Thursday, December 29, 2005

The cool has been restored...

A mantra that was coined in my earlier years can now be re-employed.

In high school, Bobina and I, used the phrase:

'safety is cool'

Until recent weeks I was extremely cool. I am talkin' Fonzie cool.
However, months ago my driver side seat belt broke, the pretension spring had essentially broke, without going into a lot of detail, it just broke. And I could not afford to replace it. So, I spent a few hours disassembling the passenger side seat belt to remove the spring and put it on the driver side pretensioner. That worked well for awhile until the same thing happened to that spring.

Well goddamn...

So, I floated around town without actual seat belts. I would strap it on for two reasons. 1) So John Q. Law wouldn't nail me down for it and 2) for the simple comfort of the feeling of having the seat belt on. Naturally, had I been in an accident, I would have been picking teeth out of the dash board or they would have been sponging me off the pavement.

I decided to finally suck it up and buy the belts post xmas bonus. A little history on this. I spoke with my not-so favorite mechanic, who by the way I won't be going back to, and he was going to charge me about $175 of labor on top of the $132 cost in parts. This, times two, was not acceptable or even remotely affordable. Friday, I finally had them order the parts. I was told they would call me when they arrived, naturally as shitty customer service would have it, they didn't. So, I showed up and after standing there for almost 15 minutes, I was given my -prepaid- parts. Not before being asked when I was bringing the car in to have them do it. I told his ass never because I can't afford for him to do it. What an asshole to try and make $350 on a seat belt installation. And on top of it, days before he was going to try and stick it to me for my brakes. He was going to charge me $440 for just the -REAR- brakes, not all four. And that, according to him, was the going rate for replacing parts. WTF? I originally assumed that $440 covered all four, but they called me and said that it would cost another $440 for the front. What a cock smoker.

So, today, I pulled out the trusty Craftsman socket set, grabbed the 14mm socket (because it is a Japanese car and they do use metric fasteners) and started taking off all three of the bolts, and the cover right underneath the seat belt. It took me more time to read the goddamn 'instructions' (they weren't really instructions but they helped) than it did to take the old belts off, and put the new ones on. In less than 25 minutes I had the driver side in and tested. The passenger side took even less than that. And oh how I like the new belts, very nice indeed. They retract a lot better than expected. Nice job MQ.

So, 45 minutes of my time, I saved $350 dollars. Hell, even the local dealership was willing to be cool and do it for FREE to earn my business. Just a tip to those small businesses that I keep hearing I'm supposed to help support. It's one thing to have a slightly higher price because you need to maintain a decent margin for a profit because your vendors don't give you such a huge discount for volume, but when you go out of your way to try and fuck people over, that's when you go out of business. So fuck you TD, you can eat my ass.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fun with arrhythmia...

The ticker has been reliable up until now.

Now, I feel like I have a fucking anxiety attack all of the time. I know, I already have an appointment so no preaching. A week is long enough to see it go away, and when it hasn't, then hop on in to see the doc, so I'm going in tomorrow.

I'm down to 12 oz. of caffeine a day, just to avoid the fucking withdrawals. Plenty o' water has been on the menu. Last night, I was feeling so worked up while driving, that when I got to the mall, I was speed walking (literally) trying to wear myself down because my heart was racing like mad. After a good, hellacious, walk, I was a bit calm. Then my legs caved in on me. I could barely sleep last night.

So, now here I sit working on finding serenity as to prevent a premature death. My heart is going ape shit. I have that crazy feeling in my throat, as if I've been scared shitless but all I'm doing is blogging.

Reference #1

Arrhythmias are disorders of the regular rhythmic beating of the heart. They're common - as many as 2.2 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation (one type of rhythm problem). Arrhythmias can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence. They also may indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death.


Well kids, I'm off for another fun filled evening of no alcohol, no pepsi, and no kama sutra.

The Thai food today was very good though. I even had him throw in extra tofu. Best part about asking for more tofu, is not getting the extra tofu you asked for. Fekkers.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Story Time...

When I was in third grade my school had a Famous People Parade. Every third grade class in this small town participated in it. Still do to this day even...

All the kids would get to choose a famous person, do a bit of "research" and write up a blurb about who they were and why they were famous. We had to dress up like the famous people and had to choose a bit of music that would play while we walked down the aisle and up onto the stage. We could pick anyone we wanted to but the teachers were good about forcing us to pick people who had actually done good things rather then just movie stars. I think the end result was hi-larious and wish that I could find a tape of it somewhere. Perhaps a visit back to that elementary school would do the trick.

I remember that I was sick the day we got to pick our famous people. I remember looking at some names the next day in school and realizing that all the good famous people were gone. I remember the teacher getting impatient and just kind of thrusting my famous person upon me. She didnt seem to understand what i knew to be fact; (although, at the time, i doubt i could have said it in these words) that my famous person choice would stick with me from that moment on. It was a monumental decision...

Shirley Temple Black

Oh yes, the curly topped cutie.

My mother made my outfit. I had a sequined tie and cuffs. I wore tap shoes. I skipped down the aisle and onto the stage to the song "The Good Ship Lollypop" nearly slipping and cracking my cute little curly top head open not once, not twice, but THRICE times. (I cant pass up the rhyme.) I had curly hair, which i hated. So much so that I said i looked like a basketball with curls. My mother sold that story to Readers Digest for $300, but did I see any of the money? oh hell no.

I cant for the life of me remember what i said about being Shirley Temple Black. I know I mentioned the movies...that I mentioned the Ambassadorship (is this even a word?) to the Republic of Ghana. I dont remember much else.

If you would like to see how much I am like Shirley Temple Black, click here and replace Shirley, or Shirley Temple, or Shirley Temple Black with Bird. You will see that we have a lot in common.

What...you dont think I am a joyous tonic? Perhaps you need to get to know me better hmm?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Closure...

A list of interesting ways to close a toilet lid. The list is compiled in order of difficulty and with the amount of noise generated.

  1. dropping the lid straight down. high amount of noise followed by the cringe that everyone just heard the toilet lid fall.
  2. dropping the lid straight down from 1/2 way mark. noise conditions may vary, though still audible.
  3. placing your knee over the seat without raising your leg and catching the lid with your thigh right above your knee. very minimal noise depending on how well you do with letting the lid come to rest.
  4. as you begin to stand-up from a sit down head call, the lid will rest against your back and as you move forward, the lid will come to a rest. noise is only slightly noticeable.
  5. stand to the right side of the toilet facing away from it. with your right hand, grab the lid and gently bring the lid down and release. your hand will be above the lid in a natural position which could assist in avoiding carpel tunnel. noise is only as loud as you let it.
  6. standing in front with your left side facing the toilet, place your left hand on the lid, picking your right foot up behind your left leg and place it above the seat. push the lid with your hand and catch the falling lid with your foot. then slowly drop the lid to its final position. noise is mitigated completely, unless you fall over and crack your skull on the sink. this could be mitigated by the use of protective head gear.

In no way should this list be taken as a complete list. This list was not a result of an educational study nor was it created with the intent as being an aid for those with the inability to close. The information is provided as is with no warranty and should not be used in conjunction with auto closers nor should you modify a bidet and use it for practice on it. We will -not- be held liable for any head injurys or muscle cramps experienced from closing while using the above list. If you wish to contact the author of this list, please stick your pinky in your anus first prior to contacting the author. Please note, we will not be held liable for any lacerations to your anus, colon, or rectum; from here on known as "pooper". Your pooper is your responsibility and sticking your pinky in your pooper, or any other object in your pooper, is the responsibility of the stickee and said pooper.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Laser Printer / Photocopier Health Risks


Reference #1
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Photocopiers and laser printers both produce ozone which, if present in high enough concentrations, can cause health problems such as eye, nose and throat irritation, dermatitis, headaches, premature ageing and possible reproductive and cancer hazards. People suffering from respiratory ailments are particularly sensitive to the effects of ozone.

Problems are likely to arise if the machines are:

-badly positioned: the symptoms are likely to be felt by people working in cramped, overcrowded conditions;
-poorly maintained: internal filters, which break down the ozone, clog up over time, particularly in poorly ventilated offices. They should be changed periodically;
-used frequently or for lengthy runs.

Proper siting of machines, ventilation and maintenance are therefore essential.

Ozone is a sweet-smelling and highly toxic gas. If you can smell ozone the level is too high. There are big variations in the amount produced by different machines and safety representatives should be consulted over the purchase of new models.

Other chemicals associated with photocopiers are:

-selenium and cadmium sulphide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide;
-carbon black contained in toners is a nuisance dust which contains carcinogens.
-Toners must be handled with care and gloves worn. German consumer organisation tests have found that toners often release harmful substances.

Noise and ultraviolet light emitted during the copying process are also hazards associated with copiers.

-Where possible, no-one should work in the same room as a photocopier;
-if unavoidable, machines should be sited at least three metres away from workers.
-Where possible, laser printers should not be sited on desktops or workstations beside workers.




Reference #2
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laser Printers and the Problems they cause in the Indoor Environment
Health effects associated with laser printers
Pollutants emitted by laser printers
Minimizing the health effects from laser printers

Hazards associated with laser printers

Operating equipment such as computers, laser printers, and photocopiers has been associated with sick building syndrome and health effects due to the release of chemical gases and particles. These emissions can result from the inks and toners, papers, carbonless paper, coatings on transparencies, glue on adhesive labels, the mechanical print process, plastic construction materials, circuit boards, and residual cleaning chemicals. Many of these chemicals will decrease with usage of the product such as computers. Others are the result of the mechanical operation and will always be there when the machine is operating. Laser printers in particular have been associated with1,2:

Headaches

Mucous membrane irritation

Dryness of the throat, eyes and nose

Laser printers can emit:

VOCs: Laser printers and photocopiers have been shown to emit VOCs such as aldehydes, styrene, xylenes, ethylbenzene and hydrocarbons, many resulting from the inks and toners. Computers, in contrast, often release chemicals with strong odors such as phenol and plasticizers.

Particulates: Particulates are released by an operating machine. They may result from paper debris, toners, and inks. Many of these particles are in the respirable size and some agencies are concerned about the presence of carbon black.

Ozone: Laser printers create ozone through their "corona wires" that apply a charge to the paper so the ink will cling to it. However, newer models use a different system to reduce the amount of ozone produced by the printer. Concentrations of ozone in a room where laser printers are being used can exceed the currently regulated standard for ozone in the outdoor air. Ozone is a strong lung irritant. Many machines have filters to extract the ozone emissions.

Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is commonly emitted. It may be associated with papers and coatings on papers or as a constituent of inks and toners.

Do the following to minimize health effects from laser printers:

Choose low-emission machines: Buy printers that can do the print job while contributing minimal emissions to the air. These printers have been designed to emit little chemical and particle emissions while operating. For more information, see www.greenguard.org.

Ozone filters: Make sure that the laser printer has an ozone filter. Some of the newer models come with them. Ozone from laser printers is removed by activated charcoal filters that are replaced after a certain number of printed pages. These filters can reduce the average ozone levels from 430 µg/min to 100 µg/min.3 The filters need to be replaced according to the manufacturers instructions.

Ventilation: Large numbers of printers and photocopiers should be put together and isolated in a separate area with their own ventilation system that is exhausted to the outside. This area must have a lot of outdoor air and the air should not be recirculated throughout the rest of the building. Machines should not be located near return air ducts and should be turned off when not in use for any length of time. New machines need to be operated as much as possible with good ventilation during the first two weeks of purchase. Many of the new chemicals and odors will emit during this period, but they will decrease with time. An initial "burn in" with good ventilation will help reduce the odors and occupant irritation.

Selection of media: Select papers that do not have formaldehyde treatments and coatings. Avoid the use of carbonless paper, if possible, unless it is known to be free of chemical emissions while being used. Avoid printing of labels with adhesive. If required, ensure that good ventilation is supplied. Make sure that paper is compatible and recommended by the manufacturer of the equipment.


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References

Wolkoff P, Wilkins CK, Clausen PA, Larsen K. Comparison of volatile organic compounds from processed paper and toners from office copiers and printers. Indoor Air 1993; 3:113-123.

Skoner DP, Hodgson MD, Doyle WJ. Laser printer rhinitis. NE J Med. 1990; 322(18):1323.

Hetes R, Moore M, Northelm C. Office equipment: Design, indoor air emissions, and pollution prevention opportunities. US EPA Project Summary, EPA/600/SR-95/045; Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. 1995.

Toner Tears

I have some sort of toner issue. I will try and describe it to you...

My teeth itch. My jaw feels...squiggly. The top part of my mandible feels swollen--above my teeth. My eyebrows feel pinched. I get a slight headache.

My shirt rips apart as my arms swell. My pants shrink but never quite come off. I get angry, oh so angry. I smash hellicopters but only do so because they are trying to prevent me from helping people.

I am so misunderstood, and my face hurts...