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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Arrr Me Hearties! Me Flip-Flops Be Killing Me!

Hey, September 19th is/was "Talk Like a Pirate Day". If you need a interpreter on some Pirate lingo, Savage Chickens might be helpful.

My piratey mood has to do with Sims 2 actually. Captain Jack Sparrow, as a Sim can be installed in The Sims 2 game. This picture capture is from my game and is my favorite pirate creation by assorted authors who created his skin, clothing and accessories. I'm not taking credit for him ...nor for any surprises in his uh... skin tone. He's been available in downloads in various styles and quality for years, but this one has been in my game for about three years. Alas, I haven't played the game enough to help him build a ship yet (he's actually more obsessed with looking through telescopes and ...hanging out with his women), so I think he'll have to go commandeer one eventually, lol.

If you have The Sims 2 game and would like to have him, here is the download file for Captain Jack Sparrow. It should be put wherever you like to put your downloads but after downloading, you need to double click the Sims2Pack file that you just downloaded and it will install into your game (likewise, the doggie files below). You do not need expansions to have Captain Jack Sparrow in your Sims 2 game. (Of course, unless you actually have the game, you can't use the download.) You DO need the Pets expansion for any of the dogs below, because the expansion pack gives the pets the programming they need to come to "Sim Life". Jack is fine with the base game.

Now Mateys -- about those flip-flops!

More excitement from China. :( I was going to post this the other day but didn't have time, so I'm also behind posting on pirates, so I've combined the two. And yep, I know, I'm weird.

This was from a while back that Kerry Stiles started a photo log of her flip-flop experiences back in June 2007. She's still trying to find others who have had the same problems as she did. Apparently some slippers were fine but some others were defective. link verifies the story and (generically) identifies the irritation pictured (it's a bit graphic) as a type of contact dermatitis. While some people may have contact dermatitis with metals, latex or other materials rather consistently based on the specific product -- it appears that according to some of the reports in the original lady's photo log, some folks bought different color variations at the same time of purchase and only certain certain pairs in their purchase caused reactions.

The author for example, had a reaction to a yellow pair, while another person reacted to the blue and not the other colors that were also purchased and worn. This suggests ersatz product components were partly to blame.

Okay... back to Simming!

Above is Captain Jack doing a bit of meditation and he is so good at it, he is levitating off the ground. For some reason, my game chose the red boxers as his exercise outfit. Suits me, matches the bandana. (No he didn't come with his beloved hat!)

Kicking back for things that don't require much serious thought fits the bill as I shed a migraine, I started to start up my Sims game and immediately realized to my dismay, that I could NOT remember my shortcut keys to start the game - and that's pretty bad! Of all the tricks one learns in the game, getting the game running should be a no brainer. I use keyboard shortcuts rather than a cluttered desktop, and its been sooooo long...

Now, here we go... a little more doggie related. Yay! I have the Pets expansion and have had so many cool ideas on what to do with it but due to some interesting times lately, haven't found much time to play. Here are two Anatolian Shepherd Dog Sims that I created on "Talk Like a Pirate Day".

Both are a little different in their Sim genetics. The drop eared one is a female and the one with cropped ears is a Turkish import. (Heehee - the madness of a dog nut!) The male is a little less friendly (more guardy) than the female but he is more playful than she is. I was interested if they would hit it off naturally or if there would be some work required. When they met, he did a play bow and wanted to be friends. Above pic is just before he did the playbow. She is cautiously checking him out and he's getting excited.

A lot of action in the game is autonomous. The pets are no exception. You can't really control them so the human sim that lives with them has to train them.

Even when you make plans for things to happen, flexibility helps! The first Sim 'human' I ever made in the game, within minutes of his creation, went out autonomously to the yard, sat down to gaze at the sky. I was fascinated! But suddenly a satellite shot from the heavens and killed him and the Grim Reaper came. Now I was upset, how did this happen?? I had no idea how to save his life (there are ways to do this) so I paused the game and went through the manual to try to figure it out -- and the thing about the game is that so much can happen, that its often not in the manual. It's like life. Your Sim might be watching TV and suddenly a pipe bursts and the bathroom starts to flood. These Sims creators at are really an imaginative lot! Anyway, back to pets... if you don't use cheats, the pets will do whatever comes natural to them, including fights and digging up the garden, shredding furniture, digging holes and all of that. Your human Sims can train their pets, but the outcome can be about as variable as it is in real life. :)

In this pic, the plus icons show that the two dogs have just decided that they probably like each other. They may become good friends.

In this pic, the female is responding to the invitation to play. She's leaping up and he's playfully growling at her. She's not a playful dog in her personality, so this is a positive event.

And another view of them playing. They ran across a street and few yards (I haven't built a fence for them yet) and were racing around a bit. :)

I probably will not be breeding these two. To get the 'cropped' ears look in the Sims 2 -- you have to select upright ears and make the ears as small or pointy long (depending on the breed) as possible. So you'd actually be breeding a strain with up ears and a strain with floppy ears. ;)

The game is really not about real doggie genetics but it is about cool programming code and neat graphics. So if they bred, I'd probably get some pups with upright ears. Then again, its just a game. I wonder if keeping only the flop eared pups and breeding them will result in a line with more flop ears only? LOL, I guess I won't know until I have more time for the game. At least with the humans, blonde and redheads are recessive to the brunette and black hair. So the human babies get some predictable traits from their parents.

So I have the crop eared dog above for download and a brindle dog with a curled tail available.

To use the dog files, you need have the base game and the Pets expansion.

Yep, even Sim doggies need to be trained to not be destructive. A playful one trying to demolish a teddy bear.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/19/2007 09:45:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Diane sent us a woof // September 23, 2007

I have a Jack pirate beard I downloaded from somewhere... it has two little braids hanging down. I like to stick it on random people because I have never had an actual Jack before. But now I will! *evil grin*   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // September 23, 2007

OH, I want those braids! I will bug you for them later! :)   

Friday, September 07, 2007

It's Not Over Yet, China

I'm not going to blame 'China' for all the recent problems.

I'm sure plenty of people are wondering why Quality Assurance and Quality Control by wealthier consumer countries isn't tighter, or whatever safety assurance it is that could make these suppliers of consumables run a tighter/cleaner ship. Lack of ability to find business if their shabby products didn't come up to specs with the big guys does help.

No, I'm not going to say that they are all equally to blame. A LOT of stuff is rejected at the outset. Sometimes I suspect it's a game. "How long can I cut corners and get away with it" Because some of these businesses seem to be able to disappear without a trace, if the news is to be believed.

From TOKYO (Reuters) - Chinese merchandise took a fresh knock Friday when car maker Nissan said it was recalling tens of thousands of mugs it gave away in Japan because the paint contains excessive lead.

It said it took the action after a hapless car-shopper fell ill after drinking from one of the mugs and complained.

Nissan Motor said the cups, which it was giving to anyone who test-drove one of its cars in Japan during a sales initiative that started on August 16, had a lead content that was more than 30 percent above the permissible level.

Japan's third-biggest carmaker said it would recall the mugs, which it said could have reached as many as 87,000 potential customers. It did not know the identity of the manufacturer in China.

Chinese products have come under intense scrutiny over safety concerns in recent months, prompting recalls of products from toys and toothpaste to seafood and tires.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

Skull and Crossbones Avatar Egads, that's a just a bit much! (but I'm playing with CSS for effect. So there!)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/07/2007 09:46:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Saturday, July 21, 2007

China shuts plants that produced tainted medicine, pet food

China shuts plants that produced tainted medicine, pet food -
"BEIJING, China (AP) --
Ahead of high-level visits by U.S. and European officials, China moved to sharpen its product safety image Friday, shutting down a chemical plant linked to dozens of deaths in Panama from tainted medicine and closing two companies tied to pet deaths in North America.

Inspectors work in a food safety inspection center in Beijing, China.

The measures come as Beijing struggles to reassure global customers that it takes food and drug safety seriously amid concerns over chemicals and toxins that have been found in its products.

The closures come months after links between the companies' products and the deaths became known, but only days before visits by European Union and U.S. officials." (more)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 7/21/2007 11:17:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, May 31, 2007

China To Execute Chief Food Inspector

From CBS
China To Execute Chief Food Inspector

Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court convicted Zheng Xiaoyu of taking bribes in cash and gifts worth more than 6.49 million yuan ($832,000) while he was director of the State Food and Drug Administration, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
(CBS News) BEIJING The former head of China's food and drug administration was sentenced to death Tuesday for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines — including an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths.

Seeking to address broadening concerns over food, the government also announced plans for its first recall system for unsafe products.

The developments are among the most dramatic steps Beijing has publicly taken to address domestic and international alarm over shoddy and unsafe Chinese goods — from pet food ingredients and toothpaste mixed with industrial chemicals to tainted antibiotics. " (more...)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/31/2007 01:22:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous jan sent us a woof // June 10, 2007

So China will execute a bureaucrat. Knowing the value the value the government puts on human life, doesn't that just instill confidence all over the world?

I love your graphic of the doggies on the state capital building. Hopefully people will get the true message of this horrible bill before the do-gooders win out.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // June 16, 2007

This execution is a parody of justice.

I think people are angry enough to feel that at least figuratively "heads will roll", but really now... for one person to bear the brunt of it all in China when so many were involved and aware (and not just in China) is unspeakable travesty!

The lack of common sense in the premise of AB1534 is beyond ridiculous.   

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Melamine Spiking -“Widespread” For Years

From Itchmo
Melamine Spiking in Food “Widespread” For Years

No more denials, no more hemming and hawing by the FDA. Time to take massive cautionary action is now. It’s not just animal feed anymore. It’s not just pet food. It’s a crisis. It’s been going on for years. It’s being done in “wheat, corn, soybean or other proteins”.

I'm not surprised that it happens. Cutting corners for profit is not uncommon. Remember the hairy, carcinogenic soy sauce that Japan (the USA as well) had also unknowingly let into the country.

"It's not the hair that causes cancer," the soy sauce business insider says, adding that it's possibly caused by MCP, a fluid in the body associated with the breakdown of proteins and increasingly accused of having a potential link to the disease.

China is clearly treating human hair sauce as a problem. Japan bans the use of soy sauce made from anything other than organic proteins, so the animal proteins in human hair sauce are naturally banned. [from a scientific standpoint, that's a strange, incomplete comment]

That's not to say some of the controversial sauce hasn't already been imported.

"We confirm ingredients and production methods at 31 inspection points at sea or airports throughout the country and have not had a single report of that nature since the start of this year," a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare says. "Perhaps this product was never imported."

Yet, most food inspections at customs are little more than a cursory glance at documents, keeping alive the possibility that some of the human hair sauce may have slipped through.

"It's just not realistic to examine all the soy sauce imported from China," a ministry spokesman tells Asahi Geino. "There's no way we could even possibly do it."


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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/29/2007 04:25:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, April 20, 2007

Pet Food Contamination -
Pet Food Contamination May Have Been Intentional

Melamine has been found in both wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China. Media reports from South Africa suggest a third pet food ingredient, corn gluten, used in that country also was contaminated with melamine. That tainted ingredient has not been found in the United States, the FDA said.

. . .FDA investigators, meanwhile, are awaiting visas that would allow them to visit the Chinese plants where the vegetable protein ingredients were produced.

'Melamine was found in all three of those; it would certainly lend credibility to the theory that it may be intentional. That will be one of the theories we will pursue when we get into the plants in China,' Stephen Sundlof, the FDA's chief veterinarian, told reporters Thursday.

Chinese authorities have told the FDA that the wheat gluten was an industrial product not meant for pet food, Sundlof said. Still, melamine can skew test results to make a product appear more protein-rich than it is, he said. That raises the possibility the contamination was deliberate.

'What we expect to do with our inspections in China will answer some of those questions,' said Michael Rogers, director of the division of field investigations within the FDA's office of regulatory affairs. (more...)

Stay up to date at

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/20/2007 12:37:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments