Sunday, May 14, 2017

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #143 - Fungi Aren't Fun, Guys

Soothe that itching and burning for knowledge with the cool, creamy salve of GunBlog VarietyCast Radio.
  • Following up on last week's "Career Day" segment, Beth brings her son on the show to talk about the unfairness of the school letting a police officer talk about guns, but not his mommy.
  • A father of three was shot and killed in Raleigh. Why? Sean looks to see if there's more to this story.
  • Barron is on assignment this week.
  • Miguel looks at the vast difference in the size of pro-gun and anti-gun organizations, which prompts him to ask his legislators "Why are you so afraid of Mom's Demand?"
  • In the Main Topic we welcome Special Guest Keith Pantaleon, who also got to be a special guest of the State of New Jersey for the high crime of possessing a firearm while black.
  • Tiffany ran into Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter at the NRA Annual Meeting. Thinking quickly, she whipped out her cell phone and interviewed him on the spot.
  • Of all the fun things you can do in ROTC, no one ever told Erin that fungal infections were on the agenda. Luckily for us, she uses this terrible experience to bring you some practical strategies for getting rid of them.
  • What happens when Protect Minnesota’s Joan Peterson stands up and gives her anti-gun talking points at a town hall meeting? Weer'd will let you listen in.
  • And our plug of the week is for the NSSF-AFSP Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play Music!

Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.

Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript:
Fungal Infections
When I was in college <mumble> years ago, I was active in ROTC. In my sophomore year of the military science program, I was chosen to be the “swimmer” for a rope bridge team in a demonstration we were putting on for the freshman cadets. My role, as you might have guessed, involved me crossing a waist-deep river with a rope tied around my waist, which I then tied to a tree. I did this multiple times a day. 

Now this river wasn’t particularly deep or fast, but it did run through the subtropical forest of Florida. The next day, I discovered the river had given me two gifts: a 103 degree fever and a raging case of athlete’s foot. The fever, probably caused by bacteria in the water that reached my lips and nostrils, went away after antibiotics and lots of fluids. But the fungal infection has been a recurring pain in my foot for decades.

Fungal infections are not life threatening, but they can sure make your life miserable. Constant itching, inflammation and even blistering are bad enough, but it’s worse if it’s on your feet because, you know, you need them to walk and it’s rather difficult to walk if your feet are in pain.

And that’s just athlete’s foot. Other kinds of fungal infection run from the relatively mild ringworm to the horror of jock itch, but despite the different names, they’re all the same thing, and that means they can be treated identically.

Preppers need to be ready for such fungal infections, because as common as they are right now, they’re only going to get worse in a bug-out or post-disaster scenario.

The best way to treat fungal infection, of course, is never getting it in the first place. Fungi thrive in dark, warm, and moist environments - which is why they so commonly infect the feet and groin - and while you can’t do much about the warm part, and society frowns on exposing those parts of your body, you can do something about moisture in those areas.
  1. First, stay out of water as much as possible. If you do get those areas wet, take the time to dry your skin off and change into clean, dry socks and underwear. Dry your shoes out whenever possible - if you have a campfire, make sure your footwear is close to the heat and smoke. 
  2. Second, use a powder to absorb moisture from sweat. I’m a big fan of travel size Gold Bond powder - the one-ounce bottles can go anywhere from bug out bags to purses - and not only does it help keep feet, groin and armpits dry, it also acts as a “dry lubricant” for when body parts are rubbing against each other. If you’ve ever gotten a blister between your thighs, you know what I’m talking about. 
But let’s say that despite all your precautions, you’ve still contracted a fungal infection. Fortunately for us, medical science keeps inventing increasingly awesome ways to get rid of it.
  • The best cure is a chemical known as Butenafine Hydrochloride, which is the active ingredient in Lotrimin Ultra and can be bought at places like Walgreen’s or CVS. If you can find a store brand or generic version, get that, as antifungal creams can run between $15 and $20, and generics cost about half that.
  • The next best cure is Terbinafine Hydrochloride, which is the active ingredient in Lamasil. I was prescribed this about 15 years ago when my athlete’s foot kept recurring, but it’s now available in the pharmacy aisle of pretty much any supermarket or big box store. Again, buy generic when possible. 
  • The cheapest stuff is called Clotrimazole, which is the active ingredient in regular Lotrimin. It’s better than nothing, but it’s about 20% less effective than terbinafine. 
  • If you see anything labeled “Tolnaftate”, take a pass unless it’s the only thing you can find. It’s the active ingredient in Tinactin, and it takes a looong time to take effect - probably because it’s a 20 year old formula that didn’t work great to begin with. 
But what if you run out of antifungal medicine? Well, there is an old home remedy for that. I have no experience with it, and I know that anecdotes do not make data, but -- ALLEGEDLY -- the uric acid in urine will kill fungi on your skin.

I’m told that the best kind of urine to use is the dark urine from when you first get up in the morning, because the uric acid is more concentrated after 8 hours of sleep rather than the paler urine of the daytime. Collect this urine first thing in the morning - this is why I recommend preppers carry an extra water bottle that you don’t drink from - and then soak your toes in the fresh urine for 5 to 10 minutes, then wash your feet in clean water and put on warm socks.

For ringworm or jock itch, if you can’t immerse the body part, just soak a washcloth in the urine and use it as a wet compress. Be sure to wring out and rinse the cloth afterward, and then either put it in a plastic bag to keep in the smell, or in a mesh bag on your backpack to air out. If it helps any, remind yourself that your kidneys are incredibly efficient filters, and that fresh urine - fresh being the word here - is sterile when it comes out, despite the smell.

Just pretend you’re a dog: pee on it, and move on with your life!

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