Gah. I effing HATE Windoze.
I sat down to write thirty minutes ago, but felt maybe I could have some music in my ‘phones as I did so. I went to YouTube to get some Kings of Leon playing, but none of the videos would play. It’s been doing that to me all day. I had seen over on MSNBC.com that one of the members of the Beastie Boys has been diagnosed with a very treatable form of cancer, and I wanted to listen to what he had to say on the embedded YouTube video. For some reason, it wouldn’t load. That was odd because just last night I’d been watching some really cool things posted to YouTube, not the least of which was some Black Eyed Peas.
What can I say? I’ve got a varied tasted in music.
I tried this video, and that video, and a random video from the front page, and nothing. I restarted Firefox. Nothing. I started up Internet Exploder. Nothing. So I restarted my computer.
The damn thing said “logging off” for a good ten minutes before I lost patience and shut it off manually. Yes, I know that’s bad, but ten minutes? At least?
Finally I’m up and running once more, and I’ve got the Kings of Leon YouTube channel streaming into my ‘phones. Even that causes me a slight bit of annoyance in that I realize how shitty this laptop’s speakers are. I had played with the equalizer in hopes of turning down the extreme treble so my ears would quit bleeding, but no matter what I did, it still sounded tinny. With my headphones plugged in, I’ve got all bass and no treble — so the problem is obviously the speakers and not the software.
It’s souring me slightly on my preciousssssss. That’s one thing HP has over Dell. My HP’s laptop speakers had some excellent bass to them, and all my notifications sounded great. It was easy to change the equalizer and play with the software. Heck, I could make my laptop sound as if it were broadcasting from a public restroom if I wanted to; the simulations were that good.
*sigh* I guess not everything can be perfect.
We had an excellent weekend, I have to say. Kurt’s aunt and uncle from Long Island came to visit on their way to a lovely vacation in Maine. His aunt is threatening to eat lobster every day they’re there, which makes my mouth water, just thinking about it. We showed them around Newport, enjoyed a delicious dinner at one of my favorite places downtown, and had a generally good time. I only wish it had been cooler. We don’t have the air conditioners up yet, since we haven’t really needed them, but the last few days were almost hot enough to warrant them. Kurt’s uncle wouldn’t quit sweating, and I felt really bad for him, though we had fans up all over everywhere.
Last night I had dinner out with a friend, back to the same establishment we’d taken Kurt and his aunt to the night before. The waitress came over to take our drinks order, and gave me a big ol’ “HI!!” as she saw me. How embarrassing. Heh. We sort of drank our way through dinner, however, as we were headed to see Food, Inc., afterward. My friend had heard it’s sort of a hard thing to watch, and that you probably wouldn’t want to eat if you see it before your meal.
I have to say, the movie really surprised me. I knew that animals in the US aren’t treated all that well before they’re sent to slaughter to end up on our dinner tables, so I was rather prepared to see some difficult things. What I didn’t realize is it’s not just a matter of treating an animal better. For one thing, chickens are sent to slaughter in half the time compared to fifty years ago, yet they are twice as big. This means that their skeletons can’t keep up with their growth. A chicken can take only a couple of steps before it flops back down, too heavy for its frame to carry. Even if a chicken were to roam outside in the fresh air, it couldn’t. Not with its accelerated growth.
As far as beef goes, the huge incidences of E. coli in our meat is just about unavoidable. Cattle stand ankle-deep in their own waste all day long, and by the time they’re sent to slaughter, their hides are caked with it. There’s no way to slaughter a cow without contaminating the meat inside. What I found even more surprising is that cattle are not designed to eat corn; their bodies have a really hard time digesting it. Yet what are they fed here in the States? You guessed it — corn. One of the men interviewed for the movie stated that the incidence of E. coli in a cow’s gut drops by 80% when fed grass, the natural food of a cow. But we don’t give cattle grass; we give them corn. And we’re proud of it too! Go online to a meat selling company, like K@ns@s City Steaks, or Om@h@ Steaks, and they proudly boast that their animals are corn-fed, like it’s a desirable thing. We’re told that corn-fed beef is the most delicious beef, and that’s what we go for. But the thing is, where do we get the corn?? It’s not like a cow is let loose into a corn field to forage. Now we’ve got to bring the corn to the cow, which involves lots of gas to ship the corn to the cow — instead of letting the cattle roam and nibble on the grass in fields.
And that’s just the meat! Not only that, did you know that most of the meat sold in the States comes from only a few companies? Oh, sure, it looks like we have many brands to choose from, but they are all subsidiaries of just a few companies.
It’s almost enough to make one go vegetarian, but then that’s not much better. I never understood the fuss over GMO foods until I saw this movie. Basically, companies can now patent life. So if a company comes up with a better form of a crop, it can patent that, and the farmers lose all rights. You can’t save your seeds and use them the next year; you have to buy them from the company year after year after year. If you’re caught saving your seeds, you’re prosecuted for patent infringement. And they’ll keep going after you until you give up because you have no more money with which to fight.
It’s easier to give in than to fight. That’s what scares me. We’re no longer the home of the free and the brave; we’re the home of the hog-tied and the muzzled.
Buy organic if you can. Buy local if you can. The commissary is actually really good about this. The milk comes from local dairies that don’t use rBST, and it’ll buy in-season produce from local farms. Call your local supermarket and ask for these things. Stonyfield Farm landed a major deal with Wal-Mart because its customers asked for organic dairy products.
Hopefully one day we can fix our broken food system. We just have to keep plugging away.