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Erich Bloodaxe BSN

Profile Information

Member since: Sat Mar 15, 2014, 09:23 AM
Number of posts: 14,733

About Me

Erich S Bloodaxe, PhD, MS, BS, BA, BSN, ADN, RN. (It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life ;) Democratic socialist by nature, if not by registration atm. Spent a lot of of time on Daily Kos, decided I needed to branch out a bit. Currently spending more time at jackpineradicals.org

Journal Archives

Yum, just YUM!

Ok, so I gathered and pitted and quartered more of the sour cherries today, enough to get me to the 3 cup mark. But I happened also to read that you really want to use them ASAP, preferably the same day you pick them, so rather than waiting until I had the four cups the Ball recipe calls for, I'd just make 3/4 of a recipe.

Boiled up the 3 cups of cherries with the 3.6875 cups of sugar and a teaspoon of margarine (to keep foaming down) and a teaspoon of almond extract. Added my 1.5 pouches of pectin, boiled the minute more, and started ladling the mix into my sterilized jars and sealing with wax. Got everything sealed up, then used my finger to scoop some off the ladle to taste.

Magnificent. I got 6 jars (8 oz), and every one a treasure. I think I have GOT to plant more bush cherries. I had bought two originally, but the one under the cherry trees died off, I think they really need full sun.

Also just placed an order for some saffron crocus, which I'm hoping I can keep alive as container flowers, to make them easier to propagate as they divide.
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Thu Jun 4, 2015, 11:58 AM (3 replies)

Sour cherry recipes? Preferable jams or conserves or the like?

Anyone got any 'omg, this is fantastic stuff' recipes that they've tried at home?

I've got two cherry trees and a bush cherry. The cherry trees are sweet, supposed to be 'black lapin', but to be honest, I've never seen the fruit get anywhere near black. But there's some bug that loves them, and basically any cherry I don't lose to brown rot, I lose to larvae eating them from inside and blue jays eating them from the outside.

The sour cherry bush, however, is producing fine, and has (knock on wood) no signs of brown rot, and apparently no bugs that like the fruit. Over the last couple of days, I pulled a salad bowl's worth of fruit off it, and now have 2 cups of pitted and halved sour cherries. I'll possibly get another 2 cups of fruit off it this year, but I want to make something now, before the fruit I've picked and cut goes off. It won't make a lot, but I bet I can get three or four 8 oz jars out of it.

So, any must try favorite recipes for sour cherries?
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Tue Jun 2, 2015, 11:12 AM (7 replies)

Ack! I just cut into a field mouse nest while shoveling up an abandoned raised bed that had gotten

overshadowed as the cherry trees grew. I don't think I killed any of the pups outright, but I might have injured them, since they were all still hairless and with closed eyes, no bigger than the last joint or so of my little finger. I went ahead and put a large flat rock over the hole I'd cut in the top of the hollowed area they were in and carefully covered it with dirt, so that they're hidden from predators (like my beagles), but I hope the adults come back and clean out some of the fallen dirt and make sure they're ok.

More of the potatoes are leafing out now, and the birds are starting to feast on the cherries. Got more tomatoes and peppers in and growing over in Dad's yard, and the raspberries in his yard are coming along quicker than those in mine (mine are more in shade from the apples and cherries), but none anywhere near ripe yet. Gotten 5 strawberries out of the beds so far, so probably will be picking pints at a time within a week or two.

Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Mon May 25, 2015, 09:32 AM (8 replies)

The disrespect Republicans (and Democrats who buy into their rhetoric) show to workers disgusts me.

I've got Morning Joe providing background noise behind me. I wasn't paying attention, but as I finished reading another OP, my brain suddenly tuned in on the words, and there were a pair of smarmy types talking to Mika. Something about an ambulance driver who, I'm guessing, wasn't being paid much, and they pulled out that crap about 'the solution for that is education and training, to get a better job.'

I'm sorry but that is pure elitism and classism. The old 'If only you had the education I have, you'd be earning hundreds of thousands just like me!' Which is crapola. First off, no capitalist economy can provide every single person with the 'top wages'. Even if 100% of your populace were trained as neurosurgeons, there simply wouldn't be a need for 315 million neurosurgeons.

Jobs exist not because some 'job creator' is feeling benevolent, but because those jobs are NEEDED. Businesses don't hire people they don't actually need. That janitorial staff is every bit as necessary as the day trader or the doctor, or else they wouldn't have a job. Get rid of housekeeping, and your rates of people dying in hospitals would skyrocket.

Don't tell me the 'solution' for crappy, substandard wages is 'get an education so you can get a better job'. The solution is LIVING WAGES for EVERY JOB. Every job is important in one way or another, or it simply wouldn't exist.

If the job exists, it's worth paying a living wage.
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Wed May 20, 2015, 08:57 AM (0 replies)

Blue Buffalo foods not necessarily what the ingredient list claims. Testing reveals byproducts.

First, the link to the independent testing report.

Apparently there's been a lawsuit ongoing between Purina and Blue Buffalo for quite a while now, and things are coming to a head.

Blue Buffalo, with over a billion in sales last year, has been the fastest growing company in the pet food market, in large part based upon high prices justified (supposedly) by premium ingredients that avoid things like 'chicken byproduct' (ground up beaks, feet, intestines, feathers, etc) and filler grains (corn, wheat) more prevalent in other dog and cat foods. Somebody smelled a rat, though, and Purina got Windsor Labs to do analyses to find out just what's going into a bunch of the Blue Buffalo branded products.

The results were not pleasant. Some products contained up to 22% poultry byproduct, despite claims that no such byproduct was in the product. Small amounts of corn or rice also showed up in products labeled as having 'no grain' as well. Of the products tested, only the 'Adult Basics - Turkey & Potato' for dogs actually tested without any poultry byproduct or grains. Of course, once you got farther down in the report, it turned out that the ingredients actually found in it included 48% chicken, 22% chicken meal - not turkey. For people trying to avoid foreign grown or processed poultry (No turkeys in China) this means that even though you managed to avoid 'byproduct' and 'grain', you still have no idea where the chicken in the product came from, when you were supposedly paying for turkey.

The Poisoned Pets blog post goes into more detail about the lawsuit and how the chairman of the company is a former ad man.

Bishop realized that getting into the pet food market by starting small with contract manufacturers making the product was a no-brainer and that all one had to do was, “Slap on a good label, come up with a slogan, and off you go.” He already knew it would be a cinch to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes, because, as he said, “There were already a lot of smoke and mirrors in how pet food was advertised, and that was the sort of stuff we were good at.”

Some folks might have seen me mention in comments how my male beagle died this January from kidney failure. He also had damage to his liver and pancreas. While I have no specific reason to believe his death was related to a diet of Blue Buffalo, before we switched to BB, he had been overweight, but as soon as we switched to it, he started losing weight, which at first we thought was a 'good thing'. But he never stopped losing weight, and was down to 20 lbs by the time he died, around 2/3 or what a healthy beagle probably weighs. So after reading these articles, I just have a nagging feeling that his diet might have played a role in his early death.

We've adopted another beagle, and after reading how analyses are showing that we're not getting what we've been paying for from Blue Buffalo, I can say for certain that we won't be buying it again in future.
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Thu May 14, 2015, 01:24 PM (8 replies)

Watching the Tony Robinson Jr shooting press conference.

Shooting by police of a 19 yr old unarmed black man.

The DA type giving the press conference seems to be trotting out a lot of personal extraneous crap that has nothing to do with whether or not a police officer broke the law in shooting an unarmed man. He's still dragging things out but I'm guessing he's going to let the cop off. And... I think he just did. No charges against the officer if I understand him correctly. Black lives don't matter enough in Wisconsin.

Edited to add: Ok, so the cop shot Robinson because he hit his head, was afraid that Robinson would 'take his gun and shoot him' if he went unconscious. So Robinson was not shot for what Robinson had done or for having a weapon, but because the police was afraid that he couldn't maintain control over his own weapon, even though, if I understand it right, Robinson had not actually made any attempt to take the gun.
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Tue May 12, 2015, 03:57 PM (2 replies)

Am I simply missing the OPs on the Baltimore Freddie Gray killing by police?

The story seems to be getting a lot of press on TV, but if there are ongoing OPs about it, I seem to be missing them (or having some sort of brain blank episode and not remembering having read them.) I think I saw one or two early on, then it seems to have disappeared.

I realize there are new police killings of black men what seems to be every single day, but off DU the story seems to be getting a lot more coverage.

(This is the guy who was chased down and arrested because he 'made eye contact with police' then turned and ran away. Thankfully, somebody cameraphoned them, and you can hear him screaming in pain after they take him down to the pavement to 'secure' him. They drag him to a police van and ignore his pleas for medical attention for 40+ minutes, a week later he's dead, and they say his spine was something like 80% severed.)

Now obviously he wasn't running with an 80% severed spine, and he was in police custody from that point on until his death. Something happened between the time they 'took him down' and he started screaming in agony and that 40 minutes later when he finally got medical attention. Now the media seems to keep talking about his time in the van, the fact that no seatbelt was put on him, etc, but if I were a betting man, my money would be on it happening just before he started screaming in pain. Which would mean that however his spine was almost completely severed, it was a direct result of what police did to him, and not simply to some sort of negligence in 'securing him' with a seatbelt in the van.

My guess is that the police, knowing they can't simply blow this one off entirely, are angling to have it passed off as simply some sort of 'accident' from him not being seatbelted in the van. They don't want to admit that something they did while 'subduing' him directly led to his death, just as in the Eric Garner case. That he was killed BY a policeman, and not simply 'had an accident' while in custody.
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Thu Apr 23, 2015, 07:48 AM (19 replies)

Clinton and Trade - What's going on?

First, before I forget again, I saw a comment saying HRC was actually not a NAFTA booster, but lost track of it before responding. So here's a link and a comment from same, courtesy of Barack Obama.

Clinton on NAFTA

"Yesterday, Sen. Clinton also said I'm wrong to point out that she once supported NAFTA," Obama said. "But the fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for president. A couple years after it passed, she said NAFTA was a 'free and fair trade agreement' and that it was 'proving its worth.' And in 2004, she said, 'I think, on balance, NAFTA has been good for New York state and America.' "
(This was a comment made during the 2008 primary.)

Second, another link, this one on Clinton and the TPP.

A Timeline of Hillary Clinton's Evolution on Trade

As President Obama seeks fast-track authority for a 12-country Pacific trade deal and Congress inches toward giving it to him, Clinton is hedging on a deal she once strongly backed.


Yet, previously as secretary of state, Clinton called the Trans-Pacific Partnership the "gold standard in trade agreements." In her second memoir, Hard Choices, released in 2014, Clinton lauded the deal, saying it "would link markets throughout Asia and the Americas, lowering trade barriers while raising standards on labor, the environment, and intellectual property." She even said it was "important for American workers, who would benefit from competing on a more level playing field." She also called it "a strategic initiative that would strengthen the position of the United States in Asia."

Several times this morning, I've heard MSNBC talking head types say Clinton is 'distancing herself from the TPP'.

Yet we see a history here. When not campaigning, Clinton is firmly pro-free trade, and her proclaimed reasons for being such are virtually identical from deal to deal. But when problems arise with the deals she supports, suddenly there is an effort to proclaim that the problems were other people's fault. With NAFTA (see the timeline article) when it becomes obvious that NAFTA sucked rocks for America, she switched from playing it up to blaming it on the prior administration, and ignoring her prior comments in favour of it at Davos or even in her own books.

So now that it looks like many Democratic voters remember what happened with NAFTA and don't want 'NAFTA on steroids', here we go again, with politically expedient comments to distance herself from a deal she previously lauded as a 'gold standard' before she was campaigning.

So what's the truth? Does she want TPP or not? Does she now have legitimate concerns about it, or is she only worried about losing votes in 2016, and will be happy to support it again as soon as she is safely in the Oval Office?
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:41 AM (7 replies)

It is to vomit. Judith Miller pushing new book to say 'We were not lied into war' on Morning Joke.

Miller pretending the war criminals of the Bush regime simply 'got it wrong', saying 'no evidence that they lied'.

Historic revisionism on a monumental level, and the morning joke crew are lapping it up, and sympathizing with her whining about being a scapegoat and not a cheerleader for war.
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 07:39 AM (42 replies)

Reflections on right wing ideology underlying their approach to all issues...

I happened to be over at my parents' house this morning, and the TV was on in the background as I was helping my father with some things. At one point there was a lull in our conversation, and I started hearing what was being said on the TV, rather than it just being background noise. As it happens, it was a western, probably made in the 70s or so, and at that point in time the 'school marm' was teaching an evening class on reading to adults of the community. One student had just read 'The duck swims on the lake.' off the chalk board, when a younger looking, well dressed man, perhaps in his 30s, then said 'The duck may swim on the lake, but my Father owns the lake.' The teacher, irritated, dismissed the class for the night, but the rich scion type came up and tried to get her to 'go on a picnic' with him. When she said no, he pulled the entitled 'Nobody says no to a 'whatever my name is' man' line out.

This rattled around my head for a while, then collided with something said about politics on MSNBC later in the day and got me thinking about money in politics. Now obviously, we all know the reason rich folks love to say that money is speech is that they have more money, and can use it to speak loudest to politicians, and make sure politicians work for them more than for the rest of us. But going back to the scene in the Western, it suddenly gelled for me just why Republicans always want to privatize everything, why they hate taxes, and why they love to talk about charity.

Control. Sure, they want to make money off privatization. And they hate to have even a smidgeon of their 'hard earned' money taken away. But beyond that, on a deeper level, taxes are an abstraction that prevents them from using their money to directly control those around them. Poverty is an economic club over a poor person's head, held in the hands of the wealthy, that says 'Do as I say, or die of starvation or exposure or disease.' When public services are provided to the rest of us non-wealthy through taxation, the wealthy don't get to hold that club, even though 'their money' is backing much of those services.

When services are privatized, the poor have to take out loans or subsist on charity. Both of which leave them directly vulnerable to that economic club over their head. When the rich banker's son wants to make demands, 'No one can say no' without directly endangering themselves by risking his anger. Maybe he holds the lease to your house, or has loans out to the company where you work.

Every time a right winger works to remove another layer of the social safety net, to tear holes in it and leave the poor or middle class less secure, it's to make them more vulnerable to economic blackmail. It's a way to impose sanctions on the 99% to try to gain even more direct control over what we can and can not do by controlling our economics. To tear down the barriers of government by the people, for the people that loosen the control the haves have over the have nots.

Sure they want your money. But they want power over your lives even more. The Kochs have more money than they can spend, can continue to make ever more money. But that's not enough. They want to be able to hold their giant economic club over the heads of every other American, in an America where we're all truly on our own, without a government that can feed us when we're hungry, give us medical care when we're sick. They want us back at the 'company store', dependent upon them for everything, and able to be controlled and be born as they believe we should be born, live as they believe we should live, die as they believe we should die.

They don't want us to be 'independent'. They just want to make sure we're dependent upon them, not 'the government'.
Posted by Erich Bloodaxe BSN | Sun Apr 5, 2015, 08:18 PM (6 replies)
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