Tag Archives: Chicken

No Cure For The Uncommon Cold

I’ve heard tell that men are “big babies” when they are sick.  I’ve heard it from several people close to me this weekend, so I’m starting to believe it must be true.  Around about Wednesday afternoon of last week, that first tingle in the left nostril occurred and I sneezed.  A rather healthy sneeze, but I didn’t think much of it because I was working on sanding a project at the time, my landlord was pruning the trees a few feet from me, and raking, and the wind was blowing in 40 mph gusts, causing the dirt in the yard to blow like sand in the Sahara.  So I didn’t think much of it.

But later that evening, I broke out the “TheraFlu” nighttime to replace my evening coffee, and went to bed dreading what was going to happen.  I was dreading it because I was to start my temporary assignment with a health supplier company as a financial analyst on Monday morning.  With my calculations, I would be beyond miserable by the weekend, and pretty much unable to focus on a computer screen, sit in training class and make any kind of good impression on a future employer with my nose dripping onto the table and my eyes watering incessantly whilst I carried around a box of tissue.  This was not good.  The good news is that I got a call on Thursday afternoon from the temp agency saying the manager had delayed the start date until the following Monday, so that terror had been lifted from my shoulders.  I might be a functioning human again by then.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but my head colds, over my lifetime, have the same exact modus operandi.  They start in the left sinus, always.  It must be the weaker of the two.  Plug up the nose until breathing is impossible, and  then spread to the left eye.  The itching, dripping, and watering drive me insane.  Then the chills, and the sweats, then it moves over to the right sinus the next day, same symptoms.  Then both nostrils stuff up like a brick and by now the nose is red and peeling from the three boxes of Kleenex I’ve gone through.  It’s Sunday morning now and I wake up half-conscious,  literally whining in pain from the sinus headache, the backache and the stomach ache.  My wife hears me and is now concerned.  She brought it home from work after all.  It was her fault.

The night before, while I was sleeping away one of the most beautiful Saturday’s we have had so far this year, is when I overheard the conversation between my wife and my daughter about how men are such babies when they are sick.  In my wife’s defense, she went to work, and worked overtime all the week prior when she had similar symptoms without much of a whimper.  She said it was allergies.  The wind had been whipping up for a week and everything was blowing around just waiting to be inhaled.  That’s what she said.

So, on Sunday morning, I woke up half conscious, whimpering like an infant.  My wife rushed into the room and I finally got some much needed sympathy.  I told her how I had planned to do all this stuff this weekend and now I couldn’t.  Just rest, she said, telling me that she’d go to the store and get some vitamin waters and stuff to make chicken soup.  Ah, chicken soup, I was going to live.

We all know that there is no cure for the common (or in my case, uncommon) cold.  But warm soup, chicken or otherwise, has some symptom-relieving properties.  The warm liquid, which is nutritious and easy to keep down, works on the sinuses to reduce the effects of a cold.  Some studies say that chicken soup has an amino acid that is similar to a drug that aids respiratory infections.  The amino acid called, cysteine, reduces mucus in the lungs.  I had two bowls of my wife’s famous chicken soup and drank four bottles of vitamin water with an overdose of Vitamin C.  Took four-hour doses of “TheraFlu, Severe Cold and Cough”  daytime formula, and nighttime formula before bed.

I get these “uncommon” colds once or twice a year.  They usually occur before an important date, like starting a job, going on vacation, a few days before Thanksgiving or Christmas, or just about any other major event.  You think they might be, somehow, connected?  (paraphrased from Marge Gunderson, in “Fargo,” so you have to read it in a Minnesotan accent.)

I am now, five days later, weakly able to sit in front of a computer, without a box of tissue, breathing semi-normally, and coughing every once in a while.  By Monday, I’ll be in top form.  Today, I’m going to work on my taxes and probably throw myself into a relapse.


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The Best Way To Kill A Chicken

Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody

When I was really little, really little, my Grandma Logan had a chicken coop on the back of her property.  I only remember a few things about my grandmother’s house in Olean, New York.  Like I said, I was really little.  I remember I stepped on a rusty nail once and put it all the way through my foot, sneaker and all.  I remember watching the “Howdy Doody Show” on TV in the afternoons with my sister.  And I remember my Dad killing a chicken for Sunday dinner by swinging it over his head and breaking its neck.  It could have been my Uncle Bill that killed the chicken, I’m not really sure, but I remember my Grandma Logan plucking it in the kitchen some time later.  Killing and plucking were things a little boy thought about while he was eating fried chicken later that afternoon.

Orpington Chicken

If you’re going to eat a chicken, you have to pluck it.  Plucking a chicken involves pulling its feathers out.  Its going to require rubber gloves and boiling water.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it?  Well you boil the water, take the chicken and water outside and then immerse the chicken in the boiling water using a stick or a spoon to keep it from floating to the surface.  Only about a minute because you don’t want to make soup. Then you pull the chicken out of the water and start plucking out the wet feathers.  A good chicken plucker can do a chicken in a few minutes.  I’m thinking it would take me several hours.  The plucking of a chicken occurs before the eviscerating and butchering.

This is considered a more humane way to prepare chicken for eating.  I don’t know how they pluck chickens at the major poultry companies, but I don’t see how it could be any more inhumane than this.  Well, there are machines that do the plucking for you for one.  There is a tabletop plucker that is basically a drum with rubber fingers on it.  You move the scalded bird under and around the machine as it turns and you can pluck a chicken in 30 seconds.  Another even better way is the tub-style plucker.  Similar type of thing, only the rubber fingers are on the inside of a drum and the chickens kind of tumble around.  This allows you to pluck more than one chicken at a time, and you have bare nekked chickens in 15 seconds.  I’m sure the major producers use a tub-style chicken plucker.  Now I ask you, does it matter whether this is humane or not.  The chicken is dead.

So that brings me to the title of this short investigation into the daily life of a chicken farmer.  What is the best way to kill a chicken?  These seem to be our choices:  break its neck, chop off its head, gas it, or drain its blood.  Okay.  Now which of these sound the most “humane” to you?  Well, according to studies, cutting the chicken’s jugular vein and cutting the head clean off are the most humane way to kill a chicken.  Okay, I’m done.  Most of you probably won’t eat chicken ever again.

I’ll go with swinging the chicken over my head and breaking its neck as being more humane, but I guess I’m not thinking too much about how the chicken feels while they’re being swung around and then suddenly jerked back as their neck snaps.  I think I’ll just keep buying my chicken in a package at the store.  I don’t have any aspirations of being a chicken farmer and I don’t really care how they got in the package anyways.  WTF

Ah, roasted chicken.



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