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« Just me on the pity pot | Main | Change your dogs and cats can believe in »

16 June 2008

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Gina Spadafori

I loved your house in the country. Loved. Loved. Loved. Your house in the city is a charming little flea speck, with a mind-blowing value that's because you live in one of the most beautiful and desirable cities in the world. And I know you love being home again, so that's wonderful.



For me? No thanks. For me living in a big city would only be remotely livable if I had a country getaway as well as "staff" to walk the dogs at 3 a.m. -- and you know those things are never gonna happen. :)



I lived six months in the "40 minutes from anything" world, when I rented the beach house on the Gulf and ran the dogs on the beach every day. I loved it, even with the snakes, the palmetto bugs and the ticks (there was biting fly that came out every October for a week that was truly awful, though). I'd probably be there still, except for the problem of making a living in the sticks.



By the way, I know you think Sacramento is podunkville, but it wasn't exactly a rural setting where we picked up the ticks: We got 'em in a county park about three miles from the Capitol dome, hiking on the American River Parkway. We have not only ticks, but also rattlesnakes and coyotes. (And drunken weekend river rafters, worse than anything else.)



So I guess I'm double-cursed: City living with country pests. And city pests, too.



Oh well, guess I'll just have to soldier on ... until I can figure out a way to buy your old place. Rattlesnakes? I got a Browning over-and-under with their name on it. Too bad I can't use it on ticks.

slt

We live in the country and have a dog door. I have had only a couple problems with snakes since moving here 7 years ago - and they were rat snakes (non-poisonous). I am so sorry to hear what happened to your cat. The snake came inside with the dogs home? Did you come across the snake still inside when you came home? I have a terrible fear of something like this happening.

Hilary

That rattlesnake story sent chills down my spine! There are plenty of great things about being a Urban Hound you didn't mention!



Access to the craziest, most fun pet stores with a short cab ride, or sometimes even in walking distance, a multitude of vets and pet resources, dog parks and meeting the people and their pets who frequent them, city sidewalks that keep doggy nails filed down nice and short, walking to outdoor cafes and enjoying a bite while Fido lays at your feet, WALKING EVERYWHERE and so much more!



I miss being downtown in a big city! I felt like my pooches could come with me anywhere! My Louis and I would walk the city for miles, running errands together and enjoying each others company in the hustle of a fast paced city.



Now, stuck in the suburbs, somewhere between city/country living, the dogs usually have to stay at home when I get in the car to go someplace. UGH! I miss walking everywhere!

Dutch

One late-spring/early-summer we found two different boa-type snakes in the house about a week apart. We assumed they crawled in through the doggie door despite the dog's presence. And we live in a tract home in the middle of a sea of tract homes. Fortunately I saw the snake(s) before the dog did and was able to catch and release them far, far, far away.

The OTHER Pat

Dutch, did you ever get a conclusive identification on those "boa-type snakes"? Because - depending on where you live (this IS the Internet, and for all I know, you are posting from a tropical climate) - they may have been native to your area, or they may have been escaped pets. If the latter - and depending on your climate - releasing them to the wild has the potential of dooming them to a pretty awful death. So if this happens again, please try to find a herpetologist to render an accurate identification and appropriate disposition.

EmilyS

Christie you are toooooo funny.



Us silly country folks just cling bitterly to our religion and our guns.

Can't imagine why we'd live where we, oh I don't know, like, don't have to actually take our lives in our hands to walk down the street...



Hmmmm.. those city folks in NO sure didn't have a problem with power being out for days, or flooding.......



Gina: when you invent a size-appropriate Browning for ticks, you'll be a millionaire!

Dutch

Thank you for mentioning that Other Pat. You are not the first who's told me that. We live in the desert and I just assumed (perhaps wrongly) that they would be happy where ever I released them. I did take them quite a way from the house and released them at a small out of the way lake, away from homes and ranches, figuring they would be happy out there. In the future however - and this is not an invitation to anything to slither into my house - I will be sure to figure out what it is with the help of someone who knows what they're looking at and where it best should go.



In this case, I have been told that they were probably natives. I do hope they are happy.

slt

My plan for identifying snake found in house:

1. Fall out.



Actually that's it. 1 point plan.

Gina Spadafori

Mine is two point:



1) Scream

2) Leave



Mary, my PhD economist/rancher pal, thinks nothing about getting her shotgun and blowing cottonmouths straight to hell when they appear in her pond.



Them Texas girls are tough. When I finally do move to the country, I WILL shoot rattlers. Oh yes, I will. Consider it a warning, rattlers.

Dutch

Looking at some pictures on-line now, I'm guessing they were Desert Patch-Nosed Snakes, about 3' long and very fast. I had to grab them before the dog did.



If they were rattlesnakes, the dog and I would have sat out on the driveway and waited for animal control.

Marjorie

As a rider, I spent a lot of time in the country, growing up. But I never actually "lived" there...until now.



About two years ago, I moved to the country. So, even though I'd trained dogs for 30 years at that point, all that work, and those doggie associations, had all been in the city (various cities).



I was horrified to find my dog had fleas, within a few months of moving to the country. This was my first pet, ever, to have fleas. Gross! But then I realized how odd that was. I'd owned dogs my whole life, and even trained dogs for decades. Yet I'd never had a dog with fleas? Yep. Thank the city.



I've lived in some very large cities. The latest was Toronto. We'd travel to our cottage on weekends, and have to slather on all sorts of insect repellants once we arrived there. The dogs would get eaten alive. (No. Citronella didn't work.) And we'd come back to the city, with not a mosquito to be seen. Cool evenings outdoors? Sure...in the city. At the cottage or here in the country? Ha! (Just the idea is funny, now.)

Christie Keith

Can’t imagine why we’d live where we, oh I don’t know, like, don’t have to actually take our lives in our hands to walk down the street…



That's as much a stereotype as any other. I freely walk my dogs all over my neighborhood at any hour of the day or night -- including 3 in the morning. There are dozens of neighborhoods where I could happily do that here in San Francisco.



As to the power outage issue, at all three places I lived in the country over 16 years, we had multiple power outages every year that lasted for days. Of course that can happen in a city, but it's the exception. In the country, where I was living, it was the rule. At least once each winter we had power outages lasting a week or more, and multiple outages lasting two more more days. EVERY winter, and a few in the other months, too. If that happened in San Francisco, it would be front page news.



There are pluses and minuses to all kinds of living situations. I listed some of each in my post. People should live where they want to live without ripping each other's throats out over it.

The OTHER Pat

Dutch, thanks for the followup! Snakes are animals, too, and I appreciate your taking my concern for their welfare seriously!

The OTHER Pat

RE: Rattlers: Yes, I understand we're talking about threats to life here. So sometimes, killing them (the old "What's more important - a human being or an animal?" question again) turns out to be the only realistic choice.



But not always. So in the event that "relocation" is an option and that it can be arranged, I would hope that choice is on the table.



And I also realize that not everyone even knows HOW to recognize a venomous v.s. a non-venomous snake (I give Dutch kudos on this one!). So that also limits the available and reasonable choices.



But they're still critters, and no more deserving of an automatic (one wherein other options are not even considered) death than - say - a "pit bull".

Lis

Christie you are toooooo funny.



Yes, she's got a great sense of humor!



Us silly country folks just cling bitterly to our religion and our guns.



Not at all clear to me how you get that out of anything Christie said.



Can’t imagine why we’d live where we, oh I don’t know, like, don’t have to actually take our lives in our hands to walk down the street…



I go walking wtih my 14-pound dog at midnight in a city that all the surrounding towns look down on as dangerous beyond words. I know many of my neighbors, and they know me and my little dog. I have a lot of neighbors to know. Not only are there plenty of people around, but they work different schedules, so that the neighborhood is never deserted--we are protected by each other's eyes.



When there was a family tragedy here recently, the victims were found quickly, because the neighbors knew their habits, noticed when they didn't keep to their normal habits, and cared enough to call the police to do a wellness check. And they didn't think they were being nosy and meddling by doing it.



Hmmmm.. those city folks in NO sure didn’t have a problem with power being out for days, or flooding…….



You do realize that Katrina was a disaster of unprecedented proportions for this country, right? Not a normal event occurring in every major city, or even any major city, every year?



When the power goes out here, generally we're outraged if it's out for an entire hour.

Eucritta

I lived in SF for many, many years, and I picked up a few ticks there in my time. And before the advent of topicals like Advantage, SF was Flea Paradise. I did manage to keep them *almost* entirely out, but it required Constant Vigilance. I used to tell my husband, if we got rich we could fund a public statue somewhere -- the Valiant Vacuumers in the Days of the Flea.



The question I've got for you country folk is, if you're afraid of snakes coming in the dog door, why have a dog door? I mean, we've got a dog and no door, it's no hassle and we don't get 3 a.m. wakeups. I don't think our dog has an iron bladder, either -- he's just adjusted to our schedule, is all.

Gina Spadafori

Could we all, uh, lighten up a little bit?



I've lived urban, not like SF/Manhattan, but in downtown Sacramento neighborhoods where it was gunfire and police helicopters every night. I've lived very Southern rural. And now I'm suburban Sacramento.



People are pretty much the same, seems to me.

slt

Comment by Eucritta — June 16, 2008 @ 10:02 am



I can't speak for all country folk (I lost that election by a hanging chad) but for us, having a dog door is one of the benefits of country life. Although I am fearful of a snake or some other wild animal getting in, that has never happened (touch wood) and I'm not going to base my decision on that single fear when there are many more advantages for us having a dog door. It's a PRO outweighs the CON sitch for us.

As mentioned, everyplace has positives and negatives and everyone has their own lifestyles and choices to make. We've made ours. I certainly hope if we ever did have a snake get in, no one would say "Tol-ja-so!". It wouldn't occur to me to say the same if a city dweller got mugged. You pays your money and you takes your chances, as they say.

slt

I just have to add on the power outage thing: When I lived in Seattle, we had terrible outages, every winter. I remember once it was for a week. Since moving to rural SC, we have a co-op and the power is rarely out. The few times it has gone out, it's come back in inside of an hour. We had a tornado touch down very close by this Spring and even then, power was restored "in about an hour". I love my co-op!

Gina Spadafori

I know a lot more about this subject than anyone can probably guess that I would, since I also work for publicly owned electric utility.



Urban and suburban areas generally have extensive electric infrastructure that allows for the utility to re-route power around the problem and restore most customers quickly.



The building of networks capable of re-routing power around a break is cost-prohibitive in rural areas, which is why rural outages are more frequent and usually last longer.

Dutch

Other Pat we also have a catch and release program for spiders we find in the house.

The OTHER Pat

Yeah - pretty good chance that they're indigenous to the area! LOL!

JenniferJ

I loved living in the Bay Area. But currently, the country life suits us better. Having grown up in rural northern California, I was not expecting any real surprises when we moved to Mendocino County. However...



Fleas and ticks I was used too. Chiggers were a new one for me and my dogs. Scorpions and the occaisional black widow or even tarantula OK but wind scorpions? And apparently black widows find our region to be absolutely fab.



Now add in fiddle backs AKA brown recluse. And yes I know we do NOT have them in Northern California officially. But has anyone to;ld the spiders that. My husband is a doctor here in town and chatted with the local public health folks about it and was told "while Nor Cal does not have an official population of brown recluse and we are well outside their normal range that does not preclude the possibility of the spider being here" ie: the spider may very well hitch hike al over in farm equipment, trucks, supplies etc... And the local ER and vets do see necrotic, infected wounds that more or less fit the bill for brown recluse bites, unofficially of course.



Two years ago we found several slow very fuzzy, large spiders , in our home that could not be identified by anyone local. One was sent off to sacramento and we got a very excited call a month later that it had been identified as a species usually found in the central valley. Harmless thankfully. And now known to be found in inland Mendocino.





Snakes have represented more of a challenge. I love herps, but my love curdles when I find 3 foot rattlers on the front porch. Sadly, we lost a two year old bulldog to snake bite our first year here.

So we spent several thousand dollars removing all the brush and landscaping that was providing shelter for snakes and their food sources. Bushes and shrubs on the ground are no-nos. And NO low decks or wooden walkways. Add to that a couple of former feral cats to reduce the rat and mouse population and we have not seen a rattler close to the house in almost ten years. I also have the habit of stopping on the roads at night to pick up king snakes and let them go on our property. If kings are around, rattlers get lost or may get eaten. Call it old fashioned bio warfare.



I know it all sounds horrid but we love it here. You adapt to where you live and know the hazards of your surroundings. The dogs love it too and my kids have great time. In the city, we would not let the littlest ones play outside unattended due to concerns of cars or not so nice people. here my kids go out with us or the adult dogs because of coyotes and not so nice people!

The OTHER Pat

Comment by JenniferJ — June 16, 2008 @ 2:17 pm



"I also have the habit of stopping on the roads at night to pick up king snakes and let them go on our property. If kings are around, rattlers get lost or may get eaten. Call it old fashioned bio warfare."



I love it!

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

One of the things I like about the country and hope fondly to move out to the farm in the (not as near as I'd like it) future is that squeamish city people get all urpy about the life forms we have out there... Hence, they go away and seldom come back. This has the pleasant effect of maintaining the environment in its natural state and not all cemented over in those dead zones they call cities.



Just this weekend Scout managed to find a snapping turtle and a garter snake which he had a great deal of fun yapping at until someone came over and inspected it and set it loose by the creek.



Today he also has some little weepy welts mostly on his head that my son says are ticks but in looking at them as closely as I can in good light I dont recognize them as insects or at least not anything I recognize as a "tick". Rather I think they are the notorious "chiggars" which have left little oozing bumps and what he thinks is a tick is just the crust and pulled out hair that you get when you pick the scab off. I will have to give him a batch each time we come home from the farm for a while - maybe the whole summer.



Anyway, when we are at the farm, Scout can run free and be a dog without fear of being run down by a beer truck or bored out of his skull with what passes for scenery in the back yard that has been inspected and peed on a thousand times.



Granted, we do not have rattlesnaks in Wisconsin. We do have pine snakes which look like rattlers and can put on a pretty good show though... Which brings me to my point. This is considered country because the majority of you are NOT HERE. If you were all here, it would be city and not half as nice a place. And, the allies we employ to help keep it that way can claim at least a few more victories by what I have read here in what otherwise is sadly a loosing war.



So, go ahead. Retreat to the city. Those of us who are left will plan our trips to the general store a little more wisely, and no, Perier (or was that Terier) will not be on the shopping list because what comes out of the well is cold and clean and additive free. (Unless you live near a mega-farm anyway).



So, come on out to visity but dont stay too long. Y'all come back now! Hear? (NOT!)

Lis

And in Bernie's post, as in EmilyS's, we see the main thing I actually dislike about the country (as opposed to my merely liking better many things about the city: the sneering, elitist hostility of so many of those who choose to live there.



Or perhaps it's just the vocal ones.



I like having neighbors. I like having the more robust infrastructure, and being close to a wide array of amenities. I don't dislike wildlife; I'd best not, with a woodchuck and an opossum having it out in the backyard, a pair of redtails nexting over by Jacques' Pond, the rabbits (and squirrels, and chipmunks) we routinely see on our morning walks. Or the crows. Or the coyotes that mostly stay out of sight.



Of course, I don't mind in the least that we have a lower insect load than in Bernie's and EmilyS's beloved "country," where all the good, decent, worthwhile people live. Or at least, all the one Bernie and EmilyS approve of.

Gina Spadafori

Well ... I kinda see it as a defensive mechanism. It's like how people in the South get really tired of people elsewhere thinking that a Southern accent indicates an automatic drop in IQ of 25 points.



It has long been an American archetype that if you're a "go-getter" the first thing you do is go get out of your small town. The people who choose to stay behind for whatever reason don't appreciate being though of as losers without enough drive to go somewhere else.



So ... I'm thinking ... would it be possible for everyone to respect our choices of where to live without having to tear down the other to make our own choices look "better"?

The OTHER Pat

Comment by Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski — June 16, 2008 @ 5:21 pm



"Granted, we do not have rattlesnakes in Wisconsin."



Oh - really?



http://www.dlia.org/atbi/species/Animalia/Chordata/Reptilia/Squamata/images/Viperidae/Crotalus_horridus/Crotalus_horridus_map.jpg

Lis

Well … I kinda see it as a defensive mechanism. It’s like how people in the South get really tired of people elsewhere thinking that a Southern accent indicates an automatic drop in IQ of 25 points.



See, the thing is, I just reread my first post--in which I was already responding to the first unprovoked sweeping denigration of us awfu city folk--and I didn't say anything negative about country dwellers. I talked about what I like about city living,and refuted EmilyS's knee-jerk insults.



And a little later we got Bernie's "contribution" to the discussion.



It has long been an American archetype that if you’re a “go-getter” the first thing you do is go get out of your small town. The people who choose to stay behind for whatever reason don’t appreciate being though of as losers without enough drive to go somewhere else.



It has also long been an American archetype that the city is corrupt, and that all people of real moral character reside in the country. Just as it's a given of American politics that "real Americans," real patriots, are southerners and midwesterners, and that those of us who live in the northeast, or on either coast, are just somehow innately unAmerican.



People who don't like being the target of that kind of crap might want to give some deep thought to the possibility of not dishing it out--especially unprovoked.

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Other Pat, I probably should have said North Eastern Wisconsin so your point is taken.



As for elite... As somone who has watched both Door County and the Wisconsin Dells turn into disgusting urban tourist traps for some of the most officious people you can meet. The locals have basically mutated into a kind of servant class and the real elites migrate to the summer home or the hotels manned by the servants and artisans who serve their interests.



Gina actually has it spot on right! It is a defense mechanism perhaps more than she knows. The rural environment is a living breathing organism and the snakes and the snappers and ticks and chiggars are the anti-bodies moving the infection out. If the intruders are not removed they will certainly lose their homes and lives from the deforestation and sprays and traps and blue grass mono-culture (even in the desert!).



For every rattle snake that defends its den it is just a little less likely that some idiot in AZ will eye my precious Great Lake as a source of green landscaping irrigation.



I can only remind you that I was born in Chicago and not the burbs either... You have not heard me call cities hell holes. I have in stead criticize urban dwellers as somewhat soft and out of touch with the realities of country live and for the purposes of this discussion, out of touch with the fact that whenever possible country should be left just that... country.



In my opinion, cities server a very important purpose. They keep people from occupying and destroying everything - including the very means of their own survival.



So, its perfectly OK if you like living there. I encourage it. But when you come here and more importantly if you try to live here, have a little respect for the land at least, if not the people who manage it.

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Lis, I just could not resist taking a shot at your broad brush.



You ASSUME that I am a reactionary conservative. How wrong you are! I am in fact an unapologetic early Seventies LIBERAL who supported Obama early on. I take a dim view of so called Red Staters who continue to support the nut case in the White House despite all the facts divulged over the last seven horrible years.



I resent being lumped together with gun toting NRA types (even though I have several guns) because I do not share their view of the larger country (meaning USA) and the world.



I do however, understand their resentment toward urban types who cluck their tongues and wag their fingers and what they do not understand. Perhaps this "defense mechanism" that Gina pointed out is that of a fearful minority that has been repeatedly run over by a truck load of urbanites who are the ones who write the TV scripts and make up a vast majority of the population these days. It is after all not van loads of Iowa farmers who invade Chicago openly criticizing people they meet on the street. I would dare say that my old neighborhood would spawn its own defense mechanism if they were so foolish to do that.



I will stake out some moral high ground though in saying that you are likely to get considerably better treatment on the streets of Manitowoc Wisconsin than you are likely to get in Chicago or LA or Miami or New York.



So fine, be in the city. But understand we all live in one kind of jungle or another and this one is my home. If you come to visit we practice beer hall hospitality you dont have to go home but you can't stay here!

Lis

Gina actually has it spot on right! It is a defense mechanism perhaps more than she knows. The rural environment is a living breathing organism and the snakes and the snappers and ticks and chiggars are the anti-bodies moving the infection out. If the intruders are not removed they will certainly lose their homes and lives from the deforestation and sprays and traps and blue grass mono-culture (even in the desert!).



It's a defense mechanism, and that makes it okay.



All right, Bernie, what vile things am I allowed to say about you, because for the entire forty years or so of my life that I've been politically conscious enough to be aware of it, I've heard city dwellers called corrupt, weak, and a cancer, and people from my part of the country defined as inherently less American and less patriotic than southerners and midwesterners?



Be specific. What am I allowed to say about you? Only that the stereotypes are right?



I can only remind you that I was born in Chicago and not the burbs either… You have not heard me call cities hell holes. I have in stead criticize urban dwellers as somewhat soft and out of touch with the realities of country live and for the purposes of this discussion, out of touch with the fact that whenever possible country should be left just that… country.



Yes, you're careful to keep your insults as personal as possible. You don't express a general dislike of urban living; you express personal contempt for everyone that chooses to live there.



I'll further point out that you have no idea what my ideas are on what should happen to "the country." You just take it for granted that, because I like city living, I want everything paved over.



So, its perfectly OK if you like living there. I encourage it. But when you come here and more importantly if you try to live here, have a little respect for the land at least, if not the people who manage it.



Easy to do. The land doesn't continuously insult me and then expect me to be grateful for the attention.



You ASSUME that I am a reactionary conservative. How wrong you are! I am in fact an unapologetic early Seventies LIBERAL who supported Obama early on. I take a dim view of so called Red Staters who continue to support the nut case in the White House despite all the facts divulged over the last seven horrible years.



No, actually, Bernie, being a regular reader of this blog, and not illiterate or blinded by my own prejudices, I'm well aware that you are a (fairly) liberal Democrat.



You're also remarkably bigoted about urban dwellers, and anyone who doesn't automatically privilege any and every opinion about animals held by country people--the only ones who are able to know anything about the matter, according to you.



I will stake out some moral high ground though in saying that you are likely to get considerably better treatment on the streets of Manitowoc Wisconsin than you are likely to get in Chicago or LA or Miami or New York.



Having visited New York on many occasions, and experienced first-hand on many occasions how helpful and generous New Yorkers are to visitors to their city, I can only say that that would be an impressive accomplishment.



In Madison, OTOH, I experience people telling me how nice they are, compared to those shockingly rude people in New York and Boston--and yes, they did recognize my accent. They made a point of commenting on what a nice change it must be for me to be in Wisconsin, rather than in awful Massachusetts.



Awful Massachusetts, where people will give you directions, suggestions for places to visit, and advice on the crucial question of where to park (correct answer for those visiting Boston: at an outlying T station, or your hotel, and take public transportation), without insulting your home state.



Admittedly, I have not been to Manitowoc, but your attitude gives me no reason to believe that it would be better than Madison, where people at least intended to be helpful and welcoming.



I resent being lumped together with gun toting NRA types (even though I have several guns) because I do not share their view of the larger country (meaning USA) and the world.



Has it ever occurred to you that urban dwellers might also resent being stereotyped and lumped together with whoever it is that's annoyed you? That your "hit them first, before they have a chance to hit us" attitude might provoke its own defense mechanisms?



You have no idea what my ideas, positions, and feelings about urban sprawl and encroachment on undeveloped, less developed, or cultivated land might be. But you don't need to know, because as far as you're concerned, the fact that, for myself, I prefer urban life, tells you all you need to know. You've got a fully developed image of me, based solely on that one fact.



And you don't see a problem with that.



So fine, be in the city. But understand we all live in one kind of jungle or another and this one is my home.



I have a home, too, Bernie, that I also love, and I didn't call you a slimy swamp dweller.



If you come to visit we practice beer hall hospitality you dont have to go home but you can’t stay here!



See, where I come from, making a point of saying that would be considered needlessly rude. As would saying that all (or most) people from X place are ill-mannered, ignorant, destructive, etc. Amusing how these little folkways differ, isn't it?

straybaby

Well, this Brooklyn girl (for the past 15+ years, SF before) will be moving here soon:



http://tinyurl.com/create.php



That's pretty close to what the place I'll be living in looks like. I think I'm a tad more comfortable with 3AM walks here in Brooklyn to be honest. As far as power outages go, I have more options there than here. Can't really use a generator or propane stove etc in my apt ;) And I'm sure Dot will enjoy rivers over lakes left by thunder storms! I am concerned about ticks and other wildlife. I do recall the little scorpion type thing my mom saved to show me when I arrived at the cabin one time. . . . EEK!



On the food front, I've already scoped out CSAs, ranchers and farmers markets so I can easily continue my routine and also do some growing. Even found a holistic vet within a reasonable distance and other vets somewhat closer for emergencies. I'll eventually settle in up along the lower Russian River to be closer to cities for work and my parents, but I think I'm gonna like mountain living for awhile :)

straybaby

Ok, so I messed up the link!



here's my future living situation:



http://tinyurl.com/4jrzgo

Deb

I went through a stage of living the urban life for at least 14 years. I have lived in towns just outside an urban area as well. I prefer the country, although where I live now is actually an enclave of about 8 farms built in the 1830s . What I like the most about it is that I don't have unwanted members of my own species shoved in my face! I admit it, I am not fond of the collective Homo sapiens. If living here means mosquitoes, deer flies, black flies and ticks, that's a small albeit annoying price to pay for being relatively free from the rude intrusions of my own kind.

Along with my property came some awesome neighbors. We stay out of each others' lives until there is Need to be there, then we do all we can to help out. The next time I have a significant power failure, one of them has an extra generator to hook up so my water pump can keep doing it's thing until the lights come back on.

Straybaby, that's quite the nice future living situation! Beautiful house. And Lis, I am afraid I share the same prejudices you castigate Bernie for when it comes to residents of the Commonwealth nearest to me, even though I was born there and lived there for the first 21 years of my life. It's something I wish to forget! If you have been working in the Service Industry, trying to deal with the hordes of rudies who land here from Memorial Day until Labor Day, and who feel they have some special entitlement over us locals, you'd share that prejudice too. Unfortunately, Maine persists in relying on the tourist industry as a major source of income, and has since the 1870s.

As the old saw says, Massachusetts has never forgiven us for winning our Statehood in 1820, and has been buying us back one house lot at a time ever since!

Lis

And Lis, I am afraid I share the same prejudices you castigate Bernie for when it comes to residents of the Commonwealth nearest to me, even though I was born there and lived there for the first 21 years of my life. It’s something I wish to forget!



Y'know, Christie and Gina would probably think it was rude of me to say, "We'd prefer to forget it, too."



If you have been working in the Service Industry, trying to deal with the hordes of rudies who land here from Memorial Day until Labor Day, and who feel they have some special entitlement over us locals, you’d share that prejudice too.



I can't think how it's escaped your attention that Massachusetts gets quite a lot of tourism, too. It's a huge industry here, even though it's hardly our only one. And quite an impressive percentage of those people, with every apparent friendly intention, feel no embarrassment whatsoever at telling anyone they meet they (the person they're speaking to) must not be a native "because you're so polite." "Oh? That's odd; I am a native. How many [Bostonians] [Bay Staters] [New Englanders] [people from north of the Mason-Dixon line] had you met before you came here for your visit?" [Blank stare as they start to answer and then realize the answer is "none."]



Somehow or other, though, we manage to not regard tourists as hated invaders, make them welcome, and encourage them to come back for a return visit.



And if they decide to move here, we regard that as a compliment to our state. Love him or hate him, no one regards Mitt Romney as a carpetbagger. Bill Weld was a carpetbagger, but nobody held it against him.



Unfortunately, Maine persists in relying on the tourist industry as a major source of income, and has since the 1870s.



Maine has very few alternatives that don't involve cutting down the forests. And even the only "cut down the trees" possibility that doesn't involve much higher densities of those members of your own species that you're trying to escape from--agriculture--is not going to be as profitable in Maine as in the midwest. There's a reason that Massachusetts and New Hampshire and Vermont are struggling to keep local farms from disappearing, you know. (Ask Bernie if he thinks it's normal to have two crops a year--with the larger one being rocks.)



So tourism is an alternative that lets Maine make a living out of keeping the forests mostly intact. If you think they should close the doors to the tourists, it might be nice for you to start thinking up some alternatives--that don't involve cutting down the trees.



As the old saw says, Massachusetts has never forgiven us for winning our Statehood in 1820,



Um, "old saw" ? I've never heard it before, and it's certainly not an attitude I ever heard expressed growing up. On the contrary! What I grew up with was the assumption that a certain other part of the country was ticked off that New England got another two votes in the Senate.



and has been buying us back one house lot at a time ever since!



Um, Deb, you have noticed that you're one of those Massachusetts people buying up a Maine houselot, right? Not, by your own account, a native Mainer entitled to Resent the Invasion?

The OTHER Pat

straybaby, that's gorgeous! Congratulations!

slt

Comment by JenniferJ — June 16, 2008 @ 2:17 pm



So you pick up the snake, put him in your car, fasten him with his snakey seatbelt, and drive home without falling into a hysterical fit of "OMG - there's a snake in my CAR!"

Good on you. You give girls a good name.

The OTHER Pat

"snakey seatbelt"!



ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!

Gina Spadafori

I worked with a man years ago whose son had his pet garter snake in a coffee can, and they were driving somewhere with it for reasons time has erased.



The snake escaped, and disappeared under the dashboard.



The man's wife refused to drive the car until the snake was found. It never, ever was, and probably slipped out. The refusal continued, however, and they finally sold the car to settle the dispute. I don't know what they told the buyer about why they were selling.



So maybe there's a market for snakey seatbelts!

JenniferJ

I did one time spend three hours extracting a pet cornsnake from my dashboard. He did not want to go to the vet!



I usually keep a pillow case in the car for snakey encounters. But did make my father-in-law pull over once in his car to pick up a fairly large kingsnake that I held for the rest of the drive home. I was happy, but Mr Snake was not and excreted musk as angry snakes are wont to do. So the trip was made with open windows, the snake was relocated away from the busy frontage road to my virtually trafficless abode and my father-in-law left very early the next morning for some reason.

Deb

Sorry Lis for trying to be both tactful and somewhat amusing. I guess I failed. You really are quite sensitive on the subject! Ouch. I guess you would rather berail us than be mollified.

I don't feel it's pertinent to go into a long history involving the love/hate relationship we have had with our former colonial power, or the particulars involving my family's meanderings between the two states. You might try reading "the Lobster Coast". It's an interesting historical exploration of this very topic. Surprisingly, the antipathy goes way back to the very early days. It's a great read!

FYI: One of my direct ancestors was a president of Bowdoin College, another a mayor of Portland. Just because I wasn't born in Maine, don't you dare think my roots don't go deep into this rocky soil!

What this has to do with ticks,,biting insects, snakes and feeling safe in whatever environment one chooses to live, I have no clue!

Lis

Sorry Lis for trying to be both tactful and somewhat amusing. I guess I failed. You really are quite sensitive on the subject! Ouch. I guess you would rather berail us than be mollified.



Deb, perhaps you could identify for me which things you said that were intended to be "tactful" or "mollifying." Or, for that matter, "amusing."



"You really are quite sensitive on the subject!"--the eternal cry of those who get called on their bigoted insults: ascribe any offense taken to the target's lack of a sense of humor.



You can't cope with the Awful Fact of out-of-staters coming to your state and giving you money because they think it's such a pretty place, and I'm sensitive! I admit, that is funny.

Gina Spadafori

OK ... again ... could we lighten up a bit and knock off the personal attacks? If you're not going to advance the group discussion, please e-mail the person you're insulting directly and leave us out of it.



Really. Enough.

Deb

Note to self: Never engage in an Internet argument with someone who believes they have all the answers. It's a useless proposition, as these people are never open to another point of view that differs from their own. Instead, they resort to belittling tactics to turn the focus away from themselves by denegrating all others. This is a case in point.

Bye Lis. I have nothing further to say to you.

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Another battle faught between the Yangs and the Comms with advantage to neither!



Someday soon I will retreat to my final redoubt to fight shoulder to shoulder with my bug and critter allies against the godless onslaught of urban dwellers attempting to wrend the last morsel of ethanal for their Hummers from the land.



Where's Mel Gibson and that creepy little cro-magnon kid when you need them?



BTW, when you gonna put the little setter's picture back instead of those dumb bunnies? Scout keeps asking.

Gina Spadafori

Hey, back off the dumb bunnies! :)



I wanted it to not just be dogs and cats.



For anyone who ever wondered, two of the images are stock photos, but:



-- The second image is of my three retrievers. Left to right, Woody, McKenzie and Heather.

-- The fourth image is of Jack, who runs the household at my friend Don's house. Jack is one of the coolest cats ever.

-- The fifth image is by Troy Snow, our lead photographer on the new Ultimate books, and it is of two bunnies at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Bunnies Shmunnies.

How many rabbit fanciers we got here?

Scout chases them for sport.



Next it will be some of those snakes as "pets" no doubt.



You know snakes eat rabbits, dont you? Have you ever seen Michael Moore sub-feature, "Pets or Meat?". If you way the end, you know its meat.



On a line more germain to the topic at hand, many cities do not allow rabbits to be kept since they are considered livestock. You know, future meat.



Scout is so very instulted!



Finally, been working with an outfit called Illinois Bird Dog Rescue on the possibility of bringin home a rescued setter as a pal for Scout. Many many poor poor dogies just like him to pick from and have to stop myself from descriminating because of color or cuteness. Trying to pick the one that NEEDS me the most.



Wondering too about the wisdom of getting a pet for a pet... Would like to see a new topic on this right about now.

Gina Spadafori

Bernie, sweetie ... I have a bunny. Velocity The Rabbit, a/k/a VTR II. And I get extra votes!



:)

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