Food Handling You MAY Have Never Thought About

Yesterday was my normal food related posting day, but the move has me busy. So we have a belated Meals Monday on the subject of food handling.

Just a short tip this time. I last got reminded of this at the State Fair last summer. The current virus reminded me this could be a valuable topic here. I’ll assume my readers are smart enough to understand cross contamination and know to wash a knife or cutting board before reusing it for a different food item. Yes, wash your hands constantly also. 🙂

This tip is less thought about, and that’s to wash cans and bottles before you use them. Not just drinks, but canned vegetables and such also. Remember, these cans and bottles sit around dirty warehouses and shipping trucks, then on store shelves where they’re handled by who knows how many people before you buy them.

If you just take a can opener to that can of veggies or chili, who knows what you’re letting come into contact with your food.

Here, its easy to remember. Stuff feels grungy just coming off the store shelf half the time. At any rate, with the virus now making it’s rounds, AND the conflicting reports about how long it can live on various surfaces, this tip is all the more important.

Bonus Tip:

ALWAYS check expiration dates. I’ve pulled dry goods off the shelf here and found 2 year old expiration dates in a couple of cases. This was at the “premium” grocery stores too.

Bonus Tip #2:

Check your take out food before leaving the restaurant also, otherwise you can end up with a salad like THIS when you get home:

It smelled even worse than it looks

“Don’t Believe Anything on the Internet” – Abe Lincoln

This was originally going to be a little bit of fun, and an equally small amount of nerd boasting. However, a quick bit of research revealed this was worthy of a lighter “Tuesday Trash” post.

You see, I came across an article about how it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to find a pre-1997 edition of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Why Finding the Original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ Verges on the Impossible

My fellow nerd was raging over the injustice of never having been able to see the version BEFORE Lucas mucked up the trilogy with the Special Editions.

Side Note; Personally the only Special Edition add in that I didn’t like was Greedo also firing. I’m solidly in the “Han shot first” camp, and believe he was justified too since Greedo said he was going to kill him while holding a gun (blaster) on him.

It was quite a long rant also about the injustices that George Lucas inflicted upon the fan base that made him filthy rich, and how it was so unfair that everything released after 1997 was an adulterated version of the film.

Well,you all know how I HATE proving the media wrong but…

Yes, I canz has my very own copy of the 1995 edition of the original releases, whose only changes were better transfer to the VHS tape and the addition of THX sound like the theaters had.

Well, Silk is lucky, Silk is blessed by the gods beyond all measure while poor mortals suffer, right? Not really. You see, these tapes and the earlier VHS releases as well are all over Amazon and eBay, most of them are quite affordable as well. So, the entire article is based on an ENTIRELY false premise. One that takes all of two minutes to dispel also, if that.

Remember my recent post where I quoted my 11th grade history teacher about assuming somebody is lying and then look for the motivation? Most likely the entire article was the author just trying to establish some “street cred” with the troll element of us OLD guard Star Wars fans.

Crime against humanity??? HARDLY. I picked on this article for a couple of reasons though. First I’m sick of the political horse crap out there right now. Besides, if I pick on Dems or Pubs, I lose half my readers right there.

The bigger point here is that it’s not just political news that you have to read with a discerning eye. The bigger the issue, the more manure you’ll find, but anything, even something as simple as a story about the availability of a film, can be full of it.

In fact, if they’ll lie this badly about something this insignificant, imagine how hard they’ll bend the truth for something like politics.

Fact checking is your friend.

TIME OUT!!!

Today is SUPPOSED to be Friday Fun Day here at the blog. Things have been crazy though. Trying combat the fear mongering and BS out there is exhausting. Not really good for my hypertension when I see all the manipulative wording. “Coronavirus Related Causes” being a MASSIVE one in reporting on deaths. Most of the time, these poor people were in BAD shape to begin with. The virus just hastened their demise. That doesn’t sell papers or get TV ratings though.

Nobody is telling us truths. We’re getting “could possibly”, “is likely to”, etc… on top of tricky word games like the above. The media and the government need to quit playing games and start giving us accurate, complete disclosure. How else are we supposed to know what to do?

Then there’s the political manipulation and division too. Bloomberg published an article recently about how the South was the epicenter of the outbreak and was so backwards that it was completely unprepared to handle it.

I think they’d better check the NYC death totals. This is a pandemic, not a opportunity to take cheap shots at groups you’re bigoted against, Mr Bloomberg and CO. Division and hate have NO place in the current situation. Doubly so when you’re giving people bad info on the pandemic.

On a personal level, we’re behind on getting packed for our move. We’re also wondering if it’s even going to be possible at this point with travel restrictions in place in some places. You can’t even get good information on how they work due to all the hysteria in reporting. Either way, we have some real catch up work to do and my time here may be limited in the immediate future.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with a partially Fun Friday:

Those from ICanzHasCheeseburger. Always a good place for an animal related giggle. 🙂

“Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste”

I’ve thrown that quote from Rahm Emanuel around a few times in this blog. While it would be nice if we could put political BS aside and concentrate on helping each other, some people are just such scum they can’t help themselves.

Case and point: California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Anybody that’s followed this guy for a while knows he’s a sleaze. He’s been making the rounds on social media and the mainstream media promoting the idea of exploiting this crisis though. Newsom answered a recent question by a reporter about the outbreak creating political opportunity for liberals as follows:

“There is opportunity for reimagining a progressive era as it pertains to capitalism,” Newsom said. “Forgive me for being long winded but absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.”

Yeah, screw the democratic process and the will of the people, let’s just seize dictatorial power

Maybe somebody should remind our extreme socialist governor that it’s the private businesses that he’s planning on screwing with who are the ones stepping up to fight this outbreak.

Government, on the other hand, was warned about this for ages, and sat on their thumbs instead of preparing. Personally, I’ll put my faith in those businesses, their owners and the people that they employ to rise to the occasion.

Setting politics aside, MAYBE Gavin Newsom should treat this crisis as a chance to help the sick and keep the economy afloat instead.

THAT would require MORALS however.

Minor Update on Scrivener!

I recently made a post in my adult oriented blog that I’m planning on returning to writing (non-erotica also). As part of that, and a general “get off my butt” mindset that I’m trying to adopt, I bought the full version of Scrivener 1.9 for Windows.

Long time followers may recall I downloaded the trial version of Scrivener months back and explored it for a little while. Moving drama took over everything the last few months though. That still isn’t over either, but that’s another post for another day…

RECAP OF INITIAL IMPRESSIONS:

First, make sure you have time to do the tutorial that comes with Scrivener. It’s fairly good, and reasonably easy to follow. If you stop in the middle, you can start over, it’s just a little tricky to find the option to repeat the tutorial. It’s supposed to take about 2 hours. While it won’t make you a complete expert, you should have a solid grasp of the program and how versatile it is.

Much like MS Word, it’s fairly easy to just jump in and use the basic functions without the tutorial. All the extra goodies that make Scrivener shine take that extra time to learn though. Again, just like Word.

The extra features for authors are where Scrivener shines. Storyboarding, a virtual corkboard for notes, the ability to keep chapters separate and later compile them, a feature for keeping files on individual characters, story locations and plot points, etc…

Is it the ultimate writer’s tool? Not quite. It does a TON of wonderful things. *IF* you have a copy of MS Office, and are truly familiar with all the extra features of Word and Office’s other components, you can use Office fine for all the same features.

What Scrivener offers though is the ability to have everything integrated into one clean program. All that also comes at a price that’s much more appealing to the average starving writer.

Currently, Scrivener is $45 dollars, and still has a free trial period. That $45 dollar price is up almost $10 from the last time I looked though. If you look around, you can find discount codes online also. “REDDIT” was one I found that currently works for 20% off.

Scrivener 3!

The reason for the boost in prices is that version 3 is already out for Mac and iOS. It will be coming soon for Windows. If you buy 1.9 for windows now, you get a free upgrade to 3.0 when it’s released. Longer term users will have to pay $25 for the upgrade if I read correctly.

Version 3 will include 64 bit architecture, a better interface, improved ability to compile and merge book segments, improved ability to output the final product in ebook form, and an expanded array of ebook formats available.

The iOS version can be used on both iPads and iPhones.

A Link To Scrivener 3’s Introduction Page

Third Party Tutorials

As a addenda to my earlier comments, there are tons of free tutorials on YouTube to help people learn Scrivener. There are quite a few paid eCourses to learn the program as well. Costs vary widely there. A quick search engine lookup will give you a wide array of options there.

Conclusion:

I’m still early in learning things here, but I am impressed. Almost everything you could need as a writer is there at your fingertips, and at a much lower price than MS Word or Office. If you’re a serious writer or dream of being one, I’d recommend buying Scrivener. If you just need help keeping your writing organized, I’d still highly recommend it.

As a final note, I’m receiving absolutely no reimbursement of any kind for my review here. I’m not well known about for any product companies to care about, LOL. The review is honest though, and completely my own. 🙂

*THIS* Is Why You Should Avoid Conspiracy Theories

An almost unbelievable story came out of Los Angeles the last couple of days. I say ALMOST unbelievable because I’ve seen so much utter stupidity and wretched human behavior lately that precious little surprises me anymore.

So what happened? A train engineer who spent all his time reading conspiracy theories went off the deep end, almost literally. He derailed his train in an effort to RAM the US Navy Hospital Ship ‘Mercy’. Yes, you read that correctly. This whackadoo wanted to damage or sink the hospital ship in the harbor to help with the Coronavirus outbreak.

According to the local ABC affiliate down in LA (link to their story to follow), “Federal prosecutors allege train engineer Eduardo Moreno, 44, of San Pedro intended to hit the ship, saying he thought it was “suspicious” and did not believe “the ship is what they say it’s for.'”

Yeah… Never mind that the US Navy has had hospital ships since World War 1… *headdesk*

Also quoted from ABC News: He allegedly made statements to a CHP officer that included “You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.”

Side Note: CHP is the California Highway Patrol. State Police in other words.

Do people REALLY know anything new other than this guy is a complete nutjob? Or that he did God knows how much damage to the railroad tracks, docks and the actual train and it’s cargo?

This jackwagon never bothered to think that those rail lines might be… ARE.… needed to move medical supplies from the port and save lives.

LINK TO ABC LOS ANGELES STORY WITH VIDEO

MY ANALYSIS:

The trouble here is that if you read or hear enough of ANYTHING, it eventually starts to sound logical. That’s how conspiracy theories gain traction. It’s also how Nazi ideals took hold in enough of pre-WW2 Germany to scare the rest of the population into silence.

ANY idea can be eventually brainwashed into people, especially if it’s sold creatively. Any good hypnotist can tell you this. The human mind is pliable to a scary degree. Even murder can be sold IF you convince the person that the intended victim is not what they seem and a threat.

That last statement is why I rally so much against the toxic language of modern politics.

It’s also why I preach to read everything with a skeptical and questioning mind. Take nothing at face value. My high school history teacher gave me some of the best related advice I’ve ever heard here:

“Always assume what you read or hear is a lie and then ask yourself why the author / speaker is lying. Then you’ll get close to figuring out the motivation behind the words.”

Conspiracy theories are often put out there by people angry over their life and looking to blame some vast hidden cause for it instead of trying to correct their life. It absolves them of any responsibility to act or change.

That’s not to say the rich and political class don’t try to stack the deck more and more in their favor. They certainly do. Exploiting a situation is a good deal different from manipulating everything that happens in the world though. The former is correctable, the latter isn’t. Chasing whackadoo theories is a great distraction from actually focusing on correcting those former situations though.

Question what you read and hear, and avoid a steady diet of one type of information, it’s as bad for the mind as eating only one type of food is for the body.

A Bit of a Correction:

Yesterday, I made a mistake most media outlets do. I jumped on a story before I had all the info. Despite listening to Trump’s press conference live, I missed some key points. That due to a combination of iffy radio reception and minor hearing loss.

It seems that a good deal of this naval interdiction effort is centered around an indictment of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro on drug trafficking charges and an incident off the coast of Venezuela.

Strangely, there’s very little in the internet media about the press conference or the general story. Apparently the US Navy will both be patrolling and conducting interdiction operations off the coast of Venezuela AND the coasts of the United States as well. I’m not able to find any information about what steps may or may not be taken along the Southern US land border.

So, that’s the story as I currently know it. I’ll endeavor to be more careful with jumping on a story like that in the future. I *do* strive to be accurate here.

Sad that so few people are covering it at all though.