darkoshi: (Default)
I got my taxes done.

I made a pie with a chocolate filling. It's somewhat gooey, not what I was expecting from the photo on the box. But it's actually good, even though it also tastes oddly like it contains grape syrup mixed in with the chocolate. Based on the ingredients list, I can't imagine why. It contains alkalized cocoa, and the link I posted before indicates that the non-alkalized sort is the kind that's more likely to taste "fruity".

I also made some Waldmeister Goetterspeise which is a German jello with a unique flavor not found in the U.S. My aunt used to make it for me as a kid (with vanilla sauce on top!), and I still like it. The flavor isn't as intense as I remembered though.

I trimmed my hair a bit. It was tickling the back of my neck too much a few days ago. My torso gets itchy sometimes. When I scratch, the skin gets pinkish red, and small itchy bumps, widely scattered, appear. When I stop scratching, it goes away. I haven't figured out a cause. It's been happening for a few years now. (Of course, having written "torso" there, now a few spots on my arms and legs started itching.)

I'm over my cold, but still have a lot of phlegm. That always used to be the one of the worst parts of a cold, the weeks and weeks of snot that would only slowly diminish back to normal levels. So I did neti today for the first time in possibly 5 years. I stopped using neti around then, after reading warnings against doing neti with unsterile tap water. Well, I used tap water today, like I used to. Anything else is too much trouble. But after reading the warnings again, I may forgo the whole thing for another 5 years.

I used LJSec to delete my old protected posts from LJ, as that was something that had been on my to-do list for a while. There may not be much point in having done it, but at least it is off my list now. First, I did another import of all entries & comments from LJ over to DW, as well as a few backups of both my LJ and DW (with LJArchive), to make sure I wouldn't lose anything. The only problem with LJArchive is that imported comments don't show up with the user's LJ name like it does on the Dreamwidth pages, but rather with a generic ext_#### ID. If I have time someday, I'd like to see if I can update the utility to fix that.

A few weeks ago, I cancelled my Netflix subscription, as I was using it so rarely. Qiao has another Netflix account anyway, which I can use when I want to. He also has an Amazon Prime account for watching videos.

Last week at work, I was able to find the cause of another problem, and fix it. Well, I probably fixed more than one problem, but the last one is the one I remember. It gives me such a rush, a good feeling, being able to discover what obscure thing is making the code not work right and how to fix it, when I still don't even understand what half of the rest of the code is meant to do. I was thinking, I've been working on this same general code base, though it has undergone many transfigurations, for the past 22 years. I could spend my whole *life* working on it, and I still wouldn't understand it all, especially because it is constantly being changed. That made me think for a moment that maybe I should leave this job, just so that *whole life* part wouldn't come true. Eh. But whatever, this code or some other code, what difference. Hmm. Coming up on the end of the quarter. Wonder if they will have layoffs.
darkoshi: (Default)
According to this page:
"The fact of the matter is by the time your water has reached boiling point (212°F / 100°C) all pathogens have already been killed! As a precautionary measure you may wish to boil for a full minute just to be safe. The time it takes for your water to reach a boil and then cool down is more than enough time to kill all harmful organisms that could make you sick.

To be safe you may wish to follow the advice of the US Environmental Protection Agency which recommends boiling for 1 full minute, or 3 minutes if you are 2000 meters above ground level"

According to this page:
If your well tests positive for E. coli, you should boil the water for at least one minute at a rolling boil before drinking it.

According to this page:
After the boil water advisory is lifted, will the water heater be contaminated?
A possibility exists, albeit small, that a pathogen may contaminate a water heater and survive (in a few cases, even grow), if the hot water temperature is maintained at 120°F or lower. However, because hot water directly from the water heater is usually not ingested, this should not be a safety concern. A water temperature of 140°F for a half hour should kill virtually any pathogens (including Legionella) in the water heater.

This page has info on Boil Water Orders/Advisories.

According to this page:
boiling does not kill ALL the bacteria, just MOST of them. Some bacteria are actually resistant to the temperature of boiling water (100 degrees C.). To kill all the bacteria, you need to raise the temperature to about 121 degrees C. To get water to this temperature, you must heat it under pressure. (You cannot heat boiling water in an open pot to anything over 100 degrees C.). In science labs, we use something called an autoclave to do this; at home you might have a pressure cooker in the kitchen.
darkoshi: (Default)
These are some of my initial thoughts on the reports of brain-eating amoeba danger from neti-pot use.

"If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, for example, by using a neti pot, use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution," Louisiana State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard said in a statement.

Dang, that sucks. Using a neti pot is enough of a hassle (when I do it) using tap water. Having to buy and store distilled water, and heat it to the right temperature first (rather than turning on the hot & cold water taps), would make it even more of a hassle.

I suppose that heating the water in the microwave wouldn't be as much hassle as heating it on the stove, at least. But if you get it too hot, you can't just pour in extra cold tap water to cool it down... you'd have to either wait for it to cool, or cool it off with more of the precious store-bought distilled water.

Sometimes store-bought distilled water smells like plastic from the containers it is stored in. Pouring plastic-smelling water through ones nose likely isn't good for you either.

If you use boiled water instead of distilled, how long do you have to boil the water for it to be safe?

"The amoeba, formally known as Naegleria fowleri, destroys brain tissue and kills victims in about one to 12 days"

Death in 1 to 12 days... that doesn't sound so bad. Compared to other possible deaths, anyway.

What's the likelihood of coming down with a case of brain-eating amoebas from using tap-water neti, compared to the likelihood of getting into a bad car-cash?

When I'm horribly sick with a cold and runny/congested nose, am I really going to care about the obscure possibility of brain-eating amoebas?

The amoeba is usually found in freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds and does not normally survive the water-treatment process, Live Science reports. It must enter the body through the nasal cavity; it cannot be ingested through drinking water.

If it doesn't usually survive the water-treatment process, then why is the focus on neti-pot usage, rather than on the water-treatment process? Is there a problem with Louisiana's water treatment process? Or is it considered normal for some amoebas to make it through the process, and if so, how common is it?

Are there amoebas in my drinking water??? Ewwwww. How many non-brain-eating amoebas and other things like that are there in the tap water?

"While it's uncommon for tap water to contain the deadly amoeba, it may house harmful bacteria, such as e-coli, ABC 4 News reports. "

What? There's e-coli in my drinking water?

::Checks papers:: The city used to send out a water quality report every year, but I haven't gotten any since I started receiving my statements online a few years ago. But Google helped me find the report for 2010. It says that the highest monthly percentage of samples containing coliform bacteria was 2.06%, and that the highest level allowed is 5%.

Oh well.

Oh that reminds me. My throat felt a bit sore during the night. I wanted to take some garlic pills...


I'd be more likely to boil water for neti than to buy distilled water for it. But how long would it need to be boiled?* I recall reading other articles that you have to boil water for a certain length of time, not just bring it to a boil... but maybe that was for sterilizing other objects by putting them in boiling water, rather than sterilizing the water itself.

CDC - Naegleria FAQs
All it says is "previously boiled water". So maybe you only have to bring the water to a full boil??

This article has some interesting info too:
Identification of Naegleria fowleri in Domestic Water Sources by Nested PCR

* see next post