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Monday, January 23, 2017

The "When The Pills No Longer Work" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just got back from the Police Station where I dropped off a couple of pounds of old pills that I have been accumulating for the past 10+ years.  It was maybe ten years ago when I began having back problems and at first I would be given pain pills to help with pain management until the pain became too intense and I would have to have surgery to correct my back problems.  Well, after three of those surgeries I had accumulated quite a collection of pills in the cabinet above the cooktop stove.  What to do with them?  I read you should never flush them down your kitchen sink since that will contaminate the local water supply.  Same goes for flushing them down the toilet.  And, if I dig a hole and bury them some animal may dig them back up and die from eating them.  Same goes for putting them in the weekly trash.  Well, I read online that my local police department may have a safe place to discard all the unwanted narcotics so that is the reason for my visit today.  I dropped off quite a few pills that I had accumulated over the years as well as common vitamins that I no longer take.  I also read that you should replace vitamins after two years since they no longer would maintain their potency.  And, while I'm at it, I can tell you about other items you should toss after a certain period of time.  My wife has a very large collection of spices that she has accumulated over the past 49 years.  They too should be tossed or replaced after three to four years since they lose their potency.  Not going to harm you if you use them, but they won't have the same flavor or aroma as they did when they were just purchased.  Same goes for fresh coffee bags purchased at the grocery store.  If it has been ground in one of those machines at the store it should probably be tossed after a week or three.  And the olives that we purchase from the counter where they are loose and in metal compartments; they are good for perhaps a few months and then they will develop an odor and perhaps change color.  Time to pitch them.  The fresh baguettes that you purchase at the store in the long paper bags should probably be tossed in two to three days unless you freeze it immediately after you buy it.  Recently my wife asked me if I could sand her cutting board since it had so many cut marks in it from years of use.  Should I do that or just toss it and make another one for her.  Well, it doesn't matter how old or how many times you have used your cutting board as long as you sanitize it on a regular basis.  
Read that you should wipe it after every use or use a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water and let that solution on the board for five minutes before washing with water.  As for Carol's cutting board, I sanded it and wiped a coating on olive oil on it and it looks like new again which is exactly what she wanted.  Did you know that you should buy a new smoke alarm after 10 years since the sensor is no longer sensitive to smoke after a certain length of time.  Not sure about the wired detectors though.  As far as your toothbrush goes ... replace it every three to four months according to the American Dental Association.  And ... my last few items deal with foods that can last forever.  Honey can be kept indefinitely and is still good even if it changes color.  Rice has an indefinite shelf life; except for brown rice which has a higher oil content.  Sugar will never spoil as well as maple syrup, but the syrup should be placed in your freezer.  Pure vanilla extract lasts forever as does cornstarch and distilled white vinegar.  And, the final item that will probably outlive you is salt which never spoils or goes stale.  Well, I made it to the Police Station and sure enough, there was a heavy metal bin with an small opening in it for pill deposit.  I can't imagine anyone entering a police station and trying to reach in the bin and retrieving pills that someone has left, but who knows what someone addicted to pills would do. Probably the reason for the really small opening and deep bin.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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