How to piss off your whole community

Posted October 21, 2014 By Ruth

Get a 911 call that “aggressive dogs are terrorizing a lady in a car

Send officer out to look things over. 

Officer allows one dog to be captured by a neighbor of the owner.  But when he attempts to call the other dogs to him they act aggressively so he has to shoot them for his own safety.

Owner calls BS on the “acting aggressively” part and FOIA’s the video from the officer’s lapel cam (yay for wired police!).  Police release a 22second bit of video that shows the officer shooting the dog “for his own safety”: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/article_7e920210-5646-11e4-a670-8fe5949ce1ca.html?mode=video (warning, the video does indeed show the dog being shot, its not the goryest thing ever, but some people will be bothered regardless).

Cue public upset in 3…2….

Additional video from before the shooting: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/video_b174524a-5647-11e4-8c6a-cb8bcb24f91e.html

and after the shooting: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/video_cee9af92-5646-11e4-8ae5-0b544247bb8a.html (very clear shot of the dead and bloody dog)

Now. 

I can’t comment on what happened with the dogs cornering someone in their car.  Its not on video.  I can certainly see how a friendly, excited, reasonably sized, dog bouncing on the car door in an attempt to say “HI!!” could be scary to someone who’s not good with dogs. 

In the video from before the shooting I can hear a lady talking to the officer and stating that one of the brown dogs snapped at her.  I can hear the officer telling another resident that the black and white dog (who at this time he’s ignoring) was the one acting aggressively.  Officer allows the owners’ neighbor to catch and contain the black and white dog.

There’s a gap of at least a few seconds, and possibly longer, between the first video and the 22second video.  According to info from the police department the two remaining loose dogs growled at the officer during this gap.  Not sure why we don’t have a video of it, releasing that info would go a long way to supporting the officer’s side of the story.

In the 22second clip, you can see the officer approaching the two dogs, who are sniffing a drain pipe and ignoring the approaching human.  Tails are slowly wagging, a sign that whatever else is going on the dogs aren’t highly agitated.  Whiny barks can be heard, no growling or full throated barks can be heard.  Officer points his gun at the dogs, chirps to get their attention, they look at him, and he fires three shots at one of them.  Its hard to tell with the officer’s hands in the way of the video, but I saw no sign of either dog actually even moving towards him after he chirps at them.  The other dog runs away.

In the final video the officer can be seen repeatedly pointing his gun at the remaining dog every time the so much as looks in his direction.  The dog is still not acting aggressively.  At this point the ACO finally arrives and takes over, at the ACO’s approach the remaining dog shows every sign of being happy to see a friendly human, and even rolls over on his back for belly rubs.  The ACO is able to walk the dog away without so much as a leash to contain the dog.

Now, I certainly have no idea if these dogs are regular escapees.  Or how much they’ve terrorized the neighborhood.  But nothing in the videos shows aggression, or anything else to cause the officer to fear for his own safety….

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Ebola

Posted October 19, 2014 By Ruth

*sigh*

I keep seeing lots of “why are you scared of Ebola when your chances of catching X disease are 20times higher!!!” or “death from obesity/violence is 10 times more likely!”.

Here’s the thing though. 

Sure, my chances of catching the flu are way higher than my chances of catching ebola.  But my chances of DYING from the flu are WAY smaller since I have a nice and healthy immune system.

And you can’t catch obesity from the guy sneezing next to you on the plane or bus. 

And if the guy next to you on the bus gets shot down by an out of control cop (which yes, was one of the meme’s circulating) a couple hours later you don’t have to worry about whether you caught your own death or not.

In the over all scheme of things I’m not overly worried about my risk of catching ebola honestly.  At least not till it spreads further.

Though I have to say that with the ebola mess, on top of the news that most register receipt tapes contain BPA that can rub off on your fingers, I’m really happy I’m not working retail right this moment.

But when I saw the news that one of the hospitals in Syracuse had been picked as one of the major response centers for potential ebola patients I really wasn’t pleased.  The “human factor” has been just to much of a problem with this particular ebola outbreak.  There are to many things going wrong, frequently by people who REALLY ought to know better……

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Winter….

Posted October 16, 2014 By Ruth

Our home heating fuel has been delivered:

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Actually it was delivered last Thursday (a week ago), and then I took the picture Monday.  As of the time I’d taken the picture about 1 cord + had been re-stacked neatly, as thats husband’s goal this fall.  Usually we leave it in a big pile covered with tarps, but that can be brutal to get wood from in the middle of the winter after the snow starts piling up, especially when the tarp springs a leak and the wood freezes together.  This year we’re stacking it into the back of the carport instead.  It’ll be interesting to see how close to the actual “10 face cord” of wood that we’re paying for the pile actually is.  Unless its very short though this guy is still the best price in town, if only because he’ll deliver and dump it where-ever we want as long as he can get his truck there.

We do have a furnace, it runs on kerosene, and we have a 200gallon tank for it.  It was full when we bought the house, Sept 2010, and last winter (2013-2014) was the first time we’ve had to buy more kerosene (course, last winter was so bad that we went through 100gallons between January and April).  The folks we bought the house from said that before they put in the wood burning stove they used to go through most of two tanks a winter, sometimes a little more than that depending on the winter. 

Kerosene delivered is running over $4/gallon (at least here, they charge us more cause we’re rural *sigh*).  So a full tank is over $800.  Two tanks a winter is $1600+.

Or we can pay $600 for 10 face cord of wood and have wood left over at the end of the winter and use less than 1/3rd of a single tank of kerosene…..

Yah, I’ll keep stacking wood…..

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Who was it who said

Posted October 13, 2014 By Ruth

That the nurse in TX who contracted Ebola after tending to Duncan was going to be blamed for her own exposure?

 

+10 points to you……

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First time smoking (meat)

Posted October 6, 2014 By Ruth

At about 8pm Sat night I trimmed the fat, and slathered the pork butt with mustard and the dry rub as instructed and stashed the whole thing in a 2.5gallon ziplock for the night (in the fridge).  I also gave the smoker a quick test run to ensure that the heating element actually worked.  That would have sucked if it hadn’t.

I loaded up the smoker at 8:15am Sunday morning.  I’d been aiming for a little earlier than that, as it’ll likely be a 12hr cooking time, but I’m not a morning person.  8:15am is close enough.

Many reviews of this smoker (the Char Broil H2O electric) say that it doesn’t get hot enough, or only barely.  But the thermometer I added says it hit 250 in 15minutes.  Since I was instructed that I want to smoke at 225 for this recipe I’ll take it.  I turned down the temp control just a bit when I put the meat on and checked it another 15minutes later and it was right where I wanted it.

And then the breaker tripped.  So I checked all the connections, confirmed that the GFCI outlet hadn’t, flipped it back on, and went back to what I was doing.

An hour later it tripped again.  And again, the GFCI in the outside outlet that the smoker was plugged into hadn’t tripped.  We decided that the outlet must be faulty, and dug out one of the GFCIs we’d bought for a different project and replaced the outlet.

An hour later the breaker tripped again.

This time I switched on the back entry light, which is right over the breaker box, so I could look at things closer….and the light didn’t come on.  At which point a light came on in my brain, and while the breaker was off we began determining what else is on that breaker.  Turns out BOTH bathrooms, lights and outlets, even though they’re on opposite ends of the house, are on that breaker.  The washing machine is on that breaker.  The back entry way lights, inside and out are on that breaker, and the rear outdoor outlets are on that breaker.

No fricking wonder it kept tripping!

We ran an extension cord from a plug in the garage that we knew we could avoid using the rest of circuit for the day and got back to what we were doing.

About 8pm we finally got our meat off the smoker, and it was tasty!  We’ll be doing that again!

And if we ever have to have an electrition out for anything I’m having him wire that outdoor outlet into its own breaker…..

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Smoking (meat)….bleg?

Posted September 30, 2014 By Ruth

Ok, so at my (husband’s) nephew’s birthday party this summer they had a cousin (ok, technically my husband’s sister’s husband’s cousin’s husband) smoke a pork butt for pulled pork as well as do up some chicken in his smoker.

I wasn’t entirely thrilled.  About the only smoked meat I like is bacon, and pretty much the only pork I eat is bacon, so I settled on a small piece of chicken, and planned to eat alot of cake (hardship that that is).

But dang that pulled pork smelled good.  So I ended up going back to grab some, I figured eating a bite or two would fix that problem.  And then I went back a 2nd time and loaded up my plate….

And then I tracked down the (husband’s sister’s husband’s cousin’s husband) cousin who made it and demanded the recipe for his pulled pork.  He was kind enough to email it to me.

So yah, next step was a smoker.  Picked up a seriously cheap electric smoker off craigslist ($40, but it wasn’t exactly a high end unit to begin with), made a couple of the recommended modifications to the unit that made sense to me (like, putting in a proper thermometer instead of the “cool, ideal, hot” one it had).  I figure its easy enough to upgrade to a better unit later if we actually end up using it.

The guy added in a half bag of hickory chunks when we picked it up.  So I should be good for a couple runs of smoking meat before having to find more wood.

When I make our grocery run Thursday or Friday I’m going to pick up the various ingredients I need.  Hopefully this weekend I’ll be giving this a try. 

I know there’s folks out there who smoke meat on a regular basis.  So tell me what I need to know before I go and do this for real…..

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Small rant

Posted September 29, 2014 By Ruth

So I end up in a bit of an argument about raw feeding (of household pets) and the nutritional content there-of.  So I start pulling up links to studies or official data to back up my side of the argument.  Not an abnormal day, except that the argument has to do with the calcium content in raw bone, specifically chicken bone, and I’ve found that data to be much harder to come by, so my links are sparse but they get my point across.

Then someone new sticks his nose in and insists that the actual calcium content in bone is 6times higher than the number I quoted.

So I asked where he got his numbers from.

“Don’t have a reference at the moment, but I’m sure of my numbers.”

Thats nice, where’d you get your numbers from…..

New guy quotes a paragraph without giving any reference to where it came from.  And then adds that he doesn’t think that adding raw bone to a dog’s diet counts as a calcium supplement.

The very definition of “supplement” means to “add something extra”, maybe you don’t WANT to consider it a calcium supplement, but if your numbers are right then it definitely IS a calcium supplement.  Oh, and where are you quoting from??

Quote’s from the University Of Cambridge and its not a supplement because I say its not a supplement!!!

No publication name, or author name, or anything else to ID where the quote came from (which, the more I read, the less I think it says what he thinks it does).  Arguments like this remind me of why I need to spend less time online…..

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Making money off of blogging……

Posted September 17, 2014 By Ruth

I started this blog with zero intention to make money off of it.  And I still have zero interest in putting the work that would be required into making this an real money maker.  I did briefly toy around with Google Ads, but the money there was essentially zero and not worth the (very) minimal effort required (in the space of a year I earned $0.05).

WAY back, I did a post on a DIY version of a commercial product.  And that post has worked its way into the first page of search results (infact, depending on the search words its the FIRST result right under the company page), on every search engine I’ve tried, when people search for the name brand product.  And its one of my biggest search engine hits, in the last two weeks it netted me 218 hits, more than twice the number of hits on my main page.  Which made me a little concerned when I realized it, some companies can be very sticky about how their name is used, and I keep expecting (somewhere in the back of my brain) to be contacted by the company in question and asked to either rename the post or remove it all-together. 

Well, I finally got contacted by the company in question (well, I think I have, I haven’t tried calling them yet to confirm its a legit contact, I want to have a better idea of what to do before I do that).  And instead of being peeved about my post they’re offering me membership in their associates program, with the offer to make a commission of up to 20% of of each sale that comes in via the link on my blog.  Apparently people who decide that the DIY version isn’t for them (or who try it and can’t get it to work), then proceed to follow the link in the post to the brand name company, enough for them to notice.  A check of my exiting links shows that 48 out clicks in the last four months went to the company page.  The only out link with more hits is the link to the DIY instructions….

I have no idea as to the terms of the associates program, the information on the company site is basically identical to what I got in the email.  I have zero intention of pushing this product any harder than I already am.  Which, in case you haven’t noticed, is essentially not at all.  I’d be willing to modify the original post to include the associate links (and a disclaimer stating that I am an associate), and MAYBE a discrete link on the side-bar.  But I know one peeve of mine is when a blogger joins such a program and then pushes it with every post and big ads……But I also have to admit that the idea of pulling in enough to cover the costs of the blog itself (hosting fees mostly) would be nice……

The final choice is of course mine, but its not like I have a million people who read this blog either, So!  Thoughts, opinions, random barely connected thoughts?

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New Spam blocker

Posted September 15, 2014 By Ruth

I’m once again trying a new spam blocker, again, it shouldn’t affect you all, except that there is no longer a captcha for you to fill out.  But if you notice that your comment isn’t going through please email me and let me know!

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Updates

Posted September 9, 2014 By Ruth

Well, I’m alive, and awake.  Day 4 on the new allergy med and I think I might be getting used to it, I’m not feeling QUITE as bad as I did over the weekend.

The lily plants my aunt sent me have started blooming:

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They’re from the family “crocosmia” though there’s virtually no way to tell which variety they are.  We’re borderline too cold for them here, but if they’ll survive (cross fingers) they’re prolific and loved by bees and hummingbirds.

After a comparatively cool summer Mother Nature decided we needed at least a COUPLE hot days, and so last weekend we hit 90, both Friday and Saturday.  My only gripe was that I had to uncover the garden lest it scorch.  Course, we’re back to cool-ish weather, with lows potentially descending into the mid to low 40’s in the next week.  So I had to re-cover the garden with the frost blankets.

The onions are, again, a bust.  A couple good sized ones, the rest are tiny.  Obviously I’m doing something wrong.  Anyone ever tried planting onion seeds in the fall at the same time as garlic?  Answers online are mixed…..

The white watermelon is trying to produce more fruit.  If the buds take I’ll cover it and see if we can keep it warm enough to produce a decent melon or two……

The hot peppers and the tomatoes are loving the heat from the frost blankets though.  Ripening has kicked into full swing.  I’ve made 3 1/2 pint jars of pickled jalapenos, and 12 1/2 pint jars of jalapeno jelly (with either a single Hot Wax pepper or a single habanero pepper depending on the batch), plus filled a gallon freezer bag with large chopped hot peppers, and started a 2nd bag.  Those peppers are in the freezer, and once the harvest is done I’ll toss them all in the dehydrator and then grind them into powder for Husband to use for seasoning through out the winter.

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