From the Desk of John Rourke – December 10th, 2014

Craziest thing – bending over to pick something up and I pulled a muscle in my back. I have a history of back problems going back close to a decade. Muscle spasms are the problem. It has been a couple years since my last flare up and this one is pretty bad. I have an appointment at a pain specialist in Charlotte, NC for a Trigger Point Injection Monday.


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Received a Baofeng GT-3 Dual-Band Ham Radio for review purposes. Initial impressions are very positive. Very much an upgraded Baofeng UV-5R for just a few dollars more.

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Gas prices continue to fall. It is certainly a welcomed change. Enjoy it while it lasts. Good time to go fill up some extra gas can to put back or go ahead and rotate your stores.

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The name of this site is ModernSurvivalOnline.  Not the “modern” in the title. I enjoy modern technology and incorporating it as much into my preps as possible. Anytime I write up something such as using GPS – it is brought up “What about when the government shuts down the satellites?” Using ebook readers to store survival and preparedness information? “Well, what about when there is an EMP?” I bring up the topic of survival firearms and I am inevitably asked, “What about when you run out of ammo? I hope you know how to make your own bows and arrows.”


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Hot Chocolate: One of my favorite things in Winter. I can remember as a kid going outside to play in the snow. I would come home freezing and wet – and my mom would whip up some hot chocolate. I can taste it right now.

I wish I liked coffee but just never cared for the taste. I want to put some hot chocolate back for long term storage. Wonder if I could just take some of the powder and Mylar pack it. Emergency Essentials has some on sale this month so that might be an option.



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  1. Rourke,

    HOT CHOCOLATE: First let me say YUM! Then let me add that you can store cocoa powder that is unsweetened for a VERY long time. Hershey also sells their powder in a sealed plastic container, with a reusable lid, and a Mylar seal under the lid. You could just use those containers for the storage couldn’t you?

    • That is a good thought Brad M. I wonder if they nitrogen purge the container to get it to keep. The advantage of doing it myself would be the addition of an oxygen absorber.

  2. Heard that about the back problems.
    Been suffering the past few days myself.
    Would go to the Doc but I always leave worse than when I went in.

  3. Good luck with your back. It’s not easy getting older and still trying to maintain some semblance of physical conditioning. I’ve been visiting the foam roller a lot lately, and stretching for 20 minutes before the gym workouts begin.

    I like modern tech, I also enjoy not using it at all. If it’s available, that’s great… if it’s not available for whatever reason, life continues. I still prefer real books, at least you can use the pages to start a fire I guess. A kindle just smells the house up. 🙂

    • Thanks Max. Your right about getting older but overall I have felt pretty good. Just want to get this behind me and move forward.

      Same here with the modern tech. Part of my preparedness system are efforts to continue some modern tools in the event the SHTF. Back ups are a must – like hard copy books and manuals.

  4. My heart goes out to you Rourke and everyone who suffers from muscle spasms. Lying with a pillow under your knees takes the pressure off the back a bit. A shot in a trigger point
    helps but the cortizone will also lower your immunity so take your vits and supplements.
    A pain gel is also helpful. (bio Freeze) Chiropractorts have always helped us also after the spasm lessens as sometimes the spasm pulls a vertabrae out of place.
    We just had 14 inches of heavy wet snow- more coming.Its so heavy that our truck couldnt plow well so we had to use the 4 wd tractor and front end loader-heaviest snow we have ever had,Lost power-the generator and a gas cook stove and woodstove were excellent.Arlene

    • Thanks Arlene. It has been horrible. Took today off from work to rest. Yesterday at work did a lot of walking and it got really bad. Hopefully Trigger Point Injection Monday will resolve the problem. May require a follow up visit or two.

  5. For the muscle spasms interferential electro-stimulation is wonderful. You can often shut down a spasm in 10 minutes. This is Not a TENS unit which is to affect nerve signals to the brain, but rather manipulates the muscle (like an electrical massage). It employs 2 pairs of electrodes (sticky conductive pads 1.5 to 2 inches square) for a total of 4. The muscle needs stimulation in the frequency range of 5-50 hertz but sending electrical signals strong enough to help at that frequency is quite painful going through the skin. A high frequency electrical signal of 3000-3500 hertz penetrates with far less pain but doesn’t work for the muscle. The solution is send two signals in the 3 kHz range but say 20 hertz difference (3000 and 3020 hertz). These two signals go in separate locations and the electrodes are positioned to cause the electrical paths to cross. There will be constructive and destructive interference with the two signals causing a beat signal at the difference between them (20 hertz) and this will stimulate the muscle and can work wonders killing a spasm. Battery operated units can be had for well under a hundred bucks. I got mine maybe 8 years ago for 50-60 bucks. Some suppliers require you have a script from a physical or occupational therapists but look on eBay and Amazon.

    • Appreciate it Bill. Heading to the chiropractor shortly. I have an appointment Monday for a Trigger Point Injection which “cured” this problem two years ago. We’ll see.

  6. Muscular Back Troubles?
    The very DAY you do it, take two Naproxin Sodium (otherwise known as Aleeve). Powe r full anti-inflammatory–will prevent the muscle irritation from getting out of hand. Trust me, this stuff works! Use care as it isn’t meant to be taken long term and can cause stomach problems if you do

  7. I’m in my mid 40’s and seem to hurt my back more often now days. Chiropractor and acupuncture are the best for me, drugs are not the way. I hope you feel better. Love your site.

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