Friday, July 18, 2014

3964 Another fish attack!

Friday, July 18, 2014

I forgot to mention back in post 3960 - once I had figured out how to download stuff to my new tablet, I went out and got the Friskies cat fishing game.  You see cats playing with it all over YouTube.  The fish swim around on the screen, and the fascinated cats pat them to make them disappear.

Well, Jasper is one of the most timid cats in the world.  The first few times I put it on the floor, he ran.  "Eek! Strange thing!"  Finally he understood it wasn't going to attack him, and the next few times he cautiously watched from around the corner.  Finally he crept up to within two feet of it, and then the damn thing MEOWED!  I hadn't noticed there were meows in addition to bubbling and splashing sounds until then.

I'll have to give him time to forget, and maybe try again with the sound off.

3963 Arrogance

Friday, July 18, 2014

The entire world, it seems, is up in arms over the plane shot down over the Ukraine.

In 1988, a friend, Daughter, and I were touring the canals of England in a narrowboat.  We flew a small US flag off the stern.  Pretty cool.

Then one evening the news was full of reports that the US had shot down an Iranian passenger plane in Iranian airspace.  No survivors.  Lots of children.  The story is at (do read it, it's short).  The United States has never admitted responsibility, nor apologized to Iran.  

Can't imagine why they hate us.

Anyway, we took the flag off the boat and pretended we were Canadian.

3962 Another new toy

Friday, July 18, 2014

My floors always look filthy, because I hate vacuuming.  Mainly because when I bought vacuums for this house (one upstairs, one down) the only bagless vacuums I could find at a reasonable price with good reviews were uprights. That's all they had in stores --- uprights.  No canisters anywhere.   I'd never owned an upright before, and I quickly learned I passionately hate them.

You can't get under stuff.

You can't see what it's about to suck up.

Using the attachments is awkward.  I've toppled the upright a few times.

You can't reach the ceiling/wall seam to get cobwebs.

The damn things are HEAVY and difficult to maneuver.  They maneuver like a rotary push mower on a deep lawn (remember those?).

Because I'm so short, the angle is steep and the entire weight of them hangs off my arm.  This is my biggest complaint.

I hate them.  A nice little canister sits in the middle of the room bothering nobody but the cat, while you clean all around it.  I flat out don't understand why anyone likes uprights.

So, I went online shopping, and I found the BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner at Lowes.  I have all bare floors and short nap oriental rugs, so I don't need a beater bar, just good strong suction.  This little thing weighs only a few pounds, I can carry it up while I'm doing the stairs, and the suction is enough to cause panic if you touch the wrong thing.  So far I LOVE it!  It has absolutely nothing I don't need and everything I do need.

Best of all, it's only $49.99.  (Actually, it was on sale when I bought it, so it was less than $40, I think.)

No, I'm not getting paid for this praise.  In fact, I'm hoping Lowes won't mind my use of their photo.

3961 Most embarrassing moment, fish warning

Friday, July 18, 2014

A frequent challenge is to tell folks about your most embarrassing moment.

Yeah, I've had a few, but mostly I don't embarrass easily.  I shrug stuff off, especially if it's a momentary thing.  Like, who cares.  So until I a few years ago, I couldn't really think of one worth mentioning.

And then one day I went with a friend to a show in NYC.  She knew a lot of the dancers.  We drove downriver (from the country house), located the place, parked the car, and then went to a restaurant near the venue.  We had sushi.

Bad idea.

A little while later we were standing in front of the theater, and I had a burst of diarrhea.  No warning whatsoever.  It's not even like I felt like I had to release some gas or something.  There was just suddenly an awful feeling in my underwear.  Just bloop, and it was there.

In the ladies' room, I cleaned me up as best I could, washed up my panties and tossed them in the trash (I think, although in my panic I may have rolled them in paper towels and stuck them in my purse in case I had to show a doctor - it was the strangest, uh, output, I'd ever seen).  A little had got on the crotch of my slacks, so I washed that, too, and spent the rest of the evening with a wet crotch.  But the worst was, I'm sure, the smell.  My friend assured me it was ok, but I know that the smell of feces is strong and permeates.

I sat there in the audience sure I smelled like a dirty diaper, and tried not to get too close to anyone at the afterparty.  Driving home, my friend didn't open the car windows, so I don't know.

But that has to be the most embarrassing several hours of my entire life.  And it wasn't just about me.  I'm sure I must have embarrassed my friend, too, and that felt even worse.  After all, she brought me.


Here we are, several years later, and I've found out what happened.

There's a fish called escolar.  It's often sold in restaurants, listed on a menu as "white tuna".  Escolar is very oily, which makes it taste especially good, some people love it.  But most people suffer bouts of oily diarrhea (often described as "leakage") within an hour of eating it.  It is banned in several countries.
"Typically, "white tuna" refers to albacore, the stuff you find in cans of StarKist, Bumble Bee, or Chicken of the Sea branded tunas here in the United States. But according to a Boston Globe report from 2011 (recounted by ABC News as the Globe has a wonky paywall), there's a good chance -- a very good chance -- you're getting something else instead. Every single one of the 23 types of white tuna they tested turned out to be escolar, a cheaper alternative to tuna.

And the word "alternative" is used lightly -- because escolar is not really an acceptable one. Not only is escolar not tuna, it's probably not something you want to be eating a lot of. Escolar is often referred to as the "Ex-lax fish" because eating too much of it -- more than six ounces -- tends to afflict the feasting customer with a bad case of the runs. That's probably not the after-dinner experience you're after when you order the tuna.

From by dan lewis.

It was the damn sushi, and the FDA says the restaurant should not have served it as tuna.  I doubt that I had more than six ounces, but maybe I'm just one of those hypersensitive folks.

For some horror stories, search for "escolar diarrhea".

3960 New Toy

Friday, July 18, 2014

Last Sunday I ordered a Sony Xperia Z 10.1" 32GB Android Tablet from

I'd been thinking about buying something small for maybe a month, but the thought of actually walking into a store and asking for something was overwhelming, because I had no idea whatsoever what I want or need.  I don't have the words, the language, and I didn't want to be SOLD something that wouldn't be adequate, or would be overwhelming and cost more than I needed to pay.


And then Woot popped into my Feedly reader with the above.

I did some research.  You do have to be careful with woots.  Usually the stuff they offer is overstocks, or refurbished, or is on the way out replaced by the next generation, but the prices make a lot of it still a good deal.  I've bought all my televisions over the past few years from Woot, refurbished, and have had no problems.  And they will ship anything right to your door, no matter how large or how heavy, for a standard $5.

I read reviews of the Sony Xperia tablet on several different websites, and all of them had only highest praise.  (Well, some people complained about a slow data transfer rate, but it turns out the device has an option to optimize data for people who pay by the byte, and if you turn that off, then there's no problem.) Unusual for Woot, it's apparently a the latest model, brand new, not refurbished.  The price on Amazon is $599.  Woot was selling it for $379, a savings of 37%.

I bit, and bought.  I figure if I don't like it, I could resell it for that.

It arrived Wednesday evening (that's another thing about Woot --- they're fast).  I opened the box and started playing with it yesterday.  At first it was pure frustration.  There were no instructions, no "how to", nothing.  The startup guide said to go to the website for help.  Uh, how?  Then I figured out Chrome was on it.  The biggest problem was that it kept going to sleep EVERY TEN SECONDS!  Took me a while (and a trip to the help website using my laptop) to find out where the settings were, and I discovered the settings had it shutting itself off every ten seconds as a protection against it being accidentally turned on during shipping.  Gee, maybe that info should have been in the quick start guide, huh?  (Believe it or not, some of the negative reviews on Amazon are because of that very thing, "It keeps turning off!")

Little by little I've discovered how to use it.  My biggest problem at this point is that it's a touchscreen and a stylus won't work, and my fingernails are very long, so I kept "clicking" the wrong stuff, until I discovered how to enlarge the screen contents, and that puts more space between the "buttons".

Well, so far I think I might like it a lot.  I took it to bed with me last night and watched videos.  I might have to get a Netflicks (is that the right name?) subscription.