Monthly Archives: January 2019

I Met a Turtle

lili1So I met this sea turtle named Lili. Actually, she was introduced to me by a mutual friend during a dive trip in the West Indies recently. Our friend first met Lili (pronounced “Leelee”) when she swam up to him with a plastic bag wrapped around her neck. Current trends in turtle fashions still mainly go to the simple shell look with no accessories, so I can understand her dismay at being forced into that condition. Needless to say, the bag was removed and a friendship immediately made.

Sadly this wasn’t the end of Lili’s plastic perplexities. Not so long later, my diver friend encountered Lili unsuccessfully trying to pass a plastic bag that she’d mistakenly swallowed. While I’m no biologist, I’m pretty sure that there’s no amount of fiber a sea turtle can add to her diet that’s going to pass a plastic bag. The poor creature had lili4managed to only poop out part of it and the rest was stuck. Thankfully, her new diver friend was again there to help her and extracted the bag.

Now, whenever she sees him swimming by in her part of the warm Caribbean waters, she comes to say hello. On our dive, she swam straight up to my face and bumped her beak into my mask, then glided over my head, thumping the bottom of her shell on my forehead. I’m choosing to interpret this as a hearty welcome in turtle speak. Plus, she gets a kick out of swimming through scuba divers’ bubbles.
Lili is lucky. She found a friendly diver right when she needed him – twice. How many turtles don’t? How many turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, rays, and so many birds – the list of incredible creatures goes on – how many don’t?

Now is the time that we all must pull our heads out of our shells and take another look at our dependence of single-use plastics. Do you really need a plastic bag for whatever you’re buying? It’s not just the straw, it’s the plastic lid you stick it into and the plastic cup. Stop already with plastic water and soda bottles! How many whales have to wash up full of plastic trash before we make some changes?

Learn more about impacts on underwater environments by watching this award-winning documentary and follow @SavingOceans on Twitter! Do it for my friend Lili! lili2


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Toilet and Taquito Trouble

product recall round grunge ribbon stampAt the end of October last year, 2,490,593 pounds of frozen taquitos were recalled with the threat of salmonella and listeria poisoning. Aptly and ironically called “Go-Go Taquitos,” the Texas-based Ruiz Foods products on the list included Beef & Cheese flavor, Buffalo Style Cooked Glazed Chicken, and Chipotle Chicken Wrapped in a Battered Flour Tortilla. Do you want me to wait while you go check your freezer?

A spokesman for the company said, “Don’t eat these.” Despite the belief that I’m just one intestinal parasite away from my goal weight, not eating these seemed like a foregone conclusion for me even before I found out they could potentially poison me. If, however, you are a more indiscriminate forager of frozen foods and ingested some, you’ll know you got the taquito Trojan Horse if you experienced, “diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, stiff neck, confusion, convulsions preceded by diarrhea” according to the company’s statement. I’m not clear, though, how that’d be different from any other experience with frozen taquitos. But I’m not judging, just passing along the warning.

In completely unrelated news, 1.4 million toilets were recalled around that same time with the threat they could explode. The explosions have resulted in shattered tanks and tank lids fully launched off the toilet. At last count, 23 people have been injured, one requiring surgery, when their Flushmate II 501-B Pressure-assisted Flushing System exploded without warning.

If a man’s home is his castle, his bathroom is his throne room, right? This is the one place he goes that he should feel a sense of peace, quiet and safety — of course right up until his toilet explodes. Then he’s left with betrayal, porcelain shrapnel, lacerations, and one hell of a difficult story to explain to the paramedics and his homeowners’ insurance agent.

The Flushmate II is common in toilet brands sold at Lowe’s and Home Depot from December 2015 through September 2016. A spokesperson for the company that manufactured the flushing system said, “Stop using immediately.” Which I’m almost sure means immediately after you figure out if you have one of these in your toilet. Don’t just opt for the bush in the back yard for the sake of safety if you don’t have to. Unless you also had the taquitos. In which case, take all precautions.

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I hereby resolve… pffft

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions-620x469_medium-300x226Oh yes, children. It’s that time of year: the ending of one year and the clean slate of another. That magical time when you believe you can do something different and be something different. It’s time to start making those New Year’s Resolutions, which, depending on the gravity of the resolution, may only last until pie is served tonight at dinner. What the heck, I’m going to make a few anyway.

This year, I’m resolving to answer every robo-call and unidentified number in a foreign language invented and understood only by me. However, it will be based on a long lost ancient Burmese slang, which I will also make up because I don’t even speak modern Burmese let alone the other stuff. Since candidates rarely hire Hindu monks to make campaign calls, I’m feeling pretty cocky that I won’t get called out on this ruse. And it guarantees I’ll annoy them a lot more than they annoy me.

Furthermore, I am resolving to stay away from Chex mix whenever and wherever I encounter it. I’m suspicious that heroin is often a secret ingredient that forms an immediate and unbreakable addiction. You only have to ingest one pretzel/peanut/cereal square combo to be headed down the road to never stopping. There is no such thing as a Chex mix serving size that does not fit in a five pound bucket. Therefore, my only answer is to go cold turkey on Chex mix, so please, no matter how much I beg, don’t give me any.

I’m also resolving to not just watch television shows about people exercising in lieu of actually exercising. Sitting on the couch with a bowl of Chex mix watching American Ninja Warrior, Biggest Loser, and that new show that Dwayne the Rock Johnson hosts called something about muscled up young people doing really hard physical activities probably isn’t going to make me healthier, stronger or skinnier. It may convince me not to attempt to pull a fully inflated tire off a commercial big rig and try to flip it over my head. But I’m pretty sure there was only a small margin of possibility that was going to happen anyway.

Finally, I resolve to be less snarky and sarcastic… Yeah, whatever. Can someone pass me the Chex mix?

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