I got my HAM Technician license some time ago after reading the Rawles' book Patriots. After a couple of months of researching into different radios, and watching a ton of Youtube, I finally decided to just bite the bullet and get a UV-5R.
I mainly wanted a mobile unit that I could rig into my truck, but price point and confusion (I still don't know what I'm doing) caused me to be a bit cautious before jumping off the high dive into the HAM radio world.
So from a complete beginner's perspective, what do I think about the UV-5R?
Looking at all that there's a whole lot more to the "con" list than there is with the "pros". But does that mean I hate the radio? By no means! Even despite all of the cons, given the chance, I would still choose this as my first radio. You simply can't beat the cost. Yeah, I know a lot of HAM purists hate the Chinese stuff - particularly Baofeng - but I would much rather learn what I like/don't like about HAM on a $25 handheld compared to a $1000 base station.
Don't let the vegans fool you: not eating meat isn't as healthy as you may think.
Another interesting study showing an increased risk of stroke among vegans/vegetarians out of 50,000 study subjects. A 20% higher risk to be precise.
Why might that be? Eating highly processed foods could be one reason. Being miserable may be another (there is a link between chronic mood and overall morbidity/mortality). 'Cuz if you ain't getting enough calories, odds are you're going go to be a rather miserable personality.
To check out the study, click here:
And if you want to see the link between mood and health, click here:
I teach a lot of nutrition classes. I was a personal trainer for 2 years. I've worked in the fitness industry for 6 years. I studied nutrition all through my undergrad. I've a master's where a good portion of my time was spent studying nutrition. And I hate the vegetarian/vegan diet.
Just because something is labeled as vegan or vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy. French fries, potato chips, candy, and a host of other foods that won't help you to reach your health/fitness goals (notice I avoid the term 'unhealthy'), can all be successfully labeled 'vegan'.
The food industry knows that the terms "vegan/vegetarian" is automatically viewed as healthy by the general public.
Which brings me to Beyond Meat.
When I first heard about it, I wasn't a huge fan.
I was happy to see that there are other people out there who agree with me.
I just finished Lewis' Space Trilogy. It's been sitting on my shelf for years, and I finally got around to starting Out of the Silent Planet after finding the 3rd book in a local Little Free Library (I love those things).
Here's my thoughts:
Out of the Silent Planet
The first book of the series, this was straight up science fiction, something I found refreshing in a Lewis book. One of the reasons that JRR Tolkien often didn't wholeheartedly enjoy Lewis' fiction (they were friends - Tolkien actually led Lewis to Christ), was that Lewis is an allegory bomb. Everything he wrote tends to be dripping with in-your-face allegory where there is absolutely no mistaking what X is actually supposed to be.
Out of the Silent Planet wasn't that though. It was just sci-fi, and good sci-fi at that. Are there things within the story that are symbolic? Yeah, absolutely. But it wasn't as in your face as a Narnia story. It's just a really cool space adventure where the reader goes on a journey to discover different extraterrestrial species and cultures.
An incredible book well worth your time.
Lewis reverted to old form with this one. It's allegorical in the extreme. And though I tend to view things through Tolkien's lens with that topic, I still greatly enjoyed this one. Without giving too much away, this is basically a retelling of the Garden of Eden.
And it's absolutely fantastic. Lewis' language within this is beautiful. You get a taste of what Paradise must look like simply because of this man's imagination, and it sounds wonderful.
The conflict within this story will have you cheering on your side of the fight as well. The book actually had me routing the main character on after every other page (my wife thinks I'm a weirdo as a result), but it's the story. It draws you in that well. Causing you to see what could have been.
That Hideous Strength
This one was actually my least favorite within the trilogy. I just didn't think it was that special. Rather bleh, and it didn't seem to mesh as well with the other books to me. I can definitely see the influence this must have played on Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. There's this evil corporation that has demonic backing fighting against the forces of Good.
Still an interesting story, but not as good as the rest.
So, all in all a good trilogy well worth your time reading. Perelandra is easily the best in the series, and if you're going to pick just one, I recommend choosing it.
The Faithful Prepper is going to be on sale for $12 at Prepper Camp 2019 this year! If you've been on the fence about picking it up, Prepper Camp is a great opportunity to check it out at a discounted price.
Whether you're a Christian or not, I still think TFP can prove beneficial to you. If you're a Christian, I think TFP will help to clear away any guilt or qualms you may have about prepping if you think it's incompatible with Christianity.
If you're not a Christian, you have a good chance of running into Christians in a post-disaster situation. Reading TFP will help you to better understand their mode of thought, and how they're likely to approach various issues that you may face. And in the end, you'll be better preparing yourself for post-disaster scenarios.
And finally, TFP contains a lot of useful information that is incredibly practical from a prepping standpoint. Proven formulas to help you know exactly how much food to prep per person in your family, innovative ways to use technology to prep, and thoughts on OPSEC that will further hone your prepping ability.
TFP really has something for everybody, and I trust that you will enjoy it. If that sounds like something of interest to you, and want to pick it up on sale, then sign up for Prepper Camp 2019!
Am I a fan of the New York Times? Nope, but you can bet I'm a fan of this news.
As I've said before, I was an MPH student at one time, meaning I spent a significant period of time studying ebola. It's an absolutely terrifying - and devastating - disease that spreads like wildfire. The news that we can now potentially cure 90% of those infected comes as welcome news indeed.
I have a new piece that was published on survivalblog lately. It's on how to fight lice post-disaster.
I'm a huge history buff, and over and over again, I'm surprised at how often lice is found in post-disaster populations. When I was getting my master's in public health, infectious disease was something that we studied extensively, as well as how to properly combat it. And so, out of those two interests/experiences, this piece was born.
I think you might find it interesting.
Everything I do on my farm is all part of a system. It's all circular, with pieces of the puzzle contributing to the other pieces, that all combine together to form a whole: a farm.
The chickens produce fertilizer which is then added to the compost pile. The compost pile creates compost, which is then added to the garden. The garden produces vegetables, which we eat. The scraps are then thrown back to the chickens. It's all a cycle.
The garden, goats, woods, fields, bees - all of them are just pieces within their own cycles.
Likewise, I try my best to ensure that everything within those systems serves as many roles as possible. The greater the number of roles each participant plays, the greater the value of that particular piece.
For example, chickens also produce eggs for me to eat and sell. I get food and offset the cost of raising them as a result. They produce chicks, which I can also sell. They control the tick population, providing a health service. When their lives are done, they produce meat. Combined with the fertilizer, that's 5 different services that one piece provides.
The more efficient and effective systems that a farm contains, and the greater versatility for each piece, the stronger of a farm you will have (typically). Creating such systems is the definition of permaculture.
I've read heavily on the subject, and I've found the best book to be written by Ben Falk. I highly recommend it if you're involved in any form of farming or gardening whatsoever.
After over a year's worth of work and waiting, The Faithful Prepper is finally available for sale! I've attached a link to Prepper Press's blog release below.
It's currently available in print from Amazon, and via Kindle as well.
If you are interested in the prepping, survivalist, disaster-preparedness, or disaster relief, I really think that you'll enjoy this book. I would love to add you as a reader, and don't forget to continue to come back here for continued updates as to what I have coming out next!
The Faithful Prepper: A Christian Perspective on Prepping is scheduled for release! It's set to be available in print and as an e-book on July 15.
You can get it at Prepper Press by clicking the below link:
I can't begin to express just how satisfying it is to see the completion of the work that we put into this one. Over a year's worth of research, writing, and planning went into this one, and the end result is something that I'm very happy with.
We think you will be as well.
Writer. News junkie. Personal Trainer. Farmer.