Coping: CBS Vitamin Report – Rethinking Prepping?

The mind reels with a report out this morning from CBS that three new studies have concluded that everything else roughly equal, there’s no statistical advantage to taking vitamins.  Holy smokes!

Not that all vitamins are bad, and yes, this means you still need to eat a balanced diet (but who really does?) and you might do better spending your money on fresh fruits and veggies.

This may have an effect on prepping, though, since one of the things we keep rotated in stock are vitamins on the theory that when the old crappola hits the thing going around, that any kind of vitamin deficiency could be very bad.  Given that under such conditions, there may not be good medical care around.

On the other hand, the story might free up some money around here, since (as I’ve reported previously) I have not noticed anything from many of the supplements which I have put through my own personal clinical trials.  That has involved taking a dose of vitamin X for three weeks to a month and seeing if there was any appreciable health effect.

Only three have cut the mustard in a big way with me, so far.  These are black cherry extract which really does seem to improve pending gout attacks.  Coupled with a couple of colchicine pills (criminally over-priced thanks to the Fooled and Drugged Administration) gout has ceased to be an issue.

The second one that works well for me is L-arginine.  It really does improve my “wake up”  in the morning.  Mental fog which I sometimes used to experience for an hour or two has been banished for good.  I’m drinking coffee, although at much lower caffeine levels, and still feeling “sharp.”

The last in the combination of buffered vitamin C and lysine which, with all due respect to the study just out, I will stick with Dr. Linus Pauling on.  Reports on the study didn’t mention whether the multi-gram version of vitamin C and lysine.  The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University has a short summary of the approach here (which also involves lipoprotein a.

OK, so what does this do for preppers?

Well, for one thing, I guess I can reduce (or end) my personal clinical testing after I get done with the last vitamins/supplements I have.  Although I will continue on Carlson Labs Able Eyes, To Promote Healthy Vision, 180 Softgels ($72, Amazon) since I do notice an improvement in my eyesight under two conditions.  One is the high-dose vitamin C and the other is the eye supplement.  So it stays.

This is not to say everyone could, or should, and no, this is not medical advice, either.  Remember that I have cataracts removed from both eyes in the 1980’s and implants put in both eyes in the 1990s.  I am incredibly care about anything having to do with eyes.  But does a person in otherwise good health need an eye supplement?  I’ll leave that to your and your healthcare professional and I will keep reading all I can on point at www.pubmed.gov.

Gaye’s New Book

“What’s the prepper angle Ure was talking about?”

Since Americans spend something like $28-billion a year on vitamins, the money you save (if you swallow the report out today) is more than enough to build a good food storage program and get serious about prepping, if you haven’t been, already.

Gaye over at www.backdoorsurvival.com has a new book just released called The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage which is available from Amazon for Kindle.  But don’t let that hold you back if you don’t have a Kindle yet.  Simply go download the free Amazon app over here for whatever your pick of brain amplifiers happens to be.

The book is very useful. 

Right off the bat, she gets into the 26-basic foods to put into your food storage plans.  Toss in a system to rotate your stores and it’s pretty simple to start building a little “depth” to your pantry.

She also goes into specific price comparisons on different things (like bulk foods) at Safeway, Wal-Mart (online), Costco, and Thrive. 

If you’ve got a family, the money saved will probably more than pay for the book in bulk food savings alone.

The de-emphasis of vitamins report is a biggie.  As luck would have it, I just added to our stores of meat/protein sources by ordering several Oberto All Natural Teriyaki Beef Jerky, X-Large, 10 ounce packages at  $12.49 a bag.  That’s not too bad when you look at the price of beef these days.

And last, but not least, as long as we’re on prepping and eats this morning, I need to put in my usual plug for our friends at the Tsue Chong Company up in Seattle.  These folks made the noodles I grew up on and if you visit their website here, you can order 10-five pound boxes of fine-cut Chinese eggs noodles.  We use them in place of locally available wheat noodles and they work great for spaghettis and what-have-you’s.

OK, enough on food.  Getting hungry….  Let me think….ah yes…

The Antenna Questions

.A couple of people asked Gaye “Why did George recommend the Nagoya 771 antenna in his column and you had the 701 in your article?”

Gee, beats me.  Could it be that George is an idiot?  Hmmm…

Turns out this is one of those little details in life that will likely not make too much of a difference.  Putting on my ham radio tutoring hat (which looks similar to the Pope’s mitre (a papal kind of hat explained over here, except my ham radio version has a Fluke 87 display smack in the middle of it…) let me explain.

The specs on the Nagoya 701 are on eHam over here.  Notice gain = 2.15 dB.

The specs on the Nagoya 711 are also on eHam here.  Notice gain: = 2.15 db

They are both dual-band antennas and since the gain is identical, it doesn’t seem to me that it makes any difference.  The ONE PLACE it might make a difference is if you have a different radio that the Baofengs we were talking about.  The 771 has a slightly higher power rating (10-watts).

Gaye, being suspicious of all things electronic, then asked how to test to see if the antenna (701) was working.

Simple.  What I would do is tune in either a repeater which is heavily used (like one down in the Seattle area) or tune in one of the NOAA weather channels which is weak.  This is denoted by fuzziness around the edges of the audio.

Tune it in with the stock antenna (preferably the ham band repeater, since this is where the radio will be used) and then plug in the Nagoya.  You should notice an improvement in performance (better quieting of the FM receive signal).

Might the 711 be a better choice?  Hell, until yesterday afternoon, I didn’t even know there was a choice.  But again, looking at the specs there shouldn’t be a difference.

Still, it may be like so many other hobbies and pursuits, a little thicker layer of money may improve things… I’ll be interested to see what she reports when she gets down that far on her ToDo list…

Darn Magazines

A new issue of “Worth” arrived yesterday for Elaine.  She likes to see how the other half lives, but I already know the answer to that one:  Well.  Very, very well.

But anyway, she asked me if I had any idea what a new Vertu phone was going for?  (no).  But that prompted me to find out how much dough I could piss away on a phone if I was really ‘effing crazy.

The answer, if you want to step up for a Apple iPhone 5 32GB – Black – Rose Gold and Black Diamonds Luxury Mobile Phone, is $12,379.  

I was going to buy Elaine this little gem for Christmas, but since it didn’t seem to have free shipping, so I guess she’ll have to settle for something less.

Which popped out at me big as life in the January 2014 issue of QST – that ham radio time sink on paper that I just about memorize monthly.  Page 38, or so, has an article on how to use a USB dongle as a software-defined radio and set up your own home weather radar center using FAA ADS-B signals available in many parts of the country.

Yep, just like our plane, you can see live weather…now which would you rather have, honestly?  A serious home weather radar or a gold and diamond iPhone.

No, I mean really?

Speaking of Ladies and Prepping

T’other morning a (male) reader wrote about his wife’s getting into prepping and mentioned that she sure bought a lot of various things.  But lookie-here!  The lady defends!

Hello George, this is the wife of the author of the below email. I feel, as a woman, I need to defend my actions in said email. Yes my husband did send me to get feminine products in bulk, which I did come home with….but as a woman, we almost never get just what was on the “list”. My husband goes through about 1 loofa a month so I decided to stock up on those too, for no other reason than to have them on hand for the “now”. This purchase had nothing to do with the prepping actions that we are taking. Unfortunately my husband didn’t ask, and therefore just assumed it was a prep purchase. Also to comment on the amount of loofahs I bought, I purchased 6…..which is hardly a lifetime supply :) I just felt the need to clear that up. Thank you!

Me?  Never understood a loofa/loofah.  I am, however, a huge fan of those detachable showerheads which can be used almost like pressure washers.  I figure if a wash clothe, bar of soap and the pressure-washer approach doesn’t get me clean enough, I need another dip in a tank of solvent and to start over again….. Fingernail brush?  That I use….

Bye-Bye Wujo

OH-OH…bad news.

Don’t look now, but we have been mowed down by runaway language.  Turns out,  reports a reader who got regaled with laughter from some of his younger coworkers when he told one of our “wujo” stories that “wujo” doesn’t mean what we have been using it as…

No less than the UrbanDictionary says it means something entirely different nowadays.  Crude alert if you go read it on their site!

We now will have to revert back to the more conventional term Woo-Woo…  But whatever you choose to call it, here comes another report, this one from a reader in Europe..

Hello again George

Feeling really(sic) flabbergasted this weekend.

In the spring of 2011 I bought a mobile home in the woods to spend weekends away from the city.

As I had a lot of stuff left over after several down sizing moves in housing, I used these to decorate the mobile.

Like an old Philips lightrail to hang some lamps on. Hadn’t used it since three houses earlier, so I found the L formed end part missing. Looked everywhere in my sheds and houses , nowhere to be found anymore..

So everytime I looked up to the ceiling of the living room in the mobile, I felt annoyed cause I couldn’t find the end part that should be connected there with a screw..

Now for the first time since last summer I returned this weekend to the mobile after a three month stay in our China house (roaming Ron.’

This period obviously cleared my memory of the lost end part, so I just looked up to the ceiling while reading a book and noticed.. the end part there!

and then it jumped in my mind it was lost!

So it seems because I had all forgotten about it being lost, looking up now my mind expected the end part to be there, so Sapristi! it was there. And still is..

Reality is really what you expect it to be, so much is sure for me now. I guess that checks with what you have been mentioning in one way or another.

Now I want my stolen gold coin back, by forgetting it was stolen I should be able to bring it back to the drawer it was stolen from= But that was in another house, I don´t know..

Roaming Ron from the Netherlands

I dunno, Ron, I keep looking for the missing three zeros in my checking account and no sign of them yet…

Around The Ranch

OK, just a couple of items: One is that I have decided to finally get more involved in social media and I’ve set up my Google+ account and I’m not shy about adding people to my circle.

I’ve also be doing some server-tuning to keep speeds up.  Change, changes, but minor now…

Moon  Notes

Readers continue to weigh in on whether we’ve gone to the moon, for real, or not:

Hi GU,

I’ld weigh in re: moon landing…yes we did go but not in the way televised “live” way back when…LEM and all. What country would brazenly show their technology like that for all to see?

Not us…nor others. The televised “live” version: Hollywood. How we actually got there? The stuff science fiction is made of!

And then the question  lingers about why telescopes (big ones) don’t get pointed at the moon:

Worried about the higher amount of light damaging equipment is what I’ve been told.

So sayeth reader Marc…which may be true, but reader Ken’s got another theory…

I googled why the large telescopes can’t focus on the moon. It has something to do with the optics.. similar to my 300mm lens for my camera.. I have an adapter on it so everything is blurry or soft focus at a great distance. the larger telescopes are designed to seek out new worlds so their optics are calibrated for long distant viewing  .. not to look close to home and since it is a moving object by the time they even got a blurry image in the view the moon will have moved on to another part of the heavens.

And to kinda wrap this up, this from reader JJ was interesting…

Just a couple of thoughts. The moon is very bright as astronomical objects go. Viewing it in large scopes require neutral density filters to keep from having the glare reduce your night vision to the point you can’t look at anything else. Also a factor is the orbital motion of the moon. They would have to change the telescope drive rate from sidereal to lunar and probably didn’t want to be bothered.

Another point is that atmospheric turbulence (aka seeing) affects how much detail you can see and greatly reduces resolving power for ground based telescopes. Even the 200″ Mt. Palomar scope couldn’t resolve the lunar landers because of the blurring effects from our atmosphere. Not sure if the Hubble space telescopes could make them out as more than a tiny spec on the lunar surface. The newer scopes with active deformable surfaces do better but still not even close to what it could see if the atmosphere wasn’t in the way.

So which it is?  No telling…but the moon last night was almost bright enough to get a “moon tan” out in the front yard last night…

Science jock, biker, radio newser Kevin suggests the truth of the matter may be found in this discussion over at Discover Magazine.

Near as I can figure, the reason the debate (conspiracy) is because men don’t really ever want to head “It’s too small!”  That’s why they’re deaf to the “too small” facts….

More Thursday morning, Peoplenomics tomorrow, and write when you break even.

George    georgeure@urbansurvival.com

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