Think Happy Thoughts

Taylor, Gerald’s kid, and one of the best kids you’ll ever meet, is in emergency surgery. He collapsed at school, turned green and started sweating, and was rushed to the hospital. They thought it might be appendicitis, but it turns out he has weird intestines that have a T-like formation, and it ripped and got infected and he as peritonitis. He’s stable now, but good vibes never hurt.

Taylor is the one in the middle holding Xubi.

Late Evening Open Thread: The Cute Animaling

Looks like we could use both a nice, clean post and comment thread and something with a bit of joy in it, so here’s some cute animals from social media.

I’m not sure they got the casting in the live action remake of Lady and the Tramp quite right…

Someone forgot to put the cat on the charger over night:

Someone also forgot to put this baby elephant on the charger as well:

Miss Bianca’s long awaited contribution to a garden thread…

We’re going to need a bigger boat!

And for those of you who like dressing your dogs up for Halloween, here’s some costume dos and don’ts:

Open thread!

Late Evening Bronx Man Open Thread: Would You Like A Coke With That?

You would think this would be Florida…

It’s hard to spend $10,900 at McDonald’s — but it’s easier if the restaurant is selling crack and cocaine in addition to McNuggets.

That’s exactly what McDonald’s night manager Frank Guerrero, 26, was caught selling when authorities arrested him this week at the franchise he’s worked at for eight years in the Bronx.

The arrest followed a three-month undercover investigation called “Operation Off the Menu.”

“Guerrero’s conduct was so blatant, it would be comical if he weren’t committing a serious narcotics crime,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan told the New York Daily News. “Ordering coke took on an entirely different meaning on the night shift at this McDonald’s.”

Open thread!

Checking In: Weathering the Storm

Just a quick note from here in Pinellas County. The local meteorologists I’m watching are forecasting that Irma is going to go more north than northwest. This means it’s going to go over Lakeland and Polk County and a bit of eastern Hillsborough County. They’re estimating near to and/or category 1 gusts for that area in about 90 minutes.

Orlando has also been taking a beating with about 70 mph gusts for several hours or so because of how the rain bands have moved. Naples took a beating, but that beating and Irma staying over land has helped the storm to weaken and begin to unravel.

Should this forecast hold, then the eye will pass east of Tampa Bay. This keeps us in this area on the west and less dangerous side of the storm. Though Ft. DeSoto Park in southwestern Pinellas County just registered a 76 mph wind gust. A heavy, hurricane force rain band is just moving over the area. Very quickly fortunately.

We’re safe. Dry, unless I go out with the dogs…  And we’ve still got power for now. I’ll check in in the comments as long as I’ve got either wifi or cell service.

We are also well hydrated!


Storm and Emergency Prep: First Aid

As Dave indicated earlier today, Hurricane Irma is big, strong, and slowly on the move. Where she’s ultimately moving to, however, is not quite clear yet, but the forecast models are troubling. I wanted to just take a minute and remind everyone to make sure they have a properly stocked first aid kit. I’m in the process of stocking mine back up and will be done with that by the end of today, with the exception of the stuff that is coming via Amazon Prime in the next day or so. After consulting with my former teammate and aikido teaching partner who was a US Army medic, I use the Mayo Clinic’s list and then add a few things. The few things I add are carry overs from when I had to get certified in combat lifesaving before my deployment. So I add quick clot, other hemostatic products like Curad’s bloodstoop bandages, Israeli bandages, tourniquets, triangle bandages, chest seals, a 10 pack of glow sticks, things like that. This is the stuff I ordered from Amazon Prime, everything else I can get at the pharmacy.

Please make sure all of your rechargeable batteries are charged, non rechargeable batteries are still good to go, and if you’ve got larger battery backup for your essential devices, such as a CPAP, make sure they’re charged up too. And water! The Florida distaster prep* list that Dave linked to recommends a minimum of 1 gallon per day per person or pet for a minimum of 3 days supply.

Remember for the purposes of use: two is one and one is none. So I tend to keep at least two, if not three of everything on hand.

I would greatly appreciate it if our formally/properly medically trained readers and commenters would jump in and add anything I missed in the comments. Thanks!

Here’s the Mayo Clinic’s first aid kit list:

Basic supplies

  • Adhesive tape
  • Elastic wrap bandages
  • Bandage strips and “butterfly” bandages in assorted sizes
  • Nonstick sterile bandages and roller gauze in assorted sizes
  • Eye shield or pad
  • Triangular bandage
  • Aluminum finger split
  • Instant cold packs
  • Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
  • Disposable nonlatex examination gloves, several pairs
  • Duct tape
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Plastic bags, assorted sizes
  • Safety pins in assorted sizes
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Soap or hand sanitizer
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution and towelettes
  • Eyewash solution
  • Thermometer
  • Turkey baster or other bulb suction device for flushing wounds
  • Breathing barrier
  • Syringe, medicine cup or spoon
  • First-aid manual


  • Aloe vera gel
  • Calamine lotion
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Laxative
  • Antacids
  • Antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine
  • Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and aspirin (never give aspirin to children)
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Cough and cold medications
  • Personal medications that don’t need refrigeration
  • Auto-injector of epinephrine, if prescribed by your doctor

Emergency items

  • Emergency phone numbers, including contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers, and the poison help line, which in the United States is 800-222-1222.
  • Medical consent forms for each family member
  • Medical history forms for each family member
  • Small, waterproof flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
  • Waterproof matches
  • Small notepad and waterproof writing instrument
  • Emergency space blanket
  • Cell phone with solar charger
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Whistle

Stay frosty!

* For those of you who don’t live in Florida and want to follow the Florida disaster prep guidelines just to be safe please add the following item to the top of the lost: move to Florida before a disaster occurs.//

A Word From Some of Our Other Disasters: LA Pet Bleg

While we’ve been focused on Harvey and its effects on Texas and Louisiana, as well as potential follow ons from Irma and other developing tropical storms, significant portions of the US are on fire. There’s a very large wildfire in Curry County, Oregon – details here. A chunk of Montana is on fire. Actually from looking at the incident list, Montana is on fire – not just a chunk. And, of course, there is a huge wildfire in the greater Los Angeles area. The Los Angeles Animal Shelter has put out a call for fosters and adoptions as they are over capacity from animals evacuated and/or rescued from the La Tuna Canyon fire.

Urgent need for adopters and fosters NOW. Our shelters are full as we prepare to provide care and shelter for animals being evacuated from the La Tuna Canyon fire.
Fosters Urgently Needed: East Valley – 29, Harbor – 40, North Central -16, South Lost Angeles – 43, West Los Angeles – 14, West Valley – 5
So if you’re in the area and have a safe place and the ability to help, please do. If you’re wondering just how bad the La Tuna Canyon fire is, and you don’t have your own F/A-18E/F Superhornet to fly over and check it out, here’s a fairly recent picture:
If you’re in proximity to these fires, please stay safe.

Meet Up Announcement: Southwest Ohio/Northern Kentucky

Commenter Kathleen has begun to arrange a Ballon Juice meet up in Mason, Ohio and asked if I’d put an announcement on the front page. So here are the details:

Date: Saturday, September 9
Time: 4:00 PM
Place: Wood Fire Grill in Mason, Ohio (Wood Fire is about 33 mile/40 minute drive from Dayton Convention Center).
Ms. Alt Fax, Esq and Ukulele Virtuoso Glaukopis from Dayton have already RSVP’d.
Attendees should please RSVP in the comments* by Friday, September 8 so I can make reservations. Ms. Fax will be bringing the balloons.
I look forward to meeting The Jackal Party!
So if you’re interested in attending, please let her know in the comments.
* This was originally an email address, but in this day and age, for operational security reasons, I’m not putting those on the front page or anywhere else. Just use the comments to RSVP.