Tell me again

Tell me again, how lockdowns were the only option for handling this virus.

Tell me again, how lockdowns were the only way to keep the public safe.

Tell me again, how forcing those already confined into total solitude was the only way to save their lives.

Tell me again, how its all for the children.

There were and are absolutely intermediate steps that can and should be done to protect the vulnerable. The expansion of shopping services, and other hands off services. The expansion of sick days and the ability to work from home from businesses. The recognition that some people have fucked immune systems and need additional protection. I’d certainly like to see these things continued and expanded.

But the assumption that we, as a national and international community, needed to shut down everything in order to save lives?

No.

The long term health damage from these shutdowns is going to be astronomical, just in the first world countries involved. Physical health, mental health, and emotional health. And not just to the adults. Children NEED the social interactions we just forced them to miss, they NEED it in order to learn to be better adults. We just fucked the hell out of the next generation, and that sort of thing has the ability to snowball into additional generations as those kids grow up and have kids of their own.

The long term health damage done to non-first world countries due to the shutdown? Programs to alleviate starvation had to shut down. Programs to alleviate various major diseases had to shut down. Shutdowns that mean that their efforts could be set back years due to having to start over in some areas. Shutdowns that mean that they now have to start over at gaining local trust.

And the economic, world wide, damage done by the shut down and the following various health issues? Yah.

So tell me again…..


Food Intolerance

Last summer (2019, to be clear), I suddenly started experiencing some fairly significant stabbing intestinal pain.  It would come out of nowhere, leave me curled up in a ball wanting to die for a day or two, and then fade back out and disappear and I’d be fine for weeks before it would hit again.  It was accompanied by random diarrhea, extreme gas and bloating (also excruciatingly painful btw), and weird headaches and weird brief bouts of vertigo.  Though I didn’t actually put all those symptoms together as being caused by the same thing till at least several months in.  I’d previously had a diagnosis of diverticulitis, and worried that the intestinal pain was because of that, so I called the gastro specialist (several times), went into urgent care (twice), saw my regular doctor (once), and had a phone conversation with my rheumatologist.  CT and god only knows how much bloodwork and time later the diagnosis was: there’s nothing wrong with you that we can find.  Over the last several years I’ve come to highly dislike the phrase “well, your bloodwork is normal”, and this didn’t help with that.  We briefly thought that the intestinal pain might be caused by, or at least aggravated by, the methotrexate that the rheumatologist was trying for my  hand issues.  But nothing else seemed to be anything we could pinpoint.

It was November or so before I realized that clearly SOMETHING external was triggering the problem, food being the most likely, and easiest to track, culprit.  My brother had a severe lactose intolerance as a child, so I probably should have recognized the symptoms sooner, but who expects a new food intolerance at the age of 40??  I tend to eat a fairly boring diet, much the same thing over and over, but there is some variation.  I also tended to eat a lot of fast food for work lunches, supplemented by the vending machines in the break room.  The occasion where I wasn’t eating fast food for work lunches it tended to be pre-packaged meals from the grocery store rather than home made.  I attempted to start tracking what I was eating, but struggled to find a format that would work for tracking.  I carry my cell phone everywhere, so some sort of app seemed like the obvious solution, but none of the pre-done food tracking apps seemed to be what I wanted, and I hate typing out long lists of things or paragraphs on that tiny keyboard.  Late December I finally ordered a set of pocket notebooks, specifically I ordered a set of fancy ones that wouldn’t be ruined if they got wet.

January and February my hours at work always crash.  The downside to being part time in a department that basically requires good weather to get good sales.  But this year it was a good thing.  It made it ever so much easier to eat completely homemade, starting the week after Christmas.

Within two weeks of eating completely homemade my symptoms almost completely disappeared.

Then I decided to make myself popovers one day.  I love popovers, but they’re just fussy enough to make that I don’t actually  make them often.  Specifically using a mini muffin pan so that I could have popovers to eat all day.  Had 3 or 4 mini popovers for breakfast.  About half an hour after eating I had a mild vertigo moment, like I’d stood up to fast.  Then suddenly my head was pounding.  The headache faded back out quickly enough, I shrugged it off.  Had another 3 or 4 mini popovers for lunch.  Had another vertigo moment, and another brief headache.  WTF.  Then a couple hours later I suddenly developed severe gas bloating.  Ended up taking a double dose of GasX.  By supper time I was starting to notice some intestinal discomfort.  It wasn’t to the stabbing pain stage yet, but I could tell it was getting there.

The ingredients in my popover recipe: AP flour, milk, butter, eggs, salt.  I’d also grated cheese on the popovers before eating them.

The flour was the same flour I’d used to make the bread I’d been eating for the previous  couple weeks without any symptoms.  The butter was the same butter I’d been putting on my toast every morning.  Salt, well, if I was reacting to salt I was probably screwed, but since I’d been eating things with salt in them for the previous couple weeks without issue I was pretty sure I could ignore that too.  I don’t drink much milk, but I do put real cream in my coffee every morning, a fair bit of it too, I like my coffee light, I was pretty sure I could ignore the milk as a risk.  And I’d been eating the same cheese regularly for the previous couple weeks too.

Eggs.  I’d previously, several years ago, had a brief issue where eating eggs (of any kind) had given me some severe gas, but other wise no other problems with them, and that problem had faded back out in a couple months with no issues since.  But sure enough, the day after making popovers I had severe stabbing abdominal pain that took several days to fade back out.  My egg intake has always been variable.  I LIKE eggs, but sometimes I’ll eat them alot, and other times I’ll go weeks without eating any except as a possible ingredient in something.

The only good part of the problem being eggs is that eggs are one of the “major food allergens” that the FDA requires be explicitly listed on labels, including when the possibility of remnant traces could be present.  So while frustrating to avoid, due to eggs being a very common ingredient, it wouldn’t be impossible to avoid them at least.

I started adding back in the occasional processed food item to my diet once the reaction to the popovers had faded.  No gas, no bloating, no headaches.  Occasional, minor abdominal/intestinal discomfort, but it was really minor, I shrugged it off, it would probably take my system a while to completely return to normal.

Then I bought a package of Friendly’s Mint Chip Ice Cream.  Now there are some fancier ice creams that contain eggs as an ingredient, but Friendly’s isn’t one of them.  Friendly’s is pretty cheap ice cream infact, with alot of additives for texture and flavor and preservatives.  Half a bowl of ice cream later and I had a swing of vertigo and then a pounding headache, feeling flushed, as if my blood pressure had dropped and then spiked.  A check with my husband’s home blood pressure cuff confirmed that my blood pressure was higher than usual (though not in the range of needing immediate treatment).  I hadn’t thought to check my blood pressure with the previous headaches.  The next morning I woke up with stabbing abdominal pain that took a week to fade back out.

Fuck.

I put together a spreadsheet of the ingredients, and started working my way down the list of thing that were easy to test as individual items.  Its not dairy.  Its not soy.  Its none of the mint flavorings I’ve been able to try.  Its none of the chocolates I’ve been able to try.  Its none of the food colorings I can get ahold of.  None of the seasonings I’ve tried individually.  None of the cocoa’s or cocoa butters I’ve tried.  This leaves me with a fairly short list of texture, flavor, and preservative additives.

I bought a loaf of Italian bread with garlic spread from a local grocery as a treat to myself (I love the stuff, but have been known to eat half a loaf in a sitting, so I don’t buy it very often).  No eggs listed in the ingredients, possible traces of egg from things made in the same factory.  Either there was more than a trace of eggs, or I was reacting to some other ingredient in it, the reaction wasn’t as bad as the popovers or the ice cream, but it wasn’t minor either.  There was no overlap between the suspect ingredients in the ice cream and the garlic bread.

Bought a package of Pillsbury’s freezer biscuits (they’re just like the ones in the can, but you can pull out however many you want at a time to bake instead of having to bake the whole can, yes I can make biscuits, I was feeling lazy).  No eggs listed, not even traces.  I didn’t get any blood pressure swings or gas/ bloating from them, but I had stabbing abdominal pain from them for over a week.  Almost no overlap with previously suspect ingredients.  Or rather, the overlap is “natural flavor”, which isn’t helpful.

I have also confirmed that just egg whites will set me off, as will duck eggs.

I’m back to eating home made and whole foods (nuts, fruits, vegis, meats) as much as I possibly can.  While this is quite likely healthier than my previous diet it’s also frustrating as hell.  On top of dealing with the chaos that is 2020?  It has been hell.

The first allergist I saw was no help.  Blood work says you don’t have a food allergy, go back to your gastro specialist.  Gastro specialist says he can’t find anything wrong.  My regular doctor is sending me to a different allergist, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’ll note that figuring out a food intolerance is not “essential”, which in the year that has become 2020 means I get to deal with it almost entirely on my own, regardless of anything else.  Thank god I’m not especially prone to depression.

Everyone who thinks that we need to shut down all “non-essential” services and businesses in order to survive a pandemic that has a tiny death rate can go fuck themselves.


Look, I don’t care

I don’t care if you think everyone should be wearing masks.

I don’t care if you think masks are useless.

I don’t care if you think the pandemic is going to kill us all.

I don’t care if you think it’s all a hoax.

 

You know what I care about?

The lowly retail employee who went from being vilified as a minimum wage drone to applauded as an essential worker in the space of a week.  The cashier who got told they were putting their life on the line so that people could buy something.  The sales floor employee who got told they were probably going to get sick so that people could buy something.  The retail employee who spent 4 months getting a minimum “hazard bonus” for working double shifts to try to keep the store open while the rest of the world lost their collective brains.

The slightly simple greeter who gets assholes yelling at him because we dare to have signs up spelling out the states facial covering mandate.

The service desk worker who has assholes yelling at her because we don’t kick out someone who’s not wearing a mask.

The sales floor employee who’s getting yelled at multiple times a days because “why the fuck aren’t you carrying bird seed any more?!” (seriously, bird seed, I’ve had more pissed off people over the lack of bird seed than anything else this past week)

The specialty department supervisor who’s almost old enough to be MY mother who’s been doing this her whole life who walked off the sales floor in tears after dealing with that one last asshole on the sales floor last week.

It’s not the fault of anyone in the store that we’re out of what you want to buy.  We’re stocking out onto the shelves every single god damned thing we can find that even kinda sorta fits.  And the company is using every bit of their pretty massive buying power to try to get us stuff to put onto the shelves.

It’s not the fault of anyone in the store that the state not only wrote up a facial covering mandate but has started fining stores for each unmasked person they find in the store.

I suppose it might be our fault for not turning away people who aren’t wearing masks, but since we carry some pretty essential supplies the company has decided they’re not going to do that.  And frankly if you want to come stand at our door and try to stop that big ass angry dude from coming in without a mask then feel free.  Frankly I’m not paid enough, and neither is anyone else in the store.

If you want to bitch about something the company might actually be able to control feel free to take it up with the corporate office.

If you want to bitch about the politics of it feel free to take it up with your local politicians.

Don’t take it out on the people who’re way to massively overworked and underpaid and who don’t have any control over it anyway.

(and yes, all the described incidents of asshole customers have all happened, either to me personally, or where I could see them happen to a co-worker.  I seriously have no idea how in hell this country made it through the last few months without some kid working their first retail job losing it completely and going postal on customers, I really don’t.)


Pod 3 Pet Tracker, a review

So I’ve posted before about how my dogs have an iffy recall.  We also live in the middle of a large area of forest/farm land, so if the dogs did get loose without us right behind them they could disappear easily.  So a while back I started looking at various pet locator/tracker options.

A lot of the inexpensive ones just flat out wouldn’t work for us.  They’re designed to function over bluetooth (BLE) only.  They may work well in cities where there’s tons of folks and phones to bounce signals off of, but not so much here.

So I started looking at the ones that use cell signals.  Reviews were iffy, but one that kept coming back with positive reviews was Pod Tracker.  Concern: they (and all the rest) were running on 2G signals, which many areas are phasing out.  But it quickly developed that they were building a model that ran on both 2G and 3G, as well as wireless internet signals.  Not perfect, but much better than many of the options.  They were running it as a Kickstarter, but they’d run both of their previous models on Kickstarter too, so that wasn’t a huge issue.  We signed up, two units (with two batteries each) plus two “modules” with the choice of oversized batteries.

We got an email in the early spring last year (2017) asking if we’d like to join the Beta testers program, they were having some issues with the programming of the new units and were offering early arrival of the units to folks who were willing to put up with the problems and give feedback, by doing so they’d also give us an extra few months of cell service free.  We’re both fairly tech savvy and agreed that yah, we could do that.

It became pretty obvious pretty quickly that a large portion of the problem was that they’d gone to fancy.  A huge number of the folks who buy these trackers just want to know where their animal is at that point in time.  The activity tracker and adventure settings were cool, but not the real need of most folks.  But there were other issues too.

We were being told to expect THIS behavior, and then, a month or two later, when that behavior would stop, be told that “oh, it wasn’t supposed to do that”.

Folks who were running both Pod 2’s and Pod 3’s at the same time were reporting that their Pod 2 would be working fine in an area (2G signal only), while the Pod 3 (2G and 3G signal) wouldn’t be able to get signal at all.

Physically, several of us had the battery caps (that make them waterproof) pop off our batteries.  These batteries were replaced.

The modules, in our case the extra big batteries, kept getting pushed out further and further till they stopped answering when we asked when they were going to come out.

There has been an ongoing issue where folks using Android phones are unable to connect to the tech support chat in the app.  The app just crashing when you attempt to access it or while you’re accessing it.

And so on.

There were additional issues specific to us.  While we have great 4G signal here our 2/3G signals aren’t the greatest, in addition, with so few houses in close proximity wireless signals travel far further than expected.  This resulted in A LOT of frustration with false locations for us.

One of the “features” was the ability to set a “Home Wifi” where if the Pod3 could pick up that signal then it knew that the dog was at home.  However because of the above stated signal travel problem, and the fact that the Pod is apparently far more sensitive to WIFI signals than my cell phone, it was saying that the Pod3 was at home, when in reality I was standing with it in my hand over 400 meters down the road (a point well past where my cell phone stopped getting the same Wifi signal).  Attempting to turn down the signal power on our router didn’t make a difference.  And the Home Wifi over-rode every other location setting on the Pod, if the Pod saw the Home Wifi it just stopped otherwise trying to find the location.  So I turned off the “Home Wifi” feature.  And promptly got yelled at by tech support for “repeatedly turning off and on the Home Wifi” because the system was to fragile to handle it.  Note, the “repeated off and on” was one on and one off with at least two hours in between.  However without the Home Wifi set the battery life on the Pod3’s dropped considerably due to the constant struggle to get cell signal.  Instead of 2-3 days I was getting barely 1 day.  I eventually turned back on the Home Wifi feature, deciding that the fragile system be dammed, when the dogs took off I’d just turn off the feature then in order to find them.  Signal strength away from our home improves considerably, and since the point is to find the dogs when they’re away from home I figured that we could  make that work.

Folks who were assisting with the Beta were eventually given a free year of cell service, with renewal set 1yr after we’d all received our Pods.  But frustration arose when 2017 Black Friday sales hit.  The sale for the Pod 3, for new subscribers, was a “free lifetime subscription”.  Quite a few folks contacted Pod about how did those of us who’d been dealing with all these problems get a life time sub?  Responses  varied alot.  One person was told that we’d be receiving coupons to get it (as of this time not one person in the FB group has admitted to receiving said coupon), others weren’t responded to at all.  I was personally told that they were unable to give us the free lifetime sub due to physical restrictions on the accounts.  And so on.  Folks who had to receive a replacement Pod for various reasons DID get the free lifetime sub on the new Pods, but that seems to be the limit of it.

The first week of January 2018 the battery life of Apollo’s Pod3 suddenly took a nosedive.  Instead of getting 2-3 days of life it was getting barely 24hrs, and then barely 12hrs.  Tech support first tried to blame this on various things, but then finally admitted that several other pods were having the same problem.  Then Arty’s Pod3 started randomly doing the same.  As of the time I type this review (May 2018) this battery life problem has not been fixed.  It’s definitely not specific to the battery used, all of the batteries I have on hand, including the ones with damaged caps, do it (or not do it, the problem is random, Apollo’s pod hasn’t lasted more than 24hrs on a single battery since January, but Arty’s pod will randomly last two days).

Then over the last month I suddenly noticed that several of the batteries were cracking/breaking where they connected to the Pods.  A check with tech support, and then a closer look at the Pods themselves, showed that Apollo’s pod had somehow become damaged at the rim, putting stress on the battery connections.  They sent me a replacement Pod and batteries.

The replacement Pod arrived last Friday, and Sunday I took the time to try to set it up.  Note the “try”.  When we got the original two Pods they both setup with essentially no fuss or bother despite our poor 2/3G signal problems, nor have I had any issues getting them to connect to the Home Wifi, or getting a firmware update.  Not so this time around.

First the replacement Pod didn’t want to see the cell signal at all, then, after an hour of trying, I got it connect to the cell signal but it wouldn’t connect to the app.

Part of setting up the new Pod is setting up subscription information.  Imagine my surprise when “life time free subscription” was an option on the new replacement Pod.  Yet they “can’t do that” on the original ones…..

Several hours of frustrated trying later I got it to connect to the app, but then it needed a firmware update.

It was late Monday morning before I finally got it to do the firmware update.

Then it needed a new battery, and took several repeated tries (after the battery replacement) to get it to see the cell signal again.

Then it refused to connect to the Home Wifi.  Monday afternoon was spent with both Arty’s Pod (one of our original Pod3’s) and Apollo’s replacement Pod in hand as I argued with tech support and got increasingly frustrated.

Tech support repeatedly blamed the problem on our poor cell signal, yet everything I was trying to do with the new Pod I was also trying to do with Arty’s Pod, with them side by side in my hand.  And Arty’s Pod was connecting with zero problems, while Apollo’s replacement Pod repeatedly refused to connect.

While I was chatting with tech support via the app on my iPad (see above comment about how the app won’t allow Android phones to connect to tech support, yes, that’s still a problem almost a year later), I was also chatting with some folks in both the Official Pod FB group, and the unofficial Pod FB group.  Several folks were reporting sudden problems getting their Pods to connect to the local cell signal (indicated by a solid red light on the Pod), the ones who’d reported it to Pod tech support were told it was due to a problem with their local cell service provider, yet when the local cell service provider was contacted they had no knowledge of an outage.  In one case one person was using a Pod2 that was connecting just fine, while her Pod3 was refusing to connect.

I finally informed tech support that I wanted a refund on the modules that we still hadn’t received and hadn’t even been given a firm date of arrival on yet, and closed the chat.  I received a message an hour later that the refund had been processed (a whole $21, yay).

Repeated tries finally got the replacement Pod to connect as needed.

Monday evening Pod folks posted in the Official Pod FB group that they had become aware of an issue causing cell signal problems (showing as a solid red light on the Pod) for some Pods and they were looking into it.  (Imagine that, it wasn’t a problem with the local cell signal after all……..)

I put new batteries on both Pods Monday afternoon when Apollo’s Pod had indicated it needed a new battery.  Got up Tuesday (today) morning to both Pod’s having reported low battery at some point over night.  Essentially 12hrs of battery life.  But ok, I did spend a lot of time Monday afternoon refreshing and what not.

Replace the battery in Arty’s pod.  It connected to the system no problem.

Replace the battery in Apollo’s new replacement Pod.  Solid red light.  Half an hour of trying before it finally got a solid signal.  But there’s “nothing wrong with the new Pod and it’s clearly a problem with your cell signal coverage, and if you want us to send you yet another replacement pod you’ll have to pay to send the first replacement back to us first”.  Something tells me the battery life isn’t going to be any better this time around…….

Update: Tuesday evening tech support sent us a message that they’d noticed folks were getting “red light-no signal” when the pod was connecting correctly, and gee I wonder if its connected……I rolled my eyes.  Wednesday morning it took three reboots of the new Pod before it would connect.  Thursday morning it only two reboots!  Improvement!  But battery life is still horrid.  Today, Thursday, it gave me a low battery notification barely 6 hours after I put on the fresh battery.


Read the damn manual

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.


“acid” whey, scare mongering, and the media

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

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…..

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……


But socialized medicine is the BEST don’t ya know!

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

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.