This bike pump was getting a bit wobbly and I just got lazy and did not fix it since I had other things to get done. Well it pretty much fell apart in protest so I slapped a quick fix on it with some FastSteel epoxy putty and it seems to be holding up pretty well. Really doesn't matter what type of putty, I just had the FastSteel on hand and it seemed pretty durable. It is pretty surprising that it held up this long with the flimsey way the base is constructed. I think if I get another similar pump I will just pre-fix it with some epoxy putty to begin with.
My stoopid dog is like part of the family, and am pretty picky about what I feed her. Recently I have been especially vigilant when checking labels for the words "made in China". It can be tricky finding it, but it's often there. Invariably I will find it when the label does not prominently say "made in USA", but instead says things like "Manufactured by a US based company". The reason for this vigilance is that China has a messy track record when it comes to food safety, let alone dog food safety (thousands of dogs died in the 2007 melamine poisoning and more recently several thousand were reportedly sickened by Chinese chicken dog treats).
Regarding human food safety, the record is similarly clear; the baby formula scandal in 2008 which sickened over 50 thousand infants (melamine again), another milk contamination scandal in 2011 (leather-hydrolyzed protein this time), heavy metals found in rice and the steroid clenbuterol found in pork in 2011. So in light of all this, when the question of allowing Chinese processors to import US grown and slaughtered chickens, process them into nuggets, patties or chunks without any on-site USDA inspection, then (despite the dubious economics) export those products back to the US market for consumption by humans, what did the USDA do? If you have been paying any attention lately you already know the answer, but in short, over the next year these products will be hitting our shores. And unlike the treats I feed my dog, you won't be able to find a "made in China" label on those nuggets, soups or other products containing Chinese processed chicken - there is no country of origin requirements for processed foods. This is likely the small end of the wedge to opening the US market to chicken grown and processed in China.
The US is not perfect in regards to food safety, but compared to China we are on another planet. If you feel similarly, there is a petition at change.org to keep Chinese chicken out of school lunches, which currently is 193,148 signatures short of the goal. It's not much, but a start that should have never been necessary in the first place.
Update: The change.org petition has reached 322k signatures (whoopie), still short of the 500k they are needing. Progress seems to be stalled out of late.
Update 6/9/2014: Stumbled on an article about some Chinese made duck treats being sold at Costco in Canada, which has some interesting points about how the FDA does not even know what is killing dogs (through renal failure, and GI distress) - yes appears this is still happening. Now the CDC is going to investigate. According to another article, some of the major pet stores are beginning to take notice, and are committing to stopping sales of Chinese made pet treats, though they are hardly slamming on the brakes (it will take them at least till the end of the year) - still good for them. Seems unbelievable that we would not want to get to the bottom of what is killing pets before we allow processed chicken from China into our food supply. At least it looks like Chinese chicken won't be going into school lunches, thanks to an amendment to the 2015 Ag Bill, which is going to be voted on soon (though it will not protect against it showing up on your dinner plate).
Update 6/20/2014: Really just an update on where this stands. There was a hearing in Congress to investigate the new regulations to allow chicken processed in China to be sold in the USA (likely with no country of origin labeling requirements - and certainly no consistent requirements). Seems like the government is putting total faith in the Chinese to somehow properly regulate and self police their processing operations, what could go wrong? Since there is clearly money behind this horrible idea (companies will save a ton of cash by sending the processing jobs to China), it will probably go through.
Warranties can be a waste of money when you have to deal with a hassle to file a claim and weeks of waiting for a repair. There is one company however that is doing it right, and making it as easy to file a claim as it is to buy the warranty in the first place. In my dealings with SquareTrade, they have been awesome and quick. I carry several warranties with SquareTrade, but have only had claims on a cursed iPod and an equally cursed TV. last month I had to send in the iPod which had a broken screen (digitizer had failed). They turned around that repair in a week, and it had been working since. Well, a couple days ago it was broken again - this time the screen was cracked (I'm not going to point fingers, but I will just say that I take better care of my expensive electronics than some people I know ;-). I considered eating the cost and doing the repair myself since it is an older generation iPod and I can get the screen cheap. Really I was embarrassed to ask them to fix it again since it was just fixed last month, but my cheapness won the day. I called SquareTrade (in the middle of the night), and even though I was near the limit of my coverage, they honored my warranty, and the screen will be fixed.
This is just a review of the Beef and Potato recipe from JustFoodForDogs.com. The time it took to make was about the same as the Chicken and Rice mix, but was easier to make, however it cost more.
You can't buy a TSA safe Leatherman Style "PS" in pink, but making one is not too hard (though you need a Syle PS and Style CS). This would of course be simple if I could just buy a Style PS in pink, but the only pink Leatherman Style I could find was the CS which has a scissors and knife (made for the pink ribbon campaign against breast cancer). In my case, the Letherman is a gift, but for somebody who knows me well enough not to expect the warranty to be valid. If I had lost a screw though I would have been well, screwed, since I have no idea where to get a replacement. Click here for more.
There is a DIY dog food from a company called JustFoodForDogs.com which sells packets of vitamins which can be added to a specific recipe they have created. The result is intended to be a balanced dog food, with ingredients that can be controlled. This does sound froo froo, but on the other hand, there are quite a few questions I have about what really goes into my dogs food. Heck it is hard to tell what they put in human food anymore, but I won't be raising my own chickens anytime soon.
The review is mostly about the making of the food (or how I did it) and will be updated later with some info on how my dog does with it. It won't be scientific since I am going to start off by cutting it in to her regular diet and may eventually go fully DIY.
My mission is to lower the collective IQ of teh Internets one post at a time.