Rez Zircon

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since May 02, 2015
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Recent posts by Rez Zircon

Poor man's scopes exist, but they're not very good.

Good point about the impacted ear should have an initial inspection by the ENT -- because it could be a grass seed or insect causing the issue, and that needs to come out. (Grass seed can work into the brain and kill you. Really rare, but I knew a dog it happened to.)
2 weeks ago

Casey Pfeifer wrote:fox-walking takes A LOT of work and attention. Entire muscle groups and gait patterns need to be relearned, individual muscles need to condition from their formerly lethargic life, and your body needs to learn to interpret all of the new sensory information coming in.

I've been doing the toe-heel step so long that when I'm barefoot or sockfoot it just happens automagically. It's like when barefoot I can't even walk the other way, cuz it feels weird. As soon as I put on boots, I walk differently. Brain habit, don't hurt your heels, vs heels protected.

Another interesting point that I realized when I was trying to work out what is different about how my nonhumans (in my science fiction novels) walk, compared to humans... seems it's more like a horse. Instead of swinging the whole leg like humans do, they lift the knee and let gravity swing the lower leg forward. So I experimented with this and found 1) it's more energy-efficient and naturally produces a 10% longer stride (I measured), plus it easily becomes a running walk, and 2) this motion wants to naturally glide into a toe-heel footstrike. So I've kinda gotten into the habit of "walking like an alien" outdoors. (My guys are civilized yet still active predators, and often go barefoot, so their style of motion matters.)

I've sometimes seen people who do a lot of long-distance hiking walk this way, now I know why.
2 weeks ago
When my sister was little she had the impacted earwax problem. Doc said gently wash her ears out with warm water as needed, so that happened once a week for about a year (just bent over the kitchen sink), then the problem went away. But it's sure an easy fix when that's all that's wrong!

There are two kinds of ear wax; one is soft and usually melts and runs out by itself, but the other type is more like beeswax, and can accumulate into solid plugs.
2 weeks ago

Heather Staas wrote:Crystal are your pups still with their mother?  Was she allowed to wean them properly?  This is the first critical stage of bite inhibition imprinting,  when momma dog says "you may no longer put your mouth on me at will but only by invitation."  Sometimes well meaning people take puppies away as soon as mum starts "being mean to them" but it's crucial for social development.  Assuming mom has the capability herself.   Sometimes young/new bitches suck at it and are too passive.

Speaking as a canine professional who has raised about a couple hundred litters -- this sounds good, but it's nonsense. Bite inhibition is inherited, not learned, and varies strongly by breed and bloodline. You can (usually) smack it into submission with people, but any discouragement by the dam only applies to her; they will happily hard-bite other puppies unless bitten back harder. And that happens when you don't have enough inherent bite inhibition to start with.

Conversely, it is very difficult to get a dog to bite that is naturally inhibited. With dogs that inherited strong bite inhibition, it never happens to start with, and there is little or no need for such discipline at any age.

There's a pretty simple test for puppies. Grab the puppy by the side of the neck just ahead of the shoulders (be a little rough) and see how it reacts.
-- Fully bite-inhibited, won't even turn its head to look.
-- Some bite, will snap the head around and maybe bang their (closed mouth) teeth into you.
-- A lot of bite, will put their teeth on you, maybe bite you for real.

Remember, this is inherited behavior. Negative inherent behaviors that you don't select against, you will get more of. Aggression and bite tend to be dominant (wild animal) traits.

2 months ago
Get thyroid checked. Hearing loss, especially with tinnitus and/or that feeling of "water in the ears" is a flaming redflag.

Do entire thyroid panel; TSH alone is not useful. The important number is FreeT3; it needs to be in the upper third of the range for most people to be entirely well.

Thyroid decline (specifically, slow loss of the ability to convert T4 to T3) is documented in the literature as the primary cause of most of what we think of as "symptoms of aging" -- but this information has not trickled down to most of the medical profession.

Voice of experience: among other issues, my hearing had gone to crap. With optimal (not just "adequate") thyroid treatment, I hear as well as ever, and the noise and congestion went away.

2 months ago

Gray Henon wrote:This may be up for debate, but in these parts, trees produce significantly more organic matter versus grass.  The woodlands always have deeper, darker soils, than the artificially maintained (mowing/grazing) grasslands.  

It's also that grass can grow on thin marginal soils (which also hold little water), while most trees cannot.

I see this right in my back pasture, which is pretty much whatever random trees and grass want to grow there. Trees seed here and there, but only succeed along the lower edge where the accumulated soil is much thicker (being downhill from the rest). Grass scrapes by even where there's so little soil the rocks poke through. Even sage rarely gets a foothold in that part.
3 months ago

George Booth wrote:I have a meyer lemon from seed the same age that ended up being polyembronic which goes against internet lore,

We used to grow grapefruit from seed as house plants, back when it was common to find sprouted seeds in commercial fruit. I've seen as many as THREE embryos in a single seed (all sprouting and making independent plants), and two is not terribly unusual. I don't know why lemons would be different.
3 months ago
I keep thinking how much this build looks like a Greek temple -- maybe dedicate it to Hephaestus!
4 months ago

Christopher Weeks wrote:You can install a 3-way socket and just screw a regular bulb into it. The only gotcha, and I think this is minor is that you have to turn the knob twice to get it to turn on and then it stays on for two knob turns.

Right, and it does not matter what sort of bulb. I have a very old 3-way and one that's somewhat newer, both presently have generic 6W and 13W LEDs (for whatever reason the 6W is much brighter), but formerly had 40W and 60W incandescents, and for a while the ancient one had a CFL (sure don't miss those).

I'm so used to the double turn that my hand does it without consulting my brain.
4 months ago

Judith Browning wrote:Thanks Rez!
What sort of crust do you use?
I wasn't happy with the crust I made but there must be something easy to mix up?

Being lazy I use the included crust mix (which is just crushed graham crackers) and extra butter (which makes it both stiffer and tastier once it sets up), and you can add whatever flavorings or spices you like to that. But a neat addition, or even replacement for the graham crackers, is ground-up walnuts or pecans. (You can actually buy these as a premade crust, but it's easy enough to make.)

You can also add cocoa to the crust.

Melted chocolate (in a very well buttered dish) also works, with or without nuts to bulk it out. Now that I think of it, next time I think I'll try adding chocolate to the graham crackers instead of butter. Why not? there's no rules here, other than "Is it tasty?"

And really, the only reason to use a crust is to make it easier to serve, and keep the filling from gluing itself to the pan. You could just as easily butter individual serving bowls and fill those instead.

Way long ago, I was making the walnut goop that's frosting for German Chocolate cake, and discovered I didn't have any walnuts (or pecans, which I prefer). BUT! I did have a whole bunch of the fine powder left over in the chopper doohickey. So I used that instead. The result was so wonderful that now I always chop them up fine instead of into chunks.
6 months ago