Water-saving, power-saving appliances are about as ecologically unfriendly and consumer-unfriendly as it is possible for a device to be.
The new, fancy, water- and power-saving EXPENSIVE clothes washer creates a massive tangle if I have the chutzpah to put a shirt in with a pair of blue jeans. To avoid a huge wadded mess, I have to put anything that has a strap or a sleeve into a mesh bag.
Today that strategy didn’t work. The entire load of colored clothes came out in a single gigantic knot.
This annoyance is characteristic of the Samsung top-loading high-efficiency goddamn washing machine I bought a year or so ago. I’m told it’s characteristic of front-loaders, too.
Before Samsung (BS, appropriately enough), I could run a load of colored clothes through the old-fashioned top-loading actually functional Kenmore washer, hang the knit tops and cotton bluejeans on ordinary clothes hangers, and let them air-dry on a laundry-room rack. Now, to beat the wadded-in wrinkles out of them — after I’ve spent ten minutes untangling the mess — I have to run them through the dryer!
BS, I hardly ever used electric power to dry my clothes. Most of them dried, with no need for ironing, on clothes hangers that could be carried, once the laundry had air-dried, from the wash area to the closet. Now all the jeans and most of the shirts have to be run through a dryer, wasting electric power and running up the power bill.
A twenty-minute wash cycle has morphed into an hour and ten minutes.
One might avoid the knotting conundrum by washing all of one’s pants separately from all of one’s other clothing. Consider what this would do for you (or to you):
Now you would have to separate out every pair of pants from every other category of clothing. This would, at best, present you with four loads of laundry: colored pants, colored shirts and underwear, white & beige pants, white & beige underwear. Two 20-minute loads (one white, one colored) now convert to four one-hour-and-10-minute “high-efficiency” loads. Four hours and forty minutes to do a forty-minute laundry job! At least two of those loads — the ones including the pants, whose legs will knot together willy-nilly, will have to be run through the dryer whether you prefer to do so or not, to get rid of the knotted-in wrinkles. This more than doubles your water and energy use on the washer, and if you are one of those wily consumers who figured out that few clothes really have to go through a dryer, it increases your power bill accordingly.
It’s in the same category, isn’t it, as the water-saving toilet. You know, the one that supposedly needs 1/3 less water to flush than real toilets used to need, but that has to be flushed three times to get the stuff down. And the ugly fluorescent light bulbs that make everyone in the room look green, that dump mercury into the landfill (and all over your house if you drop one), and that give you a migraine whenever you turn them on.
Big-Brother-Knows-Best good intentions lead people to find workarounds with counterproductive consequences.
The high-efficiency clothes washer and the water-saving toilets are obvious cases in point.
Another one: we know that in 2015 the city probably will institute water rationing. From California’s experience, we know the strategy will be to tell people they will face fines unless they cut water use, as measured by the present smart meters, to 60% of their prior use. Some folks, then, realize they need to use about 40% more water than necessary now, so that when the cutbacks come, enough water will be available to keep their citrus trees, energy-saving shade trees, and vegetable gardens alive.
More immediately, though: Our dearly beloved paternal city has installed counter-intuitive roundabouts up and down the ’hood’s main north-south feeder street, and they’ve put infuriating, alignment-wrenching speed bumps along the east-west feeder street. The result? Pass-through traffic is diverted off the feeder streets onto smaller, once-sleepy neighborhood roads. In the few weeks since I found my way around the damn things, I’ve noticed that LOTS more drivers are joining me in the several routes that take us around the stupid speed bumps and the wreck-inviting traffic circles. (Ever had anyone try to pass you in a one-lane traffic circle? I have…)
Want to slow down the passers-through who don’t give a damn about our kids, our pets, or our old ladies trying to walk off a few pounds? Two easier, cheaper solutions: a) install traffic cameras; or b) station a nice, sturdy traffic cop in the neighborhood during rush hours.
Dogs, like humans, should eat real food.
That means actual balanced, unprocessed diets consisting of cooked meat, vegetables, fruits, and healthy starches — not the junk food humans normally eat these days.
Ruby the Corgi Pup has made the transition, at last, to a diet of full-blown real food. Shortly after losing the ultra-premium dog food, she lost the chronic diarrhea. And now, a few weeks after having made her escape?
Her fur is so shiny it practically glows in the dark. Her eyes are bright and clear. Her mood is happy, rambunctious, and funny. She radiates good health.
Cassie the Elderly Corgi, who has never been off real food since she entered my precincts, continues in good health. Her fur is rich and radiant; her eyes…yes, bright and clear. Her teeth, good. Her everything, healthy and strong. No vet has ever been able to find anything wrong with her.
The difference in the pup since I took her off the commercial dog food is incredible. Reminds me of what happened when I started feeding real food to the aged German shepherd and the aged greyhound, in response to the Late, Great Melamine Scare. The Gershep, who at the time was so advanced in decrepitude she could barely haul herself to her feet, suddenly was chasing her ball across the yard, something she hadn’t been able to manage for a year or more. Both dogs thrived on a diet of 1/2 cooked meat, 1/4 cooked vegetables, and 1/4 starch (such as sweet potatoes, rice, or oatmeal).
Folks. Dogs do best when fed a diet approximating a healthy, balanced human diet, less the onion, the garlic, the sugar, the salt, and the chocolate.
Commercial dog food is a huge scam.
This morning I threw out a half-dozen cans of ultra-premium dog food. At $2.60 per can plus tax, that came to a little over $17, directly into the garbage. That expensive commercial dog food made Ruby good and sick — she had projectile diarrhea for a good ten days, until I finally gave up and took her off the stuff.
Do you think it’s in the natural order of things that when you switch a dog from one food to another, it should get gastritis, manifested by diarrhea and possibly even vomiting?
Well, no, my friends: it is not. When a dog becomes accustomed to eating real food, it can shift easily and with no ill effects from one type of protein to another, from one veggie or fruit to another, from one source of starch to another. Ruby has readily adjusted to the following:
hamburger (i.e., beef)
But moving from Castor and Pollux ultra-excellent canned dog food to Wellness ultra-excellent canned dog food gives her a violent case of the doggywobbles???? Excuse me? What IS wrong with this picture?
Welp, think about it. Dogs have lived with humans for some 15,000 years. Along about 1860 — about 157 years ago — some entrepreneurial human came up with the idea that doting pet owners could be persuaded that their “pet children” should be fed special pet food! This idea redounded to the vast profit of said entrepreneur, and to that of all the pet industry entrepreneurs who came after him.
Before this genius came up with a scheme to persuade us that nothing would do but what we must feed our animals special pet food, unrelated to anything we as humans would ever dream of eating (would you put a piece of dog kibble in your mouth?), dogs ate whatever people ate. Humans, who at the time did not overindulge in Big Macs, french fries, pizza, and soda, would put down whatever was left over from their own meals, or whatever offal they took out of the animals they hunted for sustenance. Over the millennia, dogs evolved to eat what humans eat.
In just 157 years, they have not un-evolved. Dogs still thrive on the kind of food you and I would thrive on, were we not presented with over-processed, over-sugared, over-salted junk food! We would thrive on it, too, if we could be persuaded to fire up the stove and cook our own food.
At $2.60 per 13-ounce can, a puppy that needs to be fed 2 1/3 cans per day racks up a much, much higher food bill than she does when her human goes out and buys some hamburger, pork, or chicken on sale (it’s a myth that pork is bad for dogs, BTW), a few sweet potatoes or a bag of oatmeal, and some frozen vegetables. It is far cheaper to cook your dog’s food than it is to feed comparable food out of a can or a refrigerated roll. And the results, in terms of your dog’s health, appearance, and temperament, are far superior.
And now for the Conspiracy Theory of the Day: Does it not strike you as odd that once a dog is acclimated to real food, it can switch readily from ingredient to ingredient with no distress, whereas a switch from Purina to Science Diet or from Castor & Pollux to Wellness will cause spasms of doggy diarrhea?
Odd, indeed. IMHO, the only reasonable explanation is that dog food manufacturers spike their product with ingredients that cause gastritis when the consumer switches abruptly from one brand to another. It is, in a word, a scheme to scare consumers into keeping their dogs on the given commercial brand they start with. Dog food is jiggered to make dogs sick when they’re switched from product to product.
Real food decidedly does not have that effect.
Way too often, veterinary bills are inflated by unnecessary testing, unnecessary “wellness” exams, and unnecessary procedures.
Remember when your vet tried to get you to come in once a year for an annual pet exam? Well, they’re accelerating that: today when my vet’s assistant left me on hold to listen to the endlessly annoying, uneasy-making advertising tape, I was informed that he now wants customers to bring their pets in twice a year!
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that many of the vaccines we’ve been told our pets must have, over and over world without end, lest they die of some dread disease are truly unnecessary. Endless annual booster shots operate, at many veterinaries, as a tool to get you back in the door, where you can be subjected to the Big Upsell: persuaded that any number of unnecessary procedures, from expensive dental cleaning to daily medications that require expensive semi-annual blood tests to routine over-vaccination…to god only knows what. These procedures, many of which may be unnecessary, cost pet owners some very big bucks.
And while we’re on the subject, humans also are subjected to massive unnecessary medical examinations and testing.
I tire, so let’s abbreviate:
The annual physical exam (thank god) is going out of style.
Routine physicals lead to invasive, dangerous, and unnecessary procedures, even among the one-percenters.
Routine screening tests lead to exorbitant unnecessary costs.
Studies show unnecessary tests rack up 40% of Medicare spending.
Do I regret allowing myself to be subjected to the “routine” mammogram that has sucked me into a mutilating surgery and an uncertain future? Maybe. Maybe not. From what I can tell, the extremely low-grade entity discovered in my boob may or may not morph into an invasive cancer. Apparently no one can tell. If I were six or eight years older, cutting open my breast and yanking this thing out would be a destructive, pointless, harmful exercise in futility — I would die of some other natural cause long before this thing could kill me, if it ever decided to spread around. But because I’m not quite 70…it’s ambiguous.
Probably nothing would have happened if this thing had never been discovered.
On the other hand, getting rid of it may insure — provided that I’m not subjected to radiation therapy, which over time will elicit some unpleasant and possibly life-shortening side effects — that I’ll have a shot at a ripe old age.