Thursday, December 26, 2013

Helpful PDF For Fruits and Veggies For the Frugal Minded

I ran across a helpful PDF for those wanting to eat healthier and cheaper in the coming new year. If you are like our family of four, you are trying to squeeze every last penny out of the food budget. Seasonal fruits and veggies are at their cheapest while also being at their best quality, so it's a win-win situation.

Meats? I watch the weekly flyers from the grocery store and plan our weekly menu around the meat(s) that is/are on sale. Another good tactic is to find out when the butcher marks down the meats, and plan a trip accordingly.

What are some of your tips to save money and eat better?

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

To those that have found their way to this blog, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Monday, December 23, 2013

Flu Season Reminder (repost)

How To Wash Your Hands

I know that this might seem elementary, but I learned a few things from my Basic Patient Care class. With Flu season starting to get wound up, this would be a good time to review hand washing procedures.

  • Prepares for handwashing removes jewelry and exposes wrists.
  • Uses paper towel to open faucet to provide continous running water, wets hands, keeps hands lower than elbows.
  • Lathers cleansing agent in hands uses friction, washes wrists, palms,back of hands,fingertips and under nails for at least 15-20 seconds.
  • Rinses under flowing water allowing water to flow down over hands.
  • Use paper towel to dry thoroughly from fingertips to elbows.
  • Turns off faucet with paper towel and disposes of paper towel.
  • Inside of basin avoided at all times.
This is a direct copy from my "comp" sheet that has to be demonstrated. I'll add a few notes from the lecture ( yes, we had a lecture on hand washing ). Be sure that the webbing of your hands are dry when finished washing your hands. Water is an excellent medium for bacteria. The killing of the bacteria/pathogens has more to do with the friction rather than then soap. The underside of the nails is an excellent place for bacteria to hide, so don't neglect them. Open the public bathroom doors with a paper towel - Joe Blow probably didn't wash his hands after doing his "paper work", and this would cancel out any hand washing you've just done. A word about nail polish, as the nail grows, the area between the cuticle and the nail polish is an excellent place for pathogens to hang out. The same goes for clipped chipped nail polish, hence the reason nurses and health care professionals nix the nail polish and long nails.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Shopping Rant

I'm done with all of the idiotic people trying to get from one store to the next. I've seen the self-important dingdongs blocking intersections, running red lights, crossing lanes without a care of getting hit. I've seen it all today. People are stupid. I'm gonna try to stay at home until all of this driving silliness is over.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

No CorkScrew? No Problem.

This is a skill that I'm going to have to learn.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Holiday Tradition

One of my holiday favorites...Enjoy.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meal Kit Supply MRE Review - Pouch 5

We tried pouch 5 from Meal Kit Supply during our ration heater experiment. I've provided a link, that opens in a new window, for the previous reviews that we have done in the past. Pouch 5 includes: Beef Ravioli, Potato Cheddar Soup, Chocolate Pudding, Crackers, Cheese Spread, and Lemon-Lime Electrolytes Drink.

Nutritional Information:

The complete nutritional information for every pouch, and the items in them, are available here.

Menu 5 includes: 19 oz (1.19 LB)

Beef Ravioli In Meat Sauce
Potato Cheddar Soup
Chocolate Pudding Dessert Powder
Cracker And Cheese Spread
Lemon-Lime Electrolyte Beverage Powder
Instant Coffee, Creamer, & Sugar
Condiments, Spoon, Moist Towelette, Napkin

The Beef Raviolis received the same comments as our earlier review. It was nice to see that the MRE entrees had the same level of consistency, and taste.

After our last review of the electrolyte drink, we decided to reduce the amount of water by an ounce. It did improve the taste and Row, our seven year old, exclaimed that it "tastes just like Gatorade!!!" Red Ant, our four year old, also enjoyed the drink which was kind of surprising. Of course, Mom and Dad would drink this after any long hike, or workout.

Our initial reaction to the unsalted crackers were that they were too bland. We quickly changed our minds with the addition of the cheese spread, and thought that it complimented the cheese spread very well. The cheese spread was noticeably creamier, and had a better cheese flavor than our previous reviews. The freshness from Meal Kit Supply made a huge difference, and the boys were trying to figure out how to stack more cheesy goodness on top of the crackers.  Sweetheart commented that the cheese spread was salty, so the lack of salt on the crackers was a non-issue. The boys also liked the cheese spread more than the crackers.

The potato cheddar soup was also a clear winner with the adults. You can read a more detailed review by clicking the link.

Probably the most anticipated item for us was the chocolate pudding. It was very easy to prepare. Just add the water, fold over the flap, and shake for 60 seconds. I was really surprised at the quality of the instant pudding and overall taste. The pudding would be a highly valued trading commodity in any campsite. My two boys would have licked the inside of the pouch...Okay, what the heck, we let them do it. I probably would have too!

Final Thoughts:

This pouch had a lot of highly rated entrees, and it wouldn't provide many trading opportunities for something else. This is the pouch for chocolate lovers. Hot cocoa and chocolate pudding, what could be better after a hard day of canoeing or backpacking? This pouch is a lot of food [1370 calories] for one person, and could easily be a meal and a snack.   

The favorite drink and food pick for each reviewer:

  • Row (7 years old): Lemon-Lime Drink and Cheese Spread
  • Red Ant (4 years old): Cocoa and Cheese Spread
  • Sweetheart: Cocoa and Potato Soup w/ the Chocolate Pudding running a close second
  • K: Lemon-lime Drink and Chocolate Pudding a tie between Oatmeal and Bread w/ jam

Beef Ravioli With Meat Sauce  * * * (3)
Potato Cheese Soup * * * (3)
Cheese Spread And Crackers  * * * * (4)
Cocoa Drink * * * * (4)
Chocolate Pudding * * * * (4)
Lemon-Lime Electrolyte Beverage Powder * * * * (4)
Instant Coffee, Creamer, & Sugar * * (2) The boys didn't sample this one

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Final Grades

My Final Grades are semi-official:

Special Imaging Procedures (3 hrs)...B
Radiographic Procedures III (2 hrs)...B
Clinicals (5 hrs).................................A
MRI (3 hrs / Senior class).................C
Radiation Protection (3 hrs)..............A

This semester:
Associate Degree GPA.....................3.62
Total GPA........................................3.31 

I'll relax for a few days, then catch up on an important post for Meal Supply Kit. I've also got a few projects that need to be completed around the house. Well, I'm off to cook dinner for the family and we have a special guest tonight: my brother. Take Care and Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Infamy - Repost

December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy --


For serving America during it's time of need, without reservation, without remorse, without fear, You were "The Greatest Generation".

- K 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Good News [for me]

Yesterday: Blackboard announcement

"Position 4 exam had 1 XC question for 2 points that was not assigned that designation in Bb.   That has been fixed so you may see a change in your posted score.    Any questions, let me know. "

Today: [my email]

Mrs. Young-
Out of curiosity, is the final grade rounded up above .5%? I'm on the bubble at 83.6% and was wondering if I can expect a C or a B for the course. I couldn't find anything about it in the syllabus.
Again, thanks for your time - K

Her response:

Hi, K.  It's left up to the individual faculty, but if it is .5 or above, I round up.

Drats! I just read her syllabus again, and she has the lowest B at 85% instead of the usual 84% like the other instructors. Hopefully, with the power of suggestion, I'll make a B for the semester.

We will see.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ice Index & Expected Damage (Chart)

It might be time to use some of those preps - K (yeah, I couldn't make it a day without posting. Now it's time to hit the book again)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Final Exams Break

I had a monster test in Radiographic Procedures III today that was about 1/3 fill in the blanks. Thankfully, we do NOT have a comprehensive final in this class, but I've earned my first C this semester. UPDATE: I scored 83.2% and the lowest B is 84%. Missed a B by 4 correct test answers.

I'm also on track to earn another C in Physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. I generally have no idea how I've managed to pass the last two tests, except for a lot of time studying. I'll read a paragraph and think, "I have no idea what I just read." I compare it to trying to explain the picture below in Chinese mathematics...

I'll need 95% (or higher) on my final for Special Imaging Procedures to get an A, or 55%-95% for a B.
I'll need 85% (or higher) on my final for Radiation Protection to get an A, or 40%-85% for a B.
I've earned an A in clinicals with a whopping 16 comps this semester, and this is a 5 hour class.

All in all, I'm a little disappointed in not making A's and B's with 16 hours this semester, but I'll have next semester to try again. Anyways, I'll be checking my blogrolls while I hunker down and study these next few days.

See everyone the second week of December and Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Single Stage Reloading Questions

When we get our new house, I'd like to have a place to reload my own ammo. So, without any real experience in the art, I'd like to get some reloaders opinions into what gear is best. I don't mind spending the money, as long as it is quality gear. I'll also be asking for some of these items for Christmas, so hopefully (wink wink) I'll get some of them.

Reference Books?

Tumbler? Dry

Press - Single stage. Brands?

Scales - non-digital


Any other items that I have forgotten?

Thanks in Advance & Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Meal Kit Supply Ration Heater Review

One of Meal Kit Supply selling points is that the ration heater is 22 grams. In one of my earlier posts I said that "The water-activated flameless ration heater is not your standard heater either. It is a heavy duty 22 grams, instead of 11 grams, and will heat up your rations in the coldest of conditions." So, I set out to do an experiment because unlike most backpackers, my friends and I prefer to go outing in the worst of winter conditions.

The water, potato cheddar soup, and beef ravioli from menu 5 were placed in the refrigerator for two days to simulate a constant temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to control the experiment parameters for future testing.

This is the dry component of the ration heater. The outside of the packet is tea bag material, and the powder is finely ground to increase it's surface area, ergo to increase the speed of the chemical reaction to water.

 Notice that the ration heater is about the same size as the pouch, so that the heat is transferred more effeciently.

About an ounce of water was added to the ration heater, and the cold MRE pouches were placed around the heater package. I was surprised at how little water was needed for the heater. I did use a rubber band to hold the pouches closer to the heater, but the package recommends placing a weight on the top of it. I don't think it will make much of a difference. The heater package with the MREs were placed back into the refrigerator to simulate the cold environment. The bundle did its work for 10 minutes as recommended by the instructions.

After ten minutes in the refrigerator, the cheddar potato soup had reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The beef raviolis reached a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I wasn't really impressed with the result. Perhaps the thicker consistency of the beef raviolis had made a noticeable difference?

I was curious to how hot the ration heater could get, and at 208 degrees, it is just a few degrees shy of the boiling point of water. The cold beef raviolis were wrapped back in the ration heater, rubber banded, and placed back into the refrigerator.

After another 10 minutes, the final MRE was brought out of the refrigerator and the reading was 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  The ration heater was slightly hotter than tepid, so I don't think that the beef raviolis were going to get any hotter.

Final Thoughts:

As my first go around with the ration heaters, I can see ways to improve upon my effectiveness with them. This experiment was about the raw data without any modifications to the heating routine. In cold weather environments, I would try to keep the pouches close to the body to warm them to above the air temperature. I also should have taken into account that the chemical reaction of the heater would also be slower, and I should have lengthened the time from the recommended 10 minutes to about 15 minutes. My thinking is that the instructions are for average conditions, and this wasn't your average condition.

The ration heater contains finely powdered iron and magnesium metals, and table salt according to my research, and the added 11 grams is very much needed in cold weather conditions!

In the outdoors, I would also try to maximize my heat retention by placing the ration heater in a extra jacket, clean socks, or other piece of clothing. That way it could insulate the heater from the elements, and hopefully transfer more heat to the MREs. 

Just like any other skill, the more practice at heating MREs with these, the hotter the final temperature can be achieved. The actual application or use is always superior to theories about such application or use.

Friday, November 22, 2013

China to stop stockpiling the US dollar

 Just a quick article I ran across...


I've talked about the end game of China to be one that takes place of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency. Well, it looks like they have accelerated the plan. The dollar isn't welcome in China's plans. Do yuo think you'll hear about it on ABC, CBS, or NBC?

Keep Prepping - K

The new world reserve:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

House Hunting

We are continuing our search for a new house within our oldest son's current school boundaries. I should have been leery of a house that is for sale by a self-proclaimed "Progressive, Liberal, Forward-thinking, Socialist" Lawyer. (Why yes, I do my research on the home and the owner to find any leverage that might be useful.)

Derek, a former co-worker, and a friend,  just passed his real estate license, and we are happy to have him as our agent. His brother has been doing it for a while, so he has someone to answer the tough questions that we might ask him. I think I prefer a new agent, rather than a seasoned "professional" just for the honesty factor.

We had the other agent tell us that the seller didn't have an end-game if the house sold. She must think I'm really stupid! The owner of the house is a successful lawyer, ergo pretty intelligent, and the other agent says she doesn't know what she is going to do once the house sells? Please.

We did our second walk-thru of the house, and we invited our parents. We both wanted critical objective observation of the house that we were ready to put a bid on. My Dad, who I think can fix anything, has designed and built two workshops, and is very knowledgeable about these things. He brought one of those three pound 6V flashlights, and looked around. We both walked around and started finding quite a few things that would need a new home buyers attention [money].   

The deal breaker, and notice the exposed wire junction box too.

The dry rot on the outside storage area was the deal breaker for Sweetheart and me. The unknown of how far it went, and the extent of the water damage was too much for us. After we walked through the house, I asked Dad for his honest opinion on the house. To paraphrase, "I wouldn't buy it." My Dad was really worried that he had hurt our feelings for being so honest, but that's why we brought him along.

I talked with my Sweetheart, and we both agreed that we would rather be "disappointed shoppers, than disappointed buyers." We talked with the kids, and they understood why we weren't going to be moving into that house. Row in his young wisdom, explained to me that if someone is selling something that is broke, then that is like stealing someone's money. We can learn a lot from our kids.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Presidential VP pick for 2016

Eric Holder is good for at a least one thing.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pellet Rifle Article - Please read and provide feedback

My classmate over at Shooting Sports and Tough Times wrote a very good article on Pellets rifles for a SHTF scenario. I've been encouraging him to submit it to Survival blog, and perhaps during the semester break he'll work on it. Anyways, check out his essay, argument, and provide some feedback into what you think. We'll both be grateful for your time.

I'll be investing in two air rifles for my boys. It's a good training rifle, and a lot cheaper to shoot than 22LR.

Take Care and Keep Prepping - K

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MRE Monday - Penne Pasta With Vegetable Crumbles In Spicy Tomato Sauce

We picked this one because we wanted to see if the title would fit on the page. It does.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 8.0 oz.
Calories: 200
Calories from fat: 20
Total Fat: 2g or 3% DV ( Daily Value )
Cholesterol: 0mg or 0% DV
Sodium: 740mg or 31% DV
Total Carbohydrates: 32g or 11% DV
Dietary Fiber: 4g or 16% DV
Sugars: 4g
Protein: 11g
Vitamin A: 15% DV
Vitamin C: 15% DV
Calcium:  4% DV
Iron: 10%


We've had a few MREs that were pasta based, and expected a pouched variety of Chef-Boy-r-Dee.


Row, our seven year old, sampled a spoonful, chewed it for a minute, then said that he didn't like it. I asked him why, and he said " It tastes kinda funny."

If Row doesn't like it, then it's almost a guarantee that Ant won't like it either. It held true with this MRE, except that Ant was quicker to say that he didn't like it.

My Mother-in-law likes the spicy flavors, and thought that it was better than most frozen entrees. She also noted that at her age, spicy is a better.

My Sweetheart's first impression was the aroma, and it didn't start off very well. She said that she wasn't impressed with the scent. She continued to hammer the MRE because the noodles were too soft, and it had a chemical taste. I can vouch that she is a "Supertaster", because she will notice details in food flavors that aren't obvious to me. She also noted that the veggie crumbles weren't fooling her either. She did go on to add that she would put it on the B-list for MREs. This means that if a case of MREs turned up on our deserted island, then it would probably get eaten towards the end.

I thought the same thing about the noodles being too soft, and the spicy flavor was slightly noticeable towards the end. I would call it more flavorful than spicy, and it would be placed on my B-list as well.

Final Thoughts:

Worth a shot, if you like flavorful pasta dishes, and the noodles that are on the softer side. Both adults gave it a star, but it won't be one of the more sought after MREs.

Stars: * * (2)

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Current life...

...revolves around school textbooks. I'm currently fleshing out 3 different study guides, for example...

12. The lower aorta bifurcates into what two arteries?

The left and right common iliac arteries

13. Beginning with the common iliac, list the arteries mentioned in the lecture going through the legs.

Common iliac -> common femoral -> divides into deep femoral and superficial femoral -> popliteal -> anterior tibial -> posterior tibial -> peroneal -> dorsalis pedis -> plantar arch

14. Which veins of the lower extremity are imaged most commonly?

  1. External iliac vein
  2. Femoral vein
  3. Great Saphenous vein
  4. Small Saphenous vein
  5. Anterior Tibial vein
  6. Posterior Tibial vein 

I couldn't let this Veteran's Day go by without thinking of my Granddad. My oldest son and myself are named after him. Thank a veteran, say a prayer for Veterans past, and hope that our children don't have to go to war.

MRE Monday tomorrow and Keep Right On Prepping - K

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pictures With Witty Commentary

As the title suggest, I'll be posting a few pictures instead of a well thought out article.

Let's see, can anyone say double standard? Edward Snowden needs to be awarded the Medal of Freedom.

 Statistical proof that if everyone stopped using IE , then murders would cease to exist. 

Now, we just need some federal grants to determine how they didn't suffocate.

I'm sure my dog has the same thoughts judged by how he reacts when I get home.

Sadly, the political process in America...'nough said.

Okay,  no where even remotely politically correct.

My wonderful wife will appreciate a photo of my Father-in-law's car. He isn't a hoarder, but has "an acquisition and storage problem."

I bet you started to sing the song, am I right?

Most appropriate.

Even the Empire is hitting hard times, and the customary Star Wars photo for my brother.

And the customary new Earth related screen saver. (aka Earth Porn)

Take Care and Keep Prepping. I'll see you Monday with the latest MRE Monday review, as I'll be busy preparing for 3 major tests next week. - K