Dog food

Now I know I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been making my own dog treats.  The reasons for this are a couple, first he’s on a gluten free diet and that all by itself cuts out over half the treats on the petstore shelf.  The other reason is concern over where the products IN the treats came from. 

Did you know that a company can import partially processed meats and other ingredients, complete the processing here in the USA, and legally put “Made in the USA” on the package?  And unless the package specifically says SOURCED in the USA that is likely whats happening.  Now not all imported ingredients are bad, the only country you REALLY have to watch out for is China, pretty much anywhere else in the world is fine as a food source.  But the problems with products from China never really went away, they just got relegated to “old news” and thus are rarely talked about any more.

Needless to say these concerns didn’t take long to make it over to what he was eating regularly.  Now he was already eating a gluten free kibble specifically recommended by his breeder.  So first off to do some research on them…..and no information on the package or website telling me where their ingredients comes from.  Not cool.  Now true, I can’t find any record of them being involved in any recalls either, BUT their parent company has a reputation for not always handling recalls well with some of their OTHER petfood brands.  Not cool.

So a bit more research and digging around.  I’d prefer to feed a raw diet but worry about making sure he’s getting the right balance of “stuff,” especially since he’s still a growing boy, not to mention the need for someone else in the family to feed him on the occasion we’re on vacation.  Ran across a company called The Honest Kitchen, they make a dehydrated raw dog and cat food.  Hey, they list where their ingredients are from!  Even better, they’re FDA certified for producing food for HUMAN consumption.  Thats right, unlike every other dog food company out there when they say their food is human grade they can prove it.  Thats really cool.  And cost wise, volume for volume its actually a bit cheaper than the equivalent amounts of Taste of the Wild canned foods and kibble.  Thats really cool.

Been feeding The Honest Kitchen’s Embark and Zeal foods for several weeks now and he quite enjoys it.  I’d been supplementing them with raw ground turkey or chicken for variety, when I ran across this post by Heather over at Raised by Wolves.  Now Apollo certainly doesn’t need the extra fat and whatnot that those babies do, but I like the concept of the “meatball” format, make ’em up, freeze ’em, pull out as much as you need for a meal.  Takes a bit more time cause they have to thaw, but not as much as if I was making it from scratch each time.  So I modified the basic recipe to fit my needs:

2lbs ground turkey or chicken
2lbs 90/10 ground beef
2 cups whole oats
a small splash of olive oil
a small dash of molasses
4 eggs
plus whatever else I feel like throwing in (sprinkle of ground dried garlic, a 1/2 cup of grated peperoni, left over cooked turkey, etc)

Mix it all up, use an ice cream scoop to make into meatballs and place onto a parchment or freezer paper lined cookie tray, place tray in freezer till meatballs are frozen (several hours, I just usually leave them over night), move meatballs into ziplock bags, and presto easy, predone supplements for a growing puppy.  And since I was usually making his food several hours ahead of time anyway due to the need to rehydrate it, adding in a meatball or two to thaw isn’t a huge deal.

I have to add, cause someone’s sure to wonder, I’ve tried REPEATEDLY to get my cats onto a raw diet, I highly suspect that it would help Janie’s health problems immensely, but they steadfastly REFUSE.  I keep trying!


Solar power

I posted, way back shortly after starting this blog, about a company called Clarian Power, which was attempting to produce less expensive, “plug n play,” solar and wind power systems for the average consumer.  Their products were decidedly interesting and I’d been keeping an eye on them for a while.  They were hoping to have product on the market by the end of this year.

So, today, with all the news about “green power” companies going under I decided to hit Clarian’s website to see if there’d been any updates.  Except the website has changed.  The link now auto redirects to www.clarianlabs.com which doesn’t have any information on it except a “contact us” button.  I can get around that new front page by typing in www.clarianpower.com/solar.html and see the originial website, but there’ve been no updates.  Well, that’s not cool, but hey, I was following their Facebook site, and now that I think about it there haven’t been any updates from that for a while either, but lets go check.  Except there’s no Facebook site any more either.  Under either the Clarian Power name, or the Clarian Labs name, and its not listed as a page I’m following any more.

Well f*ck.  Hit Google, nothing really comes up there either.  Links to past articles about the solar and wind projects, an article about a “new” project (dated a few months ago), and thats it.  Nothing about this being one of the companies thats closing, nothing.  So I don’t KNOW that something bad has happened to them, but the lack of anything anywhere is not promising!


Oddness in Stats

For anyone else using Blogger (I have no idea if the other blog softwares do the same thing).

I mostly use SiteMeter to track visitors and the like to the blog, but I also keep an eye on the Stats page provided by Blogger.  I know most of the figures aren’t the most accurate, but it also shows me highest read posts and the like so I’ll glance at it every so often.

But I’ve noticed something odd in the Traffic Sources section of the Stats.  The large majority of the traffic sources are other blogs, either blogs where I’m on the blogroll, or where I’ve posted.  Not a huge surprise.  There are often a few from search engines as well, mostly with the search terms “kitty holster”, again, not a big surprise.

Whats odd is in the last month or so have been several websites listed that really shouldn’t be.  They appear to be business sites (though they strike me more as spam/scammer sites), and the referring URL is nothing more than the site’s main page.  If it was someone referring to my blog in a comment, or article the referring URL SHOULD be that article page, not the main page.  I’m not going to post the websites because I highly suspect they’re spammer/scammer sites, but even if they’re nothing more than advertisers, thats an awfully odd way to get links…..oh yah, and none of these odd referring URLs are showing up on SiteMeter!

Am I the only one with this phenomenon?


Life

Life has been a bit interesting the last month or so.

First husband ends up on strike.  Then they call off the strike, but they don’t have a new contract, which means that they could go BACK on strike at any time.

Then my parents arrive, and well, I already posted about that visit.  Lets just say I’m very glad they’re home again.

Then a week ago today, Husband is leaving to go to work, and walks back into the house informing me that he’s seeing double.  Now seeing double COULD just mean he needs new glasses, the ones he’s currently got are going on two years old, but it ALSO could mean alot of bad things as well, so off we go to the urgent care clinic.  Urgent care promptly freaks out cause double vision combined with the insane headache he’d had the night before COULD mean stroke, so instead of sitting in the waiting room for a couple hours like usual he had a room to himself in about 5 minutes.  Doctor pokes and prods and asks questions and decides that its PROBABLY not a stroke, but we’re going to run an EKG, and a CAT scan just to make sure we’re not missing anything.  CAT scan came back normal, EKG informed us that his heart rate was a bit off the low end of normal.  Doctor says he wants Husband to follow up with a Neurologist and a Cardiologist just in case and sends us home.  So Monday he calls his regular doctor to set up the appropriate referrals, doc says come in so I can look at you first (not a huge surprise).  They do another EKG, and this one comes back normal.  Doc says that he thinks its probably nothing more than a sinus infection from hell, but we’ll check with the cardiologist and the neurologist just to be sure, and since you already have an appointment with an ear/nose/throat specialist Tuesday make sure you mention all this to him.

So Tuesday he goes to see the E/N/T specialist, an appointment he’s been waiting for a couple months now, cause for the last couple years he’s been getting sinus infections every 3 or 4 months, so by now the usual drugs don’t work very well on him, and the newer/less commonly used drugs give him vertigo, which means he basically ends up suffering through several days (and occasionally a couple weeks) of headaches, feeling nasty, and green snot far to regularly.  Cat scan of is sinuses showed some interesting artifacts in the sinus pathways so off to a specialist  you go.  The specialist listens to the whole story, sets him up to see an allergist (so he knows exactly what he’s dealing with), a balance trainer (cause chances are the vertigo isn’t going to be curable), and an appointment to take a closer look at the insides of his sinuses (I don’t want to know).  Specialist also agrees that its possible a sinus infection could cause the double vision, and stop taking the Allegra cause that could be making your sinus infections worse.  Instead take Ommaris and methylprednisone and we’ll see what happens.

So the fun’s not over yet, though by this time we’re  not really expecting the cardiologist or the neurologist to tell us anything bad, I really hope the E/N/T specialist can do something about the sinus infections though.  We were hoping that once we moved they’d go away, but that didn’t happen.

Edited to add: So yes, things could be aLOT worse, but that doesn’t keep it from being frustrating trying to keep up with it all…..


Parenting

Ok, I don’t  have kids, and have no intention of ever having kids, so all this is based on my experiences as a kid rather than any experiences with parenting (I don’t even babysit if I can avoid it).

Hsoi recently posted on  his opinion of a parenting situation he saw in public.  And it brought to mind a conversation Husband and I were having just the other night.  See, with the budget cuts this year the Syracuse school system can’t afford to have cops in their middle schools all the time any more.  Yes, you read that right MIDDLE SCHOOLS, and not just when someone calls 911, but ALL THE TIME.  And everyone is having FITS over it because the first week of school was SO violent cause the COPS WEREN’T there!!!!111111111!!!! 

Ok, so they confiscated a couple pocket knives and a teacher got “pushed around” while breaking up a fight.  Sorry, thats not violent.  Maybe if someone actually knifed another kid with said pocket knife…..but we’re not even talking the high schools, this is the MIDDLE schools.  And oh yah, having had the cops there would NOT have stopped the kids from bringing the knives thank you very much you idiots.

Now I’ll admit that I went to private, religious, schools my entire life cause my parents didn’t think much of the local public school system, but I still can’t recall more than once in my entire school career that we had to have the police called for a violent student (or adult for that matter), and I can’t recall hearing about the police being called to the public schools any more often than that.  So I checked with Husband, after all he’s native to this general area, maybe he can tell me how violent Syracuse schools are…..except he said the same thing I did.  Basically the only time you saw cops in the schools was because it was Jobs day and someone’s cop daddy was there to talk about his job…..if a kid got out of hand they sic’ed the PE teacher on him/her and called the kids parents.  Cops only got called if there was blood involved.

Now I didn’t do any research before this post, so maybe Syracuse schools have a more violent reputation now’a’days then we’re aware, but I can’t recall any blood-baths at a school here making the news in the last few years.  And I DO recall several news reports from across the nation of kids getting arrested for nothing more than drawing on desks, so you know what?  Syracuse get over it.  Put 911 on speed dial if you’re that concerned, but maybe its time to tell the parents to actually PARENT their kids instead of coddle them, and stop insisting that being “pushed around” is violence.


A couple links

A wheelchair bound Vet uncovers fraud.  Seriously, the numbers involved are scary, that they were getting away with that much, and this guy was the only one who noticed?  At least he’s getting something for his time!

State to ban commercial vehicles from a problem roadway.  Living not to far from this particular road, and even traveling it on the occasion I’m visiting family in the area, I really don’t know WHY they think this is going to help.  The entrances are already signed to a fair-thee-well about the height restrictions, and people constantly miss them, miss read them, think their vehicle isn’t that tall….so why will signs annoucing the road isn’t availible to commercial vehicles going to make that much of a difference??


Kitty Holster update

In watching the stats for people who wander across this site, I noticed that there’s actually quite a few (as in a couple week) who find me via the search term “Kitty Holster” so I thought I’d give an update as to what I think.

Previous post.

Not only are we still using it on Trouble, I went ahead and bought one for Janie as well, though I’ve not remembered to get pictures of her in it.  They’ve held up well, and being able to toss them in the washer and dryer when they get a bit gross is very handy.  Janie is as unfussed about hers as Trouble was/is about wearing hers so I got to say that I’m quite delighted with these purchases all the way around.

Disclaimer, both Kitty holsters were bought with my own money, I was not asked to do these reviews and have received nothing for them.


Linky….

Brand new F16 pilot on 9/11/01.  Fark deemed her to have great big brass ones (ovaries, just in case anyone wondered).  I can’t argue.

Several others have linked, but I’m joining the club:  what happened in 1970 when a plane was hijacked.

On a lighter note: What we SHOULD have been taught in school.

A sneak peak at the 2011 Solar Decathlon houses.  Why do so many have such flat roofs??  Ok, it makes it easier to mount things on, I get that, but what about the large percentage of the world where a sloped roof is all that keeps your house from collapsing under the snow weight??