frightened: (metallicar supernatural)
Part one; part two; part two and a bit. Spoilers for the whole thing (and The Godfather); trigger warnings for rape and domestic violence.

Read more... )
frightened: (bike)
Today I'm skating in Scar Wars: A New Hope, my first ever roller derby bout. My league have put it on for skaters who've just passed their basic skills. I'm very nervous, and I fell at practice yesterday and managed to wallop my hip. But it's gonna be cool.

My wife [profile] bethanthepurple is also skating in it. She's on Team Jedi. I'm on Team Sith. Fight!
frightened: (sigh)
Numbers 5:11-28 is pretty clear on the subject: Read more... )

So remember, when people complain about women having abortions for trivial reasons, the Lord is a-OK with jealous husbands using them as punishments for cheating. The welfare of the foetus is not mentioned.
frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)
I blame the chickens.

Tomorrow I'm off to my birds-work to try and catch the nearly-full-grown red-eared terrapin (slider to the Americans) some bastard dumped in the koi pond. Hopefully once it's out and fostered at mine, I won't have to field idiots telling me "oh, but it's the kindest thing to do". No! No it bloody isn't! Skipping over the fact it's ILLEGAL to abandon animals like that, we have no way to provide it with an appropriate diet or the UV rays it needs. Also, the koi keep trying to eat its face. They're a lot bigger than it is. All we can do is hope it doesn't return the favour.

And they're a bugger to rehome, because they're a really common species for people to get sick of when they grow too big or need too much specialist equipment. Ho hum.

I managed to hand-feed and handle it last week, so I'm hoping that if I go in with a tin of sardines I can repeat the trick tomorrow. And I'm setting up its tank tonight.

I don't actually want to keep it though, so I've been emailing various rescue organisations. No luck so far.
frightened: (karate)
I swear to god I would give body parts to be surrounded by people who understand that my crazy is a real serious permanent condition, and that I don't need their denial when I've got enough of my own thanks. At least a kidney. My brain is trying to kill me and I have to field idiots telling me I don't seem mental or it's probably just the fucking weather. If platitudes were Prozac I'd never have to fill another prescription.
frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)
A week after getting them, all four chickens are alive and as well as can be expected, and I've had loads of eggs. [personal profile] bokbokosaurus* for lengthy updates. When I checked on them at bedtime tonight, they were lined up in the nestboxes making soft trilling noises.

* Please don't mention this account if you're commenting on that one; I'd like to keep the two separate.
frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)

Picked up four ex-battery hens from a driveway in Rubery yesterday lunchtime. Got them home on public transport in two cat carriers, which was a bit of a mission, and into the run on my allotment. Two came out of the carriers immediately, saw all the straw and space, and promptly went into a catatonic state of WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS I DON'T EVEN. The other two apparently decided that since the cat carriers offered more space, nesting material and privacy than they'd ever had in their lives before, they'd stay just where they were, thanks.

Eventually they all emerged and figured out the food and water, after first making a concerted effort to eat the wood shavings, dust bath and straw. One explored the coop, came out shouting, and made her bid for Top Hen, beating up each of the others in turn. She seems to have settled down today, though I put Vaseline on their combs (stops the attacker from getting a grip) and sprayed the bottom hen with anti-peck spray just in case.

They're not actually in terrible condition. Three are missing half their beaks, and they've all got bald spots, and the unfortunate hen at the bottom of the pecking order only uses one of her legs. But I was genuinely expecting worse. We'll see how they do.

The Top Hen, the only one with a proper-shaped beak, is Dippy. The next one down, with the frilly feathers, predatory walk and upright comb (all the others have their combs oversized and flopped over), is Trex. I assumed she'd be Top Hen, but she seems content with second place. She does like to stand up tall and give you assessing looks, though. Then there's Steg, with the mucky back feathers and enormous comb. Steg is curious about people, and is the one who'll run up and stare at you. And then there's Arky at the bottom, who gets most of Dippy's wrath because she's only got one working leg, so she's not as quick to get out of the way. But Trex seems to have decided she's Arky's bodyguard, and stands over her when she's resting and guards the door when she's in the nest box.

They've survived their first 24 hours, which is a Good Start. And I sincerely hope we've now sorted out the pecking order. I've had three eggs so far, which is impressive, given they're meant to be off lay and knackered.
frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)
I did DIY in the dark. With hammering. I am legendarily clumsy and failed woodwork at school. I still have all my fingers, which is astonishing.

The two runs are both up, roofed over the wire to keep the rain out (with wood till I ran out of wood, and then with tarpaulins), lined with tarpaulins on the floor, and filled with straw, since my super-fast-growing grass seed, well, didn't. (They'll never have seen straw before. You get SO MUCH STRAW out of a compacted bale. It's gonna blow their tiny chicken minds, and it smells beautiful.) The coop roof is painted with: "These birds are checked at least twice a day. They are rescue birds and will need time and rest to recover. In an emergency call NAME on NUMBER." The run roof is painted with: "These birds were saved from tiny, overcrowded cages. Even this little run is big and scary for them. They had never been outside before. They will get more room and treats as soon as they can cope." Hopefully that will prevent well-meaning intervention. The coop and run meet and sometimes exceed recommended welfare standards - I wouldn't even think of using them if they didn't - but I look at it and think "that's a bit small", so I can't blame other people for doing the same. But chickens are creatures of habit, and I'm introducing them to all sorts of terrifying new things, so let's go slow.

I still have to join the two runs together, and join the ensuing megarun to the coop. There's gonna be a lot of hammering steel mesh over the gaps, because cheapass coop + uneven ground != fitting together well. I already covered the bottoms of the runs with mesh to prevent burrowing attacks. I also need to put hasps and padlocks on the hinged section of the coop roof (it wasn't hinged till I MacGuyvered it. Now it is) and the run roofs (ditto). Oh, and mesh over the bottom of the nest box and coop to stop foxes and rats getting in that way. I think... I hope... one more evening, and it's habitable? Better be, since I'm getting the chooks Saturday morning...

Ah, c'mon

Oct. 3rd, 2011 09:43 pm
frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)
Dear weather,

If you could manage a slow and lengthy transition from the unseasonal warmth to the forecast snow, me and my soon-to-arrive fragile chickens would appreciate it.

Love and kisses,


PS Have knitted 0.5 of 4 chicken jumpers, as modelled by some poor baldy hens here.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
On 21st September, Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection by the state of Georgia, after the US Supreme Court denied a stay of execution. The day before, Cleve Foster, facing the same fate in Texas, received a stay of execution from the same court.

Which, don't get me wrong, is a very good thing. I am against the death penalty. Everybody should get a stay of execution. Hell, nobody should be sentenced to death in the first place. People sometimes say, "oh, well yeah, in general, but about this really bad one?" Unless you're in some hellhole like Iran, one would hope that the death penalty would only be reserved for the really bad ones. To be against the death penalty except for the really bad ones is not to be against the death penalty at all. Anyway. Not the point.

The point is, what does Cleve Foster have going for him, that Troy Davis didn't?

Cleve Foster was convicted of raping and shooting Nyanuer 'Mary' Pal, a female Sudanese immigrant. Troy Davis was convicted of shooting Mark MacPhail, a white male police officer.

The evidence against Cleve Foster was not conclusive: his semen in her vagina, and weapons soaking in cleaning fluid in his truck. Her blood was found on his co-defendant's clothes, but not his. The evidence against Troy Davis was even less: nine eyewitness testimonies, seven of which were later recanted, and one of which came from the other possible suspect.

Cleve Foster was a US Army recruiter and Gulf War veteran. Troy Davis signed up twice with the US Marines, but had a generally poor employment and school record.

Cleve Foster is white. Troy Davis was black.

I cannot escape the conclusion that Mark MacPhail was simply a higher-status victim than Nyanuer Pal, and that Troy Davis was simply a lower-status convict than Cleve Foster.
frightened: (karate)
So Troy Davis is dead, despite significant doubt as to the safety of his conviction. Turns out human rights and good sense can't stand against racism and the death penalty.

All throughout this case I have been wondering: what are they scared of? Why are they so desperate to have him killed? Pig-headedness is one thing; pig-headedness that gets someone dead is another. When you're blocking emails from Amnesty International, does it not cross your mind that you might be the bad guys here? Two of the five people who were supposed to be witnessing his execution received last-minute phone calls telling them they couldn't. Was Georgia ashamed? It should be.

I remember in July 2008, when the Georgia Parole Board and the Georgia Supreme Court refused to grant clemency or a stay of execution even though his case was currently before the US Supreme Court and he hadn't had a hearing yet. What drives that kind of decision? I want to say "sheer cruelty", but I'm trying to understand. Fear of the irregularities of the case coming out? We already know. Troy Davis was named as a suspect by the other major suspect, the one witnesses have subsequently named as the real killer, and since that rather dodgy accusation, they just haven't bothered to investigate further. Several of the witnesses who changed their testimony say their original words were as a result of police coercion, and that they signed statements that they couldn't read. We know.

Maybe it was burnout. I get burnout; maybe they did to. Yeah, everybody says they didn't do it. Yeah, every cause gets protesters. Blah blah blah. Show must go on. Well, if you're getting that way about a process that is allowed to kill people, then it's time to stop using it, because you cannot be trusted to act with basic humanity. I think it was the Plaid Adder who said that the decision to end a life should not be easy. It should upset you. You should burn out and you should stop doing it.

And yes, let's use the L word, because I think it applies. A black man was accused of a crime against a white person - a high-status white person - and that accusation was enough. There was no real attempt to determine who was guilty, and attempts to get the case reopened were treated as so much annoyance. In 2008, 42% of death row inmates were black men. This was a lynching.

One of the people Democracy Now interviewed put it best: in America, you have no actual right not to be executed if you are innocent. If you have been convicted, if you have had due process, then even if you have conclusive proof it was not you, DNA or something, then legally, they can still execute you. Once the killing machine gets going it really doesn't like to be stopped. As of 2010, America has dropped from the third to the fifth most execution-happy country - oh, well done, what a great achievement - and still should be ashamed of itself for the company it keeps in that list.

Troy Davis

Sep. 22nd, 2011 12:14 am
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Temporary reprieve from US Supreme Court. Duration uncertain.
frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)
UPDATE, 22:41 BST: Parole Board now blocking ALL email. You can fax them on 404-651-8502 or 404-651-6670 via More info here.

Originally posted by [profile] nothingtoyou at Last chance to save a man's life
Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a Georgia police officer in 1991. Nearly two decades later, Davis remains on death row — even though the case against him has fallen apart.

The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state's non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.

Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.

One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester "Red" Coles — the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.

Georgia's State Board of Pardons and Paroles has recently rejected Troy Davis' clemency petition. Troy continues to face execution on Wednesday Sept. 21 at 7 pm EDT (midnight Weds night UK time). Please take action before this time.

We cannot let an innocent man die.

Please take these two simple actions - asking the Parole Board to reconsider (they can change their mind at any time), and asking that Chatham County (Savannah) District  Attorney Larry Chisolm step in and withdraw the death warrant.

Please forward the email below to the Parole Board at
and Read more... )
frightened: Photo by Jason B (me clown wig)
I'm getting 4 rescued ex-batt chickens on October 15th. Putting them on my allotment. Tasks yet to do:

- galvanised mesh floor for runs to prevent tunnelling
- replace wooden toggles and stupid little bolts with hasps and padlocks
- construct second run; finish painting second run; join two together
- draughtproof coop
- replace mesh roofs on runs with hinged wood
- acquire diatomaceous earth for de-lousing purposes
- knit jumpers in case of baldness
- tarps and some kind of soft scratchable flooring for runs
- sonic and stinky fox-repellents

Less worryingly )

Oh, and I need to make a sign explaining that it's not my fault they look like hell and don't seem to know what to do with enough space to stretch their wings, and if the state of them outrages people, then don't report me to the RSPCA, just buy organic eggs in future.
frightened: (sigh)
So I bought one of these, with an extra run because I thought it looked a bit small. I'm transferring it over to the allotment and putting it up, box by box. So far I've got one of the runs constructed, though not reinforced to my satisfaction.

All the hen rescue places tell you to buy a coop and run that's meant to fit at least two more hens than you're planning to get, because the space in these things is seriously stingy. They're right.

6 to 10 hens? Seriously? Are you on crack? Have they been zapped by the incredible shrinking ray? You cannot keep 10 hens in that run. Well, it's physically possible, but it makes you an asshole. It's just over four feet by just over two feet - gives you just over ten square feet of space. Just over one square foot per hen. That's shitty. That's a couple of inches more than they had in a battery cage.

I'm only planning to keep 3 or 4 hens, and I'd feel seriously guilty about keeping them in one of those runs. I'm very glad I got a second one. I might get a third.
frightened: (bike)
My bank has a "Central Fulfilment Unit".

I don't know whether to be nauseated or terrified.
frightened: (toph bei fong fighting avatar)
After 76 years' hard work and dedication, and much sexism, Sensei Keiko Fukuda gets her 10th dan at the age of 98.

What a woman. Words... I don't even... *seiza rei*

(Via [personal profile] innerbrat, I think)
frightened: (toph bei fong fighting avatar)
Found an incredibly neat vulpine paw-print on my allotment yesterday, right on one of the bits of wood I'm using to measure out an area for a potential chicken coop. As if to say "Want chooks, do yer? You'd better start burying that galvanised mesh now, girl. And don't even think about using chicken wire. I eat chicken wire for breakfast. Then I eat yer chickens."

I'm still going back and forth on the issue of whether it's realistic. Ordering a proper coop is a basic starting point, not the last word in foxproofing. Then it's down to Wickes for rolls and rolls of steel mesh. And then there's humans, a vicious and stupid species I dislike far more than mere instinctive predators.


frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)

August 2012



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