Last night, I picked my first batch of spearmint for the year. I am an absolute fan of Mint Iced Tea – Ice Tea in general. I drink a lot, so I am careful what it is that I am drinking (specifically that it is natural, has few calories). And my seasonal favorite is Mint Ice Tea.
As long as I have had a piece of dirt to grown things on, I have planted mint. My preference is Spearmint over peppermint, but either will do. I have found that the many varieties of mint that have been created are kind of mind blowing. The most interesting to me would be the “Chocolate Mint” variety. My mother in law found some once, but I thought it was a little weird.
My present mint patch is along the side of my house. And unfortunately it has not done so well in the past few years. I do not know if it is because I over cut it (usually 5 stems every other day). I would say it is low sunlight, but it used to produce much better. I will be looking into what I need to do with the soil to improve the yield, as I will be drinking this all summer.
Over the winter, I have looked for other alternatives, when fresh mint is not around. The closest thing to my tea is Boston’s Mint-in-Tea. I used that for a couple of years until my wife and I found something better. Just squeeze an orange and a lemon in a gallon of tea. During Mint season, I still have to make the orange-lemon for my wife (she is not a fan of Mint tea.).
As someone who once believed in vaccines, who vaccinated my child, I’m asking you to hear me out.
I know you might think I am either (1) stupid, (2) uneducated, or (3) crazy. I know you think questioning vaccine safety is akin to believing in conspiracy theories. I know you are angered to think that there are people putting children in harm’s way because of the increasing rate of vaccine refusal.
✋🏻 I understand that. I 100% appreciate the fact that you care about children, that you care about health, and that you want the best for your family and for the rest of us.
I know you find the practice of vaccination to be an incredible scientific advancement that you are deeply thankful for. I know you believe in the benevolence and good will of those in the medical profession. I know you believe that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of harm. I know you believe that vaccines save lives, and that with them we have eradicated horrible diseases and made the world a safer place, for everyone.
✨ HOW truly INSPIRING and absolutely wonderful is that to believe? To believe that humans have changed and can continue to change the course of history, the threat of disease morbidity and mortality, through medical innovation? That is an incredible idea and reality that many of us REALLY WANT to believe…
How difficult and frustrating would it then be, to have those beliefs challenged? And for medical professionals, to have one of the main tenets of their profession and life purpose be questioned, and attacked?
It would feel terrible, insulting, and like all that is right in this world, everything you know that exists to protect your children, is being threatened by misguided idiots and those who want to watch the world burn. How could anyone possibly want to see polio return? Measles? Mumps? Whooping cough? To make everyone vulnerable and needlessly put in harm’s way, again?
—— I get it. No really, I do. ——
Believe me, it took years of daily research and investigation into this issue before I began to decide that the potential benefits of vaccination do not outweigh the costs. And this was *after* vaccinating my child and watching him suffer neurodevelopmental and cognitive delays. This was after we began to deal with food allergies that gave him constant stomach pain and eczema.
Let me add, that when I say the words “research” and “investigate”, I’m not talking about mom blogs or natural news websites with no sources or references for their information. I’m talking about published, peer reviewed scientific research from medical journals. I’m talking about data and records from the CDC website that you have to dig to find. I’m talking about important information about outbreaks and how to treat measles and whooping cough that doesn’t make the local or national news. I’m talking about historical records and archived articles… A significant amount of this information is behind paywalls. It’s not easily found or accessed unless you have come to learn what you need to search for.
👉🏻 I will also add that I am a scientist. Specifically, a toxicologist – someone who determines the level at which a particular substance is toxic or deadly. (Please don’t attempt to remind me that “the dose makes the poison”. This applies to substances that are not toxic at the lowest levels we can measure.) I know how to read, understand, and interpret scientific research. When it comes to vaccines, I search for proof. For solid scientific evidence. It was and still is, of utmost importance to me, to see the research, and only then, come to an informed decision. And in the end, the overwhelming amount of unbiased historical and scientific evidence – was against vaccines.
💥 I do not take this issue lightly. The debate about vaccines is so volatile, simply because we all CARE so much, about children, about our families. People on both sides of this debate – the majority of them are truly GOOD people. The difference between us is that you believe the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. And after years of research and/or witnessing our children suffer vaccine injury, we do not. There is passion and frustration on both sides, and we are coming from the same place with that frustration. We simply disagree on how to best protect our children.
🙏🏻 What I am hoping for, is that you might just heed our warning, and make an effort to dive deep into the research on this subject. So what, you know what you know, and the entire medical system and all of these great pediatricians KNOW that vaccines are “safe and effective”. Well what if that’s not actually… true?
What if doctors never actually learn about vaccines, their ingredients, or adverse events, in medical school? What if the medical textbooks are written with an enormous amount of funding from the pharmaceutical industry? What if the CDC owns patents on vaccines? What if the pharmaceutical industry is corrupt and funds studies which conveniently stop monitoring test subjects before adverse effects begin to manifest? What if vaccines contain toxic substances at levels which can cause chronic illness when children are repeatedly injected with them? What if we are trading temporary illness for the development of autoimmune and neurological disease later in life? What if the threat and danger of these “preventable” diseases has been inflated to push more vaccines? What if these vaccines are not even truly effective as we have been led to believe and we will always need more booster shots to try to make up for that fact? What if there is evidence for all of the above, you just haven’t seen it yet?
…If you want to vaccinate, then do so. I hope though that you might keep an open mind and genuinely take time to look into this for yourself, beyond the claims of our government and medical system which ignore or are unaware of the massive amount of evidence that contradicts those claims. Please take caution and know that I don’t do this to be popular. I don’t do this to make friends.
The only reason I speak out, is to protect my children and your children, from unnecessary harm. Truly.
As of now, I am completing my 3rd week of the 30 day Real Food Reset. This is the third time I am undertaking this diet in the last 6 years, I am pretty clear on what I need to eat. Though it is not always easy.
What were/are my Goals?
When you undertake any plan like this, there have to be goals. Why the hell am I doing this to my body? To my family?
To Lose some weight – I wanted to go on the diet because I felt fat. I was holding steady between 215-220 lbs. At 6’2″ tall, this does not appear bad. But I could feel it. I felt it in my joints. I felt it in my waistline. I had a number of pairs of pants and shorts that did not fit. Some of my large sized T-Shirts were tight. I had underwear that bound up in the wrong places. I wanted to fit again. Ideally, I wanted to lose 20 lbs by the end of the diet.
To feel younger – I do not look my age thankfully. I was just at the Doctor’s office in March. He checked me over and stated, “you definitely do not look or have the health of a man of 50.” So that is good. BUT!!!! Every morning I was taking 2 Ibuprofin tablets to take the edge off. I have bad knees. Walking down the steps in the morning, I was having to hold on to the railing to steady myself and to provide support for my creaking, aching knees. Some days I just felt old – too tired or too achy to want to move. I would get out of the car and feel like I was walking like an old man – stiff and limping. I hate being tied to medications to get through the day.
To be Healthier – Part of my plan with the expanded garden was to have fresh fruits and vegetables. But other times when I have grown fresh vegetables, no one will eat them. I wanted to be in the groove of things when food started coming up. What do you do when you have 50 zuccinis and 70 cucumbers sitting on your counter – across the kitchen from baskets full of green beans, tomatoes and peppers? So this is kind of a getting ready phase. I wanted to be used to eating fresh fruits and vegetables. And my recollection from the past was that I ate a lot of fresh, whole foods.
Change Some Bad Eating Habits – Over my life, I have developed a number of what I would call good eating habits. They are choices I made than incorporated into my everyday diet that I believe lead to better health. These include:
I Do Not Eat Beef – that is cow meat. I stopped eating it back when i was racing bicycles because it used to make me gain weight. I had tried being a vegetarian, but that lasted a month. it was too difficult to keep up with. But I retained the ban on beef. After a couple years, I lost the enzymes to digest it. So not I not only dislike the taste, but it also makes me feel ill.
I Do Not Add Sugar to anything – Coffee, tea, cereal This started back in 1985 when I went away to college. I did not want to gain the Freshman 15, so I enacted a number of rules. Sugar in the coffee was one of the biggies. And it has expanded from there.
I Avoid All Artificial Sweeteners – They are bad. Bad chemicals that are bad for you. Saccharine/Sweet & Low, Aspartame/Nutrasweet/Equal, Sucralose/Splenda. I stopped these back in about 2012 for all the right reasons.
I Do Not Drink Milk – Every morning I used to drink a glass of Milk and a glass of Orange Juice. When I stopped to think about it, i was adding about 500 calories to my day that I did not need. So I broke that habit. I do not have a problem with Dairy, or milk in foods. i just avoid that extra calorie bomb every morning.
Eating After 8:00 – This was a tried and true rule I learned while bike racing and trying to maintain weight. Eat early enough that your body can metabolize it before bed.
All that being said I have enough bad habits.
Ice Cream – I love Ice Cream. And when I want it, little things like my eating after 8:00 rule go out the door. And is one scoop ever enough? No!
Compulsive Snacking– My rule of thumb is that if I did not start eating, I will not keep eating. One little bite is never enough. Chips, cookies, M&M’s, pretzels. you name it. By the time I am done, you can usually count the calories up to equal a full meal
Sports Energy Drinks – I do not generally drink soda. And I never drink Diet soda. But I am drawn to sports energy Drinks. Monster and Rockstar are my favorites. But like my Compulsive habit, if I do not start, I am good. I have found that when I start drinking them, it will be daily. And I can follow history to tell me that when this “habit” begins, it will end with a total ban on my part because I have gained weight. This diet cycle proves that true again.
Caffeine and Alcohol – These are not necessarily bad habits. I still drink coffee (black) like a fiend. Alcohol I drink socially – and only wine and beer. they are potentially unhealthy habits. And I list them because so many in the medical establishment say so.
RESULTS AFTER 3 WEEKS
If you took the hint from the header picture on this post, I have lost 15 lbs in 3 weeks. Actually, after the first 10 days, I had lost 10 lbs. Announcing that sounded cliche last week, so I have waited until today. Every time I have been on a diet, I like to compare the amount I have have lost to a cut of meat. Because that is equivalent to the weigh I have lost.
I eat at least 10 helpings of Fruits/Vegetables per day. This is major for me. Back a couple months ago, I took notice of the fact that the only thing that I could call a vegetable in my diet that day was potato chips. So for today, for example: Breakfast: Fresh salsa (Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions), Smoothie (Strawberries, Pineapple, Banana), Lunch (potato), Snack (peanuts), Dinner Greek Salad (Lettuce, Olives, Tomatoes, Onion). This is about average.
I feel better. I do not have to hold the rail going down the stairs. Balance is better. No appreciable pain. No Ibuprofin every morning.
I still have another week on this diet (or 10 days). I really really really want to drop below 200 lbs.
So. If you have read this far, it is time for a little homework. What are your Good Habits and Bad Habits? If you are game, make a list. Take a sheet of paper and divide it in two. List out the habits you have that you think are healthy and unique to you. Then dig a little deeper and list the bad habits.
If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of this series, you might want to go back and read them.
Mad Max 1 showed a world where people and society were breaking down. The people are living, but the fabric of society was ripping. The line between morals and values was blurring. And the value of life was seen as lost. You saw no bombs, but things looked bleak.
The Road Warrior made it clear that society was lost. What happens when government is no longer there for people’s protection? We see people scraping by for an existence. Joining together when they can, but relying on the good graces of others. And these ties prove to be not so binding.
The third installment, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, takes us a few years down the road from when The Road Warrior takes place. You know this first due to the fact that Max’s hair is longer – very 80’s esque. And also, the desolate desert has moved on. Gone are the recent trappings of the past world.
There is little or no traffic in the way of cars. Lots of getting around on foot or with pack animals.
And as with the first two movies, this one is packed with important takeaways that speak to protecting ourselves now.
Up Another Notch – Better soundtrack
Unlike the previous movies, the Mad Max franchise decided to upgrade with more acting firepower. Well, maybe one names actor – Tina Turner – who is more a singer. But a big name nonetheless. And the bonus was that they get Tina Turner singing the opening song. I often wondered which was the bigger draw for Tina – the chance to act or a vehicle to put out a hit song. Both seemed to work. Here is the song – We Don’t Need Another Hero:
Now you might not see the value of a good soundtrack, but that is my own litmus test. I love music. It speaks in ways that the actors, the script and the setting cannot. It set the mood. And in this case, it lived beyond the movie and helped to bring in new viewers (who were probably confused as hell trying to understand what was going on.
Additionally, the costumes showed a world without the trappings of mass production. In Road Warrior, people were wearing the clothing they got away with in the aftermath whatever apocalypse happened. In Thunderdome, people are wearing much more rag tag clothing. Its either Rags or feathers or leather or whatever people could stitch together. It is truly devolved society.
The One “bright light” in the desert becomes the shanty town city of “Bartertown” Max is led to it after his wagon (sorry no cool cars in future apocalypse world) and camels are hijacked by a flying vehicle (desert life still sucks as much as during the Road Warrior). Max follows it into the distance to Bartertown to try and retrieve his things from the thief.
Bartertown is the conflux of devolved society. People are allowed to come in if they have something to trade (and will pay for the opportunity). It shows the state of society in the apocalypse – no money, all trade by barter. It’s a come together swap meet. Max has to finesse his way in, as he has nothing to trade anymore. He offers his “skills.” He finds himself in one of those “Offers you cannot refuse.” Auntie (the punked out version of Tina Turner). And she conscripts Max to face Thunderdome – a apocalypse-day version of a Gladiator Fight.
“The Law” of the new land is one of power. Power is controlled by dictatorship by Auntie, who uses her own form of Democracy/ Mobocracy to control Public Opinion. They come together at Thunderdome – like a WWE cage-match. But its a fight to the death. The law of Thunderdome: “Two Men enter, one man leaves.” The offer/deal Max cannot refuse is to kill his opponent. When he realizes that the brute he is charged with killing is mentally challenged, he will not, thus breaking the deal. Which brings up the next law, “Bust a deal, face the wheel.”
Here brings in a new form of justice, where you are pretty sure this cannot be good. You see a “wheel” that is spun, like on wheel of fortune. And reading through the possibilities, there is a small chance of “aquittal.’ Though the rest speak of potential horror. Amuptation. Death. Forfeit Goods. Underworld. Aunties Choice. As Max spins the wheel, his winner is Gulag. Now what could that possibly mean.
Fast forward to Max sitting backwards on an old horse tied up. In front of the horse’s nose dangles a jug full of water. And they place a large Mask on Max’s head and slap the horse to go running into the desert – where it gets lost, keels over and dies – with Max still strapped to it with this goofy mask on.
So what does this mean to our world today? DEMOCRACY – Consider the number of times in the past 2 years our governmental system has been called a “democracy.” And people say this with a straight face, thinking “democracy” is a good thing. Their lack of understanding about it astounds me. Under a true democracy, the Mob rules. If it comes to an up or down vote, protections on your liberties are basically gone. Think of one of the most well known Mobocracy trials – that of Jesus Christ. Pontius Pilate asked the crowd who they would like him to save. And it was not Jesus, but an actual criminal, Barabas. The founders of the USA considered democracy, and chose instead to make us a republic. This gives the chance for discernment before a wild and crazy, emotional decision is made.
DICTATORSHIP – in the absence of laws, people with power (money, goods) and Charisma will rule. And it is in their best interest to rule with an iron fist. Then the rules become whatever that person may decide.
SURVIVAL – Or survival of the fittest. Consider whether you are able to defend yourself now. Are you physically fit? Are you emotionally prepared for adversity?
And what about the Children?
Now we come to the points that were actually the main reason I began thinking about Mad Max in the first place. Max is then rescued from the desert and brought to an oasis in the desert. And here are a group of Children ranging from very young to teenagers. They have been left here post-apocalypse to survive. And as a result, they have become their own cargo cult. Being young, they have just enough where-with-all to survive and feed the little ones. After that, what have they become?
After capturing Max, they introduce them to their Now. Together, they tell the story of their life, which they tell from memory around the nightly campfire. They call it “Telling the Tell.”
“We got it mouth to mouth, so you gotta listen it. Remember. Cause what you hears today you gotta tell the birthed tomorrow.”
The oldest among them act out the story – with modern props to tell the story. About Captain Walker – the pilot who brought them to safety to this place. With the use of a viewmaster camera they tell a a basic story about how they got there and what they know about their history.
It is in this story, that the true tragedy of apocalypse can be seen. What happens to the history of society. The oldest and the wisest are only as knowledgeable as who they learned from – and how much they remembered. Can they read? It is all fractured history. They take Max as the Hero of their world. He, to them, is Captain Walker, returned from myth. To them, he is the savior. To Max, they are just an encumbrance.
In the end, he steps up and is able to rescue at least come of the children. They fly out of the desert to a city, where they find themselves alone with buildings and more of the trappings of the past. Still spreading their version of the past – telling the tell.
I remember this when I am teaching my own children. Which things do they need to know first? Is it self defense? Is it survival? Is it history? The importance of freedom?
At least for now, much will be about gardening – call it survival.
Happy New Moon in Taurus! The new month offers us the gain of a new opportunity or the regaining of one that we thought was lost to us, specifically by following the line of integrity and crossing the line of possibility. As we journey through this year’s astrological theme of “through imagination, a lost opportunity is regained,” this month we work this with the angle of the degree of today’s New Moon: “a well-kept public park.”
New Moon Phase: begin, initiate, wish, set an intention
Moon in Taurus
Sun: 25 Taurus – “A large, well-kept public park”
Earth: 25 Scorpio – “an X-ray photograph”
Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “through imagination a lost opportunity is regained”
Emissaries of the Aeon Sophia: Shodashi (She Who Aligns With The Highest and Best)
Emissary of the Aeon Thelete: Ian (He of the East)
I am excited for the energy of this New Moon Phase. For the Aries cycle, the symbol “through imagination a lost opportunity is regained” speaks to making plans and acting on them to create a new reality. For this blog, that is about my garden. Starting my garden. Planning the garden. Preparing the soil. Planting the seeds. Nurturing them. All about getting ready.
A large, well-kept public park
The Taurus cycle speaks of how I want it to be. It is clean. It is natural. It is part of our world. While it is not exactly public, anyone can see it – we have no fences or gates. And my hope is that the neighbors along our alley will see it and ask. I want to share the fruits of this garden with friends and neighbors.
I like where this symbol is leading. Being New Moon, it is time to set intentions by it. And my vision, is in color and I am loving what I am seeing. It is now up to me to make it happen.
We left off talking about Mad Max – and how there are lessons embedded in the movies that point to why we should be considering preparing.
The first movie ends in true 70’s style. Max drives off, feeling bleak, to unknown destinations. And while he is exiting a brutal environment, filled with sociopathic players and actors, It is grounded in a basic reality.
The Road Warrior makes no pretense about normalcy. Its all pretty much summed up in the opening narration:
My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos, ruined dreams, this wasted land. But most of all, I remember the road warrior, the man we called Max. To understand who he was we have to go back to the other time, when the world was powered by the black fuel and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel — gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel they were nothing. They’d built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked, but nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. Cities exploded — a whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men.
On the roads it was a white-line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice, and in this maelstrom of decay ordinary men were battered and smashed — men like Max, the warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything and became a shell of a man, a burnt-out desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again.
I include the entire quote because it is a great example about the state of mind of people when society falls apart. And it is the backdrop of the next two hours of action-packed car chase war. More to the point. It sets an imaginative standard for the mind of people that have been labeled as Preppers.
This community can be defined in a lot of ways. But to keep it simple, they are people who are preparing for disaster.
They want to be ready to survive in case society breaks down.
They want to be self sufficient.
They want to be armed (call that guns) so they can defend themselves from anyone who tries to take what is theirs away from them. Other people. The government.
They want food on hand in case food is no longer available.
They want actions plans in place in the case of a nuclear bomb attack. Think bomb shelters from the 1950’s and 60’s.
They seek survival skills like self defense, outdoorsmanship, dry camping.
For Max in the Road Warrior, you see life in this chaotic dystopia. People Need Defense. People need Gas. People need food. And there are those who will try to make their way on their own. And there are others who will be out to take it from those too weak to defend themselves.
Food and water are a problem. There is an iconic early scene when Max and his dog top and have a meal. Max pulls out a can of Dog Food and proceeds to eat it. When he is done, he throws it to the dog. They are in a desert and there is no Wawa around the corner to get a drink and a Hoagie.
Life is brutal. It is kill or be killed. There is a scene where a young boy (called the Feral Kid) confronts the leather gang with a metal boomerang. He throws it to get their attention, and deftly catches it with a heavily gloved hand. He then throws it at one of the leaders and plants it in the guy’s skull. The leader, then tries to throw it to get the boy, who jumps in a hole. Another of the leather gang runs to retrieve the boomerang as it comes back, and it chops off the man’s fingers – to the guffaws and laughter of his compatriots. What a cool Toy. What great friends. This speaks to the mindset of people no longer in civil society. Life and death (and violence) and the norm.
There is Safety in Numbers – But you are on your own – Max is a loner and drifter. Just looking for gasoline and staying alive. The group he runs into has gasoline, and is hoarding it from all attackers. Gas is power. no one has money any more. Most of the people are scraping out an existence.
Of course this is a movie, but it shows a stark example of how things fall apart. And add to the question of what preparations do you make in the case of disaster. Think of the people in new Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Or after a hurricane. An earthquake. A volcanic eruption. There are so many action movies that set these scenes. And while it is drama and entertainment, it makes you stop and think about what you might do should such an event happen. Do you have a safety plan? Can you protect yourself? Can you protect your family?
Because the first problem is the event itself. Then you must ask, can you survive the aftermath. And in that aftermath, what will be left of society as we know it.
In part 3, (Of Mad Max and of this study) we will explore exactly that. What happens after the Zombie apocalypse. What is left? Who is left? What do they become?
Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “through imagination a lost opportunity is regained”
Emissaries of the Aeon Sophia: Chinnamasta (She Who Expands the Mind) and Shodashi (She Who Aligns With The Highest and Best)
Emissary of the Aeon Thelete: Ian (He of the East)
Third Quarter Moon phase, the time of the lunar month when we take stock of what developed and any feedback or messages during Disseminating Moon phase and then assess what needs to be revised and realigned. This is all in service to the intentions, ideas, hopes, wishes, or dreams that were “seeded” during the New Moon phase. We are working on making things better. It’s like fertilizing and watering seeds so they have their best chance to make their way to the surface and sprout. This is conscious co-creation with the force of Life.
Up until the end of April we were still seeing frost. At that time, i decided to plant seeds under our front porch to prepare for after I prepare the garden beds. As you can see, I am getting excited with the progress of my seedlings:
The only thing I am waiting for is to rent myself a rototiller and turn the soil. There is way too much to do by hand (and foot and shoulder). It shouldn’t take more that a couple hours to turn it all over and get it ready to plant.
Astrologically, the Biodynamic Calendar that I am following suggests transplanting to begin around the 19th. So I should be fine. I will talk more about the Biodynamics Calendar later. Like the farmer’s almanac, it offers a wealth of information about planting times and astrological aspects to pay attention to during the planting cycle.
While I am at it, I just saw another article about some of my favorite (haha) weedkillers.
Much can be said about these toxic chemicals. But of the many reasons for taking my gardening into my own hands, it is to be able to have fresh food that i know is not polluted by these chemicals. Monsanto’s “Roundup” chemical name Glyphosate is the main evildoer that I am aware of. I could talk for days about this chemical and its effect on the environment, the plants, the insects (bees and Butterflies) that are truly killing ans destroying our environment. As if the lessons learned by DDT were not enough, our government is allowing it to happen again.
It reminds me of stories about the Dust Bowl during the 1930’s. There were a combination of causes for this tragedy. It is funny that the environmentalist/globalists forget about it and they have allowed the terror of Glyphosate to devastate us today.
The most obvious was a shift in the regional climate in the Midwest and Southern Great Plains. There was a drought. The entire region had been over farmed, and the design of the farms did not lend itself to soil preservation. They should have been planting protective tree barriers. So drought plus winds created dust storms. All living crops were often destroyed by the wind and dust – as well as pests. Livestock died from the devastation to their food sources. Images about farmers having to move (The Okies from John Steinbeck’s novel the Grapes of Wrath) are a mainstay of any Great Depression history book. In the end, the drought ended in about 1939, but left the breadbasket of America a changed place.
A very big part of the Victory Garden movement was a result of this devastation. People still needed food. And much of our farmland was not effective.
Today, our problems are also man made – Glyphosate and other weed and pest killers are poisoning our food sources. And the long term effects are much more onerous. The plan created by Monsanto with Glyphosate is that, after introducing the product, they began selling genetically modified crop seeds that would make the plants impervious to the chemicals. Once they add in neutering the seeds (so that farmer’s would have to always buy new seeds each year rather than planting seed crops). Monsanto can get them both ways. They have to buy the chemicals and all their seeds. They created a monopoly for so many aspects of the Corporate farms. And they did it with congressional approval.
Luckily, countries around the world have seen the potential devastation and have put a stop to most GMO seeds. But among the casualties in the US include the Monarch Butterfly and Honey bees. You can say what you want about the butterflies, but the loss of the bees would and could be catastrophic, as plants will lost the ability to be fertilized without the bees.
The Zombie Apocalypse could come from so many different sources (war, disease, starvation). This is but one example. My own little garden will not solve the problem. I just hope it helps tell others about the problems.
P.S. As I was posting this report, I came across another article worth looking into about GMO seeds and Monsanto: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/monsanto-rna-interference/531288/
Anyone wanting a clearer understanding of what life could be like during the zombie apocalypse would do well to study the Mad Max movies.They were a funny set of movies that evolved over their 36 year run. And if Mad Max Fury Road in 2015 shows anything, it is that this franchise still has much to say (or is that much to sell?). But the bigger point is that from the beginning, the movies show what happens when things fall apart. When law and order and society descend into a post apocalypse existence.
So, studying aspects of this descent I believe is a healthy way to draw the example about why we should be paying attention to things now. If and when things start to fall apart, where will we be? Is there anything that will prepare us for that world? Will we make it?
Mad Max 1
I remember watching the original Mad Max on TV. It was back in the late seventies or early eighties. The movie came out in 1979. You could say we waited for it to come out on cable, but in LA, no one really had that. We had ON Subscription Television. They came out and put a special antennae on our roof. Then at night, starting around 5 or so, they would broadcast 3-5 movies over the course of the evening.
It was a way of selling in home movies before the world of video stores (or even VCR’s which did not exist up til then). I believe other areas of the country had cable. That did not come to LA for a few years. But ONTV was high tech for its time. You had a little box (Actually it was huge – about the size of two VCR’s taped together). And it had 1 control knob – that was off or ON. When it was off, you could see the scrambled version of the movie – without sound. And when we hadn’t paid the bill (or when we wanted to watch R movies or the late night soft core porn without Mom and Dad finding out) you could kind of see it.
I credit ONTV with introducing me to some of the finest film that Hollywood had to offer and we never went to the theaters to see. That being said, they also had a good amount of the stinkers that no one should waste their valuable time watching.
As I recall, Mad Max was one of those movies that you could not tell whether it was a good one or a bad one. It was low budget. Lots of brutal death and killing. Many long car chase scenes – often ending with blood and guts. And of course, Mel Gibson wearing leather and carrying guns. What could it possibly mean and what value could it bring? Just ask the people who put together the Fast and The Furious franchise. Both groups have made bazillions from the formula.
Key Points about Mad Max 1
So if it was so bad, why am I talking about it and how did it grow to be a billion dollar franchise and career-maker for Mel Gibson?
Dystopia. – Having watched this film multiple times, I never considered it dystopian (what I would have called Sci fi at the time. I had seen Death Wish with Charles Bronson and most of the Dirty Harry films. So seeing cops and robbers indiscriminately kill each other without the whole world come crashing down was run of the mill. Yes it was in Australia. Yes it was in the desert and out in the middle of no where. But hell, I was from the Southern California desert. It could happen. But after it had been out for a while and Hollywood wanted to explain why people dug this movie, they had to make up a story. It also helped to make sense of the movies that were to come.
Breakdown of Law and Order – What happens to the world when Law and Order lose their effectiveness. If there is anything dystopian about this movie, it is not being able to figure what’s going on between the cops and the politicians. When I saw it at the early age of about 12, I just figured that it was like the cops in the Movie The Gauntlet. If anything, I thought it was a problem with the government in Australia. And since they were way out in the desert, no one in the big city cared. They were on their own. In the course of the movie, the sociopathic, murderous biker gang members were just the bad guys – who just wouldn’t go away or die. They kept getting worse and worse. And the cops could not stop them. The movie becomes like The Thing or Alien, where you have a group of trapped people facing an evil force out to kill them. In the end, the only way for Max – the police – to win was to collapse all thought of following the law. It is win at all cost.
Peanut Butter and Honey is disgusting – At least the Australians did not choose Vegemite as a snack. That would be totally gross. But when Max told his wife he was eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich, I just about wretched.
The 70’s Hollywood Ending – If anything helped to bring this movie to Dystopia, it would be the ending. He leaves the main bad guy chained to a car that is about to explode. “The chain in those handcuffs is high-tensile steel. It’d take you ten minutes to hack through it with this. Now, if you’re lucky, you can hack through your ankle in five minutes. Go!” He drives off into the desert and you see the car explode in the background. No idea what happens next. Its a very 70’s ending.
It was the beginning of a series. At the time, I doubt any of them had an idea about where the franchise would go.
Why do I focus on these movies? I will first say that part 2 will take this discussion to a new level. But at this point, the idea of being left on your own with no chance of safety and protection is what its about. You see Max’s family slaughtered. This could potentially happen at any time now. But in the case of societal breakdown, the potential for this is much greater. Where will we go? What will we do? Will it change us? Will we lose our own humanity.
Also, how should we being living our lives now in order to protect ourselves from this kind of future. I am not going to lie. Much of the point of Astrogardens is to remind people about this. And to consider what you might want to be doing to prepare for it.
Whether it is learning how to grow your own food. How to start a fire – with or without matches. Gut a fish. Preparing and canning fruits and vegetables? We will explore some of these.
Next, explore how the Road Warrior takes societal breakdown to the next level.
I often see funny, interesting and thought provoking meme’s on Facebook worthy of sharing and further discussion. This is one such meme as it speaks to many of the issues that we face today – and more importantly the issues that have brought me to writing this blog.
The so called life in 2018 that is now being foisted upon us is wrought with control issues. And denying that there are influencers out there seeking to control every aspect of our lives only places you firmly in the pack of the average. You buy into it, you are in the Matrix. You wake up. You live your life (the life you are led into). You live, You die. You leave no footprint.
So I am on a search each day to find these little wake up calls. A reminder that you have free will. you can control your own life and your own destiny. You can break free of the Matrix.
Each day requires a step forward.
As an example of “Waking Up” I will share an article that caught my eye. It was shared on Drudgereport. Note here. Many people when they see the word “Drudgereport” immediately put their guard up as the Lamestream has labeled it as Right Wing. If you are unaware of Drudge, it is an article sharing site. All they do is find news from other sources and share the headlines. This particular article was published by “The Eagle,” a daily newspaper from someplace I am assuming is Texas (from an “aggiesnation” link that was on the page). It was shared by them from a writer at the Sun Sentinal – a Broward County Florida Newspaper.
Feel free to read it if you like. But the main takeaways I immediately saw were (and I will write these as bullets):
Yellow Fever Scare
Spread by mosquitos
Similar to the Zika Virus scare from 2016
People in South Florida need to “Protect themselves from disease carrying mosquitos”
Yellow Fever is deadly
The CDC is involved
Lions and Tigers and bears, Oh My!
I bring this up because the Zika scare was one of the MOST hyped up bunch of bologna I recall in a long time. I think it is best explained by referencing another meme I saw on facebook around this time (pictured left).
At the time of this scare, I was hyper sensitive toward the push of the CDC and the medical establishment. As the stories about it are rolling out, the scripted commentary about it were just too weird. My Bullshit antenna was jerking so hard that my neck was hurting. You read stories in the first week about the possibilities of a tie in to pesticides being tested in Brazil. Then there was an avalanche of information from the CDC denying this and, lo and behold, the stories about pesticides disappeared. Vaccines were mass produced and sent all over the US South. There were NO cases reported in the US.
The hype was that the Zika virus was causing Birth Defects in unborn children. Probably the most telling point about Zika being a complete hoax was when I was in a Child Protective Services Office in Pottstown, PA. I point this out because Pottstown is not a big place – and the office is a satellite of the Montgomery County office. On a shelf, prominently displayed, was a jar filled with condoms offered to young mothers who happened to be in the office with a warning the Zika was also a sexually transmitted disease.
I soon considered it a somewhat hilarious game to listen to news anchors covering Zika related stories a) because hearing them say Zika with “shock and alarm” serious voice was just funny, and b) the outlandish press release stories that they were a study in badly written propaganda.
I bring all of this up and suggest there is a homework assignment. Be on the lookout for “Yellow Fever Scare” stories in the news. If you see them, please share them here.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Astrogardens begins in the garden – your home. It is a place you can connect with nature and prepare your home from the world around you. And this is a place where I can talk about my own adventures in my backyard – and where they lead.
But more, Astrogardens is a place when I will be taking deep dives into subjects that dare to be explored. We will go down the rabbit hole to see what we may find. And we will go there with No Fear. There are enemies all around us. Their biggest defense is our ignorance.