Alice the Rat is still alive. Almost two weeks ago she fell from her UFO – a perch near the top of her cage. She landed on her feet nut did not move. When Elizabeth picked up and took her out of the cage, she had a massive spasm and flew into the air. We caught her in mid air. She was very sluggish. We put her on the table and she pulled herself around. She appeared to have had a stroke. After a couple of hours she was doing better.
Over the next few days we hand fed her soft foods and had her frequently out of her cage. After her owner came home, Alice was held and cuddled almost all the time. Usually by her owner, though the rest of us took turns.
Kangaroo Care for Rats: We would sit, usually somewhat reclined, and kept Alice on our chests, close to the heart, nice and warm. We fed her via syringe. We found that if we put her on her back and cuddled her, she could still self-groom. She did not have to fight gravity or lift her body weight or support herself on her hind legs and most rats do when they self-groom.
Last Tuesday she got worse. Her feet were purple, she was catatonic, and would not eat or drink. We could not syringe her. She could not do any self-grooming, and she had discharge around her eyes. We kept her clean. On Wednesday she was the same. By Thursday afternoon she had become responsive, and was self-grooming. She was eating again, though the mixture of milk and ice cream gave her diarrhea.
Since then, she has stayed about the same. After eating she gets somewhat catatonic as she digests. She stays on someone’s chest, nice and warm, self grooms, has hiccoughs, moves slightly, and sleeps or lays awake looking around.
It has been twelve days and Alice the Rat keeps hanging in there. She has a strong will to live, and is being treated better than most of the rats in this world, like the pet rats that came before her: Nina, Fern and Charlie.
Rough notes from my opening remarks as Toastmaster at my club.
Do you like sweets? Confections? Do you remember the jelly bean craze? (Ronald Reagen). Bite into one and never know what you are getting.
Or buy fudge: outdoor market. Never know.
Or Christmas box chocolates.
You do not quite know what you get from these confections.
You bought the box on a friend’s recommendation. Hope it good, the box that is, and the friend. Not know what to expect.
Can read the box, the ingredient list. Know they be good. Not know what to expect.
Bite in, taste that sweetness (marzipan, hint of cinnamon, dark chocolate and pecan, hint of coffee bean, Irish cream.
Before you had it, read about it, not know what to expect. Bite into a confection, and it is so worth it. Confections!
Like confections: other things in life. Read about. Talk to friends/associates. Sounds good. Not know what to expect until you experience it.
Like confections, conventions and conferences are same way: read about them (brochure, website), talk to past attendees. Not know what to expect. But, like biting into a fine Frenc\ pastry with whipped cream and a touch of lemon, they are worth it.
You have the opportunity to experience a convention, and like eating a double glazed doughnut, you will not be disappointed: D21 Spring Conference, May 8-10, in Victoria.
Me: attended two TM Spring: Nanaimo and Kelowna. Well worth going. Meet new people, take part in useful education sessions, listen to dynamic keynote speakers, follow a high stakes speech contest, and enjoy the food and company. If you joined TM to be able to speak to strangers: what a great opportunity: you are all in this together.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up.
When I attend conventions and conferences, I am a sponge: What can I soak up? How much can I learn? What can I leave with and carry with me afterwards, into my speeches, my business, and my life.
If you go with such an attitude, that you are a sponge, you will find all conventions and conferences to be worth it, just like fine French pastries or a box of Swiss chocolates.
Today’s theme: conventions and conferences, and I encourage you to be a sponge, and attend our upcoming convention.
Helping me to encourage you, and excite you about conferences, is our team of dedicated TMs.
We found this on a client’s old website.
Poem by John Ruskin (1819-1900)
It’s unwise to pay too much. But it’s worse to pay too little.
When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all.
When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought
was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
The common law of business balances prohibits paying a little and getting a lot.
It can’t be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
There is hardly anything in the world that someone can’t make a little worse
and sell a little cheaper-
and people who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey.