Electric Wine Bottle Opener

A while back, I was given an electric wine bottle opener as a gift. Now, I don’t drink wine very often. Nobody else that lives with me drinks wine, and I hate to drink alone. I don’t like opening a bottle of wine and drinking the whole bottle by myself, and I end up wasting a lot of the wine.

When I do drink wine, I like the sweet, dessert wines. I just don’t enjoy tart, dry wines – they make me pucker up! Red wines give me a headache! And, on top of all of that, removing the corks from the bottles of wine has always been difficult for me.

As I was saying at the beginning of this post, I was given an electric wine bottle opener as a gift. I have only used it about six times since I received it, but, let me tell you this – I think it is just about the handiest wine-bottle related gadget ever invented!

We had guests over to the house yesterday, to join us for dinner, and help us to celebrate Thanksgiving. I asked a few of them if they would join me in a glass of wine. The wine was a gift a couple of weeks ago from a new friend. He had made the wine himself, and I was curious to try it out! Having received several “yes” answers, I got out my Ozeri Extravo electric wine bottle opener and used it to open the bottle of wine. I asked my son (yes, he’s an adult) to make a video of me opening the bottle of wine. Here is the video!

Isn’t that cool? It is easy to use, and it works great!

Necessary Evil

Had to do some grocery shopping today, and went to Wal-Mart. I’m not a big fan of shopping at Wal-Mart, but there is no place in this particular town that has better prices on most of the things that I need, and I am on a tight budget. Since I don’t drive anymore, it is a challenge to get people to take me shopping, and going to Wal-Mart is a “one-stop” shopping experience for the most part. (Except I don’t use their pharmacy – I don’t like waiting hours and hours when I can get my prescription filled in ten minutes or less at the Rite-Aid down the street!)

I like using their Savings-Catcher app on my iPhone – it really saves a lot of money. (Since I signed up for the Savings Catcher, it has refunded me over $141.00!) If you shop at Wal-Mart, I encourage you to use the Savings Catcher program! You can use it on your smartphone, or your computer (if you have Internet access.)

But I digress. I was disappointed today to find expired ham steaks in their meat department. I wanted to buy some ham steaks, and was looking for a brand that was not Smithfield Farms brand. I’ve seen some disturbing videos about Smithfield brand pork, (if you want to understand why, you can watch the YouTube Video below) and I’m trying to avoid buying that brand. I don’t know for sure that the other brands are better, but this video disturbed me on many levels, so I am trying to avoid supporting that company. Anyway, they had a different brand, but the freshness date had expired three weeks ago! There was a meat department employee nearby, and I called out to him. He came over, and I pointed out the expired meat, and he removed it from the case. I wondered how many people buy stuff like this without checking the freshness date on the package? I almost didn’t check the date, myself!

So, note to self – always check the freshness date on meats, dairy, eggs, etc at the grocery store! Even if it is a store other than Wal-Mart!

Translation Services Are Growing In Importance

I can remember in High School, I decided to take Spanish as my foreign language. Back then, we could only choose between French and Spanish. My high school counselor advised me to take Spanish, saying that the experts projected that more people from Hispanic countries were going to be settling into the area, and that I would actually find myself using Spanish in real life on a daily basis, whereas chances of me using French on a daily basis were less likely.

I can remember for a time, after graduating High School, working at Levitz Furniture in Merrifield (yes, the one that got hit by a tornado on April 1, 1973.) I was one of the “Front Office Girls” and one of our duties was to call customers when their special order had arrived, and arrange for the customer to either come and pick up their order, or to arrange for a delivery date. There were quite a few times that some of my co-workers were making those phone calls while I was waiting on customers at the counter, and they would end up asking me to come provide my translation services to the customer that they had on the telephone.

I was quite pleased to be able to remember enough of my High School Spanish to be able to talk with those customers to let them know that their order had arrived. Unfortunately, my Spanish language skills got very rusty when I lived in New England for twenty-nine years! I regret not keeping up with the language. I’ve tried several times to find some affordable courses in the area that would help me to refresh my skills. There have been many times since we moved back here from New England that I wished I could speak Spanish more fluently! I think that the demand for translation services in this area are going to continue to grow!

The Man And His Horse Standing Vigil

Forrest and Zeke 9-11-15 on Lee Hwy
Forrest and Zeke 9-11-15 on Lee Hwy

Yesterday, on my way into Warrenton to go to the laundromat (yes, my washing machine is broken, thanks Obama!) I was pleasantly surprised to see Forrest Whorton and his horse Zeke standing vigil in recognition of the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, in the median strip on Lee Highway. I was so lucky to be able to stop for a couple of minutes and take some pictures of him. I have seen him in the past, standing vigil, during other patriotic occassions, but never had the chance to stop and take photos.

This time, I not only managed to stop and take photos, I had the opportunity to talk with him, shake his hand, and thank him for what he was doing, and has done. I introduced myself, and asked him for his name. He told me his name, and his horse’s name. I patted Zeke for a couple of minutes, and a very nice lady that happened by offered to take some photos of us together, which was very nice. I won’t share any of those photos here, but I am sharing one of the photos that I took.

Understanding Brain Injuries

Boy With Trauma Of The Head
Boy With Trauma Of The Head

When we talk about brain injuries, the subject is nearly always confused because of the sheer number of things that can cause an injury to the brain. There are two main ways in which brain injuries can be classified – and myriad ‘sub-genres’ within those.

  • non-acquired brain injury
  • acquired brain injury

It is easier to explain an acquired brain injury.

Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) are those caused by events that occur after birth. Within this are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and many other causes.

A non-acquired brain injury is one that is either genetic or congenital, such as foetal alcohol syndrome, or an ante-natal illness. It may be a progressive condition, such as Huntington’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.

Causes of ABI

Leaving aside traumatic brain injuries, there are a number of other causes of an acquired brain injury.

  • abscess
  • anoxiabrain tumours
  • CO poisoning
  • encephalitis
  • hydrocephalus
  • hyponatraemia
  • meningitis
  • strokes

What is anoxia?

Anoxia means a complete reduction in blood oxygen levels, and is more commonly known as hypoxia – a general or local reduction in oxygen supply. Hypoxia can be incredibly dangerous, as aside from the various damages that can occur to parts of the body, prolonged cerebral hypoxia can cause long-term brain damage.

Causes of hypoxia include near drowning, electric shock, drug overdose, organ failure, industrial or chemical exposure, injury secondary to a TBI or CVA.

What is CVA?

A cerebrovascular accident, or a stroke, is the name given to an event leading to cell death in the brain caused through ischemia, or haemorrhage.

An ischemic CVA means that there is a lack of blood flow, which could be due to one of the following:

  • Thrombosis: a localised blood clot
  • Embolism: an intravascular mass (either a blood clot, or another obstruction) which has travelled
  • Systemic Hypoperfusion: decreased blood supply
  • Venous thrombosis: a specific blood clot which forms in the Dural venous sinuses – the vein channels that lie between layers of Dura Mater – and can drain the blood from the brain.

A haemorrhagic CVA means that there is bleeding in the brain. Either an intracranial haemorrhage – bleeding that occurs between layers of Mater and/or the skull. Or a cerebral haemorrhage – bleeding that occurs within the brain tissue.

The effects of ABI

The effects of an ABI will range from person to person depending on a number of factors: speed and efficacy of medical treatment; overall health of person; reliability of aftercare; underlying conditions or previous head injuries; and luck.

Brain injuries can affect your personality or your behaviour, both short-term and long-term. You could be left with cognitive problems, such as memory loss, or aphasia. Brain injuries can also affect you physically, perhaps through nerve damage, or even leaving you with a condition like epilepsy.

If you have suffered a brain injury, and you wish to seek legal advice as to whether you have a personal injury or negligence claim, the resources at the Free Legal Advice Centre could be just what you’re looking for.