Friday, August 31, 2012

Fake Food. Cheap Knockoffs, Chicken Beaks Instead of Down! Mercury, Amalgam and Silver Fillings. Sunmobile.

For “Foodie Friday”:

Fake Food Trying To Make Its Way Into The U.S.

tomato[1]“Fake foods such as candy bars, fish, cheese and tomato sauce are just a few of the items confiscated by Interpol police.

These products could have ended up on American dinner tables, according to Dr. John Spink, Associate Director of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Program at Michigan State University. “Consumers are being cheated.”

Here in the U.S., Food and Drug Administration agents are also on the hunt for counterfeit foods and ingredients. They’ve seized everything from fake olive oil to phony, pricey wine… all of which the FDA agents insisted are counterfeit.  “We think we’re buying a high value or specific type of product and the bad guys have swapped it out with something that’s inferior,”explained Dr. Spink.

The problem is so widespread, that a national database was recently created to try to track it. The key word here is “try.” That’s because it’s hard to catch during production and shipping. And once it makes it to market, consumers don’t realize they’ve been ripped off, unless they get sick.  “Food adulteration is designed to not be detected. So, frequently adulterers do not use fake ingredients that would cause immediate health problems.”

In a new study, Dr. John Spink crunched the database to find the top fakes.

  • 16% involved olive oil: often diluted with cheaper oils.
  • 14% involved milk found to be watered down.
  • 7% was adulterated honey: intentionally mixed with sugar and corn syrups.
  • 2-4% involved fruit juice, watered down or diluted with other types of juice.

Not only are you not getting what you paid for but it could be downright dangerous.  “The bad guys aren’t following good manufacturing practices. There’s such a risk for contamination that can be very lethal,” said Dr. Spink. 

More at:


Counterfeit food becoming a bigger problem



Have You Eaten Any Fake Food Lately?

“Jeneen Interlandi, reporting for The Daily Beast, and quoting World Customs Institute, writes that the counterfeit food industry is worth about 49 Billion dollars a year, and includes everything from fine food to boxed juice. It isn’t just Prada and Rolex that are being ripped off anymore.

Another way food is counterfeited or faked is when cheaper ingredients are added as filler without telling the consumer. Examples are adding grain, pink slime, or sawdust to ground beef, adding soybean oil to what is labeled as extra virgin olive oil, or adding melamine to milk, as the Chinese did. (See my hub, “Pink Slime Turns Dog Food Into People Food.”)

The melamine caused the hospitalization of 900 American babies for kidney problems and 6 of those babies died. It is not just an economic issue where cheaper ingredients are added to foods, or substituted for what the label says the ingredients are so that a manufacturer or seller can make more money. Counterfeit food can be dangerous to your health and to the health of your children.”

Examples of foods that are often mislabeled or misrepresented

Mislabeling fish by substituting a cheaper fish for a more expensive fish is common with counterfeiting food.

Mislabeling fish by substituting a cheaper fish for a more expensive fish is common with counterfeiting food.


Extra virgin olive oil can sometimes be as much as 90% soybean or peanut oil when counterfeited!


Extra virgin olive oil can sometimes be as much as 90% soybean or peanut oil when counterfeited!


Counterfeited honey may be "thinned" by adding high fructose corn syrup.


Counterfeited honey may be "thinned" by adding high fructose corn syrup.


Fruits and vegetables promoted as organic may not actually be organic, they may have come from countries where pesticides banned in the U.S. are allowed.


Fruits and vegetables promoted as organic may not actually be organic, they may have come from countries where pesticides banned in the U.S. are allowed.      Source:



Cheap Knockoffs and Counterfeits Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

"Canada Goose tested a number of counterfeit jackets that we've bought online, and a number of them have come back with no trace of down in them at all," says Spreekmeester. His concern, though, is about more than the lack of down -- the company's signature filling, which can protect against frostbite and hypothermia in extreme climates. He's worried about the alternative fillers used instead. "What they do have in them is called 'feather mulch,' which is anything you pick up off the floor. It's feathers, it's beaks, it's feet. Covered in feces, covered in mildew, covered in bacteria."

Spreekmeester also found a counterfeit jacket whose hood was lined with fur from a German Shepard. "It's not hygienic, and it's not protecting you, and it's probably just not very humane." 

More at:

Consumers for Dental Choice Shakes up the Debate on Dental Mercury

“Amalgam is an archaic, dangerous dental practice left over from the US Civil War Era and is driven entirely by profits, without regard for human health

A landmark economics report reveals that after environmental costs are taken into account, amalgam is significantly more expensive than the non-mercury alternatives. In fact, the real cost of an amalgam filling is up to $87 more than a composite filling after the environmental costs of each material is considered

Another recent report by the European Commission recommends phasing out dental amalgam to reduce mercury pollution, which threatens the health of the environment, wildlife, and humans

Among the advances toward mercury-free dentistry, the New York University College of Dentistry recently announced it will no longer allow amalgam use in its clinics, nor will NYU require students to perform competency examinations for amalgam”

Mercury Dental Fillings












































Interview with Dr. Charlie Brown  and more at:


The “silver fillings” deception

“Why would a primitive, pre-Civil War polluting product that is 50% mercury and cracks teeth still be going into your mouth?

Dental amalgams, known to many of us by the deceptive term “silver fillings,” are 43 to 54% mercury.  The mercury from amalgam causes far-reaching problems:  

Exposure to mercury, the most toxic and more vaporous of the heavy metals, can permanently damage the child’s developing neurological system, harm the adult’s  kidneys, and even kill the unborn child in the womb. 

To implant amalgam, a dentist drills out healthy tooth matter in order to carve the crater necessary for amalgam placement – a primitive process that irreversibly weakens tooth structure.  With a damaged tooth structure and with a metal-based filling that expands and contracts with temperature changes, teeth with amalgam are much more likely to crack years later. 

Amalgam is a workplace hazard, especially for young female dental workers who experience an elevated rate of reproductive failures.* 

Dental mercury is the #1 source of mercury in our wastewater, so dentists are handing the clean-up bill for their pollution to taxpayers and water ratepayers.

Amalgam was introduced in the Civil War era by the new American Dental Association, which won a political battle with the physicians of the mouth, who said using mercury in oral health care is malpractice.  Florida dentist James Hardy, in his book Mercury Free, refers to the creation of amalgam and the creation of the American Dental Association as the “twin-birth.””

More at:


*From me:  I can attest to that, I had two miscarriages while I was a dental nurse.


On This Day:

William Cobb demonstrates first solar-powered car: Aug 31, 1955:

“On this day in 1955, William G. Cobb of the General Motors Corp. (GM) demonstrates his 15-inch-long "Sunmobile," the world's first solar-powered automobile, at the General Motors Powerama auto show held in Chicago, Illinois.

Cobb's Sunmobile introduced, however briefly, the field of photovoltaics--the process by which the sun's rays are converted into electricity when exposed to certain surfaces--into the gasoline-drenched automotive industry. When sunlight hit 12 photoelectric cells made of selenium (a nonmetal substance with conducting properties) built into the Sunmobile, an electric current was produced that in turn powered a tiny motor. The motor turned the vehicle's driveshaft, which was connected to its rear axle by a pulley. Visitors to the month-long, $7 million Powerama marveled at some 250 free exhibits spread over 1 million square feet of space on the shores of Lake Michigan. In addition to Cobb's futuristic mini-automobile, Powerama visitors were treated to an impressive display of GM's diesel-fueled empire, from oil wells and cotton gins to submarines and other military equipment.

Today, more than a half-century after Cobb debuted the Sunmobile, a mass-produced solar car has yet to hit the market anywhere in the world. Solar-car competitions are held worldwide, however, in which design teams pit their sun-powered creations (also known as photovoltaic or PV cars) against each other in road races such as the 2008 North American Solar Challenge, a 2,400-mile drive from Dallas, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.”



The “So Delicious” healthy coffee creamer is OK, but not as tasty as organic half-and-half.  Low-fat half-and-half has too many unhealthy ingredients added to it, to make it an option.  I do like my first cup of coffee to be special.

Misty and I went to get Jay, but Jay and I didn’t get much done, as he couldn’t stay long.  His neighbor was taking him to get a tire fixed on his ATV.

We took everything off the shadow box that we had installed a few weeks ago, and moved it down 7” to make it line up with the mirror on the other end of the wall.  It looks a lot better. 

We were going to shampoo the carpet, but after it had been vacuumed, it was really too late to start on that.  We couldn’t even use the battery-operated weedwhacker that we had worked on, as it hadn’t taken a charge, so fixing the handle was a waste of time on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

RV Converter, Inverter, Charger? Solar Overview. Tribal Fuel Stops. Fridge Lock. Walmarting. Tire Dressings. Tree-lopping. Cleopatra.

For “tRaVersing, or RV day”:

Converter, inverter, charger -- What's what, and why?

“Rich Miller, the Wanderman, has been reading a lot in RV forums about converters, inverters and  chargers. And a lot of what he has read is wrong.  So if you are in any way confused about these terms, Rich will set you straight -- if you click here, that is.” From:


RV Solar Panel Installation Overview

“As we spend a fair amount of time boondocking (camping without hook-ups), solar panels have given us the freedom to enjoy the peace & quiet of remote locations without running our generator too much.
Since we already installed our panels on the RV (7 years ago), this is just an overview of our set-up, as opposed to a detailed tutorial.

We show the general layout and components of the system, including the panels themselves, the wiring and the solar controller. We also talk about the benefits of including a simple and inexpensive tilt kit, which allows tilting the solar panels up in the winter, when the sun is lower on the horizon.
Our first RV had two panels, which were permanently fastened flat to the roof, so they couldn't be tilted. We've learned a lot since then, and the new panels are tilt-able, and also use thicker 6-gauge wire to reduce loss along its length.

Be sure to confirm that all methods and materials used are compatible with your particular recreational vehicle. Every type of motorhome, motorcoach, fifth wheel, travel trailer, bus conversion, camper and toy hauler is different, so your systems may not be the same as ours.” From:


Tribal fuel stops: Are they a bargain?
”As you roll across America in your RV, there are several constants of our universe: You'll have to stop to refuel, and you'll run across plenty of casinos that offer "cheap fuel." Are the two compatible with your wallet?” Here are some thoughts.


Replacing a refrigerator door lock

If you're the proud owner of a "well-loved" older RV, you'll have run across the old "orphan parts" issue. Either the company doesn't stock your part anymore, or the company doesn't exist. Either way, when repair issues appear, sometimes you're left getting creative. So what do you do if you want to replace your lock. Here's an answer.

Yep, just a two-dollars and change brass barrel bolt. We pre-drilled through the metal trim under the door, and ensured that the screws were short enough not to cause trouble by running into anything vital. Now when we hit the road we simply shoot the bolt through the latch and head off. No more rolling cola.”


Staying overnight in an RV in a Wal-Mart parking lot

“Most Wal-marts will allow an RVer to stay overnight in their parking lots. When you are on a long trip and can't find any rest stops or campgrounds along your route, Wal-Mart starts looking pretty good. The important thing to remember when doing this is to do it the right way. So watch this short video, take some notes and then go ahead -- pull over and stay a night. The price is right: Absolutely free! They are one of the few retailers that allow you to stay in their parking lot overnight.”

“Road tripping is awesome; trying to drive when you are exhausted is not. Luckily there are several answers to this problem. For now, let's talk about one. Wal-Mart Camping! It's not my favorite place to visit. They are lacking in the eco-friendly and small business department, but they have one thing going for them: they are RV, truck and car camping friendly, and FREE!”      From:


A review of tire dressings

“Our RV Tire Safety Expert Roger Marble writes: "In a previous post I was asked for recommendations on which tire dressing to use. I decided to run a small sample test involving five different tire dressings. Now before you complain that I didn't include your choice you need to remember I have no budget for running tests or support or sponsorship from any of the products involved. I bought these products at retail." Read more.”


RVers beware of aggressive tree branches

Watch out for this campground hazard,
RV campgrounds are supposed to be RV-friendly, and most are, but some have an often-overlooked hazard that can cause serious damage to your RV. Although this hazard is in plain sight, many RVers fail to notice it because they're concentrating on the campground road when driving to and from a campsite. Continue.


Spontaneous Gardening in Our National Parks

Hitchhiker II RV sizePeople often ask us, “What do you do without a TV?” Well, sometimes, the best entertainment is just people watching in the campground.

For instance, last week at Acadia National Park in Maine, we watched in shock as our neighbor tried to get his 35′ fifth wheel out of the campground. This was a very tall rig. Nothing wrong with that, but as many of you know, many government campgrounds aren’t often designed for today’s RVs.  He came prepared. He went over to his storage compartment, and pulled out a pair of tree limb loppers.    Rest of article at :


Bill's Hints: Tow vehicle brake tip
"Applying tow vehicle brakes hard while the trailer is in the middle of a swerve will almost guarantee a jackknife and a rollover."


Random RV Thought
”Before turning your ignition key to leave on an RV trip, make sure any potential flying objects are secure. This is especially important in a motorhome where they could come flying at you in an accident or even sudden stop. A flying coffee mug could bonk you on the back of your head, maybe even poke a hole in it, which is very bad news!”


On This Day:  Now here is a history lesson!!

Cleopatra commits suicide, Aug 30, 30 B.C.:

“Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

Cleopatra, born in 69 B.C., was made Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt, upon the death of her father, Ptolemy XII, in 51 B.C. Her brother was made King Ptolemy XIII at the same time, and the siblings ruled Egypt under the formal title of husband and wife. Cleopatra and Ptolemy were members of the Macedonian dynasty that governed Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. Although Cleopatra had no Egyptian blood, she alone in her ruling house learned Egyptian. To further her influence over the Egyptian people, she was also proclaimed the daughter of Re, the Egyptian sun god. Cleopatra soon fell into dispute with her brother, and civil war erupted in 48 B.C.

Rome, the greatest power in the Western world, was also beset by civil war at the time. Just as Cleopatra was preparing to attack her brother with a large Arab army, the Roman civil war spilled into Egypt. Pompey the Great, defeated by Julius Caesar in Greece, fled to Egypt seeking solace but was immediately murdered by agents of Ptolemy XIII. Caesar arrived in Alexandria soon after and, finding his enemy dead, decided to restore order in Egypt.

During the preceding century, Rome had exercised increasing control over the rich Egyptian kingdom, and Cleopatra sought to advance her political aims by winning the favor of Caesar. She traveled to the royal palace in Alexandria and was allegedly carried to Caesar rolled in a rug, which was offered as a gift. Cleopatra, beautiful and alluring, captivated the powerful Roman leader, and he agreed to intercede in the Egyptian civil war on her behalf.

In 47 B.C., Ptolemy XIII was killed after a defeat against Caesar's forces, and Cleopatra was made dual ruler with another brother, Ptolemy XIV. Julius and Cleopatra spent several amorous weeks together, and then Caesar departed for Asia Minor, where he declared "Veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered), after putting down a rebellion. In June 47 B.C., Cleopatra bore a son, whom she claimed was Caesar's and named Caesarion, meaning "little Caesar."

Upon Caesar's triumphant return to Rome, Cleopatra and Caesarion joined him there. Under the auspices of negotiating a treaty with Rome, Cleopatra lived discretely in a villa that Caesar owned outside the capital. After Caesar was assassinated in March 44 B.C., she returned to Egypt. Soon after, Ptolemy XIV died, likely poisoned by Cleopatra, and the queen made her son co-ruler with her as Ptolemy XV Caesar.

With Julius Caesar's murder, Rome again fell into civil war, which was temporarily resolved in 43 B.C. with the formation of the second triumvirate, made up of Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and chosen heir; Mark Antony, a powerful general; and Lepidus, a Roman statesman. Antony took up the administration of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, and he summoned Cleopatra to Tarsus, in Asia Minor, to answer charges that she had aided his enemies.

Cleopatra sought to seduce Antony, as she had Caesar before him, and in 41 B.C. arrived in Tarsus on a magnificent river barge, dressed as Venus, the Roman god of love. Successful in her efforts, Antony returned with her to Alexandria, where they spent the winter in debauchery. In 40 B.C., Antony returned to Rome and married Octavian's sister Octavia in an effort to mend his strained alliance with Octavian. The triumvirate, however, continued to deteriorate. In 37 B.C., Antony separated from Octavia and traveled east, arranging for Cleopatra to join him in Syria. In their time apart, Cleopatra had borne him twins, a son and a daughter. According to Octavian's propagandists, the lovers were then married, which violated the Roman law restricting Romans from marrying foreigners.

Antony's disastrous military campaign against Parthia in 36 B.C. further reduced his prestige, but in 34 B.C. he was more successful against Armenia. To celebrate the victory, he staged a triumphal procession through the streets of Alexandria, in which he and Cleopatra sat on golden thrones, and Caesarion and their children were given imposing royal titles. Many in Rome, spurred on by Octavian, interpreted the spectacle as a sign that Antony intended to deliver the Roman Empire into alien hands.

After several more years of tension and propaganda attacks, Octavian declared war against Cleopatra, and therefore Antony, in 31 B.C. Enemies of Octavian rallied to Antony's side, but Octavian's brilliant military commanders gained early successes against his forces. On September 2, 31 B.C., their fleets clashed at Actium in Greece. After heavy fighting, Cleopatra broke from the engagement and set course for Egypt with 60 of her ships. Antony then broke through the enemy line and followed her. The disheartened fleet that remained surrendered to Octavian. One week later, Antony's land forces surrendered.

Although they had suffered a decisive defeat, it was nearly a year before Octavian reached Alexandria and again defeated Antony. In the aftermath of the battle, Cleopatra took refuge in the mausoleum she had commissioned for herself. Antony, informed that Cleopatra was dead, stabbed himself with his sword. Before he died, another messenger arrived, saying Cleopatra still lived. Antony had himself carried to Cleopatra's retreat, where he died after bidding her to make her peace with Octavian. When the triumphant Roman arrived, she attempted to seduce him, but he resisted her charms. Rather than fall under Octavian's domination, Cleopatra committed suicide on August 30, 30 B.C., possibly by means of an asp, a poisonous Egyptian serpent and symbol of divine royalty.

Octavian then executed her son Caesarion, annexed Egypt into the Roman Empire, and used Cleopatra's treasure to pay off his veterans. In 27 B.C., Octavian became Augustus, the first and arguably most successful of all Roman emperors. He ruled a peaceful, prosperous, and expanding Roman Empire until his death in 14 A.D. at the age of 75.”



Misty and I went to get Jay, and she and Maddie had their walk down there.  Misty’s walks are really a sniffing expedition, it is amazing how certain places are so interesting to her.  Bush telegraph, I suppose, it tells her what animals have been there since her last walk.

As the real milk wasn’t really a substitute for coffee creamer, I wanted to find some “So Delicious” creamer, while we were out shopping.  It is supposed to be a very healthy creamer made from coconut milk.   These days we all know the advantages of using coconut oil every day, and it’s health benefits.  Their website didn’t show any retailers in Conroe.

We stopped at St. Marks thrift shop, as that is where we drop off the paper recycling.  Jay bought a wicker towel holder for his kitchen, a bamboo round swinging chair for his porch, and some mahogany doors for his kitchen cabinets.  He is so glad that I drive a van.

We stopped at the health food store, but they didn’t have any ‘So Delicious’.   The lady there said that date sugar should be more healthy than Xylitol.  So I bought some, then found out online that it is great for baking, but doesn’t dissolve in coffee, so I didn’t use it.  I don’t bake as I hardly ever eat sweet things, so I will return it when I go to town tomorrow for my chiropractor appointment.

While Jay was at the barber, I went to HEB to see what they had.  They did have the brand of decaffeinated green tea that I like, but no ‘So Delicious’, even though their store in The Woodlands carries it.  Jay was still waiting for his haircut when I returned, but finally was done, so we didn’t go downtown Conroe to the Assistance League thrift shop.  As it is the last week of the month they have their half-price sale, and we don’t like to miss that.  But as they are closed on Mondays, customers line up on Tuesdays to get there first, so most of the best things would be gone anyway. 

When we got to Krogers, they had ‘So Delicious’ in their refrigerated health food section.  So my main mission was accomplished for the day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bay-breasted Cuckoo. Bird’s Hiway. Whimbrels Shot. Eagle’s New Nest. Longline Deaths. Pelican Surgery.

For “Winged Wednesday”:

Bay-breasted Cuckoo

Bay-breasted Cuckoo by Cesar Abrill

“This large cuckoo has a big, curved bill and is gray above with a reddish-brown wing patch, throat, and breast. Like other cuckoos, it skulks in vegetation and is best located by its staccato call. It feeds primarily on lizards and insects; the cuckoo’s short nesting season appears to coincide with the onset of the wet season and the abundance of insects, particularly cicadas, produced by the rains.

The Bay-breasted Cuckoo suffered a drastic decline in range and numbers during the 20th Century due to rampant deforestation for agriculture, grazing, and charcoal production. Hunting for food and medicinal properties that the bird supposedly possesses is also a factor in its decline.

The species occurs in four protected areas in the Dominican Republic, with its stronghold likely Reserva Biologica Loma Charco Azul. The population is still declining, as inadequate protected area enforcement allows residents to continue to clear wood, graze cattle, or otherwise convert the forests where the bird is found.

ABC, with the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southern Wings, and the Jeniam Foundation, is taking actions to improve the conservation of the Bay-breasted Cuckoo. New park guards and equipment at Loma Charco Azul will help protect park habitat, and new tourism infrastructure is now being built to facilitate bird tourism and improve economic opportunities for local communities. Future surveys, particularly in areas with remaining forest, are needed to better understand the species’ distribution and habitat needs.”

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!

Photo by Cesar Abrill; Range Map, ABC


Traffic is about to increase on bird superhighway

A bald eagle soars over Hawk Mountain. Courtesy of Bill Moses

“The annual Autumn Hawk Watch has begun at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, running through Dec. 15. An average 18,000 hawks, eagles and falcons pass through each year.

If the Appalachian Mountains were Interstate 95, then Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Albany Township, would be Washington, D.C.
As a central point on the Atlantic flyway - the route that thousands of migrating raptors, songbirds and butterflies take on their way south each fall - Hawk Mountain is also at the center of raptor research.
"It's like we're a stop on a superhighway," said Mary Linkevich, director of communications at the sanctuary.

The Sanctuary's annual Hawk Watch - which began Wednesday and runs through Dec. 15 - is the longest and most detailed record of raptor migration in the world, recording an average 18,000 passing hawks, eagles and falcons each year.  For scientists and birding enthusiasts, it's an invaluable record of raptor populations over time.  For the general public, it's an opportunity to see rare - or rarely-glimpsed - hawks, eagles and other birds of prey up close as they make their way to southern wintering grounds.

Hawk Mountain is uniquely situated for observing migrant raptors, according to Laurie Goodrich, senior monitoring biologist at the sanctuary.
The mountain is located south of the birds' summer breeding grounds and north of their wintering grounds, meaning a wide range of species passes by it each year.  As the birds fly south, they follow the curve of the Appalachian Mountains, riding updrafts and thermals, or air currents, to conserve energy.  The mountain's abrupt slope creates strong updrafts, while a curve in the ridge line at Hawk Mountain keeps the birds close.”  More at:


Migrating Shorebirds Slingshot Through Storms at Nearly 100 Miles an Hour Only to Face Shooting Gauntlet In Caribbean

Whimbrel by Glen Tepke

Whimbrel by Glen Tepke

(Washington, D.C., August 24, 2012) “As hurricane season gets under way and Tropical Storm Isaac bears down on the Caribbean, biologists are paying particular attention to this fall’s shorebird migration.

Our research is documenting some of the truly amazing dynamics of bird migrations.  In addition to the simply staggering distances these birds travel – often thousands of miles at a time, nonstop – we are also observing what could be described as jaw dropping physical feats involving storms,” said Fletcher Smith, lead biologist on the tracking project. “These herculean efforts leave the birds exhausted and in need of a safe haven to rest and refuel.  Unfortunately there are few of these locations in the Lesser Antilles.”

Some locals gather at recreational shooting swamps in the Caribbean to slaughter with impunity everything that flies by. They claimed perhaps their most notable bird victims last year: two Whimbrels named Machi and Goshen that were being tracked by Smith’s team. Over a lifetime Machi is estimated to have flown 27,000 migration miles and made it through Tropical Storm Maria; Goshen had flown 14,000 miles including several hours battling Hurricane Irene. Forced to land in Guadalupe, an area they had avoided in previous recorded migrations, they were then killed by the unregulated hunters.”  More at:


Bed Bugs: Artificial nests prove valuable tool in bald eagle survival

Eagle nests can weigh as much as one ton after years of occupation. But in spite of their size they still remain fragile footholds for young birds, as witnessed by numerous deaths every year from depredation, infestation and fire.

“Eagle nests can weigh as much as one ton after years of occupation. But in spite of their size they still remain fragile footholds for young birds, as witnessed by numerous deaths every year from depredation, infestation and fire.

At the confluence of the Verde and the Salt River is a nesting sight called Orme, named after the ill-fated dam that was once to have been constructed nearby.

The nest has been among the state's most prolific since it was first recorded in 1987. From 2001 to 2008, 15 birds successfully fledged from the nest. Only two other sites in the state had a higher production over the same period.

But in 2009 a nest watcher witnessed two young eagles jump from the safety of the nest to the ground. When biologist arrived they discovered the birds were covered in ticks and slowly dying.

In 2010 three more nestlings died in the same nest, once again from an infestation of ticks from the genus argas, a type of tick that specifically attacks birds, eventually causing paralysis.

In 2011 biologist sealed off the source of the ticks, a branch that had been honeycombed by termites and later occupied by the tics. But in spite of those efforts, three more died.

After the breeding pair headed north last year, Arizona Game and Fish decided to try a radical fix. With automotive tire jacks they lifted the nest from the tree and dropped it to the ground. It took eight men to carry it to a spot where it could be burned.  In its place AZGF constructed two artificial nests in nearby trees.
"We have built artificial nests before to encourage breeding pairs to nest in better, more shaded spots and it has been successful," says AZGF biologist Tuc Jacobsen. "What's unique here was that we have never here in Arizona had a nest that's big and occupied and used every year, and destroyed it.
"It's the first time we have actively destroyed a nest and come back and built an alternate." More at:


Fed Action to Limit Albatross Deaths From Longline Fishing Not Enough, Says Conservation Group

Black-footed Albatross by Greg Lavaty

Black-footed Albatross by Greg Lavaty

“It has been well-known for decades that Hawaiian swordfish boats kill and injure Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses. The birds are attracted to and dive on baited hooks, becoming ensnared in lines or impaled by the hooks and dragged under the surface to be drowned. However, the MBTA had not historically been applied to this fishery because the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS – the federal agency that oversees the U.S. fishing fleet) had asserted that the areas where it operates, federal waters and on the high seas, lie outside the jurisdiction of the MBTA. But NMFS evidently reversed their position in 2011, when they decided to apply for this permit.

One practice that could have been halted by the take permit, but will be allowed to continue for now, involves dragging baited hooks on the surface of the water behind the fishing vessel while other lines are retrieved.”        More at:


Nigel the pelican released after first-of-a-kind beak surgery


“Months ago, a pelican was spotted in Irvine tangled in fishing line, hooks and a lure. Rescuers said the bird was wrapped like a pretzel as they worked for days to free and treat her.

This week, after surgeries to rebuild her beak and mend fractures, Nigel the pelican — or Nigelina, as some began calling the bird after he was discovered to be a female — was released into the wild.

In April, rescuers found Nigel, an American white pelican, near the Sea and Sage Audubon House in Irvine with a 6-inch fishing hook and lure attached to her lower bill.  Her head and right wing were entangled in fishing line.

They removed the fishing tackle, but the bird’s fractured lower bill was curved downward to the right, making it impossible for her to feed herself, according to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach. The nonprofit organization tended to Nigel during her convalescence.  In order for her to survive, veterinarians had to attempt a first-of-its-kind procedure to straighten out her beak.”  More at:


Hummingbirds, facing drought and food shortage, get some human help

Play CBS News Video

(CBS News) “With summer winding down, millions of migratory birds are on the move. But his year, things are a bit different, especially for tiny hummingbirds. Drought and climate change have shifted the landscape dramatically.  Some hummingbird species fly 2,000 miles during migration. And with a heart rate of up to 1,200 beats per minutes, they often need to eat five times their body weight, every day.

This year's migration is complicated by the lack of natural wildflowers, which have been hit hard by drought and forest fires.  So birds that are looking about for their usual food sources are heading elsewhere. Large numbers of birds are swarming feeding stations set up in gardens and backyards in drought areas out West.  It is standing room only at many feeders -- and that has hummingbird fans buzzing.”  More at:


New technology is rapidly changing the way birds are studied

“The study of bird migration is being transformed by new technologies. Satellite transmitters and geolocators are now smaller and less intrusive. These tools are tracking birds from breeding to wintering grounds, revealing extraordinary insights into the diversity of migration patterns.

Combined with the torrent of information being gathered and entered into online databases by volunteer birdwatchers, the knowledge gained should drive more effective conservation on the ground and ward off extinctions.

Jill Deppe of Eastern Illinois University used tracking towers to pick up signals of Swainson’s thrush and other migrant songbirds fitted with automated radio-telemetry systems (ARTs), as they crossed the 1,000-kilometre-wide Gulf of Mexico, a formidable feat for any bird. Typically, ARTS have a tiny transmitter and aerial, fitted to the bird’s back or tail. For larger birds, such as raptors, cranes, geese and some shorebirds, heavier satellite systems can be used, that track over even longer distances.

Exciting discoveries have been made, especially of shorebirds, such as the non-stop, 11,500-kilometre flight of a bar-tailed godwit from Alaska to New Zealand, and the repeated journeys between Virginia and the Mackenzie River delta of a whimbrel named Hope. The bird must be caught to be fitted with a transmitter (tricky with a large bird like a sandhill crane) and care must be taken that the instrumentation does not cause the bird distress or bias the research by impeding its behaviour in any way. Birds are not recaptured and sometimes continue sending data long after the expected end date.”  More at:


On This Day:

Hurricane Katrina slams into Gulf Coast, Aug 29, 2005:

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane on this day in 2005. Despite being only the third most powerful storm of the 2005 hurricane season, Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. After briefly coming ashore in southern Florida on August 25 as a Category 1 hurricane, Katrina gained strength before slamming into the Gulf Coast on August 29. In addition to bringing devastation to the New Orleans area, the hurricane caused damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.

Finally, on September 1, the tens of thousands of people staying in the damaged Superdome and Convention Center begin to be moved to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, and another mandatory evacuation order was issued for the city. The next day, military convoys arrived with supplies and the National Guard was brought in to bring a halt to lawlessness. Efforts began to collect and identify corpses. On September 6, eight days after the hurricane, the Army Corps of Engineers finally completed temporary repairs to the three major holes in New Orleans' levee system and were able to begin pumping water out of the city.

In all, it is believed that the hurricane caused more than 1,300 deaths and up to $150 billion in damages to both private property and public infrastructure. It is estimated that only about $40 billion of that number will be covered by insurance. One million people were displaced by the disaster, a phenomenon unseen in the United States since the Great Depression. Four hundred thousand people lost their jobs as a result of the disaster. Offers of international aid poured in from around the world, even from poor countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Private donations from U.S. citizens alone approached $600 million.”



Jay called and wanted to mow my yard for me. So Misty and I went to get him, and we had our walk down there.  The yard needed to be done, but Ray’s back is bothering him right now, until he gets his new back brace.   Ray likes to do his own part of the yard, as he says that Jay cuts it too short with my mulching mower.  I can’t get stubborn Jay to raise the deck on it, so he used the old side-discharge mower with the raised deck on Ray’s part.  Misty likes it when her back yard is mowed, as then she doesn’t run into the ‘wispies’ and get grass seeds in her eyes.

After he had mowed, we spent some time ‘operating’ on the broken handle of a battery-powered weedwhacker that Jay had acquired from somewhere.  It took a while to nut and bolt it together, though it wasn’t charged up enough to use yesterday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Garner State Park, TX. Grand Canyon Rapids. Charles and Diana. Bottles and Cats.

For “Travel Tuesday”:  Let’s go to Garner State Park:

Generations of Texans have spent summer days floating in the clear, cool waters of the Frio River.

Things to Do

“The cool and consistent flow of the Frio River has made it a popular summertime destination. Garner State Park, on the river about 10 miles south of Leakey and 75 miles west of San Antonio, provides camping, fishing and other activities. Numerous other privately owned campgrounds are also found along the river.”

Bald Cypress trees along the Frio River in Garner State Park

“Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock here each year to enjoy Garner's matchless vacation facilities. They swim in the clear waters of the Frio River, shoot its rapids on inner tubes, rent paddle boats, and hike its fascinating nature trails. On long summer evenings, young folks (and the young at heart) meet at the concession building for jukebox dancing every night during the summer season. Nearby is a miniature golf course, which is lighted for nighttime playing. Meals and snacks are served in the concession building, though many families prefer to take advantage of the many camping sites and do their own cooking. A limited number of cabins are available for rent. The park offers camping, hiking, nature study, picnicking, canoeing, fishing, swimming in the Frio River (unsupervised), seasonal miniature golf, paddle boat and kayak rentals (mid-March through Labor Day weekend), and bike riding (surfaced).”

File:Garner state park.jpg

The Frio River, flowing through Garner State Park in Uvalde County, Texas.

“Garner State Park is 1,419.8 acres (10 water acres of the Frio River) of recreational facilities in northern Uvalde County. Located 30 miles north of Uvalde and 7 miles north of Concan, Garner State Park has 10 acres of riverfront. The park was acquired in 1934-36 and was named for John Nance Garner ("Cactus Jack") of Uvalde, who served as vice president of the United States from 1933-41. The Civilian Conservation Corps made the park's original improvements.”

Plants & Animals

“The park has an abundance of white-tailed and axis deer, Rio Grande turkeys, mourning doves, eastern bluebirds, golden-cheeked warblers, black rock squirrels, fox squirrels, raccoons, armadillos, and many other animal species.

There is also an abundance of trees such as mesquite, Texas redbud, bald cypress, western ash juniper, Spanish oak, lacey oak, Texas madrone, cedar elm and pecan, as well as mountain laurel and agarita shrubs.”


 Garner State Park, Texas [Official]

“Built by the CCC in the 1930s, Garner has long been one of the most popular parks in Texas, and with good reason. From the spring-fed Frio River to the vast hiking trails to the summer dances, the park has a lot to offer. That's why generations of Texans have been making this Hill Country gem the place to be year round.” 


“Deep canyons, crystal-clear streams, high mesas and carved limestone cliffs are the brush strokes in the geologic painting of this intriguing terrain. Many backcountry paved roads wind through canyons along streams here, offering the traveler a different pace from the freeway rush.

The rock formations in this area are early Cretaceous in age, deposited over millions of years in warm, shallow seas that once covered Texas. The Glen Rose formation, a collection of limestone, shale, marl and siltstone beds, was deposited along the shifting margins of the sea where dinosaurs roamed in great numbers, leaving their footprints in the sands. The Cretaceous Sea then spread over Texas, depositing the Edwards Formation (limestone) over the Glen Rose beds. This sequence of strata - Glen Rose below, Edwards above - is found throughout this area.”


On This Day:

Three leave Powell's Grand Canyon expedition, Aug 28, 1869:

“Convinced they will have a better chance surviving the desert than the raging rapids that lay ahead, three men leave John Wesley Powell's expedition through the Grand Canyon and scale the cliffs to the plateau above.

Though it turned out the men had made a serious mistake, they can hardly be faulted for believing that Powell's plan to float the brutal rapids was suicidal. Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran and self-trained naturalist, had embarked on his daring descent of the mighty Colorado River three months earlier. Accompanied by 11 men in four wooden boats, he led the expedition through the Grand Canyon and over punishing rapids that many would hesitate to run even with modern rafts.

The worst was yet to come. Near the lower end of the canyon, the party heard the roar of giant rapids. Moving to shore, they explored on foot and saw, in the words of one man, "the worst rapids yet." Powell agreed, writing that, "The billows are huge and I fear our boats could not ride them...There is discontent in the camp tonight and I fear some of the party will take to the mountains but hope not."

The next day, three of Powell's men did leave. Convinced that the rapids were impassable, they decided to take their chances crossing the harsh desert lands above the canyon rims. On this day in 1869, Seneca Howland, O.G. Howland, and William H. Dunn said goodbye to Powell and the other men and began the long climb up out of the Grand Canyon. The remaining members of the party steeled themselves, climbed into boats, and pushed off into the wild rapids.

Amazingly, all of them survived and the expedition emerged from the canyon the next day. When he reached the nearest settlement, Powell learned that the three men who left had been less fortunate--they encountered a war party of Shivwit Indians and were killed. Ironically, the three murders were initially seen as more newsworthy than Powell's feat and the expedition gained valuable publicity. When Powell embarked on his second trip through the Grand Canyon in 1871, the publicity from the first trip had insured that the second voyage was far better financed than the first.”



Charles and Diana divorce, Aug 28, 1996:

“After four years of separation, Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, and his wife, Princess Diana, formally divorce.

In the year following the divorce, the popular princess seemed well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming "a queen in people's hearts," but on August 31, 1997, she was killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris. An investigation conducted by the French police concluded that the driver, who also died in the crash, was heavily intoxicated and caused the accident while trying to escape the paparazzi photographers who consistently tailed Diana during any public outing.

Prince Charles married his longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, on April 9, 2005.”



The two time-consuming things that took up most of my day, were all my own fault caused by things that I did on Saturday.

First one: Saturday, when I had picked up the real milk from the Calico Dairy I had really just wanted to buy half a gallon.  But they only had gallons, so I thought I would freeze half of it.  (When I lived miles away from the AF commissary and could only go to the base twice a month, I used to freeze our milk.)   As long as it is given at least two to three days to thaw completely, it doesn’t affect it. Well, I froze this milk in two quart bottles.  I didn’t fill them up all the way, and left the lids off, just I do when I freeze milk in plastic bottles.  But these were glass, so they cracked.  I had to put the bottles in big bowls in the fridge to let them defrost overnight.   They don’t make bottles like they used to.

It was trash day and so I wanted to get the cracked glass packed up in a little box and out of here.  I had to handpick off the glass from the still mostly frozen milk, piece by piece.  I couldn’t let it go in a trash bag the way it was, as it would have melted and soured in the heat, then the glass would have cut the bag open, made a big stinky mess, and someone could get hurt.


Picture depicting the Bottle Making (Molding) Process How bottles are made
“The entire process of bottle making is almost fully automated. An automated feeder separates a stream of molten glass into individual gobs. These are then dropped through tubes in a moving track. The gob is shaped into what looks like a short bottle with thick walls and is called a parison. The parison is transferred to a final mould made of iron, which moves up and clamps around the glass. Air is blown into the glass till it acquires the final shape of the mould. This procedure involving expansion is called blowing. The bottle is then released from the mould and annealed.”


Second one:  At church on Saturday this sweet little 83-year-old lady named Billie told me about a feral cat that she had fed one time, and the next day it had brought it’s three grown kittens to live on her property.  Billie didn’t want the cats there as they had fleas, and didn’t look healthy.  I had opened my big mouth and said that I would help her get the cats out of there.  Just as I had published this journal, she called me.  Her daughter had loaned her two pet carriers, and she had managed to use food to entice the momma cat and one of her kittens into the carriers and shut the doors.

So I put a couple of carriers, a trap, a wire cage, and a can of cat food in my van, and off I went all the way to her house near Groceville.  I was hoping that I could transfer the cats out of her carriers into mine, so that I wouldn’t have to go all the way back there, but it was obvious that it wasn’t going to happen.  These were too wild to mess with.  I set the trap and the wire cage with dry and canned food, hoping that we could catch the other two while I was there, but that didn’t work either.  So I left the trap and cage there, and Billie had a broom ready to close the door of the cage, if one should get in there.

As Billie had a Conroe address, I went to the Conroe Shelter to drop them off, but apparently she didn’t live within the city limits, so they would not take them.  I had to drive all the way to Montgomery County Animal Shelter on FM 242, which is almost at The Woodlands.  The heavily gloved attendant had trouble getting them out of the carriers, and had to take one carrier to the back to get the cat out of it.  The momma cat sure did look puny, she probably has one of those terminal diseases that feral cats get because they are not vaccinated. 

The shelter had two digital signs over the reception desk.  One showed that there were 807 animals in the shelter, and the other showed that they taken in 144 animals that day, each jumped up by two as I checked the cats in.  It’s a busy place.  You know that their adoptions are no where near that, so many are PTS.  Please spay and neuter your pets.

I called Billie to tell her that I was on my way back with her daughter’s carriers, and she said that she had another kitten in the trap.  So I took her carriers back to her and picked up the trap and wire cage.

By then it was nearly 2.00PM and I had to get home for lunch and to let Misty out.   So I brought the trapped cat back here, and Animal Control picked it up while they were here in the subdivision.

So much for my day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lyme Disease. Tainted Beef. Pet Vaccines. Hounding Wildlife. 2-Legged Kitty. HSUS $5K Reward. Baby Turtles. Mountbatten. Michael Vick.

For “Mammal Monday”:

A New Explanation for the Steep Rise in Lyme Infections

Lyme disease symptoms“Cases of Lyme disease have skyrocketed in North America over the last decade.  A new study seems to prove that monitoring deer populations to assess Lyme disease risk is ill-advised. In fact, reducing the number of deer in an area has little or no impact on the number of Lyme infections.

The study shows fox and coyote populations determine the rate at which Lyme disease spreads.  Up to 90 percent of infected ticks pick up the Lyme bacteria from small mammals, primarily rodents. Red fox prey on these small mammals. Coyotes are natural predators of foxes.

Where coyote populations have increased, fox populations have decreased, and Lyme disease has proliferated.

Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, believes introducing wolves in areas of high coyote populations would control not only the spread of Lyme infections, but also other rodent-related diseases.

While that is unlikely to happen, the new study illustrates just how important predators are to healthy ecosystems.”  More at:


From me:  One more reason not to mess with Mother Nature! The wolves DO contribute to our well being, and should not be hunted to extinction.


USDA Eyes Whether Tainted Beef Entered Food Supply

a downer cow is shownFRESNO, Calif. (AP) — “Federal regulators who shut down a Central California slaughterhouse after receiving an animal welfare video were investigating Tuesday whether beef from sick cows reached the human food supply.

The video appears to show workers bungling the slaughter of cows struggling to walk and even stand. Under federal regulations, sick animals cannot be slaughtered for human consumption.

The USDA said investigators are trying to determine whether the cows in the video were just lame or sick, which would render them unfit for human consumption.

The video taken by an undercover investigator for Compassion Over Killing also shows cattle lying in pens unable to move, and at least one unable to stand to leave a stock transportation trailer.

Some clips show cattle with swollen udders that are unable to keep their legs under them. Other footage shows a downed cow trembling and unable to stand even as workers try to pull her up by the tail.”     More at:


Plant Closed by USDA Supplied Beef for In-N-Out Burger and Schools.

PHOTO: Undercover video from the animal rights group Compassion Over Killing shows alleged abuse of cattle at the Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford, California.

"That investigation resulted in the nation's largest meat recall.”

“Central Valley Meat is also a supplier of beef to the USDA national school lunch program. It currently holds a $3.8 million, two-month contract with the government.

Portions of the video will be on "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer."

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

More at:


Dog and Cat Vaccines are Not Harmless Preventive Medicine

reaction is Vaccinosis,“Vaccinosis is a condition recognized almost exclusively by the holistic veterinary community. It is not generally acknowledged by traditional veterinarians.

Dr. Richard Pitcairn defines vaccinosis this way: “Vaccinosis is to be understood as the disturbance of the vital force by vaccination that results in mental, emotional, and a physical change that can, in some cases, be a permanent condition.”

Vaccines are composed of modified live viruses, killed viruses and a number of potentially toxic substances. They also enter the body in an unnatural way (by injection) compared to real viruses. They bypass the body’s first lines of defense and are delivered directly to the blood and lymph systems.  Vaccine reactions, or vaccinosis, are wide-ranging. Some reactions are relatively minor, while others are life-threatening.

Fortunately, the traditional veterinary community is slowing becoming aware that vaccines are not the benign disease-prevention tools they were once thought to be.

Most importantly, I don't recommend automatic re-vaccinations at prescribed intervals for any pet.”              More at:


Stop the Hounding of California’s Wildlife


“The Los Angeles Times reports on the HSUS-backed bill to stop the inhumane, unsporting, and high-tech practice of hound hunting of black bears and bobcats—where trophy hunters release as many as 20 dogs, often fitted with radio transmitters on their collars, to chase, attack, and corner a panting animal who may in the end be shot from a tree branch. That bill, S.B. 1221, which has passed the state Senate and two Assembly committees, is slated for a vote on the Assembly floor as soon as this week. Every California voter should call his or her Assemblymember in support of S.B. 1221 today.

There’s no question that the final act of the hunt—where the hunter, following the signal emitting the hounds’ collars on a handheld directional antenna, shoots the animal at point-blank range—makes a mockery of any notion of sportsmanship or fair chase. It’s more of a high-tech killing than it is a fair-chase hunt.

Spokesmen from the trophy hunting lobby claim that it’s actually humane to shoot the cornered animal, since the hunter can just about guarantee a killing shot. That’s the same, weak rationale for shooting any kind of animal in a fenced enclosure in a captive hunt, or any animal that is lured to bait.”  More at:


Anakin The 2 Legged Rescue Kitty!

“Anakin is a rescue kitty without hind legs…against all the odds, she’s grown up to be a playful, happy, strong and lovable kitty!”


The HSUS Assists in Rescue of More Than 200 Dogs from Ohio Puppy Mill.     HSUS Offers $5,000 Reward.

“The Humane Society of the United States and other animal rescue organizations were called in by the Humane Society of Richland County to assist in the rescue of approximately 250 dogs from a Shelby, Ohio, property. The owner of the dogs surrendered them to the Humane Society of Richland County earlier this week, and rescuers quickly mobilized to provide the dogs with food, water and veterinary evaluations. The dogs were mainly Chihuahuas and Shar-Peis and were found living in cramped wire cages and pens, covered in their own waste, without access to veterinary care or proper socialization. Many of the dogs suffered from skin irritations, eye infections and severe flea infestations.   “We were shocked to see that these dogs were living in squalid conditions for quite some time, so we are glad that the owner called us in to help.”

“To help improve the lives of dogs and protect consumers, The HSUS has established a reward program to offer up to $5,000 to anyone who provides any information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for illegal animal cruelty. Persons wishing to report a valid tip are encouraged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP and will remain anonymous.”



These aren’t mammals, but they are cute, anyway:

Brave Baby Turtle's Journey From Nest To Sea

“Go, little guy, go! With the help of some charitable humans, they just might make it.”   Pictures at:


On This Day:

Mountbatten killed by IRA, Aug 27, 1979:

“On August 27, 1979, Lord Louis Mountbatten is killed when Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorists detonate a 50-pound bomb hidden on his fishing vessel Shadow V. Mountbatten, a war hero, elder statesman, and second cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, was spending the day with his family in Donegal Bay off Ireland's northwest coast when the bomb exploded. Three others were killed in the attack, including Mountbatten's 14-year-old grandson, Nicholas. Later that day, an IRA bombing attack on land killed 18 British paratroopers in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Louis Mountbatten, the son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and a great-grandson of Queen Victoria I, entered the Royal Navy in 1913, when he was in his early teens. He saw service during World War I and at the outbreak of World War II was commander of the 5th destroyer flotilla. His destroyer, the HMS Kelly, was sunk off Crete early in the war. In 1941, he commanded an aircraft carrier, and in 1942 he was named chief of combined operations. From this position, he was appointed supreme Allied commander for Southeast Asia in 1943 and successfully conducted the campaign against Japan that led to the recapture of Burma.”


NFL star Michael Vick pleads guilty in dogfighting case, Aug 27, 2007:

“On this day in 2007, Michael Vick, a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, formally pleads guilty before a Richmond, Virginia, judge to a federal felony charge related to running a dogfighting ring. That December, the 27-year-old Vick, once the highest-paid player in the NFL, was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison.

In April 2007, law-enforcement officials raided a 15-acre property owned by Vick in rural Surry County, Virginia, and discovered dozens of pit bulls, some of them neglected, along with evidence of illegal dogfighting activities.

Vick’s three co-defendants later changed their pleas to guilty and agreed to testify that the quarterback had participated in the execution of a number of dogs and had bankrolled the gambling and operating funds for the venture, known as Bad Newz Kennels, which had reportedly been in existence for about five years. Animal-rights organizations as well as the general public expressed outrage against Vick and the barbaric details of the case—dogs that underperformed in fights were put to death by such means as drowning, electrocution and hanging.

In May 2009, Vick was released from prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. That July, he was conditionally reinstated by the NFL and the following month signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. While his public image remained tarnished, Vick went on to make a strong comeback on the football field.”



When I woke up I thought it was Monday, the day to put out the trash.  The events of the last two long days of the missing cat made me think that I had lived through an extra day, I guess.  Then I was too engrossed in going through emails to realize what day it was.

One of the male puppies is already in his new home, and settling down well. The other three are being taken care of in other SPCA foster homes, until their new ‘parents’ can pick them up, as the female pups have to have a little more post-op care before they can go.

When I did grasp that it was Sunday, I had missed the Church of God sermon on WGN TV, and watched it later on their website .  I did the laundry, some of which is still waiting to be folded, and a little advance cooking for the next few days.  I don’t eat much meat, and there is always too much in a package for just one meal, so I can eat some, then freeze the rest for later.

In the afternoon, as my Grooming Room is operational again without puppies running all over it, I cut down Misty, and put her back in her ‘Town and Country’ pattern.  She isn’t bathed or finished yet, but she is old, like me, and doesn’t like to have too much done all in one day.