Thursday, June 28, 2007

SOS!!! Putting This Out to My Trusted Readers....

Alright guys... so I know I'm usually the one bringing and breaking down the information so it becomes palatable, but I'm calling on all your self-professed dog experts out there!
My girlfriend has a cute, just turned 1 year old Toy Yorkie. This guy has energy TO SPARE! And for the most part, he's the most adorable freakin' thing you'll ever have the pleasure of spinning around the living room with, but sometimes, especially when trying to train him, he's unmanageable. It's like he's got the most severe case of ADHD you've ever seen. Granted I understand he's still a puppy, but typically after the 4th or 5th time you correct a dog on something, they typically pick up on it that it's something they shouldn't do. I can tell he hears us when we correct him, and it does stick.. for about 2 seconds. One night after battling with him over not coming on the bed and climbing all over us with a toy to play at 4am in the morning, there were threats levied (and not by me...) that he just might find himself flying out the second story window. Needless to say, it can be very frustrating.
I'm looking for good training techniques that helped begin to establish obedience, and usher out the "headless chicken" puppy act. When's the right time to start?

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

This food safety/recall issue is now officially a three-ring circus...

I almost have to thank Menu Foods, Inc. for colossal mistake they made in using the melamine-tainted gluten back in early 2007. Now that may sound bad, but ever since that happened, a much needed light has been shone down on an area of security that I don't believe many Americans considered - our food. More importantly, our imported foods.

Over the past week, I've read a continuing string of stories that continues to blow my mind. Yet, it's so obvious. Unfortunately, we've come to a point in our nation's history where we want things cheaper, faster, and above all else... NOW! Capitalizing on our market mentality is our precious friend, the communist country of China. A country that for all it's power over controlling and dictating it's citizens, just can't seem to quite figure out how to exercise that same authority over it's manufacturers that are shipping to the US. In all reality, while they state their concerns, I'm taking a real guess that they probably couldn't care less.

First I read about how our fondness for cheap, quick product solutions has gotten us into trouble on products from everything like toothpaste to pain medicines. Bogus products stating they have the "active" ingredient in them, that have no such ingredient at all. One example was chondroitin, and how millions of dollars worth of faulty products are bought every year that are a complete scam.

Second, I read another article about how just this past month, a Chinese manufacturer of dumplings was recently reprimanded for "repackaging" TWO YEAR OLD FILLING into new dumplings. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!! I guess I shouldn't be surprised about this. I mean if China can't even get Communism right, why should I believe they'd get a free market capitalist society down either?

And now.. for my third and final trick....

I'm just going to quote the news article I read this in because it says it all....

"China's regulatory standards chief pledged Wednesday to update and boost enforcement of food safety rules as the country faces intense international pressure for exporting unsafe products, from tainted pet food to popular children's toys manufactured with lead paint."

I'm sorry but can anyone really take that seriously?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Thought For The Day

Here's something I was sent by my grandparents from Canada. Couldn't help but laugh when I read it...

If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can overlook it when something goes wrong through no fault of yours and those you love take it out on you,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have prejudice against creed, colour, religion, or politics,

Then, my friend, you are almost as good as your dog.

Have a great weekend! :D

Friday, June 15, 2007

Have Lawmakers Finally Seen the Light On the Lack of Security On America's Foods?

Due to the seeming increase in such events as E. coli, Salmonella and even the most recent melamine contamination inside America's shores, US lawmakers are pushing a bill that will take all food safety responsibilities and place it under one common federal agency.
After a little bit of my own research, it was quite evident how convoluted and "mismashed" the system really is (I apologize for the technical jargon, but I couldn't quite express it any better way.... hahahaha..) There are currently 12 federal agencies, enforcing 35 laws in keeping our food safe. The two major agencies are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As described by the article on CNN's website, simply put the USDA is in charge of meats and poultry, and the FDA is in charge of dairy and vegetables.
With over 22 different E. coli breakouts since 1995, and consistent cuts to the agencies budget's, the overall picture is not heartening.
The goal of these lawmakers is embodied in the the Food Safety Act of 2007, the bill that they have introduced, which would create a Food Safety Administration responsible for ensuring the security of the food supply from all forms of contamination.
I agree that something must be done, and while further government awareness is crucial, I don't always believe that new legislation, a brand new behemoth centralized agency, and a pack of concerned lawmakers will cause greater action. I want to believe it will, but you might as well toss a penny in a fountain on Capitol Hill. You might find you get the same results.
Whereas the original design of the Government of the United States of America is to first and foremost protect it's citizens, once again I believe it will be the triumph of the individualistic spirit of each and every American that will ultimately beat this. That is the spirit upon which this great country was founded and grown, and I don't believe that kind of attitude becomes old.
So stay educated. Read about what's going on and protect yourself with a proactive mentality. Don't let yourself become victim to the standards of others. Set your own HIGH standards and hold the rest accountable.

Related News Stories

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

WARNING: Salmonella detected in recalled dry dog food

Was just perusing the online world today and found this very important recall on Ol' Roy Complete Nutrition dog foods. While this recall is unrelated to the original melamine-related recall, the FDA reports that it detected levels of Salmonella in Tennessee-based Brentwood Pet Food company's 55-lbs bag of dry dog food.
This product was available in 69 different Walmart locations in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio.

Affected bags have the code 04 0735 1 and a "best by" date of April 13, 2008.
Doane Pet Care is a division of the privately held, McLean-based Mars Inc. manufacturer of candy and pet foods.
Consumers with questions can call 800-624-7387 or find further information at

If you have purchased and fed your pet this food, please visit a veterinarian immediately for medical attention.,2933,278699,00.html

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Menu Foods, Inc. thinks it'll survive, while other US Stock Feed go under the scope...

The legend continues....
Late in May, Menu Foods, Inc. confidently pronounced that they, as a company, will survive this fallout from the recall. Due to company assets and increased lines of credit of over 20 million US dollars, Chief Executive Paul Henderson said on a conference call that they are sure that Menu Foods, Inc. will weather this storm.
You know... He's probably right. But I'm not happy about it. Once again, just to bring in the REAL focus in this story, even though Menu Foods was the company that manufactured the foods, they weren't actually at fault for the tainting of the wheat gluten additive. That responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of our beloved cheap labor, Capitalist-Communist partners, China. The fault for not properly testing the gluten before using it to manufacture the food is where Menu Foods screwed the whole thing up. I, for one, am hoping that this will begin to revolutionize the industry as a whole and make even the "big guys" sit up and realize that it's in their best interest to provide high quality, healthy, REAL food for their clients, America's pets. Because if there's one thing I know about the American market after having watched millions of American's buy a $5 cup of coffee everyday at Starbucks, it's that we are willing to pay whatever price is brought to bare, so long as the value is there. So go ahead "Big guys!" Raise the bar on pet foods, rather than constantly trying to cut corners and offer the lowest possible CRAP.
Another noteworthy story that's surfaced recently is how melamine is being used as a binding agent inside of feed fed to our livestock. Now granted, the industry and US Officials alike insist that it is used in such small quantities that it could not harm the fish or livestock it is being fed to, but you have to think about how all these things are being introduced into the food chain. After all, this is the very food we are feeding ourselves and our children.
I'm just growing tired of all this spinning of stories and heavy handed media "calming." I'm just not convinced that it's all so easy to take when it seems that while the lifespan of the population may be getting longer, I'm not seeing more people living longer, healthier lives. It's just not clicking with me....


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