Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Escape? From What? To What?


Well folks, tomorrow is August.  That month of dog days that squats astride Summer like a big sweaty fat dude.  In fact, that’s exactly what August is: a big sweaty fat month.  It’s also vacation time.  The time when entire European countries shut down so that their overworked masses can escape the drudgery of living in a socialist worker’s paradise and achieve some kind of temporary sun-drenched bliss on an island in the Mediterranean.


For Americans, this time of the Summer used to mean one thing: the classic family vacation…in your Dad’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster…packed full of crap…with you in back trying to ignore your little sister who just wouldn’t stay on her side of the seat.  Kids: “Are we there yet?”  Dad: “Don’t make me stop this car!”  We’ve all been there and survived that.  Was it fun?  Not exactly, but it probably did – like all things that fail to kill us – make us tougher.  Where did we go on those brutally endless vacations?  To some overcrowded, overpriced and overrated theme park?  (yay!)  Grandma’s house?  (boo!)  The beach?  Who cares?  We were getting out of the house.  That was all that seemed to matter.

The essence of a vacation is the act of escape.  And, just as in a prison break, the destination is immaterial.  The entire point is to vacate your current location.

But why do we all need to escape/vacate?  Are our surroundings really that miserable and dull?  Did we suddenly discover that we are trapped in some gigantic Matrix of electronic overstimulation, intellectual starvation, and mass media-driven distraction?

I’ll let you answer that for yourself.


I lived in Hawaii for nine years as an adult after living literally right on the beach (east of A1A if you know your FLA) for nearly half of my childhood.  That was more than enough beach for one life thanks (I’m still digging the sand out of the crack of my ass).  When I recently lived in the Mid-Atlantic, folks were constantly asking/pestering me about my total disinterest in that jewel of the Delmarva coast Ocean City (the one East Coast destination I am proud to have avoided).  My response “You call that a beach??!!!”

I live on my own mountain now so I kind of get the whole need-to-escape thing.  But what I never really understood was the appeal of the annual Summer vacation.  You do know you’ve got to go back to that hell when this is over, right?  And are vacations ever really worth all the stress, expense, and hassle?  Newlyweds should take a royal one (aka a “honeymoon”) to some place truly exotic right after the wedding.  Make it so special that it gets vacations out of your system for the remainder of your life.  It worked for me.  Alternately, choose a career that requires frequent travel and relocation.  This is guaranteed to beat that love of travel and “adventure” right out of you for good.  How do I know?  Because all of my fellow retirees who completed a full career in the military are, to a man, 100% homebodies.

Bottom line: vacations are almost always a drag.  They over promise and underwhelm.  And if you really find yourself needing an escape, perhaps what you really need is to reconsider that prison you are living in.

So, yeah, I just outed myself as anti-vacation.  Add that to my recently-revealed anti-holiday stance and I’ve now grown into some kind of ornery old crank.


As preppers, we should ask ourselves “Can I do something prepperish and have it masquerade as a vacation?”  Maybe, take a week off to scout out good bug-out locations in a nearby mountain range or National Forest.  Drive back roads the whole way.  Behave the whole time as if you’ll never see (or need) civilization again.

Just a thought.

Better yet: don’t go anywhere at all.  If you love your location and your current situation, you certainly shouldn’t feel any need to escape from it.  So have a staycation instead.  (<That’s a good link there, you’d better take a few minutes to check it out before proceeding)

I’ve blogged before about the joy of doing nothing.  Why not do nothing for an extended period of time, say a week, a month, or even a year?  And then, if anyone asks, you can say you had the best vacation of your life.  Works for me!


“Sorry folks, the park’s closed.  The moose out front should’ve told you.”

The Art of Doing Nothing

The most common question I was asked last year when people heard about my plans to quit work, drop out of society, and live on a mountain, was “But what will you do?

My answer was either a) “Whatever I want!”; or b) “Absolutely nothing!

After being 100% retired for nearly four months, I can honestly say that those two answers are the same exact thing. Allow me to explain…

I learned a new word the other day and I’d like to share it with you. It’s Latin and I’m not sure how to pronounce it (is it “Ah-shyum” or “Oh-tee-um”?) but it’s “Otium“. Click on the word and take a minute to read about it.

It’s a much better word than “retirement” isn’t it? “Retirement” always gave me images of a broke down horse that was too old to run being carted off to the glue factory. Any time I “retire” something, it goes in the back of a drawer or gets hauled off to the dump (depending on how big it is and if I have room for it).

Take a look at this tree. What do you notice? It is a young, slightly crooked, tree but it isn’t growing in a forest. There are mountains beyond and the sky is a beautiful shade of blue. The wildflowers are blooming and it’s a nice day. Focus on the tree for one solid minute and notice what happens inside your head. If you were in this picture, what would be your overwhelming urge? The answer you give could be a clue as to whether you can handle doing nothing.

Me? I can’t think of a better way to spend time than doing nothing. There are plenty of things that keep you from doing nothing but lately I’ve been whittling away at them until there aren’t any left.

If I were to list the top three things that keep us from doing nothing it would be something like this:

1) Job/career (I think 30 years of doing anything is plenty, but keeping at it to the grave is one of the saddest ways to waste a life that I can think of.  Do you work to live or live to work?)

2) Family/kids (Marry someone with their own hobbies, interests and “inner life” – share everything you have with them but don’t completely “mind meld” into a single being. Have your kids as early in life as possible. When they leave home, do everything in your power to keep them from moving back in with you. When mismanaged, our kids’ lives become our lives, and who wants to live somebody else’s life?)

3) Technology (Here I’m talking about that phone in your pocket, your game console, your laptop/pad/tablet/PC, etc. – basically, if it needs to be plugged into the wall every so often, it’s almost certainly a tiny vampire sucking your life away especially if it has a screen.  Science has proven that being connected makes us miserable and the more we are connected the more miserable we get.)

I’ve met quite a few folks that are physically incapable of being still. They tend to lack the ability to self-reflect, have lower self-awareness, and can’t grasp the concept of mindfulness. They are literally hyperactive children trapped in grown bodies. And they are becoming more common. Why is that?
Here’s one very well-thought-out theory. I think it’s spot-on. External forces, over the past two (three at the most) generations, while in the process of transforming ours into a Consumption-based Society, have “accelerated” our lives to the point that we’ve lost the ability to slow anything down. Admit it: going fast is fun. But if you can’t slow down (or stop entirely) you never notice any fine detail, you never let anything “soak in”, you never get a chance to process your own thoughts and experiences. Screw that. You can have your “acceleration”, I’ll just sit here on my mountain doing nothing!

Here’s another tree for you to meditate on. This one’s a little closer to my mountain. That horizon of stacked ridges is classic Appalachia for you and has its own calming effect on people. It is said that “People who live where they can see mountains are happier”. I have found that to be true.

Let me end this post by sharing the words of a wise man with you. This is a mantra of sorts to me. May it help you find what is important in your life.

“Tomorrow, makin’ a list of things to do
And when I wake up
I’m gonna cross off a few

There must be millions of reasons
To try and explain, you’re never through
When they give you twenty-four hours
Only so much a man can do

Tomorrow, made up my mind
Gonna get busy, come from behind
Today I’m staying right where I am
Break a few rules, make a few plans

There’s thousand of things
To keep you from doing what you wanna do
And if it isn’t this then it’s that
Back where it’s at, and you’re never through

There must be millions of reasons
Thousands of things, just to name a few
I’m gonna spend the rest of today
Makin’ a list of things to do

But I’ll do ’em all tomorrow
It can wait until tomorrow.”

– Joe Walsh, from the album “But Seriously Folks” 1978

So Stupid It’s Smart!

It’s time for a break from all the doom & gloom in which I’ve been wallowing lately.  Join me as I poke holes in the newest golden calf that I am sure we all love to mock: the “smartening” of common everyday items.

Bottom line up front: any product or service with the word “smart” in the title is most assuredly something so idiotic that no one with an IQ above room temperature would go anywhere near it.

First up: Smart “Food”.


OK, so it’s neither smart nor is it food.  It’s just popcorn – one of the highest margin snacks on the planet.  Obviously, it’s not the people eating this stuff who are “smart” but rather the marketing geniuses who invented this product (which isn’t even GMO-free).

Next: Smart Water.


Bottled water is a scamSmart people know that.  So dumb people continue to drink the stuff (some of which can be very expensive) hoping that it makes them smarter.  Good luck with that!

Then there’s one of my all-time favorite absurdities: The Smart Car.


Listen – you should have to increase your life insurance rates just to get in one of these glorified golf carts let alone actually drive one on public roadways.  This thing is a deathtrap.  My Ram 1500 would roll right over the top of a Smart Car and I probably wouldn’t even spill any of my Smart Water while doing it.  But never fear – Darwin was right about everything, including Smart Car owners.  Say goodbye to the gene pool smarties!

Next.  Guns are tools.  It’s people who are smart (or dumb), right?


Right (duh).  But that fact didn’t stop some (no doubt) really smart guy from inventing a gun that only works when being held by someone wearing the matching watch-thingie that controls its operation like an electric “key”.  The “Smart Gun” is so uselessly dumb on so many levels I can’t even begin to mock it adequately.  One can only imagine how many clueless Progressives and Social Justice Warriors there are out there who think that all the needless killing would end tomorrow if all our guns worked like thisWon’t somebody think of the children? <sniff>

The last three stupidly smart things go together because they all depend on public digital networks (aka “The Matrix”).

Smart house flat illustration concept

“Smart House” – (n.) Needless complication and technological dependence in service of convenience.

Don’t you want a “smart house”?  No?  What are you?  Dumb??!!  Everybody knows it’ll be a better world when we can all remotely adjust our thermostats (and close our garage doors, and set our home alarm system, and turn off lights, and freak the shit out of our cats and dogs in the process) with our cell phones while we are at work.  Why?  Because it will relieve us of the stress of having to worry about whether we did these things with our ACTUAL HANDS while we were still IN our houses.

Of course, if you can control your home from afar then I guarantee you I can too!  Oh what fun it will be to screw with every “smart” appliance in your crib.  Welcome to the “Internet Of Things” suckers.


True story: when my local power utility recently adopted “Smart Meters”, I opted out.  They actually trespassed on my property to install this demonic device – which I swear pumped out so much radio frequency energy it made my fillings hum – so I sent them a nasty letter and demanded that they come back and remove it.  And they did.  Buy they sulked about how me exercising free will over my own property would prevent me from “realizing savings by having real-time usage data” at my fingertips.  I laughed because what they really wanted was the ability to remotely control my home’s electrical grid, including all major smart grid-compatible appliances I might have within.  I hate Statists, Collectivists, and Progressives with an equally white hot fiery passion and now you can add utility companies to that list.  No, you do not get to tell me what is good for me.  Now go away.

And last, but certainly not least, is the most beloved gadget in all of Murka: the Smart Phone.


I could, and still might, write several blog posts about how colossally dumb smart phones are.  But they are so pernicious in how they’ve wormed their way into our lives that now no one views them with anything other than total and unreserved adoration.  Fact time.  Smart phones kill thousands of people a year, ruin our sleep, destroy our ability to make and retain new memories, and have reduced most of the population to drooling shambling zombified idiots.  And worst of all, carrying a smart phone makes tracking your daily routine – including where you go, how much you spend and on what, who you talk to, and what you do on the Internet – easier than ever.  That’s right, it’s NOT just a phone!  It’s a super-accurate electronic leash and guess who is holding the other end.

As I am so famous for pointing out as I move among the herd: Smart Phones are (still) 100% optional.  Contrary to what “they” are telling you, you don’t need a smart phone to survive.  Heck, you don’t even need one to be a normal, healthy, happy, successful and fully-functioning member of society.  How do I know?  BECAUSE I DON’T OWN ONE!  And I am the most normal, most healthy, happiest, and least messed-up person I know.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so…


Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying I’m “smarter” because I avoid things with “smart” in their name.  But I have read Orwell and I know what Newspeak is.  And it is all around us.  “Common Sense Gun Control” is Newspeak, so is “Affordable Care Act”.

Do whatever you want with all this smart stuff.  It is still a “free country” (more Newspeak?) for at least a few more months anyways.  But be aware that you are being lied to constantly.  Also you are being manipulated in multiple hidden ways.  Things are being promised to you that simply aren’t being delivered.  Take smart phone usage for instance.  There isn’t one single thing you can do on that thing that I can’t do better with an old landline telephone, an up-to-date road atlas, an actual camera, and a current desktop personal computer connected to fast fiber.  So stop lying to yourself and stop lying to me about how much that Hershey bar-shaped thing in your pocket has “improved” your life.

We know we’re smart.  We don’t need all these stupid things around us constantly reminding us!





What? Me Panic?


So it’s officially Ebola season. Hurray! You know the Chosen Ones are serious when they appoint a “Czar” to (mis)manage the response to a crisis. And it’s always worked so well before…


What do we know about this virus? Well, we know that we can’t trust anybody in charge to make correct decisions. But don’t panic – if you’ve been prepping properly, you will survive this just fine.

First step: get educated. I highly recommend Richard Preston’s 1994 book “The Hot Zone”. I read it when it came out and it scared the crap out of me. It also made me instantly the smartest person in the room whenever the topic of Ebola came up in casual conversation (and doesn’t it always come up eventually?) Twenty years later, I made myself read it again and then passed my copy around to everybody I know who gives a damn. Be smart and get your own copy (used paperbacks are only a buck or two on amazon) and start reading it pronto.

Next step: keep an eye on current events. Notice I didn’t say “Watch/read the news”? That’s because it’s almost all lies and disinformation. There is quite obviously an agenda behind our government’s response to this disaster and I’m not convinced it’s totally righteous.

Right now “panicking” would be a much more prudent course of action than relaxing. If you “panic” you will be skeptical of the public health system’s “plan”; you will resist (violently if necessary) resettlement in quarantine camps; you will stay more than ten feet away from strangers, especially West Africans; you will abandon silly social customs like handshaking, kissing and hugging; you will know when to stay home from work and when to keep the kids out of school; you will buy a few extra masks, some bleach, plastic sheeting; you will think twice before getting on a crowded airliner to go see Grandma at Thanksgiving/Christmas; etc. I know you’re smarter than that. You know where to look this stuff up.

If you “panic” you might still be alive when the virus finally dies out a few years from now. Stop for a second a go to the link in the previous sentence. Read it all. That’s what we are in for. Advances in science and medicine are totally cancelled out by the speed and distances of jet travel combined with a human species that is more heavily urbanized and densely packed than ever before in history. Will Ebola kill 3-5% of the world’s population just like the Spanish Flu did in 1918? That seems totally plausible to me.


In the meantime, watch as the system strains to stay two steps behind good old Mother Nature. Stay well, stay smart, and stay alive!

The ABCs of MREs

Few things satisfy like a “Meal Ready To Eat” or “MRE“. OK, let me rephrase: few things satisfy after a sweaty 20-mile hump under a loaded ruck like an MRE.

So maybe you’re like most adventurous outdoorsy prepper types and have eaten a few “Mister E’s” (get it?), but do you know everything there is to know about the shelf life, proper storage, and safe use of MRE’s?

Knowledge is here.

What, ME Worry?


Since it appears all but certain now that I am totally surrounded by empty-headed Murkans that can’t be bothered about all the creepy stuff that’s out there trying to maim, poison, imprison, terrorize, or kill us; I have decided to call it quits.

I have failed to convince even the less stupid people I know that we have a big, big problem on our hands. Like Alfred E. Neuman, you all just want to stick your heads back in the sand (or in the TV, or -more likely- in your damn “smart” phones) and proceed in blissful ignorance.


And you know what? That’s fine with me! I can do “fat, dumb, and happy” just as good as the next guy.


Everything’s going to be just fine. Prepping is for paranoid suckers with more money than brains. Those preppers are all just closet hippies anyways…probably dope smokers too. Why else would they need all that privacy?


Now pass me those pop tarts and give me that remote. I need to tweet me some peeps!

Refuse! Resist! Revolt!

Refuse!  Resist!  Revolt!

I will not voluntarily comply with any part of the ACA (“Obamacare”).

Will you? And if so, why?

GMOs Blasted In The Mainstream Media!


This story is a really big deal and it’s no surprise which network decided to swim against the current and attempt to wake the flock up.


I’ve said it before and I’ll keep hammering it home until my fingers fall off: if you’re not eating organic food, you are killing yourself. Feeding GMO-containing food to your family, friends, and pets is unconscionable. If you are guilty, just stop. If you can’t find the GMO-containing food – which is understandable considering the govt has been paid to NOT support labeling – here’s a list. Don’t eat anything on that list unless you are ready to accept the consequences.


Between the GMOs, the vaccines, the fluoride, the mercury, the chlorine, the smart meters, and the cell phones, it’s no small wonder that any of us are still alive.

The program? Depopulation on a scale never before seen.

The target? You and me.

A Massive Rhyme Is Coming

Please take a few minutes and watch this mini-documentary.

Here’s what’s coming: another wave of class-action lawsuits against cell phone manufacturers for failure to warn of hazards culminating in a multi-billion dollar settlement just like we saw with Big Tobacco 15 years ago.


I will never own a “smart” phone but I realize many (if not all of you) do own one. In fact, most of you can’t live your multitasked, internet-connected, overstimulated 21st Century schizoid lives without that gadget in your pocket. Just don’t expect me to join the herd on this. My eyes are open. I know what a sub-cranial glioma is and I’ve known people who’ve suffered and died from them. No thanks!


Next step: line up the CEOs of Motorola, Nokia, Apple, and Samsung and make them swear before a Congressional committee that their products are safe. Then sue the crap out of them for perjury.



Things are going swimmingly at the big government health care “marketplaces”. Millions of happy citizen-customers are signing up for overpriced and under-equipped insurance. Stop on by and join the fun!

Personally, I’ve never felt healthier. It’s been over five years since I’ve stepped foot in a pill-pusher–I mean doctor’s–office. And I don’t plan to start visiting one any time soon. What’s my secret? Good genes and clean living. Basically, I don’t treat my body like a rental car*. You shouldn’t either. You only get one you know…


But it thrills me to no end to know that our elected (and unelected) overlords are looking out for our less well countrymen…and sticking them with a big fat bill!


*OK, I’ll reveal one of my healthcare secrets: I don’t get vaccines or shots of any kind. Most quacks–I mean doctors–will be the first to tell you that a) not all of the population requires vaccination/immunization for it to be successful; and b) if you are not in a high-risk demographic, you’ll likely be fine without a shot.

The choice is clear: stay healthy and say “no thanks” to needles, or continue down the path of sickness-by-choice and letting other people make the big decisions for you.