Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nano Aquariums

Mr. T in DC / Foter.com / CC BY-ND
I pick up articles about nano (a.k.a. small, 10 gallon or less) aquariums with an uneasy feeling.  Small tanks are considerably harder to manage than larger tanks and unsuitable for most fish sold in the aquarium trade.

But kudos to Edward C Taylor who wrote an article called Little Tanks, Big Opportunities for the November 2013 issue of the magazine Pet Business.

The article has a generally upbeat tone but Taylor was also pithily emphasize that the goal is for the tank to be successful long after it goes out the door.

For these reason he recommends that nano tanks are really only for freshwater unless you are a marine aquarium expert, that they need to be sold by trained staff who are willing and empowered to refuse to sell livestock not suited to mall tanks, and that the ideal nano species are often hard to get in the trade.

It is a short but informative article and I found that it is also available online here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

No, these are not my "Furkids"

redjar / Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Okay, let me start by saying that people should define their relationship to their pets however best pleases them.  Parents of fur-babies.  Sure, why not?  Knock yourself out.

But can I please have the same respect in return?

I own dogs.  They are full adult canines, and I assert property ownership rights over them as a conscientious and highly committed head (and only human member of) the household.

They are not my children.  They are not even like children to me. They are like dogs. This is because they are dogs.

I am becoming a little frustrated that all pet owners are increasingly shoveled into a category of "pet parents"--complete with mountains of anthropomorphism and infantalizing baggage.  And when I protest this I get treated like the devil-spawn reincarnation of Descartes.

Yes, dogs have feelings, thoughts, expectations and personalities.  But they are the feelings, thoughts, expectations and personalities of a non-human (albeit domesticated) dogs.  And I choose to respect that by speaking of them at all times as dogs, not proxies for juvenile humans--not even metaphorically.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Operation Free TV -- Day 7

Seven days into Operation iPad and I have had to redefine the mission as Operation Free TV as NCP stopped offering iPads as rewards.  The new goal is a 32 inch television.

Goal: 290,000 Pts
Progress:  1,800 Pts (0.6%)

Teacup Great Dane

I guess I should have been focused on the happy message of this story, but my attention was diverted at the mention of a "teacup Great Dane."

Teacup Great Dane.

This is apparently a real thing.  With intrepid breeders filling a need for people who want a really small giant dog.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dog in the Hood

It is never, and I mean never, a good sign when a catalog does not have a photograph of a product--just an illustration. And feeling the need to point out what part of a hoodie is the hood does not really bode well either.

But my main concern would be: is there an, um, well, a poop hatch?

National Consumer Panel a.k.a. Operation Mini iPad

As an undergrad I once joined one of those programs were you fill out online surveys to get an iPod shuffle.  It was clearly designed to make most people give up long before they got their iPod.  You even had to get a notarized document to make them send it.  Fortunately I was at a University where I could get that for free.  I did get it in the end, completely free, but boy did it take some determination

Now I have an even more ambitious plan.  I have been accepted as a member of the National Consumer Panel where you scan your groceries and do surveys for points.  If you earn 278,000 points you get a mini iPad.  This is day number 1 of Operation iPad.  I wonder how long it will take?