Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What have we done right?

So someone asked me today, via email, has the NARBC ever done anything right, in my opinion?

The NARBC has done a lot of things right! But so has any worthwhile organization, does that mean there is no room for improvement? ARBA has done a lot of good things, but does that mean it should just keep plugging away and not look for ways to improve its service to its members? In my opinion, ARBA was caught with its pants down as far as Animal Rights activists and their actions are concerned. Thankfully, we have people there in influential positions who care about the impact ARs are trying to make on us and related industries, and I think (at least, I hope) we'll be on top of things in the future.

The NARBC has been caught with its pants down regarding the impact some members have had on others, and regarding the power and best use of the Internet. I understand that we don't want to neglect those members who either do not have access, or who have only limited access to the Internet, but *not neglecting* them does not therefore mean we *do neglect* those who do, and who want more from the club in that regard. One does not preclude the other.

It also does not mean dissemnating false information about the use of the internet, specifically, trying to install fear of your email being sold to those evil spammers because somebody sent a file in Excel format instead of .pdf... but I digress... besides, that file doesn't include email addresses... cough, cough...

At any rate, I have to ask, what are you so afraid of? Seriously, those of you who so bitterly opposed Amy and the changes she tried to make, what were you so freaking afraid of? Losing influence? Learning something new? Seeing others profit from better access to information?

Please don't try to tell me you were afraid the new officers would make mistakes and "ruin" the club. You all, each and every single one of you, made PLENTY of mistakes in earlier years, yet the club goes on, and few people even remember such stuff. Those who do most likely remember those events fondly. Heaven knows I made a lot of mistakes with the newsletter early on , yet it and the club go on, in fact I think it is pretty darn good. I have people I don't even know submitting articles and offering to help out, and I learn something new from each one of them.

I guess what it boils down to is, you can either embrace or resist change. On that note, I'll leave you with this thought:

Eric Hoffer:
In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The United Angora Rabbit Club

To All Fellow Angora breeders :),

I would like to announce the formation of a new Angora RabbitClub. As of October 29, 2006, a new club entitled the 'United AngoraRabbit Club' is officially open and will be accepting newmemberships. This club will be National/International in scope and will actively seek members from both the show and fiber communities, with benefits offered to everyone at every phase of Angora rabbit production. Our club is now officially chartered with ARBA and will be included in the next Domestic Rabbit Magazine, and we will be hosting our first Specialty show at the PA State Convention in Lebanon, PA, in February of 2007.

We are overflowing with plans to enhance and promote the appeal ofthe Angora rabbit, and we will be taking a special interest in education on behalf of the new breeder and fiber enthusiast alongside long term breeders and showpeople. Below are listed several of the benefits currently being discussed for inclusion into the membership packages, in addition to many others:

-a National Angora show
- a National Fiber show
-Local specialty shows and fiber events
- Online Classifieds and Ads on the club Website
- Newsletter containing Rabbit and Fiber info.
- Advanced online discussion forum
-Workshops, Lectures, and Classes on the various aspects of Angora ownership and fiber use
-Extensive collection of online articles and subject references
- Member contests
- Mentorship programs

- and much, much more.

A BOD in currently in place for our organization as well as a working Constitution which can be viewed directly on the website at http://www.unitedangoras.com . The mission of our club is to provide positive support and educational opportunity to Angora owners everywhere, and we will be relying heavily on the input of our members in order to supply them with the tools they need to raise better rabbits and larger quantities of wool.

The founding members of UARC consist of several long term Angora breeders as well as experienced fiber people who are working to construct a strong foundation for the Angora rabbit breeds and their products in our country. You may view the club's new website at http://www.unitedangoras.com , a continually updated reference which will serve as an ever-expanding resource for it's members.

If you have any questions about this newly formed club please contact myself, Amy Spang, at amy@spangangoras.com, or any of the Officers listed on the website at their respective email addresses. There is a membership form included on the site as well as a copy ofthe C&BL for public viewing and reference. Prospective members will fill out a membership application which will be reviewed by the board, and then the Secretary will issue membership cards and mail them promptly. New members will be asked to contribute articles, pictures of their animals, or fiber products for the website, and suggestions that they may have about improving the club for it's members.

I look forward to meeting many of you in this club in the future as we look forward to building an organization which is unswervingly committed to one of the most unique animals in all the world, the Angora Rabbit :). Please print off a membership application and mail it in today!

Thank You, and All the Best --

Amy Spang :)
UARC President
www.unitedangoras.com

OK, my thoughts on this club:

Many, many current and former NARBC members want the things this club is offering. In fact, they elected Amy because they thought she'd get it done, and because they were fed up with the negativity and outright lies from certain officers and former officers in the NARBC. Unfortunately, between deliberate roadblocks interference of former officers, and attacks from within her own support structure, Amy was unable to get anything done. So she resigned. I wish she hadn't, and told her so, but I understand why she did. I support the new administration of the NARBC, but so far the changes we'd like to see aren't happening, I can only speculate as to why, but I feel people are intimidated from proposing any changes after the furor that happened when Amy tried to advance the club.

So Amy and other concerned and talented people are going to demonstrate that it can indeed be done, and without the back-stabbing, obstruction, bullying, and other garbage she and her officers had to put up with in the NARBC.

Well, MORE POWER TO THEM!!!!!!

I am not giving up on the NARBC, although there are some real control-freak JERKS in that club, there are also many very wonderful, sweet, loyal people who unfortunately have to deal with the others.

If you'd like to know why I feel that way, email me and I'll give details.

I am also going to join the UARC, assuming they'll have me. So I think that speaks for itself.

Monday, October 23, 2006

How are you going to vote?

A SAOVA message for sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.

Dear SAOVA Friends,
With only two weeks before the November 7, 2006 election, Democratic control of the House of Representatives in 2007 appears assured. Astute political observers may argue over individual House race outcomes, but most have turned to the Senate contests. Six Senate seats must change hands for the Democratic Party to gain control there. GOP losses in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Montana are expected and widely predicted. If the Democrats can win one of three very close races in the Upper South states of Missouri, Tennessee or Virginia, a 50-50 tie will result. Power could be shared, as it was for five months in 2001, until Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) left the GOP to break that 50-50 deadlock. Two wins will leave Democrats in control of both chambers.

What would this mean for sportsmen and animal owners?

We’ll absolutely have to refight old battles that we won in the past. The PACs of the largest animal rightist (AR), anti-hunting organization, Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and its allies (see http://saova.org/ARPACS.html) have endorsed over 600 supportive politicians at the federal and state levels. If many of these endorsed candidates are true AR believers and they take office, the anti zealots will unquestionably reintroduce anti-hunting, pet, livestock and medical research bills that previously failed to become federal law. AR activity in many states continues to intensify. Half of the endorsements are local ones.

The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance’s (SAOVA) website at http://saova.org has been updated to include many new AR endorsements. Significant changes were made to the AZ, CA, CO, IL, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, VA and WI state pages since our last message to you. Additional resource links to supportive animal owner groups have also been added.

While every vote counts, both in polling places and on the legislative floor, there are sixteen races where *SAOVA endorsees* are in head-to-head contests with animal rightist endorsees,

MO Senate *Talent (R)* v. McCaskill (D)

CA11 *Pombo (R)* v. McNerney (D)

CT2 Simmons (R) v. *Courtney (D)*

IA5 *King (R)* v. Shulte (D)

IL17 *Zinga (R)* v. Hare (D)

KY4 Davis (R) v. *Lucas (D)*

MI7 *Walberg (R)* v. Reiner (D)

MI9 *Knollenberg (R)* v. Skinner (D)

MI15 *Dingell (D)* v. Smith (I)

OH6 *Blasdel (R)* v. Wilson (D)

NC11 *Taylor (R)* v. Shuler (D)

NJ5 *Garrett (R)* v. Aronsohn (D)

NM1 *Wilson (R)* v. Madrid (D)

TN5 *Cooper (D)* v. Welsch (I)

VA6 *Goodlatte (R)* v. Pryor (I)

WI5 *Sensenbrenner (R)* v. Kennedy (D)

If your vote, or that someone you know, can be cast to support a SAOVA endorsed candidate against the anti zealots that wish to impose their distorted beliefs on the rest of America, please be sure to vote and encourage others to do so. Take your friends and neighbors to the polls on November 7th. The stakes are huge.

Voters need to read the ballot measures very carefully this year. There are important pro and con issues to be decided. Vote for the best candidates, but also take the time to study the entire ballot and make good decisions throughout.

Arizona Voters- Vote NO on Proposition 204.This is an animal rightist effort to force changes in livestock farming that no reputable agriculture or veterinary group supports.

Colorado Voters- Vote NO on Amendment 38. Amendment 38 strips current fraud and misrepresentation safeguards from ballot measures.

Florida Voters- Vote YES on Amendment 3. Amendment 3 will increase voter requirements for laws by petition that bypass the legislature.

Georgia Voters- Vote YES on Constitutional Amendment 2. Amendment 2 will protect Georgia citizens right to hunt and fish.

Michigan Voters- Vote YES on Proposal 3. Proposal 3 will permit Michigan’s dove hunting season to continue.

SAOVA's reviews are single interest efforts. We make no pretense of evaluating candidates' positions on taxes, education, social security, medical care, national security, gun control or social issues. To the degree that hunting, fishing, livestock farming and pet ownership are important to you, we offer these election candidate analyses to be combined with other, personal considerations to determine your vote. Please register and VOTE! Thank you.

Sincerely,

Bob Kane
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators
Visit our new website at http://saova.org

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rhinebeck

This time I rented a room and stayed overnight so I'd have time to enjoy myself. I delivered 3 tan pattern angoras, one to Katie of Smith Family Farm, and 2 to Louise Walsh of Evergreen Farm, who is going to help me develop the color in Giant Angoras.

I was hoping to come home with an Icelandic fleece, but I didn't see any there that spoke to me, at least not enough to pay the asking price. But my friend Terry Kunst did give me some nice Rambouillet. I am going to wash it, blend it with angora and silk, and spin a lightweight yarn for socks. I'm thinking 40% wool, 40% angora (chocolate), and 20% Tussah silk for nice, strong, warm socks. I have never knitted socks yet, so I am looking forward to it!

Along the way, besides Katie, Louise, and Terry, I also ran into Chris, Susan, and Kim.

I did see a bag of Wesleydale that spoke to me, I walked away, thought about it, came back for it, and it was gone. :(

Well, I know a couple of Icelandic breeders, as well as a breeder of BFLs, which I am also very fond of, so I'll keep working on it.

I almost forgot to mention, I finally bought the set of mini-combs I've been promising myself from Janet Lynn of The Wheel Thing. I plan to demonstrate them at the shearing party. But for those of you who cannot make it, here are some pics of the procedures from Janet's website:

http://www.the-wheel-thing.com/products/combs/CombingTips.html

No, I don't get a commission, I simply LOVE these combs!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Shearing Party! Nov 18th, 10 AM!

Hi All,

Cheryl Ferrent and I are putting on a shearing party at her home (she has a nice big store building to use) outside of Punxsutawney, PA. Grooming, shearing, and other topics will be covered. Some of the other topics will likely include uses for and processing of the wool, and spinning.

This party will be geared towards newbie angora owners of all breeds, but since Cheryl and I both own Giants and Germans, well... ;) (Cheryl also has English)


Newbies and experienced breeders of all breeds are welcome to come! There will be no charge, (unless we decide to have lunch catered or something) and the goal will be to teach and to learn. I am going to bring my fuzzy French Lop doe, who always mats no matter what, to demonstrate extreme (rescue) grooming measures. For lunch, I am planning on bringing some AWESOME ground beef I have, and buns and condiments, if attendees could bring beverages, sidedishes, etc., that would be greatly appreciated. Please email me for more information. We'll firm plans up as we go along.

I can also bring weaned bunnies from Antje and Holden's litter, for those of you on the waiting list.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Truth

I had posted a rather smart-alec article last night, thinking better of it, I'm editing it somewhat, but the point still applies.

Awhile back I had been trying to get a point across to some people, mainly that just because you think something might be true, it doesn't necessarily have merit and you really should keep such thoughts private unless and until you have some kind of proof that something is going on. Groundless accusations hurt people, and create enemies, and none of us need more of those. Some people took offense at my position, and to this day I am still noticing repercussions from that time. Nothing major, essentially silly, minor irritations. But, I think we need to get over it already. You know who you are. C'mon already.

Also, for the benefit of some, I don't open unsolicited emails with attachments, no matter how benign they might sound, unless they have a purpose related to my job or my duties. Especially if a Google reveals that that particular attachment may contain a virus.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Changes

I'm going to be reducing the numbers in the rabbitry. With only 14 cages, I have too many projects going. Louise Walsh has offered to assist me in the Tan Angora project, so I will be taking bunns to her at Rhinebeck. I am going to keep Sunrise, a blue Tan doe, and Copper, a shorthaired 1/2 Angora/Thrianta buck. After much thought, I am also keeping Pewter, but I am putting her in the Tan program to add much-needed size and bone to the mixture. The REW Germans and Giants will remain pure. Nine out of ten babies in the last litter have either made weight or are darn close, so I am going to just keep doing what I've been doing.

Which means I have to make some tough decisions regarding the REWs. Snowman will be staying on at Groundhog Hares, where he is on a mission to produce a litter with JG's Little Brat. One of those babies will be coming home to take his place. Snowman will likely still be used here upon occasion, however. Definitely in a date with Evergreen's Betsy this Spring. The 10th baby is none other than my precious Jewel, who is staying at about 8 1/2 pounds. Her mother, Mopsie, did the same thing, until I sheared and bred her, then after she weaned that litter of 10 she packed on the muscle and today she weighs in at about 10 and 1/4 pounds. I am hoping Jewel will do the same. However, since her sister Antje is already there, I am keeping Antje and selling Jewel. She goes to her new home next weekend, freshly shorn and bred to Cody to get her new owner off to a good start. One of those babies will find its way back here. :)

I have also decided to part with Mopsie. I am hoping her breeding to Cody has taken, if so she will not be available until that litter is weaned. If not, then she will be available in early November. This will leave me with Antje, Cody, Betsy, and some as-yet-unnamed babies, one from Antje, and hopefully one each from Mopsie, Jewel, and Brat. Then there will be Dumpling's granddaughter as well. Plenty of a new generation to pick from!

Antje's big, huge baby I was hoping was a buck, doesn't look like one. Might be pinched in the lower hindquarter, too, time will tell. However, there is a somewhat smaller one who looks quite promising in every way. These two developed their coats faster than any of the others, they were very distinctly white while the others were still pink. I'm anxious to see how their wool develops relative to their littermates.

I am also going to start growing giant pumpkins next Spring. I always grow pumpkins, but I figured with a name like Jan's Giants, why not extend that to pumpkins as well? :)

That's all for now, I have bunns to shear. :)