Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 752, January 5, 2014

Only you can help yourself.
That's why it's called self-defense.

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Re: Mehr Licht!, by L. Neil Smith


That really sucks!
Those particular wattages are the perfect heat source for a reptile cage and I looking to get back onto snakes again after a long hiatus and was revamping the Herp / Fish Room a few nights ago—one of the projects that are part of the New Year's Resolution article I just wrote!

Have three medium sized Vision Cages that used to house Kingsnakes and a large one—each equipped with a fixture that takes an incandescent bulb. I am wishing I had taken trouble to hoard several cases when I had the chance—like boxes of 22LR that I couldn't even get from Cabella's for Love or Money! But I had only decided recently to get serious about snakes again after I saw the new blaze phase breed of the Apalachicola Kingsnake which retains more of the orange coloration typical of juveniles—into adulthood! And that big one which originally started out custom made as wintering quarters for a flock Florida Box Turtles to carry them over from the time they emerge from their brief hibernation in late winter to the first week of April when the greenhouse becomes warm enough again. It has special inserts that function as litter dams and baffles to keep the turts from scratching the plexiglass doors—but I am going to shift them to something else and sanitize that cage for a large charismatic snake—like a Mexican Pine or maybe a Kankakee Black Bull Snake which are dramatic as hell with all the hissing but harmless as kittens! And the small Vision cage which was not mentioned above—and has no fixture—it will be ideal for a something smaller. A Sinaloan Milk or Western Hognose. Was thinking two of the medium cages to house a pair of kings—these are ophiophagus (snake eaters and must be housed separately and well supervised when paired up for breeding!) and a group of Corn Snakes in the remaining cage—which can be housed together as long as they are separated at feeding time (so someone doesn't get swallowed accidentally if two snakes start on opposite ends of the same mouse!)

Maybe get a couple more cages but not get too carried away. A modest collection for personal enjoyment as opposed to a massive breeding operation worthy of a cottage industry—which herpetoculture has become since the serious interest in captive breeding that took off in the 1980s.

That was a response of the reptile enthusiasts to the growing clamor to restrict trade in wild caught animals that began back in the late 70s. It was still not good enough to satisfy the environmentalists and the animal rights nuts who continue to demand "Tuna Free Tuna"! And the lazy and inept wildlife managers who don't want to be burdened with the extra trouble of distinguishing between wild caught and captive bred—after Fish & Wildlife Service and state agencies invests tax dollars in forensic labs that could easily do the job.

As for light bulbs—that is one good way to squeeze breeders and hobbyists. Years ago the police, along with fire marshal and the BTAF & the DEA came to visit "Chuck the Snake Man"—(biggest baddest snake collector in all of Maryland—if not the whole Mid-Atlantic at the time) because his snake room with multiple cages—each with a 60 watt incandescent was sucking a lot of a power. They assumed he was growing pot!

The other way is to go after the food source—mice—which is assumed to be a cruel practice by the animal rights woo woos. Some places—like in the UK actually have laws on the books forbidding the feeding of live rodents—which I rarely did because it was more convenient to keep a stockpile of pre-killed mice in the freezer and safer for the snakes because they can be injured if left unattended with a mouse or rat which may turn on the snake. In Maryland they tried to pass a bill forbidding the keeping of any animal that "when maintained in captivity ; feeds predominantly on live vertebrates". Fortunately it was shot down by a massive outcry by the hobbyists.

Any reptile enthusiasts who gives any donations to environmental or animal rights organizations is crazy—for they are literally feeding their worst mortal enemies!

Jeff Fullerton

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When I woke from my dreaming

Those of you who have it in for Barack Obama out of racism: Shame on you.

Those of you who give the O Brother a pass on his errors to avoid looking racist: shame on you twice, the second for being fools.

Those of you who subvert the liberty movement by trying to take it over to support racism, corporate thievery and other violations of the ZAP, shame on you.

Those of you who try to subvert the liberty movement into a feel good organization supporting entitlement by race, age, gender, and or class, shame on you.

Those of you who are suddenly realizing that Barack Obama is not the Messiah: shame on you (and by the way, as a Christian I warned you not to commit that particular act of idolatry when I saw the lamestream media leading you into it).

But since I'm a clown and happy man at heart, enjoy the following:

A.X. Perez

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