Unforgiving Bunny: 6 sick with rabbit plague in Germany

We’re going to a birthday party Saturday a.m. at the park across the street from us.

I got to know the mom by hanging out at Sorenne’s school – in a drop-off-and-pick-up way, not a creepy way – and at some point heard she was into roller derby, with her two daughters.

unforgiving-bunnyWith my 5 daughters in (ice) hockey, I sparked up a conversation.

Seems that Unforgiving Bunny – that’s her roller derby handle – is a lawyer by day, and avid roller woman by night.

I thought of Unforgiving Bunny when I read the health authority of the district Mainz-Bingen is currently investigating several diseases of humans with the exciter of the hare plague (tulareämie).

And that’s our other roller derby friend, Abby of Manhattan, Kansas, (left) who got into the game once she moved to France (she was a student of Amy’s and great with little, bald Sorenne. Girl power.)

Hare plague can be transmitted from the animal to humans. A human-to-human transplant is nearly impossible and not known. Tularemia is highly treatable, but can take more severe curves in the individual case.

A common feature of the six affected that they had participated in early October on a vintage in the northern district. A few days later they got high fever and complained of a severe general feeling of illness. Three people had to be treated in the hospital. All have now been released as well again.

The case is unusual because infection with the pathogen in Germany are very rare and heaped even more rarely occur. Man is infected by direct contact with diseased animals, their organs or excretions. The pathogen can also be transferred through contaminated food.

abby-roller-derbyThe Health Authority is assisted in the search for causes of Landesuntersuchungsamt (LUA). It is investigated how the villagers could have come into contact with the pathogen. In parallel, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) examines samples from the vineyard. The focus is on food, rabbits, rabbits and other environmental samples. The bacterium Francisella tularensis triggers a tularemia disease. It usually begins with an ulcer at the entrance of the pathogen, followed by flu-like symptoms such as fever, lymph node swelling, chills, malaise as well as headache and limb pain. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Doctors in Mainz-Bingen district are asked also to consider tularemia in patients with high fever and swollen lymph nodes into consideration, especially if the cause of these symptoms is unclear. Suspected cases are also subject to reporting under the Infection Protection Act at the Health Authority.

sorenne-hockey-puck-nov-15

NZ food safety laws stopping early childcare centres from giving kids food, charges Council

Scientists, and other mere mortals, get lost in their public voice when they speak about things they have no clue about.

hockey-parentsI agree with the active citizen, participatory democracy, but there are people who take some (rudimentary) form of training, like food servers and hockey coaches, which is much more than the critics ever do, and the posers should just shut the fuck up.

So when Early Childhood Council boss Peter Reynolds says, new rules have made early childhood education centres less safe because most food poisoning and allergic reactions in ECEs are as a result of food prepared at home, I gotta say, you got a source for that?

New food safety laws are forcing childcare centres to stop providing food for kids, or increase fees, the Early Childhood Council says.

Centres were now finding themselves facing bills into the thousands of dollars in inspections and compliance fees, which is likely to be passed onto parents,

The Food Act 2014 came into force in March, and was designed to ensure all food sold in New Zealand is safe.

Many centres have “had enough”, he said, and were now opting out of providing food.

Good choice. You’re not a certified kitchen, and stop feeding kids. Or this NSFV.

Hockey, food safety and losing

Now that things are normalized, with the kids back in school, I’ve had some time to think about Sunday’s practice.

dp-sorenne-becI’m quite proud of the kids at Coff’s Harbour; we went from a team that was beating us 15-0 at the start of the year, to a 1-1 tie; great improvement

And Kaleb was awesome in goal (come practice whenever you like at acacia ridge, i can work with him).

Anyone else want to play goal this weekend and get some practice in? Alex? Liem?

I’ve got a coupe of drills I want to run, and one is attached below, along with short area games; we can divide the ice up into 3 sections, so children are not standing around too long

I regret to inform you that Kyle has resigned as head coach of the atom majors. This was not a decision taken lightly, but we’re all volunteers, and sometimes it’s best to move on.

I have always supported Kyle and think he is a great coach. He has done wonderful things with the atom majors this year.

He will be out on the ice Sunday to help out — cause that’s how he is — but will no longer have to deal with the politics.

I fully understand, and it’s why I stood down as head coach for the club a couple of months ago.

For Kyle and I, our shared coaching philosophy is continuous improvement, lotsa smiles.

ADM kids

Even Sporer

http://www.admkids.com/news_article/show/700395?referrer_id

In the vast ocean of youth hockey, the best way for some of the youngest fish to learn is not by swimming in a single-file, straight line, but by spreading their fins and doing a little of everything.

And it’s not opinion. It’s science.

“Chaos can be fun,” said Dave Starman, masters-level instructor for USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program and college hockey scout for the Montreal Canadiens.

hubris-humilityLess Structure, More Development

NHL practices can be military-like in precision. When it comes to practices for younger players, less – in terms of structure – can be more.

“It’s important, especially at the younger level, because if they’re not moving around, they don’t have the ability to teach themselves to do a lot of things,” Starman said. “I can stand there and tell a kid to move his foot one way, or move his foot another way, but when that kid goes out there and starts moving his feet around, and falls down, and gets up, all that trial-and-error just makes you a better player because you’re teaching yourself a lot of stuff.”

More than Cross-Ice

That’s where USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) comes in, a program Starman said is tailor-made to be the guiding principle of an 8U practice.

“Number one is, people need to realize that the ADM is more than just cross-ice playing,” Starman said. “The beauty of the ADM is that it’s laid out so clearly, and part two of it is it’s so science-based.

“What you’re reading is not hypothesis; what you’re reading is fact.”

Keeping Kids Engaged

Keeping things fresh and lively, Starman said, are keys to maximizing what a young player is getting out of a practice.

Unconventional drills and games can be the key to helping harness different skills a hockey player needs to be successful.

“For 8Us, look at sharks and minnows,” Starman said. “Sharks and minnows is chaos, but the beauty of sharks and minnows for our little kids is they can skate from one side of the rink to the other in any pattern they want to.

“They’re not getting told, ‘Go in a straight line, and make a left,’ or, ‘Make two circles, and take a shot.’ They’re figuring out where to go, they’re finding open space, and they’re figuring out a way to avoid being tagged. They’re keeping their head up, conscious of where the danger is.”

No Standing Around

At such a young age, and still firmly in developmental mode, Starman said keeping hockey enjoyable and a fun game is also paramount.

“There’s no sport for taking out the garbage, because kids don’t want to do it,” Starman said. “For hockey, it’s kind of the same thing. If you make it something they have to go to, or make it something that’s not enjoyable, they’re not going to play.”

That’s precisely where the ADM comes in.

“The one thing the ADM has done is allow both coaches and players to have a little more fun because of the fact that you’re in more small-area games, you’re in more stations, your compete level is higher, your ability to get more kids moving at the same time (is higher), and I’m talking even up to the bantams,” Starman said. “The best way to make a kid not want to play is to make him or her stand around and watch others play. With what we’re doing right now, everybody is in motion; there’s not a lot of standing around.”

Teach a Kid to Fish

It can create chaos, like Starman said, but a little chaos in the ocean could be just what the fishes need.

“You know the expression ‘You give a man a fish, he can eat for a night, but you teach him to fish, he can eat forever?'” Starman said. “A lot of that is true when you get into unstructured situations in their small areas because they’re teaching themselves.

“When you teach yourself something, you tend to remember it a lot longer than being taught something that either, one, you may not understand right away, or two, you’re not in the mental frame of mind to learn.

“That’s one of the major reasons why we’ve made a lot of strides with our younger players. They’re having more fun because they’re picking a lot of things up through their own play and competition.”

 

Thermometers and hockey

“Do you always bring that thing with you?”

coffs-hockey-team-16“Don’t you?”

The thing was my tip-sensitive digital thermometer which is always in my backpack, which is always on my back, and the occasion was the annual BBQ at the annual Coffs Harbour 3-on-3 hockey tournament.

With 120 guests to serve, I always arrive packin’.

The meat was safely-temperature-verified-grilled, no bare hand contact was achieved through either tongs or gloves, and cross-contamination was minimal (the parents all know what I do, and they knew I’d be watching).

Amy and I played sous chefs for a couple of hours, prepping onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon.

Coffs Harbour Big Banana 3-on-3 Skirmish, now in its sixth year, started as a two club match-up between Newcastle North Stars and Southern Stars from Brisbane with Coffs Harbour as the halfway meeting point for the 3-on-3 ice hockey weekend.

doug-ref-oct-16The tournament has grown each year to now include nine clubs represented by 26 teams from NSW, QLD and ACT. Some 175 players ranging in age from 5-to-16-years-old in five different age divisions played in 80 games.

I coached, acted as medic, refereed for the first time since completing that 14-hour training and was called upon to be the badass coach when kids got unruly around the pool and BBQ area.

Amy did scorekeeping, merchandizing, and overall hockey mom stuff, like getting Sorenne prepared.

So many other people contributed in similar ways.

Great kids, great parents, it’s our church, but without the god stuff. There’s singing and dancing, but not so much the hymns. More AC/DC.

 

23 years late, Chipotle gets food safety religion (or so they lecture)

I just registered for an Ice Hockey Australia Level 2 coaching course.

The course is rarely offered, and there’s only a couple of level 2 coaches in Queensland. It will take 25 hours of training to complete.

dp-sorenne-becThat’s on top of the 16 hours I put in for Coach 1 in Australia, and recertification every two years.

It’s similar to the Intermediate Level Coach status I had in Canada back in 2001, which was required to coach a rep or travel team.

It’s a lot of time, sitting in a classroom, and on the ice.

I view it as my church, my community service.

So when Chipotle makes a big deal saying all of its managers will be trained in food safety the ServSafe way, I shrug, and ask, why weren’t they before?

How far was Chipotle’s head up its own moralistic ass that it paid more attention to food porn – like hormones and GE foods – than to food safety, the things that make people barf?

Great, you’re going to require training. Anyone ask if the training is any good? Third-party audits? Nice soundbite but they’re just a paycheck. Handwashing every thirty minutes? McDonald’s have been doing that for decades (you’d think Chipotle would have picked that up when they were partnered with McDonald’s, but no, there was food porn to peddle).

The Chipotle announcement reads like a moralistic lecture, and that no one had discovered food safety before.

A year after the outbreaks, Chipotle is now getting into standard PR – which it should have done months ago (Chipotle, your communication advisors absolutely suck). The full page ad, the video, the push for food safety.

Guacamole, for instance, now takes advantages of the cleansing properties of the lemon and lime juices in the recipe. Before getting mixed, the chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapeños are laid on top of avocados and drizzled with citrus juices in one last effort to ensure food safety.

Some scientists may question such tactics, saying they have been supplanted by newer methods. But Dr. James Marsden, Chipotle’s new executive director of food safety, who had recently retired from teaching at Kansas State University (and the father of the actor James Marsden, best known as Cyclops in the “X Men” film series) said he was confident in them.

“We’re doing research and are going to publish papers on what we’re doing, so people can see for themselves that it works,” he said.

That’s all good, but they’re still moralistic assholes who expect people to pay a premium for their food sermons (journos, contact me for Marsden stories).

Chipotle founder and Co-CEO stepped in front of a camera in a bid to win over weary diners that still aren’t hankering for the chain’s once-popular tacos and burritos.

In a video that the Mexican burrito chain unveiled on Wednesday, a contrite Ells admits that last year, the fast-casual restaurant chain “failed to live up to our own food safety standards, and in so doing, we let our customers down. At that time, I made a promise to all of our customers that we would elevate our food safety program.”

chipotleadContrite is not the word I would use.

Looking to revalue Chipotle’s share price is more accurate.

Chipotle initially blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Australian beef for its woes. Today, it blamed social media.

“No one has ever had this kind of a food safety crisis in the era of social media,” Mr. Ells said.

I could list hundreds, beginning with E. coli O157 in spinach in 2006, you arrogant poser.

“Jack In The Box,” — a burger chain where more than 700 people got sick in 1993 after eating E. coli contaminated meat — “never had to deal with Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

When I coach, I’m always telling kids, and adults, stop blaming the refs, go score a goal, stop whinging.

What is fresh? Australian beef in the U.S.?

Is this guy stealing from Trump’s playbook?

It’s slogans and hucksterism.

Which Americans seem to go for.

And Mr. Ells, since you seem content on lecturing Americans about food safety, while blaming others, here’s a history lesson.

In the Fall of 1994, Intel computer chips became scrutinized by the computer geeks, and then the public.

Intel had delayed responding to allegations, and Wall Street analysts at the time said it was the result of a corporate culture accustomed to handling technical issues rather than addressing customers’ hopes and fears.

On Monday, Nov. 12, 1994, the International Business Machines Corp. abruptly announced that its own researchers had determined that the Pentium flaw would lead to division errors much more frequently than Intel said. IBM said it was suspending shipments of personal computers containing the Pentium chip

Mr. Grove was stunned. The head of IBM’s PC division, Richard Thoman, had given no advance warning. A fax from Thoman arrived at Intel’s HQ on Monday morning after the IBM announcement, saying he had been unable to find Grove’s number during the weekend. Mr. Grove, whose number is listed, called directory assistance twice to ask for his own number to ensure he was listed.

After the IBM announcement, the number of calls to Santa Clara overwhelmed the capacity of AT&T’s West Coast long-distance telephone switching centres, blocking calls. Intel stock fell 6.5 per cent

Only then, Mr. Grove said, did he begin to realize that an engineer’s approach was inappropriate for a consumer problem.

Intel took out full-page ads, apologized, and did better.

That was in months, not a year.

Mr. Ells, you can claim you’re in uncharted territory, that no one has experienced the woes like you have, that fresh is a meaningful term.

But it’s just a repeat.

Customers may expect you to have the humility to admit such failings when driven by the hubris of your own beliefs.

But hey, anyone who can get Americans to believe that 1,000 calorie burritos are healthy can do anything you damn well please.

And customers will bow down.

Investors. I wouldn’t touch it. But I said that in 2007.

 

Australian citizenship

It’s a trifecta of citizenships for me and Sorenne – Canadian, American and now Australian — and a deux-fecta for Amy as we attended our citizenship ceremony on Saturday morning.

citizenship-sep-16We didn’t even know it was Australian Citizenship Day (a U.S. thing too, which is ironical because the three of us are also Americans), but there were 492 of us in a community centre — with another 500 of supporting friends and family, although we decided to keep ours a personal affair — who were welcomed to the Australian family.

Special thanks to Amy and Sorenne, and many others, who have stuck with me while I adjust to the next phase of our life.

We’ll be celebrating tomorrow, in sub-tropical Brisbane, by spending the day at the arena, playing and coaching ice hockey.

And many thanks for all the kind messages we received in response to our citizenships.

We are quite fortunate, and grateful.

dp

(before and after pics; are we different? that’s a softball question lobbed up there for your amusement)

family-citizen

Barfblog daily is down

Blogging used to be glamorous, sorta like airplane travel before 9/11.

Sorta before you knew that Bob Ross’ afro wasn’t all-natural, how things were normal until Harrison Ford started wearing an earring, sorta before you knew that people who run ice hockey in Australia are just as self-centered as the Canadians (they mainly are Canadians).

There’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff, and the pay sucks. Chapman is off in Japan (right, not exactly as shown) and barfblog daily ain’t working. For the 4,000 subscribers, we’re trying to fix things.

With over 70,000 direct subscribers to barfblog.com in over 70 countries, you’re getting the news, just a bit fractured at the moment.

And since so many of you comment on my music choices, I’m sending this out to my favorite and under-appreciated hockey coach, bus driver Chris. Gotta have soul.