Apr 232007

Habitrail Mini Tower (HA62041)

Official description (from http://www.habitrail.com):
“The Mini Tower provides an additional area for your pet to explore and enjoy. What’s more is it also allows you easy access for playing with and petting your little pal.”
Contents: Tower, elbow, tee, 2 lock-connectors, closure disk
Price range: $5.49-$7.29
Rating: 4 (of 10)

Hammy’s “opinion”: My dwarf hammies don’t really like to hang out in the tower and I don’t blame them. Like most items in the Mini line, form seems to have seriously outweighed function in the Tower. There’s not enough floor space for bedding or food and barely enough to curl up on. Not only is the space extremely limited, but it has what essentially amounts to a ditch running through it. For the life of me I can’t figure out why the designers thought this was necessary, but there it is.
Functionality: The Tower is marketed as an access point for feeding or removing your pet, but since the hams won’t really go into it, they can’t be reached. Additionally, the connector at the bottom is designed so that the Tower twists on it, meaning that to remove or replace the cover you need to grab both the top and the base of the unit, leaving no free hand to reach for the hamster (except, of course, for those three handed pet owners).
Security: Given the difficulty humans have opening the Tower I doubt the critters can open it. Additionally, the lack of corners gives them little to gnaw on.
Conclusion: Frankly, this item is a waste of money and an open tube connection. The opening is dead center in the bottom of the unit, leaving only a small ring of floor space around the edges. There are MUCH better options for serving this item’s purpose.

Apr 162007

Yesterday was “Tax Day”. The day most Americans fear, when government intrusion in our lives is the most evident, the day the tax collector rides up to your hovel on his fine steed, drinks the water from the well you dug by hand, and takes 3 of the remaining 4 healthy chickens from your gnarled, arthiritic hands. Or perhaps I’m being overdramatic? We shall see.

Tax day has been my call to action (not because my taxes were too high – I qualified for a full refund – but because I’ve finally seen the gun in the room. Primarily due to the Free Talk Live radio program and an article at lewrockwell.com by Stefan Molyneux. My favorite part:

I was recently involved in a debate with a woman about public schools. Naturally, she came up with reason after reason as to why public schools were beneficial, how wonderful they were for underprivileged children, how essential they were for social stability etc etc. Each of these points – and many more – could have consumed hour upon hour of back and forth, and would have required extensive research and complicated philosophical reasoning. But there was really no need for any of that – all I had to do was keep saying:

“The issue is not whether public schools are good or bad, but rather whether I am allowed to disagree with you without getting shot.”

What my non-anarchist friends fail to see, is that this is the basic question. They, of course, refuse to see the gun and claim I’m being over dramatic. But the simple truth remains the same. If I disagree with public schools (or any other government program) and therefore refuse to pay taxes to fund them I will be forced at the point of a gun. Sure, first there will be letters, and those are easy to ignore. Next they’ll add still more lines to my already overflowing with negativity credit report. Not that they’ll be noticed amongst all the legitimate debts I’ve struggled so hard to pay back. But one day, eventually, the police will come and knock and my door. They’ll have guns on their hips and insist that I come with them. If I refuse, they’ll insist some more, and perhaps even use pepper spray or a taser. Should I continue to resist the guns will come out. All because I disagreed with spending my hard earned cash on public schools (or some other government program). It’s ridiculous, but you know it’s true.

What most Americans fail to see is that those guns were there all along. We don’t pay our taxes because we WANT to. Otherwise they’d just call it charity. We pay our taxes because we HAVE to – on pain of death. This realization has revitalized me. I’m making a “New Tax Year” resolution. I’m going to dedicate a couple of hours a day to learning more about government, libertarianism, and anarchy so that I can better share the truth to both my daughter and the public at large. Restarting this blog will be a step in that direction.