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Hikes

List of Hikes I am adding short descriptions of the hikes I take in Canada and the United States. You will find all the photos from the hikes on http://www.flixya.com/user/affiliatebin, and you fill find three of my previous posts on 1) Toronto Waterfront, Leslie Spit, Cherry Beach, 2) Hiking Photos from ...

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Desert Venom

Although a number of medical professionals still recommend applying a tourniquet to rattlesnake bites (and then briefly releasing the tourniquet every 15 to 20 minutes), Tony Nester, the author of Desert Survival Tips, Tricks, & Skills (Flagstaff: Diamond Creek Press, 2003), writes that most of the doctors he spoke to ...

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Top Brands: Hiking Boots

[August 2010 Update: Last fall I bought a pair of Vasque Mantra hiking shoes on clearance at REI for $20. The Vasque Mantras are now my favorites, and I'll keep on buying them (but if you have high arches the Vasque Breeze Low hiking shoes will probably fit you better). ...

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They Say Vegetables Don't Stop Cancer. I Don't Believe It.

This week the media told us all that a new study shows that eating lots of vegetables does not "significantly" lower cancer risk. (The study indicates that vegetables might provide a very small reduction in cancer risk, but that statistic may have resulted from reporting error and bias -- see ...

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Buying a House in Arizona: Home, Termite, and Mold Inspections

First I'll tell you about the information you can get from the Arizona State Government. Then I'll tell you about my conversations with house, termite, mold, and fungi inspection companies in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona. You can phone the Office of Pest Management at 602-255-3664 (and 1-800-223-0618). Or go online ...

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My Anti-Cancer Diet

Also see my post Cancer Prevention Foods and Spices. And search the United States government's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine web site and Mayo Clinc. Daily anti-cancer foods and supplements: 1) I bought one pound of Organic Connections beet powder for $23.80. (That's the best price I found). -- I take ...

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A Fish and Vegetable Diet

We have heard about low-fat diets, gluten-free diets, vegetarian diets, and other approaches to healthy eating. Perhaps the best low-fat diet is not only gluten free, it's grain free. Grains tend to cause weight-gain problems, and grains can irritate your intestinal walls, resulting in inflammation and irritable bowels. (I have ...

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Canada Should Get it Right for Its Own Good

May 2nd, 2014

When Canadian politicians encounter budgetary shortfalls and overruns, they often propose privatizing public services (such as public transportation). In other words, they sell their publicly owned transportation facilities and energy producing facilities to private for-profit corporations. For example, in 1998, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed the Energy Competition Act, which privatized and broke up the taxpayer-owned crown corporation Ontario Hydro.

The problem in Canada is that compared to the United States, there is NO competition, and that lack of competition in Canada invariably means that prices rise when public taxpayer-owned corporations are sold off. (A few people get rich while the average taxpayer becomes poorer.)

The solution is to 1) refrain from privatizing public corporations or 2) allow American companies to enter Canada and compete with the virtual monopolies that result from the government sell-off and privatization of taxpayer-owned public corporations.

British Columbia Should Get it Right For It’s Own Good

January 18th, 2012

I have always thought that if British Columbia really had it on the ball, it would make itself over as a fisheries, forestry, and wildlife management park. In other words, British Columbia would get itself designated as a special provincial or national park, a park in which planners, ethicists, scientists, and economists would test ecological and business management plans, models, and techniques, over both the short and long term, and often side by side. For example, various runs of salmon on various sections of the coast would experience alternative management regimes.

In essence, British Columbia would flower; it would become a research park supported by funds from all over the world and by international tourism.

That reality really would put British Columbia on the map.

Knives: Be Prepared!

September 8th, 2011

If you read “almost any” of the wilderness survival books, you’ll find that they tell you to carry a good fixed-blade knife. The experts recommend the fixed-blade design because they believe it offers a smaller chance of injury — it won’t clamp shut on your fingers. Personally, when I need to travel light on one-day long-distance endurance hikes, I carry a folding multi-tool knife (a Swiss Army knife), but when I’m camping or backpacking, I take along a lightweight fixed-blade tactical knife.

Then, of course, I keep a folding pocket knife in my car and a smaller one on my key chain. Like they say out West, a cowboy’s kid learns to use a knife before he learns to ride a tricycle or pony. They learn to be prepared, and to that end I also carry a headlamp, a miniature flashlight, extra batteries, water, and food, three different ways to start a campfire, a signal mirror, and a first-aid kit.

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High-rise Soundproofing

August 20th, 2011

Have you met anyone living in an old high-rise condo apartment building who replaced their carpets with hardwood flooring and then began complaining about the noise coming from the apartment below. Well they took up half the soundproofing when they removed the carpet. Those old high-rise apartments were built with carpets in mind. The builders planned for the carpeting to block sound (and they cut costs that way).

If the neighbors upstairs are going to put in hardwood floors they better expect to hear your TV.

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Migraines and Situps

August 16th, 2011

If you heard that you should isolate your abdominal muscles (abs) by crossing your arms over your chest while doing situps, and now you’re suffering headaches, neck aches, or migraines, then go back to the old way of doing situps: clasp your hands behind your neck, with your elbows and arms out straight in line with your shoulders and back.

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Best Places to Comparison Shop for Outdoor Gear Online

June 27th, 2011

I enjoy comparison shopping for adventure products, especially hiking gear. When I keep up with my comparison shopping routine, I know a good price when I see one. You really can save hundreds of dollars when you stay abreast of prices, because then you know a deal when it stares you in the eye. This year I found a brand-new $600 2010 North Face Free Thinker Gore-Tex Pro Shell Rain Jacket/Ski Jacket for $195.

Here are places I visit online for prices and deals on outdoor gear:

www.rei.com

www.rei.com/outlet

www.backcountry.com

www.departmentofgoods.com

www.campmor.com

www.roadrunnersports.com

www.google.com shopping

www.mec.ca

www.amazon.com

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Endurance Training & Long-distance Hikes: Tips & Tricks

June 19th, 2011

The training and nutritive techniques are virtually identical — endurance athletes minimize weight, eat high-calorie, easily digestible carbohydrate gels and fluid proteins, hydrate often, and take electrolytes — but if you compare the numbers (if you can find the numbers), you’ll find that marathoners and long-distance runners outnumber endurance hikers. While an average marathoner might finish a 42.195 kilometer run in about 5 hours, an endurance hiker will often take 11 hours to complete the same distance on rough wilderness trails. Recent mothers, fathers, and young professionals often find that the travel times to worthwhile hiking trails (plus the hiking times) are prohibitive.

Now heavy drinkers experience dehydration at the very beginning of the day and should probably stay home, but for those of us who get to the trail-head early on Saturday morning, there are a few tricks to making 40+ kilometer hikes.

First, if you are diabetic or have allergies to nuts or soy, you will probably want to stay away from most of the products mentioned below. Always read the cautions and the ingredients posted on the product websites and on the product packaging. If you do decide to try these energy supplements, buy them in small quantities and try them at home before taking them with you on a hike.

Beware of allergic and other physical/emotional reactions to vitamins and sports products. If you have kidney problems, then don’t eat too much protein. And when you do eat protein, make sure you have plenty of water, since your body uses water to digest protein. If you eat protein (or take amino acid supplements) without adequate water intake, you will dehydrate and cramp.

But don’t skip the protein. When you exercise for more than 2 hours, your body starts to cannibalize it’s own muscle. That’s why you need to eat protein during long hikes. I usually mix protein powder with eLoad Heat Endurance Formula in two BPA-free Nalgene bottles. Each bottle contains 20+ grams of protein plus a scoop of eLoad. I don’t add water until I’m ready to start sipping the mixture. If you do not want to mix your own, Hammer Nutrition makes a good lightweight protein endurance product called Perpetuem.

I can’t stress it enough: don’t bring bulky food. Eat compact high-energy gels, Sharkies, Shot Blocs, energy bars, and protein powders. (I usually have an Active Greens Organic Food Bar for lunch. It contains protein, vegetables, fruit, and nut butter.) And eat often, perhaps every two hours during long-distance events. You have to keep your carbs up. Don’t diet during 40 kilometer hikes!

Carry 3 to 3 1/2 liters of water (and maybe 4 to 5 liters during a heat wave), and keep some extra water in the car for after the hike. Add electrolytes to your water. Like I said before, I use eLoad Heat Endurance Formula. It contains a variety of minerals, plus the carbohydrates you need to keep going. And if you use high-calorie gels, accompany each one with at least 150 ml of water (or about a third of a 500 ml bottle) so that it doesn’t make you feel sick.

Then within 15 minutes of completing your hike, eat about 20 grams of protein, since that timing has been shown to build muscle. Yes, you want to build muscle in your legs. I usually eat a Cliff Builders Protein Bar beside my car before I change into dry shoes.

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Obama, Israel, Palestine and Peace

May 22nd, 2011

If the wealthy of this world really want peace, they should help negotiate and finance Israel’s purchase of the lands Israel deems necessary to its security and continued existence. Anything less is simply and purely futile.

A political “solution” will not last. Land ownership is the answer. Ownership is clear cut, with no waffling and posturing and broken promises brought on by current affairs, oil prices, and elections.

Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Bernard Arnault, Larry Ellison, the Sultan of Brunei and his peers–the Royal Families of the Muslim world–and the all the world’s religions must negotiate on Israel’s behalf and put money on the table.

Israel gets security and peace and the people of Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan get some of the cash they and almost everyone else on Earth desire.

Reavis Ranch & Hoolie Bacon Photo Galleries

April 2nd, 2011

A 19-mile in-and-out day-hike to the old Reavis Ranch in the Superstition Wilderness along a well traveled trail.

 

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A day-hike through catclaw and prickly pear along the Hoolie Bacon Trail starting from the Tortilla Trailhead.

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Arizona Slideshow

February 19th, 2011

Here is a slide show of some of the photos I took on hikes in Arizona during 2008 to 2010. If you hover your cursor over a photo, the navigation bar will pop up. If you then click on the square box located at the right-hand edge of the navigation bar, you will see slide show in full-screen mode.

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