imageFor a good while I have been writing you the occasional note about what it’s like to age.  Although I am not keen on the idea, it certainly beats the alternatives.

In the past, we have explored different additives and supplements like L-Arginine, and what’s the best vitamin I have found and so forth.  Stevia in the tea and so forth.

A couple of updates as we do a drive-by of these this morning:  I have been using Source Naturals L-Arginine L-Citrulline Complex, 240 Tablets-1000mg which seems to be a very good energy-booster. No change on that one.  Ditto the best vitamin I have found so far:  NOW Foods Adam Superior Men’s Multi, 90 Softgels

Not that Elaine every doubts my judgment (she still gets in the airplane with me driving, right?) but she did a whole passel of research on her own and ended up with (look surprised here) the female version of the formula I take –  which has some lady-stuff in it and is under the Now Foods Eve, Women’s Multi Vitamin, Softgels, 180-Count brand.

There are a couple of other things that seem to optimize me:  I am a huge fan of Source Naturals Huperzine A, 200mcg, 120 Tablets but my buddy up in Gig Harbor, who will be coming down here for about 10-days in April thinks that they shouldn’t be used all the time.

On the other hand,  there have been some really savory research papers and they all seem to point to the same thing:  Huperzine A does seem to help the brain function better…and I will leave it to you and your doctor to figure out what the right period of use should be.  (Readers have suggested I need more brain function, lol.)

Now, this is not to say that Huperzine A is the only show in town when it comes to brain enhancement.  There are several others that I should mention in passing.  Now Foods Soy-free Phosphatidyl Serine Tablets, 150 mg, 60 Count might be worth a try along with some of the more conventional anti-aging of the brain supplements…Gingko Biloba comes to mine.  So does coffee.

Another one that I take rather religiously is NOW Foods L- Carnitine Tartrate 1000mg, 100 Tablets.  Here’s a 2002 article off the PubMed government database with some thoughts on how it may help after exercise  and this one on general cardiac assistance.

Here’s a PubMed article out just this month that explains how a moderate carnitine deficiency makes myocardial injury more dangerous (if you happen to be a lab rat).  So, even though I don’t think of myself as a rat, there seems to be some good for the heart and possibly brain from this stuff.

And, let’s not leave out my life-long buddy’s recommendation to me on Rhodiola Rosea, which is now in the mix.

REMINDERThis is NOT healthcare advise.  Talk to your doctor before “owning and playing with your own personal walking/talking chemistry set. “

Eventually, though, we are going to get to the point of this morning’s discussion. 

Namely, I am back on kelp pills now.  Not a lot, just one per day.

A little discussion is in order.

The other day, a kindly reader suggested that I look up something called “pulse pressure”.  Turns out (and have fun running this down) that if pulse pressure (the big number minus the little number) is greater than 50, or 60, it is a better indicator later in life of heart problem potential than blood pressure..

Since I put my numbers in the column, the reader said my “60” was a little on the high side and maybe I should do some additional reading.

A bit of family history here.  My dad’s side of the family has always high very low pulse rates.  In fact, when my dad was recovering from a spinal fusion in the 1960’s (an occupational hazard of being a fire fighter and running into a burning building with 120 pounds of hose on your shoulder with absolutely no warm up) the nurse at the old Seattle General work him up and asked him if he was alive.

Well, yeah…I was asleep, though…

His pulse had dropped to something like 43 and they seemed concerned about it.

My resting pulse, when I am not augmenting with vitamins just right, tends to drop way, way down, too.  It was common of one of my aunt’s to nearly faint after sitting a while…takes the heart a number of seconds to ramp up from under 50 to a useful 65-70 without getting dizzy.

So there I was reading about bradycardia  (slow pulse rate) because when I am in a serious writing mode, I go into what I describe as something of a “writer’s trance.”

My breathing gets deep, the heart slows down.  I mean 52-55…and for me, that has been “the zone” for a long time.

What was going on?

After a couple of hours of reading, it became clear (at least to me) that there might be something like a sub acute iodine deficiency at play.

Now, I want to say this again:  This is absolutely not something to mess with unless your doc is onboard ahead of time – it’s not proper to tell him about it during an ER visit if you follow.

But here’s the point:  I went through some of the symptoms of the bradycardia and iodine deficiency and it was I found myself saying “Hey!  That’s ME!!!”

Turns out that a LOT of people don’t get enough iodine.  And, if you look around the web, you will find there are many, many discussions about it.

Today…after being on this slight iodine enhancement with one Kelp pill per day, I am seeing a change in my heart rate and BP.  As of earlier today it was 115 over 75 which is a pulse pressure of 40.  But even more significant to me, my pulse rate was up to 71 resting, instead of the low 50’s….

Hot damn!

This got me into a discussion with Elaine, since she has been shy on iodine, too.  (She’s convinced that a shot of Glenlivit (12) or Glen Fiddich (15) helps her to feel good.  And who would argue the point?

My next experiment will be with an experiment I found over the course of my travels around the web.  Has to do with buying some 2% iodine solution and making a circle of the tincture on your stomach.  The “Equipment” for the experiment is a $12-bill with which you buy J.CROW’S® Lugol’s Solution of Iodine 2% 2oz and make this 50-=cent sized painting.

If I understand what I am reading:  If the iodine circle disappears in less than 12-hours, then it’s something to be looked into by a doc because it may signal your4 body is so short on iodine that it is resorting to transdermal absorption.

In the meantime I’m wondering how much of the processed food out there actually uses iodized salt in it?  If you have any results on this, please advise.  Sea Salt doesn’t have nearly as much iodine as iodized table salt, but the thinking is that trace elements matter, too…

WARNING:  This is all part of a conversation and is NOT MEDICAL ADVICE.  Talk to your doctor.  Get proper tests done.  This is just a cheapskate in the woods talking here and I don’t want to hear from your next of kin.

Still, it’s an interesting enough path to go down on research that I thought I would pass it along.  Some of the symptoms of iodine deficiency according to what I read include a slight puffiness, some fatigue (mine may come from actually working so much) and a few others.

I never for one second in my under 50 years thought that I would become one of those health obsessed oldsters who takes a dozen vitamins a day.

But with 67 coming later this month (the precise day is classified) I am pleased to still be around, feeling good and just as spunky as I was at 50.

Mr. Culturally Insensitive

Guess that would be me….

With the Dow getting its butt handed to it on Monday, one reader wrote in that I was wrong.  (It was a rare enough event as to be worth sharing…)

Sheesh, it’s not the Super Bowl or ‘market forces’ driving the Dow rown…it’s red fire monkeys. Everyone here knows that. It’s why we took the day off in Asia.

Oh.  So yeah, Chinese New Years Monday and the Japanese have Founder’s Day on the 11th.

Say, do they celebrate Doug McArthur as a “founder”?  Or is this like Sony and Lexus founders?  Just wondering…

Going for a Quickie?

I was going to ask Elaine if we could make this one:


Any subscriber to wants to come by can get a free autograph.  Any Peoplenomics subscribers who come by are entitled to a free liquid refreshment when we travel.  And, if you come by air, the airport details are here and you can also get one U.S. gallon of free avgas for your trouble.

476 nautical miles which means 3:30 of flight time… Which means maybe one recycling stop in Alexandria, LA on the way…if the weather gods work and if I have all projects done…

A Fine Birthday Present

A ham radio tool:  I picked up a Rohde and Schwarz SMY-01 signal generator used.  (Tech specs).  AM/FM/Phase modulated 9KHz to 1.something gigs and the cat’s meow in terms of in calibration and a pleasure to use.

Say what you will about the politics of Germany, they do build kick-ass test gear.  (You may not feel as joyous about it, but then you maybe haven’t built too many radios from the ground up, either.  A signal generator like this is like a 6-digit precision timer and temperature whizzy in the kitchen, that also makes ice cubes as triples as a food processor.)

Between this and a couple of other tools, I don’t think there is a piece of tube-type (inherently EMP resistant) receiver or transmitter I couldn’t take on and fix…provided there is a supply chain left on the other side of Nightfall.  (Which is what am EMP event would be…)

One of these days, we should have an UrbanSurvival on-the-air ham “meet up” – maybe when my ham buddy is down here. It would be a lot of fun to try it – and I am open to ideas when might be a good time and frequency.  I’m thinking a meet-up on 20 meters on a Saturday morning and then an evening  (say 9 PM Central, or so) hook up on the 75-meter band.

Anyone want to volunteer?

One more Prepper /Futurist Note

My friends over at have solar panel prices that have me looking at picking up another rack of 10 more panels.  B-grade 330 watt panels are $0.55 per watt in quantity.  This isn’t a paid ad…I just like to track panel prices.

When we committed to partial solar here (back in 2008 if you’ve been with us that long) you’ll remember that I popped about $25,000 into what is a very solid 3.5 kW grid-interactive system. 180 watt panels were the sweet spot back then…

Since we have one of the twin/stacked sine wave inverters on the way back from the doctor’s office,  you may (or may not) care that having that one half of the solar offline cost us $100 difference in the power bill.

You will be thrilled to know that if you aren’t getting your panels shipped to an address inside the USA you can get panels for $0.45 per watt.  So a 300 watts panel for like $135.  But it’s more here because of the China Solar Panel Tariff.  Still, if you’re building a solar home on the beach in Mexico or something…

Write when you break-even…