Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothing like spending a week in the hospital

It's been a long, hard nine months (OK so it wasn't that bad) but my wife finally had our daughter. Last week was probably worse than the last nine months combined. Last week we went in for an appointment and the doctors convinced us that she had to be induced. The wifey felt fine and the baby seemed to be OK but they were saying that the ultrasound was measuring low amniotic fluid. Her due date was still a week out but I wasn't going to argue. Anyway, a couple of days after starting the inducement they broke her water (where the midwife was vocally surprised by the amount of amniotic fluid). A few hours later they said that it was OK for her to start pushing. She had an epidural so she couldn't feel a thing. We were basically just watching the monitor and she was pushing when we told her to. After four hours they called a doctor in. We could see the crown of the baby's head but the doctor was skeptical that the baby was going to come out on her own. He was actually surprised that she had started pushing at all because her contractions didn't seem like they were strong enough to him. After a few more pushes and a couple of rounds with some kind of vaccum thingy he convinced us to go for a c section.

Anyway, the baby is healthy and mom is recovering. We spent four more days in the hospital after the baby was born. Now I'm just waiting to see the ridiculous hospital bill. Asking how much this or that is going to cost when you're having a baby is akin to asking how much extras cost when you're planning a funeral. Next time I won't be so quick to take the doctor's and nurses word for anything when they're being wishy washy. When they start saying things like "just to be on the safe side" or "this is a little unusual" it probably translates to something like "we want to do this on our schedule" or "we can charge you more if we do it this way". If it's actually serious then they won't beat around the bush. I'll know better next time.

So far the baby's been great and everything has gone smoothly since I got her home. The whole sleep thing isn't a big deal to me since I don't sleep much, anyway. At least now I have something to do when I wake up in the middle of the night. Now I've just got to start working her into my preps. The basics like stacks and stacks of clothes, diapers, food, and most of the other basics are covered. Mom's good to go in the milk department. I've been so busy getting the house ready and brushing up on the basics that I haven't done a lot of thinking about "preps" for her. Me being me I've probably got most of the basics covered without even realizing it. If anyone has any glaringly obvious, easy suggestions I'm all ears, though.

If you're in the Colorado area Dave over at Our Happy Homestead is doing a bulk grain order. You can get details and pricing on his website right here. All orders are due by March 5th. He does these bulk grain orders fairly regularly so if you can't jump on this one then you can submit your name and email address and he'll let you know when the next one is coming up. Both conventional and organic grain is available. Delivery to a limited area is also available for a small fee.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And the global warming scam continues to unravel

Apparently Phil Jones, the leading global warming "scientist" over at East Anglia University's Climatic Research Unit (yes the same Phil Jones who's email correspondence with fellow global warming scientists was exposed) recently did an interview with the BBC. Not only did he admit that the climate hasn't been warming for 15 years but he also admitted some interesting tidbits like how the Earth was probably warmer during medieval times (through no fault of man) and how he didn't bother to keep track of any of the information that he used to come to his conclusions. After all, there was just so much data to go through and he never thought that anyone would think to question him in the future. This article over at The Washington Post pretty much sums it up. This quote from the article says a lot:

"Man is driven by his ego and finds it impossible to think even the weather is not all about him."

Meanwhile, the glaciers in the Himalayas aren't actually disappearing. We're experiencing the worst winter weather in years all across the globe. Lake Erie is completely frozen over. Crop yields in Africa won't be reduced by 50% in ten years.

Finally, people are listening when holes are pointed out in the global warming alarmist's arguments. Credible people who were keeping quiet about their doubts or who's concerns were just outright ignored are speaking up. Comparing global warming "deniers" to holocaust deniers doesn't work with reasonable people, anymore. I'm just glad that all of this was exposed before the Obama administration could push cap and trade through. Hopefully, they won't be stupid enough to continue to try to pursue it. I can't wait to see how everything plays out. I realize that this is just a bump in the road and that it will only slow the powers that be down but at least we get a breather until they figure out a new way to try to make an enormous power grab.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Extreme Survival

I bought this book before Christmas with the intention of giving it away as a gift. You can find a link to it in my affiliate links. There's another version out there but from what I can tell it was written by one of the four authors of this book. The cover looks similar but I'm not sure if it's the same book. Anyway, I was at Ross and it was sitting on the clearance book shelf. It was big and cheap. It looked to be easy to read. It had glossy pages with a lot of pictures. I thought it could be perfect for some less prep minded friends or family members so I picked it up. I never got around to really going through it before Christmas, though, so I decided not to give it away. I just didn't want to give any of my friends or family the equivalent of "Bear Gryll's Survival Guide" unintentionally. Anyway, after sitting in my office for over a month I finally picked it up a few days ago and started thumbing through it.

To put it bluntly I was very impressed. It starts out with a good intro on the importance of mindset and psychology. It would be really hard to argue that mindset isn't the most important prep you can make. It also covers what emotions you can expect to go through during an extended emergency. They don't change much whether you find yourself lost in the woods or you get trapped in a building during an earthquake. The section is short and sweet but it covers it quite nicely.

The next section, which is about half of the book, focuses on wilderness and bushcraft skills. This area really covers an amazing amount of information. It starts out with the minimum that you should have with you when you go into the wilderness. Basically, they suggest a knife and a run of the mill altoids kit. They give you several different ways to do all sorts of things from building shelters to finding directions (whether you're in the northern or southern hemisphere) to building a fire. They go over things like basketweaving, how to signal airplanes, how to tan a hide and how to make a knife from bone. I'll be getting a lot of use out of this section when it warms up and I get back out to the woods.

The other half of the book covers urban survival. It starts off with some info on hand to hand. No book will ever teach anyone how to defend themselves effectively but they do a good job of going over instances where you should be more alert, common attacks that you may have to deal with and basic, very well illustrated self defense moves. It's always best to get regular, proper training from a professional but if you don't have that option then with some practice these moves can work. It goes into home security and how to survive various disasters around the home. It also covers surviving planes, trains and automobiles from carjacks to a sinking ship to an uncontrollably accelerating car. It goes into disasters from terrorism to war zones to natural disasters. It also covers first aid, knots and so many other topics that I can't list them all.

Everything is illustrated with step by step pictures and illustrations. To be honest I didn't even read much more than the captions of the pictures. I own and have read a lot of wilderness survival books and this is probably the best source for basic bushcraft skills that I've found. The pictures are precise and all of the steps to do everything are covered very well. The urban survival section is less of a how to and more of a what to do and what not to do. It focuses a lot on situational awareness, warning signs and what to do if you do get stuck in a bad situation. It's also got a list of relevant books and websites in the back.

This book is very cheap on Amazon. It's full of useful, easy to follow information. It's perfect for any survival library and I wouldn't hesitate to give it to a non prepper who could potentially see the light. You won't find any food storage calculators, firearms training (although they do show you how to disarm an armed opponent) or military tactics but they do touch on hardening your home in case of NBC attack. I'd say they come as close as they can to teaching a "normal" person about survival without going off the deep end while still appealing to those of us who have already fallen into the abyss. Check it out if you've got a few extra bucks to blow. It is VERY well worth the price.