Friday, March 29, 2013

Christian Earth 101

Being a Christian, you know what Genesis says. It goes into a lot of detail about how Gd made various parts of the Earth and the life upon it. Every time Gd made something, he said it was, "Good".

Does that sound like somebody who wants His property wrecked?

We are not being very good property managers. If we really love Gd, why do we want to treat Him this way?

It seems odd to me that so many devout Christians are not concerned about what is happening to the Earth. There are even holdouts among Christians who say they do not believe that climate change is real.

I have been trying to figure out how it is possible that Christians can manage not to believe that climate change is happening. My best idea is that they are people who never watch the news or read newspapers or listen to the radio. They would have to live somewhere that weird weather is not going on also. 

That last one is also hard to figure out. I don't think there can be anywhere left that is not having bouts of very strange weather. I read something by someone who wrote that they think climate change is not happening because getting snow in normally warm places means it can't be happening. No, I am not referring to the warm place in the afterlife, I mean southern areas of the USA, or possibly desert areas like Arizona or Nevada.

I think that when people were still calling the weird weather, "global warming", that might have caused some confusion. People have stopped talking about "global warming", and use, "climate change", instead. 

Climate change works much better to describe what is happening with our weird weather than "global warming". The reason for this is that even though the Earth really is getting hotter very fast, it is not even, and not steady, and the hotter spots don't stay put.

The way that scientists study climate change is confusing until you find out more about it. They collect temperature patterns from all over the Earth. Then they add all of the temperatures and average them to get the temperature of the Earth. 

This average temperature of the Earth is higher than ever before in recorded history. It is also getting higher faster than even pessimists expected. 

Very bad things can happen when temperatures change on the Earth. One of these, that is already happening, is with things we depend on to make the air that we breathe. Some of these things that make the air that we breathe are trees and other plants. 

We are used to thinking about trees and other plants cleaning our air. There are other living things that make even more oxygen than trees do. They live in the oceans.There are zillions of tiny microscopic sea life that make more oxygen for us to breathe than big trees do. 

Part of our problems that we are busy making for ourselves is those tiny oxygen makers in the ocean. They are not as strong and adaptable as humans are. When the ocean temperature changes even a few degrees they start dying. This is already starting.

I don't want to write any more about the bad things that are happening with climate change in this post. I have written about that already. You can read it later if you want to.

I want to say why Christians might want to take better care of the Earth. I have only said enough to give you an idea that we are not taking very good care of the Earth lately.

The whole Earth belongs to Gd. Most Christians will agree with that. We have been given stewardship over the Earth. We are sort of resident managers. That is our "dominion" over the Earth. We are supposed to be loving caretakers.

I like to think we have a lot closer relationship with Gd, than a resident manager and a property owner. I think love is and should be involved.

When you love someone you want to know everything you can about them and find ways to please them and help them to be happy. 

Gd is the Supreme Artist. The Earth is His Art. I love the Earth because it is a reflection of its Maker. I don't think everybody has to think and act the way I do, so I don't think all Christians have to love the Earth for the same reasons I do. 

I don't even think you need to love the
Earth at all to be a good Christian. I do think you at least need to respect it as Gd's handiwork that we are given to care for. 

It beats me how anyone can say they love Gd and not respect his work given to us for safekeeping, the Earth. We need to show our love for Gd with our actions as well as our words. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What Is A Survival Bracelet?

Somebody searched about what a survival bracelet is. Thanks. That takes care of a nice post for tonight that I don't particularly need to do any more research on.

A survival bracelet is a USA fad for wearing a bracelet that can help with disaster preparedness. Each bracelet is made of extremely tough cording. The cording is so strong that a thin piece of it can support the weight of a human being. 

A survival bracelet is made so that each one contains several yards of the aforementioned tough cording. They are made so that they can be quickly and easily unraveled in an emergency. This will allow you to safely lower yourself or others from a high window to allow you to escape. This could be in a fire or home invasion for example.

The cording in a survival bracelet was begun by soldiers who made them from parachute cording. The originals were only standard military colors. Now they can be found in a whole rainbow of colors to suit your fancy.

People have come up with endless good uses for the cording in survival bracelets. Youtube is full of survival videos that show possible uses for it. They may not specifically mention survival bracelets or paracord, which is a name for the cording. You may have to think a little to notice when the video applies to survival bracelet paracord.

One of my favorite uses is to build a makeshift survival shelter in case you get stranded overnight and need to stay warmer. It is a lot easier to build a faster and better shelter if you can use some paracord from your survival bracelet to build it. You can tie branches together to make a framework to start the shelter.

Another good use for the survival bracelet stuff is to hang a cooking pot over a fire. It is easier to get just the right height to keep it cooking, without burning the food.

If you have a survival bracelet during an emergency, you will be inspired to find many more good uses for it. 

It seems to me that having a survival bracelet handy at all times is pretty easy. You just wear it on your wrist. Something that easy to do, that can be so valuable during an emergency, seems like a good investment in time.

I wrote another post on links to videos about making your own survival bracelet (s). Some of the videos have how to make a jig that simplifies and speeds up making survival bracelets. 

I hope you will consider adding a survival bracelet to your preparedness items. It is very cheap to make your own and not that hard to do.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sinking Fluoride And Other Stuff

I keep getting search terms that mention something about sinking fluoride. I read that when water with fluoride is boiled, it sinks to the bottom of the water then. 

That is how I got the bright idea to take the water that I already have boiled in order to use the filter in my coffeemaker. I only pour the top part of the water in the coffeepot into my cooling bowls. I pour the bottom the water in the pot down the sink. 

I don't have any studies or proof that my idea works, but I feel a lot better when I do it. My cats will drink the water a lot better when I dump the bottom water down the sink drain. This is a very small unscientific study done on my cats and I.

I hesitated to share this wacky method of getting rid of fluoride, but it is the only one I had for my cats and I for right now, so we are happy with it. 

Since some of my more popular posts are about things that save money for preparedness health, that makes me believe that my readers are pinched in the purse the same as my cats and I are.
This thought about my readers maybe needing whatever they can get to reduce or eliminate fluoride from their water, made me share, my puny study results.

You are taking your chances that this stupid method for reducing fluoride will do any good. If you can't afford anything better, you might be willing to to try it like I do, anyway. It's biggest virtue is that it is cheap.

I may be a bit shaky for a little while on getting this blog out on time. I am having some serious survival problems and it cuts into my writing and researching time. I will do the best I can to get posts out anyway. The posts, may be more puny than usual also. Brevity is the soul of something or other. It is also quicker to write than longer posts.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Naturopaths For Preparedness Health

Staying as healthy as possible is an important part of emergency preparedness. During a disaster medical care can be very difficult to find. If you do find uninjured medical personnel with operational facilities, they will be very, very busy. You will be in a very long line waiting for help.

The last thing you need in such a situation, is ordinary health problems that are not connected with the disaster. 
If you are in good health when disaster strikes, you will be much better off than someone who ordinarily has an assortment of common ailments.

A naturopathic doctor can be part of your plan to stay healthy all the time. 

One big advantage of naturopaths is that they have a very strong emphasis on preventing health problems.  Allopathic, or regular medical doctors are doing much better than they used to at emphasizing prevention in their health care, but this is still a little sickly compared to naturopaths.

Naturopaths have a thorough understanding of what your body needs to run efficiently and stay healthy. Allopathic doctors have to learn this stuff on their own. They only get a couple of hours of nutrition training in their whole time in medical school.

I am not advocating that you forget about your allopathic doctor, but your health will be much better if you can also see a naturopathic doctor. When enough people insist on it, our allopathic doctors will coordinate their care with that given by naturopathic doctors. 

Just insisting that your allopathic doctor work in conjunction with naturopaths is not enough, to get the change we desire. It is also necessary to get changes made by our government and our insurance companies.

The biggest obstacle that we face in getting naturopathic medical care is the big drug companies. The legal pharmaceutical industry is the largest money maker in the world. That gives them enough clout to run our lives much more than is healthy for us.

The pharmaceutical industry has too much of a stranglehold on allopathic medicine for the well-being of either our doctors or us. I know that many readers are probably unaware of this situation, so I will give you one example about this problem that is easier to understand.

That is the choices our allopathic doctors make for our medications. I will give you some links about a little of this.
Thorough. one is funny.
This is short and pithy.
This one gets into it well.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Diatomaceous Earth For Survival

Diatomaceous earth is wonderful stuff. It is pretty cheap compared to medicine or even herbs. After all, it is dirt, fancy dirt, but nevertheless, dirt. It stands to reason that it should be dirt cheap. :-p

I drink some diatomaceous earth almost every day. I read that it has caused some people's hair to turn back to their original color instead of gray. I don't know how much of this to attribute to diatomaceous earth, but I have very little gray in my hair, when my contemporaries are either using hair dye or being quite gray.

I was not that interested in using diatomaceous earth for the purpose of preserving my youthful hair color, but I can't say I object to that additional benefit. 

One of the things diatomaceous earth can't do a thing about is keeping you alive when the ability of the earth to maintain your life is being destroyed. You need to add some other things to your health regimen besides what you eat, drink and how you exercise. Taking care of the earth is taking care of yourself.

I love old cartoons and often apply things I see in them to my life now. One of these lessons that is good to share with you to explain what I am talking about is one where Wiley Coyote had the Roadrunner cornered out on a rock overhang high above a valley. 

Wiley Coyote pulled out a saw and began sawing away at the rock to make the Roadrunner fall. The problem that Wiley Coyote didn't notice is that he was sitting on the same side of the rock that he was sawing away on. When he sawed through it, he had nothing left to support him either.

We human beings are just like Wiley Coyote, sawing away on our support, (the Earth,) when we still need it. 

We saw away at the Earth every time we do things that increase climate change and cause other kinds of environmental damage.

The world we live in is a complex and rapidly changing place. It can easily make one feel too overwhelmed to face it all. It is a great temptation to just hide your eyes and focus only on what you need to survive right now.

We need to pry our hands away from our eyes enough to see what we need to survive. We can not be Wiley Coyotes, sawing away on our support, the Earth, when we still need the Earth.

There are lots of things you can do to help save our support, the Earth, that will make your life better right now as well. I have found and included many of those in my blog posts. Many other people are also working on this problem.

Look around a little and pick one small change and make it part of your life. Once it fits into your life you can go on to the next one. Any journey must start with a single step.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What Are Biohackers?

The first time I heard of biohackers, it sounded rather sinister to me. Apparently it is considered a benign, if not exciting and wonderful thing to the right people. Of course computer hackers tend to look at what they do in about the same light. I guess biohackers may be less bothersome to the rest of us for now at least.

Biohacking is a new movement to bring new biological tools to the common everday person like you and I. One of the mundane uses for it that I sort of liked was funny. 

A man in a large city was incensed about a neighborhood dog pooping all over the neighborhood and leaving it. He went to his local biohacking place and used the equipment to test saliva samples. 

He obtained samples from every dog in the neighborhood. He matched the genetic information from his samples to a sample of the offending poop. He was able to identify the culprit and his even more culpable owner and confront them with the local pooper scooper laws.

The people who run the biohacker labs all over the world are doing it for little, if any, pay. They do it as a public service to allow more people to learn and enjoy the benefits of using new discoveries in biology for themselves.

I never watched Jurassic Park, but it was not possible to avoid seeing trailers and shots from it all over the place. Those movies were so ubiquitous that actually watching them and even paying money to do so were not on my horizon of things I wanted to do. 

What I did see, however, made me a little nervous that the neighborhood biohackers might be incubating a tyrannosaurus rex or even a more benign dinosaur. I gather that sort of thing is not likely to happen too soon. It might inspire a neighborhood kid to become a scientist with the facilities to do so someday.

I am not enthusiastic about bringing back dinosaurs, but I would not mind passenger pigeons or helping to keep polar bears around. Someone has managed to clone an ancient frog and an insect so far.

The humor of someone using a biological equivalent of sledgehammer to crack a pooper scooper violator appeals to me as a good use for biohacking. I don't yet understand what kinds of uses this stuff has, but that is the point of having it available. More people will now have access to equipment and be able to learn for themselves. 

I have placed a few links below to get you started finding about this new movement that may change the world as much as the computer and cell phone already has. Who knows? You may become the biological equivalent of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Steven Wozniak.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Next Epidemic? SARS-related Virus Found

You need to know about this stuff to save your life. This is not something that MIGHT happen. IT WILL HAPPEN.

In case you don't know or remember, the SARS virus became a pandemic. That means it spread to countries all over the world and killed a lot of people. It was bad enough, but it could definitely be worse. Scientists and medical people who study these things think it is only a matter of time before we get a more serious pandemic.

A coronavirus related to SARS (of recent epidemic fame), was found in one person to start with. Now other people have been found with the disease in more countries. 

The disease is serious. It has killed about  half of the known victims. There are more questions than answers about it at this time. 

One of the important questions about it is how it spreads. Bats are suspected as harboring the disease, but how it gets from them to humans is still a mystery. The scientists studying the disease suspect that some domestic animal may be the vector between bats and humans.

Goats were thought to be a possible vector until people who had no contact with goats got the disease. 

The disease is not an epidemic risk now. The problem is that it could become one eventually. That possibility exists because of how rapidly viruses change. Although it is not known how this one spreads, it may become able to spread rapidly like an ordinary cold or flu virus. With about 50% fatalities now, if it starts spreading, we are in big trouble.

Our medical shepherds are quietly preparing for an epidemic of this virus. If they are worried about it, we had better do enough worrying to protect ourselves the best we can too.

I already have quite a few posts on this blog about preparedness for epidemics. You need to read them and use them, if you care about emergency preparedness. 

Here is a link to a Guardian article about this epidemic in case you want to read more. It will be followed by more arcane site links that give information about viruses and epidemics.

The above link is in plain English. I am going to give you more links about this that may cause you the pain associated with big words and thinking:

Okay, I lied. The link just above is not too bad. It explains things about virus basics in ways that are fairly easy to understand. It is a good article to get you up to speed to understand more. 

Before you continue reading about viruses, please look at my previous posts about how to be safer during an epidemic. If you don't want to look at my posts, look at somebody's posts on how to give yourself and loved ones a better chance to survive an epidemic.

Here are more articles about viruses:
I think the most important part of the story above is that smaller farms that don't ship food as far make us safer from epidemics. We need to encourage local agriculture. It will help save our lives as well as the environment.
The above article uses more science jargon, but it is very short.
This link is to a blog that has over a hundred posts about virology. It uses scientific jargon, but explains it. 

Here is an important quote from one of the posts: One compelling reason to gain an understanding of this nonlytic infection is the likelihood that adenovirus gene products cause damage to the host cell genome. … While these functions are irrelevant to the lytic infection of epithelial cells where all infected cells die, they are of serious concern when infected lymphocytes have carried the viral genome and survived. … Despite this normal appearance, the cells display altered gene expression long after the virus is lost.3

I underlined the best part. That means even after you are well from the virus itself, you can still be sick for a long time because of the damage to your body's defense system, the lymph system. You can be a sitting duck for other diseases.

I am going to give you a nice link to the Center for Disease Control yet again to give you a chance to know what to do about an epidemic: 

The link above on the CDC site is about minimum standards to take good, and safe care of a sick family member at home during an epidemic. It is fairly long, but be brave and read it to save your own life and the lives of family members. I have more in previous posts including how to come up with home care during an epidemic in more affordable ways. 

An epidemic is only something to worry about if you are not prepared to deal with it. Get prepared for it. Do the best you can to be ready for an epidemic, review the material and check for updates. Stay aware of local and new spreading epidemics that may come to your area. 

Once you do everything you can to be prepared for an epidemic, you can stop thinking about it much.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Can You Do With Fresnel Lenses?

A Fresnel lens looks like a piece of glass or plastic with tiny circular lines all over it, one inside the other. It is sort of like bullseyes that are very close together and that you can see through.

It is a type of magnifier. I discovered their existence because of receiving a catalog of optical supplies and another with surplus items in it. 

You are probably already aware that you can light things on fire by using a magnifying glass held over it in the sunlight. You focus the sunlight on whatever you want to light and in a few minutes it starts smoldering.

If you use a Fresnel lens, the fire is generally more impressive than using a regular magnifying. The Fresnel lens does a better job of focusing and intensifying the effect of the sunlight to start a fire.

If you want to use a magnifier to start fires as part of your preparedness, it is better to have a Fresnel lens for this purpose. 

As is the case with regular magnifiers, Fresnel lenses work better the larger they are. If you have a large enough Fresnel lens, you can melt metal with it. lol. Now I have started something, I am sure.

Most people have never even noticed the existence of Fresnel lenses. They are handy suckers if you like to make things and invent stuff. If you are among the aforementioned group, you really need to get your hands on a Fresnel lens.

I just posted on how to make a cheap solar oven yesterday. I did not mention Fresnel lenses in that post. This is because Fresnel lenses are powerful enough that it would require a lot of care to use on on a cardboard and styrofoam solar oven. Fresnel lenses used on one of those could easily start a fire. 

Styrofoam releases dangerous gases when burned and a fire with the aforementioned solar oven would not be a good idea.

I have spent a small amount of time playing with a Fresnel lens, but I fully intend to spend more. Fresnel lenses have great possibilities that have not been explored yet, especially by me. I have plans for those things.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cheap Solar Oven You Can Make

You can make your own solar oven very inexpensively. I think it is a good idea to make my cardboard one before you invest in making a sturdier, and more expensive one.

I decided to make this cardboard solar oven when I read that the town that I lived in got more sunny days a year than Arizona did. That sounded like a good opportunity to use all of that sunlight to save money and the Earth at the same time.

This cheap oven is not super efficient, so it is probably not a good idea to think of it as something permanent for cooking. It takes quite a while to get the temperature up high enough to cook in it and it is also slow.

I was patient and poor, so I cooked two meals a day all summer in it for several years. It does not work well enough that I even wanted to try it in the winter.

It is kind of fun to make this stove and it feels good not to feed the electric company and save the Earth by using it.

The materials I used to make my stove were:

Two cardboard boxes that will nest, the smaller inside the larger with several inches of space between them all around, except on top. The tops need to be even. I cut my boxes and used duct tape to get the sizes I wanted.

Styrofoam to fit in the space between the cardboard boxes, including underneath the smaller one on the inside. Packing peanuts are okay, or waste cardboard in whole slices or cut or broken into bits.

A piece of glass for a top to fit across both boxes. A little larger is okay, but not too much because it will interfere with reflectors.

Aluminum foil to make reflectors to get more light/heat into the interior. The more light you can get into your box, the hotter it will get.

Black paint to paint the inside of the inner box to absorb more heat. It is best to make sure the paint is not toxic since it will be in there with your food. I just used some water based acrylic I already had. I had to touch it up once in a while though because of spills and cleanup.

Hinges for the glass top. I just used duct tape to begin with. The duct tape loses its stickiness even at the low temperatures of this oven after a short time, however. If you want to use this oven longer, you need better hinges. I settled on leather for later. I did not have a drill to make holes in the glass, so I had to constantly re-glue it.

Sticky stuff like glue or tape to hold things together. Regular duct tape does not do well longer term from the heat. You can get higher temperature tape. There are glues that handle higher temps also. Be careful what you put inside the box because of the food in there. Check for toxicity and fumes. I look on the internet at the site of the manufacturer if necessary. The USA mandates that manufacturers have information like this available.

String, twine, yarn, etc. to adjust and hold the angle of the reflectors. 

A sunny spot to position your solar oven in for several hours, a lot of hours if you intend to cook two meals in it. I used a cinder block wall behind my home. The cinder blocks absorbed more heat and got the oven hotter too.

A timer to keep track of when to adjust the reflectors as the sun moves.

If you try this and like it, you can use the same basic idea to make a more permanent version out of wood instead of cardboard and you can use a mirror for part of the reflectors. There are other better designs, however. I think a Fresnel lens is a good thing to use to raise the heat a lot more. 

You will have to watch the oven a lot closer if you use a Fresnel lens. It is possible to melt metal with a big Fresnel lens. Some people have devised a sun tracking system with a motor that automatically adjust the reflectors as the sun moves across the sky.

I will end this post with a picture of how to put it together.

Eat Cheap Save The Earth

A great thing that you can do for yourself and the Earth is to grow your own food. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can manage to grow sprouts to eat. 

If you are fortunate enough to have any space outdoors to grow things, you can grow a lot or all of the food you eat. There are some wonderful videos on youtube about this. A man in Arizona made one of them. It is very encouraging to watch his video about food growing for profit. 

He has invented his own hydroponics system and explains how you can make millions of dollars using only an acre of land. That is using his hydroponics system, of course. He shows diagrams of his system and explains how it is basically built. He grows an amazing amount of food in a few feet of space.

He suggests beginning with one hydroponics plant for less than a dollar if that is all of the money that you have available now. He suggests that you use the profits from the one plant to buy more equipment to grow more plants and repeat until you are a millionaire from selling your crops.

The process he suggests works much faster if you have enough money to buy more equipment to begin with. It makes me want to rush out and buy equipment. I actually prefer to learn more about how to grow stuff and operate hydroponics first, though.

Here is a link to his video:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pina Colada Milkshake - Can Be Used For Diatomaceous Earth

One time when I was doing a lot of air travel I found myself with a horrible ten hour layover in Atlanta. That is not long enough to want to get a hotel room, but you can really get tired of that huge airport in that amount of time. Fortunately, I discovered a juice bar. They made milkshakes and smoothies there. One of their best was a sober pina colada milkshake. 

They made the best one I have ever tasted. They made their own coconut ice cream from fresh coconuts and put fresh pineapple in it.

I don't usually do all of that however. I do it the easy, fast, and cheap way. Mine is not as good, but it is still pretty good.
I also leave out the ice cream. You can put some in if you like, however. I use ice cubes, instead. That is lower calories and cholesterol.

I use coconut cream or coconut milk to make it. Coconut cream tastes better, but it is more oily and not as healthy.

I also use canned pineapple most of the time. I don't have precise proportions of the coconut or pineapple that I use. I normally go light on the coconut milk and more pineapple. I will usually have a much smaller can of coconut milk than of pineapple, and sometimes only use half a can of the coconut milk to make it and a whole can of pineapple. If I do that, I usually make another batch the next day and use another can of pineapple.

I go by taste on how much to put in. You have probably already figured that I put all of this into a blender. I also put in a banana. I mostly go by what will fit into the blender and how it tastes. A big banana will not fit in, so I cut it in half and put that in. 

Protein powder, flax seed powder, diatomaceous earth, and things like that are good additions to this recipe, and I usually put those in as well.

Now you can end up with a not very serious dilemma as far as leftovers for this recipe. If you are left with half a can of coconut milk and half a banana after you make this up and drink it, you will either be forced to find another use for them or make more pina colada shake.
I generally opt for another batch of pina colada shake.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dietary Changes For Stroke Prevention

Yesterday I posted a bit about ways to protect your brain for health preparedness. I wrote mostly about online programs that give your brain a workout to keep it fit.

The majority of other things that I do to take care of my brain are dietary. I have extremely high cholesterol in spite of being a vegetarian. I believe that I would be dead now if I hadn't become a vegetarian many years ago. My body makes a lot of cholesterol, so I certainly don't need to eat things that have a lot of it in them as well.

Cholesterol is a major culprit for causing strokes. I do a lot of dietary things to help with this problem.

I have mentioned some of the virtues of oats in your diet before. Oats are very helpful to lower your cholesterol. I read that when you eat oats, they attach to cholesterol in you and escort it out. According to something else I read, extra virgin olive oil does the same sort of thing. Regular olive oil does not work this way, so you have to make sure it is extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil can actually become bad for you once it is heated to high temperatures. This means it is not a good idea to fry things in olive oil. Oils that work better at high temperatures like sunflower oil or coconut oil are better for frying or saute cooking. I have also almost given up frying things. I lightly saute them in a small amount of high temperature safe oil, instead.

If you are going to eat any flesh, it should be fish. Salmon is one of the safest fish to eat as far as heavy metal contamination goes. Fish oil can actually help bring down your cholesterol and does lots of other good things for your body. Some vegetarians make and exception and take fish oil capsules.

I won't do that, but you can get some of the same effects if you eat nuts, walnuts are the best, apparently. Flax seed and flax seed oil are also good that way.

If you don't want to or can't grind your own flax seed and don't feel up to chewing them whole, you can get ground ones at health food stores. 

I put flax seeds into some of my blender recipes. I guess I will give you my sober pina colada recipe in a few days. That would work well with a dose of diatomaceous earth, also. Again, diatomaceous earth will righteously constipate you unless you take serious preventive measures. Since I am veggie, my diet is especially high in fiber, so I don't have much worry in that department.

I have added a grated apple to my breakfast cereal every morning lately. White flesh fruits like apples and pears do something that prevents strokes. They do not know exactly how it works yet, but it sounded good enough for me to try it. I am a great guinea pig in that department since I have been having a lot of TIAs. 

Once I started the apple-in-the-cereal addition to my diet, the TIAs dropped off. I highly recommend the apple/pear adjustment to your diet if you are a stroke risk. This is not medical, advice, however. Humor your MD. My doctor is patient and long suffering and puts up with me very well. You are fortunate indeed if you find one like her.

In case you are not up on stroke terminology, TIAs are little mini strokes. They only last a short time and are not supposed to cause lasting damage. They can do cumulative damage, however. 

Enough stroke stuff for now. I have found more stuff for strokes, that I do as well as what I have already mentioned. I will write about it later. I will probably post about the pina colada milkshake tomorrow. It is really good and easy to make. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Protect Your Brain - Preparedness Health

A lot of people take care of their health by good diet and exercise. This is a perfectly good starting place, but it does absolutely no good to have a fit body if your mind is out to lunch.

Watching people I know try to cope with the ravages of Dementia and Alzheimers does nothing to set one's mind at ease about retaining good use of one's own mind. We do not have to "go gentle into that dark night", we can "rage, rage against the dying of the light". 

There are things we can do to help give some protection against the loss of our own mental faculties. None of these things is foolproof, but it can help. I am collecting information of this sort for my personal use and adding all of it to my activities and diet, etc.

It is just not pleasant to face the idea that we may lose our minds at some point. Hiding it from ourselves will not help. We must look at this fear directly and do the best we can to fight it.

It has preoccupied me for a while to find materials and methods to fight the ravages of health and age on my own mind, so I expect others who share this fear will like to know what I have found as well. Here goes:

Ginkgo Biloba is an herb that has the reputation of improving the function of your mind, especially memory. Ginkgo trees don't grow everywhere, so most of us have to get it from a store or online. If you do that you have to choose between whether you want some that is processed to have an even and predictable amount of the good stuff in it. If you take some ginkgo biloba relatively straight from the tree, the effectiveness varies a great deal from one batch to another, even from the same tree.

I picked the standardized herbal supplement. It is more processed, but I get the same amount of effectiveness all the time.

Apparently the brain benefits from a workout as much, if not more than, the rest of your body does. They now offer fitness for your brain online. I am coming up on four weeks on one of those. I believe that I am experiencing benefits from even such a short time spent on giving my brain a workout.

The site that I use for my brain fitness exercises, includes exercises  to make your brain work harder in specific areas. The company that I use gives you charts and graphs so that you can keep track of your progress and understand it more easily. Their computer plans sets of daily exercises that you may use to get a good brain workout.

The company that I use for my brain fitness offers an extensive explanation of the theory and research behind their programs. Professionals involved in many aspects of physical and psychological well-being from all over the world, are cooperating with volunteers in ongoing research to improve the understanding and effectiveness of brain fitness programs. 

Users of the site have the option of volunteering to participate in these projects if they like. 

The cost for the particular site that I use for my brain fitness training is about $15.00 US a month at the monthly rate. Discounts are available.

I believe it is worth your while to consider doing something to keep your brain as fit as the rest of you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Canned Tuna Fish Recall

Two brands of tuna fish have expanded their food recall. It got into the news today because of the expanded recall. Here is a link to a story about it:

Some customers have experienced illness that has been attributed to the canned tuna. It was found that there was a problem with the seals on the cans. 

The FDA said that improperly sealed cans may allow bacterial contamination and allow the can contents to spoil. This can cause illness.

The recall is voluntary. There is a long list of specific cans on the site above, with two brand labels: One is, "Chicken of the Sea". The other is, "Bumble Bee". There are serial numbers from the cans as well as use by dates listed so that you can check to make sure you do not have any of these cans.

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States Government has an email alert that you can sign up for to receive notices for food and drug recalls. 

If you decide to sign up, you may wish to make a separate email account for the notices, because there are a LOT of them. Most of them do not get much attention from me because the majority are things like label misprints. Others don't alarm me much because I don't eat the stuff. That includes this tuna fish. 

I am posting this one in my blog because I know a lot of people who eat tuna very frequently. That makes me think that there is a large part of the population likely to be affected by this particular recall. 

This recall has gotten some notice in the news media, but it doesn't look adequate for the seriousness of the harm that it can do to people who eat it. 

One of the possible toxins that could get into the improperly sealed cans is able to kill people sometimes. I can't make up for the lack of news coverage, but this is my little bit to try to help.

If you eat tuna, or know others who do, please pass this recall on to them and give them the link so that they can check to make sure they are safe from contaminated food.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Stay Warm And Save The Earth!

Stay warm and save the earth! One of the  easiest ways to help save the earth is to use less fuel to heat you home. It just requires turning down your thermostat. That is one of those things that can be easier to do in theory than in life.

Once that thermostat is down and the temperature inside your home drops along with the thermometer, you may want to turn it back up because you feel cold. It can take a while to get used to lower home temperatures. There is no need to set yourself up for the failure of your good intentions.

There are lots of things you can do to feel more comfortable with a lower temperature in your home. You might as well set yourself up to make it easier for you and your family to be comfortable with the lower home temp.

Wearing a hat to keep your head warm is the most difference a single clothing item can make to help the rest of you feel warm as well. A fuzzy fleece hat or cozy knit one are good choices. If you feel very cold, you might want to opt for extra insulation in your warm hat.

I make my own hats and plan to offer free plans on this site to help you to make your own hats as well. Once you know how to make your own hats, it gives you more choice to get the colors and fabrics you like and save money as well. There will be both sewn and knitted and crocheted hats offered on this site for you to make.

My favorite item of clothing to wear to keep comfortable at lower home temps is a vest. I prefer fleece, but also make knitted or crocheted ones. I intend to either offer plans or patterns on this site to help you make your own vests or links to other sites that will offer free patterns.

Warm scarves do a lot to make you feel more comfortable at lower home temps. Scarves are nice for new knitters or crocheters because the straight lines make them easy to do for beginners. Your first scarf may be a little wavy along the edges and have a few other problems, but it will work to keep you warm anyway.

I also like to wear footgear to keep my feet warm for comfort in lower home temps. I do not knit socks yet, but I have crocheted slipper socks. 

I just bought ready made leather soles with fleece lining and pre-punched holes to knit or crochet into. It came with directions for the knit or crochet tops for the slippers. I like the nubby multi-colored yarn that I chose for the slippers. They are warm and comfortable to wear. I bought those from a Tandy store. 

If there is no Tandy store near you, they have an online catalog that you can use to order from them. Tandy is a company that specializes in leatherwork tools and supplies. 

When you feel very cold, you may need to do more to keep your body warm as you become accustomed to lower home temperatures. One of the items that helps with this problem is a heating pad. They require very little electricity to run for a long time and do a lot to help raise your core body temperature and make you feel warm. I sometimes use a heating pad while sitting at my computer for a long time. A hot water bottle will do the same job. They have heated items made for the microwave that you can wrap in a towel and use to keep warm. 

I have made my own and may offer instructions for these. It isn't rocket science and you probably don't really need any instructions. The most important part of using these safely is to put a cup with water in it in your microwave along with the heater. The material I put inside mine is rice. It can catch fire when re-heated several times, without the cup of water in the microwave with it.

These rice stuffed heaters for the microwave are nice for sore spots where you have arthritis or soreness from exercise or something else. I have made these for gifts that were appreciated a lot.

The items I have mentioned in this blog post can be purchased easily, but it is more satisfying and fun to do yourself. You can also save a lot of money by making them yourself and use recycled materials to help the Earth even more.

Friday, March 8, 2013

But What Can I Do About Climate Change?

No, you can not fix climate change all by yourself. If you change what you do that is making climate change worse it can help to stop climate change. A lot of people all doing as much as they can about climate change is what it takes to fix our climate change problems

Climate change is happening so fast that we need to do as much as we can as fast as we can. If we don't do that, we are toast.

Your personal part of this solution is to change how you live so that your part of the problem becomes a solution. You can learn how to live so that your carbon footprint is as small as possible. If enough of us do this we can reduce the carbon in our air to low enough levels to start reversing climate change.

The biggest thing you can do lower your carbon footprint is to stop using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are gas, oil and coal. If your heating and cooking in your home depend on fossil fuels, you can find ways to reduce or stop using them.

One easy way to begin this process is to make sure your home uses as little energy as possible to keep you warm. Lower your thermostat. You can wear warmer clothes to stay comfortable. You can do things to make your home more energy efficient as well. All of these things will save you money as well as help save our planet.

Moving ourselves and our things around costs a lot of money and is even more costly for what it does to climate change.
We need to get off of our dependence on guzzling a lot of fuel to get around. We should be walking, biking, and using public transport.

You will have to get used to walking, biking, and using public transport as gas and oil prices rise due to their increasing scarcity, anyway. You might as well start a little early and save some money.

You can save up your gasoline money and use it to buy a good bike or a solar system for your home. They have dropped prices on solar energy equipment lately, so you can get your own more easily now.

You can reuse and recycle more than you have in the past. They have an amazing array of blogs devoted to making useful things out of things we are used to throwing away. 

You can start working on keeping your own usable discards out of the local landfill. Freecycle is the name of an international organization dedicated to helping you with that. You sign up to get on a freecycle email list for your area. They send you lists of items people are offering with a contact email to arrange a pickup for the item offered.

If you want an item that is offered, you email them and ask if it is still available. They let you know if it is still available for you. Then you arrange where and when to pick up the item(s).

If you want to offer an item, you write a post to the local freecycle group and the moderators either tell you to correct it, or they post it.

Many thrift stores and charities will come to your home to pick up items that you wish to donate to them. I have found one that I like a lot and am on their regular route. 

Some of the things that I recycle and reuse are my no longer used clothing and other fabric items like old sheets. My current project of this sort is curtains. I live up near the Arctic. That means that during the summer we have very long days. There are few hours of darkness. This can make it harder to sleep because of all the light in the bedroom.

I am layering some of my old fabric discards into curtains thick enough to block light from my windows. Light blocking curtains are ridiculously expensive and the fabric to block light is not a lot better. Putting several layers of fabric stacked in between the curtain fabric and the lining does not show and look ugly, but it can block out the light.

My windows need at least four layers of fabric to block the light well. If you want your curtains to look pretty and full they need to be three to four times the width of your window. 

Two extra layers of fabric between the lining and the curtain material is a lot more fabric. I am running through a lot of old sheets, pillowcases and clothing. This is a much more satisfactory use for them.

I plan to post in more detail on how to make hats and vests, etc. to stay warm when you lower your thermostat. 

Stay warm and save the earth!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Enemy Is Climate Change

I was thinking about things lately. If the human race is going to survive we will have to give up fighting each other and work on keeping all of  us alive. Our enemy is climate change, not other people.

There is a video that I have loved ever since I first saw it years ago. I call it the,
"Trudge. Trudge." video. It kind of gives an idea of what we need to do.

Here is a link to it on youtube:

We all need to face this problem and get to work on it fast. There is not much time left for us to make the changes we need to stop climate change from getting so much worse that it will not be possible to stop it. 

Human beings are not yet able to live without the Earth. We can not live if we change the Earth so that we can not live on it any more. We are busy doing that now. We have already passed a danger point that can make climate change speed up faster than anyone expected, even the pessimists. 

This danger point is having too much carbon in our air so that it causes the warming of earth to speed up out of control. The danger point of the amount of carbon in the air that we already passed is 350 parts per million carbon molecules. We have gotten up to 392 already. It is possible for us to get it back down to 350 by making very fast changes by not putting so much carbon into our air.

This means we have to stop using fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal. It won't be easy to do because we are used to using a lot of fossil fuels to live. We have forgotten how to live without fossil fuels.

It has only been about two generations that have been very dependent on fossil fuels. 

For most of the history of the human race, we have lived without much or any use of fossil fuels. It is not as if we can not survive without fossil fuels. It only means we have to live differently.

The internet is full of clever ways to stop using fossil fuels. We are not using these wonderful ideas. We need to do this to save our lives and keep human beings able to live on Earth.

I have already written about some of those clever ideas to avoid the use of fossil fuels. One of these is the, "Rocket" stove. Many of you have already looked at my posts about rocket stoves. I have several of them posted on this blog.

I hope more of you will look at rocket stoves and figure out how to use one yourself. Many youtubers have done this and made amazing improvements in rocket stoves. People are now working on pellet fed rocket stoves. Some of them are making pellets out of waste paper, sawdust, grass clippings and other wastes.

Some of you readers can surely come up with other good ideas to make rocket stoves better, cheaper, and easy to make and use. We all need you. The whole world is waiting for you.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bread Recall Alert

Wheat Bread products are being recalled from grocery stores. They are from the Kroger company. The recall is because pieces of plastic may be in the bread.

I received notification of this because I am on the Food and Drug Administration alert list for email.

I am sorry for the vagueness of this alert. This is the way I got it, however. Just about any bread on most grocery shelves is "wheat bread". I am guessing that it means whole wheat bread, but who knows. I will give more specifics and links further down this post.

This alert is to encourage readers to be wary of the boobie traps awaiting us unsuspecting (formerly) customers. Here we are wandering into the grocery stores like Bambi meets Godzilla and KAWHAMMO! We have to watch out for recalled bread now.

I am somewhat sorry if you are offended at my unseemly levity over this sad state of events, but I really can't help it. It strikes me as funny. If you haven't noticed yet, I have an unabashedly warped sense of humor. It entertains me a lot, thank you.

Okay, I am going to do the public service part of this post and tell you about Kroger, which markets might carry the brand and where you need be especially wary of lurking plastic bits in your daily bread. I suggest you chew unusually well for a while. You might want to spit out any bits of plastic before you swallow. You can, instead, return the loaf(ves) to the store instead. That option is being offered.

Day old bread is a rather euphemistic phrase. Bread stays on the shelf much longer than a day before it is retired to the thrift bakery.

I know you are going to really hate it if you prefer to type in links rather than click on them. Lol. Unseemly humor again. 

In case you are one of the aforementioned typists as opposed to link clickers, the specific names of breads are mentioned. It is kind of a long list. It isn't just loaves, twists are mentioned. I didn't read the whole thing. 

Here is a list of stores that carry the Kroger brand:  Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.

I shop at one of those, so it caught my attention. I make my own bread, so that lets me off the hook there, though. I probably wouldn't see nearly as much humor in the situation if I ate the stuff also.

The states mentioned as being affected by the plastic bread recall are Idaho, Oregon and Washington State. I live in Alaska and whatever Washington State gets, we usually get. That Hostess corporate collapse got our only very large bakery in the state. We still have smaller ones here, but that was the cheap bread that was not shipped a couple of thousand miles. 

Now we have yet another reason to make preparedness a part of daily living. You not only enjoy fresh baked bread when you make it yourself, but you avoid getting extra roughage in the form of plastic. I also love the aroma of rising and baking bread. I call it, "Bread Perfume". It is one of the little pleasures of preparedness.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


This may be a very short post. (* See note at end of post.) I dislocated a bone in my hand and it is incredibly painful to touch type. I am doubtful I can hold my train of thought while typing with the hunt and peck or two finger methods.

I did discover that by pushing on the underside of my hand with a pencil eraser, I can make something in there click and it feels good again for a while.
It may be a hint to give it a rest so it will stay put. lol. That might be sensible. I don't know that I indulge in that virtue all that much. This pain is persuasive, however.

I did the eraser trick and it was better for a minute. Now not so good again.

I was thinking about posting about discouragement because of people not dealing seriously with climate change, when we are so close to a dead end on what we can ever do about it.

We are almost to the point where not much we do will make a difference any more. The stuff we need to do to head that off is not going to be easy and we have a very short time to do it. 

The chances that we can get enough people to pay attention, accept the problem, and care to do anything about it before it is too late are not good. That isn't even allowing for actually figuring out what to do and doing it.

We know a lot of things we can do right now to stop or even reverse climate change. Very few people are doing those things. It will require most, or all of the human race to get to work on climate change in order to make any difference in the time we have left.

It reminds me of a movie I like a lot. The captain is piloting the ship in dire circumstances and is poker-faced as he wrestles to save his ship. A guy next to him, says something about the captain not acting very concerned. The captain said, "How's this: O Gd. O Gd. We're all going to die." 

That is the situation. O GD! O GD! WE
'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! lol. We really need that in a few headlines. It isn't that we will drop dead immediately. We will have plenty of time to have horrible lingering deaths and watch our children and grandchildren die before they have a chance to get old.

I am mostly a peaceful type. I am a vegetarian and have taken spiders outside and and let them loose.

I do believe in gun rights and self defense. I am just fine with shooting somebody who breaks into my home or otherwise threatens my life or my loved ones.

I noticed that more people are peacefully protesting about climate change now. It is even happening all over the world. Peaceful protest is a nice idea, but it takes a while. I doubt we have a while.

It has occurred to me that the "Earth First" movement may have been ahead of its time. It makes me wonder if they were headed in the right direction. If any cause is worth putting your life on the line,  maybe making it possible to sustain life on Earth is it.

People fight over all kinds of things. Maybe we should set all of the other reasons aside and just all fight to stay alive and make it possible for future generations to do the same.

* Note: I must have been crazed with pain, (yeah, that sounds good,) but I did not set my automatic post right and when I checked it, I missed that it didn't work. I am sorry for not getting my post out on time. My hand is okay for now, thanks.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Save Your Posterior And Polar Bears' Too

In case you don't already know, our letters and petitions to President Obama and all of the other work done to stop oil drilling by Shell has been a success! We won for this year. 

They won't just give up and go away, however. We need to keep going to protect ourselves and our victory. Here is the text of my personalized form letter to President Obama:

I am watching the effects of climate change in my home in Alaska. Climate change is going faster here than anywhere in the world. Since the Arctic is the "weather factory of the world" according to climatologists, when our weather goes crazy so does everyone else's. Everyone loves polar bears and wants to save them, but if they go so does the human race. We need to save our own bacon along with theirs.

I am writing to ask you to move forward on two key issues related to America's Arctic -- please take action to protect the Polar Bear Seas (the Beaufort and Chukchi) and the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

Thank you for the bold steps you have taken in recent weeks to protect our special public lands in Alaska: finalizing the Integrated Activity Plan for the NPRA, which protects 11 million acres in the western Arctic, and rejecting the land-swap and road in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. 

Please keep taking such bold steps for America's Arctic. Act to keep oil drilling out of the Arctic Ocean, keep the Arctic's fossil fuels in the ground to prevent disastrous climate change, and move towards permanent protection of the coastal plain in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

Now that Royal Dutch Shell has given up on drilling in 2013, it is the time to act on the Arctic Ocean. Please cancel Shell's drilling permits and do not move forward on any new permitting in the Arctic Ocean. Shell's efforts have proven that the oil industry cannot drill in the Arctic Ocean. 

The Arctic faces a double-whammy of oil development and climate change. Closing the Arctic Ocean to oil development moves towards a solution for both. I urge you to ensure that any new ports in the Arctic Oceans do not facilitate industrial development and that the port siting process is not driven by private economic interests.

The coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most iconic wild places in America. I am counting on you to move forward with a strong Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Arctic Refuge that recommends Wilderness designation for the coastal plain.

My own part is in red. The form letter continues in the blue print. 

Here is the link if you want to add your two cents:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Navy Nuking Nature

I know some of my readers are very politically conservative Americans. We differ in areas because of that. We also agree in some areas, if you will notice.

There are some areas like this one where we may appear to disagree on the surface, but when you examine things more closely we probably will actually agree. Please don't decide ahead of time whether you agree with me or not. We all have to change at times. With the world and the United States in such a bad state, we all need to be flexible.

I just signed a petition to ask our government not to let the Navy torture and kill marine mammals like whales and dolphins with practice with weapons including explosives and sonar. I think we are spending way too much money on military stuff when we need that money at home.

We have perfectly good computer equipment that lets the military practice cheaper and with less damage to natural resources that we also need.

Here is my email text, the beginning in red is my own words, the canned part follows: 

This is really not necessary. The military has completely adequate computer training equipment that will get our sailors in top notch condition for whatever they have to deal with. We do not need to further deplete scarce wildlife or cause needless suffering and death. Besides, we are running out of everything to maintain the military infrastructure to continue acting as world police force. We need that money to take care of our citizens at home and work on our infrastructure inside the USA.

Please stop this senseless waste of money and natural resources.

I am stunned that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has proposed authorizing the Navy to carry out training and testing with sonar and explosives that will inflict unprecedented harm on marine mammals over the next five years. 

Your agency is charged with protecting our marine mammal populations. Yet, under your proposal, the Navy will be allowed to injure and harass them more than 31 million times. That includes more than 13,000 permanent injuries and nearly 350 deaths. These numbers are particularly shocking as they take into account the Navy's so-called "protective measures." The Navy's original Environmental Review predicted more than 1,000 deaths.

This staggering toll is unconscionable and unacceptable, especially because your proposals do not impose time and area limitations on the Navy's activities. In fact, your agency has proposed no measures whatsoever that would significantly reduce the harm inflicted upon whales and other marine mammals. As you know, protecting important marine mammal habitat is recognized to be the most effective measure available, yet the Fisheries Service fails to independently set aside any areas where Navy operations should be limited.

Your agency has a legal obligation to minimize harm to marine mammals. I therefore call on you to put areas with high concentrations of marine mammals off-limits to the Navy's sonar and explosives. Safeguarding marine mammals during routine training and testing will not compromise military readiness. Please begin demanding such measures at once.

Here is a link where you can and will sign the petition, I hope:|utmccn=email|utmcmd=alert&__utmv=-&__utmk=58234410

Yes, I am a sort of "tree hugger", but protecting wildlife protects us. We literally can't live without it.