Saturday, July 24, 2010

Good Saturday Morning, Everyone. We had a lot of rain last night. I don't mind that. In fact, I much prefer the rain fall at night. But the temps today are supposed to get back into the 90 which means it will be a sauna. The gardens will get along nicely without me today. Unfortunately, my cat isn't happy. He won't get to go out. He has already protested quite vocally.

The little dehydrator worked very nicely and I have little baggies of dried basil and sage in the freezer. The herbs dried much faster than I thought they would--only about 2 hours. Although the dehydrator does have a small heater, it doesn't appear to 'cook' the herbs to the extent the microwave did. Using the micro we could smell the herbs all over the house. The aroma of drying herbs was barely detectable with the dehydrator. When things dry out, I will gather some of the lavender and stevia for drying.

Since we are supposed to get more intermittent rain all day (and I don't really like saunas much) I will probably spend more time crocheting. I have a lot of left over yarn from various projects over the years so I am trying to find things to do with it. Some of the yarn I used in one of my rugs has fallen apart. It was simply too old and had weakened/deteriorated over time. Sometime I will have to take the rug apart and get take it out. Luckily, that yarn is in the last couple of rows. Right now I am working up the pink cotton left overs into wash cloths. Next I plan a couple of market bags from the white.

MSNBC had this article that I decided to read for a fuller explanation of the story the evening news carried last night. Of course, both lead off with the titillating title of Wal-Mart 'getting in your pants.' I am not at all happy with the notion of Wal-Mart (or anyone else) embedding RFID tags into anything I buy. Removable tags, maybe. I notice toward the end of the story the reporter claims that Wal-Mart is working with its suppliers to incorporate removable tags rather than embedded tags. They claim it is for inventory control but I have to wonder if tags on every single object is rally cost effective. They already do that for jeans, shirts and other such clothing items--but extending this to every piece of underwear or socks?? Those often come in multiple piece packages and the packages are already tagged. As I read this story, I thought of only one circumstance in which individual tagging would be helpful. Some years ago, Mom and I were shopping for a particular color of sheets and pillow cases which she wanted to put a crocheted edging on as a gift for someone. After an extensive search, we finally found an acceptable set only to find, after we got home, that the pillow case package had been opened, one of the two removed, and carefully sealed up again. Is that kind of loss becoming so prevalent that it justifies the use of RFID tags on every single piece? By the way, I understand the privacy concerns. I don't like the implications at all. But Wal-Mart, in retail, is like Texas in textbooks. What Texas wants, Texas gets even if it is inane, insane, inaccurate, or downright wrong. And even if you don't shop at Wal-Mart (or live in Texas), you will be affected.

MSNBC also had this story which should come as no surprise. Some insurance companies, in some states, are refusing to issue new individual insurance policies for children. It is, evidently, a response to the new health care reforms which will prohibit insurers from refusing to write policies on children with pre-existing conditions. The companies are afraid that parents will wait until a child has a health crisis before getting insurance or that hospitals will get insurance on any uninsured child that comes in. Either way the insurance company would be stuck. The industry, state insurance regulators and health officials are trying to get the Administration to set up a limited open enrollment period to limit the feared abuse of the system. What we have to realize is that what Bert Gummer said of Federal agents in Tremors 3 applies to insurance companies: "They are not your friends." Insurance companies are for profit entities. Your health, financial or physical, doesn't mean a bucket of warm spit to them. If you die or go bankrupt, they don't care so long as they make a profit. But we, or rather our political leaders, have decided that profits are more important than people's health.

No comments: