Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Eat at Home

I've never gotten sick eating at home. Eating out, I've gotten food poisoning, the flu, colds, and the list goes on and on, and my mother has too. The basic problem with most restaurants is that they can't or won't pay their people enough to stay home when ill. Sick leave is non-existent. And their people are so desperately poor that they can't afford to miss a day of work, even if they feel bad. When one is earning less than ten dollars an hour, with no job security, no benefits, no sick leave and no medical care, and a variable and complicated work schedule, just how high on the list of priorities is washing hands? I would imagine that hands are seldom if ever washed in the vast majority of cases, and that those who do wash hands probably don't do so in an effective manner. Washing hands is a more complicated procedure than would seem to those that have not had medical training. Of course, nurses and doctors know just how important it is to wash hands, but they, too, neglect to wash thoroughly enough to avoid the transmission of germs, and if doctors and nurses have difficulty managing hand-washing, then your average minimum-wage employee most certainly will.

Drinking alcohol will increase the probability of getting sick, not just during the meal but for many days after. Alcohol has a negative impact on the immune system along with every other system of the body. Restaurants serve alcohol merely because the profit margin is many times larger than for other food items, and drinkers tend to spend more and scrutinize the bill less.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pain is Good

One thing some people don't realize is that Pain is Good. It warns and reminds us of internal injury. I saw in the grocery store that most brands of topical antibiotic, such as Neosporin, Bacitrin and generic brands, now contain pain reliever along with the antibiotics.Without pain, one is oblivious to potential problems lurking within a wound. Infections can spread as a result of avoiding an insignificant, manageable amount of pain. If a scratch or abrasion continues hurting without subsiding, then that is information I want to know, because it is abnormal, and indicates there is a continuing problem. Either the wound needs to be cleaned again or it may be that professional medical attention is required.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Power of Melatonin

For a long time, my body's been moanin' for melatonin. Last year, I announced an experiment whereby I would attempt to sleep in a completely dark room for 7+ hours in order to allow my body to manufacture sufficient quantities of melatonin. For some reason, according to my sources on Wikipedia and elsewhere, darkness is required, but the body is not a psychic and is not in tune with the Moon, so you can fool the body by simply wearing a patch over the eyes during the daylight hours. Apparently there are photosensors in our retinas independent of rods and cones. I heartily recommend the purchase of an eye patch for anyone who works the graveyard shift and needs to sleep during daylight hours.

I have had several weeks of full, blissful sleep wearing my eye patch and I do indeed feel a difference, possibly from the increased amounts of melatonin. I suspect I do have more melatonin, because my circadian rhythm is much more pronounced. No longer is it simple (or mandatory) for me to stay up late at night, past 3 AM. Instead, I find I can get to sleep at midnight without much difficulty. Also, I wake up feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

I was talking to an unemployed gentleman the other day who informed me he had to quit factory work because the factory had a mandatory swing shift of two weeks 8 AM - 7 PM followed by two weeks of 11 PM to 10 AM. Anyone whose productivity declines is reprimanded or fired.

It is physically impossible to adjust to alternating sleep schedules that change in such a drastic manner on such short notice. Swing shifts are simply sadistic, no two ways about it, a means of humiliating and beating down the working class, and I think that factory owners should be required to alter their sleep schedule as well.

There is no logical reason to have a swing shift. Personally, I would be willing to work either day shift or night shift, but not both; the human body needs to adjust to one or the other. It is possible to adjust to the graveyard shift through the use of an eye patch and a soundproof bedroom. People with children should work the day shift, while single, childless and retired people can work the night shift and be paid a small premium to do so ($1/hour). There are plenty of single people in the world and it should not be difficult to fill a night shift. If I were a factory worker given the choice, I would volunteer for night shift simply because it is cooler during the summer and pays slightly better.

Business owners should make modest and reasonable attempts to create a  nurturing, positive working environment for their employees. Those that fail to do so find their businesses highlighted in the media for the wrong reasons. I am willing to wager that many cases of workplace violence or labor discontent could have been avoided by the simple and cheap expedient of rendering the interior design more hospitable to human beings. Business owners should consult with an interior designer, someone that knows how to create a positive and nurturing space. Decisions that are made on the purchase of furniture, decor, and lighting will persist for decades, and typically the wrong decisions are made with long-lasting and invisible consequences. Valuable employees leave the company, and the manager is scratching his head wondering why, because the troll is clueless about the ugliness of his cave. One should take pride in his work and his workspace.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Gym and Other Wastes of Time

There is plenty of work to do in the world, and working out at a gym seems to me a silly or at best a selfish act, because no good work is getting accomplished by the shifting of dead weights or the turning of a treadmill. I have always preferred doing something physical that either serves a purpose or else makes money. Working out at a gym, or going for a walk with no other purpose in mind than walking, always struck me as a slightly foolish waste of time and energy. That said, I've spent plenty of time going for pointless walks and runs and lurking in gyms. But no more. I think it is better to find personal projects around the house, yard or community to work on and complete rather than buying a gym membership. In that manner, the imagination and the soul (and possibly the bank account) are exercised and enriched in addition to the body.

Rather than lift weights at a gym, a prospective bodybuilder would be well-advised to sell his services as a mover and be paid to lift, rather than paying for the privilege of lifting. Rather than walk in a park for no other reason than exercise, a man would be better off working a job that requires him to spend some time on his feet, thereby getting paid, in effect, to walk and move around.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just Say No to Private Debt

Some grads are saddled with $100K debt just for a lousy four-year degree. It's crazy. I'm glad I never got on the debt treadmill. It never ends, even in death, which is difficult to fathom. Does the loan company harvest organs?

Four year degrees lead to nothing. I wish it weren't so, because I really enjoyed college. Every class I took was a pleasure. Nothing compares to the thrill of learning.

The trouble is, everybody has a degree these days. Instead of resulting in gainful employment, a degree has become just another hurdle the wannabe worker must jump, like graduating high school. From what I read in the history books, it used to be that people began their careers at the age of eighteen. It used to be employers were dazzled by a worker that could read. If that worker could also write, Zappo! Instant promotion to management! Those were the days, alas. Now we have people with Master's degrees managing a McDonald's.

The value of a degree would increase to its vaunted 19th century status if the number of degree holders decreased or if the owners stopped exporting jobs to cheap labor countries, but neither scenario is likely to happen.

I recommend that no student take on private debt for any reason. If your plans require it, then change your plans. Now, government debt is different. Big brother is cool. He won't rape you. He will give you tax breaks and reasonable interest rates and just generally be a nice guy. Private lenders are evil. They will do and say shifty things in order to enhance shareholder value. Your death is of no consequence. They will harvest your organs to pay off your debt. So yeah, I'm a socialist or whatever, but that's my advice to college kids.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, March 25, 2011

Advice to Fellow Geeks 1: Opposites Attract

If you're a geek like me, admit it. Won't do you any good to deny it, and besides, being a geek has advantages which should be obvious, at least to other geeks. Today's class is on romance and dating. First of all, don't date other geeks. Branch out. Date a social, or "soc", someone that does not know the first thing about computers or mechanics or whatever it is your geekomania centers upon, but someone that does know people--and lots of them. You need to network, and a "soc" will help you get by in this socialized world of ours. What you bring to the table are all the strengths that only geeks have--tech savvy, analytical abilities, academic prowess, book knowledge, and other skills according to your geeky DNA. Our heavily technical, systematic and rule-bound world absolutely requires geeks, as every geek already knows.

That's right, opposites attract; it takes two to form a complete human organism. By ourselves, whether we are "socs" or "geeks", we are incomplete. Joined with our opposite, completion results, and the organism can survive and thrive in modern society.

A caveat--humility is required for such a team of opposites to function with any effectiveness. Know your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Compromise, especially in areas where you are weak, only insisting upon your will in areas where you are strong. So many fools refuse to compromise and tear apart their relationships out of sheer stubbornness and pride. It is not "being a man" to be alone and proud. I think it is marvelous to say "yes" all the time, whenever possible, and reserve "no's" for quite extraordinary circumstances. One should be desirous of pleasing one's partner, however possible and to the extent of one's abilities.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Avoid Harrassing Calls

Pamela Paul of the New York Times wrote a perceptive article on the decline of the use of the telephone.

One problem with the telephone, which Pamela only touches upon, is that the wrong people call--rude pests, for the most part, neither friends nor acquaintances, but cold-calling telemarketers, organizations looking for handouts, or collection agencies with inaccurate data in their database. Collection agencies, in particular, are both persistent and pernicious. They use computerized dialers, rather than human beings, and will call using a variety of telephone numbers, every day, multiple times a day, never ceasing, and in some cases not even leaving a message, but disconnecting as soon as the phone is answered. They call in order to harass, to apply pressure. In essence, they are using the telephone as a weapon against the telephone user.

There exists, as might be expected, a technological solution to technological aggression. Call Clerk is a robotic butler that intercepts and routes calls depending upon their Caller ID. It requires a PC equipped with a modem to be left on twenty-four hours a day, which may seem wasteful of electricity but, in truth, nowadays it is nice to have a PC on all the time in order to check email and browse the Internet. I would suggest using a laptop for the purpose if energy consumption is an issue, although Intel has created admirable energy misers for the desktop in the form of the Atom line of processors. I am no longer a fan of AMD's solutions, because AMD uses ATI for video in its line of gpus, and ATI offers woefully inadequate support for Linux.

Call Clerk routes identified pests to an announcement that tells them they have been cast into the outer darkness. Then it disconnects their call after only two rings, limiting the annoyance factor. In conjunction with Call Clerk, all telephone ringers should be disabled, with the PC speakers remaining the only audible signal of phone calls. Friends and unknown callers receive a friendly message and are permitted to leave a message. They are announced via the PC speakers.

Call Clerk transforms the telephone from what it is today, a potential liability and a threat, a weapon of harassment against the user, and returns it to what Alexander Graham Bell envisioned it to be, a convenient form of communication.

Configuring the answering message in Call Clerk is difficult at best, particularly if any type of changes are desired. There is no option to change or reduce the volume of the answering message in Call Clerk. The answering machine options are counter-intuitive, capable of defeating even the most determined and technically savvy user from making any modifications whatsoever to the outgoing message.

Perhaps in the future, a program will become available that can use .mp3 files as an answering machine message and play them without distortion. Until that time, Call Clerk remains an interim solution, satisfactory in some, if not all respects. It does not have a Linux version, but requires Windows, which adds an extra $75 - $100 to the actual cost of the product, along with the many other hidden costs associated with Windows systems. However, it does work with Windows XP and does the job I purchased it for, which is to weed out harassing calls.

In an ideal world, telephone pests that call on a daily basis for months without end would be identified, arrested by the police in their locality, and prosecuted for harassment. But the agencies that pester people by telephone on a daily basis have managed to dodge government action for the most part, including the so-called "Do-Not-Call" Registry, which is an unfunny joke that lulls the naive into a false sense of security.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Don't Believe the Songs

The media, in this case the music and video industry, push a palatable product, romantic love. Insipid formula plots typically imagine two strangers having sex, falling in love afterward, and living together forever afterward in perfect bliss. That is simply not the case nine times out of ten.

When I think back to my so-called lovers in the distant past, I think the sex in those days was meaningless, dangerous, in no way superior to masturbation, and depressing, because the individuals were in it for a cheap thrill akin to sniffing nitrous oxide. They moved on in short order, which made me feel like a party condiment.

Reflections such as the above are probably why so many prunes preach abstinence. I don't preach abstinence, but modified, compassionate abstinence. Abstain from sex with casual acquaintances, passing fancies, brief infatuations and the like. I was always hopping into bed with the objects of one-sided infatuations, who took what was offered and then moved on to conquer other lovers with their sole virtue, their face.

However, I hold that there is a slim possibility for a magical requited love. If there is a dear and intimate friend that one has known for a long period of time, let us say six months in this age of AIDS, and the trust in this person is strong, then all right, research safer sex together and learn all of the proper techniques and precautions, prepare with due diligence for the sacred rite, and then taste of the fruit of the gods and see whether it is all that. Knowledge of the risks involved spared me from a lifetime coping with the HIV virus.

I cannot understand young men that have a cavalier attitude towards the viruses and bacteria that seek to use, harm, and kill us. Microbes are the enemies of the human race. They will attempt to exploit the sex act to their own ends. One must not let them win. We are smarter than they are, but they are invisible to our sight. If one is unaware, or assumes that microbes are not a serious concern, then the parasites stand better odds of winning another host. Read, read, and read some more, and learn all about the enemy, and in that way our best weapon, intelligence, can be harnessed against our greatest enemy, microbes.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, September 23, 2010

HIV Infections

The gay community continues to suffer a high infection rate from HIV. When I was young, I regarded getting tested as a rite of passage, besides a source of free condoms (they gave them out at the clinic). I was all about safe sex and could recite all the major recommendations. I'm not sure many young people are as vigilant about disease as they could be. Instead of approaching the ritual with the reverence it deserves, young lovers rush into things under the influence of hormones and alcohol. Sometimes things that should be remembered, such as a condom and how to use it, are forgotten. Then begins a lifetime of coping with unpleasant maladies such as gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts or worse, HIV. Worse is the knowledge that one may infect future lovers. Not everyone is forthcoming with crucial information regarding their infection status. It is the rare individual that is honest about such a matter.

Our college professor preaches to us about political subjects, even though she is supposed to be teaching chemistry. Today she offered us her opinion on sex education, which to her mind ends with abstinence. That road leads to death. Young people should be aware of condoms and how to use them. There is nothing gained by withholding lifesaving information. Her opinion about condoms is that "well, they don't always work." Condoms are the best known defense against HIV during the sex act, period, end of story. No, they are not a perfect protection, but what is? I have yet to meet anyone that contracted HIV while engaging in safer sex.

Abstinence is a good idea for those that are still in high school. I'm all for it. I am also in favor of monogamy, although it is not the choice of everyone. But teenagers should be taught about condoms and supplied with condoms and other forms of birth control if they request them. Today, with HIV, it is a matter of life and death.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Best Gift to Loved Ones

For people who are HIV negative and not suffering from any other incurable disease, and who do not expect to be a victim of violent death or suicide, body donation is an admirable method to eliminate all costs of burial and funeral from being passed on to surviving loved ones.

Funerals and cemeteries are overpriced, with the purveyors of such services enjoying a ghastly profit margin. Getting hit for thousands of dollars to dispose of a mere body adds debt to grief. I suggest the UCLA Body Donation Program. UCLA will cover all costs related to disposal. Other universities may have similar programs in place. I learned about this while reading an article in one of my favorite American newspapers, the Los Angeles Times.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How Not to Quit a Job

I can't condone the behavior of a flight attendant who quit his job in a spectacular fashion, but at least it was nonviolent. I am sick of reading about men who carry a handgun to work and kill people, followed by themselves. That was one of the things I dreaded when working in the corporate world, that one of our people might snap and begin shooting for no apparent reason. At least the FA displayed a sense of humor, although inappropriate.

I never created such a scene out at work. In every case that I quit, I did not cuss anybody out, but gave two weeks' notice, and shook hands with my former boss at the end of the day. My feelings and opinions I kept to myself, because no one was paying me for consultation. There is little to be gained by drama. It is better to save the dramatic flair for personal endeavors, such as writing, theater, or story-telling. Employers tend to be rather cold and calculating, and workers should be as well.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Cure for Dandruff

Years ago, my scalp suffered from excessive dryness. The condition was aggravated by my lifestyle. I remained indoors for most of the twenty-four hours in a day, either at work in an air-conditioned (hence, dry) office, or inside my air-conditioned house or air-conditioned car. The dandruff problem was such that a shake of the head caused a snowstorm. The resulting itching from dry skin led to scratching, and scratching led to bleeding, followed by infections.

I tried remedies, such as using anti-dandruff shampoo and even applying a solution of 5% apple vinegar to my scalp after a shower. These remedies helped, but came with disadvantages. Apple vinegar makes one smell like a pickle! I soon abandoned that approach. I went to the doctor to ask for a remedy, and she prescribed a $35 bottle of medicinal shampoo, whose active ingredient was no different than the one found in Selsun Blue. She admitted as much, and suggested that I might save money by buying Selsun Blue. I tried the shampoo for a few months, but it was no cure.

Shampoos are designed to harm hair and cause skin irritation. The manufacturers insert industrial solvents into the shampoo because they are cheap and cause an immediate change in hair color and texture. However, these products can cause a wide variety of dermatological problems.

The actual solution to dandruff is to stop washing hair on a daily basis, as I had been doing. Oil in hair, known as sebum, serves a protective function. Removing it is counter-productive. Frequent hair-washing results in dryer hair and skin, dandruff, and itching. It is also a needless expense. I even noticed that my hair fell out in response to certain shampoos. The loss of hair was of particular concern, because I would prefer not to go bald any sooner than necessary.

Since my hair is naturally oily, I wash mine about once every 1-2 weeks*, depending upon need, using a single application of mild anti-dandruff shampoo, a generic store-brand. I like to see the words "mild" and "gentle" on a shampoo bottle, or even "for dry hair," as I assume that will be milder. I avoid anything marked "for oily hair," because that is likely to contain harsh and irritating solvents. My hair looks great, I don't suffer from dandruff, and my scalp never itches. I am also keeping more of my hair on my head rather than shedding. Why second-guess nature?

* Someone with dry hair should only wash their hair once a month, if that.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, July 16, 2010


As a young man, I got away with tons of dessert, booze, and fattening snacks. I did not seem to gain very much weight. In later life, the metabolic rate slowed down. I put on pounds.

My new custom is this. When hungry, eat. Otherwise, don't eat. I have found that hunger is the best spice for any food. Savor the flavor.

Recreational eating leads to obesity. I want to be thin again. I have no ambition to become as thin as I was in youth. That would require too much privation, and I'm no Hollywood celebrity that needs to be concerned with body image to such an extent. (I'm thinking of Kathy Griffin, who claims to be hungry all the time.) I'd be satisfied to lose the paunch I've been carrying around the last six years or so.

Recreational eating is delightful, though. If I had just one year remaining, I would eat as much as I want, whenever I want. Recreational eating regulates the mood in an effective manner. All my friends adore eating above all else. I think it is the national pastime.

I am surprised the government has not passed a law against eating, since people enjoy it so much. One might expect a "Food Enforcement Agency" (FEA) to send undercover agents into restaurants and arrest people who indulge in ice cream or cake. The agents would shoot any dog they see, just as DEA agents shot a dog in a marijuana clinic for no apparent reason. They would destroy all the equipment, vandalize the restaurant, and threaten the diners with loaded assault rifles. Such is the way of the DEA with state-registered marijuana clinics that operate fully within the bounds of the law.

The government has chosen to overlook excessive eating for now, possibly because they are still waging war against American citizens over cannabis. One war, or rather three, at a time, must be the rule. Mark my words, though. A war on food is next. After that, a war on oversleeping. Security forces will bang drums to wake people every morning, because it's healthier. Then, a war on game-playing, because it's not productive. After that, a war on book-reading, because book-reading leads to thinking, which is dangerous. Anyone who reads books might start to doubt the government's wars against its own citizens.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spinal Disc Herniation

In my studies in human anatomy, I concluded recently that I have been a sufferer, twice, of spinal disc herniation, based upon my symptoms, outcomes, and contributing factors such as age and job conditions.

None of my doctors ever suggested anything of the sort. Instead, I was met with a blank stare when I asked what the cause of my back pain might be. They neither knew nor wished to determine what ailed me. In the brief moments that I was graced with the presence of a doctor, I was given a prescription for Naproxin, which is inferior to Ibuprofen for lower back pain (doctors, of all people, should know that!) and told to get plenty of rest. How to avoid future episodes of back pain, or my prognosis, was never discussed; not once, ever. This is the state of medical care in the United States, even for a middle-class person who is fully insured. We get drugs--as many opiates as we wish (whip-de-doo)--and are sent back to work stoned, but with a doctor's prescription that will satisfy the drug nazis. Then we get hurt again, and again, and again. Each repeat visit to the hospital or doctor generates more money for them.

If you find yourself suffering excruciating, debilitating, almost paralyzing lower back pain, worse than any pain you have ever known; and if you are between thirty and forty, and if you sit down in a chair for long hours every day, and if this back pain seems to go away after a couple of weeks of bed rest, then you may be a victim of spinal disc herniation as well. Doctors won't share much information with you unless you're a rich person, because working stiffs are not worth helping. They will give you a placebo or, if you beg for it, something to get you high, and then send you off to get injured again.

My suggestion, which you can consider only when you get better, is to begin a regimen of light exercise, gentle to the back, such as walks in the park--not jogging, like I was doing. Also, avoid alcohol at all costs. Use marijuana instead, if you seek inebriation. Sleep well. If you must sit down for long hours at a time in order to do your job, then try to rise once every hour or so and walk around, if only to get a drink of water. If you are a caffeine fiend, then try to tone down your habit. I'm not going to bother discussing nutrition, because I was popping a multivitamin on a daily basis and eating a balanced diet when I suffered my back injuries. Americans are well-fed in general. It may help to lose weight, of course. Extra weight causes additional strain to every part of the body.

Above all else, avoid lifting heavy objects by yourself, especially early in the morning before you have had time to warm up. I have come to dread performing any type of lifting. I used to be gung-ho about lifting, wanting to show off my strength. I could lift people that were my own weight and liked to do so at parties. Now, I remember the weeks spent in bed, writhing in agony, and I wait for a friend to help me. I've had spinal disc herniation twice in my life, and believe me, there were times when death seemed like a wonderful alternative. That was before I discovered ibuprofen on my own without the help of any doctor. Ibuprofen reduces the pain by a surprising degree, something that every doctor in the world should know, but many do not (or perhaps they do know, but receive a kickback from manufacturers of other NSAIDs).

Prior to walking or doing any form of exercise, do not perform an elaborate series of difficult stretches, as some exercise gurus recommend. I have found that stretching injures the back. It has never protected me. Our guide to stretching should be cats, because they are limber and agile. If you ever take the time to observe cats, you may notice that their stretching is gentle and quick. They don't make a big production out of it. They may stretch for a few seconds, but then they go about their business.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vacation Destination Advice

The countries in blue deserve patronage and affection. If you are fortunate enough to have the time and money, shower them with your tourist dollars and your charity. The orange regions may be considered moderate or otherwise. I would never choose to visit the barbaric countries in red, pink and dark red.

Related news: Cambodia?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


For a long time I have been in favor of vitamins, because I have imagined that they cause an increase in energy levels. But I want a moderate dose, not a mega-dose. My geology professor in college used to chew a tablet with 1500% the U.S. RDA of Vitamin C every day in order to bolster his immune system, until his dentist observed that the enamel of his molars was wearing away at an unanticipated rate for his age. In the case of vitamin A, too much of it is known to be toxic. Would you like to experience problems urinating? Too much calcium causes kidney stones. Too much iron causes problems as well, and the list goes on and on. For now, I purchase kids' vitamins, because their lower dosages offer less risk of toxicity. Besides, kids' vitamins taste better. Each morning, I take a chewable lion, tiger, bear, or elephant, a capsule of fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids, and prepare a quick breakfast of oatmeal.

Sometimes I forget to take my vitamin, and I don't notice any difference in the way I feel. Perhaps the vitamin fad is a bunch of nonsense after all. It may even be a harmful fad. Are we poisoning ourselves with toxic doses of vitamins and minerals? A great experiment has been unleashed upon an unsuspecting society by hucksters looking to make a profit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Use Rechargable Batteries!

Many people continue to use disposable batteries. What's wrong with that picture? Plenty. Here are the lamentable qualities of a disposable battery:
  1. You are wasting about a dollar per battery each time you toss one. Consider the economic factor alone.

  2. You are adding to the nation's landfills. Need I point out that in most cases mankind is unlikely to ever reclaim any of the metal contents of the battery?

  3. I understand that some disposables no longer employ mercury, a known environmental toxin. Does that make you feel any better? What about all the other metals contained in a battery? Do you want to drink that stuff? You will, in time, as disposed batteries corrode and leak their nasty contents into the water table.

  4. You have to make special trips to the store to buy batteries, wasting gas, which contributes to global warming.

For less than thirty dollars, anyone in the United States can purchase an easy-to-use recharger that handles AAA, AA, C, and even those odd nine-volt rectangular batteries. I bought just such a recharger at Home Depot, although you can find them on E-bay as well. Always buy a recharger that handles the maximum variety of battery types, because otherwise you will have to buy new rechargers, which is another variety of waste.

Some retail stores hate rechargables. Wal-Mart, K-mart, Staples, et al, do not want you to use rechargables. They want you to continue the cycle of purchasing disposable batteries, because it results in more profit for them as well as additional visits to their store, where you are likely to purchase other items on impulse. Expect disposable batteries to occupy front and center of their in-store displays. To find the few rechargable varieties, one often has to hunt. Most major retail outlets offer only one variety, such as AA, as a nod to their customers who demand them. The absence of other varieties of rechargables, such as nine volt or AAA, discourages consumers from using any rechargables at all. Through a mixture of negligence and greed, but most of all greed, retailers are contributing to pollution, global warming, and the continued decline of the U.S. economy. In a better society, this policy would be considered a crime, and a special fee would be assessed against the retailer on a per diem basis to compensate society for the damage to the environment and the economy.

However, you can purchase unusual species of rechargable batteries, even nine-volt, from vendors on E-bay. They sell reliable rechargables at quite reasonable prices. This is not an option for everyone, because many people do not purchase online, even today in the twenty-first century. But it's a potential solution for readers of my blog. Visit E-bay and stop using disposable batteries of any variety.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Asthma Bothering You? Move.

A major cause of asthma problems is close proximity to traffic. If you carry the genes for asthma and live next to a highway or busy street, you're at risk.

View a recent article on this subject in the Chicago Tribune.

I know this from personal experience, although I have been following the research on asthma in Discover and several other publications.

Our old home was less than twenty feet away from a major artery in town, where there was constant traffic. Asthma became such a problem that my boyfriend had difficulty sleeping at night and required prescription inhalers such as albuterol, which is not without side effects.

Our new home was located just a mile away, but on a site that is over a hundred feet removed from traffic. It made a huge difference. When we moved, my boyfriend's asthma problem disappeared. Problem solved.

This points to yet another reason that U.S. auto manufacturers should focus upon producing clean/green cars that are the most fuel-efficient in the world. This will reduce the health problems caused by car exhaust.

Of course, the car manufacturers should have been doing the right thing years ago instead of designing new monster trucks and SUVs with low fuel economy standards. If they had done the right thing, they would not now be in the situation that they are in, begging Congress for money to stay afloat. But you can't ask a CEO to take five minutes out of his busy day to think about such a thing as ethics. He's too busy following the latest gyrations of the stock market and devising new ways to downsize his workers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ibuprofen: a Wonder Drug for Back Pain / Arthritis

Anyone who suffers from occasional severe back pain, as I do, should have on hand a bottle of ibuprofen. More than any other NSAID, this drug eliminates the agony of an injured back. It works even better than prescription pain medication, in my experience, although a combination of the two remedies is optimal.

Don't be afraid to pop those pills. The maximum dose an adult can take is substantial, and you can take several pills at a go. In the worst cases of pain, I have taken four 200 mg. pills at a time. The effects last up to several hours depending upon dosage. To those of you unconcerned about the pain, keep in mind that ibuprofen does more than reduce pain; it reduces inflammation, which hastens the healing process!

Due to my propensity for back injury, I consider ibuprofen an absolutely essential medicine to have on hand at all times. It can mean the difference between excruciating agony and the ability to sleep. I remember the last time my back went out on me, I was unable to move, and the slightest disturbance, from nothing more than the breeze of a ceiling fan, could trigger a severe and excruciating spasm. I was also unable to sleep due to recurrent spasms that lasted for over eight hours. Finally, after a friend went out to the store and brought back a bottle of generic ibuprofen, within an hour I felt relief and could actually sleep again.

I am not sure what ultimately causes back injury in the absence of an obvious accident, but I strongly suspect alcohol use as being a contributing factor. From long experience, I have come to conclude that drinking weakens the connective tissues in the joints and/or aggravates the condition of arthritis from which I suffer. For this reason, I have largely eliminated drinking from my life, other than the stray drink at a social party, and I recommend other arthritis sufferers do so as well.

I am skeptical that much benefit derives from regular use of glucosamine. Prior to most of my back injuries, I was taking 1500 mg of glucosamine per day, but felt no special protective effect arising from this substance. However, I did notice a reduction in crepitation, or the cracking sound that arthritic joints make. Therefore my verdict on glucosamine is undecided. I wish that more were known. However, there were no adverse effects whatsoever from my glucosamine regimen, and a supply can be had for as little as $5 every two months.

However, years into the aforementioned glucosamine regimen, I suffered a few back injuries as well as pain in other joints around the body. For this reason, I have discontinued my use of it for the time being. I have noticed that crepitation has increased since I quit using it, but I'm not sure whether or not that matters.

I suspect jogging especially aggravates, rather than helps, arthritis, while walking may be beneficial if done in moderation. I find that walking long distances aggravates the joints in the legs. For this reason I have toned down much of my former exercise regime.
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions