I Had To Do Some Rapid Tests

This past Tuesday I had to do one of those at home COVID tests, with Aira’s help of course. After I figured out what all the doodle bobs were for, it wasn’t too crazy hard, but of course I would have been screwed if I didn’t have Aira because I wouldn’t be able to look at the test cassette thing. But I have heard descriptions of some of the tests and they seem impossible. This was better than I expected…once I figured out what the heck I was doing. I thought I’d write down my experience so I could hopefully help someone else out who found themselves needing to do one of these.

Like I said a little bit ago, I was going to my first in person conference yesterday. Because life is mean, last Monday, I developed the sniffles. I wanted to be sure they weren’t the COVID sniffles, so decided to crack open my first rapid test.

The kit I have is called the Rapid Response kit.

Apparently it’s not one that a lot of Aira agents have seen. Inside the kit, there is enough stuff to do five tests. But instead of compiling the components for each test in an individual container, they just put all the components in the box. So you have a bag of five swabs, a bag of 5 tubes and stoppers, a bag of five vials, and a bag of five test cassettes. Why not make five bags, with each bag containing the components for a test? Once you know what you’re doing, it’s no big deal, but cut the newb a break! Oh, and you have a little tray to use to stand the tube in for all the swab-swirling goodness.

So, you have your kit. You’ve figured out what the hell is going on, you have all your stuff out in a little tray so nothing can fall down. If you’re using Aira or Facetime or some kind of phone-assisted thing, you have your phone sitting up on a stack of books or a stand or, appropriately enough, an unopened kleenex box so they can see down into your tray. You have a timer nearby that isn’t your phone. Let’s rock and roll!

So, the first thing you have to do is grab an empty tube and stand it up in the little tube stand thingamabob. It’s a tray with 8 holes. I don’t know why they picked 8. Maybe it’s to confuse the newbs among us.

Then, grab that vial of liquid they call buffer solution and give it a shakeroo. When I saw it, I said “Hey! It looks like a tube of flea and tick preventative for dogs!” Not exactly, but kind of. The top of the tube has a notch on each side and a raised bumpy liney thing right in the centre. If you twist it at the bumpy liney thing, the top will snap nicely and make you a little spout that you’re supposed to pour the liquid into the tube through. Find your tube, and place the makeshift spout into the opening of the tube and squeeze until it’s all gone. When I did this part, I was scared shitless because I had heard this solution could hurt your skin. If it can, I was lucky because my first makeshift spout was a little raggedy and dribbled solution crud on the side of the tube…which I was holding.

After you’ve done that, the fun starts! take your swab out of its packaging, holding the stick end, tilt your head back, and stick the swab in one of your nostrils. They say to not have it straight up and down, but going straight back, kind of at the lower part of your nostril. They said “parallel to your palate.” For some reason I had to think about that a lot before I got the message. Stick it in about an inch or until you hit resistance. Swirl it around for a few seconds and then take it out. Then stick that disgusting swab in your other nostril and repeat.

After you’ve done that, stick the swab in that tube of scary fluid. Swirl it around in there several times, smush it against the tube walls, and then let it sit in the scary fluid for two minutes. When that’s done, take the swab out of the tube, all the while squishing and pinching it against the tube walls to get all the liquid out of it. Chuck the swab in the garbage. Then, grab your stopper cap thingamabob and stick it on the top of the tube. Make sure it’s on their firmly so the potential COVID cocktail you just made doesn’t leak when you pour.

Then grab your test cassette. There is a long part and a round part and each is very noticeable by feel. The long part is where the results show up and the round part is where you pour your mix of swab juice and scary fluid. Yeah, I’m so technical.

Take your tube that has the cap on it, find the round part, and then turn the tube upside down so that the drops will land in the round part. It says do 3 drops, but it doesn’t say what will happen if you get too much in there, so I just pour and wait a couple of seconds.

Now, I wait. I set a timer for 15 minutes. I sit and whistle and pray that it’s negative. The test cassette has a c and a t written on it, c for control, t for test. If it is negative, there will be a line pointing at the c. If it is positive, there will be two lines, one pointing at c and one pointing at t. If you screwed it up and it’s confused, there will just be a line pointing at t.

Time to whistle, whistle, chat with whoever is being eyeballs for this lovely test, la la la…ooo! Time’s up! What’s the result? Negative! I can be out among people! Yea!

And that is how this kind of rapid test is done. I did a second test the day before going to the conference to confirm my non-covid status, and it went much faster and easier than the first test. Hopefully neither of us will need to do one for a long long time!

I’m Guessing The Bug Survived

I think Carin and I may have shared a building with these people at some point.

Des Moines police said they may know how an apartment fire started early Monday morning.
According to police, the fire started inside of an apartment at Gray’s Lake Apartments on Fleur Drive when an occupant “attempted to light a bug on fire on a futon.”

It “lit up like a tinderbox,” according to police.
Several people have been displaced after the fire. Emergency crews had to block off part of that main road while they battled the flames.

Toy Department, You Say

Mom! Look! A Super Poker!

According to a Winter Haven Police Department report, Flor approached the victim from behind while she was shopping with her 12-year-old son. Flor “unzipped his pants, pulled out his penis,” a police affidavit reported. Getting to within an “arm’s reach” of the woman–who was “facing away from him shopping”–Flor masturbated until he ejaculated “on the pants of the victim (onto her buttocks).”
As this was happening the woman’s son “attempted to alarm his mother.” The boy then explained what he had seen, prompting the victim to contact Walmart workers.
After police released store surveillance photos of the suspect, Flor, who lives a few miles from the Walmart, turned himself in and reportedly admitted to masturbating in front of a child while in the store.

Yes, this all apparently went down…up(?)…whatever direction these things go, in the toy department.

21-Year-old Elias Flor took a deal and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and three years probation on a count of felony child abuse. Other charges, including a count of battery that cops say was added because Flor didn’t have permission to spooj on anyone right then, were dropped in exchange for his emission admission.

Get Off…My Porch

I’m asking this question sincerely, because as much as I would like nothing more in this world than to continue not knowing, current events are forcing the curiosity issue a little.

So…uh…is borrowing sex toys a thing that people do, or is this an isolated incident and of course someone this weird and gross would end up stabbed in a fight over ownership?

According to an arrest citation, an officer was dispatched to Mitchell Hill Road on Saturday afternoon in reference to a stabbing. It states Crystal Denham called 911 stating she stabbed her cousin, Michael Barton, who is also her neighbor. Denham was sweeping the porch when an officer got to the scene.

Denham told the officer Barton came to her home and they got into an argument over the sex toy. She borrowed it and he said he wanted it back. The citation says she told him to get off her property, and when he grabbed her by the elbow, she used the kitchen knife she was holding in her hand to stab him. Barton’s injuries were considered minor and he refused medical treatment. He told the officer Denham began “acting crazy” and she stabbed him when he went to leave.

If the police report is to be believed, the bit about her acting crazy is probably true.

According to it, Denham was most upset when informed that she was under arrest. Upset enough that the officer felt it necessary to pull out his Taser. No, that’s not a euphemism and no, you can’t borrow it. At that point, the report states that she “formed a fist with each of her hands, bladed her body in a fighting stance, swelled her chest out, and began approaching” the officer. The officer stepped to the side and pushed Denham to where she became compliant and placed under arrest.”

She was charged with second-degree assault, second-degree disorderly conduct, menacing, and resisting arrest.

It Might Be A Little Cheaper To Drive A Ford, But Voting For One Is Going To Cost Us All

Ford’s licence fee sticker refund could help him win this election
As we approach the provincial election, ‘people are preoccupied with one thing: pocketbook issues’

I understand the point being made here. Unfortunately, it might even be a correct one. But while we’re talking about pocketbook issues, here’s one to consider. $4-$8 Billion. Depending on which estimate you go with, that’s going to be how much giving that $100 back to people who drive is going to cost the province spread out over a four year government term. So that’s nearly $8 billion that won’t be going into healthcare or education or affordable housing or any one of the hundreds of other things that would probably be well served by the sort of boost in funding that $8 billion could provide.

And it’s only going to get worse from there.

Don’t forget that in a few weeks, it’s not going to be election time anymore. And when election time is over, all the money that’s being thrown around at the moment to promise us the moon is going to come to a sudden stop and the province is going to magically be broke again. And when we’re broke again, it’s time for the punishing service cuts that without fail leave everyone worse off than they already were. That’s how this works, especially when you vote in a populist, bull in a china shop, slash and burn Conservative government that doesn’t much care about anyone who isn’t already pretty well off.

So don’t get too attached to all that healthcare, education, affordable housing or any of those hundreds of other things that $8 billion could have paid for. But please, enjoy that $100 you don’t have to shell out for new stickers anymore. That’s gonna be great.

In a Ipsos poll prepared for Global News, 39 per cent of respondents said they’d vote Conservative if the election were held tomorrow. That’s well ahead of 26 per cent for the Liberals, 25 per cent for the New Democratic Party and five per cent for the Green Party. The poll interviewed 1,501 Ontario residents online and by phone between April 29 and May 1.
Ford’s recent announcement that the government would refund hundreds of dollars to drivers in fees that they paid for their licence plate stickers feeds right into voters’ anxiety about affordability.
“That policy was targeted at swing voters in the 905,” said Simpson, referring to the vote-rich suburban areas around Toronto, where people spend a lot of time in their cars.
It’s a smart strategy for two reasons. One, even if you don’t like that specific tactic of returning money directly to voters, “it reinforces to people that Doug Ford is best placed to help you with issues of affordability,” Simpson said.

And two, the Conservatives have now cemented a formidable lead in the 905, where 47 per cent would vote for Ford if the election were held tomorrow. Ford’s Conservatives are 21 points ahead of the second-place Liberals in that region.
The suburbs around Toronto are “the part that matters” when it comes to winning elections, Simpson said.
“It can be the only part that matters. It’s pretty much game over, if that holds.”

He’ll Probably Mess That Up, Too

Doug Ford promises to spend second term undoing harm caused by first term

TORONTO – After un-cancelling the $15 minimum wage increase, Premier Doug Ford is promising Ontarians that, if re-elected, he will spend the entirety of his second term fighting tooth and nail to undo the damage caused by his first term.
“Folks, the current government has made a real mess of things,” said Ford. “And that’s why if you re-elect the current government, I promise to spend every day working to reverse everything they have done.”
“Change is possible! As long as you don’t change the government,” he added.

Do We Not Say Flashback Friday Anymore? And Not Quite Early Enough There, Guys

I just watched a story on the news about the Ontario Liberals promising to bring back grade 13 in order to help make up for some of the learning loss caused by the pandemic. Not the worst idea depending on how it’s done, honestly.

But I can’t focus on it because of how the anchor introduced it.

“It’s like throwback Thursday, but on a Friday,” she said.

What?

Come on, guys. Everyone knows that throwback Thursday on a Friday is called flashback Friday. Maybe not the uncontacted tribe who killed that one guy for getting too close to them, but everybody else…they know that.

There is also wayback Wednesday, but I’ll cut anyone who doesn’t know that one some slack since I’ve rarely heard it used outside of radio stations looking for an excuse to play a few extra old songs back in the 80s and 90s.

Flashback Friday, though. I just can’t get over that one eluding a bunch of writing and broadcasting people. Are they not being properly educated or am I just really damn old and missed it falling out of favour or being deemed offensive for some reason?

And while I’m talking about the news…

That story you just ran here on Friday at almost 6 damn 30 in the evening telling us all to get Sunday’s Mother’s Day flowers nice and early because of supply chain issues, next time maybe slot that one in for like four-five days ago. That would have been helpful.

Yabba Dabba Doom!

When I die, I hope to go peacefully in my sleep. No pain, no fuss. But I’ll be honest, spending my last moments on this planet dressed up as Fred Flintstone and swinging a broom or a spear or whatever at traffic does sound kind of fun, at least up until the part where I have to get hit by the car.

A man wearing a Fred Flintstone costume was hit and killed while harassing traffic in Texas early in the morning on Tuesday, Nov. 2, police told media outlets.
The driver told San Antonio police it was dark and he didn’t see the man dressed as an iconic cartoon caveman until it was too late, KSAT reported.

Police received calls from several motorists concerned about a costumed man in the middle of O’Connor Road, in northeast San Antonio, swinging at passing cars with what appeared to be a “spear,” WOAI reported.

Investigators said he may have been wielding a broomstick or similar object as a weapon, the outlet reported.

The unnamed Flintstone flattener will not be charged, say police.

Praise The Lord!

If your beliefs have helped you find a sense of meaning and purpose in life, that’s great. And if your local church is actively trying to better people’s lives with things like no strings attached food and shelter, that’s also great. Thank you for doing those things and for doing what you can to live up to the standard that organized religion likes to claim it sets for itself. But as someone who doesn’t believe that whatever good is being done is enough to outweigh all of the harm caused by religion in the form of greed, fraud, brainwashing, discouraging certain medical care, discrimination, human rights violations, war, murder, sexual abuse, residential schools and more, it’s hard not to see these stats and feel just a tiny bit better about the future.

StatCan data released on Thursday shows that in 2019, only 68 per cent of Canadians 15 or older reported having a religious affiliation.
It’s the first time that fewer than 70 per cent of Canadians reported being religiously affiliated since StatCan began tracking the data in 1985. Between 2000 and 2017, the percentage of religiously affiliated Canadians hovered around 77 to 82 per cent, before declining to 75 per cent in 2018.

Only 23 per cent of Canadians in 2019 reported attending group religious activities, such as church service, at least once a month. Between 2000 and 2009, that figure was around 30 per cent.
StatCan also found that religion was becoming less important for more Canadians. The percentage of people who reported that religious or spiritual beliefs were somewhat important or very important was 54 per cent in 2019. In the mid-2000s, it was around 70 per cent.

The report also talked about differences among age groups. Religious affiliation was the highest among Canadians born between 1940 and 1959 at 85 per cent, compared to 32 per cent for those born between 1980 and 1999.