Monday, March 30, 2009

The Bland Diet

Cat Person? No Way! Dog Person? Yup, that's me! I have two dogs right now, an eight year old "Boxer-mix" and a 5 month old Border Collie/Brittany Spaniel. For the sake of this post let's call them Old Son and Young Blood (note: not their real names). The older pup is the sweetest thing you could ever meet, and the youngster is such a spasmodic nutjob, a loving, but spasmodic nutjob.

Last week, Young Blood started to have a serious case of diarhea. Now, the vet decided to give him some meds, but also told us to put him on the Bland Diet. Old Son is now having the same issues, and so we started him on the Diet already but have to call the vet today. Any time Old Son has been sick in the past, the vet at the time (this is going across two states) always told me to put him on the Bland Diet. The Diet works really well, and in my mind, is always the first step in treating any doggie illness.

****NOTE: I am not a Veterinarian and my advise should not replace that of a properly trained vet.*********

The Bland Diet

4 parts plain cooked white rice
1 part boiled ground beef OR 1 part boiled chicken

Mix these together and feed to the affected dog 4-5x per day. Also, feed approximately 50% more than their normal amount of food per day as this Diet does not contain as many nutrients as normal food. Continue for about 5 days and then begin mixing the regular food for 5 more days until the dog is eating only its normal food. If the first 5 days does not deal with the situation, call your vet immediately and ask for advice/when you can bring them in. (Ok, so I wouldn't be waiting 5 days, but 1-3 days on the Diet to see if it has any affects seems reasonable to me!)

I will tell you more about my experiences with these wonderful animals in posts yet to come. This has just been in my thoughts much more than anything else right now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Gift From Russia

*photo borrowed from

Did you know that Russia gave to America a monument commemorating the tragedy that occured on September 11, 2001? I had not heard of this prior to this morning on my drive into the office, so of course I had to go look it up! I checked TruthOrFiction and Snopes, and sure enough, they both agree that this is absolutely true!

Go checkout and the sites to see all of the photos and to read specifics, but here is some information about this.

*The base is surrounded by a wall with the name of every person lost in these attacks.
*The walk is made of stones engraved with messages.
*This is a gift from the people of Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
*This was dedicated on September 11, 2006.
*This is located in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Here we are 2 1/2 years after the completion and dedication of this monument and I have never heard a single story about this. Why not? What is going on with the media that a foreign nation gives us a gift to help us remember the pain of attacks on our soil and they don't even tell the American people about this??!?!!?

Go check out the other pictures on the sites above.

Never Forget.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brake Job...

Now, I am not sure how many of you out there work on your own cars, but I have been doing it for a number of years. A large number of years. There is very little on a car that I can't fix... Well, not counting the newer cars where you need specialized computer equipment to diagnose and figure out what sensor is making your car all wonky. The one thing that really is frustrating to me is doing a brake job on drum brakes.

For those who don't know, there are two types of brakes that go on cars: Disc and Drum. Disc brakes are two pads that squeeze onto a metal rotor and apply pressure that way to slow you down and eventually stop you. Drum brakes have a big metal drum, inside of which is a series of springs and wires and pins and two brake "shoes" that push outward against the drum to stop you. The older the car, the more rust accumulates on the springs and wires that form the braking mechanism of a drum brake, thus making it all that much more FUN (**dripping sarcasm) to try to work on. (See picture of the springs/adjusters/wires/etc.)
Now, I was doing a brake job on my truck because it was making this horrible thumping/thudding/grind as I tried to stop. I checked my front disc brakes to make sure the rotors weren't worn or warped, and sure enough, they were just fine! So I started on the rear brakes. Well, let's just say that I have had the truck for about 2 1/2 - 3 years, I had checked the rear brakes when I got it and they were really meaty and looking good. Well, now they were utter crud! (See picture) The brake material actually fell off of the brake shoe and cracked into three pieces. These pieces kept getting stuck as I tried to get the drum off to look at the brakes, making it an hour to an hour and half for one stinking drum! That doesn't even count the extra half an hour it took to change the brakes once it was off and I knew that was the problem.

Of course, the new brakes are supposed to come with these little pins that you have to smack into the shoe... and mine weren't there. So I had to go to the parts store to ask about them. I love my parts store. They didn't even blink, just took the packet out of another set of brakes and handed it to me and told me to have a good day. Look at the picture. This little pin made me take an extra day and half to do my brakes. Gotta love it... yeah, right!
So all in all, I got the brakes done and everything is working good now. This reminds me of something I figured out many years ago... I love working on cars and houses and projects. But it is so much more fun when you are upgrading or modifying something, and when you are fixing the needed pieces once in a while... but when you have a vehicle (or house) that is always fix this broken thing and then that broken thing... then it kinda sucks. Luckily neither of my vehicles, nor my house are like that, and I am keeping on top of things to make sure it stays that way. Though, it does irk me when what should be an hour-hour and a half long job takes 4 days! (when you take into account going to work, sleep, and all the other things in life that take up time.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eligible to Vote

I was reading today's post by Pearls over at My Modern Country Home, and some thoughts came up. She states that she does not agree with the guy in the video about having forced service. Well Good! Because neither do I. However, in her comments section, someone happened to mention Israel and how compulsory service works there. I'm going to leave this here and you can go over to her blog and read the comments there, but it did bring up some memories of a book I have discussed in the past... Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein.

In the book, military service is not mandatory. Heck, they will try to discourage their citizens, but if the citizen really wants to serve, they will not turn anyone away. If you serve, you become a Citizen and you can then vote and run for public office. If you don't serve, you are not a second class citizen or anything, you just don't get a vote. In the book, there are non-Citizens that have so much money that they could buy just about anything. Signing up to serve means you are signing up for a 2 year tour of duty. The theory behind this being that you put the active ones in charge of the people who just don't care enough.

Now, I am not advocating that we move to this system. But you know, it would remove from the voting pool those who don't care enough to do their own research on political candidates. Hmmm... and looking at America today, there would be a definite shrinking of the voting pool. No, no. "We the People" doesn't exclude lazy, ill-informed, non-"politically oriented" people.

But it would be interesting, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A lil' History Lesson

As we all should know, yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. Yay, drinking, partying, eating, etc. Right? Well, sure, on this side of the pond. But it boggled my mind yesterday when I was talking to my office neighbor and he stated quite boldly that he had no idea where the holiday came from or what it was about. Also, I got severely... annoyed... yesterday as everyone talked about corned beef and cabbage all day. Now let me say, we made corned beef and cabbage... I likes me some of that. But then, we'll talk about that in a bit!

First things first. Saint Patrick's Day. SAINT Patrick's Day. Can you tell that I am trying to emphasize the word Saint? Guess what that means... yup, yup, this originated as a holiday of Roman Catholics. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was a Roman boy who was kidnapped and sold into slavery on the island of Ireland. He was put to work as a shepherd for six years for his master, a druid and clan chief. During his time on the island, he learned the Irish celtic tongue fluently. But more importantly, he prayed every day while tending the flock. After six years, he managed to escape and headed back home to devote his life to God. He eventually went back to Ireland to convert the Irish natives to Christianity. There are many other miracles and things to know about his life and missonary work, but I think you get the idea now.

This has grown to be a national holiday in Ireland and only recently are the Irish attempting to use it for tourism. Until the mid-1970's the pubs were not allowed to be open or to serve alcohol because it was a religous feast day. But you can look this sort of information up online if it interests you... Now that you know it exists.


Now, as to corned beef and cabbage... I grant that this is an American tradition and I don't begrudge anyone eating it and enjoying it, even on St. Patrick's Day. But please, don't call it an Irish tradition. The Irish in Ireland don't eat it. The tradition started here in America when the Irish came over they were the poorest portion of the population. As the poorest group, they didn't have much money for meat. So when they found that the Jewish population had this really cheap cut of meat, the brisket, they used that. Because it is a cheap cut of meat, they brined the meat to make it more tender. Cabbage? Well, again, it was, and is, normally a very cheap vegetable.

So go ahead and eat up the corned beef and cabbage! But please, don't call it an Irish tradition. Call it Irish-American or even just American! and don't forget the Bean-O!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Here, There, and Everywhere!!!

Ok, I think I am ready to write a new post and to get back to at least a semi-regular schedule. I know, I know. You all were waiting with baited breath for me to start writing again. Never Fear... I is here!!!

First things first. If you read the wife's blog (DivaHick) you will know that Google's AdSense screwed us over big time. The ads are gone from both of our blogs because we had enough over their "limit" so that they were supposed to pay us, but gee, what a surprise. They suspended our account as soon as they were supposed to cut the check. No reason given, no example. You can't even talk to a real person to get an idea of where the supposed "violation" of their terms of service occured. Now, I read and re-read those terms of use and we did not violate them in any way that I can determine. We were supposedly "financially determental" to their advertisers... Hmmm, you mean that they might actually have to pay for services received? If I had enough money lying around, I would have a lawyer on their butts so fast it would make your head spin. They received multiple months of advertising and services from both of us and then, "oh sorry, we aren't going to pay you". EXCUSE ME? You try doing that, use a pay service for a few months and then don't pay. Think you would get away with it? Yeah, didn't think so.

Ok, on a completely different note... things have been rather hectic around the house with projects and whatnot going on to prepare for our fostering homestudy. I have 9 GFI's sitting there because from what we can tell, I have to do each outlet in the kitchen and bath, no matter how far away from the water they are. This means that I have to go through and trace the wiring and circuits before I start, because if I can prove that the outlets are in series and GFI-ing the first in the series covers the rest, I think I will do that and see what they say. And if I happen to get lucky enough that they are all on the same circuit, the cost for a GFCI breaker has dropped dramatically from what they used to. ($39 vs. $90) This would let me swap out the breaker instead of doing each individual outlet.

I had some work to do on the truck. That will be coming in a seperate post soon as I have pictures that I need to get onto the computer.

Various spots in the yard and the "back 40" have some good hard clay down about 18"-24", so they stay nice and marshy. We have a bag of pelletized gypsum that will work its way down to break up some of the clay, but that doesn't help us now. We had tilled the garden last fall, but some of it is growing green again so we will need to till it again as soon as the ground is dry enough. We have started a bunch of our seeds, and are preparing for when we can till it and get it all going!

Hmmm, that's all for now. I have a few more thoughts percolating, but they aren't ready. When they are steaming and full-strength, I'll pour you all a post or three.

BTW... Happy St. Patrick's Day. The day when all you out there get to be as lucky as those of us with some Irish in us! :-D

Monday, March 9, 2009

Things 'n stuff...

Ok, my brain should have exploded not long ago. I just needed to state this up front. It either exploded or its been leaking out my ear ever since... or maybe both. Let's take a glimpse into my brain, shall we?

Ok, the wife and I are in the process of becoming Foster Parents... this involves letting the government into your life in a large way. Now I'm not totally thrilled with this, but hey, at this point you do what you gotta do. So other than going to all sorts of trainings and filling out massive mounds of paperwork (government beauraucracy at it's finest!), your house has to pass a few inspections. One by the local fire department, and that makes sense. Not a big deal. But then their is the actual homestudy where the government caseworker comes into your house and tells you what you need to do to make your house ready.

Note that I said to make the house ready. Your house could be brand new and completely up to code, and still not pass. So needless to say, since our house is 60-odd years old, we have some things to do. We've been working on them throughout the past few months, but we still have a bunch of things that need to be done. It doesn't help that we have only been in the house for less than a year and things weren't completely unpacked/etc.

Now that being said, this weekend we had to run out for the day Saturday as a friend of the wife's was in a nearby city for a family thing, and we ran up there to say hey! Spent the whole day with her and did a bunch of stuff, but that took away a day of work. Then Sunday, its raining. A LOT. Well, have a few things that need to be done outside, and since my folks were coming into town to help with a few things, I head out early in the rain to do yard work. One of my jobs was to shovel a big pile of dirt back onto the septic tank. I do this and some other work and start to go inside.

Hmmmm... CRUD. My wedding ring is gone. I re-trace all of my steps, but the only thing I can think of is that it is somewhere in the mud that I shoveled. So I go through the mud and all around the yard and house. My folks bring out my old radio shack metal detector in vain hope that would help. So now I have to wait until everything dries so that I can sift through the dirt instead of the mud.

So my folks come to town, and while they are in town, my dad is going to help me try to figure out where a noise is coming from in the truck. Pull the front wheels and the brakes are tighter than Scrooge's fist on a silver dollar. Get them off and loosened the calipers and whatnot... then we go out for a test drive and we take the folks out to eat. Problem is still there. So we pull the back wheels... I can't tell you the last time I pulled the drums off the rear brakes... I think it's been a year and a half to two years. Took us about 2 hours, just to get the drums off. Need a rear brake job. Great. Get everything adjusted so its easy to take them off, put the tires back on. Then I find that I have a set of rear shoes for this truck. Well, by this point, its 9 pm or so? So my folks take off and they head home, and I get ready to crash out.

But wait! There's more. The puppy has the Hershey-squirts. Now, he is about 18 weeks old? I think, maybe, I dunno anymore. He was doing great on the one really expensive food, but when we ran out of that, we moved both dogs to a less expensive food. Maybe that's it, but.... *shrugs* We will have to see!

Hmmm, tonight, we have to clean out the chicken coop, then I'm off to the gym to run another couple/few miles. Maybe that will help get my head on straight?

Here's to hoping!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

U.N. infringing on U.S.?

The United States of America is a sovereign nation with all the rights and responsibilities pertaining to that title. The term Sovereign means the final and supreme lawmaking authority. Are we all on the same page with this? Good. Now, that being said... The United Nations has been, and still is, trying to pass treaties and bans that will infringe upon the sovereignty of our great nation.

The United Nation. An organization that has no legal standing within our nation, or really, in the world. An organization that has its own agenda, of which much is anti-American, because that is the bent of so many of the members within this group. An organization that gets it's headquarters and land RENT-FREE from our country each and every year.

They are already interfering with the private use land rights within our countries boundaries because of agreements made by our government. Read about how the U.N.'s World Heritage Sites are affecting America HERE. It's a shame that we have to learn about this from the Canada Free Press!!!!!

The U.N. is attempting to push through a ban that will ban any and all anti-Islamic speech throughout the world. Sure, they couch it in terms of "protecting" religions across the globe, but the only group specifically mentioned is Islam. No one ever said that you have the right to not be offended, especially if what is said is true.

How does this affect us? Well, it clearly violates the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. This truly is an abomination across the world and is often used to punish members of other religions and groups. Imagine if they started griping at America to follow it? Do we have strong enough political leaders to withstand the push that the "global community" can put forth? Let us hope so. Let us pray that our government will withstand the push by outsiders to make us conform to some sort of global standard of speech. I am worried about it, but it is something that I will be watching and praying about.

World News Daily
AOL News

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kipper me timbers...

Hmmm, so I wanted to write a bit about some often ... overlooked? ... foods that are really quite yummy, good for you, and relatively cheap! I'm talking about the little tins of fishies! Sardines, anchovies, herring, etc. These things range anywhere from less that $1 to $3 per tin, depending on the size, brand, flavor, etc. They pack huge amounts of protein (atkins anyone?), omega-3 oils, etc. No carbs, lots of protein, lots of flavor. What's not to love?

Ok, if you are scared of fish (like somebody I could name!), you would want to make sure that you get the headless ones, but other than that! Looking at the Brunswick cannery website ( shows that these little babies can be stored for years with no problems. They recommend that they should be eaten within 2 years as the taste starts to go after that. (That is why you should always rotate your stores in your house.) If you didn't eat it in two years, do you really think you will?

These little babies also come in lots of different flavors from plain, to hot sauce, to mustard, to oil, etc. That isn't counting the fact that you can mix these in to different dishes and spreads to get all their goodness without eating from the tin (like me). Now my grandfather used to much on sardines with mustard, and I know when I was younger that I thought he was nuts. But then what do we really know when we are kids!

So wether you are saving canned foods to be safe for the future, on a diet to lose some weight, looking to build muscle, or just want a new and interesting snack. I highly recommend checking out a few different types of these little babies. Doesn't cost much, can be stored for a rainy day, and I think they are just plain yummy.

*Fish-heads, fish-heads, rolly-polly fish-heads, eat them up, YUM!*