Thursday, October 5, 2006

Reptile Shows and Bugging Out...

...are two things on my mind today, and both are definitely related. I am pretty sure I have already posted something about this weekend's upcoming Long Island Herpetological Society's 17th Annual Reptile Show (if you want more info click on the link) It takes place this Saturday, October 7, at SUNY Farmingdale in Farmingdale, NY.

Today, though home from work not feeling too well, I still decided to get some things ready for the show since I don't want to wait until the last minute tomorrow night. One of the things I had to do was to get the bugs ready. Yes I said bugs, and yes they have something to do with the reptile and amphibian show.

A little while ago, DHL dropped of 28 boxes of bugs at my front door. In those boxes are contained about 31,500 insects. I hope none of the boxes have any holes in them, because if they do I am in trouble with my wife big-time. The insects are mostly crickets, followed by superworms, mealworms, waxworms and redworms. They are all meant to be reptile and amphibian food, and I'll sell them at the show to help raise money for the LIHS.

Now if you are wondering why I am writing about all of this here, well I don't rightly know, I guess I just felt like it. The herps (reptiles and amphibians) are a hobby of mine, have been since I was a young kid. Now my son enjoys the hobby too. He will be at the show on Saturday with me all day. That is a good thing, my 16 year old son still spending time with me involved in something in which we share our enjoyment.

Now while all those bugs, and the love of herps may have seemed crazy to you a few moments ago, maybe now you are thinking it is not so crazy even if you don't like bugs or herps. It is not so crazy because it helps keep my son out of trouble, gives him an interesting hobby, and may lead to a career choice for him later down the road (he wants to become a veterinarian that specializes in herps); it also allows me to spend some quality time with him. Of course, maybe you still think it is all crazy. I have to say though, that this hobby is one that has been good for us. Keeping pets is great to learn about animals, breeding them is interesting and requires that you have kept healthy animals, selling the offspring helps our hobby to somewhat support itself and gives my son some experience at business so to speak (even though we are not in business as it is a hobby), and we share our interests with others who like the same thing at the LIHS. This hobby has even gotten us out together on field trips wherein we have caught, and usually released wild herps. Not a bad way to kill a summer afternoon if the fish are not biting.

We have other hobbies too. Some we share, some we do not. The thing is it really helps make your kids and you get along better if you share a hobby. Try something - whatever you pick for a hobby should be okay - and do it together.

All the best,
Glenn B

Some good news among all the gloom...

... would be a nice thing to see would it not!

Well I just read a bit of good news. It appears that the condition of one of the New York State Troopers, who is believed to have been shot by then escaped prisoner Ralph 'Bucky' Phillips during the manhunt for Phillips, is now improving. The trooper was wounded when shot on August 31 this year; another trooper died of his wounds; this after they were allegedly ambushed by Phillips as they searched for him. Phillips who had spent about half his life in jail, had escaped in April 2006, allegedly shot and killed a NYS Trooper in June 2006, and was being sought by these other two troopers when he is suspected of having shot them. The following is from the 1010 WINS radio station web site at:
http://1010wins.com/pages/96949.php?contentType=4&contentId=217632

"Trooper Donald Baker Jr., 38, and Trooper Joseph Longobardo, 32, were ambushed Aug. 31 by a sniper hiding in the woods outside the home of Phillips' former girlfriend. Longobardo died from his injuries Sept. 3.

Baker, who was shot in the back, remained in serious but stable condition this week at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., said State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett in a written statement released Wednesday.

``Yesterday, for the first time, he went on a short walk in the hospital,'' Bennett said. ``He is more alert and communicating with his friends, family and doctors. He has been participating in rehabilitative physical therapy.''"


Hopefully Trooper Baker will make a full recovery, and he will play an important part in the trial and hoped for conviction of Phillips. My thoughts and prayers go out to him, to the fallen troopers, and to their families and loved ones.

All the best,
Glenn B

So North Korea says it is about to...

...test a nuclear weapon; and the United States has sternly told North Korean officials that the USA will not live in a world with a nuclear capable N. Korea. Oh dear!

If you don't believe me, read it for yourself at FoxNews.com in the article:

Chief U.S. Envoy: 'We Are Not Going to Live With a Nuclear North Korea' at:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,217882,00.html

"The United States passed a warning to North Korea not to conduct a nuclear test, the chief U.S. envoy to stalled disarmament talks with the communist country said Wednesday. "We are not going to live with a nuclear North Korea," he said."

Now I have to wonder, does N. Korea actually have a bomb to test. maybe and maybe not. My guess is they are probably getting close, but heck I really don't know. I imagine no one really knows except for them, but we will find out if they do in fact test it. Then what are we going to do now that we have told them we won't live with them?

Will we declare war against them? Will we send in invading fleets of ships, waves of planes ,and multitudes of troops; or will we just start tossing nukes at them. Or will we do what we have done in the past and posture, and hem, and haw, and squawk, and maybe even effect sanctions or a naval blockade. My guess is we would do one of the silliest with the least negative outcome, but one that still shows we are the mighty power that we are. So I am guessing that a naval blockade would be in order. Of course I mean in order as per politicians, not as per me.

You see a naval blockade would not accomplish all that much except to maybe cut back on how far out N. Koreans could fish, and to make it look like we mean business. All of their trade would just get routed to them through China. Hell where have they gotten all that nuke technology from anyhow - whoops that right they did not get it all from China, Bill Clinton gave them the know how on the nuke power plants, didn't he?

As for our saber rattling, it will not accomplish much since N. Korean leader Kim Jong is a whacko. If they do test a nuke, and if it is successful, we need to remember they have some medium and possibly long range missiles that could carry nukes. Japan is worried. You can bet India and Pakistan are worried. Maybe even China and Russia. So should we be; and we should be so much more worried if they actually test a nuke. If they have them, well my idea is that their whackadoo leader, barring assassination or convenient accidental death, will use them before he passes onto the great beyond. If he gets them, he will want allies. Who might he pick. Let's see Pakistan is a maybe, Iran almost for sure, Venezuela likewise, China - what the heck, and who knows whom else. If he starts throwing those things toward us, you could almost bet an alliance of small piss-ant countries might try to topple us, especially if they get help from an opportunist nation like China.

I am of the opinion, that is we truly believe they are about to unleash a real nuke test, we ought to get ready to do a surgical series of air strikes to disembowel their capabilities. You may think this is just the ranting of a scared middle aged white guy, but I would not want to be around five or ten years after they test their first nuke. By then, they will have shot one or more of them off, and I hope not to be at ground zero or within 60 miles of it when it happens. Of course, it could all be saber rattling on their part; but if they do test one, then we will know for sure. In that case there is no doubt in my mind, we had best hit em hard and hit em fast.

All the best,
Glenn B