Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Don't lick the candles.

Tutoring was canceled at school today because our assistant superintendent was anticipating a tornado to rip though town and he wanted the darling children to be safe at home.

One didn't.

So I used this opportunity to go to Irving and hang out with mommy, then I went to the Wal Mart near the ballpark.

As I was getting closer, I thought, "Hey! With tornado warnings in the area and the rain falling- there probably won't be a soul getting their oil changed!"

So I went to the oil change center.

The Wal Mart Man
Now, I can manage to get along with most people just fine, but every now and then you meet someone whose personality clashes SOOOO much with yours that you literally have to hold yourself back lest you kill that person.

I wanted to kill the clipboard guy at the service bay.
At Wal Mart, usually there is a person in a vest who meets your car with a clip board, they take your name and information and you leave them your keys.

All the service guys (about 5) were in the service bay as I pulled up. One guy with frizzly long orange hair casually put his vest on and came over to my car. I was already out of my car and waiting impatiently for him. (It was raining a bit-- a fine mist)

I said, "May I just park my car right here?" He answered, 'Oh! you can't park here!"

I answered, "well then where should I put my car? Do I need to move it. I want an oil change." He said, "Well you can LEAVE your car here, but you can't park here."

I answered, "Well then may I LEAVE my car here????" I was thinking, "asshole."

Then he said, "First name and phone number."

I started telling him my name and he jumped in and said really jerk-like, "I SAID phone number."

I GLARED at him and I really felt like I was about to kill him.

I didn't let him mow over me that easily. I replied, "You said, "first name and phone number"".
He said, "No I didn't".

I said, "yes you did".

I was about to yank my keys away from him and get in my car and drive off and tell him that I changed my mind about the oil change... but I didn't want to have to go somewhere else.

Then he proceeded to tell me that "Due to the weather conditions we can't change your air filter."

I said, "Why would rain prevent you from putting on an air filter? You have a garage."

He said, well I'll have to check.... but our 15 point inspection and fluid check we won't do because the weather will just ruin it anyway."

I said, "all I want is an oil change and an air filter."

He said, "oh, well I will have to check about the air filter, due to the weather we don't usually do those."

I just looked at him like he was an idiot.

I went inside and tried to shrug it off. He was such an ass. I find that most orange-headed people I encounter are. Must be some throw-back from being the only orange-headed kid in the first grade. But, I digress....

Great Taste Has It's Benefits
Wal Mart is a magical place and you can get practically ANYTHING there, even a caffeine addiction that is good for you too!

Coca Cola has a new product. It's called Diet Coke Plus. It just came out this month and it touts itself as being loaded with vitamins.

I bought it on a whim. The lady at the check out asked if it was any good. I told her I didn't know and was about to find out.

Upon getting home, I popped one open and I have to say, it's not bad at all and I am getting vitamins so it must be great, right?

The Diet Coke website says, "has seven essential nutrients you want and your body needs... 15% of niacin, B6 and B12 and 10% of zinc and magnesium. "

I drink a lot of diet soda. I am a Diet Dr. Pepper girl really... but will stoop to drink Diet Coke if it does what it claims. Since I drink so much anyway, may as well get the vitamins.

It tastes pretty much the same as Diet Coke.

Lawsuit Waiting To Happen
I heard about candles with the different glowing flames sold at Wal Mart.
Being a science teacher, one of the labs I do with the kids is the flame test. This is where you take different metal salts and put them into a flame and the flame burns various colors due to the differences in electron excitablities in the metallic ions. The electrons get excited and jump to higher energy levels, they emit a photon (packet of light/wave) in various wavelengths of color.

Most of these metal salts are toxic.
Wal Mart sells a brand of birthday candles called, "Kizzy Color Flame Candles".

They are little plastic containers shaped like candles with a wick inside that you pull out. Within the container, is a liquid solution of the metal salts.

Copper ions make a turquoise color, calcium a bright orange, sodium a yellow, lithium a brilliant reddish pink. Potassium and barium also make other colors. Some colors can be produced by mixing.
Barium will kill you if you ingest it.

The box doesn't say what salts are used to make the colors.

After lighting and blowing out birthday candles which are poked into a cake, what do you do with them THEN?

(answer this to yourself silently)
There is a warning on the box. It says,
"WARNING: In case of accidental contact with skin or eyes flush with water and seek medical assistance. In case of accidental ingestion seek medical assistance."
Of course, I bought a box.

Don't lick the candles.
Would you like to buy me a coffee? click below:


mommy said...

Well, did you get your oil changed?

Nessa said...

If I ever come across such an idiot, I'd give him a piece of my mind and drive off:)

tish said...

ok so we also bought the candles. and the stuff got all over our hands and the cake too. Stuff burned like hell. We called poison center, but since the web site listed on package didn't work and since the poison center couldn't tell us what the chemicals were, and Walmart couldn't either, we decided to throw away the cake and not seek any medical attention after just washing and washing.

Ok so we have been pursuing this.
Local Walmart was great and pulled product off of shelves, Local distributor has been great.. product so far identified as denatured alcohol. They have now listed product with the poison center (on some special web site that the poison center has access to...)

I will continue to follow-up

Katrina Van Tassel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katrina Van Tassel said...

We learned about the candles during a science in-service. We do this lab with chemicals called, "Flame Test". It is a way of testing unkown compounds for the presence of certain metals (elements)
Usually the colors are caused by metallic salts, i.e.:
sodium chloride (table salt), potassium chloride ("no salt"- alternative salt), lithium chloride, barium chloride, strontium chloride, copper chloride, and calcium chloride. Sometimes they use nitrates i.e. copper nitrate.

The alcohol is only added to the solution of these salts or perhaps is the solvent itself. All this is for is to make the liquid able to burn. It is NOT the active chemical that makes the colored flame.

It's kinda funny, I told a bunch of science teachers about this and told them to HURRY to wal-mart to get the candles before someone figured out they were dangerous and pulled them from the shelves.

Of course it is possible that the metal salts they use are all harmless.... they may only use the non-toxic solutions... but is seriously doubt it.
Google "chemical flame test" and see what sort of information you find.

Good Luck!

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