3.29.2017

4200+ reviews can't be wrong, right? The Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker - Wow.


Anyone reading my past reviews about all the many different ways I make coffee knows I love the French Press options (I even blogged about the 'camping' option for French Press with my GSI mug!  LOL)  but I've never actually bought the Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker yet which is 'similar'.

WHY haven't I bought this yet?

I really don't have an answer for you.  I've 'looked' it numerous times.
It's not expensive.
But yet I've never placed an order for it.

But I thought I'd tell my readers about it anyway life is just insanely busy right now that I'll never get around to blogging about it if I don't just DO IT.

And besides, with almost 4300 other customers giving it outstanding ratings and reviews on Amazon I think it's safe to say it must be a decent product.  

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker





  • SMOOTHEST - Using the ideal water temperature and gentle air pressure brewing yields rich flavor with lower acidity and without bitterness.
  • RICHEST - Total immersion brewing results in uniform extraction of the ultimate in full coffee flavor.
  • PUREST - Micro filtered for grit free coffee – unlike other press-type coffee makers.
  • FASTEST - One minute from start to enjoy. The actual press time takes only 20 seconds.
  • MADE IN THE US - Patented

HOW TO USE THE AEROPRESS COFFEE AND ESPRESSO MAKER:


To brew a double espresso or 10-ounce cup of coffee:
  • Place a microfilter in the bottom cap of the AeroPress chamber and twist the cap tightly closed.
  • Place two scoops of ground coffee from the included AeroPress scoop into the chamber.
  • Stand the chamber on a sturdy mug, then proceed to pour hot water into the top of the chamber (175 degrees F is optimal).
  • Stir the water and coffee with the included paddle for about 10 seconds.
  • Insert the plunger into the chamber and gently press down about a quarter of an inch and continue to maintain that pressure for 20 to 30 seconds (gentle pressure is the key to easy AeroPressing).
This will result in a double espresso. To make an Americano, simply top off the mug with hot water, or add hot milk for a creamy latte. The AeroPress can press from 1 to 4 scoops, and each scoop from the included AeroPress scoop makes the equivalent of a single espresso or 5 ounces of American coffee. Fill the chamber with hot water to the number corresponding to the number of scoops. You can also make a full carafe of coffee using the AeroPress in less time than it takes to brew a pot of drip coffee. Two 3-scoop or 4-scoop pressing, topped off with hot water, will fill most vacuum carafes.

The AeroPress is the result of several years of applied research by inventor/engineer Alan Adler, who conducted numerous brewing experiments, measuring the brew with laboratory instruments. The experiments demonstrated that proper temperature, total immersion and rapid filtering were key to flavor excellence. He then designed and tested dozens of brewers before settling on the AeroPress design.





The Aeropress can be found on Amazon if you can't find one locally - but I also was happy to see they offer REPLACEMENT PARTS AND EXTRA FILTERS FOR THE AEROPRESS. 


Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Aeropress Micro-filters 2 Pack 700ct
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with zippered nylon tote bag with bonus 350 Micro Filters
Aeropress Coffee Maker Replacement Plunger Rubber Gasket - Genuine Original Aerobie Product
Aeropress ® Coffee Maker Replacement Filter Cap - Genuine Original Aerobie ® Product
Replacement Filters for Aeropress (350 pk)

     

Another phone scam warning: This one hooks you simply by saying "YES" (MUST READ)


When I read this article I instantly remembered the SAME CALL I got last summer. 
The phone rings and a voice (usually female) says something similar to "Oh, I didn't think you'd pick up!  Can you hear me ok?"
When I got this call last summer it was a woman's voice and she was laughing while she said it like she was having a conversation with someone else while dialing me.  The thing is... I hadn't actually answered my phone.  I was sitting here at my home office desk with the phone right beside me and I had the machine pick it up while I listened.  As soon as she said that, and got silence, the person at the other end hung up. 

Now I know it was probably a robot calling with a recording.

Most people will of course say "yes" to the question "can you hear me ok?".  Right there is where they got ya.

By recording your voice they now can use that as the affirmative 'yes' to make fraudulent charges in your name.

But before I go further I want to add another way I'm pretty sure they using the same scam a few years ago... but they didn't ask if you could hear them.  Instead they would call and using your name, (assume it's John Smith)  they will immediately ask if this was you. 

"Hello?"
"Is this John Smith?"
"Yes...?"

Click.

Got ya.

Only when they called our home my husband answered (which he never does) and when they asked "Is this Joseph Smith?"  He replied, "It's Joe..."  because he doesn't ever go by his legal name of Joseph.  As soon as he answered "It's Joe" they hung up. 

So... here is a portion of the article that gave the warning that was the basis of this warning post on Coffee Talking and they give some advice at the bottom on what to do when you get calls from numbers you don't know.

_______________________________________


The Federal Communications Commission is warning consumers about a new scam that is hooking consumers with just one word: Yes.

According to the FCC, the scam begins as soon as a person answers the phone. A recorded voice or an actual person asks: "Can you hear me?" And the consumer responds, "Yes."

"The caller then records the consumer's 'Yes' response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone," an FCC news release said.

"According to complaints the FCC has received and public news reports, the fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organizations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call, such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer," the news release said.


The FCC advised consumers to immediately hang up if they receive this type of call. It also said that if consumers had responded "Yes" to a similar call in the past, they should keep an eye on all financial statements for any unauthorized charges.


The FCC also shared the following tips:

1. Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.

2. If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents.

3. If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.

4. Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC's website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls. Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry.

3.28.2017

The 'grandchild' scam: when a thief calls on the phone and convinces grandparents they are in trouble and need money


Source:  wbrc.com/story/34989127/best-buy-employee-prevents-grandmother-from-getting-scammed

If you've read It's Just the Coffee Talking for any amount of time, you know I have a soft spot in my heart for the elderly and a hard spot in my heart for scammers, thugs and thieves.  Any time there is a scam going on in pretty big numbers, I like to help get word out... because I know for a fact my elderly father-in-law would probably fall for it.  They come from a different, more trusting generation.

This is a scam that has been going on for a number of years and all over the country.  I know many employees would probably feel like they *couldn't* say anything to a customer for fear of losing their jobs but I'm so very proud of and happy for those that do.

Like this employee who stopped a grandmother in California from being scammed out of $4,000.

Someone calls a target and claims to be their grandchild; saying he or she needs money to get out of a jail or any other situation.  Usually the the connection isn't very good and the grandparent is convinced it really is one of their grandchildren. In the past I've read about the scammer/fake grandchild either requesting an amount to be wired or sent, or asked for credit card information over the phone. 

This time they person on the phone says the best way to help is to go to the store and buy gift cards.

"....  "She wanted to buy four $1,000 gift cards, that immediately raised a red flag," said Marysa English, Best Buy employee.
"I stood right there and convinced her, please don't buy it. She was convinced her granddaughter was involved in some sort of scheme or scam,” English said.

She was able to talk the woman out of spending the money, and advised her to file a police report.

Aaron Prader, general manager of the store, takes pride that his employees are looking out for their customers.

“I'm super happy, I'm glad Marysa did what she did and started questioning it to find out if it was fraudulent or not"


English said to prevent scams like this, it's important for everyone to be aware, and keep an eye out for the signs.

"I absolutely think that word of mouth, and getting the word out that scams like that are going around are going to save people,” she said."





3.25.2017

Those Fake IRS Scam Calls: This time they called a cop

Another story I read this morning comes from wbrc.com/story/34990091/video-cop-calls-fake-irs-agent-back-exchange-goes-viral


Cop calls fake IRS agent back

Unless you are really lucky or live in a cave, you've probably gotten a call or message on your phone or machine from the "IRS" telling you to call them back immediately or you are going to be arrested.

I first heard of this about 10 years ago (around 2007 or so) and it seems it's just getting bigger. This time around however they managed to call the police department.  And of course the police officer who took the call knew it to be a fake.

"Kyle Roder received an urgent call from a man claiming to be with the IRS. The fake agent told Roder he would be arrested if he did not call back immediately.

Roder is the public information officer for the Eau Claire Police Department in Wisconsin. Recognizing that it was a scam, he called the number and recorded the whole conversation."

As the fake IRS agent (with a thick and heavy accent) tried to convince the officer to give up personal information, it was recorded and has since been very popular on the internet.  But I love it because it is a great teaching moment!  So many people are pulled in by these scammers and I've often brought attention to some of them on It's Just the Coffee Talking.  Hopefully someone doing a frantic search online after receiving a call like this will stumble upon the story and know to stop, take a deep breath and know it's not real.

".... A man with a heavy accent asked Roder for the case number. Roder said he didn’t have a case number. The man said he could look it up if Roder provided his address.

“But you said you’re going to issue a warrant for me and come to my house,” Roder said. “If you don’t have my address, how are you going to do that?”

Roder then asked exactly when he was going to be arrested and who, exactly was going to arrest him. He asked if he could just go to his local IRS office and take care of things. And by the way, what was the caller’s name and badge number?
The flustered caller proceeded to give him two different names, made up a badge number on the spot, said the local IRS didn’t have access to his case and that that the county sheriff would send somebody by to arrest him before close of business that day."

".... Roder asked point blank if the call was a scam – the news always reports that the IRS only sends letters and doesn’t make phone calls.

The caller said oh, yes, they do make calls in emergency cases where arrest is imminent."

*For the record, a deputy with the Eau Claire Sheriff’s office confirmed that no sheriff’s office anywhere serves warrants from the IRS.*

I'm not going to go back look through my files right now but I'm pretty sure I blogged about when a young guy (maybe 20?) came to my house to do my annual termite inspection.  We got to talking and this subject came up as he had just received a call like this and was very shook up about it.  He had an Aunt who worked at the courthouse and had called her to ask if she had any way of knowing whether or not this was true.

He truly thought he was going to be arrested if he did not pay this man on the phone a large amount of money.  (I assured him it was fake and to ignore it.)

I'm also very concerned about the eldery - who often fall for things like this.  Getting the word out to everyone is the best way to stop it from happening to someone we love or even to strangers if you are like me and don't want to see ANYONE get scammed.  Even an enemy or someone I don't like... I don't even want THEM to be scammed.

So spread the word.


And lastly, the article mentioned this...  "He also stressed that people who aren’t police officers should not string scam callers along. Just hang up."

Great advice.  

Sometimes things really are an accident or miscommunication and we don't need to prosecute. Parents have been accused of forgetting their 8-week-old baby in a parking lot.


Source:  wbrc.com/story/34989795/baby-found-alone-in-parking-lot-parents-arrested

This morning as I sipped my coffee, this is one of the stories I read;   

Parents have been accused of forgetting their 8-week-old baby in a parking lot.

Obviously that caught my attention but as I read the article I found myself getting a little angry.  And not at the parents like I thought I would.... but at the whole situation and the blame on the parents.  First let me put some details of the story out there and then I'll ramble a bit about my thoughts.

Police arrested Sarah Shibley and Gary Collins on endangerment charges.  

"Look at this; somebody left a newborn baby," said a woman on a cell phone video recording of the child's discovery.

The baby boy has been placed in temporary foster care after it was abandoned Tuesday night in the lot, authorities said.
"I think it was an accident," said Erika Barrera, coworker of the mother.

Barrera and Shibley work at Russo's Pizzeria. Barrera said she remembers her coworker calling that evening and frantic.
"She just told me, 'Can you go check?'" Barrera said. "She was crying."

She said Shibley finished her shift at 9:17 p.m. and called around 9:40, looking for the infant. Shibley claimed she'd just realized that she left the newborn in the parking lot.

Barrera said Shibley believed Collins had put the child in the car, and Collins believed Shibley had.

Prosecutors said the parents had no idea they might have left the infant in the parking lot until a coworker called to tell Shibley that police had her baby.

Investigators said he'd been in the parking lot for 45 minutes before he was discovered. He was discovered by a restaurant patron sitting in a car seat.

The child's mother was arrested after coming back to the scene, as was the father.

Shibley refused to tell her side of the story before or after a court appearance Thursday. Her coworker said the mom seemed genuinely to love her baby boy and that she would talk about him often at work.

A judge is expected to decide whether to place that baby in the home of a family member.


_____________________________________


The first thing I noted was the poor writing of the story author;

Investigators said he'd been in the parking lot for 45 minutes before he was discovered. He was discovered by a restaurant patron sitting in a car seat.


So apparently the restaurant patron was sitting in a car seat.  Yeah.  That.  (Do they really teach English or Journalism anymore?)

But let's get past that.

The 'investigators' say the baby was in the parking lot for 45 minutes before he was discovered.
That doesn't add up.
The mother got off work at 9:17 pm and was already on the phone calling her workplace to check for the baby at 9:40 by which time he was found.
That is 23 minutes.
Not 45.

Also, the baby is obviously happy, healthy and well cared for.
He was not neglected.  He was not 'abandoned' so much as 'accidentally' left.  Yes there is a difference.

And I was thinking about how almost every family has a story about 'that one time Dad drove off and forgot us....'  or 'that vacation where Dad accidentally forgot Ralphie at the rest area and was 10 miles down the road before...'  or 'remember the time Mom lost us in the Kmart store and we had gone outside to ride on the quarter-pay plastic horses'  Etc.

The 'accident' of leaving or forgetting your kid turns into a hilarious story told at family reunions and get-togethers.

Because up until just a few years ago (10? 15?)  people were allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.
They weren't automatically arrested, charged and had their children taken away from them immediately.  Especially if the story behind it completely makes common sense on how it COULD have happened.  A terrible mistake yes... but was it out of anger or spite? Was it on purpose?  Was the child showing signs of bruising, abuse or neglect?

No.

Just an exhausted mother getting off her job at a pizza place at 9:20 pm at night and she thought the Dad put the baby in the car. He thought the Mom put the baby in the car.  Babies are quiet little things - especially when you get them into a car.  They usually fall into a deep sleep, lulled by the motor and vibration of driving.  And since babies can't be in the front seat anymore, you cannot see them in the back if they are behind your seat... a silent, sleeping baby while you and your significant other talk over a long, hard day at work.  It's almost 10:00 pm and you just want to get home and go to bed.

I can totally see this happening.
As an accident.
Not on purpose.
And apparently by loving, caring parents.
Call it what it is - an accident.

People are human.
Human.  We are not perfect.  We do make mistakes.  Even pretty crappy mistakes.

But unless there were more circumstances surrounding this story (which there does not look like there is), I'd call it a terrible moment of miscommunication between two parents who thought the other had the baby and would not choose to prosecute.





It's just the coffee talking...  and now, I need to go brew another cup.






3.23.2017

NO losing a cat is NOT just like losing a baby or child

WARNING:  VENT AHEAD

I rarely read Dear Abby but once in a while I see it on the side bar of a news page and a headline catches my eye.

Like this one... someone writing Dear Abby because she is so angry her friends and family are not consoling her more when her cat died.  Because, you know, it's EXACTLY like losing a human baby.  A child. One you gave birth to.  Your own flesh and blood.

Even though she's never actually had a child.

blink.
blink.



DEAR ABBY: We recently lost one of our cherished pets, our oldest cat, Mandy. We never had children, so our pets ARE our children.

I get that people who have never had pets don’t understand the joy and unconditional love they can bring. But I don’t understand why people we thought were close to us haven’t acknowledged our loss in any way. Some of them have — or had — pets at one time.

A few did send cards or emails, and they were so appreciated. Their kindness will never be forgotten.

Mandy wasn’t sickly. She just stopped eating one day. When we took her to the vet a few days after trying everything we could think of, the diagnosis was kidney cancer. A couple of days later we had to make the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep.

My question is, am I expecting too much of people? After all, you wouldn’t ignore the death of a human child.

I’m not only disappointed but resentful that these so-called friends and family don’t seem to care. I suppose to some Mandy was “just a cat.” But to us, she was our beloved furry child and we are devastated.

Please inform people that a kind word or short note would mean the world to people like us who are suffering real grief. — DEEPLY GRIEVING IN ILLINOIS



DEAR DEEPLY GRIEVING: Please let me offer my condolences for the loss of Mandy. I know from personal experience what you are going through, and it is very painful.

That’s why I’m reminding readers that when they hear of someone losing a beloved pet, the kindest thing one can do is to offer sympathy with a phone call, an email or a card. Believe me, the effort WILL be appreciated and never forgotten.




___________________________



"My question is, am I expecting too much of people? After all, you wouldn’t ignore the death of a human child."

NO we would not ignore the death of a HUMAN CHILD.
But you did not have a human child.  You had a cat.
A CAT.

"I’m not only disappointed but resentful that these so-called friends and family don’t seem to care. I suppose to some Mandy was “just a cat.” But to us, she was our beloved furry child and we are devastated."

You are resentful of friends and family that didn't make a huge issue out of your CAT passing away by sending you a bunch of cards and flowers and calling you?  

Lady, I'm a cat owner.  I've had to put a sick cat down as well.  I was sad.  I cried for 2 days straight. I couldn't hear certain songs without thinking about him and tearing up again.  It took me a couple weeks to get over looking for him or getting ready to feed on him on his regular schedule, etc.

Yes it hurts to lose a pet.

BUT IT IS NOT LIKE LOSING A HUMAN BABY YOU HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO.  Don't you EVEN insult mothers and fathers everywhere who have lost a child by comparing it as EQUAL to you losing a cat.  That is rude and insensitive! That is AWFUL to compare the two.  Especially when you admit you have never actually had a child of your own.  You have NO IDEA what it is like to have a baby of your own pass away so how dare you compare them and bitch about how some friends and family didn't make a huge fuss over you.

What a whiny, sorry assed pathetic excuse you are to complain (and think it so important you have to write Dear Abby?) that you are resentful of family and friends who didn't go into mourning with you over your cat.

When our cat had to be put down, our family was sad and hurt.  But never, ever did I, or would I expect my extended family or friends to send me a freakin' sympathy card, bring me a casserole or call me bawling over the loss of my cat.  It's not their cat.  

And we currently have 2 cats that we have had since they were itty bitty newborns who are now 14 years old.  They are going to pass away at some point soon...  we also have two dogs that we adore and are part of our family but in about 5 or 6 years they will be quite elderly and will pass away.....  and NO I WILL NOT EXPECT ANY EXTENDED RELATIVES TO SEND ME CARDS OR FLOWERS OR CALL as I know they would if we (God-forbid) ever experience the loss of one of our human children.

And it just so happens soon after I read this Dear Abby - I had also seen a headline for another news story and read that one... about a wife/mother who was killed in a car accident around 3:00 pm and not 30 minutes later, her 8 year old daughter was getting off the bus from school and was hit by a car and killed.  The little girl had just turned 8 years old on Saturday.  

This little 8 year old girl with her whole life ahead of her was struck and killed just 30 minutes after her mother was killed in a car accident.  Yeah... so not the same as your cat having to be put to sleep.  (Story)






















3.21.2017

Rambling over Coffee... Money Network scammers... hidden fees and unauthorized changes



Last summer my daughter was looking for a job and wanted to get hired at Tuesday Morning as she loves shopping there.  We knew it was a huge mistake when she got into the hiring process - (how they even manage to run a business or stay in business is beyond me).  By the time she got them to get their butts in gear and get the paperwork submitted she only worked for 3 weeks before she had to quit to return to college.

Also unfortunate was that we did not know they paid by a 'money card' until she was hired.  It took almost 2 weeks to  get those idiots to do their jobs and get her payroll account/card set up.  By the time she got them to give her her paychecks, she only got 2 of them before she had to quit and go back to school. 

She quit the last week of July and moved back to college the first week of August.

In November I received a letter delivered to our daughter at our home address from "Money Network" and it said

"Congratulations!  Your account has been upgraded to a Premier Account.  A Premier Account enables you to continue using your Account as you always have for purchases, cash withdrawls and to pay bills."

 At first I was concerned someone had used my daughters information to open an account and her information was breached or hacked but then I saw this; 

Near the end of the letter it says;

"Why has my account been upgraded to a Premier Account?"

An automatic upgrade occurs when you stop receiving payroll loads from the employer that originally sponsored your account.

The mention of the 'employer' made me realize it was probably the company Tuesday Morning used for their payroll payments.  But since DD had quit working there, there was no money coming in on the card, no money going on out the card and actually I think my daughter cut it up and threw it away after she quit working for Tuesday Morning.

Today I was going through the 'final' filing pile for 2016.  What to keep and what to shred.  I came across this letter in the file folder and my eye caught the print at the bottom;

".... the Premier Account has a nominal Monthly Maintenance Fee.  For more information about the monthly fee, please refer to your Welcome Packet or contact Customer Service at the number on the back of your card for assistance."

WAIT A MINUTE.

A card she didn't WANT but it was the only way to get paid by her employer.
A card she never used other than getting her earned income from her job.
A card she never used after she quit working for Tuesday Morning.
A card she cut up and threw away as it was only used to get her earned income from her job.

And they upgrade it without her permission and are apparently charging her for it?

I went online to look up Money Network and wow...  talk about scammers.  Complaints ALL OVER THE PLACE for everything you can imagine.  WHY does Walmart or Tuesday Morning or any other company USE THESE???

And apparently all customer service is routed to INDIA of course so you can't understand a damn word they say, they don't know how to answer any question that isn't on their practiced script and they lie through their teeth to you.

Awesome.

I texted my daughter at college about this and told her she needs to call this company and make sure her account is deleted and get a letter confirming this.  Make sure they are NOT charging her hidden fees every month since November without her knowledge.

This is just the beginning.  I'll let you know what we find out.





















NO. A woolly mammoth was NOT found perfectly preserved with buttercups in its mouth. Sorry 'Day After Tomorrow' movie.

This past weekend we were entertaining out of state guests and one of the evenings, we decided to watch a movie.  We put in "Day After Tomorrow" knowing it was a 'safe' movie for all ages, genders, etc.  I can't help that my brain always picks apart movies and how inaccurate they are or the writers and producers skew facts to fit their agendas and how implausible the story lines are but a majority of the general audience is going to believe it.  

But let's skip all that or I'm going to start rambling over my morning coffee and this post is going to be a novel.

In this particular movie, one of the many parts of this movie that bugs me is when the main character mentions the Woolly Mammoth found perfectly preserved with buttercups still in it's mouth.

Without a long disgusted ranting and raving I'll just say: NO IT WAS NOT.

But this morning I had my cup of coffee, I had checked emails and decided to do some quick searches as to how much of this data was true.  3 hours later I had pages of notes filling my notebook (yes, I can't help it - I'm a geek.  I research all sorts of topics every day and I just have to take notes - filling notebooks in my office with pages and pages of information, sources, books, papers, documentary notes....)  

I love to look at both sides of topics - and actually it's more often 3 or 4 or 10 sides of a topic.  EVERYONE has an opinion and with todays internet making so easy to voice your opinion, everyone is an expert.  (Can you 'hear' me rolling my eyes?)

I really liked the information one woman succinctly laid out - and I took many handwritten notes to follow up on with some books mentioned and credible sources to continue studying if I find the time.   I decided to post it here - with the source linked.

I also am putting one more article below it as he had a very short blog post himself but again - some great information needs to be repeated to off-set the FALSE INFORMATION that is being regurgitated by people, movies, articles - that is so completely skewed from the original true data.

AND I am indeed getting long winded.  Blame it on too many cups of double strong, hot coffee this morning.  

It's just the coffee talking again..........


_______________________________


Woolly Mammoths Remains: Catastrophic Origins?

Source:  By Sue Bishop

Since Ted Holden has repeatedly insisted that the mammoth whose remains were found in Siberia in 1901 was preserved by some great catastrophe as described in Velikovsky's books, I decided to research the topic. I found several books on the subject, including the original book written by one of the scientists who actually examined, preserved and transported the mammoth remains from Siberia.

Preservation of the mammoth remains was somewhat different than has been imagined by the uninformed. The mammoths were 'mummified', a process that is quite easily done in a cold environment. Guthrie compares it to the process that packaged meat undergoes in a freezer.

The following is from Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe by Guthrie:
"The word mummy has long been used to describe carcasses preserved in northern permafrost. Some have objected to this usage on the basis that preservation by freezing is unlike 'real' mummification of an embalmed or dried corpse. However, frozen carcasses, like Dima and Blue Babe, (two well preserved carcasses described in his book, Dima is a baby mammoth, Blue Babe is a bison) are indeed desiccated and fully deserve to be called mummies." (Guthrie 1990)
"Underground frost mummification should not be confused with freeze-drying, which occurs when a body is frozen and moisture is removed by sublimation, a process accelerated by a partial vacuum. ... I have often freeze-dried items, sometimes inadvertently, during our long Alaskan winters, where the temperature seldom rises above freezing for eight months of the year." (Guthrie 1990)
"However, the desiccation of fossil mummies is quite different than freeze-drying. Moisture contained in a buried carcass is not released to the atmosphere but is crystallized in place, in ice lenses around the mummy. This process is more comparable to tightly wrapped food left too long in a freezer. When a stew is first frozen, it swells to a somewhat larger size, bulging the sealed plastic container. The longer it stays in the freezer, month after month, the more the moisture begins to separate, forming ice crystals inside the container. The stew itself shrinks and desiccates. Year follows year, and the stew becomes more and more desiccated, as ice segregates from it. Eventually, the stew has become a shriveled, dehydrated block; unlike freeze-drying in which the object theoretically retains its original form, the stew is shrunken in size and surrounded by a network of clear ice crystals. Soft tissue becomes mummified and shrunken down, looking like a desiccated mummy dried in the sun. These two processes of cold mummification and freeze-drying were not distinctly understood by people unfamiliar with long winters and the back corners of deep freezers." (Guthrie 1990)
The picture in the Sutcliffe book shows the front leg of the Berezovka mammoth. The muscles are dried straps over the bones, quite as Guthrie describes, looking very mummified.

As for instant freezing, as claimed by Ted Holden, there is no evidence of that. The Berezovka mammoth shows evidence of having been buried in a landslide, the cold mud acting as preservative and the underlying permafrost completing the process by freezing the carcass.

E. W. Pfizenmayer was one of the scientists who actually recovered and studied the Berezovka mammoth. I was able to obtain his book, Siberian Man and Mammoth through interlibrary loan. It's quite interesting, the mammoth story is only a part of his book, he also commented at length on people who were living in Siberia at the time of the scientists' journey to get to the site of the mammoth.

Pfizenmayer says about the mammoth:
"Baron E. von Toll, the well-known geological explore of Arctic Siberia, who perished while leading the Russian expedition in 1903, had covered in 1890 most of the sites of previous finds of mammoth and rhinoceros bodies in carrying out his professional investigations. In doing so he had established that the mammoth found by Adams in 1799 buried at the mouth of the Lena in a crevice of a cliff from 200 to 260 feet high, and sent by him to St. Petersberg, had been frozen in a bank of diluvial ice on the slope of the river. This ice bank was not (as Adams believed and stated in his description of the site of the find) the remains of the old drift-ice whose crevices had been filled with mud. The fissures in the bank of diluvial ice on the Lena, which was far bigger than ours, had, according to Toll's findings, gradually filled with earth from the top downwards, and its upper surface covered with alluvial soil to such an extent that a fair number of the tundra plants were able to take root on it.
"Toll concluded that this particular Siberian ice was in no case recent, but was the remains of diluvial inland ice, which once covered the whole world, and then was gradually overlaid with earth, surviving to this day in the Arctic regions in ice-banks of varying extent.
"Our investigations confirmed his opinion. They proved that the animal had been preserved in the same way as Adams's mammoth, according to Toll, had been. In both cases the bodies had been enbedded in fissures of the diluvial inland ice. Then when the temperature fell the mud disappeared and the ice in which they were fast frozen had kept them, complete with their soft parts, in a state a preservation through the ages.
"Before I arrived at the site, Herz had partially dug away the hill of earth round the body, and so both the forefeet and the hind feet were exposed. These lay under the body so that it rested on them. When one looked at the body one had the impression that it must have suddenly fallen into an unexpected fissure in the ice, which it probably came across in its wanderings, and which may have been covered with a layer of plant-bearing mould. After its fall the unlucky animal must have tried to get out of its hopeless position, for the right forefoot was doubled up and the left stretched forward as if it had struggled to rise. But its strength had apparently not been up to it, for when we dug it out still farther we found that in its fall it had not only broken several bones, but had been almost completely buried by the falls of earth which tumbled in on it, so that it had suffocated.
"Its death must have occurred very quickly after its fall, for we found half-chewed food still in its mouth, between the back teeth and on its tongue, which was in good preservation. The food consisted of leaves and grasses, some of the later carrying seeds. We could tell from these that the mammoth must have come to its miserable end in the autumn."
Also:
"Lapparent attributes the extinction of the mammoth to a gradual increase in cold and a decrease in the supply of food, rather than to a cataclysmic flood." (Guthrie 1990)

"...Quackenbush (1909) concluded that the partial mammoth mummy from Eschscholtz Bay, Alaska, was so deteriorated as to exclude 'sudden fall in temperature" theories...'" (Guthrie 1990)
I am still doing research on Mammoth diet and climate at the time of the burial of the Berezovka mammoth. Types of data being studied, stomach and mouth contents of the said mammoth, stomach contents of other mammoths found. Lake bottom sediment cores, showing pollen and vegetation over the last 10,000 years. Comments by Guthrie on how the climatic changes of the ice age affected the ratio of edible vegetation from then to present. Estimation of snow depths on the Mammoth Slope are also being covered and have a large bearing on extinction of the mammoth and other large Ice Age mammals.

NOTE: The Beresovka mammoth is the one that Ted kept claiming was 'instantly frozen' by catastrophe. This is totally untrue, according to the scientists who did the actual research in 1900.

References

Sutcliffe, Anthony J., On the Track of the Ice Age Mammals, Harvard University Press, 1985.
Guthrie, R. Dale. Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe, 1990, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill.
Pfizenmayer, E. W., Siberian Man and Mammoth, 1939. Blackie and Son, London




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Flash-Frozen Mammoths and Their Buttercups: Yet Another Case of Repetition and Recycling of Bad Data

Source:  Jason Colavito


".......... that the mammoth had been frozen so quickly that its last meal of buttercups were still freshly in bloom in its mouth. “Upon the [tongue] and between the teeth, were portions of the animal’s last meal, which for some incomprehensible reason it had not had time to swallow.” This one fact gave rise to a 56 years of speculation about “instant” freezing of the mammoths in some catastrophist disaster. The scientist who studied the mammoth in situ, Dr. Otto Herz, had written that “more [food] is found on the tongue and between the teeth,” and he assumed that the mammoth died while he was eating, tumbling off a cliff or down a slope to his death. He wrote that the mammoth was not flash-frozen, but rather likely died in a mud pit that froze over shortly after the animal’s death and became buried under layers of dirt. The decrepit state of the flesh reported by the explorers is more than enough to refute Sanderson’s misimpression that the mammoth was fresh enough to eat.

It’s interesting that the report of finding the remains of buttercups in the mammoth’s stomach gradually morphed under catastrophist and creationist influence into something it was never intended to be. Modern writers routinely claim that the mammoth died instantly with “buttercups in its mouth,” or some variation thereof. Herz had reported that there was the remains of food in the animal’s mouth, and later on, in 1905, this was more specifically detailed by A. V. Borodin, who did not find flash-frozen salad but rather reported that bits of food were stuck between the animal’s teeth. By 1912, there was already the beginning of a suggestion of flash-freezing, which the scientist J. P. Felix gave in his Das Mammuth von Borna:  “On uncovering the skull a portion of the animal’s food was found in the form of a wad lying between the upper and lower teeth. Its death, therefore, must have been so sudden that it did not have time to swallow this food” (trans. Henry Fairfield Osborn). Felix didn’t mean that the mammoth had frozen at the moment of death, but it was easy enough to read it that way. The stomach contents, according to an English-language account published in 1925, included several species of grass, sedges, mint, legume pods, wild poppies, and “seeds of the northern butter daisy (Ranunculus).” Somehow the butter daisy seeds morphed into flash-frozen buttercups still in bloom! This appears to be due to some phrasing in a report written by E. V. Pfizenmayer in August 1939 called “Les mammouths de Siberie,” which I have not read but which is cited frequently as the source for the buttercup claim. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, what was actually found was pollen from the buttercups, both between the teeth and in the stomach.

For those who care, Felix said that the exact species was Ranunculus acer L. var. borealis, the common buttercup.

Thus, V. Paul Flint, the creationist, wrote in 1988: “Little flowering buttercups, tender sedges and grasses exclusively were found in the stomach of the Beresovka mammoth.” One creationist ventured that the mammoth froze in half an hour or less on the basis of this evidence. Such claims drew on a dispute in the Russian literature of the early 1900s in which different groups of scientists argued about the season of the mammoth’s death, with some arguing for July due to immature pollen and others for fall based on mature vegetables.

Sanderson claimed that the stomach contents froze so rapidly that decomposition did not occur, indicating temperatures dropping from 60 above to 150 below zero Fahrenheit or colder instantly, due, he thought, to volcanic activity. However, he had misunderstood the scientific literature and mistook the list of grasses and plants for the leaves of these. The scientists identified the plants by their seeds, which were preserved, not their leaves, which had decayed into an unidentifiable mass.

But I was terribly disappointed to find that the claim that Fairbanks, Alaska, had mammoth steaks on restaurant menus did not appear in Sanderson’s article. Donald Patten’s only citation on the page of Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch (1966) where the claim appears pointed to Sanderson’s article, so I had expected to find it there. Did Patten just make the claim up? I think he probably was repeating secondhand testimony of something misunderstood. Fairbanks, Alaska, was indeed involved with mammoth flesh about two decades before Patten wrote, when excavators uncovered several specimens of mammoth on which the flesh still clung between the 1930s and 1950s. The most famous of these was the mummified mammoth Otto Geist found in 1948. This activity created great interest at the time, and in July 1944 Harper’s magazine carried a report by Frank C. Hibben that evoked the stench of “thousands of tons of rotting mammoth meat” newly thawed and the desire of those who encountered it to taste the black and rotting flesh: “Nothing would do but that we taste a piece of almost black, frozen mammoth meat.” This may be the origin of Patten’s claim, or else restaurants celebrated the local mammoths with meals named for them....."









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3.17.2017

Did you know that March 20 is Extraterrestrial Abductions Day?




Did you know that March 20 is Extraterrestrial Abductions Day? 


That is all.












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The List of Stores JC Penney's is Closing in 2017

I hadn't even heard that JC Penney was closing stores - but I don't often read retail news.  Unlike Sears and Kmart, I do actually like JC Penney's so I'm a bit sad to see them having to take these steps - but on the other hand they are still continuing to operate 900 stores.

J.C. Penney released a list of 138 stores it plans to close.  Most stores will begin liquidation sales April 17 and close in June.


Auburn Mall Auburn AL
Tannehill Promenade Bessemer AL
Gadsden Mall Gadsden AL
Jasper Mall Jasper AL
Military Plaza Benton AR
Chickasaw Plaza Blytheville AR
Riverview Mall Bullhead City AZ
Downtown Bishop Bishop CA
Sunwest Plaza Lodi CA
The Village at Orange Orange CA
Hilltop Mall Richmond CA
Fort Morgan Main St. Fort Morgan CO
Glenwood Springs Mall Glenwood Springs CO
St. Vrain Centre Longmont CO
Broadway Plaza Sterling CO
Connecticut Post Mall Milford CT
Jacksonville Regional Shopping Center Jacksonville FL
Palatka Mall Palatka FL
Dublin Mall Dublin GA
Macon Mall Macon GA
Milledgeville Mall Milledgeville GA
Gateway Plaza Thomasville GA
Tifton Mall Tifton GA
Downtown Decorah Decorah IA
Crossroads Mall Fort Dodge IA
Penn Central Mall Oskaloosa IA
Quincy Place Ottumwa IA
Snake River Plaza Burley ID
Eastland Mall Bloomington IL
Fulton Square Canton IL
Village Square Mall Effingham IL
Freestanding Macomb IL
Peru Mall Peru IL
Northland Mall Sterling IL
Centerpointe of Woodridge Woodridge IL
FairOaks Mall Columbus IN
Connersville Plaza Connersville IN
Huntington Plaza Huntington IN
Jasper Manor Center Jasper IN
Logansport Mall Logansport IN
Chanute Square Chanute KS
Downtown Great Bend Great Bend KS
Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson KS
Freestanding Lawrence KS
Winfield Plaza Winfield KS
Cortana Mall Baton Rouge LA
Park Terrace DeRidder LA
North Shore Square Slidell LA
Berkshire Mall Lanesborough MA
Easton Marketplace Easton MD
Rockland Plaza Rockland ME
Lakeview Square Mall Battle Creek MI
Delta Plaza Escanaba MI
Westshore Mall Holland MI
Copper Country Mall Houghton MI
Birchwood Mall Kingsford MI
Midland Mall Midland MI
Cascade Crossings Sault Ste. Marie MI
Central Lakes Crossing Baxter MN
Five Lakes Centre Fairmont MN
Faribo West Mall Faribault MN
Irongate Plaza Hibbing MN
Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson MN
Red Wing Mall Red Wing MN
Downtown Thief River Falls Thief River Falls MN
Freestanding Winona MN
Maryville Center Maryville MO
Leigh Mall Columbus MS
Southgate Plaza Corinth MS
Greenville Mall Greenville MS
Bonita Lakes Mall Meridian MS
Oxford Mall Oxford MS
Capital Hill Mall Helena MT
Sidney Main Street Sidney MT
Albemarle Crossing Albemarle NC
Boone Mall Boone NC
Eastridge Mall Gastonia NC
Blue Ridge Mall Hendersonville NC
Monroe Crossing Monroe NC
Becker Village Mall Roanoke Rapids NC
Prairie Hills Mall Dickinson ND
Buffalo Mall Jamestown ND
Downtown Wahpeton Wahpeton ND
Fremont Mall Fremont NE
Downtown McCook McCook NE
Platte River Mall North Platte NE
Rio Grande Plaza Rio Grande NJ
The Boulevard Las Vegas NV
Dunkirk-Fredonia Plaza Dunkirk NY
Westfield Sunrise Massapequa NY
Palisades Center West Nyack NY
Findlay Village Mall Findlay OH
New Towne Mall New Philadelphia OH
Richmond Town Square Richmond Heights OH
St. Mary's Square St. Marys OH
Altus Plaza Altus OK
Ne-Mar Shopping Center Claremore OK
Ponca Plaza Ponca City OK
Pioneer Square Shopping Center Stillwater OK
Astoria Downtown Astoria OR
Grants Pass Shopping Center Grants Pass OR
La Grande Downtown La Grande OR
Downtown Pendleton Pendleton OR
The Dalles Main Street The Dalles OR
Columbia Mall Bloomsburg PA
Clearfield Mall Clearfield PA
King of Prussia Mall King of Prussia PA
Philadelphia Mills Philadelphia PA
Bradford Towne Centre Towanda PA
Lycoming Mall Pennsdale PA
Willow Grove Park Willow Grove PA
Citadel Mall Charleston SC
Town 'N Country Easley SC
Palace Mall Mitchell SD
Northridge Plaza Pierre SD
Watertown Mall Watertown SD
Yankton Mall Yankton SD
Greeneville Commons Greeneville TN
Knoxville Center Knoxville TN
County Market Place Union City TN
Athens Village Shopping Center Athens TX
Borger Shopping Plaza Borger TX
Heartland Mall Early TX
El Paso Downtown El Paso TX
Marshall Mall Marshall TX
McAllen Downtown McAllen TX
University Mall Nacogdoches TX
King Plaza Shopping Center Seguin TX
Bosque River Center Stephenville TX
New River Valley Mall Christiansburg VA
Tanglewood Mall Roanoke VA
Pilchuck Landing Snohomish WA
Pine Tree Mall Marinette WI
Marshfield Mall Marshfield WI
Richland Square Shopping Center Richland Center WI
Rapids Mall Wisconsin Rapids WI
Foxcroft Towne Center Martinsburg WV
Downtown Sheridan Sheridan WY

3.16.2017

Unsponsored Review of GeerTop Sleeping Bags I Ordered from Amazon




As I got ready to do a camping trip for my birthday, I realized that somehow, all our sleeping bags but one have 'disappeared' and walked away.  (I have 3 kids... it happens!)  I had recently purchased some fleece sleep sacks and a winter sleeping bag but I needed some lightweight and warmer weather bags.  Something for about 40 degrees at night up to 65 or so during the day.

I looked and researched a long time as I had a couple things important to me.  Mainly - I hate to feel confined and claustrophobic in my bags and I have to be able to turn over when I'm in it!  For this reason I had book marked these Geertop bags on Amazon but I was hesitating to order as it was obviously a Chinese made item and those can be hit or miss.  I finally ordered two (the orange and green colors - in the large size so it would be wide) and I ended up loving everything about them so I went back and ordered one more (in blue).


From the Amazon page description:

The sleeping bag can be opened fully to be used as a quilt
Double zipper design allows the sleeping bag to be opened from the inside or outside.
The sleeping bag can be attached to another sleeping bag

The sleeping bag will accommodate most people up to 6 ft 3” (190 cm) . 
The medium size measures (75 + 12) x 30 inches / (190 + 30) x 75 cm and weighs 3.09 lbs (1.4kg). 
The large size measures (75 + 12) x 34 inches / (190 + 30) x 85 cm and weighs 3.53 lbs (1.6kg).

● The zipper goes all the way to the bottom allowing your feet to breath freely on a warm night, also allowing you to walk around with the sleeping bag on.
● Built in windshield on the inner portion
● Elastic cord to ensure a perfect fit
● Built-in pocket for carrying small gadgets
● 210T extra strong woven fabric combined with superfine pongee polyester lining.















I ordered my GeerTop sleeping bags from Amazon - you can also find them through my affiliate links here:

 







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