Monday, 12 December 2016

09:50 – Barbara is off to the gym and the bank. We’ve gone from cold and dry weather to warmer and a drizzle. Later this week, we’re to have the worst of both worlds: lows in the single digits F (~ -15C) with precipitation. Ugh.

Several people commented, here or via email, that cast iron wasn’t a good choice for a wok. Before I ordered, I read a lot of the comments that were discussing this very issue. The weight of opinion seems to be that heavy cast-iron is a much better choice than thin, light steel because the cast-iron wok retains its high temperature when one adds things to it. Neither of us is Godzilla, so we won’t be flipping the food in a 14-pound wok, or even tilting the wok to dump food onto plates, but the average of almost 1,000 customer reviews on Amazon is close to five stars, so it obviously works for a lot of people.

Several prepper sites have been running articles about how the supply of “fish antibiotics” is supposedly going to dry up as of 1/1/17. That’s simply not true. What is true is that antibiotics for agricultural/livestock use will become harder to come by. As of now, you can simply buy many antibiotics over-the-counter from farm-supply places. Many farmers and ranchers routinely treat their cattle, pigs, and fowl with sub-clinical dosages of various antibiotics because that allows them to grow and put on weight faster. Unfortunately, routine sub-clinical dosages are also the best way possible to help bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. That’s what these new regulations are aimed at. Starting January 1st, many widely used livestock antibiotics (such as this one) will now require what amounts to a veterinarian’s prescription. Antibiotics intended for use with ornamental fish, such as those sold by Thomas Labs, should not be affected by these new regulations.

That said, regulations can change any time, so it’s not a bad idea to acquire at least a minimal stock of a few key antibiotics. I still recommend aquabiotics.net as a good source. They sell a much broader range of antibiotics than Thomas Labs does, and they’re much less expensive. A few weeks ago, Brittany ordered what seems to me to be a reasonable supply for a family or a small group. As Brittany is aware, all of these antibiotics are to be used only in an absolute emergency, where regular medical services are unavailable. Every one of these antibiotics has the potential for severe side effects, up to and including death. Do NOT self-medicate when a physician is available. I regard these antibiotics as an absolute last-ditch solution. I wouldn’t administer them to myself or others unless I was pretty sure the person was in imminent danger of dying without them.