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Everything posted by pboae

  1. Well I happened to wander through here for the first time in a long time (looking for a user who also appears to have left), I figured I should at least give my tuppence. I was here pretty much from the start, when so many of us really were looking for a refuge, but it ended up feeling like a case of out of the frying pan into the fire. I finally gave up because I could no longer stomach the cliques and nastiness, which frequently went far beyond simply ignoring people's posts. It's interesting to see that some of the worst offenders also appear to have left as well, it's just a shame they were allowed to drive out so many others before they did. It's not like no-one complained about it at the time, but the replies were always that there 'were no cliques', or that anyone complaining was simply 'out to cause trouble'. So people continued to leave one by one, some absentees were missed, some went unnoticed by many, some went unnoticed by all. This is the net effect. I don't have any great suggestions on how to improve things now. I don't know the site well enough anymore to have an opinion on it. But I have no doubt that it will have to involve new blood rather than old. Time moves fast on the internet, I, and many others have already moved on, and people don't tend to go back again. I can't imagine a situation where I would ever post here regularly again, even if I were welcome, and it's been a very very long time since I felt welcome here. But I still have fond memories of it, the good times were really good, I met some amazing people here and made some fantastic friends. It's sad to see it so very quiet now.
  2. Sully gets red patches on his white bits where he chews at his joints, but also higher up where he rests his head on his legs, and the drool pools while he sleeps. It must be something in his saliva that causes the discoloration.
  3. pboae

    Cesar Milan

    So he has a natural affinity with dogs, they easily like and trust him, and then he takes advantage of that to physically and mentally abuse them to make a light entertainment programme. He is charming and personable with humans, and for his show to be so popular he must be excellent at judging what people want to see. The backlash / anti-aggresive training movement in America is reaching the stage where his highly lucrative show is starting to suffer, so now he's going to change tack and play to that instead. Charismatic, manipulative, sadistic, lacking empathy, deceitful. That would tick most of the boxes for ASPD and is a pretty good description of a psychopath.
  4. I grow potatoes in black rubble sacks, or empty compost bags turned inside out. I find them easier to manage then solid things like tyres (it's easy to roll the sides up when you are earthing up) and you can just fold the bags up out of season. Courgettes grow well in big pots, they aren't the prettiest plants, but if you water them enough you usually get tons of courgettes. Tomatoes also do well, and if you are short on space the cherry tumblers are great in hanging baskets (they are VERY thirsty though). I also mix things in pots, so carrots and lettuce are great, because they don't squash each other, and lettuce can cope with the sandy soil. With this weather, there's no point chancing things yet. Even covered in a pot these hard frosts will kill them most things off, but it'll only be another month or two before you can get started.
  5. Have a look through this thread on MSE for ham hock recipes They are cheap and really tasty, you can get a hock or shank at the butcher for a couple of quid, less at the market. I do these two in the slow cooker: _____________________________________________ I do cook mine first overnight in a 6l slow cooker, while soaking some soup and broth mix. Next day, I remove all the yukky fat from it and put about 1/4 of the meat and half the stock to one side. The remaining meat goes back in the slow cooker, with cubed potatoes, onions, carrots, root veggies, some shredded cabbage, chopped leeks, dried mixed herbs, veggie stock cubes, drained/rinsed soup and broth mix. That cooks all day and gets dumplings put in at the end. Next night, I soak a box of dried peas and some yellow split peas. Following day, those are drained/rinsed and go in the slow cooker with the remaining stock, remaining ham, some chopped onions and celery if I've got some. Two different meals out of one hock/shank
  6. As long as the Kansas lab is EU approved, she should just be able to have the old passport filled in, with the info at the back, and the new test results on the page next to the initial results (page 9 in my passport). The section is there for people who have to redo the process.
  7. pboae


    Thanks for the info snow. I have been concerned about the Tramadol dosage (hence never giving him any extra). My Step Dad takes them, and he can have a max of 3 a day, but I believe dogs have a higher tolerance. I'm kicking mysely now for not being more on the ball with it. Sully has never had a problem with Rimadyl, and he cannot manage without it now. If he misses one dose he struggles. He's missed 1 dose of Tramadol now and so far his behaviour is unchanged. But I will see how he goes tomorrow. Unfortunately he can't have steroids because they make him ravenously hungry, which is the worst possible torture for him. But that does limit our options a bit.
  8. pboae


    Thank you for all the replies. Snow, what happened when you gave Rimadyl as well? TBH I haven't noticed any real change in him since he started the Tramadol, it's for pain relief for prolapsed discs in his spine, and also for arthritis. But it coincided with the arrival of snow, and general bad weather, and I expected him to get worse then, but he didn't, so it's possible that the Tramadol has masked that. In which case when we stop it, we should know. The vet has said just to stop them for now, but put him back on half dose if he seems to be suffering. Like all opiates there are withdrawal issues with long term Tramadol use, they tend to be worse in humans than dogs though. We have an appointment on Monday. His meds are based on a weight of 90kg, but he has lost a bit of weight lately, probably only a couple of kg though. He always takes his meds with food, as he is very prone to having a dodgy tummy, his daily meds are: 350mg Rimadyl (150mg am, 200mg pm) plus he can have up to an extra 100mg on bad days, but usually only has 50mg 4 x Nutradyl Supplements (2 am, 2 pm) 500mg Tramadol (5 capsules am, 5 capsules pm), he can have double that (1,000mg) on a bad day, but never has. He also has cartrophen injections every 3 months, and we are trying him with acupuncture (but without any great success so far). I know that probably seems a lot, but we are at the stage of palliative care now. I should probably also say, that although we have increased his pain meds recently, I am not convinced he has suffered a pain increase. He had a period of fairly rapid deterioration, which the vet feels is down to increased pain, but I think it it mechanical, and that he is becoming increasingly numb in his rear end, so if anything there has been a decrease in pain. But I agreed to try more pain relief, because the vet felt strongly about it, and I thought I should at least give him the chance, because if he was in pain and I denied him the pain relief, I'd never forgive myself. But as I said, unless the Tramadol masked a further deterioration, I haven't seem any dramatic improvement, same goes for the acupuncture. One possibility is that the Tramadol needs to be spread out further so given in 3 or 4 doses a day rather than 2, but if that is what's causing the fits, I'd sooner just stop giving it to him if possible.
  9. pboae


    Sully had a grand mal fit today, and I think he's had them a couple of times before, but it was at night, so I didn't realise until now what was going on. They only seem to happen when he is in a deep sleep. I spoke to the vet who said there was no point taking him in, as long as he came round OK, which he did. So I've just been keeping him quiet and scaring myself silly reading all the stuff online about seizures. One thing I came across was seizures being a possible side effect of taking Tramadol. He only started on the Tramadol fairly recently, just before Christmas. I can't say for sure, but I think the possible fits were after that, but I couldn't swear to it. Because of his size he's on massive doses of the stuff (and of everything else he takes) and we were thinking of increasing it further I know I can't pull him straight off it, and I will ring my vet tomorrow and ask whether we can start weaning him off it, in case that's the cause. But I was wondering if anyone else had seen this with their dog. It's not clear from the stuff online whether this is a once-in-a-blue-moon side effect, (in which case the trigger is more likely to be liver/kidney problems) or whether it'a actually quite common.
  10. pboae

    Port Meirion

    There are a couple of cottages you can have dogs stay in. We stayed with Sully a few years ago. We picked Mermaid (I think) because it had virtually step free access so it was best for him, but it was a bit exposed, because it's slap bang in the middle of the garden. We had tourists just open the door and wander in a couple of times (until we learned to keep the door locked!) and caught a few people peering through the windows, which was all a bit off putting. But 'after hours' it was lovely, and we had a fantastic weekend.
  11. I bought some sacks of Dog food off them. One of the sacks was mouldy, and Zooplus gave me a right runaround getting it sent back. They were so slow to do anything. It took them ages to arrange a collection date, and then no-one turned up, then I couldn't get another date off them, all the while I had to store a huge sack of mouldy dog food. They wouldn't let me drop the sack off at a depot, and when they did arrange a date it was an all day arrangement, so I was stuck in the house waiting for them. I really wouldn't bother with them again, it was far too much hassle.
  12. pboae


    There's some seriously good bargains on there, thank you!
  13. Then you'll know accidents are more about inappropriate speed than absolute speed, which is why the efficacy of speed limits is so debateable.
  14. I haven't said it's 100% ineffective, I'm saying it's not effective enough to outweigh the additional negative effects caused by it being illegal. But, over 1/3rd of people have tried cannabis, less than 1/7 have tried a Class A drug. Both situations are illegal, so there is clearly another factor at work. The speeding example doesn't really work. On roads where there are no speed limits, like some in Germany and Isle of Man, average speeds are comparable to those in the UK, because more than half of people here speed on motorways anyway.
  15. The figures are for frequent use, not just any recreational use. The BCS is self report, it's not perfect, but it's the best there is at the moment. Their figures are comparable with the proportions admitted to A&E. Where's the evidence that most people don't? I absolutely agree, but I was specifically talking about whether drugs should be legalised or not, and I think the causes of binge drinking (or drug taking) is a whole different issue.
  16. My father was (is) an alcoholic, so I am more than aware of the damage alcohol does. But I can still see that just because some people become alcoholics it is unreasonable to say nobody should be allowed to drink alcohol, or that everybody who drinks socially/recreationally is doing so because they need to escape their meaningless lives. My stats are mostly from the British Crime Surveys, they are available on the home office website
  17. I agree, just as we have social and legal restrictions on alcohol and tobacco (age limits, drink drive laws, etc). But (most) of the commonly used illegal drugs are less harmful than either of those, and the laws are largely ignored anyway, and the simple fact of them being illegal causes additional problems (organised crime, adulterated drugs, creating a gateway for people to start moving in 'criminal' circles). So whilst legalising them won't make things perfect, the current situation of excessive legal restrictions just makes things worse.
  18. Who knows? It's all hypothetical anyway, I suppose you could have special stores, or sell them through off licences. Of course there would be age limits, but then there are age limits on alcohol and tobacco and they are largely ignored. There are people willing to buy children cigs and booze, and probably people willing to buy them illegal drugs too. That's not likely to change. I've seen people shooting up on a park bench, and smoking heroin in a car in a railway station car park. Most people probably wouldn't even notice, or wouldn't know what to look for. Every large town and city has a place where the alkies hang out, it's a grim sight to pass on your way to work. What difference would it make really if they were taking drugs instead of alcohol? The likes of ecstacy would probably be manufactured here, a lot of it already is. With cannabis the obvious thing would be to encourage people to grow their own. But generally speaking, people in other countries would almost certainly still be exploited, just as they are exploited in the production of tea, coffee, sugar, cotton, etc. I suppose there could be a market for fair trade cocaine, but it's unrealistic to expect a higher standards of ethics in the drug trade than we have in every other commodity. It would for the most part remove the use of 3rd party smugglers though. As unpleasant as the production of cotton is, you don't get cotton mules risking their lives to get it into the country for a pittance. Most people who use legal drugs don't become addicted or develop an excessive tolerance. Just as most people who drink alcohol don't. The ones that do would mostly go without other essentials, like good quality food or heating, as alcoholics do, and even heavy smokers when money is tight. Some would take it to extremes and steal, as they do now. What limits people from doing anything? Smoking is legal, but most people don't smoke. I could legally get drunk 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but I don't, I rarely drink at all. If heroin was legal would you take it? If drink driving laws were abolished tomorrow, would you drink drive? I'm guessing probably not. The vast majority of people limit their own behaviour, most do it automatically, some do it within the confines of the law, some don't do it all, and the laws have no effect on them anyway.
  19. I think you are crediting people with too much sense. The average 30 year old will rarely use recreational drugs, and those that do will mainly only use cannabis. Most people have all but grown out of it by then. It's 16-24 year olds that are the heavy users, and under 20's in particular are known to indulge in risk taking for it's own sake. It wouldn't have a huge positive effect, all it would do is remove some of the worst negative effects. So people who are going to buy drugs anyway could do so without automatically having to move in dodgy/criminal circles. But it's not like it would wipe out the criminal fraternity in one fell swoop. As you say, at least some of them will just look for other ways to make their money. But it would at least break part of that circle and make it a little more difficult for them. It would also free up a lot of public time and money which could be diverted into more useful areas. I find that more patronising than the 'just say no' message. People entertain themselves in a whole variety of ways, that doesn't mean there is something 'wrong' with them or that their lives are boring, intolerable or pointless. There are all sorts of hobbies and interests that are unfathomable to me, horse riding, spinning classes, watching TV, train spotting, but I don't think less of people who choose to do them. My OH is into martial arts, he gets all sorts of injuries from it, and that has an impact on me and on our life together, but I wouldn't dream of stopping him doing it. Everything we do has an impact on those closest to us. People can use any activity as a crutch, or to try and solve problems in their lives, but it doesn't follow that everyone who does it is using it for that reason, or that they *have* to do it. <had to split it cos it wouldnt let me post it in one block>
  20. That's true up to a point, but counterfeiting is a huge issue in pretty much all branded goods, including human and veterinary medicine, but that's not used as a reason not to even bother trying regulating those areas. Also, with ecstacy for example, testing kits are available (and widely used in some countries) so users can get their pills tested and find out exactly what's in them. In the UK allowing their use is sufficient grounds to have a club closed down, which is one of the reasons why we have a relatively high number of ecstacy related incidents here. The kits work in two ways, first on an individual level people can know what they are taking, and on a wider scale it leads to less dodgy adulterants overall, because users quickly learn which dealers are selling dodgy pills and take their custom elsewhere, so overall the quality goes up. Of course, because that's happening elsewhere, anyone with a large number of dodgy pills ships them to be sold over here, where they are far less likely to be caught out. In other countries governments use the information from in-club screening programmes to make public announcements when drugs with potenitally dangerous contaminants, or unexpectedly very high levels of purity, are found. Our government has a non-disclousre policy, so even if they know there is a batch of dangerously adulterated pills being sold, they won't report it. The first the public will know is the newspaper reports of injuries or worse.
  21. But the current situation doesn't work either. In the case you mentioned, the current laws didn't stop the driver taking an illegal drug or getting behind the wheel whilst drunk and under the influence of drugs. Just as it doesn't stop thousands of others doing the same thing every year.
  22. Unfortunately all the laws in the world won't prevent recklessness. There's no excuse for getting behing a wheel when intoxicated, no matter whether it's something legal, illegal, or prescribed. Or even when just too tired to concentrate properly. But staying sober isn't the whole answer, young male drivers are disproportionately dangerous by just about any statistical measure you want to use.
  23. Crack, like cocaine, isn't physically addictive in the true sense of a physical addiction, unlike opiates, for example. Although there can be physical side effects during withdrawal, they are mainly due to sleep deprivation caused by heavy use. Cocaine and crack cocaine have high levels of reinforcement though, so in some people they create a strong desire to repeat the experience ASAP. Addictiveness is rated on across a number of factors, and to some extent it's subjective, so the different scales don't always agree. How quickly a dependency can start is only a small part of it. For example, some people can develop a cocaine habit *very* quickly, but many more people use it occasionally or recreationally, and never develop any form of dependency, so relative to the total number of users, the proportion of addicts is fairly low. Whereas tobacco has very high levels of dependency, so amongst tobacco users the number of addicts vastly outweighs the number of recreational users (i.e. 'social' smokers who can take it or leave it).
  24. With the possible exception of crystal meth, alcohol and tobacco are more addictive, more dangerous, and cause more deaths (as a proportion of users) than any of the other commonly abused drugs. Alcohol is the only one where the withdrawal alone can kill. When stats are quoted to show that cannabis is a gateway drug, they very rarely mention that smoking cigarettes is actually a far better predictor of later/harder drug use. In purely health terms, if someone smokes or drinks heavily, they would probably be better off swapping to just about anything else. Although it's true that designer drugs haven't been around as long as A & T, opiate use probably has been, or at least long enough that we can be fairly sure what the generational effects are likely to be. Which is how we know that the main physical side effect of long term opiate abuse is constipation (which can be more serious than it sounds), as long as it is smoked not injected. Most of the health problems we associate with heroin addiction are actually caused by the chaotic lifestyles and lack of money that go with it. Most long term heroin addicts who manage to kick the habit end up alcoholics, which is far more likely to kill them in the end. They'd be better off on a managed opiate programme. So as far as I am concerned the health argument just doesn't stand up. The mental health argument is more complex, but again, the stats get misrepresented, as people with mental health problems commonly self medicate (hence the high number of smokers on psychiatric wards). So although smoking cannabis at a younger age correlates with later severe psychosis, suffering mental distress at a young age also correlates with later severe psychosis, and of course they are more likely to look to self medicate with legal and illegal substances. So no-one can say at the moment which causes what. I'd sooner see money and effort diverted away from the war on drugs and into mental health services for people who are in early stages of mental suffering. There are many things that will be dangerous to some people and not others, and they don't always know about it (salt for example). You can't ban everything on that basis. Nor simply because it can be dangerous (which is where the horse riding example comes in). People are free to do all sorts of far more dangerous things for fun, as long as they make an informed decision about it. You only have to look to prohibition in america to see the problems that illegality causes, corruption, organised crime, deaths from contamination or variable strength. Even though the law was barely enforced and widely ignored. It's pretty much a blue print for the current situation with cannabis. Yes there probably are people who don't take drugs now because they are illegal, but how many are there who take them because they are illegal, and they want that thrill? It's swings and roundabouts. So maybe the question should really be, what's the point in keeping them illegal?
  25. I used to do transport runs for HWAR from Marina. I don't know if they still work with them though. It is/was the grimest kennels I've ever seen. There is a layby about 5 mins away from them, where I used to end up parking up to cry. I can't say I am sorry to see it closing.
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