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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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Ears….docs….meds….ugh

Posted September 6, 2014 By Ruth

For the last week and a half now I’ve been having some odd issues with my ears.  It started with some itching inside the canal, and some very mild “popping” sensation (as if I was transitioning up and down a mountain side).  It was random, in-consistent, and I mostly ignored it.

Monday night and into Tuesday morning, every time I swallowed my right ear would suddenly pop very painfully.  ALL NIGHT. 

Called my doctor’s office Tuesday morning and told them I thought I might have an ear infection, when could they fit me in? 

*sigh* a few years ago now the office (which includes a fairly large number of doctors of all kinds of specialties) was bought out by one of the hospitals in the area, and ever since they’ve been making slow changes.  A large number of which are mandated by law, so its not all the hospital’s fault.  But its resulted in more and more doctors and nurses leaving the practice.

Its finally hit a critical point.  I know its back to school time, which means lots of kids into the doctors for that last “before school” thing, and that “first week of school cold” and what not.  But calling Tuesday morning to try to get in with a possible ear infection, and the earliest they could fit me in was Friday morning.

I was frustrated, but before I could decide it was bad enough to hit the urgent care the problems with my right ear mostly faded and it went back to the inconsistent itching and mild popping.  So I dealt with it till Friday.

I will say they got me in on time.  My ears showed no signs of infection, and no wax build up (which I don’t normally have issues with but I’d thought might be the possible other cause).  After some discussion she said that she thought it was likely a side effect of my environmental allergies.  Its not a normal side effect for me, but it is for some people, and we’ve had an odd enough weather year that things could be different this year.

So, a new (prescription) allergy med, and some (non-antibotic) ear drops to help relieve the discomfort.  If it continues after a week on the new drug, or if I continue to have more of the really bad painfull popping I’m to call for another appointment, at which point they’ll likely refer me to an Ears, Nose, Throat specialist.

The new med is Xyzal, generic name levocetirizine.  It has all the standard warnings about “may cause drowsiness”, and don’t operate machinery till you know how it affects you and what not, and then in big huge letters it says:

TAKE IN THE EVENING

So yes, its going to cause drowsiness…..oh goody.

Took my first dose at 7pm last night (Friday night).

Its now almost 8pm Saturday, and I’m FINALLY coming out of the drug haze.  As long as I kept moving today I didn’t feel to bad, but as soon as I stopped for any reason my body tried to crash.

I’m off to go take my 2nd dose.  If you don’t hear from me this week its because I slept through it all……I can’t decide if I’m hoping this fixes my ears (cause I don’t want to deal with the doctor and drug runaround thats going to happen if it doesn’t), or if I’m hoping it doesn’t work so that I can stop taking it!

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