Night Soil


Would you fertilize your garden with human poop?

Neither would I. But in some countries, this is the done thing. They even have a name for it. They call it Night Soil. I first read about night soil a few months ago while reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

Rice has to be fertilized repeatedly, which is another art. Traditionally, farmers used “night soil” (human manure) and a combination of burned compost, river mud, bean cake, and hemp and they had to be careful, because too much fertilizer, or the right amount applied at the wrong time, could be as bad as too little.

And unfortunately some of those countries are now importing foods into Australia, and we are eating these foods sometimes without being aware of it due to poor food labelling laws.. How many times have you seen something like “Packed in Australia using imported products” – imported from where?


They don’t tell us.

That picture above is from the label of my favourite salad dressing. Why do they need to import ingredients? Everything they use in this product is available right here in Australia.

How has this happened to this great country we live in? A country that grows almost everything and could supply almost everything we need without having to import one single item?

How is it, that I now cannot buy a tin of grown in Australia Champignons? I’ve tried all the supermarkets. There are no champignons grown here anymore, not that I can find.


Check the label, and you will see –


I grew up in a household where we always used champignons on our homemade pizza. I grew up eating champignons right out of the tin. I can tell you how they tasted when they were grown in Australia – like someone took a huge bunch of mushrooms and removed their essence, their flavour, and packed it into each and every champignon. I actually preferred them to fresh mushrooms.

These Chinese champignons taste like nothing. There is *no* flavour. You might as well eat the paper on the tin.

And now, several Australians have contracted hepatitis A from frozen berries.

Could this be due to night soil? Nobody knows as yet. But you better believe I’m not buying any more products which are grown overseas. Why would we allow products from countries you need to get vaccinations to visit?

And why on earth would we allow product labelling that does not tell us where the food originates from?

Go to your food pantry, right now.

And take a good look at the labels. Do you have any products which say Product of Australia? Or does everything originate from locations you personally would not travel to, let alone eat food from!

Angry Snoskred, Aussie Culture, food, potential disaster, shopping

Allowed VS Aloud Part 2

~ Image credit to DoodleWithGlueGun on Deviant Art ~

Perhaps you have noticed our Fail Whale art has taken an angry turn. That is because the following post makes me see red. Allow me to rage momentarily..


So, you got a kitten and loved it all through the cute kitten stage, and now you are going to turn the life of this poor kitty completely upside down, take it away from the home it knows and send it.. who knows where as long as they pay you $200.

Perhaps you were not *allowed* a cat to begin with and now you have been found out, the poor cat is the one who has to suffer.

I wish the best to the poor kitty. I truly hope you found a home in which you will be loved the way you deserve.

To the owner, I wish you never, ever have another pet. Plus, I wish some other bad things for you which cannot be printed out loud on the inter webs or even spoken *aloud* in the world. :( Typing Aloud instead of Allowed is the least of the bads you have done here.

Angry Snoskred, animals, Fail Whale, wrong world

A little bit of scheduling error!

So, I scheduled 2 posts for one day a couple days ago, well done me. :)

I’m having a really tough time at work at the moment. As far as I am concerned, I am going in for my second to last shift ever tonight. And just by doing that, I am giving management bullets for their gun with every single call I take.

By the time you read this, I’ll have been there for a good couple of hours, and I’ll be counting down the minutes till I can leave.

It is an awful way to feel. It is an awful place to be. It takes every last millimeter of willpower within me to drive there, get out of the car, and go inside.

I’ve taken pretty much everything I own home already.

There is a meeting set for next week during which I fully expect to be fired, perhaps for making a joke, or for doing my job correctly but having that mis-interpreted by someone who has never ever done my job.

Imagine – whatever field you might work in – me, who has never done your job and knowing nothing about your job, coming in to sit in judgment of you. Or not me. Imagine it is some random you pass in the street.

The one good thing about todays shift is – it will be the last time I ever work with someone (possibly 2 someones) I truly despise. This time, I might even say some of the things which have been festering inside me out loud, in front of other people who know those things I have been thinking. That might feel good.

I’m just letting myself wing it now – not making any plans and not really caring much about the outcome because I’ve already made my decision. I don’t want to work there anymore. I’m ok with not working there anymore.

After six months of being a fake shell of who I am, too scared to say anything for fear I would be fired, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it *will* happen. Now, I’m gonna be me, whether people like it or not.

I’ll have more to say about this here, once the meeting is over. Or maybe I will just make one post, let it all out, and then move on. We’ll see. Play it by ear. Wing it. :)

Angry Snoskred, Annoyed Snoskred, work

Crash Down To Earth

Today was the kind of day I think I should have stayed in bed. Or stayed at home and did chooky chores..

I woke up with a not-awesome sinus. There’s a wattle tree near the chicken coop – not on our property unfortunately – which I am allergic to.

I had to go to work so even though I was feeling pretty blah I got up and moving. With all the rain the last few days my Polo smells a bit like wet dog, even though I don’t have a dog. Even so, j’adore my Polo, so I got in and headed off to work.

First this old lady tries to hit me while I am next to her – she started moving into my lane while I was still in it. I had to brake and swerve.

Not keen on this, I accelerate past her at which point she moves into the lane behind me.

I have my blinker on as I am going around the corner, and I have to stop at the roundabout for a car, so I start to slow down in order to stop.

She does not slow down – in fact she accelerates. I hear this enormous bang at which point I realise this crazy lady has hit me in the rear. My car stalls. She hits me a second time, almost pushing me out into the intersection.

I stop the car and get out yelling at her, as you do when you’ve had a scare and you think the back end of your car has been pushed in. She tries to tell me she had both feet on the brake trying to stop. If that was the case, how did she hit me a second time?

Anyway I tell her to pull into the side street and sort it out.

I wouldn’t let her leave until the police got there because frankly I thought she was either drunk or a nutter.

Thankfully there isn’t a lot of damage to the car mainly just some scratches on the bumper and I think she might have pushed it in and it popped back out again by itself but I am starting to think there might be damage to me. I’ve had a splitting headache ever since and my neck and back are pretty sore.

To add insult to injury, she tells me while I am leaning on the back of the car, shaking and feeling like I was going to throw up, not to worry because these are just cars, just metal, and she’s had breast cancer so she knows what is important.

Anyway, what a crap day. I’ve taken some Nurofen Plus earlier this afternoon but they did zip. I might have to break out the big guns and Panadeine Forte myself to bed.

My poor Polo. :( I’m so angry.

Angry Snoskred, driving

Keeping Confidences.

Some of you would know that I’ve been involved with AKMuckraker and The Mudflats since September, 2008. We’ve been through a lot in the past few years, many stressful situations which we have worked through together as well as the rest of The Mudflats Admin & Moderation team. I consider her to be a good friend.

AKMuckraker (Jeanne Devon) and her good friends Ken Morris and Frank Bailey (A former aide to Governor Palin) have collaborated together on a book. It was released yesterday in the USA.


Also released yesterday were several “tweets” from Rebecca Mansour, a current aide of Sarah Palin.

What a top aide to Sarah Palin really thinks about Mitt Romney, Bristol Palin, Erick Erickson and more

Though whether she is still an aide remains to be seen – Palin has a habit of throwing people under the bus for much less than Mansour is guilty of.

During the time I have worked with AKMuckraker, there have been times when she has shared confidences with me. Never in a million years would I think to share those with anyone else, not even the admin & mod team, without her express permission. Certainly not with someone I’ve never met whether or not I trusted them.

When someone tells me something and tells me to keep it in the vault, with me, it is LOCKED IN THAT DARNED VAULT and it isn’t coming out until that person tells me otherwise.

Mansour betrayed Sarah and her family, and thoroughly deserves to be thrown under the bus. When someone trusts you and allows you to be a part of their “inner circle” you have a responsibility to keep your mouth firmly zipped..

Even worse – if this is what she was saying to someone she never met, what the heck is she saying to people she knows?

Apparently the person who was tweeting with her had 122 tweets from her which he was willing to sell. The people he ended up giving them to (nobody would buy them) have not shared all of them but you can view the ones they did share here and here.

My personal favourites with the irony in bold –

19:23:35: Listen: I tell you things I wouldn’t tell anyone tho I have press hounding me for the info I tell you. I trust you even tho I’ve never met u

19:28:55: Nothing we can do when someone behaves stupidly.

Ain’t that the truth!

Angry Snoskred, anonymity, internet, Internet Safety, Sarah Palin, The Mudflats, The Vault, Who Is Snoskred

Welcome Slash Dotters..

I’ve read through the comments here, and I just have a couple of things to point out.

In the case of AKMuckraker, previous to Doogan outing her, there was no connection between her real life identity, and the identity of AKMuckraker. You couldn’t google and find a link between the two. It simply was not possible.

He spent three months obsessively asking people who AKMuckraker was. He did this because she posted this blog post – Are You People Nuts? Lessons In Email Etiquette – this post came about as a direct result of his own actions.

The actions? Rep Mike Doogan replies to emails in a very inappropriate manner as a matter of course, it seems. But in that case he had collected up 30 or so different email addresses, and then emailed them ALL with the email addresses viewable to everyone. That is a clear breach of the privacy of those people who wrote to him.

Now AKMuckraker had a right to inform people about that, in my opinion. If you write an email to your representative, you expect there to be a level of privacy. Apparently this sent Doogan quite over the edge and began his obsession with her.

He chose to send out her identity in a newsletter to his constituents, many of whom may never have heard of AKMuckraker at all. That is the part which is most inappropriate in my opinion.

There are many reasons people want to remain anonymous on the internet. Alaska is a quite a small place in the scheme of things and like a lot of small towns to have true freedom of speech you don’t want to use your real name.

Other reasons someone might wish to remain anonymous –

* Because it is a standard identity- and privacy-protection precaution
* Because they have experienced online or offline stalking, harassment, or political or domestic violence
* Because they wish to discuss sexual abuse, sexuality, domestic abuse, assault, politics, health, or mental illness, and do not wish some subset of family, friends, strangers, aquaintances, employers, or potential employers to know about it
* Because they wish to keep their private lives, activities, and tastes separate from their professional lives, employers, or potential employers
* Because they fear threats to their employment or the custody of their children
* Because it’s the custom among their Internet cohort
* Because it’s no one else’s business

Bear in mind also – remember Kathy Sierra? Remember Dooce? Remember Abby Lee? What person in their right mind would knowingly put themselves out there for the kind of treatment those people went through?

Would you put your hand up to be fired from your job because of your blog? To receive death threats – and the people sending them know where you live? Who knows how far those people who do not like what you wrote might go?

The bottom of the bottom lines is – AKMuckraker would never have written about Doogan if he were acting in a sane manner. He is the politician who was sending the crazy emails to 30 people at once. If he had been doing the right thing and treating the people who elected him professionally and with respect, AKMuckraker would not have exposed his behavior. And NOTE – It is actually his JOB to listen to what the people are saying, and respond appropriately.

I haven’t had time to collect links today but here are some from yesterday – I would like to highlight these –

Picture of Mudflats’ AK Muckraker Posted! <-- do not fear, just go and read it. ;) I would not be posting a link if it infringed on AKM's privacy, and AKM has commented on the post too. Lorelle Van Fossen, who to me is famous but may be unknown to many of you, is writing a series on this event - The Outing of a Blogger: Social Transparency or Violation?
The Outing of a Blogger: Is it Legal to Reveal a Blogger?
The Outing of a Blogger: The Fear of Being Found Out

More links will be added to this post once I work out what hasn’t been posted. Apologies for any double ups.

Dear Mr. Doogan (Don’t feed the bears)
A Final Thought About Rep. Doogan and Mudflats
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
alaskan dem legislator outs blogger
Mike Doogan- own version of 1st ammendment
Anonymous bloggers, journalism and politics
The pertinent point
Alaska Legislator Mike Doogan: A Tool Of The First Order
Headline Does Not Match Story, Part 14: “Anti-Palin”?
Mike Doogan was wrong!
Take action on behalf of MUDFLATS
Mike Doogan Fell
My Letter to The Ethics Committee
Anonymous blogging
Open Letter to Alaskan Rep Mike Doogan
Please look for a new book by Alaska writer Mike Doogan: “Indecent Exposure.”
Know Your Blogging Rights and Help Protect Anonymous Bloggers Everywhere
Suck. Suck. Blow.
ADN’s Ear Siding With Doogan – The World Has Gone Mad
Politician Outs Blogger
…it begins.

Angry Snoskred, anonymity, internet, Internet Safety, The Mudflats, US Politics

Politician Outs Blogger

I honestly cannot believe I am typing this..

Some time ago Alaskan Politician Rep Mike Doogan was sending some crazy emails to people who emailed him and AKMuckraker was one of the bloggers involved in exposing his craziness.

Apparently this did not sit well with Rep Doogan. He has been trying to find out who AKMuckraker was for several months now and he has finally managed to do it. He then sent out a message to people on his mailing list via his official legislative newsletter, advising them of the real name of AKMuckraker. It is possible that when he did this, he broke the law.

Whether or not people support AKMuckrakers opinions, I believe most people would support her right to remain anonymous. I feel it is a right that everyone on the internet is entitled to – people make the decision for their own reasons, some because they have been cyber stalked in the past, some to prevent being cyber-stalked in the future.

This may be the first known case of an anonymous blogger being cyber-stalked by a politician determined to find out their real identity and out them, though!

You can read the full story here –

In Exposing the Identity of Mudflats, Rep. Mike Doogan Exposes Himself.

There are also some other blog posts on this subject –
Progressive Alaska
Shannyn Moore
The Immoral Minority
Palin Gates
Think Alaska
We’re Not That Stupid

I have been supporting AKMuckraker for almost 6 months now – we have been hosting her blog and forums – we have a team of mods and admins who keep the forums running smoothly. I did not need to know her real name to do that (and in fact did not know her real name until today) nor did I care what her name was. I understand anonymous blogging – I do it myself for the reasons explained on my about page.

My support will not change – other than to do whatever it takes to make sure Rep Mike Doogan never wins an election again, and to also inform the worldwide media of what he has done. It is highly inappropriate.

Epic Fail, Rep Doogan. Epic Fail.

I may not be around much for the next week or so, I’ll be busy taking action on this. ;)

Angry Snoskred, anonymity, internet, Internet Safety, politics, US Elections

Humans Let Us All Waste Water.

This might be the most important blog post I will ever write here on the blog. I ask everyone to link to it, stumble it, digg it, do anything you can to get this post in front of people – the more people who read it, the more likely they will throw out their old – and NEW – top load washing machines which are wasting an incredible amount of water – and hopefully some of those people will begin to pester their political candidates about outlawing these machines entirely.

The Truth Hurts –

I’m sure people who own top load washing machines will be upset when they read this. Don’t blame yourself – you were not educated properly – you did not know most of what I am about to tell you. I’m sorry that you bought a top load machine. I’m sorry that it is *legal* for you to buy a top load machine. It should not be, and I’m about to tell you why.

Many Salespeople Take The Route Of Least Resistance

I’ve mentioned before that I worked in sales for a long time. Over the years I would have sold over a hundred thousand washing machines at least. As the years went by the percentage of machines which were front load became higher and higher – yet there were still people who wanted to buy top load washing machines. A lot of salespeople would simply ask “what kind of machine do you want” and if top load was the answer they never mentioned anything about front loaders.

But Not Me –

I never took the easy road on this topic because it did not sit well with my conscience – I always pointed out the following –

  • Top load washing machines use 2-3 times the water a front loader uses.
  • We’re not talking a small difference – the average top load uses 150-200 litres of water per wash. A front load uses between 40-80 litres of water.
  • Front Load washers are less harsh on your clothes.
  • Front Load washers clean your clothes better.
  • Front Load washers use less detergent – and there are models on the market where you DO NOT NEED to use detergent AT ALL, though you rarely get that information given to you.
  • Top Loader manufacturers do some tricky things to make their machines seem to be using less water than it truly does.

And yet after all that some people still wanted to purchase a brand new top load washing machine which would sit in their home wasting water for the next 2-20 years. Is it any wonder we have a water problem here in this country?

This Allergy May Come To You As A Surprise –

If you have a family member who is allergic to “detergent” and you’re washing with a top load? Chances are they’re not allergic to detergent at all. They’re probably allergic to the dust, dirt, pollen and various other particles which are trapped within the fibres of your clothes. They’re getting a rash because their clothes are not clean – even though they *look* clean to the human eye.

How Top Loads Wash –

Your top load machine takes your clothes and “agitates” them around, trying to get the dirt out of the clothes. Once it has done this, it drains the water – complete with dirt and detergent – back through your clothes, essentially using your clothes as a filter. All the dirt and detergent ends up back in your clothes. It then fills up for another rinse – and then does the exact same thing. All that machine does is move dirt and detergent around, breaking the dirt up to make it smaller so you can’t see it. You are essentially wearing filth. How do you like them apples?

The “Eco” Option –

Some top load machines now offer an “eco” option. The eco option usually means that once the wash water is spun out, it keeps the bowl spinning holding the clothes against the side of the bowl while spraying water onto the clothes from the inside. The theory of this is the water then gets pushed through the clothes due to the spinning action and rinsing out the dirt and detergent.

Of course this theory may fail if you have items of clothing that don’t allow the water to flow through – clothes stuck behind those articles would not be rinsed at all. This option uses 1/3 of the water normally used to rinse the clothes. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this option is something you would want to use – it is not very realistic to expect consumers to use it if their clothes don’t come out clean.

Excuses, Excuses..

Some of the excuses people give for not buying a front load are simply laughable. People say things like –

It’s More Bending For Me And My Back Can’t Take It

Actually, it is LESS bending if you purchase a stand for the machine to sit on. If you place the machine on a cupboard (usually around $199-350 from most electrical retailers) you can stand straight, put your clothes basket below the opening and simply pull the clothes out, letting them fall into the basket.

Alternatively, you can do what I did almost for free, put a fluffy rug on the floor and get down on your knees to pull the washing out. Your back will be perfectly straight. The only thing bending in both the examples I just gave will be your arm as you pull the clothes out.

To get things out of your top load you have to reach down into it, which is a different kind of bending all together. You then have to lift wet, heavy items up, out, and into the washing basket. Ask your chiropractor how good that is for your back!

A Top Loader Is What I’m Used To –

Battered wives are used to abuse. Does that mean they should continue to take it? You have a responsibility as a resident of this country – and a resident of this earth – to do everything you can to reduce your water use. To waste water because you are “used” to a top load is a poor excuse, no?

Will you be used to water restrictions? Will you be used to not being able to water your lawn and having to rip it up and replace it with paving? Will you be used to dead plants on your patio? Will you be used to brown golf courses, football ovals and parklands because nobody can afford to water them? Will you be used to empty dams? Will you be used to paying higher prices for water – and everything that needs water like crops, meat, fish, wood and the list goes on – in years to come? All of those are direct results of your reluctance to change.

I’ve Heard Bad Things About Front Loaders –

I’ve heard bad things about the drought. I’ve heard of the heartache it is causing farmers to have to go out and shoot their livestock. I’ve heard about crops lost due to not being able to water them. I’ve heard about increased salinity in our vital rivers. I’ve heard farmers want to increase the price of milk because it is more expensive to feed their livestock due to drought affected crops. I’ve seen the Murray River with my own eyes. I’ve seen dams at half their capacity.

Yes, when front loaders first arrived in this country over 20 years ago we got Europe’s off casts. They were not the best of machines – yet many of them still lasted 20 years or more. The machines today are a huge improvement. Don’t let an offhand comment at a dinner party years ago influence your decision *today*.

I Can’t Understand The Cycles –

That’s why manufacturers invented instruction books. Did you know my other half can tell me exactly how many rinses there are in each cycle of our machine? He read the book. He always reads the book. Everything you may ever want to know about your machine is inside the book. If you can’t read, ask someone to read it to you.

I’ve Heard About Over-Sudsing –

Front load washing machines do not need much detergent. Of course precisely because nobody reads the book, people just throw exactly how much powder they are used to into the machine. Strangely, this causes a SHEDLOAD of suds to appear! It is easily fixed – use less detergent in a front load machine. I use about a teaspoon of detergent, that’s all that is needed. But detergent manufacturers will tell you otherwise.. hmm, could it be they want you to buy more detergent?

If you’ve bought yourself a Miele front loader, don’t bother with detergent at all. Where you would put detergent, you can squeeze in half a lemon, or use a teaspoon of vanilla essence just to give it a nice fragrance. Your Miele washes so well it doesn’t need any help.

I Don’t Want To Buy It Without Trying It –

No problem. Give the manufacturer of the machine you are thinking of buying a call and ask if you can drop by and do a load of washing at their office. Many manufacturers welcome people with open arms and have machines set up there specifically for this purpose – Miele is a good example. If you ask really nicely they might do a special trick for you – they will let you see what is being washed OUT of your clothes. I have seen it with my own eyes – filthy, soapy, terribly dirty water. That is what made me change to a front loader.

If the manufacturer is too far away, contact your local retailer and ask if any of the manufacturers are running a “Money Back Guarantee” where you can try it for a certain amount of days and return it if you don’t like it. I’m certain you will, but if it gives you peace of mind to know you can return it, I’m all for that.

I Can’t Throw Something In –

Some people use the excuse that they can’t open the door once the machine starts washing to throw in a sock they missed as an excuse not to buy a front loader. I’m not joking. I wish I were. So in essence, their lack of organization is lowering the levels in our dams. I have two things to say about this –

1. Many machines now allow you to open the door once the wash has started.
2. Put the sock aside for the next load. If you can’t live without one sock you don’t have enough socks. Buy a few more pairs. Rivers have socks for about $2 a pair and they’re excellent socks, they last ages.

They Take A Long Time To Wash –

These days most front load machines have a quick wash option – mine does a 15 minute express 2kg wash, the Miele does a 40 minute full load wash. All top loaders are now taking longer to wash than they used to – some are up to 45-50 minutes – due to trying to lessen the amount of water used.

They Don’t Do A Big Load –

You can now get front loaders which will do anything from a 5kg load to a 10kg load.

They Are Too Expensive –

These days most front loaders start around the $650 mark – a lot cheaper than ever before. There are top loaders which are more expensive than that.

How Front Loaders Wash –

The explanation is a little more complicated. I found a great site which explains it better than I can – How Do Front Loaders Wash – your clothes will be a lot cleaner and also not “agitated” which means they last longer. Front loaders can spin at higher speeds, meaning your drying time is lower. They also use a lot less electricity – even though they heat the water to the exact temperature they want to use. They are water efficient, energy efficient and tend to be more reliable – less breakdowns because of the way they work.

Front Loaders Use –

  • Less water
  • Less Electricity
  • Less Detergent

Can any of those excuses above truly justify wasting water, electricity and putting more detergent into our environment?

So How Much Water Can It Save –

Let me blow your mind with some staggering figures. If you took a street of 50 houses with washing machines, what would the water usage be for top loaders VS front loaders? Let’s say our street all does one load of washing today.

Top load – average 160 litres water per 7.5kg wash. (the older machines use more than this)

160 x 50 houses = 8,000 litres – in one day.

Front load – average 60 litres water per 7.5kg wash.

60 x 50 = 3,000 litres – in one day.

Now let’s say our street does one load of washing a day, every day for a year.

Top Load – 8,000 litres a day.

8,000 x 365 = 2,920,000 litres of water

Front load – 3,000 litres a day.

3,500 x 365 = 1,095,000 litres of water.

2,920,000 – 1,095,000 = 1,825,000 WASTED litres of water.

How Many Homes In Australia?

At the last census in Australia, there were 8,426,559 homes. Queensland is currently on level 5 water restrictions. They have 1,660,750 homes. Imagine the water wastage if even half of those homes are using top load washing machines. The figures we spoke about were for 50 homes.

Why Isn’t Something Being Done?

  1. Manufacturers are playing tricks to make their top loaders seem like they use less water – thus tricking consumers into thinking they are water efficient.
  2. Nobody is aware of the facts of how much water these machines actually waste. Yet people are encouraged to spend less time in the shower!
  3. People believe in personal choice. As yet, no government has the balls to say we’re outlawing top load washing machines. So it is up to you the buyer to make a good choice.

America, You’re Next –

America is the country with the most top loaders in the world. Front Loaders have not been presented as an option to most consumers – it is time for consumers to step up and ask for the product. There is now a drought in Atlanta – they could probably stretch that three months of water left to six or more if everyone had a front loader.

What You Can Do –

  • Spread the word about this blog post.
  • Contact your local politicians – it’s election time. Email them a copy of this article. Ask what they are going to do about it.
  • Ask your politicians why there isn’t a rebate for purchasing a water efficient machine (Sydney Water offer it)
  • Ask your politicians to commit to holding top load washer manufacturers to a higher standard of truth about how much water their machines use. The “eco” function should not be what their machines are rated on.
  • Throw out your top load machine TODAY and buy a water efficient front loader. Yes, this costs money. Yes, this takes effort. It is worth it in the long run. Stand up and refuse to waste any more water.
  • If you can’t do the above right now today, make a commitment to purchasing a front loader the next time you need to buy a washing machine
  • Start putting aside $1 a day, $1 a week, whatever suits you, so that you’ll be in a financial position to buy the front loader when the time comes
  • Also commit to not fixing your top load machine when it breaks down – take the money you would have used to do that and put it towards a front loader
  • Encourage friends and family to make similar commitments.

Further Reading –

Stumble, Link, Discuss –

Can you take a moment to do anything you can to get this post in front of people. Mention it in forums you belong to. Stumble it. Post about it on your own blog.

People might not like what they read, but it might be the start of change for the better. If just one house that washes daily goes from a machine that uses 200 litres a wash to a machine that uses 60 it will save 51,100 litres of water. That alone is worth me writing this article. I am hopeful it will be a lot more houses than that, so help me get the message out there.

The Time For Excuses Is Over, It Is Time To Make Real Changes –

Before our dams run dry and our lives change forever. I’m not kidding. If you want to see what life would be like without water, try it for just one day. Don’t use a single tap. Don’t flush your toilet. Don’t wash clothes. Don’t water your plants. Now imagine that every day, and think about whether the cost of buying a front loader right now today is worth it compared to the option of running out of water. Some places in the country are close to empty dams. Lakes have dried up. Stock has been killed because farmers can’t afford to feed and water them.

Water is essential for everything we do every day –

Stop and think about it for a moment. All the food you eat needs water in order to survive – even grain and vegetables. Our bodies need water. Our cars need water, though you can use coolant but how environmentally unfriendly is that? We need water for wood to grow, for industries to function, for wild birds and animals, for tourism, for ecosystems. Our earth needs water, and we need to be more careful how we use it. Wasting large amounts of it on washing.. seems crazy to me.

Your Thoughts –

What do you think about all this? Is this article eye opening to you? Were you aware of these facts? Will it change what you do? Will it change what you buy the next time you want to purchase a washing machine?

The comments section is open. I welcome all discussion – I do not welcome personal attacks and will delete any comments which cross that line, you have been warned. Discuss the issues, don’t attack people. ;)

Angry Snoskred, country life, electrical appliances, environment

My Fears Come Back To Me As A Surprise.

Last week when I wanted to go to the beach I had a car to get there. I’ve given the car back now and this means in order to get to the beach, I have to walk 1.2kms along a couple of roads. I would have absolutely no problem doing this if I did not have a major fear of dogs.

I have this fear for a very good reason – I have been bitten twice already, and one of those was a major mauling that left me on crutches for a week. Yet people seem to think it is fine to let their dogs wander around without a leash or even without an owner present at all. They trust their dogs. I do not, and I do not think they should either.

If you have a fear of dogs, that can be enough right there to encourage them to bite you. No matter how wonderful Fluffy might be to your kids, your family and other animals on Fluffy’s own territory, when a dog is out on their own in the world, Fluffy can turn into a growling, snarling, biting beast in the right circumstances. If they feel threatened.

The first attack was so traumatizing and terrible that I still have trouble thinking about it – and you may have trouble reading about it. I apologise for that in advance, but let me write it and get it out, I’ll feel better.

I was 16 years old. I had a friend (yes, he was only a friend) who needed to drop back home and grab a couple of videos to return to the video shop before we went out somewhere. When he opened the front door the dog came running to me and I said to the dog “Hello, are you going to be nice to me today?” My friend said “No, he is not” right before the dog grabbed my thigh with his teeth.

He was a huge dog, well over a metre tall, a cross between a Labrador and German Shepherd. He knocked me to the ground and then he began attacking my left calf. I have to say I didn’t truly understand what was going on, I couldn’t feel any pain at all and I guess I was in shock.

My friend had the dog by the tail and was trying to pull him off, but the dog was far too strong. He told me to kick the dog with my other foot to help him get the dog away from me and I did what he asked, kicking the dog as hard as I could. The dog let go of that leg and proceeded to grab the ankle of the other leg.

Now it became a tug of war – my friend had the dog by the tail, I was trying to scrabble backwards away from the dog. You can see in the scars where the dogs teeth were, and where trying to get the dog off me only resulted in tearing the skin and making the bite marks worse.

After what seemed like forever, my friend managed to pull the dog away from me, and told me to get outside fast because he did not know if he could hold onto the dog. Stunned by the attack, I went outside and sat down on a wall. I was completely dazed but I could feel something cold in my shoe and something made me take the shoe off. I was once wearing white socks and I was shocked to see they were now a different color. I honestly could not believe I was bleeding because I felt no pain at all.

I could hear my friend yelling at the dog, and then I saw him get a rope and tie up the dogs mouth so the dog couldn’t open it. My friend came out with the videos and said “Let’s take these back”. Can you believe that? Seriously? He had just seen his dog attack me.

I said “No, I think you better take me to the hospital, because look at this” and I showed him my foot. We got in the car and all the way to the hospital he tried to convince me his dog was not dangerous and I should not say what happened or how I got the wounds. He knew something I did not know – his dog had attacked before.

When I got to the hospital I was starting to feel some pain. I hadn’t looked anywhere else for wounds. I only knew my foot was bleeding and I was too scared to take the sock off and see the wounds. I couldn’t put my shoe back on because my foot had begun to swell. They took me straight in when they saw my foot – leaving my friend outside – and asked me what happened. I told them the truth – a dog attacked me, but we all thought it was just my foot.

They had me on a bed and were looking at my foot (I couldn’t look) and then they wanted to cut my jeans but I didn’t want them to, so they asked me to get up and take the pants off – when I got up we saw a huge amount of blood left on the bed where my calf had been and then I began to freak out and asked them to call my parents. I could not look at my legs. The nurse began to clean the wounds and that is when the pain came to me as a surprise. I asked her to give me something for the pain and then let that kick in before she went back to cleaning the wound.

They gave me a shot of morphine. Now I understand what all the fuss is about with that drug. It was totally wonderful. They took me for x-rays and they’d given me a bunch of magazines which, my mother tells me, I tried to give out to all the other patients waiting for x-rays. I do not remember it. In fact I don’t remember anything after they gave me that shot.

The next day I woke up in a world of pain. This had happened on a Friday so I had the weekend to recover, because my mother thought I should go to school on Monday. She was obsessed with not missing a day of school. The trouble was, I could not walk. The hospital had sent crutches home and I needed them but the trouble was, both legs were injured. I had to pick the least painful one to walk on. That was the leg with the injured calf because the ankle was less damaged but a lot more painful. Walking on it caused the puncture wounds to re-open themselves. My scars are a lot worse because I couldn’t miss a week of school. ;(

I had not seen the wounds due to the morphine shot but the police arrived to take photographs and a police report on Saturday – the hospital had reported the attack. So Mum took the bandages off and I was horrified at what I saw. My left calf had four large holes in it. My right ankle was twice the size it should have been, and there were long scars around it. I had a large puncture hole in my right foot and a large puncture hole in my right thigh, where the dog first bit me. My shoes which were leather Dr Martens had a big hole in them, my jeans had a lot of holes in them.

I had to fight my friend’s family for months to get that dog put down. I did it because I knew there were a lot of little kids who lived in the street this dog lived in, and also just a short walk away there were many elderly people living in a retirement village and nursing home.

My friend left long, sad messages begging me not to have his beloved pet murdered. His mother left nasty, threatening messages which I also gave to the police. That woman was a real piece of work, threatening a 16 year old who had been attacked by her dog!

I did not have to fight the council – they agreed that the dog should be put down because it was very dangerous and had attacked two other people – and one other dog – previously. Usually with the council it is a three strikes and you’re out policy.

When I found out one of the previously attacked people was an elderly person from that retirement village, and the other was a young girl who was in her own yard bouncing on a trampoline and the dog got in there and attacked her, I knew I had to fight to have that dog put down.

Even worse, I now discovered I had a real fear of dogs. People gave me all kinds of stupid advice – for example, if a dog is attacking you grab its front legs and pull them outwards, it will kill the dog. I just did not want to go near any of them. I would not visit friends who had dogs.

If I saw someone walking a dog when I was out, I would turn and go the other way. If someone walked a dog without a leash and the dog approached me, I would be terrified. Dogs can tell. They can pick that up – and that alone can make them attack you.

If they are on their property and someone they do not know is walking (or cycling) past, they can take off like a rocket and attack them. That’s what happened to me on the second attack. A dog who had not previously hurt anyone did not like bicycles, and I was delivering mail for the post office – on a bicycle.

When I saw that dog – a blue heeler cross kelpie – running towards me barking, I decided I didn’t want to stick around and find out what it wanted. It chased me and bit me, I’m embarrassed to admit, on the butt, it then retreated a little and was barking and growling. My bike and I fell over, and I started picking up mail and throwing it at the dog to keep it away from me.

The owners arrived, grabbed their dog and apologised deeply. They took the dog inside and then told me to go inside while they called the post office to collect me. As I walked in the dog had somehow got out from where they put it and it ran towards me barking. I opened the first available door and it was a bedroom – I ran in there and jumped on the bed.

Had that dog attacked me, I was now ready to attack it right back, I was terrified but also furious. The owners retrieved their dog and locked it away. The post office was called, I was picked up and taken to the hospital for more wound cleaning and more shots. I never went back to work for the post office again. I was just too scared.

So this left me in a place where I could not be around dogs at all, for quite a while. Then some good friends of mine had a huge big dog that scared me just to look at it, but he was such a puppydog. If you approached him he would lay down and wait for you to rub his belly. He was also a lap dog and if he liked you he would sit on you. I loved that dog but was still fearful of other dogs.

I still find it difficult today when dogs I don’t know are wandering around off the leash. It is not fair when people do that. The first thing they will say to you when their strange dog who you have never met before walks up to you is always “Don’t worry about him/her, he/she won’t bite you.”

How about they give a seconds thought to worrying about me and how I might feel? How about they give a seconds thought to what would happen if their dog did actually attack someone? How about they be a responsible pet owner and put their dog on a leash? It is possible for your dog to attack someone. It can happen. It does happen.

So I have thought of ways I could protect myself in case a dog did venture too close and there is no owner to be seen but so far I have not been able to think of anything other than getting a gun, or mace, or something loony like that. I mean I would probably hurt myself more with a gun than a dog ever could hurt me, and I would not be comfortable owning one or learning to shoot.

It is insane that I have to sit here and try to come up with a way to protect myself, just in case. But I won’t feel good about walking or cycling near houses until I have an action plan for this, I think.

I am less scared of snakes than I am of dogs. That is mainly because I know they’re not going to attack me unless provoked and I have a plan of how to deal with finding one when out on a walk.

Any ideas? Other than pulling the dogs legs apart which causes bones to break and pierce their heart, I mean. Cos I don’t think that is true at all and I don’t want to be in a position where I have to find out..

Angry Snoskred, embarrassing stories

Controversy in the blogosphere = my wall art.

Today’s been one of those days where I kinda wish I’d stayed in bed. There’s controversy afoot in the blogosphere. First over at Blogrhet, where I’ve got involved in a discussion about race. Second over at Thailand Gal and The Ravin Picture Maven where two of my favourite people seem to have had a falling out. Third, at Big Fat Deal, where a link to an article in the Boston Globe – Do we really need a law to protect fat workers – was posted – an article which is inspiring me for next week’s Hump Day Hmmm, for which I’m currently considering the title Fat Is The New Black.

On top of all this, the people across the road are playing rugby in the street, shouting and screaming and making a lot of noise, the dog next door is endlessly barking, the builders across the road start work at 6:30am and finish at 6pm making a hell of a racket all day plus there’s a constant engine running drone coming from that direction, not one decent place to live in the peaceful place I want to move to has been listed in the last 2 weeks, in order to counteract the noise from outside I have music playing very loudly in here (currently coldplay), some f*cknut stole my blog content and refuses to remove it, (see Meg’s great post Copyright and Plagiarism on Blogs for info on what to do when this happens) I missed seeing the space shuttle launch this morning because I slept in and I have the theme song from Mad Max 3 Beyond the Thunderdome by Tina Turner (we don’t need another hero, we don’t need to know the way home, all we want is life beyond the thunderdome) as well as the Eagles Hotel California (And she said ’we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’) alternating in my skull at loud volumes which can only mean one thing. What does it mean, I hear you ask?

Snoskred is possessed by the Devil.

Well, the Eagles Hotel California means that, anyway. They told me so when I was on a Baptist church camp once – that song = Satan. You heard it here first. Unless you heard it on your own church camp.

It’s making me tired, all this not understanding where each other is coming from. I feel like taking a nap. Of course the rugby playing shouting screaming dog barking builder racket is not going to allow me to do that. So, I’ve decided to take a day out from it here on the blog and by popular request post photos of all my wall art. Yeah we’re used to long posts here by now right? Well this one will be long because it’ll have a lot of photos, many of them not as good quality as I would like. But here we go anyway. Apologies for the sometimes odd angles and not brilliant picture quality however it isn’t easy to take pics of this stuff inside on a very thunderstormy day. And one of them is crooked but I don’t have the energy to go back and take the photo again, so just deal with it, ok? ;)

Now let us stop talking, calm the mind and look at pretty pictures. Or alternatively, you do that while I attempt to think positive thoughts, long for some peace and quiet and look for earplugs.

















There’s only one solution for this mood I’m in. I need to go sit in my recliner, and watch William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at high volume on the surround sound and have a good bawl.. Catch you tomorrow. ;)

Angry Snoskred, Snoskred Art, wall art