corn snake

Update on Texas Property

Texas property is now acquired!  Like, finally... after many more months than I was anticipating, and I still had to jump through underwriter hoops, even though I was given the impression that I would not (for special USDA loan). At any rate, does matter how it happened, how conventional or unconventional the method of getting said property- it's in my hands now.

Next phase is: raise money for sanctuary enclosures

Enclosures have to be erected by December. I have fencing company lined up (and we've been in contact), I have a concrete company and a contractor who is donating his time. All I need is some funds to make the enclosures. I have some networking contacts but oh boy, talk about stress.

I'll be at the new property by June 4th.
  • Current Mood

An Unexpected Travesty

RIP Wolf, you will be missed, but not forgotten. I will remember you as being a person who loved helping others. You'd give some one the shirt off your back if they needed it. We can't live forever, but it's a tragedy when we die so young and abrupt.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
corn snake

A Tooth Story

Yesterday morning I went to the dentist for a 1st of many visits. I went to the dentist in April after getting dental insurance because my teeth needed a lot of work and I didn't want to lose my teeth. So the dentist does a full exam and tells me everything I need. They print it out and even gave me a discount on onlays, because I need a lot of them. Cost to restore my mouth is $6000 (EDIT: this is the price after insurance).

Yesterday morning I went to get my two most urgent teeth taken care of. What was put down for 2 hours turned into 4.5. One of the onlays wound up being a partial crown because the dentist found a pocket of decay that wasn't on the x-rays. He was great though and the price didn't change. The office has an onsite CAD/CAM machine. They scan your tooth and your pemenant crown/onlay is done at the office that day. My gums kept spilling out blood and fluid, so they kept having to redo prep for scanning the tooth. The machine that did the milling was pretty cool, I got to see it make my onlay for a few seconds: 

The dentist and his assistant were really nice and they kept trying to convince me to be a dentist. I didn't say what I used to do in the past, I just told them I had a good memory. After I got over the initial hump of the injections in 2 nerves on each side of my mouth (those hurt, and lidocaine stings), it wasn't so bad. They kept giving me injections until the end, then I just endured because injections would of been more painful. I counted 12 injections. Opposite sides of my lower jaw, tooths 18 and 31, there were 4 initially then they just kept coming.  Good news is just a partial crown and a large onlay, no root canal! Yippie!!  Bad news is my jaw is pretty sore from it being open for 4 hours. They also had to go under my gums pretty far for these two teeth.

At any rate, back  next month for the next two teeth. Then another visit for a a deep cleaning (root scaling/planing),  Then more teeth taken care of, then all my old fillings need to be replaced. Will take another 5-6 visits for every thing, yikes. 
  • Current Mood
corn snake

Life Insurance Questions

I was really considering getting life insurance before, but do to recent events, I'm convinced that I should get it. It would make sure the house is paid off, cover final expenses for me, and some more to take care of my pigeons and dogs. I don't want a funeral and just want to be cremated, plus I can always make my own urn ahead of time (which I think would be fun), so that cuts down a lot on expenses. Really I want $200,000-250,000 worth of term life insurance. I don't want whole or universal, because I personally thing that's not a good investment and you're better off just putting the extra money you'd pay in the monthly premium in a jar. 

At any way, according to MetLife's tables, I'm in "excellent health"- hooray. I might need to give them a blood and urine test, but I'm under 35, so I don't need a physical exam, not that I wouldn't mind anyway. So my question is, do I go for 10, 20, or a 30 year term? I'm thinking maybe 20 year? I'm sure some of you would be able to provide me insight on what term would be best for me. If I got a 30 year term, I'd be 60 when it would expire. Though there's a significant price increase from 20-30 years. HMMMMM. With a 10 year policy, I can get like $730,000 at 10 years for around $10 a month. Now what am I going to need $730,000 for? Well my beneficiaries would certainly be able to put that money to use. Really though to pay off the house, at what I owe today, plus final expenses and a little bit left over for my pets if they survive me, $200,000 would be just fine. $250,000 would be enough to pay off my student loans posthumously (do I even need to worry about it if I'm dead?) and offer a little more cushion room (which is what I want to go for). 

TL:DR 10 or 20 year term is really the question. It's just a couple more dollars a month. Maybe 20 year? That's what I'm thinking. 
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
corn snake

FC Write Up!

FC is over, it was fun. Don't really get PCD, but I'm like, "awww, it's over already? I was just getting into it!". Here's my write up!

Spent all of Thursday at home. Cleaned rat cages, finished my suit and helped my guests with theirs. We all put on our suits at different times to see what needed to be fixed. Then there were re-adjustments and another "dress rehearsal". Friday morning I got all the dog food and medication together as my awesome room mate Westly would be watching the dogs for me. Then I packed everything together and we went to the con. Crocuta drove. We packed 3 fursuits into the car, sewing machine, repair kit, clothes, computers, an ice chest, etc. 

We got down to the CC and parking was a breeze. We checked into the Marriot and found that we were on the 23rd floor. We had a confirmation that we were on the fursuit floor, but it wound up being "first come, first serve" anyway. It was a toss up between the 16th floor and the 23rd floor. Well, at least on floor 23 the elevator would be empty every time we had to go down, so we chose that. I was really happy with the room layout and I hope I can request to have the same room for next year. 

The good: Got to hang out with Areo Fox for a little bit (haven't in a few years). Got to wear a new suit to the convention as I really didn't like my old suit any more and it was too big on me and no were up on par on my work. I made that suit in 1 night, before FC in 2009, so it's been a while. Liked the Double hotel set up, they (saw some construction in between both hotels) might be building a third hotel too, which would be sweet. Elevators were not that bad considering the two hotels. Just avoid peek elevator times (when dealer's room closes, after major programming events) and you would be OK). Went to an awesome party too. Hung out with SteelJaw, she seems awesome. Nice to have another female hyena at the con.

The Needs Improvement: Fursuit lounge. It was tiny. the outside area was great, but no chairs. Inside the fursuit lounge was tiny and was crowded. I hear the Hilton had a no party policy too? Didn't do any parties in the Marriot, the plastic on the floor just invited kids to puke on it. The dealer's room needs to be bigger, but they probably couldn't afford another large room in the CC (convention center). and the CC had better lighting set ups than the Marriot for big events. Hopefully next year they can afford a large room for the dealers and headless lounge.

Other than that it was fun! It was a "run around con" so I wish I had time to fursuit more or hang out with more people. Ah well, once hyenas are safe then I'll have the time. Went to the beginning of the Bunnies Panel but left early for scheduling. Missed out on Lance's panels, due to running around trying to get things organized, but that's how it was this year.  
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
corn snake

Happy New Years Post!

In 2011:

I lost 40 lbs. 

Made a ton of fursuit molds, new techniques and sculptures for realistic heads and parts. Canine, feline, a hyena and a dragon (dragon is property of the owner though, but more dragons will be out soon)

made a conscious effort to be more nicer to people and it's worked out great. 

Almost lost my dog to GDV, but caught it right away and all of his stomach and spleen is intact. His staples were suppose to come out last week, but he wasn't healed up all the way and the vet said to wait until Monday (tomorrow).

In 2012 I hope to:

Lost the last 10 lbs

Still have Hippo (my dog) the entire year. 

Be able to support myself and Crocuta with new fursuit stuffs.

Be  happy
corn snake

Hippo is starting to feel better!

So last night he went back to the hospital and he stayed there over night. I called at 7 am and they told me the meds, Regulan and Cisapride, Prilosec and an anti-nausea were making him better. Because of the trauma to his stomach, the nerves that control gut motility aren't working as well. He started to eat for the vet and they were able to give him some antibiotics. Cro and I picked him up at 4 pm today and he seemed much better. His belly is very bruised now, but I'm told that is normal for the surgery. He's on 6 medications now, not counting his joint supplements which I'm holding off on until his current rounds of medications are complete. Some meds are given every 12 hours, some every 8. Some with food and some an hour before food is given. He doesn't want rice, cottage cheese, yogurt or milk. He's just eating chicken right now and pieces of hot dog that I put his pills in. 

Below is a reference in case anyone's dog gets bloat, here's what you may expect post-op (granted some dogs get surgery and do much better, some worse):

He's on:

Clavamox - antibiotic

Tramadol - synthetic opiate for pain

Gabapentin -neural pain inhibitor

Cisapride- gastro-prokinetic  that keep the gut motility rate going. This is used in conjunction with making him walk a couple of minutes every 2 or hours to keep things moving. 

Cerenia- anti-nausea 

Prilosec- antacid 

Here's the time table of medication:

6 am: Gabapenin & Prilosec
8 am Cisapride
9 am Tramadol
12 pm Clavamox (give with food)
4 pm Cisapride
5 pm Tramadol
8 pm Cerenia (no food 1 hr before or after)
12 pm Clavamox & Cisapride

corn snake

When it rains, it pours!

First of all, thanks for the well wishes for Hippo. He's not out of the woods by any means and had to go back to the hospital today for 1-2 days of intensive care. He was still in terrible pain and not eating at all, not even liquid foods or his favorite meats. His abdomen was still distended and he wasn't responsive to much because of the pain. I called the vet and when they called back they said to give him 50 mg of generic Pepcid AC and I might have to bring him in, they'd talk with the other doctors. The pepcid made him perk up a little and I wound up taking him in. 

They took x-rays and found that his stomach filled up with fluid, but the suturing to the abdomen wall was holding up because the stomach stayed put. They took another blood sample and found his electrolytes were low, he was dehydrated despite drinking water, as well as his total protein (low) and his BUN was off. He wasn't absorbing anything in his stomach because of the fluid just sitting there. So they are keeping him 1-2 nights and giving him medication through IV (since he can't have oral because nothing is absorbing or moving in his stomach and GI tract) to try and help get the fluid out and start the gut process back up again. Hopefully, this will work. I feel bad that I had to take him back since the pepcid perked him up a little, but not taking him back to the vet would have been deadly. 

Just got back home. As of tonight the running tab so far is $$$$$. The hospital is amazing though and no charge for the extra exams today and they slightly discounted tonight's x-rays since he was just there less than 24 hours ago. It's a pricey clinic but they work with you and Hippo is certainly worth the debt. He's an amazing guard dog and has staved off a few break-ins. He's an amazing dog overall and is incredibly intelligent. I really, REALY  hope he makes it through this. I'll be posting about a few realistic partials for auction soon to help pay the bills (canine, feline and spotted hyena). Maybe I'll do a toony head too, but I'm getting into the realism. 
corn snake

Can it get from bad to worse? Indeed.

So yesterday, I was suppose to have a fursuit finished, but I could not get my jaw set (one I sculpted and casted from scratch) to stick in my heads. I tried E6000 and Barge. Nothing. Tried 2 part expoy and that didn't even work (and 2 different types were bought). The teeth were casted in Instacast and they sit at this odd angle in the head. I guess I should have made a rigid pallet so the teeth would be easier to place in. The jaw set comes in 6 pieces so you can adjust it to fit most any size canine heads. At any rate, waste many hours on adhesives. Learned that both Barge and E6000 remove enamel paint quite easily and that got black pigment all over my jaw set and hands and face (side of my cheek). It didn't occur to me until late today to use Magic Sculpt to adhere the jawsets to the head. I learned through sculpting stuff on my head blanks that Magic Sculpt when dry bonds to Instacast resin very well and I'm like, "DUH" So I casted a new jaw set today and will finally get this guy finished. 

Frustrated with the glue not sticking I make dinner, beer battered fried fish, The batter didn't stick to the fish either today and if fell off in the cooking oil. I was like D:

So at 1:00 am when I was sewing some ears my dog Hippo wants to go out. Then he wants to come back in. I let him in. I'm feeling sick at this point. Fish + smell of Absinthe = want to puke. I tried to puke and nothing came out. Hippo acts like he's going to throw up but nothing really comes out and I'm like, "maybe we got the same bug?". Then he keeps trying to throw up, again and again and nothing is coming out. I start to get worried, wondering if he has something obstructed. Then he starts to bloat up. I'm like, "shit shit shit" and wake up Crocuta and our friend who was staying with us for the evening because Hippo needs something done now, before he dies (bloat is a critical time game). Hippo is currently 9.5 years old (akita/rottweiler mix), about 108 lbs and very deep chested. He was not running around, he didn't eat any large amount of food, no dry food as I always let it soggy up in water, it just happened out of the blue.  

His stomach gets measured and I call the local emergency clinic on suggestion to see if they are busy and if they can take a bloat dog. They say they can. Hippo keeps trying to throw up and is in pain. His spine is beginning to curve out (like a hump) so we leave for the vet clinic 10 minutes away. We get there and they take some x-rays to confirm it's GDV, All three of us see the x-rays and indeed it is. The vet gives him a giant shot of Methidone and then puts a needle in his side to bleed out the gas pressure. They also take blood and do a very extensive panel. He also gets a full bag of IV fluids and a few more x-rays of the chest area to make sure there's no underlying cancer since he has to go under anesthesia.

So the vet on call can't do bloat surgery on her own because it's triaged this late at night and they need to call a surgeon in. After some Care Credit mishaps because it's now 2:30 am and the Credit Bureau doesn't open until 5 am PST to extend the line of credit, we put down a deposit for the surgery. As soon as the cards are swiped and the transaction goes through, the vet comes out and says the surgeon can't make it. Their sister clinic (owned by the same vet) in Walnut Creek will take Hippo and they were getting the surgery room prepped. They would honor the payment at the sister clinic luckily. Else we would of been in super big trouble. Hippo was now stable enough to get to Walnut Creek because some gas was let out and he had fluids and his BP checked out ok. So we head over to Walnut Creek's Encina Hospital, We get there and they take Hippo back to prep him for anesthesia. All of the blood work and x-rays were emailed over on the way to the hospital.

I give a very brief history of Hippo's medical and tell him (the vet on call) when the last time he had any supplement or medication. I said the last time he had a Derramax (for his hips) was a week ago, but he gets Glucosamine and Chondrotin supplements nightly.So the doctor goes back to prep for surgery and the assistant comes in and gives us an estimate. Then we go home and wait (we left at 3:46). Crocuta and our friend go to bed. I stay up and sew more ears and glue head fabric onto head. Then the doctor calls  at 6:20 saying that they are finishing up and to call back around 9 am to see how he's waking up. The vet double checks on when I last gave the Derramax so they can give a Rimadyl post-op injection. I call at 9 and he's doing ok but he's slow to wake out of anesthesia. Then I finally go to bed. The other doctor calls at 11 am talking a little about the surgery and I wish i was more awake, but too sleepy for questions. They said come get Hippo at 6 pm.

Oh, the surgery (in case anyone doesn't know) is to let the gas out, clean out the stomach and flip it back up and then tack it to the side abdominal wall. So at 5:20 pm Crocuta calls to see if it's still a good idea to pick Hippo up at that time. They say wait until 8 pm since he's still pretty sedated. So we call ahead one more time and then go to get him at 8 pm. We bring him home with antibiotics and a slew of medications for swelling and pain. Now it's the long road to recovery which will be a few weeks (or more) of bed rest .