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PDSA 25/03/2005

In Memory of Fudge. Rest In Peace xxx

PDSA The PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) is a veterinary charity; its aim is to provide free treatment to sick and injured domestic pets whose owners can't afford private vet's fees. It's now in its 88th year of charitable animal welfare. The criteria for eligibility of PDSA care is to live in the defined catchment area of a PDSA PetAid service (hospital or practice), and be in receipt of housing or council tax benefit. There are 46 PetAid hospitals across towns and cities in Britain, and one planned to open in Belfast (N.I.) by the end of 2005. The PetAid hospitals are run by the PDSA, and staffed by fully qualified veterinary surgeons and nurses. Up to 3 pets can be registered, but 'one-off' emergency treatment for non-registered pets can be given too. The normal hrs are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday to Friday (except public holidays) and 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Saturday for urgent cases only. Seriously ill pets will be seen out of hours, though. The PetAid practices are slightly different; they are private veterinary practices in smaller communities that offer free treatment on behalf of the PDSA to those who are eligible. Only one pet may be registered, and that must be done before the pet gets ill/injured or fees will be applicable. There are 311 of these practices across Britain and hours vary. My first encounter with the PDSA as a client rather than supporter was in May last year. Whiskey, my eldest male cat, was rather snuffley one morning and his eyes were a ... 12/01/2005

So good, even Ciao browse! appeared in the middle of 2004. It was created by Ciao's Andy.mack, and was provided with the intention of giving us opinionated people a place to play away from the opinion sites themselves such as Ciao and Dooyoo. I think it was a brave move considering past events at that time: ChatterWeb, one of the most successful forums of this type had sadly closed, and CiaoZone was suffering a slow and painful death from a seeming lack of interest from the owner. It was, I felt, debatable if people would be willing to get involved with yet another forum. Regardless, I joined Opinionators (Optors from now on) when it opened its doors on the 22nd June 2004, and have watched it grow over the past 6 months. I hang out there to pass a few hours of each day, and I even help out as a moderator. When you visit Optors [], you'll find a basic but fast loading greeting page that offers links for other opinion related sites, and of course the most important thing - a link to the Optors message board itself. Click on that and you're in. Simple! By default the colour scheme is a blue/grey colour, and though perhaps a little boring it is at least easy on the eye. [You can bypass the greeting page and head straight to the message board if you want by using] If you're new to forum style message boards you may find it a little daunting, but take a moment to look around and you'll soon find your feet. ...

Everything that starts with W ... 15/11/2004

Ciao: 4 Play with Wigggers

Everything that starts with W ... Today, I'm celebrating my 4 years spent (wasted) on Ciao! After one hell of a lot of deliberating, oh and perhaps a bit too much booze, I decided I'd write about a small bunch of fellow Ciao-ers that I consider to be friends yet I'm still curious about. I realised when writing about each person that I perhaps didn't have enough insight (or permission to share their deep dark secrets) to make for a good read, and it kinda resulted in a bit of a boring op… I also wondered how they see me? So, throwing caution to the wind (well, I beat around the bush for a day or two if truth be known) I fired off some questions to some people, not knowing if they'd reply, take offence or even speak to me again afterwards. Pleased to report that no-one told me to 'F*ck off' no-one refused to answer a single question, and well, I don't think I offended anyone either. But, the question remains - what did I uncover? So, here goes… Ciao: 4 Play with Wigggers ~*~*~*~*~ TheDuke aka Aaron I've 'known of' Dukey for a few years. Our paths crossed at an old Yahoo group for Ciao-ers, as well as seeing him around on Ciao itself. To be honest, I was scared shitless of him then. He came across as immensely opinionated (figures really, most Ciao-ers are) pretty humourless, and a right arse at times. Then, around May or June of this year I 'ran into him' in the chat room of another Ciao-ers forum (Ciaozone R.I.P.) a few times and we chatted a bit. I discovered one thing and confirmed another: ...

Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) 22/10/2004

My TV license is worth F*CK ALL! ~updated~

Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) On the 30th of March I went to the local post office to get a TV license. There, because I couldn’t find my renewal slip, I filled out a duplicate form (TVLAP1/01/03) obtained from the counter. I parted with £116 cash to get said form stamped, validated and one copy returned to me as my license for the year. There was no license number on the copy given back to me but presumed the one retained by the post office with some sort of serial number on the bottom would be forwarded to the licensing office and, after processing, generate/register my license number. Forward to the 8th April and there was a knock at the door. It was a TV licensing officer. She asked a) if I had a license, and b) if she could see it. I answered yes to both, went inside got the license (and cash receipt) and returned to the doorstep to produce. Said licensing officer then went on to fill out a licensing interview form, stating ‘no – see p/o counter’ in answer to if I had a license or not, and cautioned me about it being an offence. Seemingly the lack of license number was some sort of problem. I phoned up to complain about the matter, gave the details of how, when and from where my license had been purchased and was told the records would be amended accordingly and to ignore any letters I might receive in the next week or so. Forward to the end of April and I received a letter to the 'owner/occupier' stating that licensing officers would be visiting our area soon so and if we were found to be ...

Member Advice on Broadband 06/09/2004

BT – I ♥ YOU!

Member Advice on Broadband 6th September, 2004 - I've been waiting for this day for a little while now, just like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, I’ve been getting more and more excited everyday. And now, this special day has arrived. What? At 7am this morning, BT finally dropped the distance restriction on 512kb ADSL Broadband (from now on to be known as ADSL BB). Previously, if you lived around 6km or more from an ADSL BB enabled BT exchange, you still couldn't get ADSL BB. After 'extended reach' trials showed that a 512kb service would work outside of the 6km distance BT announced they would drop the distance restriction, and from the 6th Sept 2004 most people on an enabled exchange would be able to get the 512kb service. (It's estimated 1 million people could benefit from this change). It's been a frustrating wait for me - my local exchange has been BB enabled since 30th Sept 2000 but I live about 8km away by road/cable laying measurements (although less than 4km as the crow flies). If I did an ADSL BB availability check, all it would tell me was that I was too far from the enabled exchange but BT were always looking for new ways to offer a service. No cable suppliers run through my village at present, and the other possible options just weren’t in a price range I'd be willing to pay... satellite @ £40 per month plus £250 installation, or BT-Midband @ around £35 plus ISP costs per month, and the set up fee on top (sorry, can't remember how much that was, but Midband is only a ...

Moral Dilemmas 06/06/2004

Challengingly Moral or Morally Challenged?

Moral Dilemmas This is the 'Moral Dilemmas' challenge, created by Jill (of the Murphy clan) and Phil (of the Lost Witness type). 10 questions to scrutinize your integrity and intentions. So, with thanks to J & P, here goes... ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~ "You've just cooked dinner for your four friends, when disaster strikes and you drop the chicken on the kitchen floor. Before you can stop him, the dog dashes in and licks it, but you get it away before he can do anything else. You have nothing else to cook. Do you own up, or do you serve the chicken up for tea? You're vegetarian anyway." Well, off to a flying start of immoral behaviour here, I'd keep my mouth firmly shut, and serve the chicken anyway. There are worse things than a bit of dog slob aren't there? I would probably wipe it with a bit of tissue, pop it back in the oven for an extra 10 minutes to ensure there were no soggy patches, then carry on as if nothing had happened. In my defence, it has nothing to do with the fact that in this scenario I am a vegetarian. In real life I'm a meat eater but would still happily serve and eat it myself too. Sorry. But most of the germs in the dog flob are probably in your gob already anyway, so it's a bit of fuss over nowt. (Oh, and don't worry if you do pop round for tea, I don't have a dog - just 9 chicken loving cats, LOL) ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~ "You're in the supermarket car park, when in a momentary lapse of concentration, your shopping trolley scrapes somebody's new Mercedes ...

Member Advice on Pulling 31/05/2004

You Couldn't Score in a Brothel

Member Advice on Pulling Looking for love? Wanna find the partner of your dreams? Or even just a passionate night to remember? Girls, and guys read on! Allow me, with a little help (and hindrance) from my op-writing partner in crime to give you a few ideas on that delicate art of pulling. Lets look at location first. Where you go to pull is going to play a part in the type of person you end up with. The gym, if you want a fitness freak more obsessed with their own body than yours. The library if you're looking for stimulation purely of the intellectual kind. A nightclub, if you're happy to be groped in public and known as darlin' for the night. Think about what you're after before you head off on the pull. Angus, what do you think? Well, Karen, what can I say? I have never professed to be the master of “Pulling”, but more a connoisseur of companionship! Locations tend to vary, and one needs to be more specific if one wants to select a compatible “Pullet” (this is the name I give to a girl who has been “pulled”). Like a pint of beer, woman come in all categories and can normally be associated with like-minded haunts. You need to remember, you wouldn’t look for a fish in the middle of the Sahara, so don’t expect to find a Julie Andrews at a Motorhead concert! Lets take a look at some places to hunt for your dream “pullet”.... Nightclubs, but don’t expect to find a girl who likes the slow life. Wine bars have a classier girl, but can be a bit pretentious. Sports clubs, ideal for a ...

American Psycho 2 (DVD) 09/05/2004

"Nice mop!"

American Psycho 2 (DVD) As a 12 yr old child, Rachel Newman witnesses the murder of Patrick Bateman's last victim. She then murders him, ending his reign as the 'American Psycho'. She isn't implicated to or connected in any way with the murder, and on surface value it doesn't appear to affect her life other than by giving her an interest in serial killers and a desire to join the FBI to catch other serial killers such as Bateman. [Forward a few years] As a young lady, Rachel knows exactly what she wants, and how she intends to achieve it. She has a plan, clearly drawn up in her head and so enrols at college on a criminal profiling course - her main aim there is to become her professor's teaching assistant as that stands her in with a very good chance of getting a place in the FBI... Oh dear!!! How can a sequel go so wrong? The film starts off well, but within 10 minutes or so it's on a downhill slide to failure. Rachel comes across initially as a likeable and plausible young lady. She's gutsy, determined, intelligent, and of course beautiful. BUT… as we follow her through college we realise she's not entirely 'normal'. Her desire to join the FBI is unnaturally fierce (obsessive), and her motto 'Failure is not an option' seems to forcibly fill her head hence ruling her life and actions. As Rachel encounters people that are or could be in her eyes jeopardising her future in the FBI we learn just one more thing: get in her way = end up dead. The film quickly becomes largely predictable ...

My Ciao'ing 26/01/2004

Who? What? Why? When?

My Ciao'ing This challenge was initiated by Elizaf. It's simply twenty-five questions on Ciao, to be answered from a personal perspective. I don't always take part in the challenge ops [can't keep up with them all to be honest] but this one caught my eye, so here goes... ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 1. Full name: Karen Jane M******* - Censored to protect myself from Internet identity thieves, psychopathic stalkers, ex-boyfriends with broken hearts/grudges, and anyone I owe money to ;o) Good job I turned out to be a girlie, as I have some vague recollection of my mum saying she wanted to call me Zebedee or Zechariah or something like that if I was a boy. Hmmmm….. ~ ~ ~ ~ 2. Ciao Username: wiggglypufff - Useless trivia because people do ask, the name was originally for my hotmail account. I didn't want to be karen363728929 @ hotmail, in fact I didn't want any numbers to have to remember. So, as my son was a Pokemon fan at the time [and anyone with kids will know that parents get bombarded with all the info] I chose one of those. Except I didn't, coz typical of me I got two Pokemon muddled up. Even still, that name was taken, hence I tried with the ggg and fff and that was accepted. It kinda stuck as my online username. ~ ~ ~ ~ 3. Date when you joined the Ciao community: 15th November 2000 - Totally useless info, it was a Wednesday morning. Interesting choice of wording on the question though - 'Ciao community'. To be honest, there wasn't that much of a ...

Challenge Idol 2003 15/12/2003

Is it okay to write to Santa when you're 32?

Challenge Idol 2003 This letter to Santa is written as part of 'Challenge Idol 2003' initiated by Angus (why does my spell checker insist that I should change that to Agnes?), aka creativemind. You'll have to read his op to find out the full list of subject matter permissible for an entry, and… well… enjoy! ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ ~ Dear Santa, Please forgive me that it's been a while since I last wrote to you, The main reason for that fact is that I am now thirty-two. I thought it rather odd to keep on writing at my age, But you're a really nice guy so I'm sure it wont enrage. How's it going darlin' are you happy in your work, Do the reindeers all behave themselves and never ever shirk? It can't be easy at your age I bet it gives you tension, Have you thought about retirement and claiming old age pension? Santa I'm not being rude but you now must be quite old, You really should not stay out late in the dark and freezing cold. But saying that I'm glad you do coz so much joy you share, Without you Christmas could become a rather sad affair. Has anyone told you lately that you are the coolest dude, The thought of you puts everyone in a really festive mood. You're happy and you're jolly and you make our dreams come true, On behalf of all the girls and boys I'd like to say 'Thank you!' I remember when I was just four a teddy for me you did bring, You made me so so happy that I had to dance and sing. I adore and love that ...

Member Advice on Pet Death 10/12/2003

Paw prints in the snow

Member Advice on Pet Death A year ago I sat and wrote about the death of my cat Shadow. It wasn't by any means a conventional opinion, or a well-planned piece of writing; it was an expression of emotion straight from the heart because that's all I could manage at that time. A year on, now, I smile when I think of her. That's not to say it doesn't make me sad too, but she lived a good and happy, albeit brief, life as part of our family. On the 10th of December 2002, Shadow had her breakfast, and sat a while with Paul on the settee. She then climbed the stairs to her favourite spot on the landing and lay down alongside the bathroom door. Philip came out of his room and alerted us with cries that Shadow was 'not right'. Her eyes had lost focus, and her breathing grown very shallow. I rushed him out the door to school, trying to deny the inevitable as Paul scooped her up in his arms and cradled her. We stroked and talked to her as she faded away. Paul handed her to me and I wrapped her in my blouse desperately trying to keep her warm, desperately hoping that I was wrong, and she wasn't dead, simply resting deeply to regain some strength. But I couldn't stop the warmth from her body ebbing away. She really was gone. I would have held her all day if I could, but my distress, and Shadow's parting from this world, was taking its toll on her 8 strong feline family. I kissed her and put her down in her basket in the spare bedroom. Whilst the world outside carried on as normal with families setting off ...

Everything that starts with A ... 15/11/2003

Another year - My 3rd Ciao Birthday

Everything that starts with A ... Well, it's become customary (for me at least) to write a non-conventional op to mark a milestone or ciao achievement of some description and a message from torr, a few days ago, in my guest book - thanks Duncan - reminded me that I had one coming… Today is my 3rd Ciao birthday. I pondered a while, pondered some more, and came unstuck as to what I should write about. Something different, something that counts for more than a handful of community points, something that might help others. I got to thinking about the time of year, something seasonal, something occasional, something simple yet so special – giving to charity. With the BBC’s Children In Need Day 2003 just around the corner it seemed ideal. Somewhere else, some other place Unbeknown to us People abuse innocent children Poverty is all some know Oppression creates depression Ridicule is commonplace Tragedy is just around the corner Can’t be happening Haven’t heard about it It’ll sort itself out Live and let live Don’t interfere Really isn’t that bad Everyone has problems Nothing to do with me Is it? Never can we do enough, but let’s Not give up trying Every child deserves a chance Each child deserves a future Do help please if you can It’s a simple enough message I hope, SUPPORT CHILDREN IN NEED! You don’t have to donate your entire month’s pay packet to make a difference, not even a week’s or a ...

Member Advice on Ciao Addiction 05/08/2003

Addicts Anonymous

Member Advice on Ciao Addiction I present you a tale of despair Read on if you wish, or dare Although not all fact That should not distract As it could become your worst nightmare There was a young lady from Kent Whose spare time was quite rarely spent So she joined a website On which she could write Her anger and frustration she'd vent The thing is her first ops were shite They were nonsense and crap and contrite But she kept penning on Till her work was 'tres bon' And there wasn't a UH in sight She logged on by day and by night Never missing her chances to write About condoms and sex Drugs, her hubby, and ex In fact anything went on that site She neglected her friends every day If they called she would turn them away When they knocked at the door She would hide on the floor And shout 'sorry I can't come to play' She typed till her fingers were sore Then rested then typed a bit more Whilst taking a bite Of her food she would write And leaving her desk was a chore Then one morning the dial tone went dead 'Oh f*ck me, the phone bill' she said She sat in despair With her hands in the air Her addiction could no longer be fed She sat with a scowl on her face Of the Internet there was no trace To her beloved Ciao It was ta ta for now In her life was a big empty space She wondered what she should do now She felt like a miserable cow So she looked all around But no joy did abound There was housework and little else, wow! The washing up hadn't been ...

All About Me 18/06/2003

All About Me - WIGGGLY

All About Me 01. What time is it? 07:52 02. Name? Karen Jane ******** (censored to protect myself from nutters). Also known as Kaz, Kas, KJ, Kari, Kari-Ann, and several other total humiliating nicknames that I'm not gonna reveal for love, money, nor Ciao community spirit. 03. Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake? Five, because the real number would remind me how old I am, be a fire risk, and cause an international wax shortage . 04. Hair colour? Naturally boring dark brown, but more often than not dyed. At present it's a purpley black colour but normally I go for red shades. 05. Tattoos? Yup, I've two - Boris and Syd. 06. How much do you love your job on a scale of 0-5? Erm, seeing as work is often a large amount of hours in your daily life I figure it’s not worth doing a job you really hate so, I’d give it a 5 07. Favourite colour? Black 08. Home County? Kent - has been my home for almost my entire life. 09. Current Relationship Status? Happily married to Paul since 24th June 2000. We've been together since June1997 though. 10. Favourite food? That's a hard one, erm... crispy bacon sandwiches. 11. Been to Africa? Nope, but wouldn't mind if the opportunity arose in the future. 12. Been to Camden? Yes, many times when I lived in London (1991), but not since then! 13. Loved somebody so much it made you cry? Certainly have... I'd say it's possibly not really love if you haven't cried over them. [Either that, or all ...

Everything that starts with T ... 10/03/2003


Everything that starts with T ... Erm, for non Winnie the Pooh fans it's - ta ta for now. Sadly, [well, sadly for me, dunno about you lot] I'm not gonna be round Ciao much for a while. Now before you get all excited and expect a big bitching session about who has upset me and led me to take a break, the simple answer is no-one. I've made some fantastic friends here and met some wonderful people, all of whom I'm gonna miss. Personal circumstances mean I no-longer have 24/7 net access so I'll be 'paying as I go' and much as I love Ciao and the people, priority over the time I can afford has to go to my son for homework and stuff, and for hubby and his work. I'll still be around sometimes, I'm not closing my account or taking off for good, but it'll probably be a case of long time no see or fleeting visits to quickly post an op but not much else. Writing this is a bit of a cop out really. I'd love to get round to all your guestbooks with a personal message of thanks for your support, advice, friendship etc etc, but time doesn't allow [and I'd probably forget someone] so I thought I'd put it in an op, and well, that's it really. Thanks for everything everyone, and... TTFN Karen/wigggly xx ~*~ BTW, do feel free to rate as you see fit - I don't have the time/energy/money to revenge rate you all ;o) ~*~ ...
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