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October 14, 2012

Reminiscing

Gas Prices
Hat tip to Tranquility Lost.

Posted by Bogie on October 14, 2012 at 01:32 PM in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wishing for A Christmas Comet?

Looks like those in the Northern hemisphere will be treated to Comet ISON passing a lot of gas, er, passing by with a great gas tail to light up the sky. Even if it is a spectacular as they are predicting, it will be cloudy here for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after, if it is anything like it has been this month. As long as the clouds aren't dishing out the snow like they have been dishing out the rain, I guess I'll be good.

Thanks to Scott for keeping us up to date on the comet front.

Posted by Bogie on October 14, 2012 at 06:59 AM in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 11, 2012

Heating Season Has Begun

Monday afternoon, I got home from my interview at 1:30. It still was cold in the house, and the thermostat showed that it was only 63 degrees upstairs. There have been plenty of mornings when the temp has been 62-63, but the afternoon temps have hovered around 66-67 (in the house, outside it is in the 40's and 50's for the highs).

It was cloudy, cold and rainy, as it has been all but 2 days of the last two weeks, so it wasn't going to warm up any more by itself. I decided it was time to turn on the upstairs heater and set it at 68. By the time it hit 67, it felt warmer than what I was used to, so I reduced the set temperature to 66.

Wednesday afternoon I filled the indoor wood rack and did a burn-in run for the woodstove to drive moisture out of the soapstone. We haven't run the stove otherwise yet, as it would be too much, but I have used the cook oven quite a bit this week making meatloaf, enchiladas and other dinners that help warm up the living area a bit at night.

Hopefully we will have a dry day or two so that I can fill the outside wood rack, and we will be ready for the real cold when it hits.

Posted by Bogie on October 11, 2012 at 07:09 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (4)

Hard Freeze Harvest

We've had a couple of frosts, but we are due for our first hard freeze Friday night. Even after frost, the tomatoes, peppers and basil have still continued to grow (slowly - and unbeleivable as it seems because of our cold temps). Today I cust down all the good basil left, picked all the peppers, and took the few tomatoes that have started to blush since I picked last Saturday.

The basil was run thru the food processor, mixed with a bit of vinegar first (to try to keep the basil from turning black from oxidizing), then olive oil. It was then divided up in an ice cube tray to freeze.

Basil Ice Cubes
Lemon basil is on the left, regular basil is on the right.

I decided to do something similar with the peppers, using more vineger to provide acidity, then adding a bit of olive oil - don't try this at home, I'm unsure how it will work, or how safe it is. Since I had quite a few peppers, I filled one ice cube tray, plus a jelly and jam jar. Those jars were vacuum sealed before placing in the freezer.

Pepper Ice cubes
Pepper Ice cubes

I'm hoping these processes make using the peppers more convenient and the basil flavor stays more fresh.

Posted by Bogie on October 11, 2012 at 07:01 PM in Cooking, Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stitches for Bogie

Sunday I was making a nice tomato salad based on a Greek Tomato-Cucumber salad recipe I have made on a regular basis this summer. I was using what I had out of the garden, and it was looking pretty good.

Tomato Salad
While cleaning out peppers and chopping them up, I switched to one of my granmother's knives, which is much sharper than my every day kitchen knives (only because I suck at sharpening knives). Shortly after switching knives, I tried to take off the top of my left thumb.

Immediately, blood came gushing out - not pulsing, but still bleeding at a high rate. WS happened to be in the house (he was getting ready to run into town to get gas for the mower, as he had run out) and as I clamped preassure, pressing the flap back into place, I told him to get gauze,

He did so, and after washing out the cut, I lifted my hand out of the water and immediately my whole hand was awash in blood. This wasn't just a stream down the hand, it was still gushing out. I clamped pressure back on, rinsed off the blood, and while blood welled out of the cut (despite the presure) WS wrapped a large section of guaze around my thumb. With me still applying pressure, he taped it up. That wasn't good enough to keep the blood from gushing out, so I still kept pressure on it.

I told WS to go ahead and run into town to get gas, but come straight home. If the bleeding hadn't slowed by then, I would have him take me to the ER (of course, it was late enough in the afternoon that the minor emergency rooms would be closed by the time we got there.

He was gone 30-40 minutes, and when he got back I removed pressure - sure enough the blood came gushing out. Time for stitches. The rest is a long, boring story. Just suffice to say that after having pressure clamped on the cut for over 3 hours, it still gushed blood until the stitches were in place. The nurse did a nice job of bandaging it up, although it was all in white so stuck out like a sore thumb during my interview Monday morning! Sorry I didn't think to take pictures of that, or when I was able to take off the bandage on Tuesday morning (just in time to replace it with skin color wrapping for my interview that day).

By Wednesday I was down to 2 stitches (the picture is poor because i took it myself). You can see where one of the stiches was supposed to be to the left of the remaining stitches. You can also see a couple of places they stuck me with a needle to deliver novacane (or whatever nerve deadener they used).

Stitches
You can't see the rest of the damage over to the left or the other needle stick spot. Starting Wednesday, I was to keep the bandage off unless doing dirty work - which is in when I popped stitches, while filling the inside wood rack (I was wearing bandages and gloves - it was just the pressure of the pinching motion while gathering the wood).

I will be taking the rest of the stitches out myself (should they last long enough). The doc would cost at least $150 just for two snips and pulling out the thread. As I mentioned in a previous post, our insurance is very high deductible, so the ER visit is going to be paid completely by us anyway (I shudder to think what the bill will be - at least as much as WS makes a month).

It is healing well and I'm sure I will survive. I did change back to the less sharp kitchen knives when next I sliced up peppers.

Posted by Bogie on October 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 07, 2012

I'd Pass it on if I Could

After 10 days of dark, rainy cool days, we had about 24 dry hours. Part way into Friday the sun finally broke out, the temps got in the mid 70's, and the rain and clouds didn't come back until about noon yesterday.

Thursday I had a late afternoon interview in Devens, Ma. I got out at 6 and got home shortly after 7:30. I have solar lights to light the way for the stairs from the driveway to the yard, and at the bottom of the stairs to the front porch. You know the cloud cover has been keeping it dark when you get home at 7:30 PM and the solar lighting hasn't gotten enough sun to even try to light. These are lights that light half way thru a winter night - even when they have been covered by snow.

It's a good thing that WS was home (although not by long) because he had the livingroom light on, which helped light the way to the porch (the front porch lights, being motion activeated, don't come on until you hit the bottom step to the porch).

I would pass on the cool, rainy weather to those in the west who are still having wildfire issues if I could.

Posted by Bogie on October 7, 2012 at 07:10 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (0)

Funny, True, and Scary

Brent posted this up over at the Weekend Pundit:

I find that this sums up my understanding very well. Although I could comment on a bunch of other stuff brought up in that sentence, I will limit myself to the following.

When I became unemployed, I was told I could keep my health insurance if I paid the full price (COBRA). That is great, but the full price is more than I make on unemployment (literally!). So if this was 2 years in the future, and WS worked for a company that didn't offer insurance, we would be up a creek; if I didn't continue our insurance, I would be fined, or I could hustle tricks on the side to pay for food, rent, utilities and transportation (and at my age, those would be desperate guys!).

Fortunately, I am married, and although WS works for a very small company, with very crappy insurance ($5k deductible before anything is covered - for each of us), the cost is about 1/2 of what COBRA would cost (although more than what I paid when I worked), so 2 of my unemployment checks go to that. At this time we chose to have insurance, we are not forced. At other times in our lives we have chosen not to have insurance, or to only cover one person. This time, I thought about only covering WS, as I am so disgustingly healthy, which would have cut the cost down by almost another unemployment check.

If, instead of mandating insurance, the plan had come across ways to reduce insurance costs - especially for those who have no recourse now (work for a small employer, self-employed,  laid off etc.), I think the majority of us would be happier.

 

Posted by Bogie on October 7, 2012 at 06:59 AM in Politics | Permalink | Comments (4)

October 02, 2012

MArooned: And The Results Are In...

...well, by this time you've seen who the winner is in the 2012 Kilted to Kick Cancer Fundraising challenge. Obviously I'm happy to have won, but I want to give a shout-out to Michael and Stingray for a seriously butt-kicking competition. Both of these fine gentlemen really went the distance to raise money as well, and they busted their butts to raise money for cancer research. Great job, guys!!!

First off, let me extend a hearty THANK YOU to everyone that donated. I am positively gobsmacked by the generosity shown by my readers, lurkers, commenters, and passers-by. By my reckoning, over $6,500 was donated to The Prostate Cancer Foundation and LiveStrong through MArooned - that's nothing short of amazing. I'll say it again, gunnies are the greatest people. Thank you all.

Secondly, I want to extend another hearty THANK YOU to the six people that donated their time and energy into making prizes available for me to give away. Michael W., Nancy R., Dennis, Wally, Larry, and Mark, I can't thank you enough for the awesome prizes you made available. I very nearly tripled my total donation from last year, and I owe it all to the six of you, no question about it.

via www.ma-rooned.com

I actually backed a winner! Congrats to Jay for his stellar work on raising funds for fighting prostate cancer.

Posted by Bogie on October 2, 2012 at 03:23 PM in Seasonal, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)