News Archive

Jul 22, 2010

Water. Without it, life is not possible. Human beings are encouraged to drink anywhere from 1.5L to 3L every day [MayoClinic]. When I was younger, much of that water came in the form of corn syrup solutions like Mountain Dew or Pepsi. In an effort to be healthier, many of us have shunned such teeth-rotting adversaries and turned to bottled water. There's no doubt that it's a healthier way to go. But it's expensive.

More recently, I've come to think how wasteful it is too. While people cry about the BP oil disaster, but what are they actually doing about it? Buying fuel efficient cars? Driving less? For me, there was one thing that I saw to do: STOP WASTING MONEY ON BOTTLED WATER. Less plastic for landfills & less demand for oil.

A decent carbon filter used on regular tap water is usually ok. To transport their liquid nourishment, many have turned to Stainless Steel containers. A big name for many is Klean Kanteen. They make a good product. But after some research, you'll see that they make a good profit as well. Fifteen dollars a bottle is overkill. Sorry. I was holding out until, one day, I stumbled upon this site: []. Fresh Water Systems carries their own brand (Neo-Vas) 18/8 stainless steel bottles for 1/2 or even 1/3 the price! We ordered a bunch & they are great quality. The tops also match up with Klean Kanteen tops like the famous Sports Cap top.

Apr 21, 2010

Sodium. It has been used for centuries as a way of preserving foods. It is a crucial component in most pickling methods & brine solutions. In high levels, it is nothing short of toxic. So why are we pumping so much of it into our foods?

Through the years, it seems that people's attention has shifted from one food contaminate to another. People have known the dangers of high sodium for a long time, but it's easy to get sidetracked. Cholesterol. Saturated Fat. Trans Fat. MSG. Corn Syrup. Items will be labeled as "Low Fat", all the while, containing ridiculous amounts of salt. Soups are a good example of that. Panera's "Low Fat" Black Bean Soup has a whopping 1590mg of sodium, if you include croutons and Parmesan cheese. Once you stop to realize that the daily allowance in the US is 2400mg, you can quickly see the problem here.

Some time ago I was strong armed into going to Panera Bread. I felt like having some french onion soup, but was concerned about the sodium. I asked to see the nutrition facts & was appalled to find that it has 2210mg of sodium. I switched gears and went for a sandwich instead. The Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich really hit the spot... Then I went home, went online and did some research. It turns out I got super-sized on the sodium by eating a 2930mg sodium sandwich!

An email ensued:

"Your Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich exceeds the Daily Allowance for SODIUM by 530mg. The Italian Combo is even worse. How do you justify / rationalize that? Your corporate image is one of fresh, healthy foods. Some of your soups are marketed as "Low Fat." Why? Because it makes it seem like you care about people. But if that were true, why would you serve a sandwich that could send someone to the hospital with a stroke!? I think your unsafe menu items should be labeled as well. As in: "WARNING. HIGH SODIUM." A consumer has a certain amount of responsibility. But a vendor should also have a measure of accountability."

Here is the reply:

"Dear Al,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Panera Bread. We want to provide our customers with the best tasting, fresh food available. We are also looking to deliver what customers want and to address their concerns as best we can. We are aware of the concerns you have expressed regarding high sodium. I will be happy to note your request to consider changing the sodium count in our products.

We appreciate your comments, and we hope you continue to enjoy Panera Bread.

Have a great day,

Customer Comment Coordinator"

Well, that email was from November 2009. The sodium content has not changed. This tells me that, as with most other food providers, Panera is not very concerned here. Sure, some of it's customers will die off, but thousands of others will be roped in by the irresistible taste of saline. Fortunately for us, the spotlight is coming back to sodium: [Consumerist]. Hopefully we'll see some involvement from the FDA as indicated by this article: [CNN].

Jul 3, 2007

I have this great story to tell about an EX-Landlord of mine. When my wife & I moved into our 1st place together, we made a $500 security deposit. Nine months ago we gave 30 days notice. We had been living month-to-month for over 3 yrs.

My wife got check images to prove what payments were made. I mailed these to the Landlord with written 30 days notice. We cleaned the place well; wiped down walls, vacuumed, etc. I mailed him his keys via certified mail, stating what my new address was & requesting a return of our deposit. Sound familiar? How many people have been ripped off by previous landlords? I didn't trust these guys, so I documented everything & then waited.

According to [PA Law], a landlord MUST return the deposit within 30 days. If he is to claim damages, receipts of such must be returned along with any remaining amount within 30 days. If the landlord fails to comply, the tenant can sue for double the amount of his deposit. There are more, very interesting, stipulations. But the point is, the landlord gets 30 days.

Well, as you might expect, my deadbeat landlord blew me off for, not the first 30, but the first 60 days! I called once after 40 days. He said, "I haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll mail it eventually." When I called after 50 days, he was quite rude & hung up on me. >oops BIG mistake<

So I filed a complaint here: [PA Attorney General] Hahaha! Oh yes. How many of these scoundrels try to rip off their tenants!? But how many tenants don't know the 1st thing about their rights? Once I got the Attorney General's office involved, things played out VERY differently. Within 2 weeks, I had my money!!! Sweet victory....

Jul 2, 2007

Wow. It's been over a year since any updates.

May 18, 2006

If you have a wireless network at home, you need to secure it. There are lifesucking organizations like MPAA and RIAA which track down file sharers and slap them with ridiculous law suites. But how do they "track" such people? By their IP address. If you share (voluntarily or unknowingly) your internet connection with others, then they are using YOUR IP. Thus, YOU could be held liable for something that some other slimeball did! Please secure your wireless connection, if you haven't already. Check out these tips: [Wireless Network Security Tips].

May 09, 2006

A while back, I bought a jar of "Reduced Fat Jif." Please note, this is NOT Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. If you examine the label closely, you will see that it is actually "Peanut Butter Spread," containing only 60% peanuts. What about the other 40%? Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar and Soy Protein --eww!! But that's the trade off you make if you want reduced fat, right?

Let's talk about that "reduced" fat. The label says: "Regular Peanut Butter contains 16g of fat per serving. Jif Reduced Fat contains 12g of fat per serving." OK. Well I have a "regular" jar of peanut butter. It is Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter (Creamy), and it contains 16g of fat. Out of that 16, 2.5g is Saturated Fat. [Saturated Fat is an evil, murderous type of fat which is second in vileness only to Trans Fat]. But what about the Jif? Surely it has less, since it is REDUCED Fat, right? ....WRONG!!! Jif Reduced Fat has 2.5g of Saturated Fat -the SAME amount as "Regular Peanut Butter."

So they left the SATURATED Fat alone, reduced the UNsaturated Fat by 4g, and in the process, created a product that cannot even be labeled as peanut butter. The Sodium is doubled. The Carbs are nearly tripled. And yet, the Fiber is cut in half. The moral of the story... READ YOUR LABELS!!!

May 02, 2006

For all you fanboys out there who think that Apple computers are invincible: [the Month of Apple Bugs]

Apr 6, 2006

I have pretty much finished up with another website design. It was set up for AmeriTech Industries, Inc. (a tool & die company based out of Leechburg, PA). Go here to check it out: [AmeriTech Industries]

Mar 1, 2006

How many people out there still haven't made the switch? Firefox is the BEST browser out there. It's secure. It's skinable. And it's totally free. Try it, and you'll never go back to Internet Explorer! [Firefox]

Feb 3, 2006

OK. I think I'm going to actually start putting stuff up on here...

Dec 28, 2005

I just got done revamping I like the layout and graphic elements a lot more now. The content is still the same, but I'm slowly refining everything.

Nov 30, 2005

Shame on you, SONY!: [READ ME]

Nov 22, 2005

This is my very first entry. I just loaded Albosauce LOG onto my server, although I don't know how soon it will be linked to My objective is to eliminate my "Old School Albosauce" and "AL3" websites. I'd like to keep an archive of my poems & photos. Plus, I need a better listing of my favorite links. We'll see how this works out!!!