Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Victories. Pet Lovers Resolutions. Rusty Rabbit’s Braces. Cat’s Color. Mica’s New Knee. Big Business of Pet Food.


for “Mammal Monday”:

“Heroes like you helped the HSUS achieve monumental victories for animals in 2012. Please help us ensure more victories like these just by giving what you can today:”


New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Lovers

“If you’re making resolutions for the New Year, have you considered including your four-legged companion in your plans?  Small changes can make a big difference in an animal’s health, so if there are areas of your pet’s care you know need more attention, we recommend you start small … but definitely get started!”

    Make one small improvement in your
    pet's diet.

    1. The most important thing most pet owners can do for their pets' health in the new year is improve the quality and species-appropriateness of the food they eat.
      First, find out where your pet's current diet ranks on my list of 13 Pet Foods - Ranked from Great to Disastrous. If you learn that your pet's food is on the lower end of the ranking, set a goal for 2013 to start working your way up the list.


    Exercise your pet for one extra hour a week.

    Regular exercise is incredibly important to the physical and mental health of dogs and cats, and many pets today get very little physical activity.
    One extra hour a week is 60 minutes over seven days, or less than 10 extra minutes a day. If you and your pet take weekends off, you need to add just 12 extra minutes of exercise to your regular routine Monday through Friday.
    Another option is to take your dog for an extra half-hour walk on Saturdays and Sundays. If your pet is a cat, you could add 15 extra minutes of active play four times a week.

    Schedule at least one wellness exam with
    your veterinarian.

    Your visit to the vet shouldn't be for unnecessary re-vaccinations. A wellness appointment should involve a hands-on, nose-to-tail examination of your cat or dog, along with appropriate blood tests to check organ function.
    These visits (I recommend two a year for most pets) are invaluable, proactive tools to stay on top of your pet's health and catch problems as early as possible.

    Take one step to enrich your pet's

    Extra time spent with your dog is the very best way to enrich her environment. If you spend that time getting involved in an obedience or nose work class or one of dozens of other dog-centric activities, even better.
    Spending an extra few minutes each day with your cat can also enrich his environment, especially if you use the time to increase his fitness through interactive play. Other ways to enrich a kitty's environment can be found in my article titled Your Cat's Life in Captivity - How to Simulate Conditions in the Wild.

    Add one thing to your daily or weekly
    pet care routine: 


    Rusty: Ambassador for Peace

    Rusty:  Ambassador for Peace

    “He was left in a Florida, U.S. park to fend for himself. Day after day, the little red bunny sat calmly in the grass, not moving from the spot as curious people walked by. One morning a passerby saw some boys playing soccer. And then she noticed their ball was…the bunny.

    She intervened; the boys fled. She took him to her warm, safe home. Two weeks later, she found HouseRabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. – HARE. We asked her to bring him right over.

    Radiographs revealed severe, congenital hip dysplasia making his hind legs splay uselessly out to the sides. A broken femur had healed a bit crookedly. The veterinarian thought surgery would be too hard on the little red rabbit who had already been through so much.

    Instead, Rusty was fitted with leg braces that pulled his feet into normal position, allowing him to stand. His feet were cushioned with sponges of shed fur donated by other rescued rabbits, then braced together with sports tape.   When we first set him down to try out his new legs, Rusty stood a moment, puzzled. He took a hop. Then another. Then he was racing up and down the rugs, overjoyed with his new mobility! (His lolloping gait has earned him the nickname “Mr. Bippity.”)

    As you can see, he gets around just fine!

    The real miracle is his personality. Despite his harsh start, Rusty is a gentle soul. He’s become Ambassador for warren peace at H.A.R.E., befriending territorial rabbits in adjacent clans and inspiring them to make peace. He has more friends than any rabbit we’ve ever known, and he links them together with his cheerful spirit, gentle bossiness, and kisses. He’ll break up bunny spats by pushing himself between the perpetrators, growling as if to say, “Break it up, Guys! Life’s too short for grumpiness! Believe me…I know.”   From:


     Cats Color And Personality

    Cat Color“Did you happen to choose the color of your cat based on what you've heard their personality type would be like? It may sound funny but just like humans, cats have been judged by their color too!

    A study by University of California Berkley researchers have found a popular assumption that orange cats are friendly, black cats are evil, and white cats to be big snobs. Unfortunately because of our bias, a study by the Anthrozoos has found a negative link between our perceptions of our feline friends and the negative affects of their adoption rates. With the number of cat loving fans, who love the likes of Maru or the Grumpy Cat, they are lucky to not be a part of the one million domesticated cats out of 10 million who still end up in shelter's each year.

    Berkley researchers also found with our color bias, certain colored cats become more favorable over others, but there still is little evidence that shows a cat's personality is based on their color. Our preconceptions, whether conscious or unconscious, definitely has an affect on whether or not these pretty kitties will find a happy home or not. So whether you're looking for a cat like Garfield, Heathcliff, or Felix The Cat, you'll only be able to base it by looks. Let's break down the stereotypes and remember cats, like humans, have a personality of their own. Looks definitely can be deceiving so don't judge a cat by it's cover!”  From:


    UF’s first total knee replacement surgery in dog successful

    “Nearly eight months after undergoing total knee replacement surgery at the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital, a 9-year-old yellow Labrador retriever named Mica is racing through fields four days a week, sniffing out ducks in blinds and swimming while she trains for her master hunting title.”

    More at:


    The FALSE Belief that Keeps Your Pet Trapped in Bad Health...

    “I Learned the Hard Way”

    “I was in my second year of veterinary school and I had a Rottweiler named Gemini.  I was getting free food from the school for Gemini. I was told it was good food (Science Diet), I was broke, and I liked the idea of free food for my dog.

    Unfortunately, when Gemini was 7 she went into acute liver failure from an additive in the Science Diet food called ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is a stabilizer commonly added to pet food that is known to damage the liver.

    I didn’t think Gemini was going to make it.

    I made a change to her diet literally overnight. I started preparing homemade foods for her and she remained on a homemade diet for the rest of her life. Gemini lived to be 13.  My experience with Gemini was pivotal for me. It changed my belief about how companion animals should be fed.  It changed forever how I feed my own pack and the nutritional guidelines I give my veterinary clients, other pet owners and pet caretakers.”  More at:


    "The Big Business of Pet Food Corporate Profits are Soaring… But How About Your Pet? Could Their Diet Be Causing More Harm Than Good?"

    Ancient Diet“Your pet instinctively craves their ancestral diet for vibrant health and well-being.

    Sadly for your pets, the pet food industry is rapidly becoming Big Business.   Big Business to the tune of $15 billion worldwide.

    Behind closed doors, strategic acquisitions of smaller companies are quietly taking place – clearly to capitalize on the tremendous profits the pet food industry offers.

    What most pet owners don't realize is that the pet food industry is actually an extension of the food and agricultural industries.

    Pet food provides these giant multinational corporations a very convenient and very profitable "built-in" market for wastes left over from their human food production.  But here's the problem… Your beloved pet was never designed to eat 'wastes'.

    Today's commercial pet food is a far cry from your dog's or cat's ancestral diet – the diet their species has thrived upon for thousands of years. Dogs and cats both have a nutritional need for meat, bones, and vegetables.

    They do not have a need for carbohydrates or grains. In fact, in the ancestral diet, grains and seeds were not consumed unless they were pre-digested by their prey.

    Cat & DogOur beloved pals depend on us to feed them foods that truly nourish their bodies.

    Carnivores, as opposed to herbivores (such as cows), have relatively short, simple gastrointestinal tracts.

    Unable to make their own, they require all the essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein – from their foods. Plants and starches don't supply a full healthy array of amino acids.

    But there's more. Our pets' bodies are just not designed to cope with large quantities of carbohydrates.  Your pet's pancreas is unable to secrete the enzyme needed to split cellulose into glucose molecules. Dogs' and cats' bodies just aren't efficient at digesting, assimilating and utilizing plant material and grains as high quality protein.

    Unfortunately, feeding this type of unnatural diet can cause chronic inflammation and illness, obesity and other metabolic consequences.

    Commercial pet foods – especially dry kibble – are loaded with carbohydrates. You'll commonly find rice, corn, barley, potatoes, and starch added to cat and dog food as cheap sources of energy and calories. In fact, it's not unusual to find kibble with over 50 percent carbohydrate content.

    And here's another thing… Corn is one of the most frequently genetically modified 'foods'. Not healthy for you… and not healthy for your precious pet.” 

     Kibble? A far cry from a cat's natural diet.

    “Just as with humans, your pet's diet largely determines his or her overall health.  Protein in your pet's food comes in various forms – meat, poultry or fish, meat or poultry meal, and meat by-products.

    KibbleIn the food industry, only about 50 percent of every animal can be used as food for human consumption.

    The remaining parts, or "by-products" – heads, feet, bones, feathers, blood, intestines, organs, fat scraps, even unborn fetuses – are used in pet food and animal feed.

    Commonly you'll find meat meals in pet foods, including poultry meal, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal. 'Meal' signifies that these ingredients are not fresh; they are "rendered".  Rendering is the process where various ingredients are emptied into a large vat and boiled for several hours. These high temperatures can damage proteins and destroy natural enzymes.

    From a health standpoint, denatured proteins from high processing temperatures can lead to food allergies and intolerances and inflammatory bowel disease.

    But here's what's so controversial: In addition to food animal scraps, rendering, by law, can include grocery store expired meat (Styrofoam wrapping intact), road kill, diseased and disabled (and dead) cattle, and even euthanized pets.

    Pet food companies claim they no longer process dead dogs and cats (insiders admit they previously did), but the FDA has found pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in rendered meat-and-bone meal and animal fat.” More at:


    On This Day:

    Henry Ford publishes the last issue of the Dearborn Independent, Dec 31, 1927:

    “On December 31, 1927, the Dearborn Independent--a newspaper published by Henry Ford that, at the peak of its popularity in the mid-1920s, had about 700,000 readers--rolls off the printing press for the last time. Since 1920, Ford had used the paper as a platform for his anti-Semitic ideas, and many of its articles and essays were collected and published in a book called "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem." It was a bestseller in Nazi Germany and remains in print today.

    Henry Ford was an innovative entrepreneur, but he was also a flagrant and unapologetic bigot: He hated immigrants, thought labor unionists were "the worst thing that ever struck the earth" and made no secret of his belief in "the Jewish plan to control the world, not by territorial acquisition, not by military aggression, not by governmental subjugation, but by control of the machinery of commerce and exchange." (He blamed Jewish bankers for everything that was wrong with the world, from the Great War to his own inability to buy out his company's shareholders during the recession of 1919.) Early in 1920, he put a new editor in charge of the Independent after the old one refused to print Ford's vitriolic essays and resigned, and the first of the paper's anti-Semitic tirades appeared in May 1920. They circulated widely, since the paper was sold by subscription as well as through Ford's nationwide network of dealerships.

    In 1927, a Jewish lawyer and farm cooperative organizer named Aaron Sapiro sued Ford for defamation. (His was the third anti-Independent lawsuit, but the first to go to trial.) In court, Ford refused to take responsibility for the articles that appeared in his newspaper: in fact, he faked a car accident and hid in the hospital so he wouldn't have to testify. The suit ended in a mistrial, and--likely because of all the bad publicity the trial and the newspaper had brought him--Ford agreed to a private settlement with Sapiro. He issued a somewhat insincere public apology for his newspaper's years of defamatory content--"to my great regret," he wrote, "I have learned that Jews...resent this publication as promoting anti-Semitism"--and at the end of the year he closed down the Independent for good.”


    Bloodiest year of the war ends, Dec 31, 1968:

    “The bloodiest year of the war comes to an end. At year's end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967.

    Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were killed during the year. However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968. Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded.

    Contributing to the high casualty number was the Tet Offensive launched by the communists. Conducted in the early weeks of the year, it was a crushing military defeat for the communists, but the size and scope of the attacks caught the American and South Vietnamese allies completely by surprise. The early reporting of a smashing communist victory went largely uncorrected in the media and this led to a psychological victory for the communists. The heavy U.S. casualties incurred during the offensive coupled with the disillusionment over the earlier overly optimistic reports of progress in the war accelerated the growing disenchantment with President Johnson's conduct of the war. Johnson, frustrated with his inability to reach a solution in Vietnam, announced on March 31, 1968, that he would neither seek nor accept the Democratic nomination for president. Johnson's announcement did not dampen the wave of antiwar protests that climaxed with the bloody confrontation between protesters and police outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.”



    After doing the usual jobs early in the morning, I had a cleaning frenzy, and caught up on things l had not been able to do for a while.  Vinegar-ing the coffee maker, de-crumbing the toaster oven, scrubbing them both and the front of the fridge and kitchen cabinets.  The kitten ‘helped’ me fold laundry, and I picked up her trail of playthings so that I could vacuum.  Everything is a toy to her, and she picks up stuff in her mouth, like a retriever, and drags it around to a new location.  But she isn’t retrieving, she is un-trieving, and scattering.  I have to be very watchful that she doesn’t misplace important things.  

    Misty was glad that I put her barn-coat on each time she went out, as there was a cold north wind.


    Later, Misty donned in her coat, and I wore a full length lined coat and gloves when Jay asked us to go down there to look at a job he has to do on an A-frame house near there.  Someone had put the sewer vent pipe collars (flanges) over the shingles, and they were leaking.  Not under, as per picture.  One vent didn’t have a collar on it at all, so any rain was going into the house.  It still amazes me what some folks will do, and not use common sense.  Then Jay took me to go over to Section Two of this subdivision, and loaded up some long lumber in the Puddle Jumper.  It was so long that it stuck out of the back of the little station wagon sometimes scraping the road, and having the back lift hatch open made it a chilly ride back to his place.

    When we got home, I let the kitten out of her big cage again, so that meant I had another trail of waste paper basket contents and paper recycling to clean up yesterday.

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

    "Who Was Jesus?" DNA Divine Design. Is Drinking a Sin? Alcohol Use and Abuse. Bracing for the Beast, Another Hitler? U.S. Border. First Sit-down Strike. Baptism.


    For “Scripture Sunday”:

    Newsweek's cover asks, "Who Was Jesus?".

    “It raises more questions that erode faith. Given that people are looking for understanding and hope you have to ask, "where can you find faith?".”

    Transcript at:


    God, Science and the Bible: DNA Discoveries Demonstrate Divine Design

    God, Science and the Bible: DNA Discoveries Demonstrate Divine Design“Recent discoveries about DNA—including the finding that so-called "junk DNA" is anything but—once again clearly points to a supreme Intelligence having imbedded an incredible multifaceted code in our genes.

    When first discovered, scientists believed that DNA was a somewhat simple genetic code filled with what they termed "junk DNA," useless bits assumed to be evolutionary remnants from our supposed ancestors. But now they have found the code to be astoundingly complex, multilayered and even bidirectional.

    On Sept. 5, 2012, The New York Times reported: "The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as "junk" but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave . . .

    The astounding complexity of the DNA code was the main reason Sir Antony Flew, the late world-famous philosopher who had been the leading atheist in England, renounced his atheism a few years back and accepted the existence of a divine intelligence behind it all.

    He wrote: "What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together" ( There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, 2007, p. 75).

    Let's see some of the examples of the incredible complexity of the DNA code……”    Complete article at:


    Is Drinking Alcohol a Sin?


    Is Drinking Alcohol a Sin?Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used drug in the world. What does God think about the use and abuse of alcohol? Is drinking alcohol a sin?

    Most people realize the terrible damage that abuse of alcohol can cause. Human laws regulate alcohol, and God strongly condemns drunkenness as sin. But is all use of alcohol sinful?

    Some should abstain

    First, realize that some people with a propensity to alcoholism should abstain from alcohol. This does not prove that all use of alcohol is wrong. There are many aspects of life that some people should avoid because of the problems they can create. For example, it is not sinful to eat salt, yet after heart surgery or when facing other specific health problems, a doctor may advise a patient to limit salt intake. Also, some people are born with or develop sensitivities to gluten, dairy products, sulfur, eggs, nuts, fish or other food items. Such foods are not wrong, yet those individuals must avoid them.

    Likewise there are people who must avoid alcohol because of the damaging results in their lives, and there are others who choose for their own reasons to refrain from drinking alcohol. To be sure, there is nothing in Scripture that commands people to drink alcohol—but does the Bible forbid all use of alcohol? Is drinking alcohol a sin?

    When alcohol isn’t sin

    Sin is defined in the Bible as “lawlessness” or, as the J.B. Phillips translation puts it, “Everyone who commits sin breaks God’s law, for that is what sin is, by definition—a breaking of God’s law” (1 John 3:4). So we need to ask if God created a law forbidding the use of alcohol. If so, then we could easily conclude that drinking alcohol is a sin.

    There are a handful of scriptures that some people believe do exactly that. Let’s look at a few examples:

    • Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
    • 1 Timothy 3:8 says, “Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine.”
    • Isaiah 5:11 says, “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them!”

    A careful examination of these and other verses that may be used reveals a common theme: God clearly condemns the abuse of alcohol. Overindulgence—long-term or even just occasional—is forbidden by the Creator. However, we do not find a wholesale condemnation of any use of alcohol.

    Jesus Christ warned men to be careful to avoid “carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life” (Luke 21:34). And Paul wrote that among the “works of the flesh” that men are to avoid is “drunkenness” (Galatians 5:19-21). In both cases, the term “drunkenness” is used. It means excessive use of alcoholic products.

    When alcohol becomes sin……”       Complete article at:


    Alcohol Use and Abuse

    Alcohol use and abuseMany people talk about needing a drink. But for the alcoholic, even one is too much. The misconceptions surrounding alcohol use and abuse can be confusing.

    “I sure could use a drink.” This is often said at the end of a hard day’s work, a good fitness workout or when under emotional stress. An individual may say he needs a drink because he knows alcohol is a mood changer. And he knows the change is almost immediate.

    If the reaction to alcohol were to take several hours, it would not be as appealing. In fact, it is the speed of mood change that increases the risk of alcohol abuse.

    Being well-informed about the facts of alcohol use and abuse can go a long way in helping us use it properly. Understanding the common misconceptions may help you avoid the dangers of alcohol abuse.

    Common misconceptions about alcohol use and abuse
    Misconception: A couple of drinks can’t do me much harm.

    Maybe not. But then, how much is too much?……

    Misconception: Big people can drink more. Right?

    ….It’s your liver that breaks down the alcohol……  You cannot control the rate at which your liver works.  You can only control how much you drink….

    Misconception: Cheers. Here’s to your health.

    Toasting to health may be popular and well-intentioned. But is drinking healthy? Perhaps not…….

    Misconception: I always know when to quit drinking—my speech slurs.

    Do you realize how far this is down the road of intoxication? Consider these effects of different blood alcohol concentrations:……

    Misconception: Sure I can drive. No problem; it’s not far to go home.

    Perhaps you’ve heard those statements before. Yet the facts are clear as to how severely alcohol does impair one’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. So why does the drinker still think he can drive competently?…….

    Misconception: I only drink a little when I am pregnant so it’s not a problem.

    Do you know what even a little bit of alcohol can do to an unborn child?…..

    Misconception: I can sober up quickly.

    Only time can sober you up. Food, coffee, a cold shower and fresh air only result in a well-fed, wide-awake and clean drunk! On average, the liver can only process about one standard drink each hour.

    Since alcohol needs no digestion, moments after the first sip it passes through the walls of the stomach and small intestine directly into the bloodstream. A few minutes later it reaches the brain……

    Recognize the problem of alcoholism

    ….. Millions of people are dominated by the bottle and reap terrible consequences to their health, family, friends and job.

    Is there hope for the alcoholic?

    ….The alcoholic also needs the loving support of family and friends. If you have a friend or loved one who is a slave to alcohol, how can you help?….

    It is vital to understand the facts about alcohol use and abuse—not the misconceptions. The proper use of alcohol in moderation can be enjoyable and acceptable. But the abuse of alcohol and drunkenness will always lead to pain, sorrow, shattered relationships and destroyed lives.

    For the sake of your health and for the health of your relationships, if you choose to drink, be sure that you do so in moderation and responsibly.”  Complete article at:


    For those who need help with addictions:






    The program on WGN TV this morning: Bracing for the Beast.

    Excerpt:   “Not all that long ago, Adolf Hitler acquired the power, the support and the heart of the people. As early as 1925 he ran for elected office backed by the Nazi party. In the good times of the 20s the voters soundly rejected him.

    But, by the beginning of the Great Depression the economy plummeted. Because of the difficult times, the German people were more open to extreme tactics to deal with the severe economic troubles that were emerging.  By enticing the voters, Hitler convinced them that he and his party could solve their problems and restore Germany to its rightful place of power within Europe. So by a legitimate ballot of the people, Hitler became Chancellor of the German Republic in January 1933. With the power of charisma, persuasive flattery and alluring arguments, he came into authority peacefully.

    But you know, that wasn't enough. Hitler quickly set out to take complete power. He was a master, a master at clever maneuvering, an expert at manipulating people and manipulating events. So under the appearance of protecting the people and the state, he slyly managed to suspend individual and civil liberties.

    A despicable man was given honor, and respect and admiration. He seized the control of the German nation and within just a few short years, one of Europe's most cultured, most civilized nations used its resources to plunge the world into war and holocaust.

    It sounds hauntingly similar to Daniel 11:21 "And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue."…

    [Person 7] Oooh, let's pray to God no. Oh I hope not. I hope never, ever again. You know, that's...never anyone like Hitler was, ever.

    [Steve] Never again? But what might take place if your way of life were threatened with collapse? Could you put your hope, could you put your confidence in someone that promised to bring prosperity and to save your lifestyle?

    The answer is yes! It could easily come about, and actually, it will happen. A persuasive leader will emerge on the world scene. The Bible calls him the Beast. And God compares him to a ferocious wild animal with sinister intent. And he's coming! He's coming on the world scene and has powerful help from unseen, evil spiritual forces.”

    Full Transcript at:


    On This Day:

    Southern U.S. border established, Dec 30, 1853: 

    James Gadsden, the U.S. minister to Mexico, and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the president of Mexico, sign the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City. The treaty settled the dispute over the location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, and established the final boundaries of the southern United States. For the price of $15 million, later reduced to $10 million, the United States acquired approximately 30,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona.

    Jefferson Davis, the U.S. secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce, had sent Gadsden to negotiate with Santa Anna for the land, which was deemed by a group of political and industrial leaders to be a highly strategic location for the construction of the southern transcontinental railroad. In 1861, the "big four" leaders of western railroad construction--Collis P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker--established the Southern Pacific branch of the Central Pacific Railroad.”


    Sit-down strike begins in Flint, Dec 30, 1936:

    “At 8 p.m. on December 30, 1936, in one of the first sit-down strikes in the United States, autoworkers occupy the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers were striking to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only bargaining agent for GM's workers; they also wanted to make the company stop sending work to non-union plants and to establish a fair minimum wage scale, a grievance system and a set of procedures that would help protect assembly-line workers from injury. In all, the strike lasted 44 days.

    The Flint sit-down strike was not spontaneous; UAW leaders, inspired by similar strikes across Europe, had been planning it for months. The strike actually began at smaller plants: Fisher Body in Atlanta on November 16, GM in Kansas City on December 16 and a Fisher stamping plant in Cleveland on December 28. The Flint plant was the biggest coup, however: it contained one of just two sets of body dies that GM used to stamp out almost every one of its 1937 cars. By seizing control of the Flint plant, autoworkers could shut down the company almost entirely.

    So, on the evening of December 30, the Flint Plant's night shift simply stopped working. They locked themselves in and sat down. "She's ours!" one worker shouted.

    GM argued that the strikers were trespassing and got a court order demanding their evacuation; still, the union men stayed put. GM turned off the heat in the buildings, but the strikers wrapped themselves in coats and blankets and hunkered down. On January 11, police tried to cut off the strikers' food supply; in the resulting riot, known as the "Battle of the Running Bulls," 16 workers and 11 policemen were injured and the UAW took over the adjacent Fisher Two plant. On February 1, the UAW won control of the enormous Chevrolet No. 4 engine factory. GM's output went from a robust 50,000 cars in December to just 125 in February.

    Despite GM's enormous political clout, Michigan Governor Frank Murphy refused to use force to break the strike. Though the sit-ins were illegal, he believed, he also believed that authorizing the National Guard to break the strike would be an enormous mistake. "If I send those soldiers right in on the men," he said, "there'd be no telling how many would be killed." As a result, he declared, "The state authorities will not take sides. They are here only to protect the public peace."

    Meanwhile, President Roosevelt urged GM to recognize the union so that the plants could reopen. In mid-February, the automaker signed an agreement with the UAW. Among other things, the workers were given a 5 percent raise and permission to speak in the lunchroom.”



    The Bible Study at the Willis church was again about the Gifts of the Spirit, and the sermon was about the difference between Theocracy, (, democracy (, and ecclesiology.(

    1-SAM_1817 After the service there was a family of four who were going to be baptized, so many of the congregation drove over to the pastor’s house about a mile away.

    The Church of God goes strictly by the Bible, so they baptize by submersion, just the way John The Baptist did it.

    There is a heated outdoor pool there, and I took some pictures to give to the family.

    They have their choice of being baptized there or in nearby cold Lake Conroe.  They chose the pastor’s house as it was a chilly, windy day.

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

    Stop Newton Gifts. Mayan Temple Damaged. FDA Sued. Diabetes Drug Can Cause Cancer. Statin Drugs. 40% Food Wasted. David Douglas. Wounded Knee. London Blitz.


    For “Summary Saturday”, News, Some new, Some Old:

    Newtown Officials Ask Gift-Givers To Stop Sending Newtown GiftsPackages

    “The officials are asking people to temporarily stop sending gifts. They say once they process the "warehouses full of items," they'll detail the best ways to help.

    Meanwhile, the United Way of Western Connecticut announced Wednesday that a fund established after the shooting to support Newtown has grown to $3.5 million.”  More at:


    Mayan temple damaged in tourist 'apocalypse' frenzy

    “Tourists flocking to Guatemala for "end of the world" parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban centre of the Mayan civilization.”

    Mayan Temple II

    Temple II, which is about 38 meters (125 feet) high and faces the central Tikal plaza, is one of Tikal's best known structures Photo: ALAMY

    “"Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage," said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, which is located some 550 kilometres (340 miles) north of Guatemala City.

    "We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site," he told local media.   Gomez did not specify what was done, although he did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.

    Friday marked the end of an era that lasted 5,200 years, according to the Mayan "Long Count" calendar. Some believed the date also marked the end of the world as foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs.”    More at:


    FDA Sued for Withholding Data on Antibiotic Use in Food Animals

    Livestock Antibiotics

    “The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has filed a lawsuit against the FDA after the agency refused to release data on the amount of antibiotics sold for use in food animals

    The US uses nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics annually in food production. Livestock antibiotic use accounts for 80 percent of the total antibiotics sold annually

    Antibiotics such as penicillins and tetracyclines are routinely added to animal feed in order to make the animals grow faster. Non-medical use of antibiotics in food animals is a major driving force behind the rampant development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

    In other parts of the world, such as the European Union, the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed has been banned for years

    You can help protect yourself and your family -- and prompt change in the consumer realm -- by purchasing only antibiotic-free meats that were raised on high-quality organic farms.”    Complete article at:


    Diabetes Drug Can Increase Your Risk of Cancer

    “Several studies of the newest blockbuster drug for diabetes, Januvia, have implicated these very common drugs to cause a number of different cancers. They will likely be removed from the market but perhaps not until they’ve killed many

    There simply is no reason these dangerous drugs should ever be used as they fail to treat the cause of the disease. Anyone on them now ideally should stop taking them and follow a healthy eating plan, which will radically improve, if not completely resolve, their diabetes

    Acknowledged side effects of Januvia and Janumet, include anaphylaxis and acute pancreatitis—both of which can be lethal. Anaphylaxis is in fact such a grave hazard with this drug that it actually carries a black box warning for lactic acidosis: “If acidosis is suspected, discontinue Janumet and hospitalize the patient immediately.”

    This new class of drugs inhibit the enzyme DPP-4 which also happens to be a tumor suppressor. Studies have shown that when you suppress DPP-4 (which is precisely what these drugs do), cancer cells are allowed to proliferate. According to Januvia’s drug information, the drug inhibits the DPP-4 enzyme for 24 hours, and you take it daily, effectively permanently blocking the activity of a tumor suppressor gene

    None of the safety studies on Januvia addressed its impact on tumor growth prior to approval

    Januvia is now the number one best-selling drug in the oral diabetes market. Should such a blockbuster drug be proven to be connected to cancer, it’s a HUGE loss not only to Merck, but several other major pharmaceutical companies that have developed similar drugs. Drug companies like Merck could make MASSIVE amounts of money from these clearly dangerous drugs while cancer slowly and quietly grows in patients taking them.”  More at:


    FAIL: Merck's Statin Drug Found No Better Than Coconut Water

    “In a 2008 study published in the journal Food Chemistry & Toxicology titled, "Comparative evaluation of the hypolipidemic effects of coconut water and lovastatin in rats fed fat-cholesterol enriched diet," the beverage coconut water was found as effective as a popular cholesterol-lowering drug in positively modulating blood lipid levels in rats. 

    Statin Drugs: Defrauding the Public of Their Money & Health

    FAIL: Merck's Statin Drug Found No Better Than Coconut Water

    When the water of a coconut is at least as effective as the drug that started the "statin revolution" in 1987 - Merck's branded lovastatin extract known as Mevacor - you know that the 30 billion dollar statin drug industry is based on a fundamentally erroneous premise: namely, that synthetic patentable chemicals are superior to natural ones, and therefore can be sold for usuriously high mark-ups.”   More at:


    What you can do about the 40% of food that is wasted

    landfillA recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states:

    “Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions. Reducing food losses by just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year . . .”      More at:


    This week’s amazing fact: David Douglas

    David Douglas“In 1825, David Douglas sailed along the west coast of the United States and up the Columbia River. Only 26-years-old, the young botanist from London was on a quest—a lifelong dream: Study the New World’s plant life. Since a boy, Douglas had been obsessed with plants, and by the age of 21, he was appointed to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Scotland.

    As the ship approached land, one particular tree captivated David. As he reported, “So pleased was I that I could scarcely see [anything] but it.” He couldn't wait to see the tree up close, and when he did, he pronounced it “one of the most striking and truly graceful objects in nature.” It was only fitting that this famous tree would later bear his name—the Douglas fir.

    David spent the next two years exploring the Northwest, finding new plants and shipping more than 500 species back to England. William Hooker, one of the world's leading botanists, described David as a man of “great activity, undaunted courage,… and energetic zeal.” The Native Americans were immensely impressed with David's endurance, but they also questioned his sanity. They called him “Man of Grass,” because he would hike from first dawn to dusk collecting plants that he couldn't eat! His collecting adventures took him 12,000 miles on foot, horseback, and canoe. There are more plants named for Douglas, over 200, than for any other person in the history of science.

    On an 1829 trip to North America, Douglas made a discovery that eventually changed the history of the New World. While collecting specimens in California, he pulled a plant from the ground that contained flecks of gold, which clung to the roots. But as David packed the plant for shipment, he saw only the plant. That's how gold was first discovered in California in 1831—not by loggers in Sutter creek, but by the botanists in London who unpacked David’s shipment of plants and saw gold on the roots.

    David Douglas had only one purpose in life. Nothing, not even gold, could distract him from his mission. And this mission was well established by the time he was 11 years of age. That is the sort of focused energetic zeal that God wants from us today!

    1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.””


    On This Day:

    U.S. Army massacres Indians at Wounded Knee, Dec 29, 1890:

    “On this day in 1890, in the final chapter of America's long Indian wars, the U.S. Cavalry kills 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.

    The conflict at Wounded Knee was originally referred to as a battle, but in reality it was a tragic and avoidable massacre. Surrounded by heavily armed troops, it's unlikely that Big Foot's band would have intentionally started a fight. Some historians speculate that the soldiers of the 7th Cavalry were deliberately taking revenge for the regiment's defeat at Little Bighorn in 1876. Whatever the motives, the massacre ended the Ghost Dance movement and was the last major confrontation in America's deadly war against the Plains Indians.

    Conflict came to Wounded Knee again in February 1973 when it was the site of a 71-day occupation by the activist group AIM (American Indian Movement) and its supporters, who were protesting the U.S. government's mistreatment of Native Americans.  During the standoff, two Indians were killed, one federal marshal was seriously wounded and numerous people were arrested.”


    Germans raid London, Dec 29, 1940:

    “On this day, German aircraft blanket incendiary bombs over London, setting both banks of the Thames ablaze and killing almost 3,600 British civilians.

    The German targeting of the English capital had begun back in August, payback for British attacks on Berlin. In September, a horrendous firestorm broke out in London's poorest districts as German aircraft dropped 337 tons of bombs on docks, tenements, and teeming streets. The "London Blitz" killed thousands of civilians.

    December 29 saw the widespread destruction not just of civilians, but of great portions of London's cultural relics. Historic buildings were severely damaged or destroyed as relentless bombing set 15,000 separate fires. Among the architectural treasures that proved casualties of the German assault were the Guildhall (the administrative center of the city, dating back to 1673 but also containing a 15th-century vault) and eight Christopher Wren churches. St. Paul's Cathedral also caught fire but was saved from being burned to the ground by brave, tenacious firefighters. Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Chamber of the House of Commons were also hit but suffered less extensive damage.”


    From me:  I was living in London during the Blitz, and I remember it well.



    Outward Hound - Pet Stroller

    After checking my emails, and doing the usual jobs, I made up my mind that I would try to walk Misty all the way down to the mailboxes.  She had never been on a walk that long before, so I dragged her Outward Hound stroller along, just in case she got tired.  It’s uphill all the way back, and after all, she will be 18 in April.  Ray came out of his door and asked me what I was doing, he thought it was a baby stroller!  He knows that I will care for pups and kits, but not babies.

    We both made it down there in fine form, and she had a sniffingly good time.  It was a good thing that I had the stroller as there was a key in my mail box for one of the package lockers, and a big parcel was in it.  No, it wasn’t a Christmas present, it was some free stuff that comes with my medical plan.  So I put it in the stroller, and hoped that I wouldn’t have to carry it if I had to put Misty in there.  But she trotted along back to the house, tail a-wagging, and didn’t even slow down walking up the hill. Smokey-Jan-2012

    The only time she rode in her stroller was when I went to Livingston Trade Days flea market to see Duncan, “The Dog Tag Man” and his dog Smokey. It was the safest way to walk around the flea market with my blind dog.  She liked that, she is always so interested in what is going on.

    Ray came over to help me with some ‘ladder jobs”.  During the high winds a couple of the vinyl sheets that we put up on the screen porch for the winter had come loose, so we got those anchored up.  We also took some accurate measurements of the inside and outside dimensions of the cargo trailer for the ad. 

    A big crack had evolved in Ray’s utility room outside wall where it joins the guest house.  Blackie, the black cat, sleeps in there at night with an electric radiator.  We screwed a length of wooden trim all the way up on the inside of the wall, and filled it in with white Daptex Plus foam sealant on the outside.  It blends in with the white siding, so it is nearly invisible.   That should be warmer for Blackie.  We also used it to fill in some places around the frame of my back door in the garage.  We had done it before with that ugly yellow Great Stuff, which expanded so much that the door wouldn’t close, so we had to dig it all out.  Daptex doesn’t do that, and it is easy water clean-up.

    I thought Misty would crash for a few hours after that long walk, but she didn’t.  We ought to do that every day.

    Friday, December 28, 2012

    Farmed Fish? Mercury. GMO’s Ruin Gut Flora. Cheerio’s Deception. “Just One Bite”. First Labor Day. First Movie.


    For “Foodie Friday”:

    Wild or Farmed Fish: What's Better?

    The Pros and Cons for Your Health and the Planet

    “These days, an increasing number of health-conscious consumers are choosing to eat fish for its heart-healthy benefits. The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat fish twice a week to meet their needs for omega-3 fatty acids, but how do you know if the fish you're eating is beneficial?
    There are many factors to consider when choosing which fish to eat, two of which include species (the type of fish, such as halibut, salmon, etc.) and source (where the fish was raised or caught). These aren't simple decisions when you consider that the nutritional value of fish varies from species to species, and that each source carries a different potential for contamination, nutrition and environmental impact.

    • According to research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, farmed salmon contains two or three times fewer Omega-3's even though it contains more overall fat than wild salmon due to its grain-based diet. The same is is true for other popular farmed fish, such as catfish and tilapia.
    • Nutrition: Wild fish are usually healthier (higher in Omega-3s) and less contaminated than farmed fish.”

    More at:


    If You Choose Wisely, the Benefits of a High Fish Diet Can Still Outweigh the Risks Associated with Mercury Contamination

  • Canned salmon labeled "Alaskan Salmon" is a good bet, as Alaskan salmon is not allowed to be farmed.  
  • In restaurants, mislabeled salmon will typically be described as "wild" but not "wild Alaskan." This is because authentic "wild Alaskan" is easier to trace. The term "wild" is more nebulous and therefore more often misused. In many ways it is very similar to the highly abused "natural" designation.

    A general guideline is that the closer to the bottom of the food chain the fish is, the less contamination it will have accumulated. This includes:

    • Sardines
    • Anchovies
    • Herring”      

    More and video at:    and


    Mercury Exposure

    “Today’s seafood cases and sushi menus present a wide variety of fish to
    choose from, such as swordfish from South Africa, salmon from Alaska, or
    tilapia from Honduras. And the typical consumer checking out his or her
    options isn’t aware that some types of fish contain high levels of mercury
    contamination and others contain vastly lower levels. As a result, many
    people do not know that they can avoid the risks of mercury exposure
    while still enjoying the benefits of including seafood in their diets.

    Within each organism, methylmercury bioac-cumulates as the organism con-sumes more and more organisms containing methylmercury. Thus, smaller fish that are lower down in the food chain have lower concentrations of mercury in their tissues while larger fish that are higher up in the food chain have higher concentrations. For example, sardines contain about .01 ppm of mercury while sharks contain from 1 ppm to as much as 4 ppm (EPA, 2006). Fish with the highest levels of mercury include sharks, swordfish, and king mackerels. Large marine mammals such as whales have levels similar to these fish.

  • The fish with the highest levels of mercury include:  tilefish (1.45), swordfish (0.995), shark (0.979), and mackerel king (0.730).
  • The fish and shellfish with the lowest levels of mercury include:  anchovies, catfish, clam, cod, crab, haddock, herring, jacksmelt, spiny lobster, mackerel, mullet, oyster, perch, pollock, salmon (canned, fresh and frozen), sardine, scallop, shad, shrimp, tilapia, trout, tuna (canned, light), whitefish and whiting.  These varieties of fish have a mercury range of (0.008 - 0.128 PPM).

    Mackerel: Not to be confused with King Mackerel: Mackerel samples (saba or aji) showed low levels of mercury, with an average of 0.1 ppm and a maximum of 0.27 ppm (Table 6).  This type of fish would be a good
    alternative for those sushi eaters concerned with their mercury exposure. It should be stressed that these mackerel species (typically horse, Atlantic, Pacific or chubb) are low in mercury and also high in omega-3 fatty acids (see Table 7). These should not be confused with king mackerel, a high
    mercury fish species listed in the FDA “Do Not Eat” advisory.”



    Monsanto’s Roundup Devastating Gut Health, Contributing to Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria

    pesticidesprayfield 260x162 Monsantos Roundup Devastating Gut Health, Contributing to Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria“Much of the public forgets the gut when it comes to warding off the flu and other more threatening diseases, but the gut—and its army of beneficial bacteria—are essential in protecting us from harm. That’s why eating genetically modified and/or conventionally farmed food could be a direct assault on your own health. Most recently, research has shown that Monsanto’s herbicide, known as Roundup, is destroying gut health, threatening overall health of animals, people, and the planet significantly.

    The journal Current Microbiology recently published a study that caught Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide’s active ingredient, glyphosate, suppressing beneficial bacteria in poultry specimens. Given that gut health is directly linked to chronic illnesses and overall health, this isn’t exactly welcome news for people who can’t always afford or who lack access to organic, locally grown food.

    But it gets worse. While good bacteria died, highly pathogenic bacteria were unaffected by glyphosate. These pathogens include several strains of Salmonella and the class Colstridia, anaerobic bacteria known to be some of the deadliest known to us, including C. tetani (tetanus) and C. botulinum (botulin). Although botulin is used to ease overactive muscles and in Botox, America’s most popular cosmetic procedure, it takes but 75 billionths of a gram to kill someone weighing 75 kg (165 lbs).

    “A reduction of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microiota by ingestion of glyphosate could disturb the normal gut bacterial community,” the authors of the study wrote. Glyphosate, they added, “could be a significant predisposing factor that is associated with the increase in Clostridia botulinum-mediated diseases by suppressing the antagonistic effect of these [good] bacteria on clostridia.”

    Read more:


    General Mills Gets a Taste of the Backlash After it Spent Over $1.1 Million to Defeat GMO Labeling Initiative

    “Organic foods are required by U.S. federal law to be produced in ways that promote ecological sustainability, without common toxic and genetically engineered ingredients.

    But organic products are increasingly being forced to compete with products that are labeled as "natural." There are no restrictions on the term "natural", and it often constitutes nothing more than meaningless marketing hype. Most disturbing of all, many foods labeled as "natural" actually contain genetically engineered ingredients, and breakfast cereals are particularly guilty of this.

    California's Proposition 37, which would have required GE foods to be labeled as such and prevented GE foods from being mislabeled as "natural," was defeated back in November due to massive donations from multinational corporations that hide GE ingredients behind natural labels and "wholesome" advertising.  One such company was General Mills, which donated more than $1.1 million to the ‘No on Prop. 37’ campaign to defeat the GE labeling law. I recently told you this betrayal of consumers' trust will backfire, and General Mills just got a taste of the backlash. More at:

    General Mills Gets a Taste of the BacklashCheerios

  • “General Mills, which donated more than $1.1 million to the 'No on Prop. 37' campaign to defeat the GE labeling law, recently got a taste of the backlash from their subversive tactics.

  • Just one day after General Mills’ Cheerios brand released a Facebook app allowing “fans” to “show what Cheerios mean to them,” the app was abruptly pulled due to thousands of angry consumers using it to create anti-GMO statements and lashing out against the company’s treachery

    Two of the first three ingredients in Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios are corn starch and sugar—two ingredients that might be genetically engineered (a majority of corn-based ingredients and sugar from sugar beets on the US market is now GE)

    The fact that General Mills would rather pay millions to hide that their products contain GE ingredients rather than give you the choice to buy something else, or reformulate their product without GE ingredients is quite telling. And fortunately, people are now starting to see through these shady tactics where actions do not match the words

    Washington state and Vermont are now working on people’s initiatives to get GE labeling laws passed in 2013.”     More at:


    Just One Bite

    Our choices, including food choices, all began with one bite in the Garden of Eden.Disregard for God’s laws has led to a desperately tainted food supply. Is there a lesson in this that goes beyond what’s on the menu?

    While dining out with friends recently, a thought struck me as we studied our choices.

    It is sometimes a challenge for me to locate items that I can eat in a restaurant, without fear of aggravating the illness I suffer from.  My two friends were facing the same dilemma, each for her own reason.  Beyond individual dietary requirements, we were trying to avoid meat products forbidden in the Scriptures (Leviticus 11), HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup, which is implicated in many diseases) and GMOs (genetically modified organisms, whose effect on humans is controversial and therefore banned by six EU countries).

    We know the Kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking (Romans 14:17) but we try in balance to protect our health so we can serve God and our families, while still enjoying our meals and fellowship.

    The way of the world is hard

    My mind drifted to some wonderful words in Genesis 2:16: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”.

    A fascinating progression of events has evolved over the 6,000 years since creation. Our kind, wise and loving Creator gave us an endless array of wonderful, nutritious foods to eat, and said there was only one fruit that we must abstain from. Now, after years of tampering by man, it is hard to find one that we can be sure is really good for us.

    His Commandments are not burdensome   What would our lives be like if, just in the area of agriculture, God’s laws were faithfully adhered to?

    How healthy would we be? How much more prosperous would our national and personal economies be without skyrocketing health-care costs?

    In the future, God says that the inhabitant in His Kingdom “will not say, ‘I am sick’” (Isaiah 33:24). That is an astonishing promise in light of today’s conditions.

    Conditions for agricultural blessings

    Since mankind sinned, the earth has changed. Flooding, windstorms and other weather disasters have eroded the land’s nutrients, but rain in due season was promised to those who were obedient to God’s Commandments (Deuteronomy 11:13-17), so the crops could be blessed.

    God, who says “the land is Mine” (Leviticus 25:23), said to let it rest during the entire seventh year of release and in the 50th jubilee year (verses 1-22). With obedience to these principles, which required faith, God promised to “command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years” (verse 21).

    For the past decade the world has seen a dramatic collapse of bee colonies, due to a mixture of human-caused factors that are still being studied.  Many crops depend exclusively on bee pollination for production, but 30 percent of bees in the United States and Britain have disappeared in the last 10 years. In some countries the loss is even greater. With such factors pending, it isn’t hard to imagine the mass starvation and disease predicted by the Scriptures before the return of Jesus Christ.

    Do we really want another bite?

    All it took was one bite, in Eden, to derail the vast blessings available to man. This is not just about food; the consequences echo the ramifications of not trusting God. In a way, it is a contrast of menus, and an object lesson about decisions.  Which menu do we want to live by? Choose the one full of blessings with the easy yoke of obedience.” From:


    On This Day:

    America's first Labor Day, Dec 28, 1869:

    “The Knights of Labor, a labor union of tailors in Philadelphia, hold the first Labor Day ceremonies in American history. The Knights of Labor was established as a secret society of Pennsylvanian tailors earlier in the year and later grew into a national body that played an important role in the labor movement of the late 19th century.

    The first annual observance of Labor Day was organized by the American Federation of Labor in 1884, which resolved in a convention in Chicago that "the first Monday in September be set aside as a laborer's national holiday." In 1887, Oregon became the first state to designate Labor Day a holiday, and in 1894 Congress designated the first Monday in September a legal holiday for all federal employees and the residents of the District of Columbia.”


    First commercial movie screened, Dec 28, 1895:

    “On this day in 1895, the world's first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.

    Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria simultaneously developed a device called the phenakistoscope, which incorporated a spinning disc with slots through which a series of drawings could be viewed, creating the effect of a single moving image. The phenakistoscope, considered the precursor of modern motion pictures, was followed by decades of advances and in 1890, Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph. The next year, 1891, Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a machine with a peephole viewer that allowed one person to watch a strip of film as it moved past a light.

    The Lumieres opened theaters (known as cinemas) in 1896 to show their work and sent crews of cameramen around the world to screen films and shoot new material. In America, the film industry quickly took off. In 1896, Vitascope Hall, believed to be the first theater in the U.S. devoted to showing movies, opened in New Orleans. In 1909, The New York Times published its first film review (of D.W. Griffith's "Pippa Passes"), in 1911 the first Hollywood film studio opened and in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his big-screen debut.

    In addition to the Cinematographe, the Lumieres also developed the first practical color photography process, the Autochrome plate, which debuted in 1907.”



    After posting this journal and feeding the animals, I was just going to get some jobs done around here, when a Yahoo group comment caught my eye.  It was another place to advertize tiny trailers for free, well, it was 1c to stop spammers. 

    It took me a while to place the ad for my toyhauling-cargo-camper-trailer, and then I folded laundry and had lunch.  Next time I looked at this computer, there were six answers to the ad.  But as usual, people don’t read all the way through, one was in NY and another in OR.  That’s way too far away.  But all six of them still emailed me back and forth asking questions, which already had the answers in the ad.  Some people!

    So I didn’t get many jobs done.  Kept busy watching out for the kitten when she was loose in the house because she couldn’t go out on the porch, as it was too cold yesterday.

  • Thursday, December 27, 2012

    RV Stuck? Winnie Recall. Cruise and Overdrive Towing? Oil Field Gate Jobs. RV Chalet. RV Dangers. Queen in RV. Ditch Propane Canisters. Slides. EV RV? Apollo 8. Sukkot.


    For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV day:

    Off main road with your RV--getting unstuck

    “Boondocking away from "civilization" in your RV is a great way to get away from noise and hassles and bring you closer to nature. It can also provide its own set of challenges: Getting your rig stuck off the road is an example, and one you really don't want to experience.
    Experienced boondockers can tell you: The best way to get your RV unstuck is not to get stuck in the first place. Whenever your wanderings take you away from maintained roads, it's best to look ahead--without the rig. Scouting ahead on foot can help you identify hazards. Obviously mud is something to steer clear of, but check the terrain carefully--it may be good today while it's dry, but what if rain comes--will that perfect "spot" suddenly become a mire?
    Despite your best intentions though, things can happen. You may suddenly encounter a muddy or soft patch on an otherwise good gravel road. Be sure to…….”  Read the rest at:


    Winnebago Recall:

    “Winnebago Industries, Inc. is recalling 2,944 model year 2009-2013
    Winnebago model Era, View, and Via motorhomes, and 2010-2013 Itasca
    model Navion and Reyo motorhomes. The proper fuses were not installed
    for the refrigerator circuits.  Without the proper fuse, heat can build
    which could lead to a vehicle fire. Winnebago will notify owners, and
    dealers will replace the fuses. The recall is expected to begin in early
    Jan. 2013. Consumers may contact Winnebago Industries owner relations at (641) 585-6939. Winnebago's recall campaign number is 127.”


    What about cruise control and overdrive when towing?

    “When towing a travel trailer, can you use the cruise control? What about an overdrive transmission? These are questions that can puzzle new RVers--and even some veterans.
    First, let's talk about cruise control. Here's a school of thought where most folks who've had cruise tend to agree: Towing a trailer with cruise control is fine--with certain caveats. Towing "on the flat" is a snap, and may save you fuel if your cruise control handles the accelerator. However, if you encounter a situation where your transmission begins to "hunt," that is, to move from one gear to another and back, then you may need to make a change. Usually the "hunting" can be stopped by simply slowing down or speeding up just a tad. If this settles the transmission down, well and good. If not, you may be back to "flying manually."”    More at:


    Oil Field Gate Security Booming

    “We have just started working in Texas as an oil field gate security gate team. We sign vehicles in and out of a ranch that has one or more oil wells and/or drilling sites. I'm writing this because it took me quite awhile to find out how to get into this business and thought we could help others.

    The company we are working for has started us at $150.00 dollar a day or about $4,500 a month. You must be a team of two, as this is a 24 hour position, so one of you must be at the gate at all times. We intend to do this for five or six months, then take two months off and back again for another hitch. The owner of the company was the one that suggested this work schedule. Figure we will need a break after being in the middle of no where for six months.
    The owner also asked if we knew any other RVers that might be interested in working as oil field security gate guards. As they are overwhelmed with jobs, your employment would be almost immediate. You must have a clean criminal background history. You will take an open book test on the details of your responsibilities, get finger printed, and then you're off to the job site.
    I'm asking that, if you are interested, to contact me by email for further contact information. cstarkey090 at .”  By: Tina Starkey
    (Working a Paying Job While Full-time RV Living)    From:


    RV Chalet, The best of two worlds.

    “Full-time RVing is indeed a spectacular way of life. Extremely popular, but not fully attainable to the multitudes of us who still must work for a living and travel when we can.

    The RV Chalet is a means to accommodate RVing and still have a home base to return to when it's time to punch that time clock.  Or for those who are retired or travelling full-time, when it's time to hole up for the winter. In truth, flexibility is the key word, for actually any scenario fits the RV Chalet. Sound appealing?”    Read on at:


    “I wish we had more readers.”

    “The sad truth is that a lot of RVers are doing bad things because they have not learned how to properly use their RVs.

    They overload them, they drive on defective tires, they don't understand the dangers of carbon monoxide or LP gas, they don't maintain their rigs properly -- some don't even know how to correctly empty their holding tanks. Many put themselves and their families in jeopardy because they don't understand RV electricity.

    We have run our "No Shock Zone" series on RV electricity several times and have received at least a few letters from readers who said what they learned may have saved their lives. If we had five times the readers, we could do more good.”    More at: Editor's corner,


    Queen Elizabeth Impressed by RV Factory Tour

    Queen Elizabeth II (in pink) exits an RV during her tour of the RV plant in Bristol, England. Photo courtesy of the London Daily Mail.

    “Queen Elizabeth II recently visited an RV plant in Bristol, England.  The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, were taken for a brief ride in the motorhome, the Approach SE760, known at the factory as Mavis, and given a tour of the plant.

    Impressed: The Queen looked delighted to be shown around the motorhome Aides said they believed it was first journey in such a vehicle for the couple, who are more accustomed to the royal train and the former royal yacht Britannia for mobile accommodation.  Nevertheless, the Queen, dressed in a vivid pink Stewart Parvin coat and hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, seemed genuinely impressed.

    Click here to read the entire story and watch a video of her visit.”


    Use your RV's propane tank to fuel your gas barbecue

    “If you're tired of having to buy those expensive propane canisters to operate your gas barbecue, and running out half way through the campground potluck, then this adaption is just for you.

    A gas connect kit, which comes with the fittings including a T to connect to your rig's propane tank, can fuel your barbecue right from your larger tank.

    The cost of propane used will be cheaper than the canisters, and with the Quick Connect fitting it can be hooked up in seconds. You can leave it connected while you are camped and only need to pack it away when you move on.

    Since I barbecue right next to my rig I installed two book shelf brackets above my propane tank so when I cook, I slip the extensions into the brackets and place a shelf on top. Voila! A place for holding utensils, tools, condiments, barbecue sauce, etc., right at hand.   Kits can be found at RV supply stores and propane outlets.”     By Bob Difley

    How to avoid damaging your slides when leveling your RV

    So what's the correct way to level your rig without damaging the slides -- before or after they are extended? The safest (and most warranty-wise) answer: "Do what your rig's manual tells you. Here's a lift from a Keystone manual: The recreational vehicle must be level to avoid binding the slide-rooms. Remember, stabilizing jacks are not capable of supporting the weight of your vehicle! They are intended only to stabilize the unit maintaining a level condition. Non-leveled conditions cause sticking situations providing damaging strains on the slide-out mechanism."

    This advice is pretty much standard with most RVers. If the rig is twisted, even a bit, it can put a real cramp on the slide-out mechanism. Pinching your slide-out can make for a most uncomfortable situation -- particularly if you can't "reel the unit back in" when it's time to hit the road.

    As to the case of the "leaning RV," we can only say that if your rig leans after you deploy the slide-out, the most likely issue was not having your unit properly settled in the first place. Were the levelers on firm ground, or did they perhaps "sink" a bit into soft ground? Here's a case for leveler or "jack boots" to provide a larger surface area to those little feet.” By Russ and Tina De Maris

    Electric Vehicle update:

    “As EVs continue to gain acceptance, will small RV power plants be far behind? Ford is pushing their small van, the Transit Connect, which could easily be transformed into a Class B RV, and there are several companies producing electric buses. And both Federal Express and UPS are experimenting with electric delivery vans. This experimentation by business and industry will spur further development in more efficient batteries that charge faster and deliver more mileage in less size and weight. And that will be the ultimate game changer.”  More at:  Read the comments, too!


    On This Day:

    Apollo 8 returns to Earth, Dec 27, 1968:

    “Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, returns safely to Earth after an historic six-day journey.

    On December 21, Apollo 8 was launched by a three-stage Saturn 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard. On Christmas Eve, the astronauts entered into orbit around the moon, the first manned spacecraft ever to do so. During Apollo 8's 10 lunar orbits, television images were sent back home and spectacular photos were taken of the Earth and the moon from the spacecraft. In addition to being the first human beings to view firsthand their home world in its entirety, the three astronauts were also the first to see the dark side of the moon. On Christmas morning, Apollo 8 left its lunar orbit and began its journey back to Earth, landing safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 27.

    On July 20 of the following year, Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission, became the first men to walk on the moon.”



    When I woke up and turned on the news, I heard a familiar voice, it was my son Kevin on KHOU.

    Tue Dec 25 20:01:30 PST 2012

    High winds topple trees killed in drought

    Many of tall pine trees here along Eldridge Parkway and the surrounding area are the casualties of last summer’s drought. view full article

    Partial Transcript:  “Many of tall pine trees here along Eldridge Parkway and the surrounding area are the casualties of last summer’s drought.

    The danger proved all too real when a young man tried removing a tree that had plunged down onto the road. A second tree fell on top of him and ended his life.

    What’s going to be done to fix this problem is unclear right now.

    But tree expert Kevin McKean says it’s likely going to be expensive.

    “The problem is it costs a lot of money to get these trees down. With the economy the way it is, people don’t have the money to get their trees done,” said Kevin McKean, of Kevin’s Tree Service.

    McKean says if you have a dead tree on your property, you have about six months before it becomes a real hazard.  Brown pine needles and bark that peels off are ways you can tell if a tree is ready to go.

    “You have a full size tree that tree is 6,500 pounds and when the top breaks off, it’s going to produce a tremendous amount of force,” said Kevin McKean. “I’ve seen them punch completely through two-story houses and hit the concrete slab on the ground floor.””    From:


    I don’t know why Kevin was there, as he told me the other day that he wanted to get out of the tree removal business.  With the problems of having to hire competent help, he wanted to concentrate on just stump grinding, which he can do by himself.  He has three different stump grinders for different situations.

    astro-ramp The overhead and liability insurance is so much less too.  He has a ladder-truck, log loading truck, crane and big chipper for tree removal, which have to be taken to the site with helper drivers.   Whereas even his large stump grinder, on right, can be loaded into his custom built high-top Astro van with the ramp that he made for it.

    Later, I learned that we lost Jack Klugman and Charles Durning.  Two great actors.

    I am still watching some of the home renovation shows on HGTV, as it is giving me ideas how to make my house more desirable for someone to buy.  I like it just the way it is, but not everyone likes a small galley kitchen with an ‘Early American’ 3-burner RV propane cook top!  Also, I only have an enormous built-in electric microwave-convection combo, so I might have to buy a regular propane stove with oven.  I rarely use the big microwave-convection oven as I have smaller ones for every day use.

    Then, the private appraiser wanted the lots split up on the county records before he does the appraisal.  So I went to our county’s Appraisal District in Conroe and did that, then emailed him the paperwork.  The county is going to send out one of their appraisers too, as now that the RVport and my pergola are no longer here, it alters things.  

    As I received some emails about Christ being born during Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles, here are these thoughts:

    Sukkot, The birth of Jesus the Nazarene


    Well, that’s it for today.