Champagne and cupcakes, Trailer Park Boys, and hand sanitizers in massage practices

Holidays are all about tradition.

And nothing says tradition more than the Canadian TV show, Trailer Park Boys.

Amy and I have a polar bear that guards the compound during the long winter nights; we have champagne and cupcakes for birthday parties, and every Christmas Day, we gather round the hearth with whoever’s left in town, and watch the Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special.

Trailer Park Boys is a popular Canadian comedic mockumentary television series that ran from 2001 – 2007 and focused on the misadventures of a group of trailer park residents — primarily Ricky, Julian and Bubbles (right) — living in a fictional trailer park located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

In the 2004 Christmas Special, Ricky interrupts the midnight mass to share the true meaning of the season:

“Sorry to interrupt, but I just had one of those brain-learning things pop into my head. …  What is Christmas? I just got out of jail, which was awesome, you know, they don’t have presents and lights and tress, we just get stoned and drunk, it’s the best time. And I get out here and I’m all stressed out. … That’s not what Christmas should be, you should be getting drunk and stoned with your friends and family, people that you love. … That’s Christmas. … Getting drunk and stoned with your families and the people that you love. And if you don’t smoke or drink, just spend time with your families. It’s awesome. Merry Christmas.

My mom and daughter Courtlynn spent the weekend in Manhattan (Kansas) for a little holiday cheer and to help celebrate Sorenne’s first birthday, and while we didn’t get drunk or stoned, we did just spend time with our family and friends.

My other favorite Christmas movie, Mystery, Alaska, features Russell Crowe as a hockey-playing sheriff in the town of Mystery, Alaska. The 1999 movie has nothing to do with Christmas but oozes a Jimmy Stewart kind of sentimentality as a fictional small-town hockey team plays a game against the New York Rangers.

One of the best segments is Canadian Mike Myers (party on, Garth) as play-by-play analyst Donnie Shulzhoffer, who asks during one of the breaks, “Anyone know where a guy can get a rub and a tug in this town?”

Which raises a question: should hand sanitizers be used in a massage parlor, or by massage therapists?

The Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies has concluded – maybe.

With the rising popularity of hand sanitizers, some therapists are opting to rub an alcohol-based gel between their hands in lieu of scrubbing with soap and water. While hand sanitizers have revolutionized how we practice infection control, it may not always be the best choice for massage therapists.

Bodyworkers’ hands function as their primary tools. Because their tools are reused on each and every client, keeping their hands free of pathogens is a prerequisite to being a responsible therapist. Bodyworkers must wash their hands:

· Before and after eating
· Before and after using the restroom
· Before and after each interaction with a client

At first thought, bodyworkers may think that hand sanitizers save them time during their requisite hand cleansing. However, further investigation shows that this assumption is not accurate. In addition, hand sanitizers may kill most types of bacteria and viruses but they are not sufficient for removing body fluids from the hands. Thus, the old-fashioned approach using water, soap and a towel remains the preferred way for massage therapists to achieve clean, hygienic hands.

Happy Birthday, Sorenne, and thanks to everyone who came by for champagne and cupcakes.

Mystery meat

A barfblog fan from Washington, D.C. writes with this tale:

A few weeks ago, I had an alarming experience at a Washington, DC
Chinese takeout restaurant. I normally avoid these sketchy-looking
dives, which are on every corner of this city, but in a moment of
weakness (insanity) decided to inflict some Kung Pao chicken on

I went into Yum’s (ironic name right?) and got in line behind a couple hipsters and a man in filthy clothes with scraggly hair, who looked like he hadn’t bathed or slept indoors in some time.

The not-clean-man had placed three large, bloody styrofoam Safeway containers of some kind of raw meat on the counter. The old Chinese lady behind the counter was saying “Ten dolla! I give you ten
dolla!” and the improperly-sanitized-guy said that was fine. The hipsters and I exchanged wide-eyed glances as it dawned on us that this dude was *selling* meat to the restaurant, meat that he had
somehow obtained from Safeway… probably in an unsavory manner…
anyway needless to say, I left Yum’s, never to return.


Mystery meat

From pepperoni to prosciutto, sausages and cured meats from continental Europe are going to be targeted by UK inspectors amid several Salmonella incidents reported to the Health Protection Agency and linked to the products.

French, Italian, Belgium, and Dutch markets are listed as targets in the briefing documents sent to food safety departments across Sussex. Farmers’ markets and town markets will also be visited for samples.

Inspectors across Sussex will take hundreds of samples of biltong, continental sausages such as salamis, pepperoni and mettwurst and cured meat like proscuitto during the next 12 months.

Apart from specialist meats, egg mixes from restaurants and takeaways as well as packaged nuts will be tested.