Maybe cashiers need to wear gloves

Maybe their customers should wear gloves, too. Via BPA Coats Cash Register Receipts. Here’s what they say at the end of the article:

"In January, the Food and Drug Administration, which previously called BPA safe, announced it has “some concerns” about the chemical’s potential effects on brain development of fetuses, infants and children. It did not say BPA is unsafe.

The Environmental Working Group recommends these tips for reducing BPA exposure from receipts:

  • Minimize receipt collection by declining receipts at gas pumps, ATMs and other machines when possible.
  • Store receipts separately in an envelope in a wallet or purse.
  • Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
  • After handling a receipt, wash hands before preparing and eating food (a universally recommended practice even for those who have not handled receipts).
  • Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. A recent study showed that these products can increase the skin’s BPA absorption.
  • Take advantage of store services that email or archive paperless purchase records.
  • Do not recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper.
  • If you are unsure, check whether paper is thermally treated by rubbing it with a coin. Thermal paper discolors with the friction; conventional paper does not.


Diary, 2010/07/25

Just got back from an all day shopping excursion. I don’t know how Tara does it every week. I told her that was harder work than going to the office all day. She said, “So, you appreciate me more now?” Of course, I said yes.

First we went to “Tara’s” Kroger, the one almost in Nolensville city limits, for bread and something else while Elizabeth and I stayed in the air-conditioned car with the motor running. Then we stopped at Walgreen’s a hundred yards down the road because Tara forgot to buy something to drink. Again, I stayed behind in the car, but Elizabeth went in. Apparently while in there Elizabeth tried to talk Tara into buying all kinds of junk food. Tara had said “no, we’re going out to lunch for some real food.” She then tried to talk us into going to “Old MacDonald’s” for lunch. We both said, no, that’s not real food, either.

From there we went to Smyrna because they have a Super Target and Tara had a bunch of things she wanted to buy, on sale of course. But first, we stopped at Snappy Tomato (pizza buffet) for lunch. It’s not the healthiest food, either, but they have salad. It’s much better than CiCi’s Pizza or Sir Pizza, but then canned dog food is better than those. We then drove over to the Target shopping center. Elizabeth and I went into the PetSmart two stores down while Tara shopped in Target. We walked round and round PetSmart, seeing every critter in there at least a couple of times. That includes the customers who brought their dogs in, which Elizabeth ALWAYS asks to pet. Hey, at least she asks first. One of the critters I felt sorry for was some sort of “dragon” lizard that obviously REALLY wanted to get out of his glass cage. We saw him there the other day, too, though I’ve already forgotten what we were doing there that time. Anyway, this lizard kept looking at me with those oversized eyes, as if saying, “Come on, dude, let me out!!!” I might have bought him if I thought I could give him a better life than he already had, but I didn’t think so.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore, so we left the pet store and went into Target. Tara just happened to be walking down the aisle within sight and just ahead of us. She was a good 10 yards away with her back turned. I don’t know how she knew we were coming (I had told Elizabeth to sneak up on her but don’t say “boo” because she doesn’t like that), but it was obvious she did. Elizabeth asked how she knew, and Tara said, “Because they gave me eyes in the back of my head when we got you.” Elizabeth didn’t believe her.

We then drove over to Staples, even though it was just a few stores over because I had pulled the car in front of Target to pick up Tara. In Staples I wanted one of those laptop cooling trays/pads because this laptop starts searing into my legs after a while and literally makes me sweat. I was checking out office chairs and mats, too, because my current chair mat is badly cracked, making it hard to slide on. Making it even harder is the fact that the chair wheels are missing. They and their replacements just broke off one by one, so it’s an “executive” office chair without wheels. Anyway, while testing a chair and after I had chosen a USB-powered laptop cooling tray for $20, Elizabeth found this much simpler thing that I’m using right now. It’s just a tray with padding underneath, nothing powered about it. That’s really all I need. And I didn’t get a chair mat or chair because they’re just too expensive. My current chair is not bad, really, it just has no wheels. As Tara says, I’m hard on chairs. She bought it for me for Father’s Day a couple years ago. It has a vibrating feature, too, that I haven’t used in years because it limits my range of motion when plugged in.

From there, since we were already in Smyrna, we drove down to Murfreesboro another 15 miles or so southeast along I-24. There was an Old Navy in their newest shopping center, we thought, where Tara thought she could get some school clothes for Elizabeth cheaply. We drove the entire length of that sprawling outdoor mall’s parking lot and never did see the Old Navy until we had given up and were about the leave. Then there it was. Once again, I tried to entertain Elizabeth while Tara shopped. Toward the end I stood outside the dressing rooms, holding Elizabeth’s white teddy bear, while she tried things on. Yes, I love shopping. Not.

Finally, we headed home. Oh, but we weren’t done yet. We had to stop at OfficeDepot near Hickory Hollow because they were having a deal where a ream of copy paper only cost a dollar. Tara said the bored salesman watching her had a look in his eye as if to say, “Please buy more than just that.” She didn’t. And FINALLY we were done shopping!

Oh, but wait, then we had to go to the library to return mostly children’s (but not all) books and videos and replace them with “new” ones. On the drive over there, there was a jerk hugging my bumper, staying on the left edge of our lane so I’d be sure and see him. Of course, that just ensured that I never quite made it over the speed limit. I hate drivers like that, anyway, and after yet another incredibly hot summer day of shopping and driving I was in no mood to comply with anything he might want from me. Unfortunately, he then had to turn down the same street where I turned. I can imagine he was cussing me out pretty good back there. Oh well. Luckily, he didn’t follow us into the library parking lot. I was starting to worry he might be a psycho with a gun. It was the right neighborhood for it. We avoid the area, normally, because of the “gang bangers” and just generic punks.

Thank God we’re home now, and I’m writing this long-ass story about absolutely nothing that you really wished you’d never started reading. Right? 🙂 And Chandler’s looking at me, telling me it’s dinner time.

Diary, 2010/07/24

We all went to the Nashville Zoo today. My God it was hot … and sticky. Luckily, Blue Bell Ice Cream was handing out free cups of vanilla ice cream, which we grabbed upon arrival and at departure. I think today was literally the hottest day yet this year.

When we got home I felt sorry for the vegetable garden and watered it with the “elaborate” hose system I’ve got connected to my three rain barrels. I had to empty one of them, anyway, so I could move it back in place after it had slid off its flimsy wooden foundation in a recent storm and had been leaning up against the other barrels ever since. You can imagine how heavy those 55 gallon barrels get when they’re full.

This should make you laugh. Elizabeth just now came in, saying, “Hey, mister, you didn’t kiss me goodnight.” I immediately got up to follow her back to her room. Tara must have just finished her bedtime story. Of course, Elizabeth then changed “mister” to “monster” and had me chase her back to her room. In her room and kissing her goodnight — with her on the bed as she insists — Elizabeth barked, “Shave!” That’s one of her latest things, complaining about my stubble, even when I shaved just a few hours before. Anyway, right after saying “shave!” she added, “You prick.” Tara had to cover her mouth to keep from bursting out laughing. Elizabeth then added, “I don’t like prick.” Tara was cracking up behind her, but Elizabeth didn’t notice. Elizabeth was obviously referring to my prickly stubble, unaware she had just called her father a prick. I’m glad she doesn’t like pricks, though. That’s good, right?

Genetically engineered food right to know act

Ask Your Congresspersons to Cosponsor HR 5577, Representative Kucinich’s Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act

"10. Almost all non-organic processed food or animal products in the U.S. today contain ingredients that come from genetically engineered crops or from animals given genetically engineered feed, vaccines or growth hormones.

9. Genetically engineered foods have not been tested to determine whether they are safe for human consumption.

8. Genetically engineered foods ARE different from conventional and organic foods.

7. A single serving of genetically engineered soy can result in “horizontal gene transfer,” where the bacteria in the human gut adopts the soy’s DNA.

6. Animals fed genetically engineered feed ARE different from animals fed conventional and organic feed.

5. The third generation of hamsters fed genetically engineered soy suffered slower growth, a high mortality rate, and a bizarre birth defect: fur growing in their mouths. Many also lost the ability to have pups.

4. The more genetically engineered corn fed to mice, the fewer babies they had and the smaller the babies were.

3. Biotech’s scattershot technique of spraying plant cells with a buckshot of foreign genes that hit chromosomes in random spots would trigger the expression of new allergens and change the character of plant proteins.

2. Scientists reviewing data from Monsanto‘s own studies “have proven that genetically engineered foods are neither sufficiently healthy or proper to be commercialized.”

1. The Convention on Biodiversity recognizes that genetic engineering is a threat to amount and variety of life on the planet."

via Take Action —— The above was copied from: The Killing Fields of Agribusiness #234, July 22, 2010, Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association
Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins
— — also Airing The World According to Monsanto

Diary, 2010/07/23

I’m lying here on the couch — with the pugs asleep next to me — getting my “new” laptop just the way I like it. A customer was supposed to show up and drop off their laptop today at 3, but that never happened. Shoulda guessed that, but I had to be here in guess they did show up. Anyway, this “new” laptop is much older than the new Acer netbook I bought in October (for just $290), but the keyboard is much bigger which makes it SO much easier to type. I told Tara (my wife) she can have the netbook if this other laptop (a Dell Inspiron 1150, by the way) works out for me. I spent $50 on 1 gigabyte of memory to speed it up, and so far so good. Did I mention it was free? Yeah. A long-time customer who was moving out of town and trying to lighten her load just gave it to me, free. She thought it was dead and I never tested it until I got it home. Turned out, it was just the battery that was dead. Once I recharged that, it was fine! To give it a fresh start, I wiped the hard drive and installed XP Pro on it even though it came with XP Home. After installing service pack 3 and Office 2003 on it, however, the thing was DOG SLOW! Unbearable. That’s when I bought the new memory. With the new memory in it, I tried installing Windows 7. That went fine except that the video display was limited to 800×600 because of driver issues, and that resolution is just not acceptable these days. So, now it has XP Home on it again (but not Office), which I’ll stick with ‘cuz I’m sick of reinstalling everything.

Something else I’ve gotten free recently are the antibiotics I need to take prior to my biopsy I’ll be having in a couple weeks. Three pills and they wanted $48 for them! And that was AFTER the insurance cut the price in half. For antibiotics? Anyway, on the pharmacist’s (Kroger at Nolensville and Old Hickory) suggestion, I called the doctor’s office back to see if they had a generic equivalent that might be cheaper. They didn’t, but they did have some samples they could give me free of charge if I wanted to stop by and pick them up, which I did.

Apparently on a roll, I then went to Lowe’s to see about a hand tiller. Basically, a four-pronged four-foot pipe with a vertical handlebar on top and a place for your foot at the bottom that helps loosen up dirt in your garden or wherever. The weeds have gotten out of control again. I’d seen one that morning at Ace Hardware for $30, which I thought was a little too much for such a simple tool. I thought I might check online for something cheaper, but never got around to that. Then after work I stopped by Lowe’s and found an even better tiller for $29.88. I brought it up to the self-checkout register (apparently that 12 cents versus Ace’s price made all the difference) , but it didn’t have a barcode on it, so I had to take it to an actual cashier. She asked me what it was called so she could look it up on her register. One of her co-workers insisted it was called an “aerator,” which she had to ask me how to spell. The word “tiller” had escaped me for some reason, but I said I thought the sign called it a “cultivator.” She wasn’t finding anything under either name. Finally, her co-worker went to where I’d found the item and came back to tell the cashier which number to enter into the register.

He then marched off in a hurry somewhere.

When she typed in the number, it came up as a flower. Peonies, actually, and the price with tax was $5.44. “Does that work for you?” she asked. “I said, ‘Yeah, that works for me, but it’s not the right item.'” She said, “No, I entered in the number he gave me. That’s what came up. Does that price work for you?” I realized then what she was saying. “Yes, that works for me!” And so, I got the hand tiller for $5, which is probably what Lowe’s paid for it, anyway. Then I called my bargain-hunting, coupon-queen wife and told her about this great deal. She was proud of me … I think.

Maybe these freebies and cheap deals are the universe’s way of making up for the financial hardship I’ve gone through since losing my job last September.

It was only two weeks ago, by the way, that I basically got my old job back, only as a part-time consultant … without benefits, of course. Too bad it ends in January. My wife is convinced, and it’s hard to argue, that they’re going to close the Nashville (actually Brentwood) office.

Buy American

The above link no longer points to where it used to. Someone in Holland, ironically, has apparently purchased that domain name. I would have removed this post, but the irony made it worth keeping it here.

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Like a cancer

A business plan requiring constant expansion is, almost by definition, a cancer, and equally unhealthy.

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