Category Archives: Opinions

General thoughts, neither strongly for or against

Easter Bunnies Are Forever Pets

Although I generally write about rat related items it occurred to me as I was enjoying my Friday morning coffee that there could be some good-intentioned individuals thinking how sweet a cute little live bunny would be as an Easter present.

We, Mrs.R and I, were fortunate enough to have adopted what may have been the sweetest bunny ever, Jake the Rabbit. Jake passed a while ago and even our vet was mystified as to the cause.

Rabbits can live for quite some time, although I am not positive, 10+ years comes to mind. Given that piece of information alone, if you are considering gifting a rabbit to a friend or family member this Easter please remember you are committing that person or family to what could easily be more than ten years of their lives.

Rabbits are wonderful pets but as with all pets they deserve a forever home with people who have decided for themselves to make the time and financial commitments to care for them for the pets entire life.

What have been your experiences with gifting a pet? Did you give or receive?

The Year of the Stainless Steel Rat?!

The current Year of the Rat is coming to a close on January 25, 2009.

This is the Year of the Earth Rat, and the next Year of the Rat, the Metal Rat, will occur in the years 2020-2021.  Now that is a long time to wait to celebrate this great little animal with its own year. I propose we do not wait that long.

I am suggesting we celebrate the rat every year. It’s a remarkable pet, and to quote the most recent wiki:

Being the first sign of the Chinese zodiac, rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, determined, tenacious, charismatic, practical and hardworking.

Personally, those are traits I would like to find in most anyone I meet; and, I am thrilled my grandson was born in the Year of the Rat. It’s also no wonder rats steal their keeper’s hearts in no time at all, my grandson stole mine.

In preparation for the next Year of the Rat, or just as a good excuse, may I recommend reading the series written by Harry Harrison, about The Stainless Steel Rat. I have read and enjoyed some of the series and intend to go looking for the rest.

Have you read any of The Stainless Steel Rat? Why not leave a comment with your review.

Rattitude on Widgets

OK, I broke down and took a look at using widgets. Yes, it was painful, but in the end it was worth it, even if was for nothing else but the added aesthetic value.

The reason to get widgetized, was rather simple, I wanted to make use of a great plugin, WP-dTree by Ulf Benjaminsson, that apparently is only usable as a widget. I’m quite happy with the new category menu, and the new archives/monthly menu. I am also very happy with the pages menu which is what I wanted to “fix”.  It wasn’t broken really, but it did need a certain something and the collapsible menu is just what it was.

Now that we are using widgets, what do you think? Drop us a comment and let us know.

Rats Are Not Arsonists

Flaming Pet Rat Starts Fire, Damages Titusville Home – News Of The Strange Story – WFTV Orlando

This is NOT the fault of the pet rat!!!  Please read the whole story to see the real person responsible for this.  Sensationalistic journalism is such a poor excuse for finger-pointing reporting.

Maybe the strange sells newspapers, or gains advertising revenues, but this is simply a case of very poor inebriated judgement.  The real culprit of this story is the supposed pet rat keeper, and as far as I am concerned that situation should be very closely reviewed by the local SPCA.

I Came. I Saw. I Voted.

Did anything really change? No.

I see no real difference with the current state of affairs with the Canadian government than what it was prior to the October 14, 2008 general election.

I really didn’t expect the election to have any effect or create any significant change.  The Conservative Party remained in power, and remained as a minority government. The Liberal Party continued to lose support but still managed to retain the second largest amount of elected representatives.  The Bloc Quebecois, the NDP, et al. should still be removed from the national stage as far as I am concerned, but once again they remain, if for nothing else, as spoilers.

I read a voluntary poll showing over 80% of voters had already decided on their vote prior to any campaigning by any of the parties involved.  Did the tax payers really need to foot the bill for yet another election that essentially maintained the status quo?

I came. I saw. I voted.



Life is Not an ISO Standard

Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening.
~~ Barbara Tober

Tradition can often cause the wrong actions to be taken as well.  Just because something has been done a certain way for a great deal of time does not make it right or correct, it just makes it like every other time.

A repetitive action or process can actually be quite harmful, such as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) come to mind. Where is it written than one cannot change the ways things are done?  Who said something must always be done the same way? Of course, some methods are tried and true and work quite well, does that also mean they cannot be improved upon?

I’m sure leeching was a grand ole thing to cure what ails you in the middle ages, but I think I much prefer modern day medicine and its advancements, even when it still involves leeches.

Keep an open mind to the way things are done, just because its been done that way for generations there is no reason it has to keep being done the same way.  Life is not an ISO standard!

By Any Other Name

In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.
~~ Hubert H. Humphrey

A rat by any other name would be as sweet, but true to the quote above the name of rat bears with it a connotation of ill will.  Would I brand my little friends with another name, I think not.  It is because of their name that I speak for them, that I extol their virtues, that I believe they are one of the best family pets that can be adopted and kept.

Our friends are whom we choose, even our animal friends, and I choose RAT!

A Fortunate Find

The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter-he’s got to just know.
~~ Will Rogers (1879 – 1935)

I believe Will Rogers would have had Dr. Alaa Aziz of Aquitaine Animal Hospital in mind if he was able to say this today.

We discovered Dr. Aziz quite by accident. We were not looking for a new vet per se, but we were keeping an eye out for a veterinarian that was more comfortable with rats than our long time cat vet. We were actually running an unrelated errand when we noticed the new clinic.  We stopped in and chatted with Dr. Aziz and his family/staff.  They are all quite nice and the doctor himself is very forthcoming and quite knowledgeable with regards to rats.

Dr. Aziz has treated three of our rats so far.  A bit of unfortunate luck on our part, and quite good fortune for our rats that we found such a caring and understanding vet that is more than happy to take care of our little friends.