Rants Archive

Read the damn manual

Posted May 16, 2017 By Ruth

When you buy a new piece of equipment, read the damn manual.  I don’t care if you’ve run virtually identical pieces of equipment for your entire life.  Read the damn manual.

And if you DON’T read the manual, and the piece of equipment won’t work, read the damn manual THEN.

And if you STILL haven’t read the damn manual, don’t call the store screaming about how we sold you defective merchandise, because I WILL wait you out and then walk you through the steps to start your new lawnmower properly and be delighted when you clearly feel stupid.

The fact that I sound about 14 over the phone helps with this, but still, you could avoid the whole thing by just reading your damn manual.

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Ok, a bit of background.  For our wedding anniversary we bought ourselves an Instant Pot.  Not the cheapest thing ever, but I know several folks who have one and love it, and we decided to get one.  We’ve not used it as much as we’d have liked (hello stupid PIA New Year!) but I’ve had great results from almost everything we’ve tried in it.

This also means, that since I’m running mostly one handed right now and can’t lift the thing I’ve been researching recipes and options and what not instead of actually using it much.  I’ll be very likely trying yogurt in the near future (well, once I can use two hands to lift that gallon of milk with…..).

Many yogurt recipes, especially those based off of greek yogurt, call for you to strain the yogurt.  The resulting liquid is whey.  Specifically “acid” whey.  This results in alot of FB posts from people asking what to do with this whey.  The answer being use it to replace milk in many baked goods, add it to smoothies, feed it to your four legged pets…..and pour it in your garden as fertilizer.

The last suggestion results in a massive uproar EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Seems the media has made much fuss about “acid” whey.  Its ACIDIC don’t you know!  It’ll KILL THE FISH if it gets in the water ways!!!  OMG!!!!

See here, here, here, here…..even the articles that talk about what can be done to use the whey still help participate in the fear-mongering scare tactics.

Lets get a few things straight.

Acid whey has an average PH of 4.3-5.1 depending on the exact process and milk used.  This does certainly tip the side of the PH scale as acidic.

Apples have an average PH of 3.3-4.0.  Are we going to start calling apples “acid apples”?  Blueberries run 3.1-4.5.  Cooking vinegar (the stuff you buy at the grocery) runs at a PH of 2.4-2.6.  Vinegar is actually acidic enough to kill the green portion of most plants, but won’t actually kill the roots of most things.

Dumping large quantities of acid whey (or allowing large quantities to run off into waterways) does cause severe damage to waterways.  But not because its acidic.  The same damage would be caused if you dumped equal quantities of milk (PH 6.4-6.8) into the waterways, or human blood (PH 7.4), or the like.  It has to do with the introduction of large quantities of biological mass into a system not prepared to deal with it.  Folks who are serious fish tank keepers understand this concept even if they haven’t generalized it.

The small amounts of whey produced by the average home yogurt maker isn’t going to harm things if its poured into the garden.  Pouring it directly into a stream or the like might cause some damage, for the reasons stated above, but even there, in a moving water system its going to be diluted fast.  So don’t pour it into your fish pond, but the garden is fine.

If you actually pay attention to the above articles you’ll note that several of them state that farmers use it for fertilizer and the only limit on how much they use is avoiding run off of large quantities.

Its not going to kill your garden.  Well, I suppose if you poured all of your whey in the exact same spot, every day, for weeks on end and didn’t do any watering and it didn’t rain the plant in question might not be happy with you, but really….

So can we stop the fear mongering scare tactics yet??

Circus

Posted January 18, 2017 By Ruth

The news is all over Facebook.  Ringling Brothers Circus will be closing, effective of May this year.

I’ve never been to the circus.  I always kinda wanted to, but as I grow up my tolerance for crowds has dropped.  I guess now I’ll never get to.

Reading the comments on FB I noticed a couple of major things lacking.  Well, more than a couple, but two or three really stood out.

The assumption that circus = animal abuse, even though RB’s owning family successfully fought off every single charge, and in at least one case their accusers had to pay huge fines for being caught bribing people to lie.

The assumption that the animals now in the circus will have better lives.  The Ringling Bro’s elephant retirement farm can take 13 elephants.  But I can’t seem to find a reliable report that says that 13 is all that are currently touring with RB’s.  And what about the rest of the animal crew?  Elephants and big cats aren’t something you can take down to the local no kill shelter to find a new home for.  Every report I’ve seen, that I consider reliable, says that RB’s current administration really does care about their animals, so presumably there IS a plan for all the animals, but if so it hasn’t been made public.

No one at all seems to care about the circus people.  Did you know that RB’s brought in their first ever female Ringmaster in Dec?  She made her debut performance on January 12th.  Two days before RB’s announced they’d close down this May.  The general public is cheering while hundreds and hundreds of people are losing their jobs.  Jobs that many have been in their entire lives.  How likely is it that these folks are going to find employment elsewhere?  In today’s world of instant gratification the need for trained circus people isn’t going to be very large.  And I’ll note that this could have local area impact too.  This is one less event to be touring, one less event to employ local crowd control, one less event to use local property.

I find it disturbing honestly.  This is a huge win for the Animal Rights crowd.  Peta, and HSUS, and their crews.  This isn’t a good thing.  These are groups who’ve stated that they believe that we shouldn’t own cats and dogs, ever.  Who believe that milking cows, who’ve been bred to produce such large quantities of milk that if we humans DIDN’T milk them they’d die of infection, is wrong.  Who promote such stupidity as insisting that shearing a sheep of their wool causes that sheep serious harm or death.  And they just won huge.

And I’m not the only one who’s watching this with worry.

So while you’re cheering on the fact that the circus is shutting down, take a moment to think about what is actually going on.  And the repercussions thereof.

Grump Grumble…..

Posted November 18, 2016 By Ruth

I shared a “both candidates suck so I don’t care who you voted for, lets go get drunk together” meme on Facebook a couple days ago.  For the record, I don’t drink alcohol, but this election had me considering it.

A couple liberal FB friends decided that what that really meant was that I loved Trump and therefore needed to be yelled at.  The discussion didn’t go well and I’m now short (at least) two FB friends.  Or maybe that should read: The discussion went pretty well and now I don’t have to watch at least two folks whine about Trump any more.

For the record: I’m pretty sure Trump will suck as Prez and I’m just hoping he manages to do something to curb the trend to send out stuff to China, but I’m not holding my breath on that either.  However I’m really not worried about him deciding to round up minorities for re-education training either.  We didn’t get registration and concentration camps after 9/11 (when the general public might have been amenable) we’re certainly not going to get them now.  Nor am I especially worried that he’s going to start removing rights from minorities either.  Among other things the large majority of those laws are at the state level and I figure Trump’s ability to convince states as a whole to do that is pretty much non-existent.  Since most of the folks I  know who voted for Trump did so while figuratively holding their noses and with the understanding that he was going to require some close watching, yah, the fact that he won so many states doesn’t change that figuring.  I’ll also note that for all of the media’s uproar over Trump’s treatment of women the worst they could find about Trump and gays was that a guy who used to work at a business Trump owns is suing because he feels he was treated badly by his co-workers after coming out as gay.  There’s zero evidence that Trump had anything to do with it except for owning the company, and since that’s the only such suit I can find it also doesn’t exactly show that such was normal for Trump owned businesses.

Nor am I overly worried about Pence.  One, he’s the VP, and two, he’s not Cheney.  Stop wishing harm on Trump and you aren’t likely to have to deal with Pence.  Now Bannon…..but Bannon isn’t signing laws into being either, so that’s a different worry anyway.

But apparently telling people that they need to spend more effort actually learning how the government works is “name calling” and telling them not to get their panties in a twist is “offensive” and telling them that offending further their friends and neighbors who are their local home support is a really bad idea is “making fun” of them.

And the fear-mongering has really got to stop.  Yesterday I saw a headline that stated “If Trump forces Muslims to register then Jews ought to register with them cause Jews know what its like!!”.  I didn’t read the article.  But yah, thats helpfull for actually getting things done…….

In other news my work got in their first delivery of live Christmas Trees on Tuesday.  I came home from work covered in pine sap, pine needles, and swearing about my new dept head (its not going well, but I finally remembered him from my previous time of employment with the company, short form, I’m now carrying solely purple and pink pens on the sales floor and it’ll be interesting to see how long it’ll take him to notice).  Along that note: I know that the big box store with the orange aprons advertises that they carry fresh cut Christmas trees that are delivered regularly.  But the reality is (at least here in Upstate NY) that they get a couple deliveries the week before Thanksgiving and that’s it.  By the time you’re buying that live tree a week or so before Christmas that tree has been cut for over a month……

Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.

The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.

…..The decision by Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) comes amid increasing limits across the NHS on surgery for cataracts as well as hip and knee operations.

……The restrictions echo others made by health bosses in Hertfordshire, the North West and London in the past two years, where blanket referral bans were imposed on patients on the basis of their weight.

link

Sounds exactly like the sort of health care I want to have.  Not.  And that’s without considering the various problems with the BMI index to begin with!

Idiots and wildlife

Posted August 29, 2016 By Ruth

Washington state resident Idiot2’s son was among the children Idiot1 led toward the elk. Despite safety advisories – and numerous examples of visitors getting gored by bison, mauled by bears and chased by elk – Idiot2 declared herself unafraid of the park’s wildlife. She said she was eager to see a grizzly up close.

“I want to see one right there,” Idiot2 said, pointing to a spot just feet away. “I’d throw it a cookie.”

Quoted article.  Names changed to something more appropriate.

I’d say that this is the result of city folks who’ve never spent time in real life.  But Idiot1 is quoted as calling himself an “experienced hunter” who’s “spent lots of time outdoors”, thus he was quite confident of his ability to judge the situation.  Course, his definition of “experienced” may not jive with anyone elses…….

I have no idea if these incidents are actually increasing, as discussed in the article, or if its a perception issue.  Doesn’t matter IMO.

If you’re on Facebook you may have seen a viral post back in June.  It was from a lady who was attempting to revitalize her small town school library (actually two schools sharing the building).  I don’t have a link to the original Facebook post, but you can go here and see the text.  Go read, I’ll wait.

If you follow up on the newer posts (and I recommend it) the internet responded in style.  They found themselves inundated with more books than they ever hoped to get.  So many infact that they have been able to send off duplicates to neighboring schools.

Two days ago the most recent update was posted.

The public school board wants to censor the library.  They want only “approved” books to be available to kids.

Never mind that telling a child that she’s “not allowed” to read X or Y book is the best way to ENSURE that she reads it.

Never mind that these children are very likely already exposed to those “forbidden” concepts on the TV, in the news, in music, in movies.

Never mind that its far better to teach children how to handle things than it is to try to shelter them.

And to top it off, the public school’s board wants to quadruple the rent of the charter school who’s renting the unused portion of the building.

The original post went viral and the internet responded in style.  Lets make this one go viral too, and maybe we can encourage the school board to forget this stupidity.

Normalization of deviance

Posted June 27, 2016 By Ruth

I need to find a way to send this article to my store manager.

I’m watching this happen within the store I work for over some very specific safety issues which have the potential to be very very deadly.  I suspect (am, infact, 99% sure) that the excuse is that they’re trying to give this one employee “enough rope to hang himself” so that they can fire him rather than just take away his licenses.  But they’re playing roulette with customer and employee safety as they do it.

And his stupid shit is spreading, as other new employees see him getting away with it.

And to top it off those of us who’re horrified at it are being reprimanded for “lack of respect for fellow employees” because we’re refusing to put up with said stupid shit.

Yes, there are other avenues to report unresolved safety hazards, and I (and at least one other employee) have started using it.  I just hope that no one is injured or killed in the time it takes for corporate to deal with the reports…….

Bill numbers are A06129 and S03464.  S03464 has passed in the state Senate!

Text here.  Duplicated here.  Article on it here.

The ONLY maybe good thing I can see is that because it’ll be a public list you might be able to realize you’re on it, and maybe start the process to get yourself removed, before it causes actual problems for you.  Maybe.

If they were going to stick to requiring an actual conviction for terrorist offenses I’d not mind so much.  But no, they’re also going to use the .GOV “terrorist lists” to fill out this registry.

Fuckers.

If you live in NY state please contact your Assembly person and let them know what you think!

“Lets regulate guns like we do cars!”

Sure.

Lets do that.

That means that if I tell you I’m only going to use the gun on my own property then it doesn’t matter who I am, what I’ve done, what my health is like, what gun it is, so on, etc.  There’s no legal reason for you to deny me the purchase.

That means that my NY state pistol license is good in every state.

That means that my state legal gun, legally purchased in NY, is legal in every state.

Is that really what you want?  No?  Then stop spreading that stupidity……

BTW, the number of people who are apparently completely unaware that it’s legal to run a car on your own property without any registration, inspection, insurance, license, actual functional vision, etc is a little scary.

I’m not personally against basic safety training and the like before a license can be issued, though I’m not saying that I know the right way to implement it without infringing on rights, but can we please just stop sharing the stupidity around??  Its not THAT hard to look up the actual laws (and not the media’s interpretation of them) and figure out whats legal and whats not.  But the number of people who’d rather take the media’s word for it……..

Sigh, someone remind me why I hang out on social media??