Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today we didnt work on any household projects but we did get in some adventure time! We went on a short hike of roughly two miles at one of the jefferson county open space parks close to where we live in the mountains of Cololorado. Like every good adventurer I made sure to wear my awesome junior ranger vest which can hold some tools for identifying plants and animals, some band-aids, and of course some yummy fruit snacks. All junior adventurers cant forget to bring water but I had my dad carry it in his day bag (between you and me... its a murse. hehehe)
Here we found a blue bell. Its a small blue wildflower that grows so that the flower hangs down. Its imprortant to note that if we dont know what a plant is we should not touch it. But we can take a picture of it and identify it later at home.
I am examining these pretty yellow flowers. Mom and Dad werent sure what they were so I have temporarily named them star-flowers.
Here at the end of our hike we find the recycling bin and the bear-proof trash can. Had we created any trash on this trip we would have disposed of them here instead of out in the forest. I am also showing of my scraped hand because I tripped on the way back down. My knees got a little scraped too but I know I will be OK. When we got home mom took a look at me and determined that I didnt need a band-aid but she gave me one anyway becuase she knew I would feel better with one on. She sure does love me. Anyway I will probably do another hike tomorrow if its not raining but it will be in the same area, just a little longer, so I wont bore you with the details. Use the comments box below to let me know if there are any day hikes in the conifer/evergreen area I should tackle. Later friends. ~Izzy

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finally, my dad lets me do my own project. We have allot to do so lets get strait to it. The problem: Our eight year old kitchen table has a leg that keeps falling off. Over the years some of the orginal bolts have fallen out and become victim to the constant cleanup that is the kitchen floor. Today I am going to fix it. Now just in case there are any other four year olds out there who want to help out around the house make sure you have a grown-up around to supervise so you can stay safe!

All right lets have some fun. The table is simple enough:  four metal legs attached to a large metal cylinder that together support a glass top. I got my dad to help me lift the glass top and he also took me to the hardware store to pick out some matching bolts that should be able to replace the lost ones. Any hardware store should have a small section of various bolts where you can pick through and find what you need.

Once the glass was off the project was pretty simple: match the holes up from the fallen off metal leg to the holes on the middle support cylinder and add bolts. I know which way to turn because dad always tells me that if I want to tighten a screw or bolt that I turn it to the right or clockwise (if you can tell time, I am still working on that one.)

With the leg reattached we flipped the legs back over and daddy put the glass back on the table. There was a decorative metal piece that had broken off the table that we could have fixed as well but that happened before I born so it didnt get fixed and daddy lost it. Always save your parts little buddies. I have lots of fun summer projects around the house planned so stay tuned for additional postings.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Preface ~ The Calling

Here is the preface to "The Calling" Book 1 "The Watchman." While I will post some things on this blog about the book I will for most part keep the general plot and character subplots away from public space. For now I invite any comments and suggestions from those of you who have, at least a very small idea of what I am writing, to offer suggestions and/or critiques.

I knew that monsters did not exist. In my youth, during moments of great angst at the conclusion of some scary movie involving that of a sci-fi creature intent upon destroying all human race, I could call upon my testimony of God to ensure that such beings of malcontent did not exist. The God I knew would not allow such things to dwell within the universe for they held no value to the instruction of his children, and no purpose that could serve his plan.

Though I knew these creatures did not exist, I also knew that people, in possession of an evil, twisted, destructible nature did exist, and I was in the presence of such a person right now. Now, far away from my youth, I could not call upon my testimony to ensure that this monster wouldn't find me. In truth, I knew that we would very likely meet face to face in a matter of moments.

I crouched as low as I could behind several supply crates in the now, almost abandoned, warehouse where we had found the answers we were looking for. The heat was deadening even at this late hour. It was dark. Perhaps the only hope I had was that my monster could not see any better than I could, although as silver linings went, this one was pretty dim.

I held my breath as I waited for the confrontation that must take place in order for me to have the slightest chance of relaying the information I had only just barely obtained.

A drop of sweat ran down my forehead. I wiped my sweaty palms against my shirt with little success at keeping them dry. I gripped my weapon tight, stood up from my place of momentary refuge, and saw with shadowed distinction, my monster…

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Who Lives? Who Dies?

Ambu Bag? Yes just in case someone is not breathing, definitely easier to perform CPR without pressing your mouth to someone else’s given so many unknown variables and still better than a mouth guard. Burn Kit? Definitely. OB Kit? What if someone has a baby and can’t get to the hospital or other medical attention? I guess that means it stays. Eye kit? Well, Eye injuries aren’t uncommon. Dental kit? Well. In dire circumstances I suppose it could help. Catheter Kit? This one is questionable but can I really say no? Do I need more Gauze pads? Saline? IV supplies? Sterile Drapes? Chucks? N-95 respirators? Gloves? How much is too much? What about the military field surgery kit? Can I perform surgery? No…. but there might be a doctor around who just needs the right tools right???

Recently for Father’s Day my beautiful bride got me two Stanley FatMax Rolling Workshop tool boxes from Home Depot (my toy store). Each measures roughly 30’’h x 20’’w x 11’’d with three different storage boxes that open in a step down fashion allowing you to see everything at a glance. Getting this great gift came with the condition, however, that I would consolidate all of our medical supplies to both tool boxes and “get rid” of what didn’t fit inside. I am currently neck deep in this exercise.

To the average person this should be a relatively easy endeavor after all when are you ever going to need this stuff right? Well, to an emergency preparedness buff deciding what to keep and what to let go feels as though you are deciding who will live and who will die in some unknown future catastrophe. It is true that anyone who considers emergency preparedness a hobby tend to be future oriented thinkers otherwise the hobby would be mute because you wouldn’t really be “preparing” for anything. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t preparing the way they should. Prophets have told us to keep a 3 month water supply, a 3 month regular food supply, a 1 year staple food supply and have our debt paid off or at least able to pay our debt for up to one year without work. Many who don’t care for the EP hobby still do these basic things because we have always been counseled to.

But those of us that do undertake the EP hobby tend to try to think beyond the 72 hour kit and food storage and can sometimes get lost in trying to restart human civilization out of our basement. In my case today I feel like I could open up a field trauma unit… But even saying that we can treat all kinds of injuries their still lies the problem of combating infection and it’s not like I have a stock pile of antibiotics. Medications are one thing that you can’t really stockpile although I know plenty of people who go to Mexico to do just that. The reality is that medications only have a shelf life of about 2 years depending on the drug and storage conditions. And in the case of antibiotics you can’t just not finish your prescription and then toss the left over in your kit. Antibiotics must be finished every time or you end up contributing to the drug resistant strains of bacteria that are so rampant today. So having said that is there really that much I can do? Barring making my own low grade penicillin (which I think given bad enough conditions we could probably do) how much help could I really offer on a wide scale problem? This is where the reality check comes into play.

There is a fine line between a faithful EP hobbyist and someone who is obsessed. The real difference can be found in how you let it affect your everyday life and the following questions should be considered. How much money do I spend on this hobby? Am I spending only what income I have set aside for my hobbies and interests or am I buying EP stuff on credit and forgoing bills? Am I able to concentrate on other healthy aspects of life without always thinking the world will end? Are my relationships suffering because I can only talk about this hobby? Do I get stressed, sick, and worried that I don’t have enough EP stuff to protect me and my neighbors in the future? Do I peruse the headlines daily to check for signs of impending doom?

When I ask myself the above questions I still fall very much on the mere hobbyist side of the line, although others might debate me on that. I spend very little money on this hobby largely due to inheriting a great deal of it from my mother (particularly on the medical side.) I have several other hobbies and things I enjoy doing so that EP isn’t always on my mind. I may have a certain “constant vigilance” about me but far from breaking a sweat when thinking about what may be around the next dark corner. My relationships with others are quite healthy and while they know I am an EP guru they also know that it doesn’t have to be talked about for us to have a good time. And aside from days like today when I actually have to decide when enough is enough I don’t stress out about what I may or may not have in the future.

It is topics like this that remind me the truth of life. We are all going to die eventually and we hardly have any say in the matter as to when that will be. Whether it’s in a car accident next week, in bed 50 years from now, or in a worldwide/second-coming type of event it will happen to all of us. Hence the adage of “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” has more to do with whether or not you have “prepared every needful thing” in regards to your spiritual health and for some this could be a very valid reason to sweat. I know I can do better than I have in this regard and I think my time is better spent worrying about that then whether or not I have 200 alcohol wipes, and honestly, things are going to have to be pretty bad for the world to have to rely on me to get their arm wrapped in gauze…

Friday, April 18, 2008

Global Warming: The Debate Rages On

OK, so I got my grade back to my last question and only received 8 of ten points. Why? Because I put up completely rational arguments against a topic where hot headed (hey maybe that's the cause) liberal tree huggers cling to shotty scientific evidence. Global Warming? Please... You want to go the Climate Change route I am all for it. OK sure the climate is changing but where is the "proof" you know that stuff science used to care about, that humans have impacted it so much that the world will be devastated soon? Th air quality today is far better than it was 30, 50, or even 100 years ago thanks to changes in technology and a little thing called the clean air act. But why stop the regulation there. Lets stop all emissions of carbon dioxide oh wait, animals and humans breath it out too. Cows give off greater methane emissions than any other source in the world maybe we should get rid of them oh but wait we can't hurt animals, we can only hurt humans. We don't need electricity, hot water, or homes to live in. We should go back to the stone age because then the earth would be happy...

But then to take care of the large population we would have to spread out across the land so we could each farm but with out pesticides, herbicides crop failure would increase, disease would run rampant since we couldn't create higher quality food, take care of basic sanitation or create all those pesky little things called vaccines. Lets make the majority of the population worse off so that a few can "feel" good about what we are doing to this planet that is so much more complex then we are capable of understanding with our temporal minds.

The point of this rant is where do we stop? All this save the earth from getting warmer business is just a hop skip and jump away from zero population laws going into effect because that would be the only way to really achieve what all these activists want. And thus a zero population effect is really only wanted by the greatest adversary of mankind and he has found a way into the hearts of many to make it seem like a fail safe idea to keeping up our status quo. The day I hear a profit of God tell me that we need to limit our greenhouse gasses then I will listen. Until then I will worry about having faith, repenting often, reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, and attempting to live the life He would have me live. Of all the prophecies the scriptures have given us I have never read about a profit foretelling of a time when the greatest threat to our salvation would be a warmer planet.

Lets start worrying about the things we really need to worry about...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Global Warming: Scientists Have Something to Lose

The following was an answer I gave to a question raised in my Dynamics of Health class. The question asked what "you" as an individual could do to help eliviate the global warming problem...

Most of the statements I am about to make come from my training as an economist in which case my econ department would be proud. Scientists are in the same boat as the rest of us. We all work so that we can make money which in turn allows us to buy goods and services. What sets them apart is that they like science. This love of science however does not mean they are altruistic in that all they want to do is make the world a better place. Many scientists do just the opposite. So why is it that we accept so willingly the “great global warming fear campaign”? Is it not true that scientists who are “experts” in this field stand to gain from a world population being concerned with the climate? Do they not need to predict calamity in order to stimulate grant approval for their continued working life? If there really wasn’t a problem would they not all lose their jobs and be forced to work in some other area of science? Wouldn’t the prospect of losing that job bias your opinions/research to find ways of showing your hypothesis was true? I personally can’t really recall any of my past years being any worse weather/temp wise than any of their other past 25+ years of my life. And there has been some evidence that the alarmists would prefer to keep quiet such as the sea ice actually gaining this year. I know this question had more to do with what I can do to prevent global warming but I will chose the econ side of the debate and talk about what I can do to reduce my explicit costs that may also have a beneficial impact on the environment. I ask that I not be penalized for my lack of faith in the global warming debate. ---- I have changed all the light-bulbs in my house to the energy efficient kind to help reduce my bill. I don’t recycle and don’t really promote it because there have been several studies recently that have concluded that the process of recycling, with all the nasty chemicals needed to do so, actually doesn’t help the environment any more than if we didn’t do it at all. I am rather fond of SUVs but my wife and I have concluded that we will most likely wait for a hybrid version of them before we go buy another one. The Chevy Tahoe looks good but this decision comes as way of reducing fuel costs not because we are a “green” household. When I build my home I will likely build into it some kind of photo electric system to again reduce my energy costs. Most of these things are suggested as ways of helping to reduce our “Carbon footprint” but for the skeptics at least on some issues we can save some money. This would actually be a great Econ paper (I am sure it was already written) on the “Baptists and Bootleggers” concept which would discuss the Baptists in this debate as being the environmentalists who want to reduce greenhouse gasses because its “the right thing to do” and “nature would be better served.” While the bootleggers would be the energy companies and scientists who stand to gain (monetarily and by reputation) from having continued scare tactics used to incite the masses to prepare for the worst.

You know if we really wanted the world to be a better place we could start with shutting down tobacco companies for good, eliminate cars all together, and reduce production costs for health care providers. Aren’t these some of the leading causes of death and misfortune in the world? Yes, but we are not likely to do anything about them… You know, I have never heard of anyone who has died from “global warming.”

Monday, October 22, 2007

Werewolves, Wizards, and Universal Health Care…

Last night I had this dream where all the graduates from the economics department suddenly became werewolves, myself included. I am positive this is the result of the latest book series my wife and I are reading; “Twilight” from Stephanie Myers. This series, as in a long line of associated works, pits vampires against werewolves but when I awoke from my dream I couldn’t help thinking about the impact of all economists being werewolves. Wait What!? Hear me out on this one.

Lets “imagine” (you know, that thing we all did before we got a 400 channel satellite dish) that this was true. I would expect that if the secret got out, enrollment in the econ department might go up, which in-turn would lower the value of my degree as the labor market got inundated with econowolves. This is shown by the value of all those psych, political science, history, and business degrees that come out through the gumball machines in the student union building. However, let’s assume that the secret stays safe with-in the department, what would be the purpose of the econowolf? Stephanie Myers suggests that werewolves only exist as an antithesis to their sworn enemy the vampire. With this in mind who would be the sworn enemy of the econowolf? None other than the dreaded “gampire,” that’s a government vampire for those of you who may not be familiar with “econospeak.” The gampire is responsible for consistent intervention in free market forces essentially sucking the life out of a capitalist economy. So naturally, there would be a delicate balance of nature as gampire and econowolf fight it out to protect the rest of the world.

But wait that wasn’t the only book/economic analogy that kept me up last night, so let’s not stop there. As I learn more and more about the evils of universal health care and the leftist agenda to “force” it through I am reminded of another individual who had the exact same ambitions; Sith Lord Palpetine. The emperor also wanted peace throughout the galaxy and thought that a universal system of well, everything, was the way to take care of everyone so that there could be total equality, except of course for his own ruling party which no doubt would get greater access to life saving operations such as total body replacement for their apprentices. However, if you throw a nice loving phrase on it such as “Hilary-Care” than maybe we can simply trick everyone into voting for it while secretly silencing the opposition as you go. “Wow, I guess that really does sound like the sith taking over!” Of course that would mean we would have to create a new Jedi class to go along with the “guardian, sentinel, and the councilor.” The Jedi Economist is the only real force capable of dealing with such issues. But then, this particular class of Jedi would only be called to deal with economic related activities. Calling upon them to go to war or to hunt down the sith to extinction just wouldn’t work. They would always be calculating the marginal benefit of doing so and would often stop based on the premise that the optimal quantity of crime/evil in the galaxy was not zero. This is probably why we haven’t heard much of them.

Money and banking comes into play in both the Star-Wars series and the instant classic Harry Potter series.

First, in Star-Wars, I’m thinking episode one-ish, when the queen’s ship lands on Tantoine and the Jedi find that their form of money is not acceptable on the planet. So while Tantoine is technically within the republic, the “credit” does not hold its value across all of the republic territories. Tantoine’s economy is more of a trade and barter economy with high ambitions for those who wish to gamble. It would be fascinating to do a formal study of the Tantoine economy but the researchers might just get hung up by the Terisian Ale at the pod racing tracks. . .

The wizarding world of Harry Potter creates another interesting study in the field of money and banking. While it hasn’t been previously stated as to whether or not Galleons, Knuts, or Sickles are subject to any of the “Five Principles Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration” let us suppose that that they are, in particular that you can’t just conjure it out of thin air. The keyword in the above would be “Elemental” leading one to hypothesize that Gamp’s Law means you can’t create an element from another element. Physics seems to be holding at least at one end for this fictional world. However, as Hermione carefully points out to her long awaited crush Ron once you have some (of the non conjurable material) you can perform some simple spell work to increase the quantity and size. This would wreak havoc on an economy, even a magic economy as anyone who came across a galleon could technically increase the quantity to pay for what they would need. Because wizards are people they would no doubt increase their fortunes which would increase the money supply on its own driving up inflation to a point where the galleon would be worthless. So how do you keep a money market running in a wizarding world? I smell a new book Ms. Rowling. . .

Plus we can’t forget the impacts of the political style of Lord Voldemort. Craves power, keeps only those people who go along with his ideas close by, dispatches of those who decent, probably can’t pronounce word “Nuclear.” Wait, does that sound like anyone we know?

Well as we have progressed through my small fit of insomnia we have discovered that we as a people can be run by one of two evil classes, so whether it be “Republicans for Voldemort” or “Democrats for the Sith” or simple government economic vampires it looks like the only hope for this world rests upon the few, the proud, the often intoxicated, free-market economists!

Stand tall my friends, stand tall!