Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If water suddenly got hard to find!

Water, for most Americans, is just a turn of the tap away. It’s something we all take for granted, until it’s suddenly not available, that is. And, that’s not and if actually, but more of a when…

Each and every person requires water in order to live. While we can all go without food for a while, lack of water can put a person in the grave in a matter of days. We each need a minimum of 8 cups or about 2 liters a day to replace what is lost through normal respiration, urine and bowel movements. That’s a lot of water when you think about it. A family of four, then, needs at least two gallons on hand each day. More, if they are exposed outside, the weather is hot or they are exerting themselves. So, what would happen if some area disaster cut off the flow of water for a number of days… or even weeks?

Consider, if you would, what would happen if a terrorist action poisoned the entire water supply of a community to the extent that none would be available for some time. Where would you go to even get some water? No doubt, the stores around you would be stripped clean of anything drinkable in the first day or so. (My first thought would be to run to the store for cokes and bottled water). Once that supply was exhausted, you would be left to your own devices until some form of help arrived, which could take days or even weeks.

With no easy source of water available, you would have to scrounge for it. You might ask neighbors if they had some, (a plan that just might work out well for the first few days anyway). Or, you might want to strike out and locate a nearby stream. A sensible idea since streams can be found just about everywhere unless there is a drought ongoing. So, armed with some containers and pots you go out and secure a supply to take home with you. There are containers that are specially made to carry water in bulk and you might want to consider purchasing one. Now, the question becomes how to purify it so it’s safe to drink.

Boiling always works!

The best method to treat water is to first strain it and then boil it. Filter the water through something like sterile cloth or even coffee filters to remove any large debris and then fill a pot on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil for about two minutes. Cover and allow the container to cool. Voila! You now have fresh water on hand to consume at your leisure.

Purify it with Clorox!

The second best method is to first filter the water as before, and then add two drops of Clorox bleach for every quart of water you process. For this an eye dropper comes in very handy. Bleach is actually sodium hydrochloride and after being diluted in water and left to stand for about thirty minutes will break down in to table salt and more water. So, add the bleach, still well, cover the container and allow it to sit. I mention Clorox specifically as you want to add bleach and only bleach. No softeners or other additives. Cut out this label and affix it to a bottle of bleach to which you have taped an eye dropper and you’re all set!

Either of the two methods described above will kill most everything in the water and make it safe to consume. Just make sure to renew your supply of bleach every three months or so to keep it at peak effectiveness.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hiking equipment shakeout: the kitchen!

Out in the wilderness, even making a simple hot dog can be complicated. I found this out while trying some backpack equipment prior to setting out into the woods on an overnight trip. With the weather currently so warm, I thought it would be a good idea to give everything a shakedown prior to venturing out this fall when the much cooler weather I prefer can be expected.  

On this occasion, I wanted to cook a hot dog using a simple piece of bread with some relish, mustard and ketchup as the condiments. I also had a small onion I wanted to cut up and add to the mix. Everything used is designed to fit nicely into a backpack without taking up much space. Now, on this test, I did sub some items; a regular kitchen plate instead of the metal one I normally take and condiments that were from commercial container instead of the small packets you can steal from fast food stores. Also, I used regular utensils instead of the ‘spork kit’ I normally carry on the trail.

During this particular test, I quickly realized that the metal grate was too high off the table to heat the metal pot quickly, so I improvised and used a metal cup to help elevate the burner. The burner, by the way is a MSR Whisperjet stove that is available for about $70. This little stove uses white gas and works very well. It even came with spare seals and such when I purchased it years ago. 

 The pot is made of stainless steel. There are lighter ones out there made of metals like titanium, but for the small weight differential, I don’t think they are worth the extra money. However, if weight is critical, that could be a concern. Here is a picture of the basic equipment, and as you can see, it’s a pretty small pile. Not pictured is the food I would carry in a small cooler until time to hit the trail. If possible, all meats are pre-frozen prior to leaving. This allows the meat to be carried for much of the day without worry that it will spoil.

In my pack, I also make it a point to carry other essentials no matter how long or short the hike. This is the so-called ‘ten essentials’ that always go with me no matter what. This covers items such as the ability to make fire, water and such. After everything is loaded, an average day hike pack will weigh in at about twenty pounds. In the woods, what you have on you is what you got, so think that way when preparing for your excursions.

Tolerance is the Word

Today, too many Americans have become unseemly in the way they have become just a wee bit intolerant concerning the following issues:

Government Overreach

OK, let’s clear this one up right away. It is not the business of the American public to tell the Administration how to run this country. Please, let the Democratic Party square the country away in peace and behind closed doors. Show some tolerance, OK?

Government Regulations

Our government could not run the way it is run today without a steady infusion of new regulations that create new bureaus that will insure the ‘onion’ gets ever larger (bla bla bla). Once again, an uninformed (and largely illiterate) American citizenry are sticking their noses in where they don’t belong. Let the government officials take care of the country while you, Mr. American, go out and look for work no matter how trivial it may be.

Muslim Extremists

What exactly are extremists anyway? Aren’t they a people who just care a lot about their own religion? We gentiles should tolerate the desire for such a group to want subjugate the female population while defining the Christian world as ‘a group of devils’. Isn’t it just possible we are? Huh? And, the fact that they may be using an otherwise good religion as a mask for world supremacy and subjugation should not be criticized , but rather tolerated as part of the diversity of life. 'Go forth young Christians into the area. Those tigers will not harm ye.'

Now, I want you all to try this exercise. Find a closet, lock yourself inside, close your eyes and think tolerant thoughts! Stay in there for a year or so and then come out. Wow! What a changed world you will find!

Brer Rabbit and the Congressional Tar Baby!

Just as in the 1946 Disney cartoon where a naive rabbit gets tangled up with a tar baby, so too have the American people found themselves in a sticky economic situation. And, just like that ol' Brer Rabbit, we may have to use our wits to get us out of this mess!

Update: Circa 2016 and I can just feel the PC crowds angst.... get over it! I've become so much not PC, that you wouldn't even know me...

Check out the original movie! Opps! A classic movie that is now removed and censored by your so fucking correct government. I wonder what the PC crowd will censor next...

Friday, July 22, 2011

I swear this is true!

In what should come as no surprise to anyone, the climate of the world seems to have come partially unglued over the last few years. Now a world recognized scientist living in California give a horrifying forecast. Here's an excerpt from a recent broadcast.

Ed Clark: “My name is Ed Clark with KTOK News and I’m here with a well known climatologist by the name of Dan DeMinto, a tenured professor at the prestigious Berkeley College in Oakland California. Sir, I understand that you have some grave news for us.”

Dr. DeMinto: “Why yes, I do. Now, I don’t want to scare anyone mind you, but very shortly the temperatures on earth will approach the boiling point of water!”

Ed Clark: “Now surely, Dr. DeMinto, you don’t mean that! Why life on earth would cease to exist!”

Dr. DeMinto: “Yes, well let me rephrase that statement. Yes, umm, what I meant to say is that living conditions will become quite warm everywhere except here in California due to an anomaly in the earth’s magnetic field. This force field, if you will, will create a barrier to the excess heat making it quite nice here west of the Rockies.”

Ed Clark: “And, you have some proof of why this would occur?”

Dr. DeMinto: “Proof! God man, of course I have proof! And it’s available to purchase for only $19.95 not including handling and shipping charges.”

Ed Clark: “Hmm, I think I smell a con here….”

Dr. DeMinto: “But wait! If you act right now, I’ll throw in a pair of my special sunglasses AT NO COST if you pay extra shipping and handling.”

Ed Clark: “OK, so I get it that your trying to sell us all something that’s basically worthless.”

Dr. DeMinto: “And did I mention that if you call 800-555-1212 in the next twenty four hours, I’d be happy to have my wife who’s number one in Real Estate, call you with land offers you won’t be able to refuse.”

Ed Clark: “This is Ed Clark and I’m so out of here….”

Graphic of a heat wave!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

After waterfall deaths, Yosemite officials renew signs!

After the deaths of three hikers swept over a Yosemite waterfall this week, officials are renewing their warnings to be cautious around the park's waterways, still raging because of a late snow melt.

The accident brings the number of water-related deaths in Yosemite this year to six, park officials said. Two hikers drowned in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on June 29, and a hiker slipped and fell into the Merced River on the Mist Trail on May 13.

Twelve people have gone over Vernal Fall in the past, park officials said. None survived.

Yosemite National Park spokesman Scott Gediman said rangers were collecting statements and photographs from witnesses to try to piece together what happened, but "none of this will bring these people back."

The Mist Trail leading to Vernal Fall is one of the park's most popular, Gediman said, and about 1,500 make the trek to the top of the waterfall each day without incident. He insisted that the park provides sufficient warnings of the dangers, and that the spot is safe if visitors follow the rules. He said the guardrail took "some effort" to climb over.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Casey Anthony is not the real issue here!

Scene 1 Act 50: An angry crowd jeered comments as Casey Anthony walked out of the front door of the Orange County Jail a free woman just after midnight on Sunday, about three years and one day after she was arrested for the disappearance and eventual death of Caylee, her two-year-old daughter.

After this well publicized case had woven its way through the court system, Casey has walked out a free woman and whether she was innocent or guilty of the charges lodged against her that is now by-the-by. Case closed, time to zip up your fly and go home. She doesn’t concern me as much as the crowd of slack-jawed zombies that were there to spread their own brand of hatred for the media to gobble up. It's never mattered much to them what the courts decided. They, in conjunction with the media, had long ago found her guilty as charged.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Empire Park looking great in July!

I would guess that a day like this, a Thursday in mid July, is about as summery as you can get. The temperatures, which had been hitting the century mark, have gone down the last few days and today are in the upper eighties. Perfect weather in which to find a spot to sit down and watch the water and the few boats that are out on it. What made this day especially nice was the cool breeze that came in across the water.

I drove over to Empire Park, situated just above the Powersite Dam in Forsyth Missouri, to get in a bit of biking. I’ve found the circuit that runs from one end of the park to the other to be about 1.4 miles. The ground is smooth in some parts and hilly in others, but never so bad as to force me off my bike. Doing the circuit twice gives me a total distance of about three miles and this fits in nicely with my exercise plan.

Surprisingly, there were not very many people out and about on this date. I spotted a couple of boats that were pulling inflatables behind them. Looked like fun for the kids that were bouncing all over the water! There were also the ever present fishermen and boy they are a dedicated lot, I’ll tell you.

I a couple of days, be sure to stop by if you’re in the area, for the annual cookout where contestants will be grilling up all sorts of food for prizes and everyone’s eating enjoyment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's amazing how that works!

As goes the stock market, so goes the health of the country. The wild stock gyrations going on these days reminds me of a patients EKG right before the onset of a massive stroke!

Chaos Theory

In any system of divine complexity, objects tend to go
from a state of order to one of disorder.
When mankind is introduced into the equation,
the state of disorder immediately becomes chaotic
and will remain in that state until such time
as God sets things right again!

So, that’s my way of saying we might receive a swift kick to the hinny in our future. Does humanity deserve it? You betcha! By most any criteria you would care to mention, we have fallen far short of the mark in our stewardship of planet earth. It’s sad that the rest of the life forms here have to tolerate us.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Generic Luncheon Loaf review!

Well, I’ve now officially hit rock bottom with my ‘crap in a container’ review blogs. Today, I’m going to not only eat this ‘mystery meat’, but I’m also going to try and hold it down as well. As far as I am aware, no one I know has ever admitted to actually eating this kind of meat before. Seriously, is there anyone you know who has? Send me a note if you do.

I bought canned meat at a nearby grocery chain. They carry a generic brand called ‘Always Save’ which is distributed by a Kansas City company called Associated Wholesale Grocers. I think they were mentioned in the movie called Soylent Green. You know… that 1973 movie about people that were eating other people? Maybe not, I digress.

First Impressions

The container advertises the product as containing chicken and pork which was encouraging. That was until I saw that the meat had been ‘mechanically separated.’ Boy! I don’t like the sound of that! The last time I saw meat treated in this manner, it was the result of a high speed auto accident.

There’s a nice comforting meaty picture on the can that I assume is there to encourage one prior to consumption. It does look a little like ham, if you squint hard enough. OK, time to crack this baby open and think up a way to prepare it for lunch.

Prior to my taste test, I decided to serve this ‘meatloaf’ with some scrambled eggs. I wanted to push the ham imagery thing and so I cut a nice slice (40 grams) which was then seared in a George Foreman grill. (Just like you’d do a slab of ham with sear marks and everything).

In the end, the visual result wasn’t too bad! As you can see, I went whole hog on the breakfast theme and fried up some potatoes to go with the eggs and ‘ham’. The result (avec the toast, bacon, sausage and pancakes) was eerily similar to Denny’s infamous Lumberjack Slam breakfast.

An aside about Denny’s Lumberjack Slam

Speaking of which, I was shocked out of my socks to read the nutritional score on that culinary disaster. I guessing you have to be very fit, like a Lumberjack, to eat this meal without tempting an instant coronary! Get this: serving size – 21 ounces (that’s 1 1/3 lbs)! Calories 910 (half a days worth)! Cholesterol, an artery clogging 540 mg! And last, but not least, the sodium dosage was a mind boggling 3,250 milligrams. Whoa Nellie! That’s like dumping a tablespoon of table salt right down your throat! By contrast, my meal deal (as pictured) was a paltry 6 ounces, had 395 calories, 246 mg of cholesterol and only 289 milligrams of salt. Not even in the same league! (Still, I’d trade my crap for their crap in a heartbeat, that is, assuming my heart would continue beating after-wards).


Now, as to the all important taste test. I know you are just hanging on the edge of your seat to find out!

After grilling a small 40 gram slice and getting it on the plate with the other items, I thought it looked pretty neat! However, if I was looking for the taste of ham, I was disappointed. Instead, while the meat did taste a little ‘meaty’, it was also a little mushy. I suppose in a pinch it could work, but perhaps that’s the whole point of any packaged meat. Buy some, put it on your shelf for emergencies and hope there never is one. 

Overall I would give this meat a score of 5. My recommendation is buy it, store it and then forget it.

The Moringa Tree Health Benefits vs. My BS Meter

About a year ago I came across some information pertaining to a ‘Miracle Tree’ that was mostly edible and which had ‘miraculous’ effects on the human body after consumption. Following is a pretty accurate compilation of the claims I’ve come across:

� Boosts the natural defenses of the body.
� Nourishes the brain and eyes.
� Helps regulate a healthy metabolism.
� Promotes healthy cell structure.
� Promotes healthy cholesterol levels.
� Supports healthy function of the liver and the kidneys.
� Beautifies the skin.
� Increases energy.
� Aids in proper digestion.
� Powerful antioxidants that reduce the risk of tumors and the effects of aging.
� Possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties.
� Promotes a healthy circulatory system.
� Supports the normal sugar levels.
� Helps detoxify the body
� Effective against nervous system disorders including normal and migraine headaches.
� Gives a feeling of general wellness.

While it may be true that the leaf powder can do all the above, it’s also true that eating a healthy and diverse diet can accomplish the same objective. The problem many people have, especially in developed countries, is the desire to eat foods that are fried, high in sugars and or loaded with salt. Doing this over a period of decades can result in obesity, digestive problems and an overall decline in health. These people who then buy the Moringa powder which is a very healthy source of nutrition, then experience ‘wonderful’ and ‘miraculous’ changes in a short span of time. Duh!

My point is that, instead of paying $21 a pound for the powder (excluding shipping costs), you might just be better off spending your money on loads of apples, oranges and bananas. This would work quite nicely assuming you also stay away from the fast foods.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The skinny on Stove Top’s Stuffing Mix for chicken!

Having pretty much exhausted the line of Banquet Dollar Meals, I now turn my culinary eye to Stove Top and their line of stuffing mixes. The question I had uppermost on my mind today was who actually gets stuffed here? Is it my taste buds? Maybe my waistline or even my pocketbook? Hmm?

I’ll wager that, you the reader, have a box of stuffing mix hidden away somewhere in your pantry. Possibly a box that never got used on the last holiday. Come on. Get up right this minute and go check. I’ll wait…. My box was behind some other boxes of Mac and Cheese (which I will not be reviewing thank you kindly). And, I’m guessing it’s been around a while as the use by date is set for January 2012. My how the time does fly!

The directions for making the stuffing could not be easier. You bring one and a half cups of water mixed with butter (4 tbsp) to a boil then stir in the package contents. Cover this and let it stand off the heat for about five minutes. Voila – you’re ready to rock. Note: If you do, in fact, find these directions confusing, I would suggest contemplating suicide in the drive up lane at McDonald’s.  'Yes, I’ll have that order super-sized. Ka Bam!'

Before getting into the nutritional stuff a word of caution. Kraft’s idea of a serving is rather strange. They must think the world is full of midgets. A serving, according to them is 28 grams. Check the picture A for how that much looks on a standard plate. What is that? Maybe a mouthful? Two? Anyway, that’s not what I call a man’s portion (picture B at 78 grams). So, right off the bat, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna get screwed here. Instead of just 110 calories, I will be ingesting more like 300! And the sodium, who doesn’t need more sodium in their diet? Well, 430 milligrams now shoots up to 1,195 milligrams or about half a days worth! Think I’ll stop right there, I’m already depressed. I should have been wary of any food with the word ‘stuffing’ in it!

But wait! There is a redeeming quality to be had! For one thing the smell of this side dish is to die for. If you’ve just thrown together a dinner that screams leftovers, the addition of a little stuffing could be the game saver you’re looking for. So, for that alone I’ll give this one a score of 8 on a scale of 10. Just remember, that for most of us, the calories here are the real stuffing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

These are certainly the most interesting of times!

“I know you feel these are the worst of times.
I do believe it’s true.
When people lock their doors and hide inside.
Rumor has it, it the end of paradise.”
Styx ‘82

While it may or may not be the end of paradise, the bloom is definitely fading off the rose for many American’s love affair with Barrack Obama, the Democratic Party and their promise of Hope and Change. Under their watch, Congress has become increasingly ineffective at passing meaningful legislation. (Ya think)? So much so, that the President has now begun to look for loopholes as a means of bypassing them altogether. Amendment 14? Come on, you’ve got to be jacking me, Bamer! You, sir, are a loophole!

TSA warns of bomb implants! Really?

 If the topic were not so serious, I’d be laughing my ass off right about now. It seems the TSA (Transportation Security Authority), a group being trained to razor sharp readiness by the AFL-CIO, is now warning air travelers of the possibility that terrorists may attempt to board planes with bombs implanted into body cavities. They go on to say that the most likely repositories for the HE (high explosives) will be men’s colons and women’s breasts.

On a good note, this announcement has got to be a Godsend for any TSA agent whose leanings run to the sexually exotic.

So, Facebook is also now our new phone company!

Golly and gee whiz, everybody. It seems that Skype and Facebook have now figured out a way that we can video each other for free! Oh, I’m sure this will end well.

While the new video chat feature is advertised as free and is not even branded "Skype," it will cost money to dial a regular phone from inside Facebook, just as Skype today charges a few pennies a minute for dialing outside numbers using its regular service. Facebook will likely require users to pay with the internal Facebook currency it calls Credits, bolstering that product's usefulness. OK, so it’s not really free…

Call me old, call me insane, but I have a bad feeling about all our communications services being wedded to the Internet. A resource that will go ‘poof’ a microsecond after a high altitude nuke goes off in the sky over our heads. This would be due to the EMP effect that might degrade just about everything electronic, which is everything we have these days.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ortho Home Defense Max!

I tried this product only after I had exhausted all the other less lethal means available to me. The problem was ants. This year, perhaps due to the emergence of the seven year cicada’s, I've had a bumper crop of the little critters. I don’t mind ants and other bugs sharing the planet with me, as long as they respect the sanctity of my humble adobe. Unfortunately, they have not, and so more stringent actions were called into play.

Ortho Home Defense Max to the rescue! So far, this product has a couple of things going for it in my opinion. It’s easy to use and apparently acts as a pretty good perimeter shield around ones home. The process of spraying my foundation took only about fifteen minutes and the results were immediate! Just be careful to read the directions that come with the product carefully before use.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pyrotechnic Nabobs of the Night!

Every Fourth of July, for years now, I’ve suffered from a particular form of insomnia. While there is no scientific name for the condition, I like the term ‘Crackeritis’. The symptoms begin around sundown and go far into the night. This being due to one or more intelligence handicapped individuals who persevere with their explosive celebrations well into the wee hours of the night.

After all the other neighbors have brought their pyrotechnic celebration to a booming end somewhere around 10PM, these mental midgets continue onwards with a boom here and a bang there. They remind me a lot of an old man with an enlarged prostate trying to empty his bladder one dribble at a time.

Lying there in bed, I’ve formed a mental picture of what these specimens of humanity must be like were I to meet one face to face. For starters, they must be very young, that’s a gimme. And, I would bet they may drink to excess since they have absolutely no sense of time. The kind of people who have very little regard for their fellow man and if asked what the Fourth was all about would only utter ‘Whuut’? (Deep thinkers and followers of history)? Not on your life! Oh, and women, you can forget about that for these guys. No girl in her right mind would put up with a stooge like that.

So, what does that leave us with? I give you a young, acne riddled, alcoholic retard who is also a social recluse that hides out in his bedroom while everyone else is out working for a living. More than likely, the money he spent on his fireworks came from his unemployment check which also irks me no end. A man whose only real talent lies in his unswerving ability to annoy others.

In other words, I’ll just bet you he’s a Democrat!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Falling Skies Series pretty good TV

FALLING SKIES opens in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force.

At the center of the series is Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a Boston history professor whose family has been torn apart. His wife was killed in the initial attack, and one of his three sons has been captured. Determined to get his son back and to ensure the safety of his other two sons, Tom must put his extensive knowledge of military history to the test as one of the leaders of the resistance movement known as the 2nd Mass, because of their location in Boston, Mass. They are constantly trying to gain intelligence about the aliens in order to one day outsmart and overtake them and hopefully rebuild their lives. See the series opener here!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A watercolor of my mind!

On a recent meeting with my therapist, a Mz. Glasner (gender unknown), I was assigned the task of doing a water color that I felt would best represent my feelings towards myself.

Here is the result. I call it 'Rotting Ship'.

Mz. Glasner has since referred me to a specialist.