Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Save a Pet's Life, or a Person's, and Learn CPR

My morning walks sometimes take a weird turn.

I was wandering around town following the dog.  It was about 2 hours before dawn, normal for us.

I was decidedly allowing my dog, Rack the McNab Superdog (TM) to lead.   We hit the south end of town and were in a parking lot near the park there.  He just veered off to the right to head into the neighborhood there and slowed down wagging his tail.

There I saw, approaching us, my neighbor, Juan.  We greeted as normal, which is to say he was excitedly starting to tell me a story.

"I just about lost my dog!  He was laying there dying!"

Yes, that's a bit dramatic for just before 6AM.  It turns out his dog had either swallowed something or really had just decided to cross that damn Rainbow Bridge on his own.

What he told me was that he picked up "Bear" and performed the Heimlich on the dog followed by chest compressions.

"That is just what my first aid training would have told me to do with a person, I'm glad you saved him!"

Long story short... Bear is alive because someone knew just what to do.

That happened with my nephew, Jon, when he was around 4 years old.  I was at their house.  He ate "something" and it got caught in his windpipe.  Of course being a kid, he ran out of the room and upstairs.  I came calling after him.  He was getting wobbly and blue in the face.

I ordered him (yes, ordered.  That command presence can be very useful!)  to turn around.  He fell against me.  I put my fist into a ball and applied pressure just under the rib cage.

Well, with a gush of air and a splat, the offending piece of food ended up stuck on my Mom's grey wall paper on top of the stairs at her house in Cherry Hill.

My nephew is still alive to this day.

You can do this to yourself.  I did.

Watermelon with seeds are wonderful.  Without seeds they taste like a basketball.  Trust me, I'm from New Jersey.  I bit off more than I could chew and it got stuck in my windpipe.

Relax, don't panic, relax your abdomen, and push sharply on your abdomen.

The fruit popped out of my windpipe immediately.

Whenever possible, I always have maintained my Red Cross First Aid training.  If you get a chance to take it, don't blow it off, you may be that guardian angel that someone or someone's pet needs to survive.

Oh and skip the rawhide "treats".  That stuff is evil and stuffed with questionable chemicals.

It is leather after all.  Would you like to chew on a handbag?  A shoe?

When your dog goes to swallow the "treat", it may form a plug in their throat or windpipe and if you aren't watching, you'll be left in tears as your trusted friend makes that trip across the Rainbow Bridge.

If you do know CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, the actions are similar on a dog or a cat to what you'd do to a person.

Choking, see if you can clear the windpipe or the throat of any obstructions, and if not, apply pressure to the abdomen.  There's a one page PDF here from the SPCA explaining exactly how.

As far as CPR is concerned the instructions are to place your hands on the ribcage and do chest compressions at the rate of 20 per minute, or the speed of "Staying Alive" then two rescue breaths into their nose.  A Better explanation can be found here on the Red Cross.

They all recommend after an issue like this to get your pet to a vet for an exam since they can't talk.

My nephew Jon didn't need a vet.  Nor a doctor.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Why does Atheist Jesus have low self esteem? He doesn't believe in himself.

So since yesterday's rude joke was about a marriage and beer... why not follow it up with this one.

Anyone have a "Fine IPA" handy?



A husband and wife are shopping in their local supermarket.

The husband picks up a case of Budweiser and puts it in the cart. "What do you think you're doing?" asks the wife.

"They're on sale, only $10 for 24 cans" he replies. "Put them back, we can't afford them", demands the wife. They carry on with their shopping. A few aisles farther on, the woman picks up a $20 jar of face cream and puts it in the basket.

"What do you think you're doing?" asks the husband. "It's my face cream. It makes me look beautiful", replies the wife.

Her husband retorts, "So does 24 cans of Budweiser and it's half the price."

I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister.

The rule of the day is never ask rude questions if you don't want a rude answer!


A conversation between a man and a woman

Conversation between a man and a woman. She asks him 5 or 6 questions that he answers quickly and easily. She, however, will remain silent after answering a question asked by the man:

    woman: "Do you drink beer?"

    man: "Yes"

    Woman: "How many beers do you drink a day?"

    man: "Three"

    woman: "How much do you pay for each?"

    man: "$ 5, tip included"

    woman: "How long have you been drinking?"

    man: "Ehm ... more or less for 25 years"

    Woman: "So, if each beer costs you $ 5, and you drink 3 a day, it means you spend $ 450 a month, which is about $ 5,400 in a year.

    man: "Right"

-Women: "If you spend $ 5,400 in a year, without considering inflation, you have spent $ 135,000 over the last 25 years.

    man: "Right"

    Woman: "You are aware of the fact that if you did not drink beer, that money could have made you profit, maybe in some bank that would generate interest, and after accounting for the compound interest of the last 25 years, you could even buy a plane?

    man: "Do you drink beer?"

    woman: "No"

    man: "Where is your plane?"

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Who gets your digital pictures when your gone if nobody can find them? Back up your data.

Who knew FPL would be responsible for my thinking this through.

I take a lot of pictures.  I mean a LOT of pictures.  Anyone who dabbles in Photography does.


The last time I looked, between video I shot, intermediate edits, final edits, pictures, and so forth of things that made it through my hands, there are gigs worth of them.

Just a ludicrous amount.

I like looking at my pictures.   Some of you do out there too.  This blog is photography heavy.

My dog, my family, trees, birds, my engine bay of the Jeep.  Just things I like, just things that caught my eye.

Others may say that they're boring.  After all, how exciting can it be when my dog even yawns at me.

I know many of you out there are exactly like me.

We have our family pictures.  Birthdays, Weddings, Thanksgiving pictures.

If you're old.  Well ok, over a Certain Age, if you're being kind, you even have them on paper.

You know, actual Photographs.

Believe it or not, they will last longer.

Why do I say that?  Think of it this way, there have been house fires where the "Family Album" or the wedding album of Aunt Grace and Uncle Jeremiah back in 1910 in front of their flivver featured prominently on the fireplace, survived.

A Flivver I have been told is a Ford Model T where as a Jalopy is an old car from that era.  Jalopy is still used if my arteries to my brain have not hardened and I am not halucinating due to lack of blood flow.

Oh look!  A Shiny Object!

Ahem.

So what about that wonderful digital thing, the digital camera.

Great things aren't they?  You can take them anywhere because they're smaller, a little more sturdy, and even these days fit on the back and front of most cell phones.

Give me a Digital SLR any day, they're much more flexible, and you can get removable lenses.

No, I mean it if you have a spare...

Never mind.  Some day.... Hmmmm....

Anyway.  You have your beautiful DSLR that took the award winning photograph that went viral.  It's really a weed but looks like a giant flower.  It could be the dimple in your two year old's cheeks.  Even could be your dog playing.

All those thousands of pictures.

Remember that fire I was talking about?  It doesn't have to be that drastic.

I had a friend.  Had.  He passed away. 

His pictures won't be making it back to the family. 

They were on a computer because he was as gadget mad as I am. 

Half of his pictures were undoubtedly on his phone.  Those pictures that were left on his phone are lost forever.  By now, his iCloud account has been purged along with whatever photographic treasures that he had set aside. 

Family may want those, are you sure that picture you took might not better be used as a memory of you once you're gone?  You'll need to make sure you put it where they can get to it.

The remainder were splattered between a number of laptops that I maintained for him remotely.

He came up here once and I dropped his pics onto a CD-ROM.  Remember those?

They won't survive a fire but having one here means that a few of his memories will escape onto facebook for whatever good that may bring.

In my case, I found out that I had a problem. 

My power here is shoddy.  Sitting in the living room chair, lights dim, power may surge and hum, relays snap on and off and back on again. 

I get up from the chair and turn off the breaker on the air conditioner...

Yes, it is October, yes I am in Florida, yes I will be air conditioning my house to 24C/76F in January, it's part of the deal.

... and wonder what I lost.

This all comes out of a data recovery project.  How I preserve my pictures is to have them on an
"external hard drive".  Since I have an android phone, I can copy them to my server or my laptop with ease.  Specifically that is why I don't have an iPhone, whether or not it is safer on their iCloud or whatever i's have been left for access and not poked out with a pointed stick.

Just look to the //router/share/pictures directory and have at them.

Why was it a problem?  Those pops and snaps.  Any time your computer or your hard drive is subject to power irregularities, your data could get ruined.

So why am I suggesting keeping them on a fragile hard drive here at home?

For redundancy of course.

Sure you could get an account at one of dozens of online storage sites, but there's a certain something about keeping the data close at hand.

Yes, even for my pictures of my dog.

I cleaned out the corrupt files, lost much less than I expected, decided that I really did not need that third copy of a linux operating system I stopped using years ago, and gave "the rug" a good vacuuming in order to get rid of the chaff on the hard drive.

So consider once you're gone, your family won't have those little pictures.  I'm beginning to think that history will be at a loss as a result of what made it so much easier to share memories.

Even if the Fotomat is long since turned into a couple extra parking places after the whole Film Photography thing went almost completely away.

I THINK the drug stores still do film processing... maybe not!


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Our neighbor's cardiologist is married to an anesthesiologist. She must be a total knock out!

This made me laugh because, yeah, I could see this happening.  I also would probably hear about it on the radio station in Mexicali that I like to listen to "To Help Practice Spanish".

Well, ... or maybe not!


Two Americans decide to open a bungee-jumping business in Mexico.

They set up in the middle of a small village where they gather all the locals to preform a demonstration. Bob jumps, bounces at the end of the cord, and flies back up by the platform. Jeff isn't able to catch his friend, but he notices he has a few cuts and scratches.

Bob falls again, bounces, and comes back up. This time, he is bruised and bleeding. Again, Jeff misses him. The third time it happens, Bob comes back pretty messed up - he's got a couple of broken bones and is almost unconscious. Luckily, Jeff finally catches him and says, "Holy crap, what happened? Was the cord too long?"

Bob looks confused and says, "No, the cord was fine... but what is a pi├▒ata?"

Saturday, October 6, 2018

What did the buffalo say when his son left for college? Bison!

Ok so the last one talks about being a consultant.
Guess what, so does this one!  From the Consult-ee's point of view.


A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly

A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a
brand-new BMW advanced out of the dust cloud towards him. The driver, a
young man in a Broni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie,
leaned out the window and asked the shepherd... "If I tell you exactly how
many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?" The shepherd
looked at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looked at his peacefully
grazing flock and calmly answered "sure".

The yuppie parked his car, whipped out his IBM ThinkPad and connected it
to a cell phone, then he surfed to a NASA page on the internet where he
called up a GPS satellite navigation system, scanned the area, and then
opened up a database and an Excel spreadsheet with complex formulas.

He sent an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, received a
response. Finally, he prints out a 130-page report on his miniaturised
printer then turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1586 sheep.
"That is correct; take one of the sheep." said the shepherd. He watches
the young man select one of the animals and bundle it into his car.
Then the shepherd says: "If I can tell you exactly what your business is,
will you give me back my animal?", "OK, why not." answered the young man.

"Clearly, you are a consultant." said the shepherd. "That's correct." says
the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?" "No guessing required." answers
the shepherd. "You turned up here although nobody called you. You want to
get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked, and
you don't know crap about my business...... Now give me back my sheep."

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Difference Between Liquid Soap and Solid Soap and Can You Change One To Another


I got started on this weird hobby of soap making because that stuff you buy in the market for
pennies burns my skin.

Strange multi-syllabic chemical names and weird un-placeable scents and bizarre colors added in had rendered my hands into a cracked, dry, and bloody mess in winter.

I moved down here to Florida and that helped my tortured skin a lot.  It wasn't perfect so I searched.

Going onto the web I realized that making soap at home is a trivial task.  Oh sure, you look like you are Walter White in Breaking Bad wearing goggles on the front porch with gloves on the hands and an industrial apron that probably is overkill while mixing chemicals and trying not to breathe them.  Then you bring that stuff inside, using your fractional gram scale and weighing the "product", you are able to create soap.

Did I mention I'm easy to notice since I'm a bruiser of a guy who looks like the High School Football Coach you had who is subbing for the Chemistry Teacher?

So I can throw a batch of soap together in under 30 minutes.  Big deal you say, you can get a brick of 24 Ivory bars for under $5 and wash your stanky butt for months and not have to go through all that work.
Uh ... Huh... you're missing the point but I digress.

Since I'm going for quality and a moisturising and cleansing soap, I get to play with recipes.  Coconut Oil will give me a hard cleansing soap that is ready to use faster.  Olive Oil makes your skin soft and is the basis for Castille soap.  A little Shea Nut Oil or Grape Seed Oil to make your skin silky and moisturized.  An ounce of Essential Oil for scent to 20 ounces of soap and we're done.

Right?

I batched this up and found out not everyone uses bar soap.  Right, My Sister?

I don't get the fascination with liquid soaps but I was making this partly to give away as gifts.

Then I researched the "real" way to make liquid soap and truly it is heinous. 

However that $10 bottle of Liquid Soap has really about $.50 or less of soap in it, and for someone making it at home, you're really talking about a massive $1 to $10 Mark Up in Price.

Or More.

Instead of Sodium Hydroxide Lye (NaOH), you use Potassium Hydroxide (KOH).  A lot more KOH than you would NaOH because it's less efficient.

KOH doesn't just convert fat to soap, it crackles, pops, spits, and makes a LOT of heat.

NaOH is a comparatively mild reaction with your oils to make soap.

I mix my lye in water and then that goes into the oils because NaOH will make some pretty noxious smells, and it may indeed be toxic.  I also live in South Florida and there's a lot of breeze coming off the ocean on any given day.  Colder Climates will have to make soap under a strong stove hood to draw off the gasses.

Yay Science!  Yay Chemistry!

I don't want to attempt that with KOH.

So what to do.  I truly want my sister to enjoy herself, so I did some further research.

It turns out that KOH gives a less firm soap than NaOH.  You end up with a goo instead of a nice firm brick.  Add extra water and you get a liquid soap.

Oh and a lot more time.  As in around 4 hours of cooking and a hot process instead of my 30 minutes or less and a cold process with NaOH.

Can't I just add water to a bar and hope for the best?

That is a big - Maybe.

This is what I just did to test the theory and the drawbacks are that you have to judge for yourself how much water to add back.

You know?  At Your Own Risk and Your Mileage May Vary?

Also it is possible that your specific bar of soap may be one where the chemistry turns your liquid soap back into a gel that may be too thick for the pump bottle.  Err towards it being a little thin.  Mine was, and it was a nice hand lotion thickness the next day after the bubbles popped and the soap turned from white to translucent.

It is also introducing water to the soap which will dilute it and make it possible for the soap to spoil.  If you start seeing orange spots, your soap has turned.


But my process was simple.

  • Weigh the bar of soap so you know how much water to add in.  (I had 80 Grams or 2.8 oz)
  • Grate the bar of soap to shavings.
  • Add the soap shavings to a mixing container.
  • Boil your water.  It will help deter spoilage of the liquid soap.
  • Add an equal weight of boiling water to the soap so that it is a 1 to 1 ratio.  ( I had again 80 Grams or 2.8 oz)
  • Get a stick blender and mix this until it is fully smooth.
  • Remix the soap and water longer than you did because there will always be chunks leftover.
  • At this point I had a product that looked like a good Icing for a Cake.
  • Now from here on it is a judgement call:
  • Add a tablespoon (14 grams) of boiling water.
  • Use the stick blender and reincorporate the water into the soap.
  • Repeat this water/mix cycle until the soap is at a proper liquid soap consistency.
  • My lotion ended up a little wetter than a commercial liquid soap and I used a total of 1.5 parts water to 1 part Soap.
  • Yes, it can be as much as 1.5 parts water to 1 part soap.
If I haven't scared you away, here's where I found the information that I'm going on about above.

It worked great the first day, and I may have cheated and got what my sister wants.  The second day I ended up with a clear soap with the remnants of bubbles on top. 

If that's the case, Pat, yes, I can send you liquid soap.  I believe you liked Orange Scent.

Just use it fast.  I can't guarantee that this won't give Orange Spots.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

I'd be a millionaire.. if I wasn't so badly paid.

As a Consultant, this is the sort of thing that you have to be very careful to watch out for - The Law Of Unintended Consequences.

The Consultant

A timeless lesson on how Consultants can make a difference.

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?" Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired Kurt Salmon Associates to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon is the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift."

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare. "I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now." I was impressed.

I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"

"Oh, certainly!" Then he lowered his voice. "Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%."

"After you get it out, how do you put it back?"

Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Did you hear about the invention of the wheel? They say it started a revolution.

I'm betting that my friends in England will enjoy this.

To the rest of my European readers... Sorry! 


A German, an Italian, a Frenchman and an Englishman are having a philosophical debate.

The question arises: What separates man from the animals?

"Technology," says the German. "Other creatures have tools, yet none can match the heights of engineering we have accomplished. It is our industry that separates us from the beasts."

"I disagree," announces the Italian. "It is our food. The creatures of the wild eat, but they do not cook. Humans on the other hand, create amazing dishes and new combination that make eating a most enjoyable experience."

"I say it's art," decides the Frenchman. "No other being can create art. From our earliest days we have painted, and now we sculpt, write and compose as well. The wild animals cannot ever know what it is like to cry over a beautiful piece of art."

All three now look towards the Englishman, expecting his answer. He takes a long sip of tea before answering.

"The Channel."

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wag Right For Yes, Left For Maybe Not, or How I Talk To My Dog In The Predawn Hours

There was this BBC Article that made a splash a while back.  It said that dogs are like people, their brains are wired with a preference to sides.  Left Hand and Right Hand.

There's a difference.

With dogs, it's Right Hand is Pleasing, Left Hand is Unsure.

Human says nice things to me and I understand so my tail wags towards the right.
Human says something I don't like or don't understand, I'll wag my tail towards the left because my human is great.

Or something approaching that.

But hey, we can work with that, right, Rack?

Rack being my McNab SuperDog(TM).

The first walk of the day can be as much as two and a half hours before dawn here.  Sometimes I am even awake at that ludicrous hour.  Four-Stupid-Go-Back-To-Bed-O'Clock-You-Moron is what my watch can say.  I almost never sleep in until sunrise.

It seems that the stupid is strong in my head at that time because I tend to talk with Rack at that hour more than I do when it's a little later.

I may not be as lucid as I would normally be later on in the day, but this works.

I go on about our circuit of the city, walking around in a big loop and I'm muttering along.  Why not, the only person awake at that hour is my dog, and perhaps the cleaning crew in the stores and bars here.

Nobody seems to mind.

I do have to be careful when I'm talking and telling jokes and generally muttering along because Rack listens.

Having read that article while trying to clear out my folder of web links, I will say that this time, it stuck in mind.

Rack is one of the happiest dogs out there that I have ever met.  He's constantly wagging his tail.  If your dog, whether a herding dog or not, does not have a tail, you are missing something.

We'd be walking along and I'd ask him what he sees.  Sometimes I know already, its' that cute Border Collie "teen" girl down the way. He'll wag right because he really likes her even if he's now a full adult and she isn't quite.

Other times, I ask, and he isn't sure, so he wags left.

He heard someone talking and recognized the voice, but heard some banging as well, so it started wag right then left.

There are some incredibly badly trained dogs around here.  He's now learned how to spot them.  Some are seen every day or so and he knows them by scent.  After all, Dogs are primarily led by their noses.  If he catches that scent or hears their bark, the tail wag stops completely.

Just this morning, an hour and a half before dawn since I slept in a bit, I said "when we get home, we're going to open up some of that new food.  You like that new food, don't you?"

Well at this point I knew he was listening.  He looked back and did that dog-smile with mouth agape and wagged strongly to the right.

Trust in Dog, they know what they want.

I am sure it won't work for everyone.  Some people just never figured out a strong bond with
their dogs.  Other dogs are just too happy for words and you can't really convince them to say "no" to anything.  Not us, he knows.

Last night I wanted a late snacek.  A piece of cheese off that block of Jarlsberg that I use in my Mac and Cheese.  It tastes like Swiss and has a strong scent to it.

Rack was laying down and asleep.  I had carved off three slices of the cheese and sat down in the chair.

About mid way through the first slice, he stood up.  Deciding to come over, he wanted some but was definitely not sure whether he should beg for it.  After all we have a no begging policy here that is unevenly enforced.

Wag left.  Wag strongly left.

Definitely unsure but since I did not chase him off, that shifted to an equal wag, then a decidedly strong wag right.

He had his head wedged between my leg and the arm of the chair.

"Rack what do you want?"

He really wanted that cheese.  Strong wag right.

"You know you should not be begging!"  Wag Left.  Strong wag left.  Walked away practicing Avoidance.

I finished part 1 of 3.  Setting the rest of the cheese on the handrest of the laptop, it was out of sight.  Not that that matters to dogs, mind you.

He walked over to his mat and instead of sitting on it, he sat next to it boring holes through me with twin brown laser beams.  His tail was back to wagging right.

I took a tiny piece of cheese rind and sat it on the arm of the chair.

I had some fool idea that a high value treat like a morsel of Jarlsberg was going to work for training him to stay put.

It was gone in a flash.

"Are you sure you don't have some Labrador Retriever in you?"

I don't think he understood that but definite Wag Right behavior there.  He was convinced that he was getting more cheese.

He would be right.  But only when I finished.

I did give him that cheese eventually but this just goes to prove.  If you watch your dog closely, and learn what he is saying to you, you may be able to have a conversation with them.

You just have to listen.


 Wag Right!