Floating in Blue

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A few weeks ago, one of our beloved Betta fish took ill (as Bettas are wont to do).

At wits end wondering how to help our little female fish through the rough spot, The Good Man consulted with a fairly fish knowledgeable employee at the store where we got the Betta.

Most fish owners will just dump an antibiotic like Tetracycline into the tank and hope for the best. Not knowing exactly what is wrong, we didn’t want to go that route.

The pet store guy recommended something called Betta Revive as a first defense.

It covers a broad spectrum of low-level medications to address a whole host of potential fish illnesses.

One of the main ingredients in this remedy is Methylene blue.

For those a little short on their anti-psychotic knowledge, Methylene blue, also known as Thorazine, became a heavily favored drug for psychiatric use in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Apparently, it also has an antifungal effect, so is included in the fish remedy to ward off the dreaded Ich.

We got the Betta Revive and made up a fresh batch of water and added the remedy. Predictably, it turned the water a nice shade of medium blue. Pretty much the color of airplane toilet water.

We floated our sick fish in the blue water, changing it daily, for about a week. She’s mostly recovered and is eating again, which is a good sign.

I’m blathering on about blue water to get to a point. It’s coming, don’t lose me now….

Over this past weekend my body decided to avoid the holiday rush and succumb to a nasty early winter cold.

It the usual stuff, runny nose, sinus pressure, achy joints, low-grade fever and a raging, uncontrollable cough.

I feel like crap and I’m a little depressed. In an effort to cheer myself up, I took a nice hot bath last night.

While soaking, I thought to myself, “Hey, I wish I had some of the blue water to soak in. I don’t know if what I have is viral or bacterial, so a broad spectrum fix might be just the ticket!”

I mean hell, it’ll make my scales lay down nicely and the Thorazine will help me feel aaallll right about the world.

I asked The Good Man if I could soak in some blue water. Gonna have to get a big container of the stuff, but I’m ready!

He gave me that one-eyed squinty look that says, “I’m just going to nod my head and walk away.” And so he did.

I may be sick, but my creative brain is always working out the angles. Even if The Good Man doesn’t buy into all of my (fabulous) ideas.

That’s a Travesty!

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What’s a travesty?

This, this is a travesty!

I know a lot of people really like Coffee-Mate. A lot of people use Coffee-Mate. It’s very popular.

A dear friend’s husband is a self confessed Coffee-Mate hazelnut flavor addict. He stockpiles it in his fridge.

Weirdo.

Look, I’m here to tell you, this isn’t a food product. I don’t know what it is, but it is definitely NOT a food product.

The label says “contains milk ingredients”.

Uh. “Milk ingredients?”

What in the seventeen kinds of sam hell are “milk ingredients?” That doesn’t say “contains milk” or “contains cream” or “contains anything you’d recognize.” No!

Milk ingredients. And oil. And a bunch of other things you can’t pronounce.

There is a big box of these pods of crap-food in our break room.

It’s the only option for lightening a terrible cup of coffee in the late afternoon when you are desperate for a cuppa and the coffee bar downstairs is closed.

Look, I’m inherently suspicious of any sort of dairy product, even a pseudo-dairy product, that doesn’t spoil when you leave it out on the counter for weeks at a time.

Except for real butter…and even real butter has its time limits.

What is the half-life on a pod of Coffee-Mate? A billion years?

I personally enjoy a good splash of half and half in a cup of joe.

Or as I call it, half of the half, which makes The Good Man laugh.

So with no half of the half on hand, I used some of this Coffee-Mate “creamer.” Cuz I ain’t calling it creamer without them thar sarcastic quotes.

It’s gross. It’s oily. It’s chemical-y.

Just. Ew.

So then I poured out the coffee and tried this, also available in the break room:

While sipping at this sort of tangy beverage from a package that does not include an ingredients list, I did a Google search. I didn’t net any ingredients, but I found this image which shows the main box that the packets come in. The box says “contains no apple…” and the rest is blocked by the packet in front of the box.

I assume it says “contains no apple juice.”

Which means…

This is ALSO not food. This is more chemical crap.

Gah!

I’m not any sort of Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, raw food eating girl. I like as much red dye number whatever as the next guy.

But even I have my limits.

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***Note to my readers: I actually wrote this yesterday afternoon. Upon a solid reread today, I was struck by just how much I’ve been whining lately about the no-cost beverage choices at my new place of employ. I’m still new, and while I do have some work to do, I am also sitting around a lot.

Leaving me to my own devices is never a good idea.

As I become busier with my job, I suspect the beverage posts will die down.

Hopefully.

That Ain’t Right

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Today I have a follow up to last week’s The Great Dr. Pepper Incident.

A reader suggested to me that since the cost of that taste-tested Dr. Pepper was free, and since free is good, didn’t all the no-cost make that nasty Dr. Pepper taste better?

And heck, my readers are brilliant, so of course I considered this to be a good point.

Then I decided to embark upon an experiment.

I would try other sodas in the for-free cooler and see how they fared in the “tastes better cuz it’s free” hypothesis.

First up in my research was a Mountain Dew.

I decanted the Dew into a cup thoughtfully provided by my employers.

Now. Um. That’s not a nice color.

That looks a lot like the last time I tried taking a multi-vitamin supplement. My pee turned that color. WHY IN THE HELL would I want to ingest something the color of vitamin-tainted pee?

That said, I forged ahead. I was able to get through a good deal of the Dew before I gacked out and had to pour it down the nearest drain.

Twenty minutes later, I remembered why, besides color, I don’t drink frapping Mountain Dew.

The caffeine.

I had heart palpitations the rest of the day.

Yeah. Free. So not worth it.

Not one to be easily dissuaded…

…Or, as my father used to say, not smart enough to come in out of the rain…

The next day I plunged back into the challenge.

This time, I made sure I took on something caffeine free.

After checking the entire line of Pepsi products in the cooler, that left only Orange Crush.

Also, I’m going to have to say, that’s not a color I’d generally like my food to be. Not even the orangest of foods, say carrots or pumpkin is that shade of neon orange.

It haunts me.

The taste was even worse. I couldn’t get more than two sips through the Crush before it went right down the drain.

Experiment terminated. The lab rat can’t take it any more.

Conclusion: Free doesn’t actually make a crappy beverage taste better.

Sacrifice, all for the good of science.

Now I must go drink three gallons of water to get all that artificial color out of my liver.

Gah!