Monday, October 19, 2009

Vintage Citizen Multi Alarm - I love this watch!

For a little while I've been collecting 80's "alarm" watches. Nothing serious, just a little hobby.

I got this little gem on eBay. I didn't pay a lot of attention to it at first, because it's style predates the type I usually collect, but I had to admit that it was in great shape, and there was no reserve on the auction. I picked it up for $32. I just saw another one sell on eBay for just north of $113, so I'm feeling pretty good about what I paid for it. I've since seen others just like it, all for sale from the same guy. He's letting them trickle out on eBay I guess.

I don't know the year it was made, but I suspect from the style that it would probably be from 1978-1980. it has 2 separate alarms, an hourly chime, a countdown timer and a stopwatch.

The pusher buttons have color coded cabochons. I put a vintage style metal bracelet on it.

I love the display, it's so clunky. Kind of big, bold 70's. The watch is heavy too. The alarms are loud!

Some weird things; you can't use both the stopwatch and timer at the same time. If one is in use, the other greys out. Also, the timer doesn't keep the last input. If you set it for 5 minutes, it will count down and the alarm goes, but it resets to zero - not 5 minutes. Odd. And the stopwatch is only to the second. I can't think of anything I do that requires greater precision, but tenth of a second would be nice. It looks like you could modify the hourly chime to go off at different intervals, but you can't. All minor complaints.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

e. coli traced to hamburger on MSNBC

Via the New York Times:
E. coli path shows ground beef inspection flaws
Hamburger patty traced to illness that paralyzed 22-year-old woman

Comes this terrifying 3 pager. The highlight of the article:

"The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties.” Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria."

Mmmmm, mmmm - the Chef's selection!!!

So what does Cargill have to say for itself?

"Cargill, whose $116.6 billion in revenues last year made it the country’s largest private company, declined requests to interview company officials or visit its facilities. “Cargill is not in a position to answer your specific questions, other than to state that we are committed to continuous improvement in the area of food safety,” the company said, citing continuing litigation..."

Bullshit. Cowshit, anyway.

Does the article offer any suggestions? No, other than the usual from the USDA about stepping up inspections.

No mention at all of the CAFO's role in e.coli outbreaks. No mention of grass fed alternatives.

My advice? Find a farmer. Pay a little more for beef that has been humanely raised, fed a diet that it was born to eat, slaughtered with compassion and butchered by a person that you can talk to if you have any questions.

Are you in favor of irradating food?