Its still one of those years….

2014 started out less than stellar, and its pretty much continued on the same vein.  I’ve resisted griping about it, because it really could have been ever so much worse (…..we still have the house, we’re still married, our own health hasn’t been affected… fate, thats not a challenge, k?), but the whole year has been pretty much a regular stream of”lets kick Ruth’s family again, one of them might go squirrely this time!!”, and it has very definitely affected my temper and general stress level.

Among other things a specific online community has helped keep me sane, I’ve been a member there for almost 3yrs, I’ve got friends there, and even most of the ones I don’t consider friends I know well enough to have a pretty good idea of how they’re going to react to things.

Till this week.  This week I discovered that several of the folks I considered friends weren’t.  Experienced an extremely personal attack that had nothing to do with the disagreement at hand, which two mods to the community apparently sanctioned and participated in, had another friend rather blatantly lie while she assisted in the personal attack, and then watched one of the previously mentioned mods take the personal attack out into the general board, while creating an environment that has the potential to do serious harm to the atmosphere of that community (as it already did serious harm to the mental state of the person who’s original quest for help triggered the above disagreement).

Obviously I don’t know some of those folks as well as I thought I did.

Guess thats what I get for thinking…..

At any rate I think I learned my lesson, participation in such online communities has been severely curtailed, and I’m cutting back my “I’m bored lets browse online” time.  I’m hoping this means I’ll actually end up blogging more, but don’t count on it…..

How to piss off your whole community

Get a 911 call that “aggressive dogs are terrorizing a lady in a car

Send officer out to look things over. 

Officer allows one dog to be captured by a neighbor of the owner.  But when he attempts to call the other dogs to him they act aggressively so he has to shoot them for his own safety.

Owner calls BS on the “acting aggressively” part and FOIA’s the video from the officer’s lapel cam (yay for wired police!).  Police release a 22second bit of video that shows the officer shooting the dog “for his own safety”: (warning, the video does indeed show the dog being shot, its not the goryest thing ever, but some people will be bothered regardless).

Cue public upset in 3…2….

Additional video from before the shooting:

and after the shooting: (very clear shot of the dead and bloody dog)


I can’t comment on what happened with the dogs cornering someone in their car.  Its not on video.  I can certainly see how a friendly, excited, reasonably sized, dog bouncing on the car door in an attempt to say “HI!!” could be scary to someone who’s not good with dogs. 

In the video from before the shooting I can hear a lady talking to the officer and stating that one of the brown dogs snapped at her.  I can hear the officer telling another resident that the black and white dog (who at this time he’s ignoring) was the one acting aggressively.  Officer allows the owners’ neighbor to catch and contain the black and white dog.

There’s a gap of at least a few seconds, and possibly longer, between the first video and the 22second video.  According to info from the police department the two remaining loose dogs growled at the officer during this gap.  Not sure why we don’t have a video of it, releasing that info would go a long way to supporting the officer’s side of the story.

In the 22second clip, you can see the officer approaching the two dogs, who are sniffing a drain pipe and ignoring the approaching human.  Tails are slowly wagging, a sign that whatever else is going on the dogs aren’t highly agitated.  Whiny barks can be heard, no growling or full throated barks can be heard.  Officer points his gun at the dogs, chirps to get their attention, they look at him, and he fires three shots at one of them.  Its hard to tell with the officer’s hands in the way of the video, but I saw no sign of either dog actually even moving towards him after he chirps at them.  The other dog runs away.

In the final video the officer can be seen repeatedly pointing his gun at the remaining dog every time the so much as looks in his direction.  The dog is still not acting aggressively.  At this point the ACO finally arrives and takes over, at the ACO’s approach the remaining dog shows every sign of being happy to see a friendly human, and even rolls over on his back for belly rubs.  The ACO is able to walk the dog away without so much as a leash to contain the dog.

Now, I certainly have no idea if these dogs are regular escapees.  Or how much they’ve terrorized the neighborhood.  But nothing in the videos shows aggression, or anything else to cause the officer to fear for his own safety….



I keep seeing lots of “why are you scared of Ebola when your chances of catching X disease are 20times higher!!!” or “death from obesity/violence is 10 times more likely!”.

Here’s the thing though. 

Sure, my chances of catching the flu are way higher than my chances of catching ebola.  But my chances of DYING from the flu are WAY smaller since I have a nice and healthy immune system.

And you can’t catch obesity from the guy sneezing next to you on the plane or bus. 

And if the guy next to you on the bus gets shot down by an out of control cop (which yes, was one of the meme’s circulating) a couple hours later you don’t have to worry about whether you caught your own death or not.

In the over all scheme of things I’m not overly worried about my risk of catching ebola honestly.  At least not till it spreads further.

Though I have to say that with the ebola mess, on top of the news that most register receipt tapes contain BPA that can rub off on your fingers, I’m really happy I’m not working retail right this moment.

But when I saw the news that one of the hospitals in Syracuse had been picked as one of the major response centers for potential ebola patients I really wasn’t pleased.  The “human factor” has been just to much of a problem with this particular ebola outbreak.  There are to many things going wrong, frequently by people who REALLY ought to know better……


Our home heating fuel has been delivered:


Actually it was delivered last Thursday (a week ago), and then I took the picture Monday.  As of the time I’d taken the picture about 1 cord + had been re-stacked neatly, as thats husband’s goal this fall.  Usually we leave it in a big pile covered with tarps, but that can be brutal to get wood from in the middle of the winter after the snow starts piling up, especially when the tarp springs a leak and the wood freezes together.  This year we’re stacking it into the back of the carport instead.  It’ll be interesting to see how close to the actual “10 face cord” of wood that we’re paying for the pile actually is.  Unless its very short though this guy is still the best price in town, if only because he’ll deliver and dump it where-ever we want as long as he can get his truck there.

We do have a furnace, it runs on kerosene, and we have a 200gallon tank for it.  It was full when we bought the house, Sept 2010, and last winter (2013-2014) was the first time we’ve had to buy more kerosene (course, last winter was so bad that we went through 100gallons between January and April).  The folks we bought the house from said that before they put in the wood burning stove they used to go through most of two tanks a winter, sometimes a little more than that depending on the winter. 

Kerosene delivered is running over $4/gallon (at least here, they charge us more cause we’re rural *sigh*).  So a full tank is over $800.  Two tanks a winter is $1600+.

Or we can pay $600 for 10 face cord of wood and have wood left over at the end of the winter and use less than 1/3rd of a single tank of kerosene…..

Yah, I’ll keep stacking wood…..

First time smoking (meat)

At about 8pm Sat night I trimmed the fat, and slathered the pork butt with mustard and the dry rub as instructed and stashed the whole thing in a 2.5gallon ziplock for the night (in the fridge).  I also gave the smoker a quick test run to ensure that the heating element actually worked.  That would have sucked if it hadn’t.

I loaded up the smoker at 8:15am Sunday morning.  I’d been aiming for a little earlier than that, as it’ll likely be a 12hr cooking time, but I’m not a morning person.  8:15am is close enough.

Many reviews of this smoker (the Char Broil H2O electric) say that it doesn’t get hot enough, or only barely.  But the thermometer I added says it hit 250 in 15minutes.  Since I was instructed that I want to smoke at 225 for this recipe I’ll take it.  I turned down the temp control just a bit when I put the meat on and checked it another 15minutes later and it was right where I wanted it.

And then the breaker tripped.  So I checked all the connections, confirmed that the GFCI outlet hadn’t, flipped it back on, and went back to what I was doing.

An hour later it tripped again.  And again, the GFCI in the outside outlet that the smoker was plugged into hadn’t tripped.  We decided that the outlet must be faulty, and dug out one of the GFCIs we’d bought for a different project and replaced the outlet.

An hour later the breaker tripped again.

This time I switched on the back entry light, which is right over the breaker box, so I could look at things closer….and the light didn’t come on.  At which point a light came on in my brain, and while the breaker was off we began determining what else is on that breaker.  Turns out BOTH bathrooms, lights and outlets, even though they’re on opposite ends of the house, are on that breaker.  The washing machine is on that breaker.  The back entry way lights, inside and out are on that breaker, and the rear outdoor outlets are on that breaker.

No fricking wonder it kept tripping!

We ran an extension cord from a plug in the garage that we knew we could avoid using the rest of circuit for the day and got back to what we were doing.

About 8pm we finally got our meat off the smoker, and it was tasty!  We’ll be doing that again!

And if we ever have to have an electrition out for anything I’m having him wire that outdoor outlet into its own breaker…..