Every kitchen should have an ABC (dry chemical) fire extinguisher with a visible pressure gauge. I put them in all my rental units, usually under the kitchen sink. If your fire extinguisher is missing or if the pressure is low, see me and get a replacement. You can pick up a new one in my chocolate room. All fire extinguishers lose pressure over time. Check the pointer on the pressure gauge. See the picture below. If the pointer is in the red zone, it is time to replace your fire extinguisher. Do you know where your fire extinguisher is? If you can’t find your fire extinguisher or if the pressure is gone, it is useless to you in an emergency. Remember, every year, 1 out of 8 homes in the U.S. has a kitchen cooking fire.
Disney World is much, much bigger than Disneyland in California, but I think Disneyland beats Disney World hands down. It’s the climate. When Walt Disney bought the land that became Disney World, it was a tropical swamp, which is why Disney got the land cheap and why it wasn’t already developed or being used by others. Walt Disney dramatically reshaped the land, but he couldn’t do a thing about the climate. In summer, the high season at Disney World, it is hot and muggy, and it rains 20 days a month. In July, the humidity often exceeds 90%. In other words, climatically, it is still a tropical swamp. Disney World is also expensive. I know families that visited Disney World in summer and spent $10,000 for a week there, and it rained every day. When it stops raining, it doesn’t dry out. Someone who went to Disney World last summer said to me: “When you leave your hotel, it feels like you are walking into a sauna.” On the other hand, at Disneyland in L.A., it never rains in the summer.
Alligators! Take a look at the photo below. There are alligator warning signs like this all over Disney World. These signs are there because they need them. Disney employees have captured hundreds – literally hundreds – of alligators at Disney World, some weighing several hundred pounds. Guests at Disney World hotels frequently report seeing alligators. You may recall that a couple of years ago a 2-year old child was killed by an alligator at Disney World. After that, Disney put up more warning signs, but there is no way to rid of the alligators. I’m sure that Disney would if they could, but they can’t. That is because it is impossible to get rid of alligators in an ideal alligator habitat like the land inside and around Disney World. The American alligator has been living in Florida for over 100 million years. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and most other animals 65 million years ago failed to wipe out any of the 20 or so species of alligators and crocodiles that were alive at that time. Most are alive today and virtually unchanged. That is how tough these critters are. Today, there are over 1 million alligators in Florida. Think about that – 1 million alligators just in Florida. And what about Disneyland in California? There are no alligator warning signs at Disneyland. They don’t need them. If you are in Los Angeles and you want to see an alligator, you have to go to the zoo. In California, we think that’s where alligators belong!
Bad recycling habits have consequences. Putting things in your recycling can that can’t actually be recycled can contaminate everything else in the can. This contamination is the main reason why countries that used to take America’s trash for recycling – China, India, and the Philippines – have stopped taking it. Here are some common items that you shouldn’t put in your recycling can.
- Padded shipping envelopes. Millions of padded envelopes are shipped every day, mainly from internet retailers. Most
padded envelopes are made out of mixed materials glued together, paper
on the outside and plastic bubble wrap inside. These envelopes should go
in your regular trash can. Like a
lot of other products, padded shipping envelopes are theoretically
recyclable, but from a practical standpoint, they actually aren’t.
- Mixed materials glued together. Coffee
bags, like shipping envelopes, are made from mixed materials, paper on
the outside and plastic inside. Cardboard boxes with metallic foil glued
on the outside is also not recyclable. See photo below.
- Plastic bags and shrink wrap. They
are not recyclable, and they screw up the machinery at recycling
facilities. Shiny plastic bags, like the bags that potato chips come in,
are also not recyclable.
- Anything that can tangle around other things. This includes rope, wire, garden hoses, netting, gift wrap ribbon, and clothes hangers. Even if these things are made out of recyclable materials, put them in your trash can. They create a lot of problems at recycling facilities.
- Anything with food still in it. A
pizza box with the crusts inside or cheese stuck to the box is not
recyclable. The same goes for cans and jars with food still inside them.
Recycling centers don’t want the mice, rats, bugs, and mold that come
with these items.
- Toothpaste tubes. These are also made with mixed materials.
- Styrofoam. Shipping peanuts, molded foam packaging, and foam coffee cups and plates should all go in the trash can.
- Batteries. You can get a fine in California for putting batteries of any kind in your trash or recycling cans.
- Sharps. Don’t put sharp things in your recycling cans. They could injure the people handling it at recycling centers, things like broken glass or ceramics, nails, razor blades, and sharp can lids.
I know quite a few vegans. Their numbers seem to be growing, but I’m not one of them. I believe that if God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them so delicious. To me, there is no question that a real hamburger is much tastier than a tofuburger. Nevertheless, I always keep a few vegan items in my chocolate room. My favorite vegan item is my dark chocolate orange slices. Last month I went to a dinner party. I knew that 2 of the people who were coming to the dinner are vegans, so I brought 2 chocolate bars that I made just for them, semisweet chocolate with toasted almonds However, this couple refused to take them, saying that almonds are not vegan. I thought about that for a moment and said: “Why aren’t almonds vegan?” They said that all almonds require honey bees for pollination. No bees means no almonds. I already knew that. I told them: “But you aren’t eating the bees. You are eating the almonds.” The husband pulled up a web site ‘Almonds Are Not Vegan’ on his cell phone and told me to read it. According to this web site, vegans shouldn’t eat almonds because the bees that pollinate almond trees are “exploited” and are “not paid for their labor.” I don’t know how an almond farmer would go about paying bees for their labor. I also don’t know what bees would do with paychecks if they got them. It isn’t just almonds that are dependent on honey bees for pollination. Without honey bees, we wouldn’t have any tree fruits or nuts; including apples, pears, cherries, oranges, avocados, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, etc. All of the vegans who I know personally eat tree fruits and nuts, so this doesn’t seem to be a universally accepted definition of the word ‘vegan.’ I intend to continue to put almonds and other nuts in my chocolate bars and without paying the bees. Here’s that web site: Almonds Are Not Vegan.