Sugardyne-The Poor Mans Antibiotic

Friday, December 7, 2012

Some Thought for those Feeling Depressed During the “Silly Season”

Some Thought for those Feeling Depressed During the “Silly Season”

It’s not really odd for an article like this to be on a site about preparedness and survival.  You see, a significant number of people will not survive the Christmas Season because they will self-terminate a.k.a commit suicide.

My formal education is in psychology, and one thing we know is that while not the time of the highest number of suicides, a lot of people do commit suicide during the Christmas season, New Year’s Day being the day with the highest total suicides over the Christmas Season.

This article is for those people contemplating suicide.

There are a lot of good reasons for many of us to feel depressed.  Many of you will spend Christmas Day alone.  Many of you will get no Christmas Cards.  Some of you won’t even get a “Merry Christmas” from a single human being.  Many of you are unemployed or underemployed.  As such, you have a lot of time to think about the fact that you have no family and you are unemployed and in economic hot water.  (The economic hot water thing applies to me personally, so at least in that area, I do know what you’re going through.)

Now, if you are thinking about committing suicide, what I AM NOT going to do is ask you not to do it.  What I am going to do is ask you to put it off.  You see, if you’ve really made up your mind to commit suicide, you will find a way to do it, even if they lock you up in a padded room.  Just put it off.

It’s worth commenting on the phenomenon of depressive realism.  Individuals who are mildly depressed perceive the world more accurately than their non-depressed peers.  The key word is MILDLY in mildly depressed.  If you’ve reached the point where you are thinking about committing suicide, you are way past the point of mild depression.  As such, you DO NOT perceive the world more accurately, you perceive it less accurately.

So what do you do?

Get help is an obvious answer.  However, depending on where you are, even seeing a standard M.D. could take days or weeks.  To see a psychiatrist could take longer.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to see a doctor-do try.  But I want to give you alternatives in case you have to wait, because the wait could kill you. 

There are other people you can talk to.  Your minister, rabbi, priest, or other religious leader is a start.  If you have no religion or you’re an atheist, in larger cities there are organizations that offer counseling to people who are contemplating suicide.

If push comes to shove and you think you are going to do it, go to your local emergency room.  Ask to see the resident psychiatrist and tell them you are contemplating suicide.

With that said, I know some of you will never ask for help.  That means you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands to help yourself.  (And I’m not talking about a .38 revolver.)

What follows should be looked at as ideas, not a list of steps.  Some of the ideas will be good for one person and not another person.  Consider them all.

1.  Spend some time helping people whose lives are way more messed up than yours.  This sounds like b.s, UNTIL YOU DO IT.  Been there, done that.  Helping other people whose lives are way more messed up than yours helps you get a more realistic perspective on your own situation.

When you get depressed, you start focusing more and more on your own situation.  This starts a cycle in which you become more depressed.  You then focus ever more on your own situation.  You have to break this cycle, and helping others who are way more messed up than you helps you do this.

2.  RADICALLY CHANGE THE STRATEGIES YOU ARE USING TO ADDRESS YOUR OWN PROBLEMS.  Again, here we get into a vicious cycle.  When things are not working, what do we as humans tend to do?  WE DO WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING; ONLY WE DO IT HARDER.  Sad but true.

A one hundred eighty-degree change of strategy and tactics is a good technique.  Totally change how you approach your situation.

3.  Avoid isolation.  Isolation will just give you more opportunity to focus on your own issues.  Get out of your house or apartment and get out in public.  One thing I suggest is going to the movies.  Even if your economic situation is bad, you can probably scrape up enough money for the ticket.  Eat something before going and sneak a water or soda into the theater inside your coat.  Snacks at the movies are so expensive because the theater makes ZERO money off the tickets.  That all goes to the movie makers.

If you are going to spend Christmas Day alone, I highly recommend this one for Christmas Day.  A lot of new films open on Christmas Day.

Movies, for a time, take you into an imaginary world.  That is a good thing when you are depressed.  You need to “get away” for a short time.

In the theme of avoiding isolation, most cities, even small ones, have lots of public events during the Christmas season that are free to the public.  Get a copy of your local newspaper or city magazine and find the dates and times of these and go to as many as you can.  If you’re going to be alone on Christmas Day and your city has an event on Christmas Day, go to it.

If a local Church has a service on Christmas Day, go to it even if you’re not a member.

4.  In survival and preparedness, we know this: You avoid if possible making big decisions when you are hungry, thirsty, fatigued, or sleep deprived.  If you are depressed and you are experiencing any of these, you need to fix it.

Try to eat at least 3 large meals daily or 4 to 5 smaller meals.  If money is an issue, the canned meat section of the grocery store offers a lot of good protein selections at low prices.

If you are fatigued, rest.  If you can’t rest, plan your activities in the most energy efficient manner.

Now, sleep is a biggie with regard to clinical depression.  THE CLASSIC WARNING SIGN OF CLINICAL DEPRESSION IS EARLY MORNING AWAKENING.  If you wake at any time between 2:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. and cannot go back to sleep, this is a big warning sign that you have clinical depression.  If you go to bed at nonstandard times, if you normally sleep on or about 8 hours and you wake up at a time on or about 4 hours after going to bed, you have early morning awakening.

If you simply cannot sleep, melatonin is a good option.  It’s available over the counter.  I personally have found the Natrol brand to work consistently.  I think this is because it is a pure synthetic as opposed to melatonin extracted from animal sources.

5.  Take steps to reduce bad stress.  Again, planning your activities in the most energy efficient and time efficient manner will help.  Plan your tomorrow TODAY.  Write down all the places you need to go, what you need to do, and all the addresses and phone numbers of the people and places you will need to go to and see.  It’s good to write it out in a small notebook.  If you do this in your smart phone or electronic devise, Murphy’s ghost will catch up with you-the electronic devise will fail when you need it the most.  (Also smart phones are easily hacked.  That’s a good reason not to keep detailed personal information there.)

If you don’t exercise regularly, start.  If you can afford a gym membership, I suggest you get one.  This will be another way to get you out of the house and interacting with other people. 

If you cannot afford a gym membership, consider local churches, your local YMCA, or Jewish Community Centers.  Many of these have exercise facilities.

If this is not an option, there was a very good book written more than 20 years ago by a U.S. Navy SEAL entitled Get Tough.  It is an exercise/running plan that requires no other equipment than a chin up bar.  Even if you have no chin up bar, if you do the other exercises you will be in great shape.

Double blind placebo controlled studies have shown regular exercise helps lift depression.

With regard to reducing stress there is a book entitled The Relaxation Response that has some very good techniques for lowering stress.

If you cannot afford the books mentioned, your local library can get them via an interlibrary loan if they don’t already have them.

6.  The herb St. Johns Wort is an over the counter product that has been proven to work as good or better than the prescription SSRI (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors), what I refer to as the “Zoprac” class of anti-depressants.

Now, here is a big warning.  One of the most dangerous times in depression for those contemplating suicide is the time when the depression is first lifting.  When you are at rock bottom, you may be too depressed to kill yourself.  However, when you’re coming out of it there will be a time when you’re not over it but you will have enough energy to kill yourself.  So be careful.  I only offer this advice because I know some of you will not seek professional help.  Again let me say if you can get professional help, get professional help.

With regards to St. Johns Wort, you want to buy a standardized version.  One I recommend is a brand called Kira.  It is made in Germany.  The Germans were big into herbal medicine (until the dictatorial European Union regulated herbs).  It is of excellent quality.  The company Nature’s Way makes a standardized product called Perika  that is very good.

How does it work?  St. Johns Wort acts as a reversible mono amine oxidase inhibitor (as opposed to the irreversible prescription maoi inhibitors like phenalzine sulfate, tranylcypromine, and isocarboxazide which can cause blood pressure to rise to lethal levels if the person taking them ingest the chemical tyramine in certain foods or if the person taking them takes certain drugs, both over the counter and prescription).

7.  Try speaking to God in prayer.  Try this especially if you don’t believe He exists.  This comes from someone who has been on both sides.  Let me explain.

I started out thinking I was a Christian.  Then I swung over to the other side and essentially became an atheist.  Later, I read a book  by an orthodox Jewish rabbi (not a Christian) that convinced me that the Bible was real, so I became a real Christian, but not a “good” Christian.  I object on principle to anyone being called a “good Christian”.  If we were good, we would not need the overly generous deal offered by Jesus Christ.  Also, any honest Christian will tell you they commit sins on a frighteningly routine basis.  I know I do.

However, it’s not my purpose to make you a convert in this article.  My purpose is to keep you alive.

When you go to God in prayer, be respectful but say what’s on your mind.  If you have questions, ask them.  God is not interested in humans repeating mindless prayers over and over again.  In fact, He considers such prayers offensive.  God is interested in you.  Why you ask?  I can only give you my theory.

A large part of running the multiverse for God has to be boredom.  When your omnipotent, omnipresent, and not bound by linear time, you pretty much know all there is to know and all there ever will be.  In simple terms, God made us because he was bored and wanted (not needed) company.  God views all humans as his children, and like any loving father he does care about his children.  That’s why you should go to Him in prayer with your problems and issues.

I would be negligent here if I did not cover what many people, including depressed people, will ask.  They ask “How can a loving God allow evil and suffering to exist?”  Or sometimes it is stated “If 1. God is totally good and 2. God is omnipotent, omnipresent and all powerful; the existence of evil proves that one of the two has to be false.”

That is what I call a simple Simeon philosophical argument.

God does not mess with free will.  If humans had the choice to:

1.  Behave good.
2.  Behave good.

We would not be humans.  We would be mindless automatons.

You say “What about all the suffering in the world?”

Most of it is caused by us.  When a walkway in a hotel falls and kills a lot of people, we humans have a tendency to blame God when they should blame architects who can’t do math as it applies to statics.

Why doesn’t God remedy all the suffering in the world?  HE SENT US TO REMEDY IT.  This does not mean one has to end world hunger eradicate all injustice.  It may be something as simple as saying a kind word to someone who is lonely or a kind word to that person in the office who is not well liked.

If you’re depressed this Christmas and you get that, once you recover, it’s unlikely you will ever get depressed again.

One last thing before I go.  With regards to life on Earth, the secret to life may be this simple:

Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

May you stay alive this Christmas and live to see many more.   



Friday, November 9, 2012

An Eclectic List of Survival/Preparedness Tips and Ideas

An Eclectic List of Survival/Preparedness Tips and Ideas


Kevin S. in Alabama


The word eclectic means “selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles”.  Thinks of this article as a Thanksgiving time cornucopia of tips and ideas in which you can take the tips and ideas that are useful to you and disregard the rest.


1.       In all things relating to survival and preparedness, DO THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE NOW.  Any amount of preparedness is better than no preparedness.  Money is the major limiting factor in most individual’s preparedness plans.  Prepare as best you can given your financial position.


2.        Look into Ziploc Slider storage bags.  These bags come in storage type and heavy duty freezer type.  Both types are available in quart and gallon sizes.  I suggest purchasing the heavy duty freezer type if money is not an issue.  The price difference between the storage type and freezer type is not great.


Unlike some of the lesser quality “zip lock” bags, these bags have a slider that you pull to seal the bag.  With this slider, you know you have a good seal and you know the bag will stay sealed.


One can use these bags to organize the items in your bug out pack.  You can put fire making equipment in one bag, signaling equipment in another bag, etc.  Also, by putting all the equipment in your bug out pack into the Ziploc slider bag, you have turned your non-waterproof bug out pack into a waterproof bug out pack.


I also suggest you take one of the one gallon size slider bags and stuff it full of as many slider bags as possible.  In a survival situation, the potential uses for these slider bags are almost unlimited.  You can use the bags to collect water to be purified at a later time.  You can use them to store food you collect.  If you had to do a river crossing you could fill the bags with air and tape them to an injured adult, a non-swimmer, a child, or even an infant and use them as a flotation device.  You could even get creative fill some bags with air and some bags with water.  By taping the bags in the right position you could make an improvised self-righting devise to keep the person face up in the water.    Bags filled with air could be put into your bug out bag or taped to it to get it to or close to neutral buoyancy when river crossing.


3.       Keep a Ziploc Slider bag full of rock salt in your bug out kit.  Salt creates an environment in which it is hard for infectious bacteria to thrive.  For puncture wounds, a little water can be added to rock salt to make a paste to put in the wound, to suck out toxins.  You can add a lot of water to rock salt to make a saline solution.  This saline solution is good for washing out wounds.  A warm saline solution is good for rinsing out the mouth when oral infections are present.  This is also good for rinsing the mouth after meals if you cannot brush your teeth.


This is especially important if you keep your bug out pack in your vehicle.  None of your over-the-counter or prescription antibiotic creams and powders will survive the heat level inside your vehicle on a sunny day.  Salt will last essentially forever.


4.       Keep a cylinder of sugar (sucrose), like the ones you buy on the coffee and tea isle in the grocery store in your bug out pack.  Sugar can be used to treat infected wounds and was once sold in combination with providone-iodine solution (Betadine) as a product called Sugardyne.  To treat an infected wound you simply pack the wound with sugar crystals.  Check the wound at regular intervals.  When the sugar crystals turn liquid, it’s time to re-pack the wound with more sugar crystals.  Why do you do this?  The sugar kills the infectious agent by osmotic shock.  In simple terms, it sucks the water out of the infectious agent, dehydrating it.  If you leave the liquefied sugar crystals in the wound, the infectious agent can use the water in the liquefied sugar solution to begin the growth process again.



5.       Keep a roll of aluminum foil tape in your bug out pack.  It has numerous uses, but the most important use relating to bugging out is protecting you from frostbite and hypothermia.


Imagine TEOTWAWKI has come and you have to bug out in a hurry.  Its winter and it’s very cold.  You have to travel on foot and you don’t have waterproof socks or shoes.  There is a foot of snow on the ground.  If you travel in the snow on foot your shoes and socks are going to be soaked in short order.  Then come’s frostbite and possibly trench foot.


If you have a roll of aluminum foil tape in your bug out pack you’re covered.  Before going out you simply wrap your socks with a layer of aluminum foil tape.   Like the space blankets made of aluminum, the aluminum foil tape reflects your body heat back onto your feet and keeps out the water.


Imagine a situation even worse.  You have to bug out in a winter storm and you don’t have adequate clothing for the cold.  You could wrap the upper part of your body (the area around the heart and lungs) with aluminum foil tape.  This would help keep your core body temperature from dropping into the hypothermia range.  Using a pair of scissors like those on a pocket knife or multi tool you could cut small pieces of aluminum foil tape to go on your face, nose, and ears to prevent frostbite.


6.       Get Gorilla Tape.  This stuff puts the best duct tape to shame.  It comes in several sizes and is available in camouflage.  Keep a roll of it in your bug out pack.  Get as much of this product as you can.


7.       There is a lot you can do with the metal coat hangers you get from the dry cleaners.  This little tool from Duluth Trading will help immensely in bending coat hangers into the shapes needed for whatever preparedness project you are working on.   It bends mild steel up to 3/16” diameter and lets you bend “S” hooks, fishing rod eyes, curtain rod rings and more.  Get a large plastic garbage can and save all your metal coat hangers.  They can be very useful.


8.       There is a huge amount of survival and preparedness information on the internet.  Unlike Survival Blog many web sites are here today and gone tomorrow.  (And they don’t have the funds to make an archive CD like Survival Blog.)    So if you find useful information on a site, it’s very important to capture that data.


I suggest copying and pasting the data with Word Pad.  Why Word Pad?  It is not that great of a word processor but it is on virtually every computer that uses Microsoft Windows as its operating system.


Word Pad has its drawbacks.  The program is hit or miss when it comes to capturing graphics.  I prefer to use the special paste option unformatted text.  Sometimes you lose the graphics, but this is not a big deal with many articles.


If you want to capture and entire web page the newer versions of Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat 10 can do that. 


Whatever method you use to capture survival and preparedness data from the internet, it is very important that you print out a hard copy.  Print the data out onto 8 ½ x 11 inch paper with three holes and put the papers in three ring binders.  That way, if you lose your computer to EMP or other threats you still have the data.  You might even consider purchasing a gun safe rated to take a 1500 degree Fahrenheit fire for 30 minutes to store your three ring binders (and survival and preparedness books) in.  To give your survival and preparedness information even more protection you could wrap your binders and books in several layers of aluminum foil before putting them in the gun safe.


This and this are examples of the kind of information you should be making hard copies of.


9.       When stockpiling 12 gauge shotgun ammo stockpile only 2 ¾ inch shells.  Why?  Depending on the make and model of the shotgun it may shoot 2 ¾ inch shells, 3 inch shells,  3 ½ inch shells, or all three sizes.  Let’s say you have a 12 gauge shotgun that shoots all three sizes and you stockpile 3 ½ inch shells.  Let’s say you lose that shotgun in a firefight defending your survival retreat.  You scrounge and find another 12 gauge shotgun, but it is only chambered for 2 ¾ inch shotgun shells.  You’re out of luck.


10.    When stockpiling pistol ammunition, stockpile the heaviest grain weigh non +P ammunition.  Why?  You may have a pistol that can take the pressures produced by + P ammunition, but you lose it.  You scrounge and find a perfectly good pistol in your caliber that was produced before the introduction of + P ammunition.  Again, you’re out of luck.


11.   Get to know the herb andrographis.  It is a very effective treatment for bacterial and viral infections when professional medical care is delayed or outright unavailable.  You might consider getting the seeds and growing it yourself.  Native to India, some claim the use of this herb kept India relatively free from the 1918 flu pandemic.  If you have bleeding disorders or autoimmune disease do not take andrographis.  If you have any serious problem with your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or immune system check with and M.D. or D.O. who has knowledge of herbal medicine in addition to standard medical training before taking this herb.  When I feel the flu coming on, 4 capsules every 4 hours knocks it out.  I like the Nature’s Way brand.


12.   There are times when you might have to drop your bug out pack and run.  You need something to go on your belt to keep your most essential items.  The Nite Ize Hip Pock-Its Utility Holster is a good option to wear on your belt.  With two of these on your belt, filled with your most essential items, even if you lost you bug out pack you would not be totally naked in terms of survival equipment.



13.    When bugging out, you are going to run into the “Golden Hoard” leaving the cities en mass.  A few of them will be civil but most will act like savages.  Have something to give them that they can use like these emergency ponchos from Coghlans.  It may help, but you will eventually meet some with whom you will need to exchange gunfire.


14.   With # 13 in mind, get some serious medical gear designed to help you survive combat.  Tactical Medical Solutions is a good supplier.  Request their print catalog.  They make some very good medical products to treat gunshot wounds, such as:


Celox Hemostatic Agent with syringe style applicator for deep wounds  Note: The active ingredient in Celox is chitosan, which is made from shellfish.  If you have ever had an anaphylactic reaction from eating shellfish DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT.


15.   Get a copy of the Tactical Survival Specialties Inc. print catalog.  It has some really hard to find and uncommon survival equipment.   



16.    Since fire is absolutely essential for survival, you need to exceed the Nez Perce Rule of Threes. 


Have the following on your person in a small hip pack on your belt like that listed in item # 12.  In it you will have:


1.        A Zippo type wind proof lighter

2.       Several Bic lighters still in the plastic

3.       At least 4 boxes of waterproof matches

4.       A tube of Coghlans Fire Paste

5.       At least 2 Duraflame Firestart Firelighters

6.       Another fire starting tool or method of your choice

7.       Still another fire starting tool of your choice.

Remember, you keep this kit on your belt, not in your bug out pack.  The ability to make fire is survival itself.  Without fire there is no heat to boil water to purify it.  There is no heat for cooking.  Every individual in your group should have a kit like this of their own on their belt.  All the items in the hip pack on your belt should be duplicated in the bug out kit of every member of your group.


17.    Since water is absolutely necessary for life for your bug out kit consider the following:


1.        A Katadyn small water filter.  This will give you water to drink very fast.

2.       A  SteriPEN water treatment devise

3.       A small metal cup (stainless steel or copper) for boiling water.

             In a hip pack on a belt include:

1.       5 of the Ziploc Slider bags-heavy duty freezer type-1 gallon size to collect water in.

2.       Katadyn or other brand of chlorine dioxide tablets.  These tablets take 4 hours to work, but they claim they kill giardia and cryptosporidium


18.    If you’re planning on bugging out in a group and you are thinking something like this:  “person 1 will carry survival items A, B, and C. Person 2 will carry items D, E, and F. Person 3 will carry survival items G, H and I.”  I have two words for you.  FORGET IT.  Each person in your bug out group must have all the essentials for survival (water purification, fire making equipment etc.) on their person.  Why?  You could get split up, captured or killed.  If you did the scenario described above some of your essential survival equipment would be gone.


19.   If you want a handgun to put in your bug out pack or to wear concealed while bugging out, I suggest the Glock 26.  This is one of the “baby” Glocks.  With its standard 10 round magazine, it is hard to hold.  But put in one of Glock’s extended magazines, and it handles great.  It will accept the Glock 9mm 12 round magazine, the 15 round magazine, the 17 round magazine, the 19 round magazine, and even the 33 round 9mm magazine.  You could wear it in a shoulder rig under a dark shirt with the 17 round magazine in it.  You could have 4 to 8 of the 33 round magazines in a hip pouch if the stuff hit the fan


20.    Remember to protect your eyes, hands, and feet.  If you have any major problem with any one or all of these three, your efficiency will drop dramatically.


For eye protection, wear the military type goggles that seal out dust and sand.  If you have corrective lenses some companies will make these goggles with your prescription ground into the lens.

For hands, get gloves that are cut resistant, fire resistant, and provide good grip.

For footwear, get something you can walk in for a very long distance (this will require testing) comfortably.  Steel toes are preferred.

All of these items can be found in the Grainger catalog.  Order a print copy of it today.  (The Grainger catalog is loaded with safety equipment, survival equipment, medical supplies and just about anything one would need for their survival retreat, wire, fasteners, etc.)


21.   Do you know how to haggle?  Would you know how to work the black market during crisis and/or martial law to get the things you and your family need to survive?  If not, start studying up.  If and when TEOTWAWKI comes, the only economic system operating will be the barter system.


22.   Have something in your bug out pack to keep you motivated.  If you’re a Christian, a copy of the Holy Bible Old and New Testament in the King James Version or the English Standard Version would be good.  If you’re a religious Jew, a copy of the Old Testament and some of the other sacred Jewish texts. 


Here is a nice product you might store your religious texts in.



In addition to religious material, a copy of the United States Constitution would be good. Also, some non-fiction books that motivate you would be in order.  I would have any or all of the Pocket Ref books.  They contain vast amounts of useful information.


23.   In your bug out pack, keep a map of your state and maps of every state that borders your state.  After and EMP attack the GPS system might be down as well as your hand held GPS devise.  Topographic maps can be useful as well.


24.    If you’re looking for a hobby, why not learn how to use the sextant and the slide rule?  If the GPS system goes down, both of these items would be useful.  You can buy slide rules here.  You can buy sextants here and here.




25.   When you get to your survival retreat, if you don’t have some fun from time to time you’ll go crazy.  You need recreational activities that people of all ages can play.  K-Mart sells some low priced, good quality bocce ball sets (in the south we use these sets for lawn bowling).  In bocce ball (lawn bowling) you have a small white ball.  The two players are on opposite sides at equal distance from the small ball.  The players then take turns rolling their two larger balls toward the small white ball.  The player that gets closest to the white ball without touching it wins.  If a player hits the white ball that player automatically loses.  You can play a cut throat version of this in which one player can roll his ball into the other players ball, causing it to hit the white ball, thus the other player loses.


Games like chess and go are good as well because they teach strategy, something you will need in defending your survival retreat.  This is especially true for the game go in which you try to control the largest amount of territory with the least number of pieces.


26.   Remember, no one has this whole survival/preparedness thing figured out yet.  As such, it would benefit us to drop or at least fall out of love with our preconceived notions of how TEOTWAWKI may happen.  If and when TEOTWAWKI comes, it will most likely come in a form few of us expect.


27.   Consilio et animis.   Latin By wisdom and courage.