Thursday, April 30, 2009

Famous Pigs

The outbreak of the Swine Flu has been hard on the people who have been stricken by it. Because of miscommunication and wrong information, it's also been hard on the pigs nation around the world.
To remind people that "pigs are out friends", I'm listing some pictures of famous pigs.
See if you could name these 8 piglet starlets. Place the answers in the comment section. Good luck








Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Information

It's been all over the news for the last few days. The "swine flu" in threatening people world wide. I did some research and gathered some information that I hope helps everyone keep healthy.

What is swine flu?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?
First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water. or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. we recommend that when you wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizer may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
For more information about the swine flu go to:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day 2009

It's our planet. It's our home. We're slowly killing it and it's time we all woke up and save it.

This is the message that has been put on the table. The words are easy to say but the mission is a tough one but not an impossible one.

We all need to act now because right now, at this very moment, the Earth's climate is changing and each and every day that we ignore this fact we put tomorrow in jeopardy for us, our children and each living thing on this planet.

April 22, 2009 is Earth Day. Let's make the other 264 days part of this celebration each year.

Here are some interesting and some what troubling facts about the way we use the world around us.

  • The garbage in a landfill stays for a for about 30 years.
  • In 1995 over 200 of the world landfills were full.
  • Each person throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day.
  • One bus carries as many people as 40 cars!
  • We each use about 12,000 gallons of water every year.
  • The 500 million automobiles on earth burn an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day.
  • Approximately 5 million tons of oil produced in the world each ear ends up in the ocean.
  • Recycled paper requires 64% less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp, and can save many trees.
  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
  • Earth is 2/3 water. but all the fresh water streams only represent one hundredth of one percent.
  • 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean every year.
  • It takes 90% less energy to recycle aluminum cans than to make new ones.
  • 5 billion aluminum cans are used each year.
  • 84 percent of all household waste can be recycled.
  • Each year billions of used batteries are thrown away in the United States. This constitutes 88% of the mercury and 54% of the cadmium deposited into our landfills.
  • Approximately only 10 percent of every landfill can be cleaned up.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to watch a TV for three hours - it's equivalent to half a gallon of gasoline.
  • Earth Day is a relatively new holiday and was first celebrated on April 22 in 1970. More than 20 million Americans participated in this first Earth Day celebration.
  • More than 20,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of tinfoil. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
  • The patron Saint of ecologists is St. Francis and the first proclamation of Earth Day was made by the mayor of San Francisco in 1970.
Thank You for PLANET PALS. COM for the terrific Earth Day Facts.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

My Jeep Wrangler

The year was 2001. I was driving up Branford Hill when I passed a Jeep dealership. In the corner of my eye I saw a bright yellow Jeep Wrangler on the lot. Without as second thought, I pulled into the dealership and knew instantly that I wanted that Jeep.

The thing is, ever since I was like 8 years old I wanted a Jeep. I don't know if it was the fun I thought I could have with a vehicle that could plow through deep mud on woodsy trails or the idea of pulling off it's soft top in the summer and being total open to the air around me while driving to the beach. What ever it was, I knew that this was the Jeep I wanted and I was getting it.

The "Wave"

The first thing I was told when I bough the Jeep was that Jeep owners had a secret wave. It's true! When two Jeeps pass each other, it's proper Jeep form to wave to one another. Not to wave back is a down right insult and in time I actually felt that insult when my wave wasn't returned. The "Jeep wave" happened when I passed my first Jeep and it has happened hundreds of times since.

I quickly learned that owning a Jeep was special. It was almost cult like with other owners. The moment you met someone that said they owned a Jeep you were guaranteed to open a whole conversation about it. I understood the "It's A Jeep Thing" slogan and realized the people who didn't have a Jeep would never get it.

People say that everyone's Jeep has it's own personality. Mine was known for it's bright yellow paint and the Superman "S" spare wheel cover. The Superman "S" was special made for me by my friends and became a part of my Jeep that would stand out among other Jeeps.

Not to sound obsessed but I fell in love with this Jeep. There wasn't a moment that I regretted paying what some might feel was far too much money for a car it's size but I didn't care.
Sure I sometimes wished I had a trunk to store something bigger than a shoebox and yes, the sound of the wind slapping on the soft top made it nearly impossible to have a conversation with a fellow passenger when riding on the highway. But that didn't matter much, because the best times I've had with this sun yellow Jeep was usually me riding alone, with the top off and heading toward some adventure somewhere in the country.

"Adventures and Journeys"

I remember the first long road trip I went on was a sunny day in September when I decided to drive from Connecticut to Knoxville, Tennessee to visit a friend. Even as I drove through the twisting roads of Pennsylvania and the green and brown hills of Virginia, I knew this trip was something I would always remember. The highlight was driving through the Smokey Mountains, taking in their wondrous beauty and charm as I could feel the air cool around me as my Jeep drove high up the mountain's road.

My Jeep and I saw the field where United Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. We drove through many chilly October days doorless and with the top off just to have autumn's colors surround us. We plowed through the worse that winter could throw at us. We watched some of the most incredible sun sets while driving and some of the most promising sunrises. This Jeep was my ride through life's adventures and I loved every single minute of it.

"The Long Road"

It's now eight years, hundreds and hundreds of waves and 130,000 miles later. Even though I've taken incredible care of my automobile love, time is starting to take it's toll. There's not a scratch or dent on it's still shinny yellow exterior but it's transmission is starting to slip. The ride is far more rough than I like it to be and on the way to the airport last week she overheated, causing me to miss my flight.

I stepped back and took an honest look. Gas prices are high and my Jeep's 17 mpg is tough to deal with. She needs a lot of work and money put into her. I knew it was new car time but hated thinking about it.

I ended up buying a small Honda with a 33 mpg gas mileage. I admit I love my little car but I don't deny that I don't miss my yellow adventure rider very, very much.
Let's face it, I'm a total Jeep guy and I'm riding in a Honda. That's tough to swallow.

You may ask why I didn't just get another Jeep. My answer is that I had my time with the perfect Jeep. It was a one and only and I have no desire right now to replace it. I think I need some "car" time right now. Something with low gas mileage and a smooth ride. I'm OK with this decision...for now. Maybe down the road I'll feel different but for now I'm going to hang on to the incredible memories and fun that I had and only hope to ride a new road to new adventures with my little white Honda.
OMG, just saying that makes me miss my Jeep.