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Everything posted by Hector

  1. He is earning his keep by catching crickets and bringing them to me.
  2. We have had Skiziks for about 20 months now. He still thinks the best place to sleep is on my legs -- a holdover from the first week I had him and he slept there all the time as I nursed him back to health. He is just a delight to have around. He has really stolen my heart.
  3. Popular sweetener is toxic for dogs A sugar substitute found in a variety of sugar-free and dietetic cookies, mints and chewing gum is proving highly toxic, even fatal, to snack-snatching dogs. Xylitol, popular in Europe for decades but a relative newcomer to the U.S. alternative-sweeteners market, can be "very, very serious" to dogs when ingested, says Dana Farbman, spokeswoman for the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "It doesn't take a whole lot (of xylitol), and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat the dog is extremely small," Farbman says.
  4. Updated news story about the recall: USA Today Contaminated Pet Food Story
  5. He really is a sweet handsome boy. Your commitment to taking care of him is wonderful.
  6. Yes, it is wonderful that the people got down alive and well, and their dog definitely played a major role in this happy ending. But as a long term mountaineer, the story doesn't give me a warm happy feeling. News reports say the climbing group were experienced rock climbers but not experienced mountaineers. That figures. Experienced mountaineers would not have been on Mt. Hood in winter with those extremely harsh weather conditions. The fact that three people fell at one time is a strong indicator that they were in way over their heads. In the Grand Teton National Park there are regulations that require anyone who goes climbing any time of year to first obtain a permit from National Park Service rangers. The rangers know the weather forecast and they can assess the experience level of the applicants. They can check their gear to make sure the party is properly prepared for the planned climbing trip. I don't understand why the authorities in the Mt. Hood area don't implement a similar program to require climbing permits. The inexperienced climbers are the people most likely to get into trouble on the mountain. One would think that the rescue people would get tired of expending time and effort, while putting their own lives at risk, to rescue inept climbers who never should have been on the mountain at that time. The fact that three climbers died on Mt. Hood in December should have made a stronger impression on people. I generally prefer to see regulations kept to a minimum, but some people need to be protected from their own ignorance.
  7. Glad he is home safe. I have a deep feeling of appreciation for those who serve in the US Military. They are the reason we have our freedom today. Yipes, that is a lot of money for the flowers. Hmmm, I wonder if he might rather have an equal value in Filet Mignon -- tenderloin steak? Flowers are beautiful but steak tastes really good. Just a thought -- ignore it if it sounds dumb.
  8. I have a Canon Powershot S2 IS (Image Stabilizer) that I really like. It is 5 megapixels and has a 12x optical zoom and a 4x digital zoom. It has Image Stabilizer feature so you don't blur the picture by moving the camera. This is very important for telephoto shots. Here are two sample pictures. The wild rabbit lives in our back yard area. The picture was taken at full zoom (optical + digital) so it is 48x zoom. The airplane is a supersonic Concorde passenger plane, now retired from service. It is on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. This plane flew from New York to London in just over 3 hours at a speed of 1200 mph. Canon replaced the S2 camera with the S3. I am sure that the S3 is better, but you may be able to get a good buy on an S2 since they are now discontinued. Here is a link to a Review of the Canon S2.
  9. Sorry about Riven's/your recall problem. I guess it is your problem since Riven doesn't seem to understand that she has a problem!!! Sounds like you have received a lot of good advice and now you have some work cut out for you. On the subject of recall, one time I saw a demonstration of recall that amazed me. It was what I think a really excellent recall should look like. I was on a hike in the mountains with my friend Rick and his dog, a Golden Retriever. We were almost at the summit and it was gently sloping terrain, covered by small flat rocks with almost no vegetation. We got to talking about dogs and training, and then Rick said "watch this!" He put his thumb and index finger up to his mouth and whistled. The dog was 100 feet away, sniffing and snooping around in typical doggy fashion. Instantly the dog took off like a rocket, running straight at Rick. There wasn't a tenth of a second delay. As the dog got close he put on the brakes and slowed way down. He walked toward the right side of Rick, circled directly behind him, and stopped on Rick's left side. Then the dog went into a "sit" position, turned his head upward, and looked Rick straight in the eye. It was as if the dog was saying "okay, here I am, hope that was fast enough, what do you want me to do next???" I was highly impressed. What a beautiful recall.
  10. If a dog is hungry and thinks it must compete with another dog for food, then that alone will promote very fast eating. If you can isolate Cooper and feed him when no other dogs are around, that MAY help. One technique, if you have a big open floor space (kitchen or recreation room) is to take the food in a bowl and then by hand sprinkle a small portion on the floor. If you kind of gently toss it so the food is scattered, then the dog must move to each piece of kibble to eat it. That moving around slows the speed at which the dog can eat. Plus if you are only giving out a small handful at a time, he can't keep eating it all so fast that he chokes on it.
  11. That was a serious error to leave the puppy out in the cold. Glad to hear he is okay. Termination of your friend is sad, but in my opinion the punishment fits the crime.
  12. ROFL! Very funny! Anybody with walks/driveway to shovel in Denver needs a 2-stage snowblower. Such a machine would cut through the snow blocking your driveway. So far this winter in Baltimore the total snowfall is about three inches. Living next to the Chesapeake Bay moderates the winter weather. That suits me just fine! But in the old days back in Utah I shoveled plenty of snow.
  13. Just found this link to: Index to NOAA Weather Radio on the Internet There are 89 stations around the USA. This will be useful for obtaining local weather forecasts. To hear a station, click on the "Listen" button for the station.
  14. Glad to hear that you are back to the modern world of electricity. Wow that is an impressive big ice storm. No wonder so many people lost power in your area. I guess the good news is that the true branches didn't clobber your Jeep.
  15. I am glad that the owners got their dogs and truck back. Everything turned out well. Here is a website that gives Tips For Auto Theft Prevention. It is interesting that their #1 tip is "Never leave your car running unattended, even to dash into a business, store, etc. This entire problem would not have occurred if the owners had heeded that advice. Another tip is "Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk out of sight." The Denver Post article stated that woman left her purse on the car seat -- that was their second mistake. This website says that a vehicle is stolen in the USA every 21 minutes, on average. That is 68 vehicle thefts per day. If a person is intent on NOT being a victim of car/truck theft, then it would pay to observe the tips. I will be doing some things differently as the result of reading this website. My niece had her 2004 Chrysler minivan stolen from the parking lot of a supermarket where she worked. The only thing that would have prevented that theft would have been some anti-theft device(s). The vehicle was used by the criminals in a bank robbery. They finally got it back about 25 days after the original theft. The insurance company paid to have it refurbished, as the thieves had done a lot of damage to it. Not a good experience.
  16. Denver post report of stolen BCs This report says the couple left their truck running while they were loading and checking out of hotel.
  17. Hope you get power back on soon. Wow, that must be tough! Just wondering, do many people run gasoline-powered electric generators? If yes, does that make life reasonably livable during a power outage? Hector
  18. "...natural factors alone cannot, repeat cannot, simply explain observed changes that we've seen in the climate system in the second half of the 20th century." A major newspaper (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) editorial dated January 21,2007 on the topic that we are discussing in this thread: Moving climate debate into solution arena
  19. To Jim2000 and others that question if Global Climate Change is human-caused -- read this: From the London Times (Feb. 18, 2005) New proof that man has caused global warming From Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent, in Washington The strongest evidence yet that global warming has been triggered by human activity has emerged from a major study of rising temperatures in the world?s oceans. The present trend of warmer sea temperatures, which have risen by an average of half a degree Celsius (0.9F) over the past 40 years, can be explained only if greenhouse gas emissions are responsible, new research has revealed. The results are so compelling that they should end controversy about the causes of climate change, one of the scientists who led the study said yesterday. "The debate about whether there is a global warming signal now is over, at least for rational people," said Tim Barnett, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. "The models got it right. If a politician stands up and says the uncertainty is too great to believe these models, that is no longer tenable." ------------------------------------ To read the entire article go HERE. ------------------------------------- Hector
  20. Rebecca -- With all due respect, it does not appear that you understand the problem. Read this article about Global warming and rising sea level . You think I am being arrogant? Do you think that trying to significantly reduce the output of greenhouse gasses will impact your life? Where is your empathy and compassion for your fellow humans around the world who made the mistake of being born into a low-lying country? Global warming causes glaciers to melt, which raises sea level. A country like the Republic of the Marshall Islands (population 62,000) will go completely underwater. It will vanish beneath the sea. That means the people lose their homes, their land, their whole country. A significant portion of Bangladesh (population 147 million) -- (have you ever heard of this country?) -- will go underwater. That displaces tens of millions of people from their land. They have nowhere to go. It's not like there is a lot of vacant land somewhere else in their country. Do you want to donate enough land in North Carolina to support ten million climate refugees from Bangladesh? Or do you want to just ignore the problem of them having nowhere to live and therefore starving to death? Here are some data about per capita (person) income by country : ....................Per Capita Income......World .....Country..............2004.....2005....Rank United States........$41440...$43740.....6 Marshall Islands.......2810.....2930......80 Bangladesh..............440........470....155 Above data came from here . On a per capita basis, the USA is 93 times wealthier than Bangladesh. Might it seem reasonable to you, Rebecca, that the USA, the world's biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), should worry less about the cost to itself of mitigating GGE, and worry more about the cost of GGE to poor, low-lying countries like Bangladesh whose land would be flooded? Oh, wait -- I forgot -- that catastrophe might not happen in our lifetimes. So we here in the USA don't need to concern ourselves about it right now. Hector
  21. When almost any question or topic is debated, you will find two groups of people with opposing views. That applies to global warming. But what is necessary is to look at the credentials and number of people on each side. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is comprised of 2000 climatologists world wide. These are THE LEADING SCIENTISTS on the subject of global warming. The IPCC strongly believes that human activity, namely the burning of fossil fuels, is the driving force behind the observable global warming that is happening over the past 50 years. The reason they think that this climate change is not "natural" is (1) the size, and (2) the speed of the changes. Nature doesn't change that fast, according to the experts. Sure, you get a few broadcast weathermen who have an opposing viewpoint, but that doesn't mean that they are correct. You have to consider the credentials and numbers. I am not a scientist, but I am willing to cast my vote with the IPCC. It may already be too late to avert a global catastrophe. But sitting around doing nothing while waiting for "absolute proof" is the best possible way to GUARANTEE that the catastrophe will happen.
  22. Firchow -- Very interesting. That is excellent fuel economy for a large vehicle. Yes, diesel engines have come a long way. If I could buy a vehicle like the Fiat Panda with a 1.3 liter diesel engine, that would definitely be the type of car I would choose. I just wish that type of vehicle was available in the USA. Just a little personal history on vehicles -- in 1972 I bought a new Chev 6.5 liter V8 pickup truck and put a camper on it. Back then all trucks had carburators (not fuel injection), and the camper had a high profile that provided a lot of wind resistance. It got about 9 miles to the gallon. Of course gas only cost $.35 a gallon at the time I purchased the truck. I kept that truck for 32 years, finally selling it in 2004 with -- get this! -- 78,000 miles on it. Yes, that's right, I averaged only 2440 miles a year on that truck for the 32 years I owned it. The original purchase price was $4400. I guess I got my money's worth out of it! During that same 32 years I averaged 5000 miles a year on a bicycle (20 miles a day X 250 days a year) and I rode about 50,000 miles on the public bus line. I very seldom drove the truck to work, as I commuted by bike or bus. To be honest, I did the bike commuting to stay physically fit -- not to save the earth's atmosphere, since global climate change was not being discussed for much of that time period. But now in hindsight I am glad that I didn't contribute any more than necessary to global climate change from vehicles. When I mentioned the idea of raising the gasoline tax, that idea went over like a lead balloon. Just for information purposes -- people in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) currently pay $3.79 a gallon in taxes. The average gasoline tax in the USA is $.42. When you consider the fuel efficiency of the average car in the UK versus the average car in the USA, you can see the positive effect of higher gasoline prices. Better fuel efficiency translates into lower greenhouse gas emissions (GGE). If the USA wants to get serious about reducing GGE, then raising the tax on gasoline would be a good place to start. That tax would have to increase by 8.9 times to equal the current tax rate in the UK.
  23. Firchow - I understand what you are saying about needing a large powerful truck to pull a trailer with a big load on it. I agree completely. For that application the big truck is the most economical vehicle to use. No argument there. The problem I see, from a fuel efficiency standpoint, is that a lot of drivers buy and drive big pickups when they don't need the hauling capacity. When I drive the Baltimore I-695 Beltway, I routinely see drivers commuting to work in their gas-hog pickups when they could be getting three or four times better gas mileage if they were driving a Fiat-Panda-type vehicle. Maralynn -- I don't know where you are getting your 30-mpg figure for a V8 pickup truck, but I think you need to check that data. If you really want to know the actual mileage you would have to track that yourself (buy the gas) for a week. Consumer Reports does road tests of vehicles, and here is the mpg that they got: In their actual test of a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado LS crew cab 4WD, 3.5-liter Five-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, CR got the following gas mileage results: Overall mileage, mpg 16 city/highway, mpg 11/23 150-mile trip, mpg 19 CR published the following: Drivers who track their own fuel economy have long known that their results seldom match the gas mileage claimed by the Environmental Protection Agency on new-car stickers. Our study, based on years of real-world road tests over thousands of miles, quantifies the problem across a wide swath of makes and models. We compared the claimed EPA fuel economy with the mileage per gallon we measured for 303 cars and trucks for model-years 2000 to 2006. Our selection represents a good cross-section of mainstream, high-volume vehicles. We looked at city, highway, and overall mpg. Study Highlights: Shortfalls in mpg occurred in 90 percent of vehicles we tested and included most makes and models. The largest discrepancy between claimed and actual mpg involved city driving. Some models we tested fell short of claimed city mpg by 35 to 50 percent. Hybrids, whose selling point is fuel thriftiness, had some of the biggest disparities, with fuel economy averaging 19 mpg below the EPA city rating. For the nation, where the fleet average fuel economy is near its lowest point in 17 years, the findings suggest that the country is far short of its energy goals. Actual MPG test results: Pickups (crew cab, 4WD) BEST Toyota Tacoma TRD (V6) 17-mpg GMC Canyon SLE (5-cyl.) 16-mpg Chevrolet Colorado LS (5-cyl.) 16-mpg WORST Dodge Ram 1500 SLT V8 (5.7) 11-mpg Dodge Ram 1500 SLT (4.7) 12-mpg ----------------- Hector
  24. Farm Girl -- I did a google on "emissions biodiesel" and found this website on biodiesel. Very interesting. It says that CO2 emissions are reduced 78% when using biodiesel as compared to petroleum based diesel. That's a big drop in a major greenhouse gas. Hector
  25. Rebecca -- Obviously there are applications, such as the one you described, where a person must have a truck. I haven't seen any data on the incidence of truck usage in rural vs. urban areas, but it seems logical that rural (farm-ranch) dwellers are more likely to need a truck in order to haul stuff. If you live on a farm, but commute to a job in a town, then the Panda would make a great commuter vehicle In the urban setting where I live, weekday rush hour traffic is heavily weighted to commuters and most of those vehicles carry the driver only. I was just now looking around the Internet and I found (in the UK) the Toyota Dyna Dropside Van (truck). It has a 2.5 liter Diesel engine that produces 88 horsepower. It is said to get good gas mileage, but the website does not give a figure. I also saw a Fiat truck with a crew cab that holds 7 people. It has an engine similar to the Toyota. When you think about it, many people in Europe need trucks just as people in the USA need them, But when they are paying $7 a gallon for fuel, they don't want an American-style full-size pickup that gets 12 mpg city, 20 mpg highway. There are fuel efficient trucks in Europe, just as there are fuel efficient cars there. If gasoline were costing you $4 or $5 a gallon (could easily happen in the next five years) then I am thinking that you would be very happy to have a truck like this Toyota, rather than a current American full-size pickup with 300 hp in a V8 engine. The attitude of Americans will have to make a major change to get people to want to buy trucks like the Toyota instead of full-size GMCs, Fords and Chevs. A big new tax on gasoline might quickly promote that attitude change. Hector
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