Short Bits

Short Bits 2019

Short Bits is my solution for sharing information that would be too short for a separate blog post.

Contents

  1. Cleaner Method of Measuring Honey for Recipes (2019-04-11)
  2. Cycling Gloves for Thin Profile Laptop Use (2019-04-11)
  3. Full Cycle Laundry Wash? (2019-04-11)
  4. Government Nannyism in Virginian – VA HB 1660 (2019-04-11)
  5. Repurpose Plastic Detergent Containers for Urine Collection (2019-04-11)
  6. Lower Prices at Whole Foods Market? I’m Not Seeing Them (2019-04-15)
  7. M83 – French Electronic Band (2019-04-30)
  8. 935 mg of Sodium in One Serving…What?! (2019-06-02)
  9. Why You Should Use a Complex Admin Username(s) for Your WordPress Site (2019-07-13)
  10. Equifax Thinks Your Social Security Number Is Only Worth $125 (2019-08-04)
1. Cleaner Method of Measuring Honey for Recipes (2019-04-11)

I recently tried a recipe that I’ve had for some time that called for the use of oil and honey among other ingredients. I didn’t plan it, but I measured the oil first and then used the same measuring cup to measure the honey. All but a very small amount of honey slid right out of the measuring cup.

2. Cycling Gloves for Thin Profile Laptop Use (2019-04-11)

Laptops have really become thin and lightweight. The downside to thin laptops is that resting your hands on the edge while keyboarding can cause discomfort. I came up with a solution to negate the discomfort by wearing nicely padded cycling gloves. I bought a pair of Inbike cycling gloves from Amazon and they work quite nicely to keep my hands comfortable when using my laptop.

3. Full Cycle Laundry Wash? (2019-04-11)

Have you ever done something the same way year after year and then begin to question why? I can’t remember what prompted me to start thinking about it, but a few years ago I began to think about washing bath towels and washcloths using the full cycle setting on the washing machine. Usually you use bath towels and washcloths to clean your body and wipe off, so they’re not that dirty.

The washing machine I use has a light setting and I began using that to wash lightly soiled items; e.g. bath towels, washcloths, flat sheets and pillow cases used as dust covers or to catch toe nail clippings. Using the light setting on the washing machine saves a little bit of time, energy, and wear and tear on the items being washed.

4. Government Nannyism in Virginia – Virginia HB 1660 (2019-04-11)

Recently, Virginia House Bill 1660 was passed specifying that landlords must provide a written notice about responsibility for the loss of personal property when the landlord does not require a tenant to obtain renter’s insurance. The bill was introduced by Delegate Karrie K. Delaney (D), who listed passage of the bill as an accomplishment in a recent update to Virginia constituents.

According to a December 20, 2018 post on Delegate Delaney’s site, a fire in Virginia resulted in the complete loss of personal property for some members of an apartment complex for senior citizens, some of whom did not have renter’s insurance. What’s next; will landlords be required to inform tenants of the dangers of smoking within their apartments? Where’s personal responsibility in all of this?

5. Repurpose Plastic Detergent Containers for Urine Collection (2019-04-11)

I track water useage for my family’s home and I find it amazing how much water is used. Thinking about water useage recently, I remembered that some mobile dwellers use an empty detergent jug to urinate into when they aren’t able to get to a restroom. I had some empty detergent jugs sitting around that I use to fill with water to fill unused space in our freezer. I cut out the spout on two of the containers and started using them to collect my urine during the day. I keep one detergent bottle on the main level of our home and the other detergent bottle in the master bathroom.

At the start of each day, I put 18-20 drops of peppermint essential oil into the jug, which reduces urine odor from the jug when opened. Before I go to bed, I empty both containers, rinse with tap water, and then leave them opened over night to air dry as much as possible. I estimate I’m saving 10 or more gallons of water a day by not flushing the toilet every time I urinate.

Ladies, you can do this too.

Update – 2019-09-08: I was researching methods of naturally neutralizing urine odor today and came across a post about using urine for nutrient recycling; i.e. fertilzer. There’s an amazing photo of a test plot at the end of the post on the right showing the difference between using urine and not using urine for fertilization. So, instead of always dumping your urine into the toilet, you can use it, albeit sparingly, to water the non-edible plants around your yard.

6. Lower Prices at Whole Foods Market? I’m Not Seeing Them (2019-04-15)

There was some speculation about how Jeff Bezos might bring lower prices to Whole Foods Market when he purchased the grocer in 2017. I suppose providing discounts for Amazon Prime members could count for bringing lower prices, but I don’t take advantage of that benefit because you have to use the Amazon app on your smartphone or provide your phone number at checkout. I would definitely not provide my phone number to the cashier at checkout. I have concerns about privacy and security using any app on a smartphone to conduct financial transactions, especially since I use a Tracfone, which does not receive Android security updates. I am also planning to cancel my Prime membership close to the auto-renewal date.

I’ve noticed significant price increases lately when I’ve shopped at Whole Foods Market. I don’t buy near as much at Whole Foods Market as I used to, but there are still some things I prefer to buy there versus other grocery stores. Are the higher prices Jeff Bezos’s solution for the $15 per hour minimum wage at Whole Foods Market? To be fair, there are still a number of items available at Whole Foods Market which are comparably or reasonably priced; e.g. eggs, milk, canned baked beans, rice, dark chocolate bars, maple syrup. So why the higher prices on other items? I’m glad I have a number of choices for grocery shopping where I live.

I’ve purchased Alden’s organic ice cream by the half gallon in the past at Whole Foods Market. I’ve not been able to find Alden’s organic ice cream at any of the other grocery stores I’ve shopped at in my area. I think I used to pay $6.99 for the ice cream, but when I went to pick up a half gallon last week, the price is now $8.99. Needless to say, I didn’t purchase the ice cream.

Following is a price comparison table of just a small sample of items with significantly higher prices at Whole Foods Market versus other grocery stores in my area. It definitely pays to comparison shop.

ItemWFMTrader Joe’sWegmansDifference
Amy’s frozen entrees$5.29$4.19$1.10
Coconut oil$6.99 (14-oz)$4.99 (16-oz)$2.00
Cranberries, organic dried, 8-oz$4.99$2.99$2.00
Cream of Buckwheat cereal, 13-oz$4.49$3.69$0.80
Golden Turmeric cereal, 10.6-oz$5.49$3.99$1.50
Peanut butter, organic creamy, 16-oz$3.99$3.49$0.50
Peanuts, organic dry roasted unsalted$3.49 (16-oz)$5.49 (35-oz)$0.96 (for 16-oz)
Purple Acai cereal, 10.6-oz$5.49$3.99$1.50
Sugar, organic$7.19 (4-lbs)$4.19 (3-lbs)$1.20 (for 3-lbs)

7. M83 – French Electronic Band (2019-04-30)

I discovered M83’s Wait music video while watching another music video on YouTube recently. Wait is from the Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming CD. Wait is a nice, electronic, ethereal music masterpiece.

8. 935 mg of Sodium in One Serving…What?! (2019-06-02)

In a recent post, I talked about my experience with a second kidney stone attack. In that post I stated that I was reducing sodium as one of a few dietary changes in an attempt to prevent another kidney stone occurence. Early this morning, I was planning on preparing and freezing sauerkraut and hot dogs for one of my loaded baked potato recipes.

I remembered reading a post on the Dr. Axe site about sauerkraut having a lot of sodium, but in the past I’ve never been too concerned about the sodium content of food. I decided to check out the sodium content of Eden Foods organic sauerkraut that I use for one of my loaded baked potato recipes. According to the nutrition label, there are 17 servings in a 18-ounce jar with 220 mg of sodium per serving. 17 servings times 220 mg of sodium equals 3,740 mg of sodium. Including one cut hot dog per serving, I normally get four servings of sauerkraut to use on a baked potato. Divide 3,740 by 4 and you get 935 mg of sodium per serving; that’s just for the sauerkraut!

Hot dogs themselves can be high in sodium. I’ve used Applegate Farms organic uncured beef hot dogs in the past and those have 500 mg of sodium per hot dog. So I’ve been consuming at least 1,435 mg of sodium in one meal in the past when enjoying a loaded baked potato with sauerkraut and hot dog. That’s way too much sodium in my opinion. According to an article written by Jill Harris, the upper limit for sodium intake is 2,000 mg, but the optimal level is 1,500 mg. So now I’ve decided to give up my much loved sauerkraut and hot dog, loaded baked potato recipe.

9. Why You Should Use a Complex Admin Username(s) for Your WordPress Site (2019-07-13)

I use Wordfence, a WordPress security plugin, for my blog. Wordfence provides information in the WordPress admin area under the Wordfence Firewall options page, as well as in emailed weekly activity reports, about failed and successful login attempts. As you can see in the screenshot below, it is a good idea to use a complex user name for your WordPress site admin account(s).

Note: All of the failed login attempts in the screenshot below were unauthorized, so I have no qualms about showing the IP addresses.

Update: During my recent site migration to Name Hero, I learned a tip about password protecting your wp-admin directory. Assuming you use different user names and passwords (you should), a potential hacker would need two usernames and two passwords before being able to gain access to your WordPress admin panel.

10. Equifax Thinks Your Social Security Number Is Only Worth $125 (2019-08-04)

I recently read a post on The Penny Hoarder site about Equifax offering $125 to individuals affected by the data breach that occurred in 2017. Check here to see if you were affected.

In The Penny Hoarder post, there was a sentence about hackers being able to obtain information from a Facebook search. Who needs Facebook? Use your favored search engine and search your name and city. You’ll be shocked at the information that is available to the world about you; e.g. MyLife.com. The MyLife site also makes it easy for anyone to add information about you.

Post header image courtesy of Aaron Schwab at Freeimages.

2019-004

Updated on 2019-09-08

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