Month: July 2006

The $10,000 dog

The most valuable tools for search and rescue professionals, like those deployed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, aren’t what you’d consider high-tech gadgets. They don’t blip and beep, they bar

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Animal shelters and fireworks don’t mix

Ah, the 4th of July. Picnics, barbecues, beer, hotdogs, potato chips and American flags — the time of year when renegades all over my neighborhood throw caution to the wind and decide to host their very own illegal fireworks displays in the middle of my street. As I sat in my backyard on the evening of the 4th, one of my neighbors set off something that had me thinking Kim Jong II’s long range missile might have actually found its mark in my front yard. The bang was so loud that I ducked and considered hiding under my patio furniture. Having just adopted a new kitten about 5 days prior, I was sure he had probably died of a heart attack right in the middle of my living room floor. I went inside to check on him. He was chewing happily on his favorite toy. He’s deathly afraid of the dust buster, but the prospect of nuclear war doesn’t seem to frighten him. Of course, Charlie is the exception to the rule. Anyone who owns an animal knows what a nightmare the 4th of July can be. As a child, my family’s beautiful and supremely brave German shepherd, Kasey, would jump our six-foot-high backyard fence every 4th of July. I’ve heard of people tranquilizing their pets on the 4th. We never went that far, but we probably should have....

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Star Jones Reynolds: weight loss lies?

The morning television show, The View, has been in the news lately. The reason is that one of its co-hosts, Star Jones Reynolds, left the show on what appears to be bad terms. As a result of the added attention given to the show, the question of how Star Jones Reynolds lost over 150 pounds in little time is being questioned. Star Jones Reynolds says it was diet and exercise. Some are saying gastric bypass. She looks a little gaunt to me, and I wanted to get your thoughts on the difference between surgery and the natural way of losing weight. — Betsy J., Ventura I am fully aware of the drama that has taken place with the popular diva show, The View. I’ve also observed the rapid weight loss of Star Jones Reynolds. Most recently, on Larry King Live, Star Jones Reynolds finally announced that she had weight-loss surgery for medical reasons. She made it clear that her decision was personal and that in no way did she mislead viewers to thinking she lost weight through eating healthfully and exercising regularly. As a fan of The View and one who has worked intimately with a wide array of people, I disagree with Star Jones Reynolds. From hope to despair For numerous reasons, Star Jones Reynolds deceived the public and disempowered many overweight people who looked to her for...

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ARIES (March 21-April 19) Three years before Dan Brown\’s The Da Vinci Code came out, my book The Televisionary Oracle was published. In it, I riffed extensively on Mary Magdalene\’s role as Jesus\’s consort, collaborator, and co-creator of Christianity–similar in ways to Brown\’s themes. Sales of my tome are approaching 10,000, while Brown\’s have topped 61 million. Why the contrast? His work is a linear detective story, while mine is an experimental blend of magical realism, prophetic philosophy, and oracular poetry. His characterizations and plot hew to established conventions of mainstream fiction, while mine spring from my muse and real life. The difference between our approaches is comparable to the choice you have ahead of you, Aries. You can opt for greater popularity and loyalty to convention, or you can choose to be more of a secret as you rigorously follow the promptings of your inner voice. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Once you open a can of worms, the only way to re-can the buggers is to use a larger can. So says Zymurgy\’s First Law of Evolving Systems Dynamics. I urge you to keep that in mind during the coming week, Taurus. You or someone close to you may suffer from a blissful mania or temporary insanity that leads them to think that liberating the canned worms is a wise idea. Maybe it will ultimately prove to be...

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