Thursday, April 25, 2013

Change In Blog Posts

I have mentioned my plans to change this blog. I plan to split this blog into several different ones. I may leave this one intact and may or may not continue posting on it.

I believe I will stop posting here so frequently while I am working on the changes. I intend to drop down to once a week and see how that does. Wednesday seems like a good day for me at this time. I don't intend to post again on this particular blog until next Wednesday. If something arises that I believe requires a new post before then or between regular Wednesday posts, I will put one up as an extra post.

I will be working on some of the new blogs and if I am ready with any of them before next Wednesday, I will notify readers on here with links for those who are interested.

The most likely one to be posted first will be the one about my cats. Since one of them is 23 years old, I want to get the blog up while he is still around. I want to try to get videos of him up. He does lots of tricks and talks and is always doing cute things. The younger one does the same things, but not as much. He is just learning and doesn't like doing tricks as much. He learns fast when he wants to though.

I may try out different blog subjects for the split off blogs and see what happens.

I wish more of you would read my disaster preparedness posts. People who do not make any efforts at emergency preparedness have a much lower chance of being able to survive the more frequent, larger, and more widespread disasters that will be our new normal. 

I cherish some hope that some of you are getting your preparedness information elsewhere. It isn't a big hope, but I will take what I can get there.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Staying Alive Through Strokes

One of the problems that I have been dealing with lately is strokes. TIAs, to be more specific. "A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is when blood flow to a part of the brain stops for a brief period of time. A person will have stroke-like symptoms for up to 24 hours, but in most cases for 1 - 2 hours.

A TIA is felt to be a warning sign that a true stroke may happen in the future if something is not done to prevent it."

This quote came from the following link at the USA's Public Library of Medicine:

I have already had one regular stroke that I am sure of, so that probably increases my chances of having a regular stroke as well as the TIAs.

I have not just had a few TIAs, I have had swarms of them. There have been more than one a day at times. During such times I have had one or more strokes as day for as long as a week straight, as well.

I am not going to the hospital when I have a TIA because I can't afford to. I know a lot of other people are in the same situation. I am going to share what I do that I believe has kept me functioning in spite of the mini-strokes and is warding off another major stroke.
If you have any choice and can go to the hospital, I think you should do so.

I am posting about what I do that I believe is helping me survive strokes and prevent a major stroke because you can use it during a medical emergency when you can not get medical care.

The first thing to do it to learn the signs that mean you are having a stroke. 

"The symptoms of TIA are the same as the symptoms of a stroke, and include sudden:

    Abnormal feeling of movement (vertigo) or dizziness
    Change in alertness (sleepiness, less responsive, unconscious, or in a coma)
    Changes in feeling, including touch, pain, temperature, pressure, hearing, and taste
    Confusion or loss of memory
    Difficulty swallowing
    Difficulty writing or reading
    Drooping of the face
    Inability to recognize objects or people
    Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
    Lack of coordination and balance, clumsiness, or trouble walking
    Loss of vision in one or both eyes
    Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
    Personality, mood, or emotional changes
    Trouble saying or understanding words
    Weakness on one side of the body"
This quote came from the same site. 

The time that I had the regular stroke, I first became aware of it when I drank water. The water did not stay in my mouth. It ran out of one side. As soon as I realized that meant I was having a stroke, I went to the bathroom to do the smile test. The ways of telling that you may be having a stroke follow:

n the event of a possible stroke, use FAST to help remember warning signs.

    Face. Does the face droop on one side trying to smile?
    Arms. Is one arm lower when trying to raise both arms?
    Speech. Can a simple sentence be repeated? Is speech slurred or strange?
    Time. During a stroke every minute counts. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately

The above came from the Mayo Clinic site. It beats me why they left out something that seems important to me. It is on the last one, Time. Emergency personnel also need to know the time that symptoms started. You need to write down the time as soon as any symptoms are noticed and give that time to the emergency hospital staff. There is a medicine that can be given to stop strokes from doing permanent damage. The medicine can only be given within a time limit, so the emergency staff need to know how long ago the stroke started.

You need to learn the whole list of stroke symptoms, because some people don't have the more common ones. Numbness in my lips is the first thing that tells me I might be having a stroke. As soon as I feel anything like numbness in my lips, I immediately go into the bathroom and look in the mirror and smile. If I am having a stroke, the left side of my face does not work as well for smiling.

I also do the arm test. You raise both arms slowly in front of you and see if they rise evenly. Raising your arms from the sides also is a good idea.It is easier to do this if you use a mirror, since you can see both arms at the same time this way.
If I flunk the smile test or arm test, I get out a can of pineappe and a mug. I get pop-top cans of pineapple, so don't need a can opener.

I chew and swallow two baby aspirins with a lot of water before I open the pineapple. Once the pineapple is open, I pour off the juice into the mug and drink it. I use sliced pineapple because it is easier for me to eat fast, especially without a spoon handy.
The reasons for the above are that my doctor has me taking 4 chewable baby aspirins a day, two in the morning and two in the evening. They are chewable because chewable ones get into your system much faster than swallowing a regular aspirin whole.

The extra water is because the blood thinner, aspirin, needs something to thin my blood with. 

The pineapple is because pineapple stops brain inflammation. My particular problem with TIAs most likely comes from having small hemorrhages in my brain, so I think the pineapple can stop the hemorrhage and the inflammation that goes with it.

I hope that you will get medical attention if you are able to do so. If you cannot, then my stroke alert regimen may help you also. I am the only one I know of who does this so far, so we don't know if it will work for you also.

I have already taken care of any risk factors for cholesterol and stroke that are possible to change. If you have risk factors for stroke, you would do well to change those you can.

The link below is to a video on strokes.                         

I think that anyone who is at risk for stroke or heart attack should drink extra water daily to help keep your blood moving along through your body. The rule of thumb I like for calculating how much water to drink, is to figure your weight in pounds and then take half of that number, and drink that many ounces of water daily. I already posted on this and the post has links to convert metrics to ounces, in case you need it.

I already mentioned the online brain training classes available and that I use one of them. I do the brain exercises almost daily. I believe that has kept my brain working in spite of this onslaught of swarms of strokes. If you had a stroke or have one, you might want to consider using one of the brain training sites also.

An additional advantage of using the brain training sites is that they can give you a normal baseline to make it easier to tell how a stroke has affected you. That makes it easier to know what areas of your brain need a workout.

I hope that this information will give you something to help yourself if you have a stroke during an emergency when you can not get medical care and even better, prevent a stroke from happening.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Preparedness

In honor of Earth Day, I would like to remind you that if we don't take care of the Earth, it can't take care of us.

We depend on the Earth to provide us with air, water, food and all the other necessities of life. Playing Jackstraws, Pick-Up-Sticks, or Jenga with what we need to stay alive is not a good plan. Sure we can keep removing parts of the systems on Earth and see how long we can survive, but it is a pretty dangerous game. If things start collapsing in this game, they can land on our heads.

I don't feel like nagging. We already know we have a very bad problem with climate change. If you don't know this yet, you must be on another planet already and there is no use trying to talk to you about it.

In this post I want to encourage people who are discouraged about the immensity of the problems we face. 

We human beings may be obnoxious critters, but we can really move the Earth when we make up our minds to do so. This is fortunate since this is about what is required now. :-p

There is a fairly new organization that got their name from the center of the problem with our air and with climate change.Their name is 350. They are named after the 350 parts per million that scientists have agreed for some time to be about the upper limit of how much carbon is safe for us to have in our air.

350 was formed for the purpose of stopping and reversing climate change before it is too late to do anything about it. We already passed 350 parts per million a while back. If we do nothing, it is already too late to fix climate change and we are doomed. 350, however, tells us that not only can we stop adding more carbon to our air, but we can reverse the almost 400 parts per million we have in the air. 

We can get our air back down to 350 parts per million of carbon in our air. We can then keep going and make it even better than 350 parts per million and make our air better and reverse the trend of climate change.

This does not mean that this will be easy. It will mean we have to make big changes in how we live. It is something that gives us a chance to save our civilization and a lot of lives, human and other kinds of lives. These are changes we can live with. 

Please think about becoming part of a solution instead of part of the problem. One easy way to do this is to go to the site for and sign their petition to stop the XL pipeline. They will explain why we need to do this. It is very urgent, if we want to stop and reverse climate change. A few little clicks of your mouse can begin to make a difference. Go to and make yourself count.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Window Covers For Disaster Protection

For those who are very new to disaster preparedness, it is all a matter of getting and storing things for a disaster and when a disaster hits, you use them.

Unfortunately it is not as nice and simple as that. Most of your neighbors are not going to be prepared at all for a disaster. They will get to the grocery to find all the shelves empty and crowds of people fighting over a few packages of food at the cash registers. They probably won't even have any lights except for birthday candles that will be gone shortly.

If your hungry neighbors get home and smell cooking food odors coming out of your home and see lights in your windows, they will want light and food too. If your whole neighborhood is in the same boat except your home, guess what? You could be in deep doo doo. 

You may have enough food to last you for a month. How far would that last for your whole neighborhood? Some people do invite everyone in and share what they have until it runs out and then they all starve together.

Maybe you want to do that. If you don't, you might want to plan for being able to hold onto what you have stored. If you want 30 days of light for your home instead of 1 day for the whole neighborhood, you will probably need to hide your light under a bushel.

You will need to cover your windows and you will need to do it very well. One little beam of light could do you in. Pick whatever way you want to black out your windows for a disaster, but make sure it is thorough and won't leak light.

Blackout curtains are an option, but can be pricey. If you want to make your own window blackout covers, you would probably do well to do it ahead of time, and have them ready for when they are needed.

Make something that looks somewhat normal. This could be fabric coverings, reflective ones, paint or plain or colored paper. You can use cardboard or plywood and paint or cover it. 

If your windows are small enough you can store them against the wall in the back of your closet. If your windows are too big to do that with your window covers, you may have to make them so they will fold up for storage or you can assemble them quickly when needed. If you are an Alaskan, this is all easy. Just about everybody needs light blockers when the stops setting for most of the day and night. You can just leave your light blockers up all the time.

It is safer to check for light leaks ahead of time. The best is when they are in place on your windows. That way you can be certain they will work. 

Even better is having neighbors who are prepared for disasters so it does not matter whether they see your lights or not. There is only so much you can do that way though. 

I have already posted about deciding to share your preparedness items or not, and if so, with whom, and how much. You do need to think about this.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I am very sorry for being so erratic in my postings lately. I have been experiencing some severe difficulties and am afraid I may have more trouble being consistent in posting for a while. 

I hope that the large number of my previous posts will be helpful to you during this difficult period for me.

As I mentioned previously, I am planning to split this blog into several more niche types of blogs. I will probably not post on each one of those as often as I do here, but will probably post more often between all of them than I do here. I will provide plenty of easy links between the blogs so you can find them all if you are interested.

Most likely I will keep on doing a preparedness one or perhaps even split that into more than one segment of preparedness. If I do that, I will probably have a separate one on preparedness food and water.

I expect to do one on health in general instead of only health that is more related to preparedness. 

I will have to do one about my cats. Naturally I consider them to be especially beautiful and intelligent and like to share their wonderful qualities with others. :-) I also like to take lots of pictures of them and share those. I have exercised amazing restraint by not putting them all over this blog.

It is possible that I will do a blog about words. I happen to love words and collect them like some people do postage stamps or trading cards. Other people have the same fondness for them that I do and liked it when I had a blog on the subject a long time ago. I will have to see how that goes over. When I did the old one, there were very few word blogs. 
There are a lot more of them now, so that might thin out readers too much. Trial and error.

It is likely that this preparedness blog will go down to one post a week. I will probably make longer posts if I do that. This will allow me to cover subjects that can not be covered in the short posts that I usually do on this blog. I sometimes reject subjects because of that problem, so I already have a list of subjects like that.

My apologies again for my erratic posting lately on this blog. I will do the best I can to be as consistent as I can manage. It is fairly likely that I will drop back to one post a week a bit earlier than I had planned so that I can be more predictable with my posts.

Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spiritual Self Defense For Christians

If you are Christian, it does not make much sense to stock up on food and water and forget your Bible. How can you think you will be safe from a mere hurricane when your spirit is at risk?

I am not speaking to people of no religion, or other religions here, so feel free to skip this post if you belong to those groups.

Someone in my life has latched on to something out on the internet that says that the "three days of darkness" mentioned in the Bible are coming upon us shortly. It is supposed to happen this Thursday, in case you like to be up on these things. I am not going for this alarm. This is because I read the Bible and study it even. 

I have read estimates as high as over 60% of Christians who have never read the entire Bible. This is very strange and does not make any sense. 

How can you call yourself a Christian when you have never read the book you are supposed to base your life on? 

The person who gave me the tip about the three days of darkness mentioned that she has a list of over 100 prayers she thinks she needs to say every day. She said that she isn't sure she can manage the time to study the Bible because of having to say her prayers every day takes up so much of her time, she doesn't see how she can fit in the Bible too.

That does not make any sense to me. Prayers are mostly for the purpose of asking Gd to take care of something. It is a one-sided conversation, with the person saying the prayer(s) doing all of the talking.

It seems to me that our relationship with Gd ought to be one with two-way conversations. We get our two cents in with prayers and then we get Gd's side of the conversation mostly through reading Gd's Word, the Bible.

When I want to know what Gd wants me to do or know about a particular subject, I get out my Concordance of the Bible and start studying, until I understand what Gd's idea is on the subject.

I do think prayer is necessary for a Christian, but not as much so as spending time "listening" to what Gd has to tell me. I do this by reading and studying the Bible. Since Gd has a better idea of how to handle everything than I do, I like to spend more of my time studying what Gd has to say about everything, in the Bible. In my two-way conversation with Gd, I'd rather do more listening, than talking.

There is an old Native American saying that sums it up pretty well: "We have two ears and one mouth. This tells us that we need to do twice as much listening as talking." It is even more important to do this with Gd. 

Knowledge of Gd's Word is the very basis of Spiritual Self Defense for Christians.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mental Self Defense

When you are under physical attack you usually do not have time to stop and think. The way that self defense training works overcomes this problem is through relentless and endless drills. You do so many drills that when you are attacked from a certain angle, you automatically counter the attack with a defensive move, without needing to think about it.

The same sort of thing can give you automatic defenses for fending off mental attacks.

Most of us have people in our lives who do things that make us feel bad. Some of these people may be people you don't have to option of staying away from all of the time. 

This can be a problem when the person who makes us feel bad does it a lot. Some people try to make themselves feel better by making other people feed bad. It can be harmful to you if you have one of these in your life and are constantly having to deal with feeling bad because of their mental attacks on you.

It is possible to work out mental forms of self defense, that are much like the physical self defense techniques used in self defense and martial arts.

I post about staying healthy as an important part of emergency preparedness. I concentrate on physical health most of the time, but mental health is as important, if not more important.

The most useful of these techniques is what I call, "the broken record". Current usage should probably be more like, "the broken CD, or other media storage". When one of these things has a scratch in it, it can get stuck and keep repeating the same thing over and over. This is the effect we want for this mental self defense technique.

When you sense a mental blow coming at you, your broken record can automatically ward off the damage without you having to stop and think about it.

Here is a fictitious attack and defense to give you the idea of how it works:

Attacker: "You sure are ugly. You are about the ugliest thing I have ever seen. Your Mama must have scared by a train wreck when she was carrying you."
You: "That's okay. At least MY Mama loves me." Or: "I'm sorry that bothers you, would you like a blindfold?"  Or: "I could go to a  plastic surgeon and fix that, but what are you going to do about being ugly inside?"

Every person and every situation is different, so you will need to figure out your own broken record to use. You have to figure out exactly what to say ahead of time and practice it and get it in your head so that it will come out automatically when the next attack comes. 

I expect this is obvious to most people, but I don't want to get anyone beaten to a pulp. You need to make your broken record something that will let you survive. If you attacker is very large or can fire you, your broken record needs to be more tactful. 

The biggest advantage about a broken record is that it allows you to avoid much thought about being attacked and the attack itself. Since it comes out automatically, it stops you from having to be upset over the attack. 

Your broken record pops out at the right time and you don't even have to think about the mental attack. You can just go on with your life in spite of the attack and not waste your mental and emotional energy on it. This is much healthier than spending time and energy brooding over what is happening.

This will keep you healthy before a disaster hits your area and leave you better able to cope with it. This is a way of doing mental self defense to protect yourself. Mental self defense can be a part of your every day life that you can use to make yourself better prepared for emergencies.

Friday, April 12, 2013

To Be Or Not To Be? Nuclear Bomb Shelters

I was talking with someone about nuclear preparedness. He was fine with the general subject of preparedness, but balked on nuclear disaster preparedness. His reasons were something like," he would rather just die right away by not making any nuclear disaster preparations". That was instead of dying a slow death by radiation.

There are other options besides a lingering death by radiation or getting a bigger dose and dying faster. 

This is not a new reaction to me, even if it is not as common among preppers. (Preppers are people who are ready for disasters.)

I live too close to a military base that is very likely to become ground zero in a nuclear shooting match. I am so close that it makes me essentially ground zero as well. A slow lingering death from radiation is not an option for me at this time. I would be pretty much instantly incinerated. 

That does not mean that I want to ignore the realities of nuclear disasters. 

The whole world was treated to a front row seat, courtesy of international media, when Japan had their run-in with atomic energy. No war has to cause exposure to a nuclear disaster.

Even when it comes to dealing with a war-based nuclear disaster, I do not choose to opt out of the discussion. 

Human beings have been faced with "ultimate weapons", throughout our history. The long bow was regarded as such a terrible weapon that it surely would end wars. We can easily laugh at that idea now, but it was very serious at the time.

It is likely that some day people could have the same reaction to the idea of nuclear weapons being an ultimate weapon. The people at the time of the advent of the long bow, had no clue that some day nuclear weapons would, by comparison, make their fears humorous. The same could be true for ourselves and our own fears. This is no reason to dismiss nuclear war as a threat now. It is not a reason to think that nobody would ever dare to use such a horrible weapon. 

No matter how horrible the weapon, humans have always used the ultimate weapon. 

Nuclear weaponry is not likely to be an exception.

Russia and China take the idea of a nuclear war as inevitable. Both countries are matter-of-fact in building shelters to house citizens in the event of a nuclear war.

The USA has no comparable program for the general populace. There is, however, an extensive program to build shelters for "important" people, at taxpayer expense. 

It beats me why the citizens of the USA tolerate this situation and how most US citizens blithely ignore the reality of war- based nuclear disasters.

I do think the average citizen anywhere in the world should accept the reality of nuclear war happening in the near future and prepare themselves for it. The people of the USA, being citizens of a prominently nuclear-weaponized-country, have more reason for this than the average citizen of most other countries.

If you live in the USA, it behooves you to prepare for nuclear war, if you are preparing for any kind of disaster. I have the links here on this blog, including an entire book on how to build a nuclear shelter. Please use it, or get the information elsewhere. I don't think  "important" people who push buttons to start nuclear wars should be the only ones to survive the nuclear wars.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How The Water You Drink Now Can Affect Your Preparedness

If you have been reading my blog posts for a while you already know that I don't consider emergency preparedness to be something that is outside daily life. 

I believe that in order for preparedness to really be useful, it must be integrated into your daily living. I mentioned a little about this on yesterday's post. I use one of my favorite preparedness phrases, "Store what you eat and eat what you store". If you do that your food storage will always be fresh during an emergency and you will save money on your food budget. That makes daily life better by making your preparedness a part of your daily life.

Water is even more important as a part of daily life than your food is. This applies to storage water as well, of course.

A great many health problems can be made worse by not drinking enough water every day. A surprising range of health problems are likely to be caused by dehydration as well. 

Here is a definition of the word, "dehydration", for readers who need it:

"Definition of DEHYDRATION
: the process of dehydrating; especially : an abnormal depletion of body fluids".
It comes from here:

I have done a post entirely on the subject of health problems caused by dehydration and the need to drink more water. You can read it if you want to know more on the subject. This blog post is not intended to repeat that. 

If you do not take care of your health by drinking adequate amounts of water on a regular basis, you will not enjoy good health during an emergency. You probably already know from previous posts that health care is difficult or impossible to get during an emergency, because medical people will be very busy, their facilities will be damaged, and even getting to undamaged medical facilities will be difficult or impossible.

Your chances of making it through an emergency go up a lot if you are healthy when the emergency starts.

Once an emergency happens in your area, you will most likely be very busy. Even if you and your loved ones are not immediately affected by an emergency, you will probably need to help neighbors. 

You won't be much help to yourself and your loved ones during an emergency if you are in such bad physical condition that ordinary daily activities are a chore for you. It will be even worse if you have to do things like evacuate rapidly.

One of my favorite books says something about, "they shall run and not get tired". That would be very handy if you were trying to outrun a fire or tsunami, for example. You need to keep up with your water drinking as a part of your all-around health maintenance routine, so you can run and not get tired when it is necessary.

Part of the benefits of staying hydrated  is that it will maintain your health by cleaning out your system. If you don't flush your drains in your home once in a while you will get them clogged and need a plumber. The same is true of getting clogs in the systems of your body. Part of what helps to keep your "drains" clear in your body is drinking adequate water.

I hate counting stuff, keeping numbers in my head or writing them on paper. The way that I keep track of my daily water intake is by putting it into containers and separating those containers so that when the containers are empty, I know I have had a reasonable amount of water for the day.

I read about an easy method of calculation how much water to drink daily. You weigh yourself,  halve the amount on the scales and drink that amount of ounces each day to achieve a target water drinking goal. This is based on the  assumption that you are weighing yourself in American pounds of weight, and then can convert those into American ounces.

I don't know whether the same process will work for other weight and liquid measurement systems or not. You could check it by converting it online here:

I hope this information helps you to become more prepared for emergencies and to stay that way as much as possible.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

One Way To Start Saving The Earth - Composting

I have been looking at videos about tumbling composters, especially ones that show you how to make your own. I would like one of those. I live in a very cold climate, Alaska. That means that composting can be less than rewarding here. It can easily take over a year to get composting done that only takes a season, or less in a more temperate climate.

I already compost some, but since I live in an apartment and share my yard with people who barely accept that climate change is happening, doing a lot can be difficult or impossible. I think it will be worth a try to make a compost tumbler, so I can compost more. I would like to be able to not throw out anything that it would be possible to compost.

Since I am trying this way to work on saving the Earth from further damage contributing to climate change, I thought some readers would also like to begin composting, or do more of it than they already do.

Here is a link to a youtube video about making a composter from used materials, which is even better than buying one or making one from new materials:

A lot of tumblers are built so that they tumble end over end. This is good from the standpoint that it will mix up the compost inside better than a tumbler that tumbles sideways. It is not so good if you have a bad back or other problems that will make it a lot harder for you to operate.

If it hurts you to spin your compost tumbler, it will probably stop you from using it. I think it is better to take a little longer to finish compost inside an easier to operate compost tumbler than to end up not composting at all.

You can compensate a little for not spinning your composter lengthwise by putting pieces of material inside the tumbler. I looked at a video where they bolted them inside the tumbler to make it mix the compost materials inside better.

You could get something like it by flattening out a large tin can into a rectangle and then bending it diagonally at right angles. You could then drill through one side and bolt it onto the inside of the tumbler, leaving the other side sticking up into the tunbler. 

It would then make the compost materials inside the tumbler break into smaller pieces faster and mix the compost materials better.

Here is a link to a set of plans with pictures for making a similar compost tumbler. I think it can be easier to make things if you have something you can look at while you work. I don't imagine that many people have the capacity to watch videos while they work in their workshop.

Plans link:

The same site also offers plans for compost bins that sit on the ground and require you to turn the contents of the bin  regularly. That means trouble if you have any problems with your back. I think that if you do the compost turning in a bin, you could end up with back trouble, even if your back is okay now. 

If yo have read my posts about preparedness health, you already know that I think taking care of your health all the time is part of good disaster preparedness. I hope that you will consider this when doing things like making and using compost tumblers. 

The simplest composter is a hole in the ground with a pile of dirt beside it. You just put in a layer of compost on the bottom and sprinkle some of the dirt on it. A problem with this method is that scavengers like neighborhood pets and pests like rats and mice can be attracted and get into one of these.

When you have a compost tumbler off the ground, it lessens the opportunities for pests and pets to get into it.

There are much more elaborate tumbling composters. I used to have plans for one that was raised high enough off of the ground to require a ramp up to the top to load more compost materials into it. You could place a wheelbarrow under the tumbler. It was very convenient to use. It also composted in as little as two weeks, according to the author.

The aforementioned tumbler worked so fast because it allowed a lot of air to get into the compost inside it. There were no solid sides or ends on that one, it was all made with wire mesh stretched between pieces of lumber. That tells you that if you want your compost tumbler to work faster, you need to find ways to get extra air into the compost.

I hope that lots of you start composting. Maybe making your own compost tumbler will make it easier for you to do.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Preparedness Philosophy

I believe that most people who do any sort of emergency preparedness do not think about it a lot. I don't fit into to that 
frame of mind at all. I did a lot of soul searching before I began any preparedness and much more before I began writing this blog.

It seems to me that you can do some form of emergency preparedness with very little thought involved. I think the preppers that do their preparedness without thinking about it are much like ants. This has its value for both ants and humans. 

I don't want to discourage anyone who takes the ant approach to preparedness, I would, however, like for some of you ant preparedness types to put a little more thought into your preparedness. I believe that if you do this, not only will you be prepared more thoroughly for a greater range of kinds of emergencies, but your daily life will be better as well.

Sometimes I mention little sayings in my blog posts that apply to preparedness philosophy. One of these is, "eat what you store and store what you eat".

The reason that saying makes a difference in being better prepared for more emergencies is that if you pay attention to making sure that everything that is in your storage is something that you already eat regularly, then you will eat it and know how to prepare it during an emergency.

The reason that saying makes life better every day, is that small personal emergencies can be made easier because if you run short on money at the end of the month, you will never go hungry or have to sneak into a restaurant and steal packets of ketchup to make soup which is not very tasty or nourishing and hurts your spirit by stealing.

An added, but big bonus from paying attention to the saying, "eat what you store and store what you eat", is that when you eat what you have stored and replace it with new, fresher food, your stored foods will always be fresh. You will not be faced with wormy, stale, rotten, or otherwise bad food when you open it during an emergency.

This saying also helps make daily life better because it saves you money. It is obvious that if you keep your stored food fresh by using and replacing it regularly, it will save you money by not making you throw away spoiled food. It is less obvious that a cushion of stored food will allow you to save money because of inflation and price fluctuations.

If there is a bad year for wheat in the bigger wheat producing region that serves where you live, you know that the price of wheat will rise for a a year or so. If you have a few months or a year of wheat in your food storage, using that wheat in your daily food will even out that cost increase for your budget.

If you choose your stored foods carefully, it will include items that may not be absolutely necessary, but give you comfort. At times when we feel bad, like during a job loss or other economic doldrums, we may not have the extra money available to buy that comfort food. If that comfort is in your storage in adequate amounts, you can take it out of your storage and use it then. 

Sometimes we can feed the need for a comfort food so much that it makes us do stupid or irrational behavior to get it. Some people I know have hocked something valuable in order to get junk food, and then not been able to replace the hocked item. The value of the hocked item was not always strictly money. Sometimes it meant something special and that could never be replaced.

That kind of use for stored foods is especially valuable. The stored comfort food can not only provide comfort when needed, but prevent irrational behavior and the bad feelings that come to you afterwards.

This is only a small part of why thinking about your preparedness can help you in your daily life. I will probably write more about that once in a while later on.

I am thinking about splitting this blog up into smaller ones on different subjects. It may take me a little while to figure out the best way to do it. I will probably have several different subjects or at least sub-headings. It is likely that I will not post as frequently on each one of the new blogs. I will give as much warning as I can manage about the changes. I will provide links between the blogs to make it easy for readers to find all of them.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happiness Is Preparedness

When little kids are going someplace exciting, they often spend a lot of the trip asking their elders if they are there yet, or almost there yet. They have a hard time waiting for the good thing they are expecting to happen. 

They can be so busy wanting the end of the trip, they forget to look out the windows and see what is around them along the way. 

Adults can be the same way. We are so busy looking forward to something, that we forget to look around us right now.

We can tell ourselves that we will be happy "if", something happens or we get something. We can be very unhappy about not getting that something right now. 

Being unhappy can make you sick. Alternative medicine has been working on this theory for a long time, but regular allopathic doctors agree. What is in your mind can make you sick or well. 

Part of happiness is enjoying what you are and what you have right now. Happiness can be a matter of choice. You can decide to be happy right now, no matter what is happening to you or around you.

Once you decide to be happy, your life will be better. Even if your health is bad, it will be better once you choose to be happy. 

Happiness is contagious. Your happiness can spread to other people. People around you can be happier when your happiness spreads to them.

This reminds me of a Batman movie I saw. It had Jack Nicholson in it as The Joker. He always had a weird big smile in the movie. One time his smile became contagious, literally. I particularly liked the part where fish caught the Joker's smile and were swimming around with big smiles on their faces. lol. 

You can do that too. 

Your happiness may not take with everyone around you, but it will happen some. Some of that happiness that you spread around will be reflected back to you and make you even happier.

Don't forget happiness as part of your disaster preparedness. You will be better off before, during, and after a disaster if you choose to be happy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Are You A Builder Or A Wrecker?

Something both religious and non-religious types can find to agree about is what general effect your actions have on the rest of the universe. It comes down to this: Are you a builder or a wrecker?

I am tired of endless useless arguments about good and evil. Builders and wreckers are easier to decide about and don't require so much argument.

It doesn't matter whether you think you will face Divine Judgement at the end of your life, or worms and decay into dirt. You can look at someone's life, so far, or all the way to the end if they are gone from this life. 

Perhaps you don't know enough about that person, to know whether their actions make the world better by building it up, or worse by tearing it down. It does not matter to you whether that other person is a builder or a wrecker. What matters to you is which you are.

Are you building up the world and making it better as you go through your life? 

This question is not fancy. It doesn't require that you set any records or built anything visible from space. It is only whether your actions generally tend toward making things better.

None of this means you have to spend every waking minute doing good deeds. None of us are able to be a builder every waking minute. All of us have bad days. Some of us have lots of bad days, but still manage to do small things that add up to making the world a better place.

You can still make the world a better place by doing one small, quiet thing at a time. Something as small and quiet as a smile or a kind word at the right time, can be your way of building up the world and making it a better place.

Prevention is part of emergency preparedness. Part of prevention is being a builder and doing our best to make the world a better place.

Every one of us has some special areas that we are good at. We need to find those, build them up and use them. We can all be builders instead of wreckers.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why Does The XL Pipeline Matter To You?

The XL Pipeline matters to everyone in the world because it comes from very dirty Canadian tar sands. This is not a slur against Canadians. It is just about those tar sands they have.

The Canadian tar sands do have oil in them and they have a huge amount of it. The problem is that the oil in those tar sands would destroy your engine and just about any other engine, unless it is cleaned up a lot in order to use it.

The very large amount of dirty tar sands oil only makes this all worse. 

We have already passed the safety limit on how much carbon pollution we have in the air of our whole planet. Scientists who do their own thinking, agree that this upper limit of carbon atoms in our air was reached, and passed at 350 parts per million. We are already up to close to 400 ppm now.

It is believed that it is possible even at 400ppm, for us to undo the damage to our air and reverse climate change back to the safe level of 350 ppm. 

The vast amount of very dirty Canadian tar sands oil must be cleaned by processes which are themselves very polluting. Then if we add burning the still somewhat dirty Canadian tar sands oil to the pollution created when it is burned for fuel we will be in deep doo doo. 

All of that pollution both from cleaning up the Canadian tar sands oil as well as burning the oil itself will push us so far past a point of safe return, that there will be no turning back on climate change. It will officially be tipped into a vicious cycle. Climate change will then cause changes in the earth that will further heat up the earth, which will cause more changes to heat up the earth, and so on.

We are making our own warm place that we would deserve to spend eternity. We have taken a beautiful planet, the Earth, and rapidly destroyed it, mostly during the last two generations, starting with Baby Boomers parents, the War Babies, generation, and on through the Baby Boomers. 

The next couple of generations, the Gen X'ers and the Millennials, are not guilt free, but have not really had the opportunity to do as much as the last two generations.

"Why, Yes"! I do have something in mind that you can do right now to help with this problem. I am going to offer you a chance to throw your weight behind something that might help stop the XL Pipeline. I believe this is true even if you are not in the USA or a citizen of the USA.

It is a link to allow you to pick from several pre-written emails to send automatically to people who need to know how you feel. This is to help those people understand that there are a lot of other people who care about our survival, by slowing and reversing climate change instead of making it worse.     

You can make your "voice" count by doing a few clicks with your mouse. Be sure to sign here:

Here is my two cents that I added to the form letter emails they have available on their site:
"Getting the oil into The Keystone XL Pipeline is bad enough, but we might as well bend over and kiss our posteriors goodbye if we use all of that dirty oil. 

If you are responsible for setting an irreversible climate change that will spiral out of control, you may be able to live with your numb stub of useless conscience. You may not be able to live with other people who survive the onslaughts of the disasters that are becoming a way of life already. In between running for their lives from climate disasters, they will be thinking of you. It won't be good thoughts. "

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Taking Preventive Care Of Pets - Temperature

Something that a lot of people forget when they take care of pets is that their normal body temperature is higher than that of humans. It might be a good idea to take your pet's temperature when it is healthy so you can get used to what is normal.

Taking a temperature when the pet is not sick will also allow the pet to get a little used to it when you are not under stress and can handle the pet better. You can both get used to temperature taking ahead of a need for it.

They have made nifty new temperature devices for people lately. There is an instant read thermometer and one that works across your forehead. There is another that works with a probe in the ear. I have not seen many of these sorts of improvements for pets yet, but if we ask the manufacturers, I am sure they will oblige. There are a lot of pet owners. 

It bothers me a lot sticking a piece of glass in my cat's rear end to take his temperature. 

I stopped to see what they have out there in the way of pet thermometers. Whooie! They have improved it a lot. There is a dog thermometer on eBay that uses infrared to take the temp in one second without contact. That is pretty good. The price is a bit breathtaking, but I think it would be worth it. Here is the link to it:

There is another one that takes longer, but it is much cheaper:

It is possible for people to learn to tell accurately, an above normal temperature by touch. This takes some time to do and you will really have to work at it. You may not be able to learn how much above normal your pet's temperature is, so you would need to resort to a thermometer anyway at times. I don't think it is worth the effort for me.

I found another nifty thermometer for pets. It is an ear thermometer and reads in one second. It costs $87.00 USA. If you can stand that kind of sticker shock, here is the link:

Besides the first one, a non-contact infrared one, I like the following the best. It is the fastest readout and does it in 20 seconds. I think I might get out of that one without bloodshed.

How you do the temp matters a lot. I always have treats ready when I give any medical treatment to my pet. I usually show the treats to the pet before I start, to get them thinking about the treat. The one that bites when you use a thermometer on him, gets so busy thinking about getting a treat, that he will even sit on the rug I use to do his treatments and wait for me. I think I can get the 20 second one in and out before he is distracted from the treats.

I have to decide whether the extra money is worth no fight at all for the non-contact one or not. The other favorite is the 20 second one, of course. 

We and our pets are all different, so you have to make up your own mind which one will be best for you. There are sure to be others out there as well. You may find something even better than the ones in the links. 

Once I get a new non-glass thermometer, I will share what kind of results I get.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Future Can Be Great If We Live

There are all kinds of scientific advances that we are on the verge of. If we get all of them we can feed everyone good food without wrecking the Earth and have as much power as we all need and get it without harm to us or our environment. 

The tricky part of getting all of that good stuff is whether we will kill ourselves off before they arrive.

Right now most people are spending our natural resources as if there is no tomorrow. That, of course, can mean there will literally be no tomorrow for the human race. This doesn't mean that we will literally die tomorrow or even next year. We may even get a decade or so before things get really bad.

That delay in consequences for what we are doing now may be our undoing. People are not generally thinking very far ahead. Most grocery stores only keep about three days of food on hand. Other kinds of stores may plan a little farther ahead, but a year ahead is long-term planning.

The worst problem with this short-term thinking is that we are doing damage that is about to reach a tipping point where it can't be fixed and the end after that, will be certain.

It is easy to think about what we want right now. It is harder to think about what we will have to have for tomorrow, next week, month, year, or a decade from now.

We need to think fast. We don't have much time to learn to do that. The sands in our hourglass are running out and most of us aren't even paying attention. Not paying attention can mean paying with your life later.

Now is our chance to reduce our carbon footprints to save our Earth and ourselves. We are starting to see how many lives climate change can take, and this is only the warm-up for it.