July 23rd, 2009

planet

please don't get a guinea pig just because your kid loved G-Force

wildelion brought this to my attention, it's good: http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/37474935.html

The gist is that guinea pig rescue volunteers watched the previews for the new movie G-Force shaking their heads, because it's going to mean more work for them, and more homeless/neglected guinea pigs. Like 101 Dalmations, a million kids are going to see the movie, beg their parents for a guinea pig, and then get tired of it as soon as the next Disney movie is out and they're tired of feeding the hungry little bugger who poops all the time.

This shouldn't happen. A guinea pig, however small, is a life. A fragile, cute little domesticated life. It shouldn't be starved to death or dropped off a couch or kept in a tiny cage because it's the victim of a latest trend.

If you read my journal you'll know that we have four guinea pigs, all adopted. There are already guinea pigs without homes... mostly because people buy them without thinking, or worse, breed them because they think cute guinea pig babies would be fun and don't realize that litters can be up to eight and it only takes three weeks for a male to be able to impregnate another female pig (little buggers are made for rapid breeding). And suddenly they're overloaded and have to decide whether to cram too many guinea pigs into a tiny space, or put them out on craigslist for the next bad owner.

So spread the word... a guinea pig is not a pet to get on a whim. It needs the care and supervision of an adult, it has a 5-7 year lifespan. So if your 10-year-old thinks getting one would be a great idea, think hard about whether she's going to still think it's a great idea when she's 17.

If a guinea pig is right for your home, go you! Be sure to read up on how to build a proper cage and health care requirements, and then please do not buy one at a pet store! There are lots up for adoption.

Brainy agrees.
planet

flying update

Our hero is at 29 hours. Still haven't flown solo. But you know, it's really bothering me less and less... mainly because I actually do feel close to it. We're just doing some tidy-up review lessons, redoing some maneuvers that I neglected for a few weeks to run pattern work, then I have some tests, then we have to wait for PERFECT weather, you get the picture. So I guess I am on the 40 hour plan that I never wanted to be on... oh well, beats the 50 hour plan, yes?

So many things are FINALLY clicking into place. I'm a machine on the radios. Tower, no tower, doesn't matter, I get just about everything, I can say what I want to say. It's occurred to me that air traffic control is actually my preferred method of communication. You know how I've written before that I hate when people at work IM me with, "hey" and then wait for me to respond and then ask me their question? Well aircraft radios don't play that either! You'd never call tower and say, "hey." You tell them where you are, what you want, and then get the fsck off the frequency and wait your damn turn for someone to entertain your request. If only life were so easy!

I can land. Okay it still needs work, but I think it might always still need work, every pilot wants to do better landings. But the point is I can get us down, and most of the time we're pointed the right direction, and I don't flinch, and I'm not freaking out, and I can tell at any given time how we're doing. I can call out all the steps of a traffic pattern in my sleep. And so many other things are in my head, too... call me at 3 am, I'll tell you what to do if the engine fails.

So I can't get sucked into over-analyzing how many hours it's taken me to get this far, plenty of people take a long-ass time to get somewhere. And since solo isn't the finish line anyway, just a point along the way, it definitely doesn't mean anything real. Do I want to come smiling into work telling everyone I flew an airplane by myself? sure. but it's scary too. okay, petrifying. so I keep telling the competitive, number-conscious side of me to CHILL. we're all gonna get there.