Coping: Limitations to What You Can Prep For

A hell of a mess and a touch of Wujo up in the Denver area? 

My sister, Suzi, just got back from a Denver conference and told us at lunch Monday that the Denver area itself is still “open for business: and there were no noticeable impacts on either her conference, or travel.

But not everyone is so lucky as to be right in Denver proper.  Take my buddy Patrick, who lives

Hi George,

Attached is a pic of my house. It has been condemned. I send this in that even having a prepper mind set and concern I was not prepared for this. I did not expect this and was not able to get to my emergency supplies. a lesson learned.

front view 3 (2)

Lyons, CO was hit hard in the floods. My house (above) was ground zero.

I have noticed something about the people in Lyons and other places. Everyone is complaining about their memory. Myself as well. I am not sure why but it is real.

I have a bad feeling about what else is coming. Prepping is the word.


Now that – is something to put some noodle-time on:  What are the limits beyond which event prepping fails and you have to drop back to plain old “getting along” with all the facts and knowledge that are stored away in the wetware compartment between the ears? 

Prepping’s a great thing, but Pat’s example shows that even the best-prepped among us can be simply swamped by the sheer magnitude of disasters.  If you can’t get to your cache, you end up in the same class of non-preppers. 

Still, given the odds of prepping and being on the periphery of some disaster, or being unprepped and in the same position, we’ll opt for the highly-prepped profile, thank you.

Patrick will come through this fine, but he does bring up an interesting psychological question:  Was there something else going on, or are residents up in Lyons suffering from the normal effects of time dilation?

That’s a pretty common thing, you know:  It’s that warping of perception in the half-second, or so, before an accident where time seems to stand still.  Does it impact people after the fact in some yet-to-be named ways?  It’s an intriguing question.

Meantime, our heart goes out to the people up in the rain-wrecked areas where we are still awaiting word on the whereabouts of one of Elaine’s boys, who’s an electrician up that way.  We’re not terribly worried,  but if you see a fellow working cell towers who answer to the name Dwayne Kelly, have him call Elaine…

It does bother us a not to have heard from him.  In fact, we thought about routing through Denver on the way out on our present road trip, but figured the last thing Denver needs right now is a bunch of lookie-loos.

The number of missing persons is down to just one right now, so we know he’s alright, and likely just working his butt off in the aftermath…

The “Media Diet”

While out here in California consulting for the day, I noted that the folks we’re spending time with are not television watchers.  Oh, sure, they do the Friday night movie thing, but they are unusual Americans in that they hold to the core values that made the country.  Lost (or quickly disappearing) concepts like working 12-16 hours per day, having goals, trying new things.  Missing?  A steady diet of television and even – until recently – little time on the internet.  That’s because they are too busy living in the real world to toss away heartbeats on the virtual side with reckless abandon. 

Of course, like out place in the East Texas outback, they are blessed by also living in an area which is not super-saturated with cell phone signals, either, and maybe core values, hard work, and high personal achievement levels come with a lack of distractions, I just don’t know for sure.

As usual, however, about the time I was making my observations, along come a news story that points out these folks are not alone:  Some 15% of Americans shun the internet and have not crossed over into the emergency SimCity of life.

Not to harp on an old theme, but in many ways, the Internet keeps coming back to America’s past fads…things like CB radio, pet rocks, Hula Hoops, and that list goes on.

For most of our trip, we’ve been burning the candle too short at both ends to watch more than a few seconds of television – even when available.  And night before last, up in Grants Pass, Elaine surfed through the 60-channels of digital wasteland and asked “People pay how much a month for THIS?”

Term Time:  I don’t see a corresponding definition for FAA in Urban dictionary.  But flat-ass amazing is what I’d label the extraction of $100+ per month to wander through the digital wasteland.

If you live in one of those 400-square foot chicken coops (condo or rental coop) I’d remind you that there’s this really cool (and much larger version of SimCity/Second Life, etc. which anyone can play.  It’s called reality.

All of which gets us down to the interesting question:  What would a “digital diet” be like?  15-percent of Americans seem to be voluntarily on that path.

And correct me if I’m wrong here, but it’s that about the same fraction of the population that regularly exercises?

Supplementary Thinking: Telomeres/Astralagus

Hey!  As long as we’re on health, exercise, well-being and all that, I don’t remember how I got onto the topic here, but I somehow lately (being an OF of 64) of how to extend my life expectancy.  You see, it’s a kind of “mission” for me to wrap up and present as many ideas (and typos) as I can, and have been doing for better than a decade around here.

So let me walk you through my latest diggings (which have continued, even out here on this road trip of ours…).

We’ll start with a look at telomeres and flip over to this entry on Wikipedia:

A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromatid, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes. Its name is derived from the Greek nouns telos (?????) ‘end’ and mer?s (?????, root: ???-) ‘part.’ Telomere regions deter the degradation of genes near the ends of chromosomes by allowing chromosome ends to shorten, which necessarily occurs during chromosome replication.[1] Without telomeres, the genomes would progressively lose information and be truncated after cell division because the synthesis of Okazaki strands requires RNA primers attaching ahead on the lagging strand. Over time, due to each cell division, the telomere ends become shorter.[2]

During cell division, enzymes that duplicate DNA cannot continue their duplication all the way to the end of chromosomes. If cells divided without telomeres, they would lose the ends of their chromosomes, and the necessary information they contain. The telomeres are disposable buffers blocking the ends of the chromosomes, are consumed during cell division, and are replenished by an enzyme, telomerase reverse transcriptase.

As always, the I-Ching Inbox went off about the same time, when a reader (unidentified but with a hushmail account)  sent me a note about this around the same time. 

Generally when a topic comes rolling at me from more than one direction, it usually means there’s an interesting topic to be studied, reported, discussed, and so here’s the short version of the research so far.

Seem that some of the more recent genetic research goes to the idea that in fact, every cell in the human body is replaced at least every seven years, or so.  OK, we sort of knew that part.

But what I didn’t know, which gets to one of our source/doctor dinners up in the Seattle area, is that each time the cells in your body reproduce, they seem to burn a bit of what we think of as junk DNA

This got to be really interesting right about here, because there’s apparently some thinking now that what had really been tagged as “junk DNA” may really be nothing more than the DNA equivalent to “time fuse.” 

That way (as was explained to me, and so don’t put me up before some scientific tribunal or Inquisitors) is that each replacement cycle burns a bit of telomeres.

How to prevent this?  The Chinese have an herb which they have used for thousands of years called Astralagus.  (Pronounced as·trag·a·lus  – to hear it, go here and hit the little speaker icon with your sound turned up.)

According to the t9iny bit of research I’ve done, the mode of action for astragalus is that it either retards the DNA strand-burning in cell reproduction, or (can’t vouch here) it actually can replace removed junked DNA time fuse/telomeres.

So does it really work?  No telling.  But there is plenty of data on the PubMed website which goes to the idea of minimally it seems to have some anti-cancer, anti-oxidant potential and research is ongoing.

But the key thing for me (we’re trying it) is that is relatively inexpensive (NOW Foods Astragalus, 100 Capsules / 500mg (Pack of 4) is $19 at Amazon) and it doesn’t seem to have much in the way of side effects, if any.

So I’ve added it to my regimen, which means we go around with a large “pill bag” with all of our vitamins and supplements in it, but the good news is that we have high energy (been getting 6-hours of sleep a night on the trip, just due to time zones and such) and neither one of us has had a cold in can’t remember how long.  Seems to keep our immune systems rolling.

I have reduced my “pill count” with Twinlab Daily One Caps Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement with Iron, 180 Capsules ($27) and their TwinLab – Stress B-Complex Caps, 250 capsules.  A couple of other things (including additional D3 and magnesium, Huperzine, and Cognizin – both of which you can find on Amazon) and it makes a difference between living in a body with a “four cylinder engine” and a V-8 with a couple of four barrels on a high-rise intake manifold.

Here comes the disclaimer: This is NOT medical advice.  I’m just writing about my personal experimentation with vitamins and supplements, and before making any change to your diet/inputs, hard exercises, or whatever, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional (someone with malpractice insurance?) and talk to them first.  Don’t rely on anything I write as medical advice. 

Curious Pool

Speaking of doctors:  My son got violently ill a couple of days after we had lunch and so (being a conscientious EMT type) he rushed a stool sample to the lab to find out what was the source of his (violent) reaction that resulted in severe dehydration from passing so much through his lower GI tract.

Anything serous enough that my son hot a friend of his to run 3-liters of saline into him to keep him hydrated (his pulse was over 140, BP  up near 180/110 [on lack of blood volume[ you know  it’s serious.

Hopefully he’ll let me know what it was, but the point of the story here is not to run IVs with saline for severe dehydration (ya’ll knew that, right?) but to relate that he’s actually started a pool at work ($50 bucks a throw) and he’s got six people in the pool already including two docs, a couple of PAs, and a couple of EMT’s.

Apparently, he was paying attention at lunch when I told him “Everything’s a business model.”  

Prior to this report on the phone, I would not have come up with how to monetize stool samples, but the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Personal Wujo:  Magic Subaru’s

Two other road trip notes worth sharing:  One is that on the way from Seattle down to Grants Pass a couple of days back, Elaine and I were overwhelmed at the number of Subaru’s which passed us (or we passed) on the freeway.

IMG_4093“George, I don’t think we’ve seen more than one or two of these in all our time driving in Texas,” Elaine remarked.  And it’s true.

And it didn’t dawn on us until after dinner, night before last, what this statistical anomaly was trying to tell us in advance.  Our dinner guest drove a Subaru.

Even this morning as I was going through yesterday’s trip pix…care to guess what kind of a car kept showing up?

The following day (Wednesday)  I think we only saw one during the whole day yesterday from Grants Pass down to San Marin, CA in the East Bay. 

Is this a fine little statistical clustering, or what?  Makes you wonder about the way events clump and cluster and whether there’s maybe something to those ancient  arts of scrying and such.

Oh, and think it will be a cold winter?  As we passed Mt. Shasta, Elaine caught this view of Global Warming at work:


More tomorrow, same time, same website.  Oh, and don’t forget, if you’re on a budget, we now have a $20 subscription for five months of…

Write when you break even,