Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our clinic cats

I was bored at work so I decided to take pictures of our lazy fat work cats.

Meet Timmy. Dr. Cox, my coworker, loves him and tells him so every hour on the hour. I feel a little indifferent about him. He doesn't do much except eat, sleep and stare.

He has been on a diet but I'm not sure if it is working. His fatness overwhelms his zero metabolism.

This is Becka Boodles. She is a very cool kitty. Very timid but loves attention. During the day, she sleeps in our drawer.

She looks very serious. This is because she is doing math algorithms in her head.

Posted by ShoZu

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Does my neck look fat to you?

Funny People, the new film by Judd Apatow is out in theaters at the end of this month.

The script was just so-so but Mr. Apatow has a way of pulling great performances out of his actors and a lot of improv doesn't hurt either.

Make sure you see it and support these starving artists!

The high cost of veterinary medicine

If you have a pet and have had a visit to your veterinarian lately, you might have noticed how expensive veterinarians have become.

I'll admit it. We ARE expensive, especially if you want top quality care.

I work in Los Angeles and even I have been surprised by some bills lately.

A very good client of mine was seen at a specialty hospital to remove a foxtail (a type of grass awn) from their dog's chest. The surgery and a five day hospital stay was $13,000!

Another client went to our local emergency clinic for further treatment of their pet who had ingested rat poison. After ten blood transfusions, the cost was $4500!

There is obviously a reason why veterinary care is so expensive. Most clinics are complete hospitals which are costly to operate. At our clinic, we have a surgery suite, a well-stocked pharmacy, a digital xray machine, dental equipment (including a digital dental xray machine) not to mention a full staff including kennel staff, technicians, receptionists and doctors. And nobody in this field is overpaid. For the record, I drive a 12 year old Chrysler and don't buy popcorn at the movie theaters!

But I'm not trying to evoke sympathy here. That's not my point.

The point is this; the cost of veterinary care is going to increase and there is something you can do about it.


I don't care what type of pet you have. A completely indoor two year old cat. A healthy mixed breed dog who only stays by your side ...

There is still the potential for a serious sickness to occur. I don't know how many times I have heard about the "backyard only" dog that escaped after the landscapers left the gate open and was run over. Or the cat who, after years of eating kitty chow, finally decided to eat that long string of dental floss lying around and developed peritonitis. Both these conditions are seriously expensive to treat and pet insurance can definitely ease the pocket book pain.

Unfortunately, not all insurance companies are created equal. I used to be a fan of Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) but I don't like the way they put caps on conditions. In other words, they decide what each condition is worth and they cap the reimbursement to that amount. They don't even vary it from state to state and I can tell you that a cruciate repair will be much more costly in Los Angeles than it would be in Des Moines.

I prefer Pet Plan because they cover hereditary conditions and they will cover chronic illnesses for as long as your pet lives. They will also reimburse you for more natural treatments such as acupuncture. But get this insurance early; if your pet is a senior, he or she may be denied coverage.

The link to their website is http://www.gopetplan.com.

To review all the pet insurance companies, a great website is http://www.petinsurancereview.com.

If you are still undecided about pet insurance, ask yourself this:

If a veterinarian gave me an estimate for $5000 to save my pet, would I have to put him or her to sleep?

If the answer is yes, then clearly it is time to check out the websites above.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Please vote for my photos!

I just entered some of my photos in the National Geographic Photo Contest.

There is a People's Choice Award and I would love it if you could vote for one of my photos.

More will be posted soon but here are some to get you started.




Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The air up there

Last week, I had a breath of fresh air.

And because I live in L.A., I had to travel two hours to get it.

Idyllwild is a small town nestled in the San Bernadino Forest and is located within a two hour drive southeast from Los Angeles. I made the trip because I was attending a screenwriting camp organized by Cinestory. For four days, I was going to be put through an intensive mentoring and screenwriting program.

In the summer, most people go to Idyllwild for hiking and relaxing but there is a very active summer arts program of which the screenwriting program is a part.

I stayed at the Bluebird cottages which were certainly adequate for the time that I was going to spend in my room. Each room was named after a bird and I stayed in the SWALLOW, which made me giggle when I first saw it.

By the next day, it just didn't seem as funny anymore.

The screenwriting program was a great success. There were only eight people attending and the group was further broken down each morning into two groups of four to discuss each student's screenplay with a mentor.

In the afternoon, we either met with our mentor for a little "personal time" or we did homework which had to be turned in by 8 o'clock that night.

It's always hard to hear that your screenplay isn't as good as it should be but the criticism was very constructive and I learnt as much from other people's work as I did my own.

Was it worth a $800 tuition?

Hmmm, ask me again in a year and I'll let you know then.

During some down time, I had a chance to do a little bit of hiking. I had to clear my brain. Get some inspiration.

And of course, I took my camera along for the ride.

In the evenings, the best place to be was the Cafe Aroma, where the people were very friendly and the meals were delicious. On Monday night, it was even 1/2 price wine. They had a small band playing Joni Mitchell songs one night and a couple of nights later, they had belly dancing.

I strongly recommend this place, but if you end up in Idyllwild it's inevitable that you'll end up here because it seems to be the only place with people in it after 8.

On Thursday, I hated to leave. Most of the other students were staying for the second part of the course but I had to go back to work.

Yep, that sucked.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Greetings from Idyllwild.

I'm high on a mountain learning how to be an awesome screenwriter. Thank you cinestory!

Posted by ShoZu

Friday, July 3, 2009