Friday, August 12, 2016

I see


Eye glasses aren’t exactly rocket science and have been around for centuries.  Yet, we are headed for a very long Dark Ages and for a very long time if ever ( you may view history as perpetual progress which is fantasy but you had better realize Resource Availability will rule you and your descendents world.  Even if all the low energy ore is forever gone and you think you can process the above ground metal from scavenging, you had better factor in Energy Availability ) you won’t be able to get another pair in all probability.  Just like modern smokeless powder you had better stockpile all you can manage.  There will be plenty of glasses from salvage, being a lot less people around, but you are better off spending very little now rather than paying dearly from the post-apocalypse venders.  And you get exactly what you need.  Or did need, anyway.  Your prescription will be out of date, of course.  There are a few people going blind so quickly they need to buy those weird, self-adjusting glasses. 


The rest of us can buy a few cheap pairs and they will be Better Than Nothing.  The self-adjusters will be hard to stockpile on a budget.  I know I’ve written on this before, and there is little new information, so view this as a reminder to get yourself down to Wal-Mart and stock up on three or four pairs of your glasses.  Then go to the Dollar Tree ( everyone else is much more expensive ) and get at least two dozen pairs of reading glasses and a half dozen cords that keep your glasses hanging around your neck so they don’t fall to the ground and break.  You’ll eventually need reading glasses, so if you aren’t old now buy a few different strengths.  And while we are at it, a set of dental pliers.  They are $30-$40 and will be a lifesaver ( literally.  An un-pulled and infected tooth leading to an abscess can turn into no laughing matter ).  A book on poppy cultivation and a book on hard liquor distilling plus a few cheap bottles of vodka will be a very wise investment.


Now, as much as I hate Wal-Mart, as they have screwed me over many times ( until I happily switched to Kroger for cheaper groceries and Amazon for cheaper everything else ) since they over-expanded and found the plastic imports model has become flawed, I have to admit that one of the few last good bargains they have are their eye glasses.  A year and a half ago when I last bought mine, I had an employee waiting on me who used to be a professional lens grinder.  Now, that profession has pretty much been automated.  Wal-Mart has several regional centers where all their eyeglass orders come in and machines grind out a butt ton of lenses every day.  The guy was pretty Zen calm about his busted career, and even expressed wonderment at how much better the quality was, along with the quantity and the prices.  There is one thing left Wal-Mart hasn’t screwed the customer over on, but instead offering a better and better buy as time has gone on. 


And probably a pretty darn good thing.  Medical insurance usually doesn’t offer vision anymore, and any trip to the dentist is a sticker-shock anymore.  They used to be very affordable.  So at least, the last thing we can hold on to desperately is affordable eye care.  $70 or $80 to take ten or fifteen minutes to get your eyes checked, then as low as $30 a pair of glasses ( I don’t believe the online glass places are even competitive with that ).  Since you have a year before your prescription runs out-and don’t be like me and suddenly one day look at the calendar and be amazed 15 months had gone by-you can stockpile a nice number of glasses.  Remember, two is one and one is none.  You WILL break them ( actually, that should read “you WILL break them if they are your only pair.” Loki loves it when you can’t guess his next trick ).  Have back-ups to your back-ups.  As with reading glasses.  They are cheap, as in both affordable AND low quality.  I’ve pressed mine into service quite past any reasonable length of time, scratched lenses and electrical tape pressed into yeoman service, but you can’t count on that always happening. 


A smidge short today.  You got an extra long one yesterday and I’m still tired as hell after waking up eight hours ago on barely six hours of sleep.  Too many warm nights and sleep deficit accumulates.


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  1. If you don't need regular glasses now get the reading glasses anyways- AND get the sunglasses. Good optical quality safety sunglasses can be had from amazon for a very low cost. I bought a dozen.

    If you can afford the laser eye surgery it might be advantageous - being able to go from sound sleep to being able to see well enough to get a bead on a threat, not having anything in the way of your face, etc. But you will definitely need sunglasses afterward, and reading glasses eventually (should you live long enough).
    There are also eye exercises (and eye exercise equipment) you can do to improve your vision a little - it works best for the younger crowd but everyone can gain a little improvement.
    Eyes(glasses, sunglasses,safety glasses, reading glasses),
    ears (earplugs, earmuffs, avoiding loud sounds, practice listening in quite environments, etc.),
    nose (quit smoking now, and start growing mint or mentholatum type herbs, etc),
    Hands (wear gloves when working with heavy or coarse materials, practice feeling vibrations and fine detail).
    Your senses are your second warning of threat and your ability to manage your response to threat. Your first warning is your brain in either reason or intuition.
    Practice with all of these things, and protect their sensitivity. This could be more important than being able to bench press twice your own weight - and if you want to practice you can make a more entertaining game of it.
    Your hands, feet, and teeth come in next in importance.
    Never punch some one or something with and empty unprotected fist, wear gloves when needed for safety, don't let your hand be in a position that it can be pinched or crushed. Same for your feet - and don't forget to practice dexterity drills with both sides feet and hands (why bend over and risk your back to pick something up to 6 inches above the floor when you can use your foot? First time my back went out I found this a very useful skill.)
    Keep you teeth gums and tongue clean sharp and mineralized. If you might bump your head hard a bite guard might be called for.
    Lots of little things that we take for granted now can be cheaply stocked up to preserve and maintain these body parts that are so important now and during/after a collapse.

  2. I'm lucky so far, in that all that I need at this point are the easy to find and inexpensive reading glasses. Since I see distant just fine, I was looking for some glasses that allowed for uncorrected, as well as corrected vision, for times when you're doing fine work, and don't want to have to be constantly removing and replacing your reading glasses. I found some bifocals at Amazon that were just the ticket. The main lenses are uncorrected, with a little ellipse at the bottom providing magnification. Of course they cost more, so I can't say if the advantages are worth it or not. I've also seen safety glasses with this feature as well.

    If all you need are reading glasses, a cheap magnifying glass or fresnel lens will work in a pinch, and also provide the ability to make fire. I've tried to focus sun light and make fire with my various reading glasses, but so far none of them have had strong enough correction to be able to do so.

  3. Found your blog from Troy
    The dentist is a very valid concern. And yea, it is exorbitantly expensive. Seems I can only go to the dentist every five or ten years as I spend the rest of the time paying off the last visit (no joke)

    1. Welcome to The Dark Side. Tell all your friends how wonderful I am.

  4. The dental pliers alone won't get you where you're going, unless you are of herculean strength. I know cause I tried, on my self. I had a badly infected molar, top left, got likkered up and yanked real hard on it with the pliers and the snap=back pain almost killed me on the spot. The worst pain I ever endured. srsly

    I don't remember the name right now but dentists use a tool to separate the connecting tendons from the sides of the tooth. The tool is small, shallow U shaped and resembles a putty knife sort of. The blade of that tool is slide down or up along the side of the tooth between the tooth and gum, and a sort of outward prying pressure is applied. This in effect creates a canal around the tooth. On a very infected tooth, once that is completed, the tooth will almost fall right out of the diseased socket on it's own.

    The human mouth is a bacterial battleground constantly and infection to open wounds like tooth removal are extected, so quantities of Listerine, peroxide, and alcohol are necessary. And gauze that can be balled up and packed into the bloody sockets.

    A reminder that pure vanilla, the stuff in small brown bottle by McCormick's, works best, for instantly nullifying intense tooth pain. Pour a small amount of the vanilla onto a small gauze ball or wadded up paper towel and hold it firmly against the infected area and in about 10 seconds or so the pain will be completely gone, and stay gone for 12 hours or more. If you've ever had a severely infected tooth you'll appreciate this godsend. Ground cloves (McCormick's again) mixed 50/50 with warm water swished around the tooth will also work but nearly as well as the vanilla.

    You can also get the larger white plastic bottles of vanilla at the dollar store too that seems to work pretty good. Your medical kit should have a couple bottles. Who knows, you may be the tribe dentist pretty soon.

    1. Well, crap. Thanks for the heads up on the cutting tool. I really need to read "were there is no dentist" for that info. Nothing can be easy.

    2. “I don't remember the name right now but dentists use a tool to separate the connecting tendons from the sides of the tooth.”

      That's right, There's some special tool that they use that slides along side the tooth to sever the tendons to make extraction easier. But I think that it requires some pretty serious anesthesia to pull it off. The home method is to rock the tooth back and forth loosening it enough to pull it and sever the tendons simultaneously.

      Tons of videos on youtube on this very topic, but in most of them, the tooth was being pulled by someone other than the patient.

      Seems that I recall James that there was a section in The Poor Man's James Bond on the nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which would be very helpful to have during a tooth extraction. It might also be included in the Dick's Encyclopedia.

    3. Besides using essential oil of clove, you can also use activated charcoal TABLETS to pull the infection out. Just dissolve on the tooth repeatedly until the infection is done.

      A good book detailing all the amazing healing properties of activated charcoal, including restoring gangrenous tissue, is...

      Peace out

    4. Thanks, I put the book on my wish list.

    5. For info about the tool to loosen the tooth:

      It is called:
      "As used with routine (simple, non-surgical) extractions, the use of either a desmotome or pointed periosteal elevator is generally interchangeable."

    6. Geez, someone is staying busy reading WAY back.

  5. Thankfully the VA pays for two pair per year for me and believe me, I abuse the privilege ! They don't pay for titanium frames or transition lenses tho. So I get one pair each year with the extras and one without the super frames.
    End up only having to pay a hundred bucks each year for both pairs. My prescription hasn't changed in ten years. So now I'm about fifteen pairs ahead ! They also are bifocal which I order one at 1.25 and the second set at 1.50.
    On the tooth thing... I've had store bought almost since when I donated my kidney to the sister. Busted em all loose when I came out of anesthesia lol, and they never tightened back up. Just need to work on getting a spare set.
    Got about fifty tubes of polygrip tho for preps.

  6. I'm LDS and it seems like every other person is a dentist, LOL. For some reason, it's a very popular field for LDS people to go into.

    I'm sure that if the balloon goes up, I'll be able to make trades for dental care.

    Idaho Homesteader

    1. If you are a dentist, and so is everyone else, you have to move away and colonize another Podunk town to earn a living. Mormon colonization.

    2. We already got ours here- LDS dentist that is. Nice guy and nice family. IMHO Mormons are always nice in moderation. They are just too overwhelming when EVERYONE is one.
      Jim does it concern you that should a rapid SHTF with inadequate initial die off occur, you are right along one of the routes that the west coasters will take to get to where those 'crazy Mormons' are all know to have years worth of supplies that the coasters will be wanting...?

    3. I don't look at that as too much of a threat. The primary locations will be N. California, Oregon and WA coast, Sierra Nevada mountains, Idaho mountains. In my opinion, most folks view Nevada as one huge hot desert and will avoid crossing the 500 miles to get to Utah. I of course could be wrong, but I view the Great Basin as a nice moat with me in the middle, and with few incentives for outsiders to swim it.