Monday, July 28, 2014

five second rule

Apparently the folks at OSI Shanghai Husi Food Company strongly believe in the five second rule, that is the folk lore version and not the research version by Jillian Clarke that won her the Nobel Prize in public health. If Husi's workers had been familiar with Ms. Husi's findings, surely they would not have been shoveling meat that was dropped on the floor back into packaging.

As for the expired meat problem, I am almost enured to the thought of eating expired meat, having had numerous experiences with buying meat from my local grocery monopoly and finding the underside to be suspiciously discolored or green. while I have always thrown it away (or in SB's case, marched back to the store with offending meat in hand to lodge another complaint) I do wonder about food labeling practices that allow for funky foods to be sold. We have also opened milk cartons to find them curdled or sour despite the labels stating that we had two more weeks before expiry.

I haven't stopped by the neighborhood McDonald's to see what's been crossed off the menu. I'm not sure that I want to find out that the crossed out beef rice wrap was made with floor scraps and moldy meat. On the other hand, I am curious to know just how widespread the problem was. Has anyone else gone into a McDonald's and documented the crossed out menus?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Putin up a wall

Source: Peter Brookesof The Times

Thursday, July 24, 2014

short memory, long grudge

While I share in the sadness and outrage over what appears to be Putin's involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, I also squirmed in discomfort when politicians such as Republican John McCain began demanding accountability and repercussions.

Remember Iran Air flight 655? I didn't. I was a child when it happened and the US news somehow didn't spend much time reporting it. I did just yesterday read an article by Fred Kaplan that made my stomach turn. You can find the article here:

If you can stomach it, you can also find the more in depth Newsweek article from 1992 here:

Basically, we lied, lied, lied, overrode anyone who said otherwise, covered up the facts, and lied some more. President George H.W. Bush clearly stated his regards on the matter: "I will never apologize for the United States—I don’t care what the facts are.”. Navy captain Will Rogers III was honored and promoted for behavior that other officers described as aggressive, not to mention illegal. In fact it took eight more years and a Democrat president before the U.S. expressed regret (no exactly accountability) for the incident that killed 290 people.

Putin can hardly do worse.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Right now I wish that I had the ability to share the imagery of what is going on around me. Our office building has been surrounded by lightning bolts, and I imagine that some of them have hit the lightning rods on the roof. It is an awesome sight to behold.

I hope that everyone is safe and dry.

Fran didn't like dogs

“Pets should be disallowed by law. Especially dogs. Especially in New York City. I have not infrequently verbalized this sentiment in what now passes for polite society, and have invariably been the recipient of the information that even if dogs should be withheld from the frivolous, there would still be the blind and the pathologically lonely to think of. I am not totally devoid of compassion, and after much thought I believe that I have hit upon the perfect solution to this problem—let the lonely lead the blind.”
                                                                -writer and New York City dweller Fran Lebowitz

Monday, July 21, 2014

regular baths and exercise

While I'm not inactive, I have been known to drag my feet about exercising in the summer. It's just so hot and humid outside while there are air conditioning and iced drinks to be had indoors. SB and I will engage in a stream hikes every few weeks along with the sporadic swim, but that's about it until August and rugby season starts up again.

Now that we have dogs, things have changed. We have responsibilities and running the pups is a welcome obligation. Before, a hike would be an all day event but now we have been enjoying shorter trips with less risk of falling off some cliff face. We regularly tramp around Tai Tam reservoir park and over Violet Hill, sometimes including the Twins. It's only about two and a half to three an a half hours, depending on which route we take, but I really have begun looking forward to the leisurely Sunday evenings walks.

Last night, Tippy was as happy as a pig in the mud. Literally. A lot of Wilson trail was very muddy, and before long I saw my beautiful medium coat dog scamper toward a large mud puddle and proceed to dive in. Elsie wasn't the least bit interested in dirtying her short coat but Tippy happily wiggled, wriggled, flopped and burrowed as our hike companions laughed and made "aww" noises at her. Tippy did her best alligator impersonation so that the only visible areas were a small stripe along her spine and part of a head poking out of the mud.

Once Tip was done with her bath, she helped our friend to his own shower. I tried to warn him but she was already starting to twist her body and in the next second, mud flew everywhere. Needless to say, we all had proper baths at the end of the evening.

Friday, July 18, 2014

too big to fathom

It was a surreal feeling, reading the first news story last night. Sadly, it was not the first time that I had this feeling. When the first story broke on my news page, my immediate reaction was to think (hope) that it was a sick joke. Then the feeling of dread sunk in, followed by horror.

Fifteen years ago I watched a series of practically incomprehensible events unfold. First the shock of a plane flying into the World Trade Center. Then the compounded shock of a second plane flying into the second tower, followed immediately by a dawning horror that encompassed multiple thoughts rushing into my head: this can't be an accident; what about all of those people; who is doing this; this is not real; this is real; oh my god.

Last night the fact that it was another Malaysian Airlines flight, after the mysterious disappearance of another flight only month before, made it all surreal. Who would think that a commercial, passenger plane could possibly be mistaken for a military carrier?  This whole situation seems beyond belief. My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by this awful event. Some very good people who were doing much good for mankind perished along with many young people whose potential will never be realized. It is mind numbing.