Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Quick Tip: Dental Issues

Take care of any dental issues you may have as soon as possible. In your stockpiling of supplies, don't forget to include plenty of dental care items such as toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Consider adding a couple of dental first aid kits to your supplies (here's one by DenTek and one by Adventure Medical). And be sure to floss daily! 

Dental health is extremely important, and not just to avoid the pain of a cavity. Doctors have long-known of the link between dental health and overall health, as poor dental health can contribute to cardiovascular disease, strokes, a weakened immune system, dementia, and even some types of cancer. 
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Friday, September 30, 2022

Food Supply Chain Woes - 100,000 Cattle Killed By Virus in India

9-30-2022  By Tim Gamble

The world's food supply chain has taken a number of body blows this year, and the problems continue. In India, an insect-borne disease called "lumpy skin disease" has already killed about 100,000 cows and buffalos, and has infected an additional 2,000,000 other cattle according to estimates from Indian officials. In addition to death, the disease can also cause decreased milk production and birth issues in cattle that survive. 

Lumpy skin disease is spread by insects that drink blood, such as mosquitoes and ticks. Infected cows and buffaloes get fevers and develop lumps on their skin. The disease was first recorded in Zambia, Africa, in 1929. Since then, it has slowly spread throughout Africa and more recently into parts of Europe. The first recorded case in Asia was in 2019, and it has since spread to India, China, and Nepal.   

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My Personal "Boots on the Ground" Observations

9-30-2022  By Tim Gamble  

As SouthernPrepper1 continues his "Boots on the Ground" series on his You Tube channel (link: https://www.youtube.com/user/southernprepper1), I will occasionally post on this website my own personal reports of what I am seeing and experiencing in my area (small town in western North Carolina).  My two previous reports can be read by clicking the links: July 22, 2022 and June 6, 2022

Produce Quality Declining

One recurring theme of SP1's reports is people complaining about the declining quality of produce in their area. Well, this problem is apparent in my area, also. One example is lettuce. Over the course of the summer, I purchased several heads of lettuce that appeared fine at the store, but at home when I peeled back the outer leaves, the inner leaves were absolutely riddled with brown and black spots. 

I've experienced a similar problem with bagged salads. I threw away two bags of salad mixes because when I opened them up, I found that some of the ingredients were slimy, despite being well within the "best by" date printed on the bags. 

By the way, I used to buy bagged watercress. It is a very healthy food, and I liked adding it to my salads, or on a sandwich. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find watercress in my area since early this summer. Neither of the stores in my area that carried it  for the last few years have had it in stock lately. 

A few weeks ago, I purchased sweet potatoes. When I was cutting them up to make sweet potato fries, I found that several were rotten on the inside. Like the heads of lettuce, they looked fine on the outside. You couldn't tell anything was wrong until you cut into them.

I've also purchased peaches advertised as "grown in South Carolina." They looked fine on the outside, but when we tried to eat them, the flesh of the peaches was very, very dark and the peaches has absolutely no peach taste or smell. We ended up throwing them away, too. 

Moldy Bread

Another problem I've run into this summer is moldy bread, even though the bread is well within the "best by" dated printed on the bag. I have experienced this with Great Value loaf bread from Walmart, and both loaf bread and hamburger buns from my local grocery store. 

Garden Woes

I have been gardening my whole life (I was a literal farm boy growing up), but this year was the worst year I have ever had for my garden. The only thing that grew well this year was the black-eyed peas, which were bountiful. The peppers and onions did okay. Everything else this year was a bust, including tomatoes. I have never had a problem growing tomatoes until this year. My soil is okay, and the neither the weather nor the insects were particularly worse this year than any other year. I did have a problem with moles in the garden, which explains some of my garden woes this year, but not all. As an experienced gardener, I am left scratching my head as to what exactly went wrong. 

Thanks for reading my personal "Boots on the Ground" report. 
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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Where I've Been, and When I'm Coming Back...

Apologies for my absence in recent months., but I've been dealing with some medical issues. The good news is I am improving and will be posting more going forward. Here is a brief video explaining more of where I've been, and when I'm coming back:

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Friday, July 22, 2022

Boots on the Ground - My Personal Observations

7-22-2022   By Tim Gamble

SouthernPrepper1 is doing an ongoing "Boots on the Ground" series on his You Tube channel, chronicling the ongoing supply chain problems, inflation, crime, and other issues we are facing. He is using reports from ordinary people - boots on the ground - about what they are actually experiencing in their everyday lives. This eliminates the propaganda of the government and the bias of the mainstream media to give a more honest and realistic assessment of what is happening. You can follow his reports on his You Tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/southernprepper1

Here is my personal boots on the ground report of what I am seeing and experiencing in my area (small town in western North Carolina) over the last few weeks. Please feel free to leave your own reports in the new comments section (now unmoderated) of this website. 

First, some good news: Gas prices have dropped sharply in my area over the last few weeks. This morning, I paid $3.99 a gallon, down 50¢ from the high of $4.49 that I paid right before July 4th. Of course, this is still more than double the $1.84 a gallon I paid on Trump's last day in office. Let's go Brandon! 

Olive oil, any grade or brand, is almost impossible to find in my area. The Sam's Club I shop at had no olive oil whatsoever last week. My local Walmart grocery store had no olive oil when I was there earlier this week, and the large Walmart in the county just north of me had no Great Value brand olive oil yesterday, and only a handful of bottles of more expensive brands. 

Both my local Walmart grocery store and the large Walmart in the next county were completely out of Great Value brand loaf bread, both white and whole wheat, when I was at those stores this week. They were also out of Great Value hamburger and hot dog buns. 

Crime in my area is noticeably higher over the last few months, especially shop-lifting and vehicle break-ins. I've had conversations with a local law enforcement officer and a supermarket manager that confirm this fact. The vehicle break-ins are happening both overnight with vehicles parked in people's driveways, and during the day in parking lots. The LEO's suggestion is for people to always lock their doors, to have nothing of value be visible through the vehicle windows, and to park in highly visible areas. 

This may be a coincidence, or may point to a possible problem, but I have had serious problems with FedEx deliveries lately. A couple of weeks ago FedEx delivered a microwave oven I ordered from Target. The box it came in looked like it had been dropped and run over. Inside the box, the microwave had been crushed into hundreds of pieces. I cut my hand on broken glass inside the box. The box was left on my front porch (I wasn't home) with no note or explanation. Luckily, Target did refund my money. 

Earlier this week, FedEx delivered an oven broiler element I ordered for my Tappan oven. Again, an extremely crushed box was left on my front porch without note or explanation, and inside the oven element was badly bent and unusable.  Is this just coincidence and bad luck, or does it point to a problem with FedEx? Perhaps a worker shortage is leading to inexperienced and poorly trained loaders and drivers at FedEx? 

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Comments Section No Longer Moderated

7-22-2022

Ongoing problems with the comments section of my websites have caused me to make several changes and improvements. Most of the changes are "behind the scenes" and do not impact my readers. However, one change does impact readers: The comments sections are no longer moderated. 

This means anyone can post anything they want to post, and that post will appear almost instantly. If you don't see a post you just made, give it a minute and then refresh the page, and your post should appear. 

"Comments are posted without moderation. Use caution when following links, and beware of SPAM and fake links. Please keep discussions civil and on-topic."

Please note that links in the comments sections will not be checked, so always use caution. I personally recommend you NOT follow links posted by others in the comments section, out of an abundance of caution. Instead, use a search engine to look up the article, video, or website for yourself. 

I maintain the right to remove any comment or link for any reason, or to close down the comments sections entirely.

Thank you for your understanding,

Tim Gamble

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Friday, July 1, 2022

Gardening Questions

I have a couple of gardening-related questions I am hoping my readers can answer for me. Any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

1) Anyone know what this is? It has taken over my garden this year. Grows like mad. Weak stems, so the plant typically breaks when I pull it up, leaving the roots in the ground for more plants to grow... It is a short plant (only gets a couple inches or so tall) that quickly spreads out along the ground. I haven't seen any flowers on it yet.  

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

2) What can be done about voles? We've always had voles around here, but they weren't a big problem until this year. They have taken over not only my yard and garden area, but the entire neighborhood. You cannot walk around without sinking into the ground as their tunnels give way under your feet. I have lost seven tomato plants so far because they are eating the roots! Any suggestions? 

Here is one of the voles a neighborhood cat managed to kill.

Please leave any comments and suggestions below! 

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