Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
The Nebula ballot was announced and amongst many good writers and friends, St. Paul's own Dave Schwartz was nominated for his first novel, Superpowers. Many times, a book doesn't get the attention it deserves and I'm hoping that the publicity around the award nomination will result in more notice for Dave. It's a wondferul book and will appeal to many people who don't normally think of themselves as science fiction readers.
Last summer, through Rabid Transit Press and our new series of novellas, Electrum, we published Dave's, The Sun Inside, which also didn't get the attention it deserved. It's a beautiful book and a great story, so I'm hoping we'll see an increase in interest now that he's famous!
There's No Other Way
My Life in Itunes
1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4&5. Deleted the part about tagging people, so just do it if you like.
6. Have Fun!
IF SOMEONE SAYS 'ARE YOU OKAY' YOU SAY?
"Alive" by Pearl Jam
Appropriate after a long week and almost getting stuck and running out of gas in yesterday's snow storm. (My list is heavy on grunge as I'm just now developing my music and I was in a grunge kind of mood over the last two weeks.)
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF
"Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarten
I'm actually in a pretty good mood considering I got 4 phone calls early this morning, evenly spaced so that they all woke me up, because the alarm was accidentally triggered at work.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
"C'mon, C'mon" by The Von Bondies
Denis Leary is strangely attractive in Rescue Me.
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
"Come Out and Play" by The Offspring
I'm a brawling teenage boy at heart.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
"Get Ur Freak On" by Missy Eliott
Chris Barzak, you are responsible for this song being on my playlist.
WHAT'S YOUR MOTTO?
"Hey Ya!" by Andre 3000
Too perfect. Dance until you drop!
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
"Hush" by Deep Purple.
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
"Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Fugees
While not my favorite version, I like this modern take on a beautiful song.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
"Nearly Lost You There" by Screaming Trees
I used to be obsessed with figuring out this song. I admit it, I still am.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
"Lithium" by Nirvana
As I said, heavy on the grunge. Nothing personal, sweetheart.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
"Song 2" by Blur
Interesting. This song has been used in a million different movie trailers for battle/explosion scenes.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
"Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses
Probably better than "Welcome to the Jungle."
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
"Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand
I love the idea of everyone dancing, including all the guys doing their stomp dance, to this song my funeral. I think dancing should be an optional part of every funeral.
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
"For Your Love" by The Yardbirds
I have thing for 60s rock.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
"Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots
Okay, this is kind of a scary song.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
"Self Esteem" By The Offspring
I rocked out to this song when it first came out. I loved the idea that the guy was the doormat and not the girl. I think of it my grrl rage period.
WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
"Gloria" by Van Morrison with Them
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
"Time of the Season" by The Zombies
Peace, love and psychedelics!
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
"There's No Other Way" by Blur
"You're taking the fun out of everything. Making me run when I don't want to think." One more song and it would have been "Welcome to the Jungle."
Monday, February 23, 2009
UPDATE on the Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill Bill
The Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill Bill, H.F. 253 (authored by Representative Tom Tillberry), will be heard in the House Public Safety Policy and Oversight Committee soon. We will be sending a call-to-action alert as soon as the bill is granted a hearing and the date is confirmed.
Also, as you know, the Senate companion bill S.F. 7 (authored by Senator Don Betzold) was tabled in the Senate Agriculture Committee for further discussion. We will alert you when this second hearing is going to be held so you can call those members.
If you haven't already done so, please contact your State Representative and State Senator and tell him/her of your strong support of H.F. 253 (the Tillberry bill) and S.F. 7 (the Betzold bill). Also, when talking with others, please consider the points below.
IMPORTANT: Please mention the bill number and author's name
In the House: Be sure to clearly state that you support H.F. 253 and give the House author's name (Representative Tillberry), because another bill, H.F. 573 by Rep. Juhnke, has been introduced and is a weaker bill.
In the Senate: Be sure to clearly state that you support S.F. 7 and give the Senate author's name (Senator Betzold), because another bill, S.F. 500 by Senator Erickson Ropes, has been introduced and is a weaker bill.
For highlights of H.F. 253 (Tillberry)/S.F. 7(Betzold) and for reasons why the other bills are weaker, scroll down to Talking Points below.
Thank you for your strong support and commitment to protecting animals.
TALKING POINTS: H.F. 253/S.F. 7
H.F. 253 (Tillberry) and S.F. 7 (Betzold) are companion bills, which means the language for each, at the time of introduction, was the same.
Please feel free to refer to the talking points below when speaking with or writing to your own legislators or committee members about H.F. 253 (Tillberry)/S.F. 7 (Betzold).
Additional information about inhumane dog and cat breeding as well as this bill and other related legislation is posted at www.animalfolksmn.org.
Note: H. F. = House File; S.F. = Senate File. House Representatives vote on House files only; Senators vote on Senate files only.
H.F. 253 (Tillberry)/S.F. 7 (Betzold), the Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill Bill, protects dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from unscrupulous breeders by giving the State of Minnesota the authority to regulate the dog and cat breeding industry.
The bill is a collaborative effort, incorporating input and has support from many rescue groups, humane societies, humane agents, veterinarians, law enforcement, animal control, animal welfare organizations and citizens across the State.
The following are key highlights of H.F. 253 (Tillberry)/S.F. 7 (Betzold):
· The Core Problem—Minnesota is among the top producers of puppies in the United States. As there are no State laws regulating this multi-million dollar industry, unscrupulous breeders profit through inhumane treatment of animals. H.F. 253/S.F. 7 is clearly written to address the core problem - inhumane breeding conditions and practices found in dog and cat breeding facilities.
· Licensing—H.F. 253/S.F. 7 requires dog and cat breeders to be licensed in Minnesota. A breeder is defined [see bill for exact language] as a person who breeds for the purpose of sale and possesses six or more adult intact female animals for the purpose of breeding. Small and hobby breeders are exempt.
· Inspections—H.F. 253/S.F. 7 gives the State of Minnesota the authority to conduct annual inspections of dog and cat breeding facilities. It does not place the burden on local governments (but the State can contract with local authorities).
· Enforcement—H.F. 253/S.F. 7 gives the State of Minnesota the authority to enforce existing laws and regulations through clearly defined actions. The bill also provides for investigations and seizure of animals when the health or welfare of the animals is threatened.
· Standards—H.F. 253/S.F. 7 puts in place additional standards that are lacking in existing law, such as adequate staff, daily socialization, identification and tracking of each animal, and not hiring anyone who has been convicted of animal cruelty.
· Funding—H.F. 253/S.F. 7 provides funding to the Board of Animal Health (B.A.H.) through annual licensing fees. It also provides a one-time registration fee giving the B.A.H. funds in order to start up the program.
· Penalties—H.F. 253/S.F. 7 imposes civil, administrative and criminal penalties for breaking the law; this includes fines as well as misdemeanor penalties for falsifying information and knowingly trading or selling animals from breeders/dealers without a license.
H.F. 253 (Tillberry) /S.F. 7 (Betzold) is a responsible bill because it addresses the core problem, works hand-in-hand with existing Minnesota anti-cruelty laws, and has strong support by a large coalition from across the State. This issue is about human responsibility - requiring breeders to act responsibly and humanely.
It is time for Minnesota to take action. Over 25 states have passed similar bills and many other states have introduced bills this year in their legislatures.
To link to H.F. 253 (Tillberry)/S.F. 7 (Betzold), click here
View videos and photos and learn more about inhumane dog and cat breeding at the Animal Folks Minnesota website.
Never spoken with a legislator before? Click here.
Why Rep. Juhnke's bill (H.F. 573) / Sen. Erickson Ropes' bill (S.F. 500) is weaker
While H.F. 573/S.F. 500 has some good points, we oppose it for a variety of reasons. Our primary concerns are as follows:
Some of the language in the bill does not work with Minnesota's existing animal welfare statutes.
The bill also introduces new terms and some detrimental requirements, which will cause confusion.
In certain areas, the bill does not give proper direction to the Board of Animal Health.
The bill requires that all breeders comply with USDA regulations, not just those who sell to pet shops.
As indicated in the last alert, the bill does not cover any breeder with under 40 breeding animals -- 40 breeding animals (with litters from each) translates to over 400 animals per kennel. (S.F. 7-Betzold/H.F. 253-Tillberry licenses 6 intact females.)
Rep. Juhnke's bill would also exempt (from the count of the 40 breeding animals) puppies and kittens who are under 9 months of age. This detail, among others, is important because those animals, too, are of breeding age, further increasing the number of animals exempted from any oversight.
For those of us who have been on the front lines and seen animal neglect and abuse in dog and cat breeding facilities, inhumane breeding practices and conditions occur in facilities of all sizes. Exempting huge numbers of breeders from any regulation goes against the intent of animal protection; reputable breeders understand this position.
H.F. 253 (Tillberry)/S.F. 7(Betzold) is a strong and responsible bill. We oppose H.F. 573 (Juhnke)/S.F. 500 (Erickson Ropes).
Why Sen. Dille's bill (S.F. 201) is weaker
During the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on January 27, Senator Dille's bill (S.F. 201) was heard. A House version of S.F. 201 will also be heard in the House Public Safety Policy and Oversight Committee when the hearing is granted. We will let you know when there is a House bill number.
Our primary concerns with S.F. 201:
The bill is a registration-only bill. Similar to feedlots, dog and cat breeders would not be licensed annually but instead would only be registered once every four years.
The bill covers breeders with 20 or more intact breeding females; as with S.F. 500/H.F. 573, this reduces the number of animals to be protected.
The bill requires inspections to be complaint-based, which is the current system. Rather than annual inspections, a Good Samaritan would have to file a complaint before authorities could enter the property.
The bill takes "humane agents" out of the language for inspections and enforcement and inserts "feedlot inspectors."
Regarding animal seizure, the bill only allows the "affected" animals to be seized.
We oppose S.F. 201.
WHERE YOU LIVE IS IMPORTANT
Not sure of your district or who represents you?
To find out who represents you, click here. You will be directed to the District Finder on the Minnesota State Legislature website. This is particularly important when it comes to committee members; you'll want to know if your own legislator is on one of the committees hearing the bill.
Got a response? Please tell us.
For everyone who forwarded responses from their legislators to us, thank you. It helps with lobbying efforts - understanding which legislators need to be better informed. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you hear additional comments or concerns (support or oppose) from legislators.
Authors and co-authors
Representative Tom Tillberry is the author of H.F. 253 and Senator Betzold is the author of S.F. 7. Other legislators can choose to be co-authors, publicly supporting a bill. As of this date, there are 2 co-authors for S.F. 7 and 10 co-authors for H.F. 253. To review names, click here. If your legislator is an author or co-author, please still contact them and thank them for their support. They need to hear from you (their constituent) and that you appreciate their efforts.
Animal Humane Society
Thank you for being a voice for animals.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
So in honor of Stacy, here are a few things that make me happy and that I am trying to savor:
Grunge and 80s alternative music (and a lot of other stuff from the 60s on)
Walks with the dog
Snuggling with the classic edition cats--when they allow it
Movies with Cary Grant (and Irene Dunne and many others who can do that witty repartee)
Writing in a coffee shop with music playing in my headphones and Alan sitting nearby (how did I forget the music?)
Dancing while doing dishes and with friends
My morning mocha
Trips to the parents' cabin
Sushi (with a bottle of Asahi Super Dry beer)
A glass of dry white wine
Karaoke with friends
Pasta with lots of cheese and tomato sauce
Mint chocolate chip ice cream
Recognizing an actor in a movie and tracing their career through IMDB
Sean Bean as Sharp
Curling up in bed with a good book