Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Podcasting is my life (now)

I'm not kidding... I sat for two whole days at the Podcast Academy and can't tell you how cool it was to hear from some of the great minds in the podcasting industry -- Doug Kaye of IT Conversations and all of The Conversations Network (whose goal it is to record all the public speech in the world -- not so much a lofty goal as a respectable one); Michael Geoghegan of Grape Radio (Jannine, Dad, Liz and Scott -- you guys have to get in on this!!), the Official Disneyland Resort Podcast and his own blog; Steve Garfield of video podcasting and vlogging fame (one of the more interesting ideas he showed us was a blog he made for his 80-year-old mom called My Mom's Blog, including a video section called "I Can't Open It.") The IQ of the room was impressive and I was sure to soak all of it in.

Not only will it help me professionally (podcasting is my life lately!), but with BunnyBlab, too... I'm planning on recording the first ep with Paul in the next day or two. This blog will count as the show notes, but I'll also make a landing page for the podcast series, so no worries about having to muddle through a million blog posts to find the archive. I've got it all worked out (she says, before she totally redoes her whole plan after releasing one)!

Besides that, I met two very nice guys from Nova Scotia and the Acadia University, where they're trying to figure out how to use podcasting in education. Good luck, Robb and Jerry!


Once you get into it, blogging's not all that easy. Sure, posting's a snap. But tracking RSS subscribers, making podcasts shoot right to iTunes when I post one (it's coming very soon...), populating search engines (more than just Google, you know) -- it's all a world of technicalities that I'm knee-deep in. This blog, to be honest, is up to test the new FeedBurner RSS feed I just added (no more Atom for me!). It's cool, if it works... Paul's been having problems with his lately, so I hope my luck pulls me through okay.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Podcast Academy at BU

So not only am I in the middle of a 2-day conference about podcasting and getting ideas and advice for my job as editor of custom content of TT, but I'm also learning a lot for th imminent BunnyBlab podcasts. I'm getting all psyched. I picked out music for the intro and outro this mornin at about 2:30 a.m. Just wanted you all to stay tuned...

Oh, and I'm posting this from my phone. I'm all geeked out... You're rolling your eyes, aren't you?

Friday, April 21, 2006

A crime and a shame

That I haven't posted in nearly a week, I mean. With 11-hour days in a very stressful week at work, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was to sit in front of the computer... but I had to to do MORE work. We're moving and shaking, I tell ya!

So there's a lot of really horrible strife in this world, which I was deliberately and delightfully only aware of in small doses until recently...

I got a new cell phone, even cooler than my other phone (you'll see the segue in a second, stick with me!). This new phone hardly has a name, like The Fonz. It's called The V. LG makes it. It's very nifty. However, LG thinks that its customers are rolling in dough, bc it costs money for EVERYTHING that used to come with the phones of yore. Ringtones? There used to be like 30 in the phone when you turned it on. Now the cell phone ringtone biz has gotten so big, the phones come with like 10 tunes, most of which sound like how phones in the '60s used to sound; these "regular" rings were conspicuously absent from phones for about 5 years in favor of songs and such. But any way to make a buck, eh?

Anyway, the global bad news -- thanks to Yahoo News Alerts, I wake up to 4 or 5 different text messages on my new nifty phone of horrible things that have happened in the few short hours I was snoozing. Today's big calamity is from Nepal, where the king seems to be doing his damndest to quiet some out-of-control demonstrators who are making a ruckus in Kathmandu for the last two weeks. Alas, he announced the power is the people's again, and that seems to have quieted some protesters down. Evidently "king" does mean some sort of ruler in some countries still... not like the "queen" of England. ;-)

So the horrible things MUST BE balanced out. The world needs BunnyBlab and CuteOverload and wacky news stories about elephants on treadmills and all the rest. In keeping with that, to put a smile on your face and to provide levity, here's a lighter story (I realize I haven't been posting or taking nearly enough bunny pix lately, too)...

Let me tell you about a very domestic scene, but one that happens kinda frequenly with bunnies. You get on the floor, they'll come see what you're up to... eventually.

It was about midnight or 1 a.m. a few weeks ago and I was tooling around getting ready for bed. My Love was pooped out, too, but was delivering salads to the kids and decided that he wanted to stall bedtime in order to get to be better buddies. Hops is the most attainable target here, so Paul lay on the floor and put Hops' salad dish on his chest as bait...

It must be stated that my darling man is 6'3" and my apartment is the perfect size for someone my size (5'6") with about half the bulk of my belongings... Anyway, I stray.

Did I mention it was late? And Paul has this crazy habit of falling asleep when he lays down in the middle of the night. It was probably about 6 full minutes before I saw him and I was convinced he was fast asleep. I was planning on blackmailing him with these pictures -- a guy trying to be cute is always the perfect blackmail -- but...

...he succeeded. If you lay there, he will come... or something like that. And when Hops hopped onto Paul's chest, the little gentle scratching began and I realize I, too, had fallen prey to the sleeping routine. ;-)

Hops got salad and a little bum scritch, Paul got to bond -- albeit sleepily -- and I got to, well, fall in love with both of them all over again. It was a small moment, but a precious one.

Fast forward a few weeks to Easter night. My dad and Jannine are cuddling on one couch in my parents' family room (seriously, guys -- you've been married for 20 years; when's the cute going to end?!), Paul and I are cuddling on the love seat. We're watching "Little Ice Age: Big Chill," a 2-hour show on the History Channel about a few hundred years that started in the Middle Ages, during which the average global temperature dropped about 4 degrees. BFD, right? Well, it kinda was. Certain crops like wheat couldn't be grown in certain places (potatoes were the substitute), it rained at one point for like four straight years, forcing people inside, which helped the rapid spread of the plague. It was just a fascinating show.

But it was late when we started it and late when I brought Hops downstairs to cuddle on the couch with Dad (he always needs a little bunny cuddling time when they visit) and late when Dad and Jannine decided it was time they went upstairs to bed. Paul and I and Hops moved to the big couch, complete with blanket. Hops cuddled a while, then went to Paul's lap for some special Paul attention and then hopped back over to me... he didn't even want to hop off the couch to explore, he just wanted to cuddle with us and get some sleepy love. I think it was about two or three hours my boy was downstairs with us, just enjoying the family (or maybe he thought the show was as cool as we did!).

Little moments like this I hardly ever blog about. They come and go and enrich my life, but who else cares about them? I was talking to my new buddy Sarah, who works with me, and I told her about the few hours Hops was cuddling on the couch (she had asked me if my bunnies are cuddly). She goes, "I didn't know bunnies were so cool!" It was around that time I pointed her to BunnyBlab to read up. ;-) So welcome, Sarah, and thank you for reminding me that the little moments like these are sometimes the most illustrative.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Language of Lagamorphs

I have long loved an article written by Chandra Moira Beal called The Language of Lagamorphs. In case you think bunnnies are boring or just sit and sleep all day (and clearly you wouldn't have a bunny if you think this, bc human families of house bunnies know how unbelievably expressive they are), read this article and learn a bit about what makes us bunny lovers so nutty about them.

Now, from this article and thanks to the prolific Web, some people like Eric Mercer, have taken the article and expanded it to a site. Eric's The Language of Lagamorphs: What Your Rabbit is Saying and How to Speak Back is worth a few minutes (or hours) reading... Even as a reminder to those of us who live with them. Eric has a seriously great writing tone (and frequently admits to acting silly while no human is watching); the site is a wonderfully entertaining read -- for those of us with bunnies and for those of you without.

Now, of course, each bunny has his or her own language that you just learn to interpret by living with them. For instance, not only do I know what Pea means when she chews the bars of her cage, but I can tell her different intentions depending on where those bars are. Top left corner -- she wants to get out and play with Hops. Front right, upper level -- she wants a raisin. Left side, upper level -- she knows I'm in the living room and wants to tell me she's awake and to get her to come play with me. It's not rocket science; it's lagamorph linguistics.

What special language have you and your bunny worked out together?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pygmy rabbits update

So I got a response from a very nice biologist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife when I asked the latest news with the pygmy rabbits in the Colorado Basin and Idaho:

Hi Dana,

Attached is our most recent update. I'll look into why it was not put on the website. We are hoping to release rabbits back into the wild some time between this October and February.

David Hays
Endangered Species Biologist

Here is the PDF Dave sent me. And check out what else Dave and his colleagues are up to.

B.B. King party pix

Just realized I promised you some pix from Rinne's 6th bday party... so here y'are.

Give us a kiss, you gorgeous beast! Maggie givin' some lovin'

Scott organizing the kiddies shortest to tallest

The free-for-all that ensued once the guitar pinata was burst open. Notice Scott wisely getting out of the way...

The cake, bc it was cute and it's a traditional shot, taken by holding the camera directly above said cake and blindly shooting, hence the horribly uncentered target.

And as a bonus... some pix of Pea playing in my parents' upstairs hallway:

She was trying to figure out how to get into my bedroom and was confined to the hallway and the bathroom... what comes next are her attempts to go around, through, and over the gate.



Over-- love this one; check out that tippy-toe stretch my girl's got!

Monday, April 10, 2006

They'll take over, you just watch

'Monster rabbit' targets vegetable patch -- a must-read, especially this close to Easter. Let's hope the crafty bugger knows what a gun is, though, eh? -- and high tails it to cover.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pygmy rabbits

When it's said that Netherland Dwarfs are the smallest rabbits (Kayla's not even 3 pounds), what should be said is that they're the smallest domesticated rabbit breed. I just found out about pygmy rabbits, which weigh around a pound and measure 4-6 inches in length. Pygmy rabbits are found in the Columbia Basin (Washington) and Great Basin (Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada) of the United States, according to The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I've contacted them to find out if they have any recent information about the species, since all the articles I can find cite the same numbers: less than 30 pygmy rabbits were left in 2003. There was a captive breeding program and a reintroduction program that was taking place in the early years of this decade, but recent updates to those stories are a bit hard to come by.

If you know of any post-2003 info about the pygmies, please comment and let me know. When I hear from the Wash. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, I'll post their email (with their approval, of course).

Monday, April 03, 2006

Make Mine Chocolate

Bunnies aren't for everyone. Just ask the thousands of bunnies who are relinquished to shelters or -- worse -- to the wild to fend for themselves when their cuteness wears off shortly after Easter.

There is a campaign called Make Mine Chocolate, whose mission (from their Web site) is:

Each year, unwanted, former Easter rabbits fill local rabbit rescues and humane societies. The goal of the "Make Mine Chocolate!" campaign is to break the cycle of acquisition and relinquishment by educating the public about the responsibilities involved in keeping a companion rabbit before a rabbit is brought home.

Think long and hard before you buy your little boy or girl a bunny for Easter. It's a time committment of 8-12 years, not a few weeks. Every true house rabbit lover will thank you for putting in the extra time to research and decide if a bunny is right for your home.