Tag Archive: milk


About to Blink Out

planned-obsolescence-by-james-provostYes, I have fallen victim again to planned obsolescence. My latest monitor is due to go on the blink. In fact, that is what it is doing, blinking. I’m too scared to switch it off in case it winks out and doesn’t wink on again.

My first LCD monitor winked out at 14 months, just out of the guarantee period. This one is now 15 months old.

At the time the first decided its life’s vocation wasn’t to be an LCD monitor, it couldn’t be repaired. Well, it could have been, had the part been available, but it was only supplied to assembly plants and not the public or repair shops.

Twice now when I have turned off this monitor, it has flashed and blinked at me and finally burst into life after some ten minutes. I feel the car is running on empty.

Yesterday my hard drive ran out of space. I had to do some smart reshuffling of files and then defrag. The defrag took about 12 hours. Result, 29gb of space.

I went to bed early last night, before ten. Clorinha decided it wasn’t sleep time and wanted to bounced around the bed like a Slinky. Which was all very well until she decided that my bare toes were an entertainment centre. Then she slipped, and sunk all 4,170 needle sharp claws into the soft part of my sole.

A growing kitten suspended by one claw embedded in my foot up to my eyeballs with all her weight bearing down is painful in the extreme.

The phantom cat strikes again! If she does that again, she might well be a phantom cat. Don’t worry, she won’t; all was forgiven when she woke me this morning boomping my face.

Oh, wait, she only has four claws… 4,170 is the number of toxic substances in cigarettes. Think about this, if milk has 9,000 +/-, maybe we should take kids off milk and let them smoke…

The centennial lightbulb

The centennial light bulb

Back to this planned obsolescence theme. Did you know that there is an incandescent electric light bulb that was switched on in 1908 and has been, and still is burning continuously? That was when the American manufacturers decided to limit the life of a light bulb to 15,000 hours, at first, which was later reduced to 1,000 hours so they could sell more. So serious was this that it became law for all manufacturers about 1920.

This remains the case today for every product, it is designed to breakdown after so many hours or times used so that you’ll buy a new one. Cars, computers, TVs, washing machines, iPhones, everything. You can’t escape it; everything is designed to ‘have a life’ just out of the guaranteed period, then stop.

Printers, for example, actually have a chip buried in the works and programmed to tell you that your printer is broken and can’t be repaired. It just stops. One smart cookie discovered this fact, found and removed  the chip, and had another five years use. There was NOTHING wrong with the machine.

Cold night last night. Cool day today. We’re expected to have this until Tuesday.

Lunch is a choice between braised or curried sausages, steak or hotdogs. Or I might even steal some of Clorinha’s mincemeat and make a hamburger sandwich. My wine is still in the fridge from last weekend. I didn’t open it when I was struck by the dreaded lurgy. I can see the need to celebrate a return to good health.

Still to blogs to post on. Blogging right along, wine later. Oh, what a wonderful incentive.

Later.

Meanwhile, I present Destructocat… Playing in the window after attempting to destroy my passion fruit vine. (I’ll have to be quicker with the camera next time)

 

I got eHugs

ehugs

eHugs

Yes, today I got eHugs on my posts about Lixo’s demise. Thank you all so much, it means a lot to me.

As I often do when I’m hitting on a new topic, I google it, and this is what popped up, k?

I don’t actually use google, I stopped using google about three months ago, I found a way around it and their nasty ways. Google is just a verb to me.

Sunny, dry, cool day again and it will be chilly going to work in the evening, decidedly colder when I come home.

This cold snap we had has played havoc with crops. Up to 50% of the wheat crops of Parana have been hit badly, the price of flour is already skyrocketing; as did milk last week with the price of grain feed for cattle. So Brazilians are going to pay dearly for this non-existent global warming. Tell it to the skeptics.

Again a day in which not much happened. I did the dishes twice; first before lunch, then after lunch.

World hero Bradley Manning has been found guilty, and is due to be sentenced. I doubt the sentence will include the Medal of Honor, it should. The government say he was spying, perhaps he was, but then the government shouldn’t have been doing anything spyable; who is the greater criminal?

I have discovered a secret, the internet is truly a font of good information.

secretwine

Later.

 

 

A Reluctant Start

Wish I could train Lixo to do this... I would make Labor Day perfect

Wish I could train Lixo to do this… I would make Labor Day perfect

Yesterday my excuse was procrastination, today reluctance.

Today is 1st May, Dia do Trablaho (Labor Day). I have coffee and am fully prepared to do nothing all day. May is a weird month to have Labor Day, I grew up with Labour Day in October, oh I get so confused.

I have just taken the meat out of the freezer, going to have BBQ all day. Big juicy hunks of pork and beef. Well, they’re not juicy at the moment, sort of hard and crusty, but give them a couple of hours. Good thing this is not my beefless week.

firefoxaddonI am wary of all this modern technology. I don’t have ad ons and apps. I don’t like them, I don’t trust them.

But I discovered that Firefox has a useful one, so cute and fluffy.

I am talking about the ad blocker. I got frustrated one day, and it happened to be the day that I read a post on a techy-type blog about FF ad-on that blocks annoying advertising, so I installed it and am mildly pleased with the results. It doesn’t block all ads, but my frustration level has been reduced by half; the rest I reduce by adding more coffee.

The padeiro (breadman) has just been, a BBQ isn’t complete without garlic bread sizzling on the grate. The way people cook garlic bread has always amused me. It has been my observation that people always toast the butter side first. This is just plain stupid, and indeed belongs in the annuls of stupidity. If you grill the butter side first the butter and garlic all drips off on to the coals; sure smells wonderful, but what a waste. Grill the off-side first and the butter permeates through the bread and stays there when you flip it over.

*Need more coffee*

caixa_leite02Here’s a random thought.

When you open a box of milk, it has instructions ‘abra aqui’ (open here), you can see it there on the box.

What happens if you don’t obey the law and open the other side?

Does the milk come out backwards?

You see, although I am fast approaching my dotage, I still have an alert and inquiring mind.

There is so much in the world that needs to be examined.

With that, I will blog along. This has been a three-coffee post, no cats were injured writing, but that could change if I find cat hair on the clean black shirt that I left on the sofa.

Later.

Betwixt Between

expensivetomatoI haven’t decided what to write about yet. The chances are that it will be about the tomato crisis that we are currently suffering here in Brazil, seeing how I have already chosen the image.

I have mentioned this in the past, that tomatoes have become horrendously expensive.

Normally they are about R$1 – R$1.50 a kilo. They have shot up varyingly to between R$6-R$10/kg. The supermarket cashier looks at me strangely when I arrive with ONE tomato. Tomatoes have become the new ‘gold’ here in Brazil. Some restaurants have even removed tomato bearing items off the menu.

If I didn’t write about tomatoes, I may have written about how I served Lixo’s milk on the floor today.

WTF?

WTF?

It wasn’t intentional, as I stood after pouring some in his dish, I stumbled. He looked at the milk, then up at me and ‘meow’, which I interpreted as “WTF?” To which I replied that he shouldn’t “meow” over spilt milk.

Then again, I could write about the annoying phone call I had at 11am while I was napping. On checking the number the prefix was 11. Now 11 is São Paulo, I don’t know anyone in SP, nor why anyone would be calling me from there. I hung up. I fully suspect it was a scam from a prison, they are very common; you are told that a relative has been kidnapped and unless you deposit R$XXXX in a bank account they will die. They also come in the form of SMSs telling that you have won a prize and that you have to ring a number to confirm your claim. All bullshit, and the corrupt prison system here can’t/doesn’t do anything to prevent it. Most of Brazil’s crime syndicates are run from prisons via cellphones too, ordering crimes, reprisals and killings.

aenosBut then, I could write about the wonderful pizza I made last night. Ham with Camembert cheese. At 3am it gave me gas… and made me get up for a glass on Enos. Which reminded me about the old school joke based on an Enos TV ad, “If the bottom is falling out of your world, drink Enos and let the world fall out of your bottom.”

I could of course tell you that I don’t know yet if I have a student tonight.

But none of the above is appealing as post material, so I won’t bother with a post today, just like yesterday and Wednesday.

See you tomorrow…

Milk, yuck!

Half Pint Cream Bottle

When I was a kid millions of years ago (1950s) we used to get a cream bottle of milk 300ml or a half pint) every day. It was okay in the winter, but in the summer it was yucky and tepid, vomitingly tepid; some kids did actually chunder. Do you understand the concept of a chain reaction?

The milk was delivered to the school during the pre-dawn milk round, kids started school at 9am which meant the milk had like more than four hours without refrigeration because we used to get it about 10am playtime (recess).

The scheme was instigated in 1937 and ended in 1967.

I read today on BBC News: “The government (British) has pledged to continue to provide free milk to all under-fives in the UK despite ordering a review of the scheme.”

The Brits still have it.

The milk we used to get was full cream milk, you had to shake the bottle to mix the layer of cream, yes, you could see it. Thick rich yellow cream on the top of the milk.

Cream Separator

But today’s processing removes a lot of the butterfat. The modern stuff (whole milk) boasts only 3% Fat; like they are doing you a favour. Milk with 3% Fat is not whole milk. Whole milk should contain 3.5% – 5.3% butterfat.

I remember milking time, most of the milk went in the milk churn, some of the milk went into the separator to recover the cream, what was left was skim milk and skim milk went to the pigs, it was pig food (it still does, but the fat rich ones who need to lose weight).

Once milk has been through the separator it only has about 0.05% butterfat left, making it next to useless, except for the pigs. If you didn’t have pigs it went down the drain.

But today the industry has ‘Low Fat’ milk, etc; with varying degrees of butterfat and the corporations sell it at the same price as whole milk. They are ripping you off wholesale. Because they get the profit from the cream or butter, and they double their profit by selling pig food to people.

This has long been a beef for me. One because I hate the taste (or lack of it) in low fat milk; and, two, I object to be being taken for a fool.

The milk we used to get was pasteurised, that is it was heated to 68 degrees to kill the bacteria and cooled again.  Today the milk is homogenised which means the butterfat is broken down to remain evenly mixed with the milk.

Milk today is not milk

The milk we get today in plastic bottles and cartons is not milk, be it organic or not, it is a white tasteless liquid that defies the definition of milk.

It is so far removed from being milk that users of the product description ‘milk’ should be prosecuted for making a false claim. But, of course, we know that will never happen.

Three years ago I lived in a semi-rural area and used to send the kids up to the ‘corale‘ (milking shed) each day to get a 2lt (3+ pints) bottle of milk straight from the cow. It was wonderful, it was like being transported back to my childhood; it made coffee all the more wicked for drinking. And, you’ve (younger generation) have never had cornflakes that tasted so yummy.

In the US (and, I suspect, in many other parts of the world) it is illegal for the farmers to sell their milk directly to the public. Not because it’s ‘unhealthy’, but because you’ll realise that you are being cheated and stop buying their product in favour of the real McCoy.

But, nobody cares. Nobody bleats about the fact that you’re being lied to and ripped off. You all just accept what the corporations dish out to you. This is why I support Occupy Wall Street, because it’s all about the little things that are being forced on us as well as the major financial crunches.

It all makes me wonder why the Brits want to keep the tradition of school milk.

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