I still bear a powerful empathy for military people. That was my world for a significant chunk of my life. Despite the very ponderous moral questions regarding involvement in such a hideous enterprise as the US military has become, they are still people and my heart longs to see better things for them.
Baughman began his own investigation into four American soldiers who died in their sleep, in 2008. Baughman writes: “all in their twenties … no signs of suicide or of a multi-drug ‘overdose’ … as claimed by the Inspector General of the VA… All were on the same prescribed drug cocktail, Seroquel (antipsychotic), Paxil (antidepressant) and Klonopin (benzodiazepine).”
Baughman calls on the Surgeon General to embargo the use of all antipsychotics and antidepressants in the military.
Baughman’s initial inquiry suggests as many as 247 soldiers have died from cardiac arrest after ingesting these drugs.
To get the entire picture, you have to understand there are plenty of elites who simply don’t care what happens to the cannon fodder in uniform. There’s always more where that came from, right? The US has a lot of bodies, and increasing numbers are unemployed, so sending them off to illegal wars is a good way to employ them.
A good number of them are driven mad. They are required to do things unconscionable, and do it a lot. Trying to keep their moral apprehensions down is a hard job. On top of that, the job is simply impossible in the first place. And the atmosphere is insanely artificially difficult for reasons of satisfying someone’s sick demand everyone go through what they imagined they went through some years ago, as if it were somehow sacred. A huge portion of military regulations have no justification, and much of that is justified only by evil. Been there; done that and read the history of how those regulations came into being. There is simply no good reason for most of what makes life difficult for the troops.
At some level, this is wholly intentional. It’s not just the random results of “don’t give a damn” policies for corporate profits, but someone sees this all too clearly, and promotes it. There are people actively pleased by these outcomes, or it would have already changed. Instead, it gets steadily worse.
Don’t pay any attention to what they say; look at what they do.
This is all part of the overall plan I posted yesterday to reduce the human population of the world. The troops will murder senselessly thousands just doing their job. Then they’ll come home in a box or so insane they’ll do more killing here. Pumping them full of psychosis inducing chemicals is just another way of cutting down the population.
While I no longer have access to the trails I cut through the local woodland, it was merely a symbol of something I’ve done for most of my life.
My woodland trails didn’t really go anywhere. One big loop through somewhat varying terrain, but it wasn’t about getting anywhere. The point was to have a place to walk, ride, but mostly to be alone and away from the normal distractions of our busy world. Everyone should already understand the importance of exercising the body, because what you don’t use, you lose. In theory, most people understand exercising the mind. Sadly, most of my world has no clue how.
It’s one thing to work the brain at puzzles, higher math, word games, etc. All good stuff critical to intellectual development. You can take it too far, but most people never come near far enough. However, that is actually less important than the one thing our world desperately seeks to avoid: introspection. Even when we do engage this, we do it poorly. The truth of that becomes all too obvious when you see so much the world engaged in destructive and self-destructive behavior.
I would willingly discuss and debate what constitutes destruction in that sense, but most of the world is too eager to let someone else decide it for them. When someone else reaches out to you with a packaged definition of important things, it’s virtually a guarantee it won’t be in your best interest. The whole point is the utter lack of debate, because of the utter lack of exploration. This is your soul we are talking about; why would you let someone else tell you what should be there?
I might try to teach you some basic structure of the soul, such as I know it, but the whole point is to get you poking around for yourself. I’m blazing a trail, not so you can follow. You can’t follow me very far into my soul, but I want to inspire you to blaze your own trail in your own soul. I could teach you all about the hand tools I use and for what sort of vegetation and mineral barriers they work with, and even how to wield those tools in uncommon ways. We could talk about muscular development and eye-hand coordination. Did you know you could swing a heavy ax at almost any angle and actually cut that way? I do it all the time.
I’d much rather you handle your own soul with some skill. The most important thing I can do is show you something about escaping your own personal barriers.
Human eyes suck at blue tones of light.
Be advised it’s necessary to dumb this down somewhat, but it’s still fairly accurate for most of the human race.
If you could check the rods and cones on your retinas, you’d discover each receptor is tuned to some particular color — red, green or blue. That should explain a lot. We don’t actually see yellow for itself. The problem is only 10%, on average, are designed to see blue. Worse, our brains are wired to absolutely need blue in perceiving the shape of things. Take any photograph and filter out the blue, and we can’t tell what the image is. Filter everything except the blue and we can tell quite well what’s in the picture.
If you want to see this as the result of evolution, you have to realize evolution is not an unalloyed good.
Either way, we suck at blue even as we desperately need it. So we have come up with artificial ways of helping our eyes. You remember all the rage about those “Blue Blocker” sunglasses? The lenses were varying shades of brown or yellow. Actually, the best ones were orange, though faded orange tends to look yellow to us. The point is, orange is opposite blue on the color wheel. The objective is not to literally block out blue, but to shift the perception of our brains. Our internal visual processing simply adapts to any color lenses as much as possible.
Any lens will cut down the amount of available light. Our native sun is generally yellow. An orange lens makes everything just a little darker, which is actually good for your eyes. As we age, things become rather fuzzy and light-shot. That’s the vision’s wear pattern. Avoiding overexposure to direct sunlight over the course of your life is a good thing. Orange lenses make green and red easier to distinguish. They make blue more like black, which is just fine with our brains. As we age, adding a yellow-orange tint to the field of view helps most people. It shifts the hue range down and makes all details sharper.
That “Blue Blocker” fad was actually one of the few which had it right.
Today I went out in two different sessions and finished the trail.
I am leaving it a little rougher this year, instead of clipping every single bit of growth. I’ll see if there is sufficient use to keep it all tromped down. I plan to hit it at least once each day as part of my ongoing work out plans.
Side note: I try to work out five times every day. I usually get at least three. That’s a heavy workout at wake-up to get the metabolism going. Then again around mid-morning just enough to make me break a sweat. Somewhere around mid-day I do the aerobic portion, either walking or riding my bike. Then in the afternoon I try to do something vigorous, again until I break a sweat. Lately that’s been turning a few rows with shovel in my garden. Finally, unless something has caused me to hurt too much, I try to workout before bedtime.
I made sure the trail is just barely bike-able, too.
After the fire and so much being bulldozed, I had a tough time resurrecting the original trail. Several sections required a completely new route, as the old was buried and destroyed.
So during the summer I gave it a rest, as the poison ivy was everywhere.
We just had a couple of good frosts, which killed of the ivy, so I began cutting the pop-up underbrush which simply can’t be uprooted from the trail. That’s work enough, but then there was some summer dead-fall to chop and break from lying across the trail. Most rotting hollow logs aren’t that hard, regardless of being over a foot (30cm) in diameter. I found about a half-dozen.
Imagine my shock, though, that the burned over parts were completely grown over with vigorous woody shrubs. It was as if I had never cut the trail.
I’ve decided on those parts I’m simply going to bypass the woods and follow the old clearcut sections. That requires cutting underbrush, too, but nowhere nearly as much. I figure I’ll be done just about the time spring comes back and the poison ivy blooms again. At some point, I’ll cut through a bit of new trail to rejoin the old. Otherwise we end up crossing mud flats which are like quicksand when it rains.
Yeah, it’s the hobby thing, and the cutting is as important for exercise as the use of the trail. Mr. Camp Ax and Mr. Steel Shovel, we got work to do.
Men, one of the worst things we can do is allow the gut to sag as we age. It’s not a matter of mere appearance, but causes health problems.
The stomach muscles are designed to contain the organs, holding them in place with proper internal pressure so they work right. When those muscles relax too much, stuff gets out of place, and things break. As we age, anything stomach related becomes some of the hardest exercises we do. I’m sure we all have our favorites, but I want to introduce to you the Olympic Sit-up — that’s what a high school coach called it.
You’ll need some room, so you can’t do this in the hallway of a mobile home. We will be engaging the entire abdominal muscle collection, including the sides. Rest supine on the floor, legs straight and arms extended out to the side. As you lift your back from the floor, at the same time lift one leg. Reach for the toes with the opposite hand; just touch them. Drop back and switch sides. Repeat as many times as possible.
The idea is to twist your torso just a bit as you curl it up. One shoulder will rotate forward across the midriff, the other dropping back a bit. You’ll be pulling across the middle and down one side each time. Most people have trouble keeping a balance when first trying this. The gluteal muscles should be bearing the weight, and you may need to adjust how high you lift one end or the other, and which moves first, etc. It’s a balancing act.
This permits toning the entire abdominal support system. If you need to tone your back to match, just flop over and do the swimmer, where you simultaneously lift feet and chest off the floor. Stretch your hands up over head. For just the instant you are up, you’ll look like the rocker on a rocking chair, balanced on your stomach.
It’s not as if women can’t benefit from this, but they are built differently. Failure to keep the stomach capable of pulling is a bigger threat to men.
There are several terms for it, but I prefer to call it isotonics.
The key to keeping your weight where you want it is burning calories with the largest part of your body’s muscle mass. Typically, lifting weights does this best, but to get the most from it, folks have taken the time to study ways to maximize the benefits. We have developed particular body movements which engage more or fewer muscle groups, depending on the purpose. There are particular motions, along with proper form, and even a measure of mental concentration to make sure we kick the muscles the adapt to various needs.
It has been found weight machines are convenient, but free weights are by far the superior means, because they engage a lot of need for fine motor control, which encourages a broader base of development. But what if your arthritis makes weights hurt too much? Or other types of injuries to the joints and muscles? How about you simply don’t have access to free weights?
What follows assumes you have had some experience with weightlifting and already know something about proper focus, form and such. No amount of writing can replace learning from your buddies, so if you haven’t done this before, it’s going to be exceptionally difficult to benefit from this post. That’s because this method requires you to be your own coach. You are in total control, and the amount of work you do is a function of your body awareness.
One more caveat: You surely should realize you will not get quite the same balance as with free weights. Your muscles will be working against each other, and only the resistance available between them is all you have. Then again, you have full control over the intensity and resistance, and can back off without having to change anything more than the flicker of decision in your head.
Isotonics is toning with movements in isolation of any external resistance. It’s the same basic movements you might use in free weights and on machines, but without anything other than your own body parts. It can be so intense you’ll need days off between sessions. Since the whole scheme is full of interlocking resistance against muscle groups, you’ll do it all at once or not at all, and you can’t divide between pushes and pulls. Each exercise motion is no less than two exercises.
Start with the imaginary bench press. It must be done in conjunction with an imaginary rowing exercise. I recommend you try to do this in front of a mirror so you can observe your own motions and concentrate better. You get to do this standing up straight (as with almost the movements). Extend your arms, noting your hand positioning; I recommend shoulder width. It won’t matter if you close your fingers, except to help you visualize and imagine you are working that bar. Think of all the smaller motions — when you pull, you rotate your shoulders back; pushing rotates them forward. Set the tension in your muscles and slowly pull back as in rowing, until you can’t go any farther. Then in your mind switch over to the bench and push it away to full extension. Ideally, you concentrate on the working of the muscles and move slower than necessary. Repeat as needed.
At first, you’ll probably find this whole thing so odd, I often recommend folks start with low tension and perform 12 or more repetitions. Do one set for now. Then do overhead press/pull downs, then upright row/bar dips. Wait thirty seconds or so between exercises. Add some curls/arm extensions. If you are really ambitious, you can do very heavy midriff exercises the same way, simply by bending at the middle with proper form, then straightening back up. All this is under as much tension as you can bear. I recommend you not do neck exercises unless you take great care to reduce tension to a minimum. Most folks end up pulling neck muscles too easily.
After a couple of weeks doing this no more often than every other day, add a few shoulder exercises: Without bending your elbows, do flys (that’s how they spell it) back and forth, overhead, and to the front. Try adding a reverse grip on the curls, or put your arms overhead and drop the hands behind for your curls/extensions. Because we aren’t handling any heavy weights, build your grip by various combinations of hand squeezing and finger extensions, twisting the wrist, etc. You can add for the legs if you don’t have any other heavy work out for them. Add other exercises which mimic activities which need greater strength.
I note this is effective enough I am still able, with my arthritis, to swing that double-bit ax at all sorts of angles, ambidextrously, and maintain my reputation as a heavy hitter.
Again, you control the tension, the repetitions, the number of sets, the rest time between, etc. It’s all in your head, but the results are an excellent tone to the muscles. Keep the tension as high as you can bear, keeping in mind the number of repetitions you need: 6-8 for size and power, 10-20 for endurance and injury prevention.
Go for the burn, baby!
Making the most of what you have physically can only contribute to your mental and spiritual strength.
So long as fitness is not your god, the Real God can always make good use of it. As always, for a Christian Mystic, fitness is not an end in itself, but a tool to enhance what really matters. As a matter of God’s Laws, it is your duty to develop all your assets as much as opportunity permits.
Right now, I am still on hold. My future mission is just over the horizon from my conscious mind, but my spirit warns me it’s almost on top of me. Until that moment arrives when I engage it directly, I’m doing what is possible. I have a lot of time for fitness activities. In my case, the emphasis is on recovering and keeping so much as is possible of my previous athletic level of development. Over the next few posts, I’m going to describe some ideas I use, and they will be skewed toward older folks with arthritis.
There comes a point when running is simply not possible, or is most unwise. I am there. The knee and hip joints might be capable, but not without serious complaint, and most likely making things worse as the cartilage degrades slowly. To replace some of what running does for the body, a movie hero of yesteryear (Steve Reeves) developed what he called Power Walking.
Let’s talk about weight. The only point here is a percentage of your own body weight. We will be walking vigorously with weights, and the upper useful limit is 20% of your body weight. If your fitness level is poor to begin with, you’ll be somewhere below that. We will need equal weights for hands and feet to start. Check the second hand shops and garage sales, or if you have a shop and materials you can make your own.
In my case, I weigh 230 pounds (104kg) so I would shoot for no more than 50 pounds (22kg) of added weight. Nice theory, but in reality I can’t easily obtain such things. From garage sales, I managed to get some 5 pound (2.2kg) strap weights. For now, I put one each on my ankles and wrists, and two on a belt and harness I kept from my old military days. You could use various types of purpose- made weight belts. I’ll eventually use a backpack. You can use ordinary dumbbells for the hands, and any number of creative methods for adding weight to attach to your ankles. Anything less than 2 pounds (1kg) is pointless. Even at my weight, anything over 10 pounds (4.5kg) on each limb is too much.
So with a body weight, say, 175 pounds (80kg) and up, start where you believe you should with weights on your limbs between 2 and 10 pounds, the add any additional weights to a belt. For less body weight, you might want to stop around 5 pounds for limb weights.
From wherever you start in terms of weight, work your way up after you have achieved a good base time limit. For most folks, that initial target is at least 15 minutes, and 20 is better. Work with the low weights up to a half-hour, then start adding weights incrementally, until you hit the upper weight limit. Then stretch the time out to as long as you like. If it hurts, back off. Stop advancing when your body clearly refuses to go farther. Distance really isn’t the point here.
Strive to walk with as long of a stride as possible. The proper motion is keeping your arm swing straight back and forth, which is not natural. The reason has to do with balancing the motion with your legs. Again, keep as long of a stride as your body permits, because it is the hand motion which determines your pace. This is why we start light, so we can give the hands and arms training in leading the way.
There are a hundred other details we could hammer out, such as padding under strap weights, etc., but I’m going to assume you are fairly intelligent and creative about most minor difficulties. You can work this into your current routine where you like, but I recommend you not do it daily, all the more so as you get older. On the odd days take a regular walk at whatever pace you can manage. The idea of Power Walking is to somewhat approximate the workout of jogging or running, but with a lot less pounding. I wouldn’t try to bump up the weight or time more frequently than every three weeks.
Once you’ve been at it a few weeks, the next time you’ll really need to hustle some distance, you’ll notice it’s far easier than previously.
More than once I’ve presented evidence here against modern vaccines. That’s not to say no vaccine does what is claimed, but that most of the newer ones don’t. One of the sites I tend to watch for information about this is The Natural Society.
So what better advertising to the importance of something than to see big money try to take it off the Net?
They beckoned to me from the side of the road. Fat black globules in clusters big as my thumb, glistening in the sun. I knew I’d have to come back.
The roads in my area generally follow the surveyed section lines, one mile apart. It’s a mostly square grid pattern, but they don’t always bridge creeks and such. This close into the city, they are almost all paved with blacktop. While some barely meet the modern definition of 8-foot lanes at a minimum, they are mostly ten-foot. Aside from a few select areas with high traffic, the asphalt simply stops at the edge. What’s beyond is typically level grass for a foot or two, then sloping down to the drainage ditch. In places it washes out regularly, requiring annual repair until the county gets tired of it and does something to make it more permanent. Other places the road cuts through the rosy sandstone hill side and you get a small rocky cliff.
It was one of these latter places where I saw them.
As these asphalt roads run at odd angles across a very wickedly hilly ridge-n-creek-bed washboard, I get lots of good hill training for my rides. I learned long ago I can’t afford to replace spokes every month, so I never ride anything except mountain bikes. I can’t remember when I was last under 200 pounds (91kg). This one is a cheap aluminum frame, but the most expensive at Wal-Mart that day. Since then I’ve slowly upgraded some of the components. Among other things, I swapped all the shifters, derailers and brake pods to Alivio stuff, changed the saddle to something which properly accommodates my wide frame, and added an aluminum rack on the back. Nobody would imagine I might race, least of all me. I ride for the sheer pleasure and some exercise.
So a sixteen mile (26km) ride is big for non-cyclists, but a warm-up for real riders. It’s just about as much as I could handle that day out in these hills, as the temperature topped 90° F (32C). At the best of times I don’t ride with any intensity, so I often scan the area just to see what’s there. That was how I spotted them on a climb. There weren’t very many, and most of them were the thin and spindly type vines, ripening way late in the season. When that sort of blackberry vine gets enough water, it makes huge clusters. Apparently this particular spot with only a few tiny patches of sandy soil between the rocky places where the road cut through a hilltop was getting just enough water. It certainly got plenty of sun, since the rock face looked south. It was a short row mixed in with other vegetation, but more productive than just about any I’ve seen this year.
That was Monday. Today I went back with my “picker-stick” — one of those extended reach devices with rubber cups on opposing fingers which squeeze together when you pull the trigger. Without looking too closely on that first pass, I figured it would offer a pint or so. Of course, I didn’t catch how many were growing behind the other bushes and tall grasses clinging to the near side of the ditch. The back wall was mostly solid sandstone, with cracks and a few standing plots of soil. The vines all grew on the back wall in these openings. It was odd seeing the majority of the berries ripened all at once. It took we quite a while to pick what I could see and reach, and I got nearly a quart.
As I turned back toward the way I had come, I spotted another patch in a more level area hidden in the tall grass. These were more mixed, in the sense some had already withered, some few still red, but most were ready. It was too many. I picked a select few of the biggest clusters and took home well more than a quart.
I matched them with the frozen berries I had meagerly plucked over the past two weeks from my usual berry haunts and dropped them in the blender. Not quite juicing them, the resulting slurry went into a sauce pan and began to simmer. Adding organic brown sugar and oatmeal, I decided to skip the lemon juice. I’ve had enough tartness for the season. The taste was pure blackberry and sweet. When it was ready, my beloved had made a fine pie crust. I added some cinnamon graham crackers to the blackberry mixture and we dumped it into the pie dish. She also made for me a crumble crust for the top, including crushed pecans (these also grow wild locally).
The result is a deep dish blackberry pie beyond describing. Thus, the title of this post: I am not worthy of such heavenly fare, but I’m delighted to have it.