Charlie's Blog: February 2024


Gout: What Has Worked For Me

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or anything remotely related to being a healthcare professional. This is purely a personal testimonial.

Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, & sloth; Or the Gout will seize you and plague you both.

I do not wish gout on anyone. Gout is the most painful thing I have ever endured in my life, and I have endured a lot of things. Gout is in the number one spot. The pain of gout motivated me to get rid of it. Here is what has worked for me.

I won't go into the technical details of gout. I have read many articles on the subject, and I barely understand them. It also frustrates me that they contradict each other. I have tried various "cures" with no success. I gave up on this new school medicine and went old school with Hippocrates and the like. That is when I started finding relief.

I believe that gout is a lifestyle disease. This is because people from the olden days thought the same thing. Peasants didn't get gout. Aristocratic types did. I sat down and made a list of things that those aristocrats did that the peasants didn't. Here is that list:

1. They drank wine instead of water.

2. They ate sweets and treats.

3. They ate meat.

4. They were sedentary.

Except for the wine, my lifestyle was virtually identical to those aristocrats back in the day. Like it or not, today's peasants live lifestyles that are higher than aristocrats and royalty from a long time ago. Realizing this, I decided to live in the opposite way. This is when I found relief from gout attacks. Here is what worked for me.

1. Drink water.

90% of my hydration comes from water. The 10% comes from the 2 cups of coffee I drink each morning with a single teaspoon of sugar to take the edge off of the bitterness. I do not drink soda pop or sweet iced tea. I never drink alcoholic beverages. I live with a Klean Kanteen bottle by my side, and I even drink water at night. Whenever I urinate, I drink an almost identical amount of water. This one thing alone helped diminish the severity of my gout attacks. I think this is because the water helps flush uric acid out of my body.

2. Eat a plant based diet.

The irony of my gout attacks is that they began after I became a vegan. I researched this and read that people who were lifelong vegans did not get gout. I did not go vegan until I was 41 years old. As I lost weight on the new program, that is when the flare ups would happen especially during Lent when I would fast. Dr. McDougall said that his patients would experience gout when they lost weight, and he said that it was caused by the release of purines stored in their fat that came from the meat they had eaten over the course of their lives. That made sense to me.

My meathead friends jumped on the vegan thing as the "cause" of my gout. What they failed to see were the many people who eat meat that get gout. It is my personal belief that meat consumption is the fundamental cause of gout. Because of this, I eschew fasting now for weight loss. It is better to take the slow road of moderate diet and exercise. I definitely do not recommend low carb meathead diets.

3. Cut out processed sugary foods, sweets, and soda pop.

Sugar does not cause gout, but I do think it interferes with the elimination of uric acid which crystallizes in the joints causing the excruciating agony. For me, this would be the big toe joint. I ate some pop tarts for breakfast one time which caused me a flare up at a time when I didn't need it. The sugar caused me to eat less which caused another release of those purines from the dissolved fat in my body.

I got rid of sugar almost completely. I used to dump sugar in my coffee. I went totally black with no sugar, but I put a small amount in now to make it less bitter. That's the only added sugar in my diet. As for sweets and candy, those are rare treats usually around the holidays. I eat these sparingly. My preferred sweet is fresh fruit like strawberries and blueberries.

4. Take daily walks.

The final piece of the solution was when I took up walking for exercise. Since doing that in combination with the other things, I have had no flare ups of gout. It virtually vanished from my life. I am two years removed from my last known attack of gout. I think the improved circulation from exercise helps to prevent concentration and crystallization of uric acid in the joints.


This program is what has brought relief to my life. I changed my habits and lifestyle to be less like an aristocrat and more like a peasant. Gout always looms in the background to punish me for any lack of discipline. Most people will seek out the pharmacological remedy to keep from making these lifestyle changes. I think any of these things in isolation will reduce the severity of gout attacks, but the golden ticket is the combination of these things. Gout has one upside. It has motivated me to clean up my act and keep it cleaned up.



But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins.

Our friend Kathy has died. She suffered for a long time, and her death was expected. But no matter how much preparation you get, it still hurts. We are honored to have had her as our friend.

My friendship began with her on the day of my accident. She drove my wife to the hospital to see me. My wife was in no mental or emotional condition to make that drive. Kathy was an angel of mercy that day. Her entire life was filled with those small but selfless acts.

When I met her with my face and head all busted up, I made a joke as I usually do in those situations. I handle everything with prayer and a sense of humor. Kathy said that I was full of shit. I laughed hard at that. I knew at that moment that she and I were always going to be friends.

Kathy always told it like it was. Not everyone can handle that level of honesty, but I can. There was no guile in that woman. She was tough as nails, had a head like a brick, and a heart of pure gold. I believe God puts His most precious things in rough packages because we couldn't bear the immensity of such love otherwise.

Kathy was a mother, and one of the best mothers anyone could ever have. My wife and I got the mother vibe from her, and she told us we were like her own children. We always wanted to do for her, but she wouldn't let us. Like I said, she had a head like a brick.

One of the sad notes about Kathy is that she was mistreated in life. I won't go into the details, but evil people hated Kathy. I could never understand that. She was always so kind to people, and they repaid her kindness with viciousness and cruelty. I hope those wicked people know they will have to answer to God one day, and I pray they repent of their wickedness before it is too late.

Kathy was not perfect. She was rough around the edges. All we know is that she loved God, helped everyone she knew, and asked nothing in return. Love covers a multitude of sins, and Kathy's love more than covered her flaws and imperfections.

I pray that God forgive Kathy whatever she needs mercy for and to remember her charity and her sufferings in this life. We will miss her, and I know that we will see her again. May she rest in the peace of Christ forever and may her family and friends be comforted in their grief.


Charlie's Catholic Survival Guide

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not be defiled with the king's table, nor with the wine which he drank: and he requested the master of the eunuchs that he might not be defiled.

This is a hard time to be a Roman Catholic. It has been this way since Vatican II when the floodgates of heresy, perversion, and corruption were opened upon the faithful. The mission is to keep your faith in these hard times while also not soiling yourself with the corruption. I have two tools that I use for myself to get through these difficult times. These would be Catholic minimalism and Catholic pessimism.


No faithful Catholic can support and go along with what is happening in the Church. Your bishop and your priest expect two things from you:

1. Time, talent, and treasure. 
2. Don't ask questions.

You will notice they never ask for your prayers. They will have countless numbers of social justice activities requiring your money and participation. None of these things is even remotely Catholic. They are the sorts of things you see at your local Rotary Club. You're not helping Catholicism but the Marxism of the modernist heretics than run the Catholic Church now.

When it comes to the Mass, they want everyone to be Hannibal Lectors and Extraordinary Monsters doing things that were reserved to the priests and those on the way to becoming priests. No faithful Catholic should be involved with this sacrilege. As for teaching CCD and RCIA, they don't teach Roman Catholicism anymore. You know this when you discover many tradition minded people choosing to homeschool their kids instead of trusting the established curriculum of the diocese. You know something is up when you see rainbows on the covers of their books.

When it comes to giving, you are a total sucker if you put money in the offering basket or towards those infernal second collections that go for things like human traffiicking, sex abuse settlements, and coke fueled orgies at the Vatican.

Catholic minimalism is the decision to not participate in this garbage. Do not give them money except the occasional dollar to cover the cost of the Mass. This would be about a dollar per week. This will keep the lights on and pay for hosts. Do not participate in the Bishop's Annual Appeal. Things are so bad that they try and rechristen it as the "Catholic Appeal." You know things are bad when they resort to PR tricks like this. They really think you are that stupid.

You should give of your time, talent, and treasure, but it can't be to these fiends running the Church now. It is hard work, but you need to be a good steward and find places outside of the Church to send your money. This means asking questions. Asking questions is what keeps you from being taken for a fool. As for giving to your parish and diocese, you have already done this through your taxes against your will to support those things that the Marxist Democrats want. The top priority is illegal immigration.

I have learned to go to my parish for my sacraments and to leave. I try to have nothing else to do with the fiends and dupes in my parish. I refuse to be neither a fiend nor a dupe. Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.


The Roman Catholic Church has always had a corruption problem. Read the New Testament, and you will see this. The dark dirty secret of the Church is that it is filled with sinners. I think our Lord allowed Judas Iscariot into the group to be a large warning about what was to come. People are going to let you down, and this includes the hierarchy of the Church. Additionally, the Devil seeks to infiltrate the Church at every level to undermine it.

This filth and corruption will be with us until the Second Coming. The Devil would love nothing more than for you to be scandalized out of your faith. But if you do this, you will also become part of that corruption. I know of no one who separated from the Church who went on to become a saint. It doesn't happen.

Scandal comes when we have high expectations of people. I have low expectations of people. I expect people to be corrupt. I think everyone is a crook. They rarely let me down on this. They surprise me by being good people and saints. That is a rarity. There are some good priests and bishops, but the fiends persecute them.

You have to have a remnant mindset. The faithful are a permanent minority both in the world and in the visible church. If you can keep yourself unsoiled by the world and remain in a state of grace, this is about the most you can hope to do. You are outnumbered by the evildoers, and they intend to eat you alive.


It has been the refrain of many traditionalists and faithful Catholics to "recognize and resist." That motto doesn't really get to the meat of the issue. The real way is to stay and stink. So many wish to escape from our awful parishes and migrate to better places. I wanted to do this. God closed the door on that option for me. I'm not moving or spending four or more hours on the road every weekend to attend a Latin Mass. When the faithful do this, they make life easier for the fiends in our parishes.

Because I remain in my parish, I make life hard for the fiends. This was not my intention, but I can't help what I am. We have many women who wear chapel veils. Others kneel for communion and take it on the tongue from the priest or deacon only. We refuse all pressure to participate in fundraising activities that do nothing good for the Church. And some of us write blog posts decrying all of the crap we endure in our parishes. We also pray. All of this is profoundly irritating to the fiends.

I can't be a heretic, a schismatic, or an apostate. I am a Roman Catholic which means I have to stay in the Church and suffer. The true Church is that faithful remnant of true believers. We offer up our frustrations and sufferings to the Lord. I accept that I will always have this cross to bear for the rest of my life.


Charlie's Homemade Memes

History is now being documented in the moment through memes, and they shape our memories. I make them as if to say, "I was here, and I mocked this time and place.”

I share memes with my friends on my flip phone. These would be memes that I find. I also write and draw things on the backs of pieces of junk mail. Then, I take pictures of those crude drawings to illustrate a point I am trying to make. A friend referred to these drawings of mine as "homemade memes." I suspect they find them funny or interesting because they are so crudely drawn. I also take them with the bad camera on my flip phone. Here are some of those homemade memes with commentary.

This shows my life pre-TBI and post-TBI. Before my accident, I worked hard, slept little, and indulged myself in excessive things like binge watching movies and TV shows. More was more. After the accident, I can't binge anymore. Everything I do and achieve today comes from the accumulation of small bites. I have to rest frequently and be intentional about my activities. The irony is that I wished I had followed the bites strategy prior to my accident. This was my first step towards sensibility.

I don't have the luxury of overthinking. Talking about something all day doesn't get it done. I prefer to be brief in my discussions and use what is left of my energy in getting it done.

I don't smoke, drink, or use drugs. Coffee is my only vice. The wife and I wake up in what we call the "pre-caffeinated" state. It isn't pretty. The coffee is the official start of each day. It works for her, but it doesn't work for me anymore since my accident. I can drink two cups of coffee and still pass out. Some doctors recommend not drinking coffee for people with TBI. I ignore them just like I ignore the ones who think amphetamines are a good idea. I'll stick with the java.

The treadmill is what the vast majority of people are grinding away on. What they want is the quiet life, but they think they have to achieve a certain financial state to get there. They become so obsessed with that objective that they lose all concept of the quiet life which is not hard to find. The future is the enemy of the quiet life. You have to find the quiet life in the present. The future never arrives.

I think yard work, gardening, and manual labor are better for exercise than signing up for a gym membership or training for marathons. People will pay money for exercise and then pay a lawncare service to tend to chores around the house. People see no connection between work and fitness.

I do not hunt, fish, or play golf. The thing I noticed about those three activities is they are essentially sitting on a chair outside. They are the three most popular activities where I live. I prefer going for a walk. I do enough sitting now.

This one is self-explanatory. None of us refuseniks regret that decision. I can't say the same for those who didn't refuse.

I don't care how many laws you pass, rules you make up, or how carefully you monitor operations. There is always going to be that one idiot who makes a mess of everything. It is better to accept that inevitability and plan for it than delude yourself with preventing it.

This one comes from the debates on YouTube on the best caliber ammo for a semi-automatic handgun. My preference should be obvious from the homemade meme. There are no perfect answers. There are compromises. You can't have it all.

I post this in response to what is popularly known as "first world problems." There are people enduring terminal illnesses. Then, there are people who can't afford to upgrade to the new iPhone. I see more grief over the latter than the former.

Sensibility is my best idea. It isn't an original idea, but it will change your life more than anything else you can try. I regret coming to it late in life, and I have my accident to teach me this lesson. Our society is all-or-nothing. I reject that now. Good things depend on the dose. If you get the dosage right, you will get better. If you get it wrong, it will get worse for you.

I have spent much of my life watching helplessly as people do dumb things to mess up their lives. I have tried to say something only to get the middle finger. So, I watch the train wrecks happen. It is painful to watch, but it isn't up to me. This is why I keep my mouth shut now and let it happen. If you think I am heartless for this, recognize that these train wrecks are not my fault and beyond my power to stop.

This is my personal reminder that my days are numbered, and I must strive to always be in a state of grace when that last day comes. It is a very sobering reminder.

I drew this in response to seeing a man trapped in a mental prison. He can escape at any moment, but he won't. I would tell him, but that would just get me one of those middle fingers referenced in the other meme. I can calmly watch someone destroy himself and not say a word. This is because people don't listen. It is better to pray for them to find wisdom than to give them that wisdom that they will ignore.

Life is 90% boredom punctuated by periods of intense crisis. This sounds cynical, but I am fine with it. I prefer boredom to being stressed out. Boredom is just another word for peace and tranquility. I try as hard as I can to cultivate a boring life.

One of my big pet peeves is watching working class men blow their hard earned money on toys they buy on credit. I see this all over my neighborhood which I refer to now as "Toyland." One day, I will see FOR SALE signs on these toys or watch the repo man haul them off. Most of these people could pay off their mortgages with what they are blowing on toys.

This is in the same theme as the previous meme about buying toys. This is the lifestyle of most of my co-workers and peers. They slave to pay for senseless toys.

This meme explains the fundamental reason behind the toy buying. I have a life of the mind and my faith, so I need very little except the basics of food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. I have never been into buying and owning toys. I buy tools instead which are cheap and boring.

That's it for the homemade memes. As you can see, I can't draw very well or take good photographs with my flip phone. I think the crude nature of the memes is what makes them funny. I can see a second edition of homemade memes in the near future.


2 Reddit Posts About Walking

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

These are two posts that I came across in the reddit walking forum. I thought they were worth sharing with some commentary. Here is the first post:

Misconceptions about walkers
I'll start with some I've heard and add your own

1. Walkers are runner wannabes

2. walkers failed at running

3. Walkers are out of shape

4. Walkers are always getting in the way of runners and bikers.

5. Any exercise you can do just moving around your home isn't an exercise

What misconceptions, slurs and lies have you hear?

Walking is usually the first thing you do on the way to becoming a runner. I remember mixing walking and running when I was in college until I had enough fitness to run an entire 20 minutes. I was so proud of myself when I was able to do that back in my younger days. Now, I am ashamed that I ever did that. I ruined a good walk. A smarter Charlie would have started walking for fitness instead of running. Today, I can candidly say that I am not a runner wannabe.

As for failing at running, I have to laugh at that. The truth is that most runners fail at running especially when they pull out of a race they paid to run because of some injury. My opinion is that running is a failure as a fitness activity. It shows that you allowed vanity to overwhelm your common sense.

I do not know how you define being in shape. Most walkers could not complete the Ironman Triathlon on walking alone. Then again, most runners could not do it on running alone. Shape is a relative thing. In comparison to being sedentary, walkers are definitely in better shape than those who do not walk.

Runners and bikers annoy each other. All I can say is that walking came first. I don't have a problem with runners, but bikers are a pain to the pedestrians. Drivers hate everyone.

As for moving about your home, where else would you move? But I do agree that counting steps to the bathroom on your FitBit is ridiculous. This is why I don't wear a FitBit.

I don't hear any other lies, slurs, and misconceptions about walking. This is because walkers actually walk. You can do that when you aren't injured all the time.

Here is the second post:

Walking IS exercise. Get over it!
Ok this is kind of a rant but I guess I had to get this out of my thoughts somehow :D

I'm tired of people who tell me that walking is not exercise. Yes it is, even if it doesn't feel like it. I hate every other type of exercise and walking is the only thing that I can manage without getting bored or too tired.

Heck it is even better than other forms of exercise. You know why?

1. You can do it anywhere, anytime. No special equipment is required. You can get up on your lunch break and go for a walk.
2. You can get stuff done WHILE you are out for a walk. You can go grocery shopping while getting your daily steps in, you can go to the mall, you can go and meet friends etc etc
3. It is literally free. You don't need a gym membership
4. If you do it outside, there are benefits from it as well: More vitamin D on sunny days; outdoors is more relaxing than staring at the wall in the gym, you can explore your city or the nature...
5. It isn't as tiring as other forms of exercise, which means you can do it day in-day out and you will barely feel it in your legs the next day.
6. It keeps your mind in shape. Some of the best ideas I have come up with came to me on my daily walks.
7. It keeps your body in shape. You work your muscles and your heart muscle as well
8. The risk of injury is way smaller than with other forms of exercise
If you come up with another benefit, feel free to add it to the list :)

I can't find anything to add to this one because this poster nails it. I will say that walking is not exactly free. I burn through enough shoes that it is comparable to a gym membership. But I would burn through shoes even if I went to the gym. As such, walking is the cheapest fitness activity that comes to mind.

The debate here is the one between running and walking. The simple fact is that running has a better press agent than walking. I like what Roger Burlinson wrote over at Sport Walk:

Can walking really get me fit?
Quick answer… YES! There’s been a lot written and said about walking in the last few years and it would be easy to think that it’s some kind of miracle solution, given some of the discoveries that have been made. But the simple fact is that walking, as a method of getting or staying fit and for general wellbeing, has just been hiding in plain sight all this time.

Walking has definitely been hiding in plain sight. For years, I have seen old ladies and moms with strollers walking the streets and at the mall. It never occurred to me that I should do the same thing. I was too vain to give walking any notice even if those walkers were in better shape than me. Age and injury have a way of peeling off vanity.