Saturday, December 10, 2016

After Care for Kittens that Have Been Neutered

Unless you plan to breed your kitten once it has matured, it is a good idea to have the kitten neutered before it shows an interest in roaming to find a mate. Neutering a male cat is a perfectly simple, straightforward procedure that vets perform on a daily basis. It is the humane way to go in order to help curb the cat population. If your male kitten is reaching the stage where it is ready to be neutered, you may be wondering how to care for your newly neutered kitten.

Loss of Appetite

Some kittens suffer from a loss of appetite following neutering and will not show any interest in eating or drinking the day of surgery. Continue to offer your kitten fresh food and water as usual and encourage him to eat and drink. If the kitten is still not showing any interest in eating or drinking 24 hours after surgery, call the vet for further advice on what to do.

Contact with Other Pets

Is your kitten used to playing with another pet in the house? If so, it can be especially hard to keep the kitten apart from other pets. But it is important to follow the vet’s advice and to keep the kitten in quiet surroundings while it recovers from surgery. The kitten also needs to be kept contained inside the house.


Male kittens that have been neutered will usually heal fairly quickly. But as the site of the incision will be left open to drain, cat owners must ensure that the litter tray is kept scrupulously clean. This will help to prevent infection in their kitten during the healing process. Neutered kittens will not need any supervision while using the litter tray. Kittens will also be able to clean the incision area without any help from their cat owners.


It is important for cat owners to be extremely careful when handling their kitten following neutering, as the incision site will be tender and sore. Touching or stretching the incision area can cause great discomfort for newly neutered kittens.

Neutered kittens are remarkably resilient and will recover quickly from surgery. Cat owners should be on hand to supervise their kitten and encourage him to eat and drink. They should also limit contact with other pets and be careful when handling the kitten so that they do not cause unnecessary pain to the kitten during handling.


Labels: After Care for Kittens that Have Been Neutered

Alternate Fuel: Waste Vegetable Oil WVO, Straight Vegetable Oil SVO, Used Cooking Oil UCO Prefilter System

I have been upgrading my filter system for years. I started out dumping the wvo through an old tee shirt into a 30 gal drum with a water heater element screwed through the side. I used a 10$ drill pump to push it through a whole house water filter. I made some changes a little at a time until I ended up with the filter I now have.

I moved up to a 55 gallon drum to increase the volume. I cut two six inch round holes in the top. A saws all, jig saw or grinder will work. I have a circle cutter for sheet metal, so I used that. I can hang filter bags or blue jeans inside the drum. I prefer jeans because they are $12 at the local Walmart, no waiting for UPS. I use wire ties to close off the pant legs. Since I have a welder, I attached a fitting to the drum to feed my harbor freight blue water pump. I used a step bit or uni bit to drill a hole just below the bottom ring on the drum to allow a 3/4″ pipe nipple to be started. If you make the hole the right size the pipe will thread in and stay in place while you weld. I put a ball valve between the drum and the pump. I also put a pipe union after the pump so I can service the pump without draining the drum or disassembling the filters. My HF pump pushes the oil through 2 whole house water filters and one automotive filter. The house filters are cheap online. The automotive filter and filter head are from Petroparts. I use the same filter in the car. I have a pressure gauge before the first whole house filter and before the automotive filter. Checking the pressure on the gauge will tell you when it’s time to change the filter. Pumping cold oil will show a higher pressure than warm oil. I have 15′ of farm hose and a nozzle to fill my tanks.

I used a pressure switch for a well to control the pump. The pump only puts out 50-60 psi, but I like to keep it around 40 psi. Setting it higher can push debris past the water filter and clog the more expensive automotive filter. I installed a check valve after the pump to keep it from cycling off and on. I also have a temperature gauge before the filters. I like to pump when the oil is between 70-90 degrees. It is warm enough to flow, but cool enough to prevent fat from settling out in my tank.

I warm the drum with 60 watt heat tape, the stuff that keeps pipes and gutters from freezing when it’s cold. It came with a built in thermostat that only turns on the heat when it’s below 40 degrees. The stat is molded into a bump on the heat tape. I used a razor knife to get to it and remove it. You could replace it with a water heater thermostat, but I just connected the wires together (don’t try to run a water heater element without a stat). I wrap the heat tape around the outside of the drum near the fitting for the pump. As water settles out it can fall below the heat tape and should not be stirred back up. It does not heat as fast as a water heater element, but I feel much safer using it. It also doesn’t churn up the oil. I use standard fiberglass insulation around the drum to keep in the heat. I used a cheap indoor/outdoor thermostat to keep an eye on the temperature. The remote sensor is mounted near the middle of the drum.

Of course you should settle your oil as long as possible before dumping it into the filter bags. I have two 55 gallon plastic settling drums next to my filter drum. I transfer the oil with a modified small block Chevy oil pump (see my article on how to build one). The pick up for the pump is about six inches from the bottom of the drum. I can see through the plastic drum, so I always know how much oil is left.

Every spring I use a HF hand powered barrel pump to drain any water from the bottom of the 3 drums. Water pumps much easier than oil so I know when to stop. I drain about 5 gallons of water from each drum. If you are getting wet grease, you might need to drain it more often. I change the jeans by raising them up a few inches until they are out of the oil. Let it drain over night and throw away or burn them in your wood stove. I also change the first water filter because it catches most of the junk. I change the jeans and filter even if it doesn’t need it. It’s cheap insurance and I know I will go all year without a problem.

Build it cheaper.

I used a HF hand pump for two years before I went to electric. I pushed the oil through one whole house and right into the tank. It worked fine until I got tired of cranking it and upgraded to the electric HF pump. The pump was strong enough to push sediment past the filter and I started to clog my onboard filter. I solved the problem by taking a tip from Brian Miller on the Greasecar forum and doubled up the house filters. I went a step further and added the same filter I use in the car. I have had no problems after that. You could use a pump with a stand pipe to keep from welding the tank. Some pumps, like the HF water pump are difficult to prime, but the SBC pump will self prime. It can make a lot of pressure, so monitor it with a gauge while pumping or limit it with a well switch or pressure by-pass. You can save a little bit by skipping the farm hose and nozzle and going with a rubber hose and pvc ball valve or a thread on cap to stop dripping.

Using the filter. I fill the filter bags and use a water cooler jug to keep them topped off while I am away. When the drum is about 3/4 filled I turn on the heat. It is usually about 100-120 degrees by the time the drum is filled. I heat it for a day or two and turn off the heat. I don’t use a thermostat and it heats up to 130-140 degrees in the summer. In the winter it stays about 120degrees. When the drum cools to 80 degrees I pump it out and start over. I try to do most of my filtering in the warmer weather and squirrel away what I need for the winter. This set up will work in the cold, it just goes slower. Adding another length of heat tape to the filters would help a lot.

Labels: Alternate Fuel: Waste Vegetable Oil WVO, Straight Vegetable Oil SVO, Used Cooking Oil UCO Prefilter System

A Change in the Zodiac: Ophiuchus the New Sign

Astronomer Parke Kunkle reports that changes in the alignment of the Earth have made the science behind our astrological signs change, as well as have an addition of a 13th sign, Ophiuchus. This change has apparently been coming throughout the years, as the 12 original signs were set almost 3,000 years ago. But the change over the years in the position of the earth in relation to the sun have created a need to revamp the astrological signs.

So, what does this new change mean for all those people worldwide who turn to their astrological horoscope for guidance? Have they been misled all these years by following the wrong sign? Well, apparently for a lot of us, we have. Here is the new breakdown of astrological signs. Take a look and see where you fall now:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11

Pisces: March 11-April 18

Aries: April 18-May 13

Taurus: May 13-June 21

Gemini: June 21-July 20

Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16

Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23

Scorpio: Nov. 23-Nov. 29

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

Now, what about this new sign, Ophiuchus? What does it mean? What are its traits?

In Greek mythology, Ophiuchus was Aesclepius, Master Architect, Healer, and God of Wisdom. He has always been a part of the zodiac belt, but until now was never included in the Western astrological breakdown. As the story goes, Aesclepius was a Greek God of medicine and, when trying to bring Orion the Hunter back to life, was taken down by Zeus and cast to the sky with the Greek name Ophiuchus.

Personally, I have never really held a lot of weight in reading my horoscopes and using them as a guideline for what I do. Looking at these astrological changes now, I am glad I never did. Had I been following the horoscopes of Cancer, which was my sign, I would have been following the wrong thing. Though I thought the description of a person born under the cancer sign had always fit me, I wonder if I just saw what I wanted to see. I guess, like most everyone now, I will have to take a look at my new sign, Gemini, and see what it has to say.

Ophiuchus The Serpent Holder

New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus the 13th Sign, The Huffington Post

Labels: A Change in the Zodiac: Ophiuchus the New Sign

Advanced Tactics to Win at the Game of Laser Tag

Laser tag remains a popular form of entertainment. Players wear futuristic vests and try to tag other players with lasers from their phasers while attempting to achieve the highest score. Many players become frustrated when they realize their points are not as high as the points of other players. Remembering three very important tactics will improve your score and rocket you to the top of the leader boards.

First, the one who wins is the one who achieves the highest score. It sounds like an easy concept to remember, but during the heat of competition it is forgotten. Too often a player will start to think the winner is the person who is the best player. This is rarely the case. A player trying to prove that he or she is a better laser tag player than someone else becomes focused on beating that one other player. The score you achieve when doing combat with one player will not be high enough to get you to the top of the rankings. You may prove that you are better than one other player in the arena when doing battle against one person, but your score at the end of the game will be dismal.

Second, fight the unfair fight. A laser tag game, even when played with 40 people at a time, usually turns in to many small competitions where small groups of players defend or attack a position. The unfair fight is when one group of players is larger than the other group. This is the battle you want. It may surprise you to know that you want to be on the side that has the fewer players. An ideal situation would be three or four opponents facing off against only you. Sounds like a losing situation. In reality, it is a gold mine for points. Suppose there were only five players in the game. You were on one team, and the other four players were on the other team. The other team, thinking they are going to be stronger, group together to attack and defend as a single unit. When you attack them, the most points the other team can get from any exchange in the battle is one hit, and only one of those players get that point. You, on the other hand, have the opportunity to hit one, two, three, or four players during each exchange. On average, you will be getting two points to every one point that they score, putting you clearly in the lead. This may sound difficult, but it is not. Usually players trying to act as a unit each look in a different direction. If you tag the person who is facing you, everyone else is an easy target. Also, most laser tag equipment uses infra red light, which spreads out as it travels through space. This can allow you to hit multiple targets with one shot. Take advantage of these situations that are unfair and watch the points add up.

Lastly, destroying the base is not nearly as important as you may think. Most laser tag games that have a base assign a large number of points to a player that can destroy it. This makes it appear that it is a smart strategic decision to attack the base. This may not be the case. For example, there is one laser tag arena that awards 2000 points to a player that destroys the opponents base. A player can gain 100 points each time they tag another player. A player that is willing to let themselves get tagged by an opponent ten times before they destroy the base is not gaining any ground in the quest for the highest score. If two players from the opposite team each give you 1000 points (allowing you to tag them 10 times) while they foolishly focus on destroying the base the game is tied. (Each of the players on the opposite team have 2000 points for destroying the base, you have 2000 points for tagging them.) When group of people attack the base at once, trying to shield a team member so they can score a hit on the base, you have a similar situation to the one described in the paragraph above. Take advantage of the situation and rack up the points.

Laser tag is an exciting game. By using the strategies explained here, you will easily find yourself at the top of the leader board at the end of each laser tag game. They will ask you, “How do you score so many points?” When they do, just smile and shrug your shoulders. Keep it your little secret.

Labels: Advanced Tactics to Win at the Game of Laser Tag

7 Cheap Indoor Home Maintenance Projects for Winter

When winter’s chill blows in, most homeowners are not thinking about home improvement projects, but it is the perfect time to get those indoor projects finished. When you add “cheap” into the winter home improvement equation you have the perfect combination for those projects that you have been putting off.

Clearing Clutter

It happens in every home: Clutter builds up. When you are stuck inside, it is an ideal time to start clearing out those items that have overtaken your home.

Start with one room at a home. Grab a few boxes and garbage bags. Use one box for items you want to keep but can store, one box (or more) for items that you can give away. The garbage bag is for the things that need to be pitched.

Be brutal – I have found this is the only way to complete a clutter-busting marathon. If you haven’t used it or needed it in a year then pass it along. If it is damaged or broken – pitch it. If you are sentimental about the item, think of a new way to keep it. Frame the item or take a photo, frame the photo then give away the item.


After you have de-cluttered, start organizing. Organizing your home will make life easier for you and help you with future clutter-busting. Organize your home in the same way you cut the clutter – one room at a time.

Rearranging Furniture

With each season comes change. Why not change things around inside your home? Rearrange your living room furniture for a cheap facelift. Bring a few accessories from one room into another for a fresh look. Check your storage for decorative items that you haven’t used in awhile – they will seem new when you reintroduce them to your décor.

Light Fixtures

Simple light fixtures can be found at your local home improvement center. Winter is a good time to give rooms in your home an update with a new light fixture and some energy efficient CFL light bulbs.

Clean Off Your Desk or Work Area

This particular project could fall under clearing clutter and organizing, but at my house it is a project all it’s own. Take a whole day and clean your desk or work space. My desk is a catch-all and it really does take a whole day to clear everything away and put it all into an orderly manner.

Stocking Up

Stocking up on household items and nonperishable food items is a good home improvement project for any season. Winter is an especially good time because homeowners are usually inside more than during other seasons. It’s a good time to make lists and stock up on necessary items in preparation for inclement weather that might keep you inside for a longer period than normal. See for How to Get Started with Stockpiling for tips on stocking up. This may not be the cheapest project in the long run, but it is definitely worth it in the event of an emergency.

Plan Ahead

When you are stuck inside and looking for something to do, one project that needs to be done is planning ahead for your spring and summer home improvement projects. Sit down and start making lists of the things you would like to accomplish when the weather is better. It costs nothing and you will have all winter to decide what you want to accomplish and make a plan for seeing it through.

Labels: 7 Cheap Indoor Home Maintenance Projects for Winter

3 Financial Lessons I Learned in My 20s

I am fairly hard headed, and in my 20s I was overly optimistic and thought that I knew it all. I had seen the money mistakes made by my mom and dad, and was convinced I would not repeat them. The excellent news is that I did not. The unfortunate news is that I made my own.

Debt is not your friend

Initially, I had a uncommonly nifty handle on this one. Throughout my childhood, I listened as the creditors would call mom and dad for late payments or missed payments. I learned that having excellent credit was tantamount to financial security, and for a long time I did just that. I kept my debt down, and bought a house when I was 25, but was always conservative with my spending. I continued building strong credit, and then made the mistakes I swore I would not.

Going from a 600-square-foot apartment to a 2,200-square-foot house meant I needed furniture. Instead of saving up and buying in cash as I knew I should have, I applied for credit and racked up $10,000 in debt filling my new house with the furniture I wanted. This was a terrible move.

After that, I decided to buy a car. Instead of purchasing something economical with a low monthly payment, I opted for a brand new, $23,000 Durango. Now, my debt had reached a ceiling of $33,000.

To make matters worse, I suddenly began using credit cards, and was making only the minimum monthly payment each month. I knew better, but I did not care because I was getting new “stuff” all the time and enjoying myself. Before I knew it, I had racked up another $10,000 in credit card debt, bringing my “grand total” to $43,000.

Even the best plans fail

In my career, at 27, I was on the upward climb. I was working for a proprietary school and making $100,000 per year. My debt did not seem to matter, since I was on top of the world and always had enough cash to pay the bills. I did not have a care in the world, and failed to plan for anything further than the next day.

Through a series of unfortunate events, however, I lost my job. I hit a low point. I stopped caring about being on time with credit card payments, and eventually stopped paying my bills all together. I was depressed, I was out of money, I had spent my savings, yet the creditors kept calling.

I could not find another job, because my job loss coincided with the worst of the recession in 2007. Eventually, I lost my car; was placed into collection for unpaid debts and nearly lost my house in that same year. All because I failed to plan for contingencies.

Credit is cyclical

Now, at 32 years old, I have begun rebuilding my credit and my life. I worked online from 2007 – 2010 and built several businesses doing so. Now, I have money in savings and my life is recession proof since I created multiple streams of income. I am focusing on my credit and rebuilding it, and while it will require time, it is slowly improving. The only debt I carry now is my mortgage and one secured credit card. By keeping my credit limit low, and paying off the card every month, my credit is improving by several ticks every month. Over time, I will regain my nearly 800 FICO score, and this time, I will keep it that way.

In your 20s you can be a jet setter, climbing the ladder of success without a care in the world. But falling off that ladder hurts, and it hurts a lot more if you haven’t planned for contingencies. Had I followed my gut and stayed out of debt, maintained my savings strategies and built several income streams throughout my 20s, losing my job would not have had such a severe impact on my life. By planning properly, you can weather any financial storm.

More from this Contributor:
The Color of Money: Or at Least How We Spend It
Creating Your Mad Money Budget
Why I Don’t Count on Social Security and Why You Shouldn’t Either

Labels: 3 Financial Lessons I Learned in My 20s

A Review of Ultraviolent Movies: From Sam Peckinpah to Quentin Tarantino

Most of us, as human beings, can say that we abhor violence in real life, and would only use it if absolutely necessary. Strangely enough, many of us still love to watch violence in films and TV. The book Ultraviolent Movies: From Sam Peckinpah to Quentin Tarantino, explores thoroughly the fascination audiences have with cinematic violence worldwide.

Author Laurent Bouzereau, in the preface, recounts an incident he once witnessed. A young bike messenger in Manhattan was nearly hit by a driver, and in retaliation, the messenger assaulted the man with a wrench, knocking him unconscious. Basically, Bouzereau’s point is that while real-life violence disgusts him, he and many others enjoy it onscreen.

The first chapter, entitled, “They Wrote the Book…,” discusses the classic films Bonnie and Clyde, The Wild Bunch, A Clockwork Orange, and Taxi Driver. In Bouzereau’s opinion, these films set the stage for many of the more graphic films we see today. In each example, the films had mixed reactions; many critics praised the performances and artistic merit, but were shocked at the depiction of violence onscreen. Taxi Driver, in fact, was partially blamed for John Hinckley, Jr.’s assassination attempt on President Reagan, according to the book.

Later chapters explore “Killer Couples,” “The Mafia and Gangs,” and “Psychos” (including, of course, Hitchcock’s Psycho.) This book, published in 1996, may be a bit dated in terms of the movies it discusses, but its message is no less prevalent today. Whenever a violent incident happens, particularly in the United States, politicians and parents are quick to point to a movie, TV show, or video game as the source of the violence.

In the “Killer Couples” chapter, one of the prominently featured films is Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, which at the time of its release was the subject of major controversy. At the end of the chapter, Bouzereau interviews Stone, discussing with him the themes featured in the film, as well as his views on violence in media and its effect on people.

Ultraviolent Movies is well-written, thoroughly researched, and fascinating. Even more than ten years after its publication, it is interesting and relevant to the movies of today. Though moviemaking technology has advanced since then, it is still worth reading for its analysis of the film process, and how cinematic violence, whether we like it or not, has an effect on us as a whole. I’d even recommend this book as academic reading material for film analysis and/or sociology courses.

When I read this book for the first time, I learned of films that I’d never come across. One chapter discusses the highly controversial Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, directed by John McNaughton. Loosely based on the confessions of murderer Henry Lee Lucas, the film follows the murderous exploits of a killer named Henry, and his roommate Otis. Later, in college, I had the opportunity to see this film; it’s intense, and definitely not suited to everyone’s tastes. But having read the chapter on it, I gained a better understanding of what the creators were aiming for. Later still, I had the chance to cite the film, and this book, as references in an academic paper on serial killers.

In the same vein, another featured film is the Belgian C’est Arrivé Près de Chez Vous, a.k.a. Man Bites Dog, also controversial for its graphic violence and lurid subject matter. It’s probably safe to say that few in the U.S. have seen this film, or even heard of it. However, its vicious satirical take on reality TV is becoming ever more relevant, with today’s overabundance of such shows.

Bouzereau, besides being a talented writer, is a skilled interviewer; his discussions with Oliver Stone, special effects wizard Greg Nicotero, and master of horror Clive Barker enhance his subject matter all the more. That, along with his understanding of the art of film, and his appreciation for a variety of styles, makes Ultraviolent Movies a fascinating read.

Labels: A Review of Ultraviolent Movies: From Sam Peckinpah to Quentin Tarantino

5 Great Sites for the Coffee Drinking Dawgs Fan

While most Georgia Bulldog football fans could never be accused of being relaxed and thoughtful on game days, the morning after can find many of them grabbing a cup of coffee and settling in to read the latest news on their beloved team. What better than to reward your favorite coffee drinking Dawgs fan with his or her own special Bulldogs cup or mug. This season there are a few which are worthy of note and would help a true Dawgs fan settle in for his Sunday morning dose of Bulldog game facts with a smile and a sigh of contentment. Take note of these offerings for the true Dawgs fan:

1. This site offers a truly special 16 oz. etched porcelain mug which seems to be just simply a touch of Bulldog beauty. Various campus, band, and football related scenes are etched in black on a white background. Selling for just $19.95 each. (

2. The same Rivals website offers a stadium themed 24 oz. ceramic mug which features a heartwarming “Go Dawgs!” shout out to the team. These sell at $18.95 each.


3. This Red Zone site offers several good choices, but one is note worthy for the female fans. It is a pink polka dot 15 oz. ceramic mug with a large Georgia ‘G’ to warm her heart. Microwave and dishwasher safe, this one sells for $11.95.


4. Not to be out sold or out done, Walmart has it’s offering for the coffee drinking crowd. This site offers a very nice 15 oz. red Bistro mug. This deeply etched mug sells at $15.99 and is dishwasher safe.


5. And finally! This website offers well over 200 various types of Georgia Bulldog themed mugs from over 100 different stores! Talk about a find! This site almost has to have what the discerning fan needs to bless the heart of that coffee drinking favorite person. Prices start at $11! Deals, deals, deals!


Regardless of which mug you find, every true Dawgs fan loves to be remembered by those who share their love of all things Dawg!

Labels: 5 Great Sites for the Coffee Drinking Dawgs Fan

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