Friday, August 31, 2012

Reproductive Health 4 - Raising Sperm Counts

This post is a continuation of several posts about raising sperm counts. The reason for the subject is that sperm counts of men worldwide have been dropping for decades. This could affect the future of the human race.

5. Get the right amount of exercise. If you are active your sperm count will go up. Too much exercise lowers it again. 

6. Don't overdo it on the hot tub and hot baths. Staying too long in very hot water lowers sperm counts. That is half an hour or longer in water that is 102f (40c). 

7. Stay off of recreational drugs. That includes alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. You may not want to hear this, but if you want to make babies, sometimes you have to make sacrifices. When you think you have enough children, staying drunk, high, and stinking like tobacco could provide birth control in many ways. :-)

Even more serious than decreasing sperm count, alcohol, tobacco and marijuana can damage the DNA in sperm, causing birth defects and increase the risk of cancer for future babies. We already knew Mom's need to stop using recreational drugs while carrying a baby, but now we know Dad needs to clean up his act before Mom is even pregnant.

8. Regular bicycle seats can decrease sperm count. The one that look like two little circles separated by a space are better for sperm count.

9. Anything that warms up the genital area will probably lower sperm count. An example of this is a laptop computer sitting right in your lap. Use something to lift the laptop up a little so there is air circulation. Even a hot environment can be a problem for sperm count.

10. Coffee can be a cause for low sperm count. A cup a day does not seem to be a problem. More than that gets to be a problem.

11. Don't let your stress level get out of hand. There is a difference between no stress and dealing with it so it does not affect you badly. There are times when it is impossible to avoid stress. If you are experiencing high stress, my posts on coping with PTSD may be helpful, even though you may not actually have PTSD. Many of the ideas will work for any kind of stress.

12. Eat a healthy diet. Remember that, "you are what you eat." That applies to your sperm as well. If you want to make a baby, you need good building materials.

There are other things that can cause low sperm counts, including some over-the- counter drugs and even prescription drugs. There is more information about drugs and a few other causes of low sperm count on a site by an MD. He emphasizes more natural health than most MDs. He also offers an email newsletter. Here is his site:

The following site offers, "magic baby dust", for people who want children. They have pretty normal sounding information about getting pregnant etc.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reproductive Health 3- Raising Sperm Counts

This post is a continuation about ways for individual men to raise their sperm counts.

2. Get your cell phone away from your genital area. Some studies show that having cell phones in pockets near your genital area will lower sperm counts. It was suggested that simply putting the cell phone in a shirt or arm pocket is adequate.

3. Reduce plastic in your diet. Yeah. Yeah. I know you don't munch plastic. You take it in anyway. An easy way to fix this problem is to look at anything that you might put food into and see what number it has on the little triangle. The triangle is usually on the bottom. You want food only in plastic numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5. Numbers 3, 6 and 7 are bad food plastic.

It can take science to let us know about some problems that come with newfangled inventions like plastic. They already took a while to let us know that there was a problem with any kinds of plastic. I think it is a good idea to stop putting food in contact with any plastic that you can possibly avoid.

Water bottles are one way you ingest something that has had a lot of contact with plastic. If you carry a water bottle, get a metal one. I don't have one yet, but I am getting one. I already filter my own water. I am putting it in #1 bottles at this time, but am working on something different.

I gather that a lot, or perhaps all, bottled water companies put water in their bottles while the bottles are still hot from being made. It was mentioned that drinking water from these may be a problem. I rarely drink pre-bottled water.

Women are not off the hook for problems from plastic either. We get cancer from it. I had a breast cancer scare and almost got both of my girls cut off.  I might post about that some time.

Excessive plastic use has had a very bad effect on the rest of nature, as well as on the human race. We are turning our oceans into a giant plastic soup. We need to stop this. Do what you can to cut down on plastic in your life.

4. Get your weight into proportion to your body. Obesity lowers sperm counts. Too little fat is not good either.

Okay. I need to continue this yet again, because it is getting too long. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reproductive Health 2 - Raising Sperm Counts

It is becoming more common for couples to have trouble making babies when they want to. There have been alarming studies that show that things people are doing to the environment are contributing to these reproductive problems. 

This is a quote from a Scottish study:
"Evidence that gestational or neonatal

exposure to environmental estrogenic chemicals can result in reduced testicular size and sperm production in adult rats, and urge further study of the possible risk to humans." 

Other studies have been done that point to the same problem with human reproductive health. Scientists are arguing about whether some of those other studies that involve testing the sperm counts of men all over the world for decades mean anything. 

Some of the studies show that there has been an almost universal drop of as much as 50% in sperm counts. A 50 year span was covered in some of these studies. If the studies are right, that means that there has been a 1% drop in sperm count for the last 50 years. 

Some studies say the low sperm count has now leveled off or increased. If it keeps on that way, the human could be history in about two generations. That is way too serious to let our scientists quibble over it for 20 years or so.

If it turns out that it was nothing to worry about, then our precautions will have been unnecessary. If it turns out that we do need to be concerned about the reasons for low male sperm counts worldwide, then doing nothing while we wait for scientists to squabble over it for a couple of decades is not a good plan.

I have talked to numerous couples who are suffering through reproductive difficulties. It is horrible seeing the suffering of these people. I can not say that my experience is an indicator of the prevalence of reproductive issues in the human population as whole. It sure does look bad to me, however. I think we have a serious problem here. I also think we need to get right on it and solve it.

We do know some things that can be done by individuals and couples to help raise the sperm count of a particular man. I think it is a good idea for men who care about such matters to do these things. Women who are concerned about  their men and future children, might want to help them out with it.

Here is a start on ways to raise a man's sperm count:

1. Don't wear tight clothing around the genital area. This idea is the source of the droopy pants gangsta' look. It is also the source of the low hanging tight jeans look. There are other options if you don't want those looks. 

Suspenders with loose pants and gathers or pleats at the waist are one way to look elegant and get lots of air in the right places. Zoot suits were an extreme example of this look. 

Designers should get right on this. Many traditional clothing styles allow lots of air circulation to the lower body. A look at those kinds of clothing should provide ideas. 

If you are a man who wants something right now, you can look at Asian markets for traditional clothing sold there. Some of those are very elegant looking and will get you by until designers catch up with you.

A seamstress can make something that looks more mainstream, if your lifestyle requires that. She could make a pair of pants that look good with a jacket that you already own.

Some men are fortunate enough to have girlfriends or wives who are good at sewing. This has become increasingly rare, however, so it is too great a demand for most women. Just be thankful if you have this option available and the woman in your life can help you this way. 

Men do take up sewing sometimes. I think low sperm counts might be enough motivation to send you down to get a sewing machine and learn how to use it. I do sew, so I will do a post on getting started with sewing.

Finally, I must sound like some stupid TV commercials that annoyed me a while back. You might want to switch to boxers. If you really like briefs make sure they do not hold your genitals up against your body. This will raise the temperature down there and could even drop your sperm count very low.

This quite enough for me on the subject of sartorial splendor and its effects on sperm counts and this post is long enough to continue.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Future Of The Human Race - Reproductive Health 1

Children matter to all of us whether we happen to have any of our own. 

"Why should I care about children's education, if I have never had any children and never will?" An elderly man asked me that question quite a few years ago. My reason that made the most difference to him was, "Wouldn't you want your heart surgeon to have had a good education?"

Even more critical to the survival of the human race is that children continue to exist. We are having reproductive problems that could wipe out the human race within a generation or so.

It used to be considered solely up to the women to determine how healthy new babies were. Women were not encouraged to work in nuclear power plants, for example. This was said to be because of concern for her ovaries being exposed to nuclear radiation, and the effects on her potential offspring.

It has recently been discovered that some maladies that children are born with are due entirely to the fathers' contribution. Two of these are autism and schizophrenia. The offspring of older fathers have much higher incidence of both autism and schizophrenia.

A recent article online informed me that sperm counts worldwide have dropped  for the last 50 years. Another article said that young men have only 25% of the sperm counts of men back in the 50's. I have a link to a scientific study for the sperm count drop over 50 years for those who care to read it:

If those studies are right and the trend continues, we could have no fertile males in a generation or so. This would be likely to end the human race.

Finnish men have the highest sperm count for any group in the world. They did a study on Finnish men, however, and even their sperm count is dropping.

Human sperm is a resource for the entire human race. It is one of the resources that we need to protect. We need to start finding ways to do that.

I am going to post on plastics. Men who are exposed to more plastic in their food have lower sperm counts. Women who get too much plastic get cancer. Plastic is strangling our oceans and everything in it. We need to cut way down on our plastic use.

Another post deals with the effects of cell phones. One of those effects is reducing sperm counts when men carry the cell phone too close to their family jewels. Putting the cell phone in a different pocket is the basic fix for that problem, but you need to read the whole post.

There are many more known reasons for low sperm count. I will do a post on things that cause lower sperm counts and on lower testosterone levels.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cell Phones And Your Health

I just read something on the internet that said that cell phones carried in men's pockets reduces their testosterone levels. I am imagining all male readers grabbing their cellphones out of their pockets and tossing them across the room. lol.

Apparently if you carry them elsewhere on your bodies, it does not affect your testosterone levels. Shirt pockets, or arm band holders seem okay.

This post is not about testosterone levels, however, that is for a later post. This one is for an even more urgent matter. Cell phones are enough of a problem for testosterone levels if carried too close to one's family jewels, but they may be a problem for any part of your body, male or female.

I am in the process of deciding what I want to do about this myself. I am weighing two options that occurred to me immediately. One of these options is to carry my cell phone with me and have it turned off and to just turn it back on periodically to check it for new messages. I am not sure this would be enough and might want to take the battery out as well.

The other option was to do some kind of shielding between my body and the cell phone. I was thinking about lead. That stops a lot of stuff going through the air. I was thinking of having a thin lead shield open only on the side away from my body. 

I have reservations about this idea because of the problems with lead. Lead is really bad for you and I certainly don't want to deal with bad effects from lead. I am going to do more research on this matter and will get back to you on it afterwards.

The reason I had such a strong reaction to this information about cell phones and testosterone is because of something I learned about cell phones when they were just beginning to become popular.

I used to know a California Highway patrolman. He told me that there had been a spate of highway patrolmen getting brain tumors. One right after another of them got brain tumors. It turned out the brain tumors all showed up in the same area of their heads. It was where the cell phone receivers in the patrol cars were installed near the patrolmen's heads.

I suggested that he talk to his union negotiator and get the cell phone units relocated in the cars right away. He happened to be a negotiator himself and said he was getting right on that.

Those brain tumors were too much for coincidence. The lowered testosterone levels near cell phones, can't be either. Cell phones clearly have an effect on the human body and it does not seem to be a good one.

For right now, you may want to get your cell phone away from parts of your body that you are especially fond of. I hope that occasional use will not be a problem for talking on them. But carrying them constantly in one spot does seem to be a problem that you might want to consider for disaster prevention on a very personal level.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Making Up Your Mind To Survive In Tough Times

It is very easy to postpone decisions and actions until later. That includes emergency preparedness. There are a lot more people who think about getting prepared for emergencies than there are people who are actually ready for an emergency when it comes.

You could have the rest of your life to regret not being prepared for an emergency, once you are in the middle of that emergency. The worst part of it, not being prepared when an emergency hits you could mean the rest of your life would be a very short time. You could die because you are not prepared.

Life in our modern times can be very stressful. That stress can make it hard for you to make decisions. I have had that problem myself. There is a tool that I use, and have shared in previous blog posts. It is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  

I drew my own diagram of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, so there will be no problem about bothering someone else's copyright for it. I would appreciate it, if you print it out to use, that you will keep my copyright information on it, please.

Here it is:
Copyright 2012 Yvonne Begley

The use of this diagram can help you to focus on your most immediate survival needs first. 

I believe that climate change emergencies will become increasingly common as time passes. One of those is the drought that hit most of the connected 48 states of the USA. The drought this year includes almost all of the most productive farmland in the country. 

We can expect food production to become more and more difficult as climate change continues. 

I hope that you and your family will work on your emergency preparedness. I hope that you will be ready when the next emergency comes to your area.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Paranoia 101 For People Who "Have Nothing To Hide"

This post is to give some clue to people who think being honest, upstanding, etc., means their honesty will keep them safe when their government spies on them.

"It's okay if the government spies on me. I don't have anything to worry about because I have nothing to hide."

That is a phrase I hear a lot when the subject of government surveillance comes up. 

You can be the most honest person in the world and behave perfectly. Having the government spying on you and others is still a threat to your well-being.

Your honesty has no influence on the people who happen to be spying on you, or what they do with the information they get. 

Spies are not generally nice people. Lying becomes a way of life for most spies. How can it be otherwise when they may rarely even tell you their real name or occupation, or the truth about anything else? 

Some spies even kill people for a living. Even if a professional killer starts off with good intentions, such a way of life has a bad effect on them. 

Spies often work for people that make the spies look like paragons of virtue. Trusting spies and their bosses (often politicians), to make good use of a lot of very personal information about your virtuous life, is not necessarily a wise choice.

"What possible harm could come to me if people know everything about my virtuous life?" You might ask yourself,` or some dweeb like me.

Good information about good people can be used in endless bad ways. There is no way I can begin to even conceive of all of those ways. I like to think the reason why I can't do that is because I am not a bad enough person to think that way.

However I am just warped enough to have a few ideas about it, and I read things written by people who are more warped than me. I will therefore sully your innocence with some of those ideas.

I wish to begin with an old insurance scam. This is still being used today, even though it is very old. That is because it still works. It also works on virtuous people.

The only information needed to work this scam on a perfectly innocent victim is when you will be in your car at a certain time and place.

The scam involves three vehicles driven by the perpetrators. One of the perpetrators drives in front of the victim, one drives behind, one to the side. They box the victim into the right hand lane.

The perpetrator in front brakes without warning. The victim because of being boxed in, has no choice but to hit the rear of the perpetrator's car in front. 

The victim has just rear-ended a car in front of at least three witnesses, including the driver of the car that was hit. 

This scam used to be used to collect some insurance money for "injuries" and damages. Now it gets fancier and the victim can lose their socks and end up supporting one or more perpetrators for the rest of their life, because of lawsuits.

It is probably a bad idea to furnish your itinerary to people who are likely to do something to you like the scam above. Such people can do much more to you than a scam, like three car one, with even more information. Your virtuous life and sterling character are irrelevant to such people and whatever they happen to take it into their heads to do to you.

It took a lot of words for me to explain this single way that bad people can use neutral information in bad ways against innocent people. Maybe I will write about some other nasty ways bad people use information against good people, to do bad things to said good people.

Friday, August 24, 2012

CoQ10 For Your Health And Survival

It is a bit alarming to find that I did not even know that CoQ10 existed a week ago, considering how important it is.

CoQ10 is in every cell in your body. An important part of what CoQ10 does in your cells is that it helps the cells make energy. That energy runs each cell and your body as whole.

We just are not doing much if we don't get the energy that comes from CoQ10. As we age, our bodies have less CoQ10. Are we surprised by that? One glance at a park frequented by both elderly and young children is enough to make mature adults want to head for the nearest health food store and grab the CoQ10.

I am sure there are other reasons for the variation in energy levels with humans who have high levels of CoQ10 (children), and older humans who have low levels of CoQ10. I suppose that thought is one reason why athletes like to use CoQ10 already. 

I am not a fan of copying every fad that athletes launch, however. They found over a hundred athletes using illegal doping before the Olympics even started. One of the drugs that athletes have been known to use is steroids. This is not something I want to emulate.

Athletes seem to find some of the good stuff first, however. I suspect that the shortness of most athletic careers is motivation for this. Athletes are like shooting stars flashing gloriously across the sky and disappearing.

I will gingerly examine CoQ10 and raw foods containing a lot of it. That examination will include as much research as I can stand for a while. I will eat my raw peanut sprouts and my raw sesame seed sprouts and see what my body tells me about them.

Yoga is one of the things I attribute the possible awakening in my body of cravings for peanuts and sesame, which turn out to have a lot of CoQ10 in them. I don't think Yoga necessarily made my body and I any smarter, but maybe it removed some of our stupidity.

I think when people get too civilized, we lose touch with nature and with our own natural processes as well. We can become so remote from nature that a candy bar or large pile of bacon can be more appealing to us than something healthy. 

I am laughing, picturing someone eyeing the above offending foods compared to a sprout salad. 

I have been vegetarian for at least 15 years now. It seemed to take me about a year to stop craving meat. 

I still ate ice cream until about a year ago. I am not craving that any more. I substituted sorbet to make the transition easier, because I was an ice cream aholic. I don't even feel the urge to eat sorbet that often now. 

Eating raw foods is a new venture for me, and I don't plan to go on them  entirely. I have had a bit of raw foods in my diet for a couple of years. My journey towards healthier eating has been slow. It is likely that if I hadn't done it, that I would be dead by now.

My cholesterol, even after I had been off of most red meat for a few years, was so high it might have been better to read my cholesterol level with a dip stick instead of a blood test. Apparently my body makes cholesterol. 

Most people don't have the problem of their body making cholesterol, so your need to clean up your diet may not be as urgent as mine was. Most people who live in developed countries are overweight and eat bad diets. You very likely need to do better with your diet too. I hope you will do that. 

There is not much use preparing for emergencies if you are one.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Red Yeast Rice, Statin Drugs And CoQ10

If you have very high cholesterol and are therefore considered a health risk for strokes and heart attacks, you are probably on cholesterol lowering drugs. Statins are one of the cholesterol lowering drugs that are often given.

Red Yeast Rice is a somewhat natural alternative to statin drugs. One of the problems with Red Yeast Rice is that it does the same things as statin drugs and has some of the same side effects. I had been taking Red Yeast Rice for some time and posted about it on this blog, before I found out about the association between both statin drugs and Red Yeast Rice and a very high incidence of ALS (Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Given a choice, I have a preference for a nice fast heart attack over creeping paralysis, thank you. 

I'd just as soon not have either if given that option, so I have been doing more research, of course. That brought up information regarding a food supplement that lowers the risks associated with both statin drugs and Red Yeast Rice. 

That food supplement is called CoQ10. This food supplement can be found in many health food stores and online as well. It is advised that one not wing it on use of CoQ10, but consult on the use of it with one's physician.

Some sources that I found suggested that in order to be therapeutic, the doses of CoQ10 need to be massive doses. If you are going to mess around with massive doses, I strongly advise you to consult with your doctor.

You may know from reading my blog posts that I have a decided preference for getting my medicine naturally from my diet as much as possible. Naturally, that meant that I also researched foods that contain a lot of CoQ10. Fatty types of fish and organ meats have the most. 

Since I am veggie, I also looked up vegetarian foods that are higher in CoQ10. Soy oil is one of the ones that came up high. Since soy is one of the major GMO culprits, I am not entirely happy with that. 

Raw foods do the best in providing your body with vegetarian types of CoQ10. Reading about some of the raw foods that are high in CoQ10, made me wonder whether my body is starting to become somewhat educated with its cravings. I have been wanting to eat peanut butter and sesame seeds a lot lately. Those happen to be two of the better plant sources of CoQ10. 

Raw peanuts are much better sources of CoQ10 than peanut butter. This is because any heat processing of the foods containing CoQ10 remove much of the value of the CoQ10. I have already been eating unusually large amounts of raw sesame seeds.

I have not found any studies on this or even posts, but I intend to try sprouting raw peanuts and sesame seeds and eating the sprouts raw. Many, if not all sprouts contain several times the nutrient value of the plant itself. 

I am not going to suggest anyone try this great leap into the unknown, with the use of raw sprouts as sources of CoQ10. I did feel that I want to get the idea out there however. Being between a heart attack and ALS is not a comfortable place to be. 

My research into CoQ10 has not progressed far. I intend to find out a lot more about it and I will keep readers posted as I work on it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crackers To Save Your Budget

You may already know from previous posts about saving money when shopping that I often carry food with me to eat before shopping. This is because studies show that people lose ability to resist impulse buying when they are hungry.

This even applies to impulse buying for non-food items. If you have any weakness for hardware or tools, going into a hardware store when you are hungry will fatten your tool chest and slim your wallet. 

If you like clothes or shoes, or crafts, the same thing will happen if you go shopping when you are hungry. You will end up buying things you would probably not have bought if you had not gone shopping when hungry.

Keeping something handy to eat before shopping can save your budget. You can go to a fast food place or restaurant instead, but that certainly won't save you money. You would simply spend it differently.

I use food to carry that is small and light. That often means some kind of dried, or dehydrated food and crackers. I bring water to drink. My most frequent choice is dried fruit and nuts with the crackers.

That is actually a balanced meal and can be healthy. I often make my own crackers to bring. They are not very difficult to make and are healthier than store crackers, because they can be much fresher without chemicals and salt. I pick something to make the crackers that isn't GMOs. (Read my posts about morgellons if you don't know why you might not want to eat GMOs.)

Here is my recipe for the oat crackers that I make most often:

I am looking up equivalents for recipes in metric. I hate to leave non-USA readers to their own devices.

Oatmeal Crackers
1 1/2 c rolled oats, ground to a coarse flour in a blender. (A food processor or mortar and pestle or grain grinder work too. Or you can buy oat flour from a health food store.)
1 c (236.59 milliliters) whole wheat flour
1/4 c plus 1 T(4.93 milliliters) vegetable oil
1 T (4.93 milliliters) honey
1/2 c (118.295) milliliters water

Preheat oven to 350F (176.667 Celsius). Lightly oil a baking sheet. Combine oats and flour in a medium-size bowl. In a large bowl blend oil and honey together. Stir in flour mixture and water, and mix just until dough is smooth.

Press or roll dough to 1/8 inch (0.318 centimeters) thickness on prepared baking sheet. Cut dough into 2-inch (5.08 centimeters) squares with a sharp knife. (A pizza cutter is easier.)

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan.

Makes about 4 dozen (48 :-) crackers.

I often make the crackers thinner and use two pans for them. You must reduce the cooking time a lot when you do this.

These crackers are very good and it is difficult to keep them around. You have to keep making more. They are healthy, so it is a better than a lot of other things to eat.

These crackers are also very healthy for your budget when you use them to keep from spending money on things you don't really need. It is much cheaper to make these than buying store crackers. You win in all different ways with these crackers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Simple Tool For Peace Of Mind

I would not be a prepper if I did not have a more than usual awareness of potential difficulties. You probably would not be reading this if you did not have the same tendencies.

I like to think that my awareness of future emergencies means that I am able to deal with them better. This kind of thinking is how my mind works. The downside of it can mean that I can be more prone to excessive worry than an average person. 

My preference is to become aware of problems and then take care of them as best I can. Excessive worry is just another problem to solve.

My favorite tool for the problem of too much worrying is a smallish cardboard box. Mine happens to be heart shaped, but it does not matter what shape it is. 

I call mine my, "Gd Box". If you want one, you can call it whatever strikes your fancy. It could be a Universe Box, Buddha Box, Goddess Box or whatever.
You don't even have to call it anything.

I decorated mine with pictures from magazines and junk mail that I liked. Most have special meaning for me. One of those is on the top. It is of a man playing the fiddle, or violin. I expect he would call it a fiddle as he is wearing a plaid shirt and blue jeans.

I loved the play and movie, "Fiddler On The Roof". The Fiddler in that play was supposed to be Gd. I liked it that Tevvye was always talking to Gd. It was a very personal relationship, and I take mine the same way.

I sort of use my Gd Box as another way of communicating with Gd and relieving my worries. I glued the top on my box and made it big for it's purpose. It has a small slot on the top of it, next to the Fiddler. 

When I find myself worrying too much about something, I get a small piece of paper that I keep handy. I write about the problem that is bothering me on the paper.

I fold up the little piece of paper and tell Gd silently that I am giving up that problem to His care. I then do my best to forget about that problem. 

There are a lot of things in life that we can do absolutely nothing about. There are others that we can do something about, but we do that something and it is all we can do. Any of those kinds of problems go into my Gd Box. The symbolic act of writing down that problem, saying that I am letting go of that problem, and dropping it into a sealed box helps me to actually let go of the problem. I have been happier and more peaceful since I began this process.

Perhaps you will benefit from such a box, whatever you call it, as well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dealing With Discouragement

We all have times when we feel discouraged. We can feel like giving up at those times. 

This is a normal feeling. Human beings have always had times when we feel like this. Never, in the history of this universe have human beings had to contend with all of the difficulties that we face now. You have good reason to feel discouraged. There is nothing wrong with you for feeling that way.

Just because you have good reason to feel discouraged does not mean you can wallow in that feeling. It does not mean that you can give up.

One of the great things about human beings is that we are very good at finding ways around obstacles. We manage to overcome insurmountable odds. We do the impossible on a fairly regular basis.

You are one of these human beings who are capable of doing that. You can overcome whatever it is that is getting you down. You can keep going and win.

There are several posts on this blog (at least 5), on how to deal with PTSD. Even if you do not have PTSD, you can use the information in those posts to overcome whatever is making you feel discouraged.

Those posts, in a nutshell, are about taking small steps to deal with big problems. They are about doing what you need to do to keep going.

Find ways to break that big overwhelming problem into small pieces that you can tackle one at a time and piece by piece.

You can take a brief wallowing break and tend to your literal or figurative wounds. You can do things to make yourself feel better and keep your spirits up. You can take another look at your problem and break it down into manageable pieces. 

You can get your second wind. You can keep going. You can overcome your impossible obstacle. You are an ornery, quarrelsome, mean, human being. You are determined, you don't have give up in you. You can do it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It Is What You Don't Eat That Gives You Goiters

Someone ended up on my page by looking for "salt that gives you goiters". It is not any kind of salt or anything else that causes goiters. It is lack of something that causes goiters. That something was discovered to be Iodine.

Somebody started puting Iodine in table salt to prevent goiters. Sea salt does not contain iodine, so if you never eat anything else with iodine in it and you only eat sea salt, you would get goiters.

For people in most developed nations that just will not happen. Manufacturers and fast food places put table salt in just about everything. I do not know the numbers for other countries, but the USA people eat more than 30 times the required amount of salt a year. 

This contributes to heart attacks and many other health problems. Too much salt is bad for you. If you eat processed foods it is almost inevitable that you are getting too much salt.

Goiters is not a problem for most affluent people to worry about. Too much salt with iodine in it or not, is plenty to worry about. It is a lot better to put your energy into finding ways to cut down the salt in your diet than to worry about goiters.

Retire your salt shaker to improve your preventive health care. Until you manage to stop using processed foods, you will still eat many times too much salt without ever picking up a salt shaker.

Many grocery stores have salt substitutes. They can help you ease into lowering your salt intake.

I have managed to change how I cook and eat to stop using most processed foods. That means that I have lowered my salt intake way below average for Americans. I probably still get too much.

It requires a lot of thinking, planning and work to stop depending on processed foods all of the time. It is possible to do and it gets easier once you learn how. Some day you may lower your salt intake enough to have a need for deliberately eating iodized salt, or table salt with iodine in it. It will probably take a while, however.

Reducing your salt intake to normal levels for your body's requirements is an important part of keeping your body in good shape. This will enable you to deal with everyday life and emergencies as well.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

EMP Protection For Electronics For Non-Tecchies

There is already a post on this blog about how to build your own Faraday Cage to protect your electronics. This post is to tell you more about making your Faraday Cage.
Since many readers will not be familiar with EMPs and why electronics need to be protected from them, I will start there.

EMPs are ElectroMagnetic Pulses. You cannot see an electromagnetic pulse, but it can still destroy your cell phone, computer and television, etc. 

The two main sources for EMPs are from humans and from the sun. The sun is doing solar flare activity outside the recorded norms. When we get a very large solar flare, the sun actually throws part of itself out into space. The term for these events is Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME. I don't know why scientists are so in love with alphabet soup, but the rest of us are stuck with it.

When an especially large CME happens, it can generate an especially large EMP. An especially large EMP can reach the earth and do horrible things to electronics here. One large EMP knocked out the power grid in part of Canada recently, along with their electronics.

If you feel attached to your cell phone, etc. and want to protect it from EMPs then you can use a Faraday Cage to do this. It is possible for an average not technologically gifted person to make a simple Faraday Cage for cheap and possibly for free, depending on what you have handy.

The bad part about your cheap Faraday Cage is that it will not protect electronics while you are using them. You can either buy an extra of whatever you wish to protect, or cross your fingers and just put your precious electronics into your Faraday Cage at night when you are not using it.

If, like me, you are in the habit of using your cell phone for your alarm clock, you may be forced to invest in an actual alarm clock. That will be cheaper than another cell phone, so quit whining.

At this time, I only have my emergency radio protected by a Faraday Cage. My plan is to upgrade my cell phone before it dies completely and put it in a Faraday Cage. 

I am assuming you are able to scroll down the list of previous posts and find the instructions for building a Faraday Cage, so I am not going to repeat all that here. However, more experience with making a Faraday Cage gave me more information to share about doing it better.

It is very important that there be no gaps in the metal covering parts of your Faraday Cage. This is easier to do if you use glue for parts of it. Tape can insulate some areas of metal (foil or mylar), from contact with other parts of the metal. I think corners should be reinforced for extra safety. It can be hard to make sure they are completely covered and in contact with other metal.

I decided to use a velcro closure to ensure good contact along the flap of the box. This is because it tends to bend out a little and does not look as though there is good contact along that area. 

Another improvement is that I am covering the metal with clear contact paper to protect it from tearing and make it last longer. This could be done with other materials. The outer layer of metal does not need to be exposed on the surface. You could even enclose it in a bag or another box.

I also decided to add shredded paper between metal covered boxes for my cheap Faraday Cage. I don't like my emergency radio flopping around inside my Faraday Cage. The extra shredded paper makes the interior metal covered box fit securely inside the second metal covered box.

In case you don't already know, the second most likely, or possibly the first most likely source of EMPs from humans is nuclear bombs. With Shell's ship in the Arctic provoking other nuclear powers, environmentalists, and other normal people, nuclear war is looking much more likely to come soon. 

You might want to get right on making that Faraday Cage.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Skills For Barter In Emergencies

Something that hardcore survivalists blogs often mention is the value of bartering in emergencies. It does make good sense.

No matter how much money you have, will it do you any good during an emergency? Lack of clean water and food are common during many emergencies. How many people would trade the food they have for money if everyone in the area is in the same situation?

Maybe you will be short on fuel for cooking and warmth and boiling water to purify it. Someone will probably have more fuel than they need. What might prompt that person to want to let you have some of it?

That is just to give you an idea to start you thinking about the value of barter during an emergency. Experts on survival bartering usually suggest that people develop one or more skills that might be useful for bartering.

If you think of a TEOTAWKI (The End Of  The World As We Know It) situation, or even a long term emergency, bartering makes even more sense.

It is not a good idea to wait until an emergency develops to have your skill, or skills ready for bartering. It can take a while to become competent in a new skill, or perfect one that you already have.

Bartering itself is a type of skill and few people are born with the ability to do well at it. Bartering, like other skills, can be improved with practice. You can begin your barter practice even before your skill to be bartered is ready.

Craigslist is a way for many people to begin to barter. There is a specific category for people who are interested in bartering. It lists either what someone wishes to trade for or what they have to offer, or both.

I think it is educational just to read the Craigslist barter section. You can get an idea of what kinds of items or skills are more in demand, especially in your local area. 

You can also begin to get a feel for what different skills or items are considered to be worth in comparison to each other. The monetary value does not always match up to the barter value. It is especially important to think about how it might work out in an emergency situation. 

If I was a concert pianist, for example, I might want to develop a more practical every day sort of skill for emergency barter. That does not mean there won't be a call for the skills of a concert pianist. There will still be church services and weddings and funerals, but one might get hungry waiting for one of those jobs.

Practice with barter before an emergency arises, can make your daily life better as well. Some people do as well with what they get from barter as they do in their day job. It even happens that some people change their day job to bartering or to a skill they use for bartering purposes. That could happen to you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nutrition - The Basis Of Emergency Preparedness

There is not much point in being prepared for emergencies if you die from malnutrition because neglected your nutritional requirements. You need the food supplies and you need the knowledge. 

It is not possible for all of us to become nutritionists, but we can learn the basics. We can get reference books to help us out with the extras. 

I had been learning about the health benefits of every day foods for years before I ran across a great book about it. The book is called, "Prescription for Nutritional Healing". It is by James R. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.

There are many books that cover the area of healing through nutrition and various aspects of it. This one is particularly helpful because of the way it is organized. It is easy to refer to without being an expert.

You do not need to read the entire book to find out about one particular problem. All of this makes it a good book for average people.

In an everyday situation or in an emergency, it is a lot better to not get sick than it is to try to get well after you are already sick. One of the old sayings that I like is, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Nutrition is a very good way of preventing illness. You can not do a good job of building anything unless you have good materials. That includes our bodies. We need to know what our bodies need as building blocks or fuel to stay healthy.

I have posts on this blog about basic nutrition. There are things all over the internet on it. I put in links to some of them and I made some easy diagrams on the posts. If you don't know basic nutrition, please print or copy off my diagrams and learn it. Just keep my copyright information on the diagrams, please.

Most people would not dream of driving a car without knowing what to put in the tank to make it run. Those same people may have no idea what their bodies need
to run on. 

Our whole society is stupid that way. American doctors only learn about nutrition for two hours during their whole time in medical school. Most doctors are not going to be a lot of help to you about nutrition, unless they refer you to a nutrutionist.

It is up to you to learn enough nutrition to stay well and speed your recovery if you do get sick. 

Nutrition must be an important, part of your emergency preparedness. I believe it must be the basis of all of your emergency preparedness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yoga For Couch Potatoes - Our Starting Lines Are Not All In The Same Place. Yoga As A Health Preventive And Cure

Being as physically fit as possible is an important part of emergency preparedness. If you are very out of shape, don't give up. Everyone has to start somewhere when they begin anything. 

Yoga has a lot of extraordinary health benefits that you probably wouldn't even believe until you try them and see for yourself. Yoga, unlike weight lifting, running, etc. has a great beneficial effect on internal organs. I have read old books about Yoga that have tables listing exactly what organs are benefited by particular exercises and how and why.

This post is not for the purpose of either telling you about those benefits to your internal organs or how to do the yoga exercises. I am only going to tell you why you might want to learn more and try it for yourself.

If your body is very out of shape, or you have problems moving or are obese, those problems are not a barrier to you being able to do yoga.

You do not have to immediately become a human pretzel to benefit from yoga. It is enough to do the best you can to go toward reaching a yoga position. The use of belts or towels to hold yourself in a position that is in the direction of the desired position is fine. 

You can continue to use aids like belts or towels as long as necessary. You will probably find that you will slowly inch closer to the position you wish to reach.
Even if you never reach the desired position, you will still benefit from your efforts.

I do not believe in doing Yoga until it hurts. Doing painful exercises can train you to avoid more exercise. Yoga is gentle and that is one of the good parts about it for people who are in bad physical condition. It is more important to stick with exercise for the long haul than to go all out for a little bit and quit.

It isn't healthy to go from couch potato to a marathon. It is better to be reasonable about changes that you demand from your tubby body and your flaccid will power. Small incremental steps that allow little successes along the way, are better than great leaps to failure.

Yoga is a good form of exercise for the incremental approach to fitness. I am not trying to say that yoga is the only form of exercise that allows the incremental approach to fitness. There are many other good ones. A couple of them are Tai Chi and Chi Gong. There are even courses on fitness for disabled and people who are in wheel chairs.

Our starting lines are not all in the same place. Go find yours and begin. Not every race is a sprint.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Red Yeast Rice For Emergencies

I found some new information about Red Yeast Rice. I am doubtful that people should take it now.

A WHO (World Health Organization) report said that there is a very good chance that Statin drugs, and probably Red Yeast Rice as well, are associated with a very high incidence of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. 

I read a reader comment that a supplement can alleviate or eliminate the ALS symptoms. So far, the drug companies are denying that there is a problem. The lawsuits are piling up, though. 

The FDA is doing nothing at this point. I would be wary of both Statin drugs and Red Yeast Rice at this time. Here is a link to a site and post about the problem:

I lefthis post up so that people can get an idea of the whole story but put it in strike through so people will be alerted that there is a problem with it.

One of the problems people often face in emergencies is not being able to get medications. It may be helpful to have some alternative medicines on hand for your health problems in case you can not get needed regular medications during an emergency. 

This post is about Red Yeast Rice to lower cholesterol. It is an alternative medicine. It comes from traditional Chinese medicine. You, or someone you care about may have high cholesterol. 

 It is comforting to know there is an alternative to drugs in the event of a disaster where drugs are not available. I like Red Yeast Rice as a medical preparedness item.

Studies have revealed that Red Yeast Rice actually does lower cholesterol. It has the same effect as one of the types of drugs to lower cholesterol. 

The name of the type of drug that works in the same way as Red Yeast Rice is, "statin" drugs. The effect of Red Yeast Rice is usually milder than the statin drugs. 

A big advantage of Red Yeast Rice is that it may be purchased over the counter. I am even able to purchase it in a discount store, so it is easy to stock up on.

Here is what WebMD has to say about Red Yeast Rice: 
"Several studies have shown good evidence that red yeast rice can significantly lower total and "bad" LDL cholesterol. One component of red yeast rice, monacolin K, is identical to the active ingredient of the cholesterol drug Mevacor (lovastatin). Red yeast rice does not seem to be as effective as most conventional statin drugs, however. But these supplements may be a good choice for people who cannot tolerate statins or who could benefit from a slight lowering of cholesterol."

Here is a link to WebMD's site:

The side effects of Red Yeast Rice can be the same ones you can get from use of statin drugs. 

It is a bad idea to take Red Yeast Rice without consulting a physician. You 

A big disadvantage of Red Yeast Rice is need to take possible drug interactions into account before taking Red Yeast Rice. The possible side effects should also be considered.

that some sources have very unpredictable amounts of the active ingredient in them. It is best to use a source that provides predictable amounts. 

Red Yeast Rice has traditional uses for treatments of ailments besides high cholesterol. Those additional uses for Red Yeast Rice have not been tested scientifically, however. 

There is much more information available about Red Yeast Rice on the internet, if you want to learn more. WebMD is a good place to start your research.

You too, may wish to consider Red Yeast Rice for your preparedness supplies. It is probably worth your consideration if you have high cholesterol, or one of your loved ones has high cholesterol.

I lefthis post up so that people can get an idea of the whole story but put it in strike through so people will be alerted that there is a problem with it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cheap Help For Heartburn, Acid Reflux, Or GERD

There is a cheap easy solution for a lot of people suffering from heartburn, acid reflux and GERD (Gastroesophageal Disease). The solution is based on the cause of the worst effects of these diseases. If you suffer from these digestive diseases sleeping is very likely the time when you will be most uncomfortable.

This is because we have a little "valve" that controls the flow of stomach contents. This valve will open a little in a prone position and release stomach acid. The stomach acid is what is causing the burning sensation. Extra weight places more pressure on the valve and more acid can be released into the wrong places.

Not lying flat on your back will solve a lot of the problem by taking pressure off of your little valve and let it stay closed. This does not mean you need to sleep standing up or sitting up. A gentle upward slope toward your head will usually work.

This gentle upward slope can be achieved by placing a brick under each leg at the head of your bed. This will often be enough of an incline to allow your valve to stay shut and keep your stomach acid where it belongs.

If you are not able to get bricks under the head of your bed there are other alternatives as well. One of these is a foam wedge. They are available already made in various degrees of slope. Some come with a pillow case made to fit them.

You can use a wedge pillow in combination with a regular pillow, but I think it is better not to use another pillow with your wedge. This is because the angle of your neck can be very bad for keeping your airway open for breathing.

You do not always have to be overweight to have digestive problems like heartburn, acid reflux or GERD, but your chances of having them go up along with your weight. 

If you are overweight, you already know that you are contributing to existing and future health problems with your eating. Your eating is also robbing you of your sleep. Lack of sleep feels bad and brings a whole array of other health problems.

You already know you need to lose weight. Perhaps the prospect of having a good night's sleep every night will help to motivate you to make a plan to lose weight and act on it.

I will give you a quick list of foods to avoid if you have digestive problems. One of the worst is cucumbers. Acidic foods such as citrus, tomatoes, and vinegar should also be avoided, along with caffeine. The caffeine includes not only coffee, tea and soft drinks, but chocolate. Spicy, hot tasting foods like peppers, etc. are not good.

I happen to especially like most of the foods that one should avoid with digestive problems. I have found that if I am very good about avoiding them for a while, then I recover somewhat and am able to tolerate a reasonable amount of them again. 

I am not suggesting that you do the same stupid things that I do, but it is a way that I can stand to cut out all of my favorites for a while. The thought of getting them back motivates me to do without for a while.

I believe that doing yoga also helps in recovery from digestive problems. Don't worry if you are too fat to get into correct positions. Yoga is very forgiving of your infirmities. You can use a towel or belt to hold yourself into the nearest approximation of the position you can manage.

If you have severe acid reflux and you have it even when you are standing or sitting upright, then you may require medication from a physician. There are prescription drugs that help severe acid reflux and GERD problems. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

World Obesity Epidemic

There is an old saying in the USA, "You are what you eat". There is a lot of truth in those few words.

Most Americans eat a large quantity of junk foods on a regular basis. In that case Americans have junk bodies. Our health reflects that. More than half of us are obese now. Children are more obese than previous generations.

We have an epidemic of health problems related to being too fat. Some of those health problems are high cholesterol, clogged arteries, and growing numbers of heart attacks and strokes.

It is commonplace to see extremely obese individuals in public places who weigh hundreds of pounds and up to a thousand pounds and over. Extremely obese people often have to use battery operated wheel chairs because they are too heavy to walk around much.

This problem is not limited to the United States. Obesity is a growing problem in most developed countries. 

It is common for overweight individuals to blame their extra pounds on "glands", or thyroid problems. They often claim that is not possible for them to do anything about the extra pounds.

Most of the time it is not true that obese people can do nothing about their weight. Studies show that boredom, habit, and emotional distress usually contribute more to obesity than any medical causes.

Habitual overeating and boredom overeating are problems that a normal person can work out ways to deal with.

Emotional distress overeating is a problem that can be overcome with counseling help. Most developed nations have options for counseling based on income-based fees. If that is not an option, there are support groups.

It can seem overwhelming to face a large amount of extra weight. You must remind yourself that you can approach it one bite, one pat of butter, one spoon of sugar, and one step at a time. It all adds up to pounds/kilos of weight loss. Don't be discouraged. Obesity is a problem that you can overcome.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Make Your Own Water Cooling Bowl Covers

I mentioned making my own water cooling bowl covers in a previous post. First I am gong to tell you why you need them, then I am going to tell you how to make them.

The most common way to clean and sanitize water is through heating, either boiling it or distilling it. Either method leaves your water hot. This is fine if you want to make coffee right away and don't ever drink plain water. Most people will want to drink plain water some of the time. Hot or warm water is not great most of the time.

If you are using plastic containers to store your water, you may need to cool the water before placing it in your containers. I use plastic containers to store my water that I intend to drink for the next day or so. The bottles are tough enough not to completely melt with hot water in them, but they will warp and then leak.

I used to always boil my water before I filtered it through a fancy ceramic filter with silver in it. That was to make the filters last longer by not loading them up with extra contaminants. The idea of breaking that filter by putting hot water on it was not good. I cooled it first. I used large metal bowls to cool the water.  Once the water was cooled, I poured it into the filter.

It was impossible to keep flies and gnats out of my home. There were a lot of them in the town I lived in. Before the water in my bowls cooled it would have insect bodies floating in it. 

I tried putting tea towels over the bowls, but it was hard to keep them on the bowls tight enough to keep all insects out. I tried using giant rubber bands over the tea towels or tying strings around them. Since the bowls were round, curved, and slippery, getting strings or rubber bands over them plus a tea towel was a challenge.

It was too much of a challenge to tie down tea towels so often. I decided to make bowl covers that would slip easily over the bowls and that would fit tightly over them. 

Elastic with a casing was my method for getting the bowl covers on and off easily. I traced around the bowls onto a piece of paper to make patterns for the bowl covers. I tripled the width of the elastic and added that to the width of the bowl covers. I did a pencil and string compass and got the exact measurements at first, but found it wasn't necessary. 

It works fine to just look around the house for something a little bigger than the top of the bowl. It needs to be round, or the same shape as the bowl top and bigger than three times the width of the elastic plus the bowl width. The cover can go way down the side of the bowl and still work. 

Smaller than three times the width of the top of the bowl is not a good idea. It can be done, but it is a lot of extra work. If you have to do that, you will need to do something to prevent the fabric from unravelling along the edge. 

A zigzag machine stitch works if you have a sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine you can use a whip stitch or blanket stitch along the edge of the fabric.  

I do not think you should use anything like Fray Check or other fabric glues on your bowl cover. I believe that could contaminate your water.

You can find out how much elastic you need for your bowl cover by tying a string around the top of your cooling bowl and then measuring the string. You need to add a little extra to allow for overlapping the edges of the elastic after you insert it in your casing.I think triple the width of the elastic is a good amount of overlap. 

Your casing needs to be slightly wider than your elastic when it is folded over. You need to allow for the width of your seam as well. If you don't have tailor's chalk, regular chalk or a pencil will do to mark where to put your seam. Colored regular chalk may permanently stain your fabric. I would not use a pen, for fear of water contamination.

If you are not planning to machine sew the edges of your bowl cover fabric, you will need to hem it before you sew the casing. That is why it needs to be triple the width of the elastic, or wider.

You can make your own seam gauge if you don't have one. A piece of cardboard marked with the seam width will work. Mark your seam at frequent intervals all around the bowl cover edge. If you have not sewn much or are a perfectionist, you should mark a solid line for your seam all the way around the bowl cover. It is easier to keep your seam straighter that way. Mark it on the wrong side of your fabric so it won't show when you are done.

You can pin or baste your casing before you sew it. It is much easier to get it straight that way when you sew it.

Leave a small gap before you sew all the way around your elastic casing. You will need a gap to put the elastic in. Put a safety pin, that is about the size of the width of  the elastic, through the end of the elastic. That makes it much easier to thread the elastic through the casing. You can also use a paper clip, if you don't have a safety pin. Pin the dangling end of the elastic to the fabric, before you begin threading the other end with the safety pin or paper clip in it. That keeps the non-threading end from being pulled inside the casing and getting lost.

After you thread the elastic through the casing, check to make sure there are no kinks in the elastic. If there are kinks, untwist them, so the elastic is flat all the way around. Once you have the elastic inside the casing you need to sew the two ends of the elastic closed so that it forms a continuous loop inside the casing. Next close the gap that you used to get the elastic into the casing. You can use a machine or do it by hand.

Once your gap is closed your casing is done. I like to wash a newly made bowl cover before I use it the first time. When your bowl cover is clean it is ready to use.

Once your bowl cover is ready, pick it up with both hands on opposite sides of the elastic. Place the part of the bowl cover that is in front of you and between your hands against the edge of the bowl and under the rim of the bowl. Stretch it away from you towards the side of the bowl away from you. Slip it over the rim on the other side of the bowl and release the elastic under the rim of the bowl.

You may want to practice putting on the bowl cover with the cooling bowl empty a few times before you do it with water in it. It won't matter if the cooling bowl cover gets wet when you put it over the water in the bowl. It will still keep out dust and insects even when it is wet.

I have made cooling bowl covers out of plastic for use in the refrigerator. I dislike "refrigerator taste" in my food, so the plastic covers help prevent that. 

Cooling bowl covers are also good for picnics and potlucks. I prefer to make mine out of see through fabric. I know how much water is in the bowl that way, but they seem cleaner to me than solid ones. There is no particular reason it has to be that way though. You could use whatever you want or have handy.

I am going to add drawings of how to make cooling bowl covers to make it easier for those who are not used to sewing.