start the re-design, and will be doing it as a eDisciple of Zeldman, Tantek, and Champeon…. In other words, CSS layout here we come, goodbye tables.
Wish me luck. Occasionally call me in the next two weeks to see if I am still alive. It will be my goal to have the new site at testing stage by the end of next week and launched with revisions by Memorial Day.
Then I will celebrate at the OC Scottish Games!