Thursday, March 09, 2017

Why I Stopped Renewing My Sportsman's Guide Buyer's Club Membership

So I have a weird thing for military surplus. If you don't know, military surplus are goods no longer wanted by the military of any country. It usually gets sold at a government auction, then passes down to retailers then to the public.

The appeal of surplus is it's usually very high quality stuff at a low price. It's a great source for camping gear or GI Joe style clothing. Buying surplus online is usually a bit of a gamble. Clothing often doesn't fit, things can be worn out or moldy. But often you end up with a real bargain.

So one of the popular retailers for surplus is The Sportsman's Guide. They often have good prices and sell things in small quantities. They cater to gun enthusiasts and the hunting crowd. I enjoy shooting guns as much as any guy but killing animals is not something I'm into so I don't buy any of that stuff.

I had a Sportsman"s Guide Buyer's Club Membership from 2011 up until February of this year. The buyer's club is a savings gimmick they push on you at their site. You pay a fee to join, for a long time it was $29.95 a year. Last year they increased the price to $39.95 a year.

They used to offer a lot of incentives to join the club when it was $29.95. They would often have a free gift which was usually something decent worth like $15 or $20, sometimes they would throw in a gift card for $20 or $25. This was in addition to what you still get now, two $10 coupons, double discount and free shipping on first order. So at $29.95, it was a no brainer if you planned to buy a few things over the coming year.

So my last order was $35 plus shipping. They gave me the renewal offer for the club. I would have saved $13.00 on the last order but with the $39.95 charge and just the two future coupons, it's not worth it for me anymore. Now if you're someone who buys guns and ammo or expensive stuff from them regularly, maybe it's worth it.

And the club isn't everything it's cracked up to be. The two coupons they give you can't be used with any other offers they might have going. The 'Buyer's Club Only' special sales are never very appealing.
Another caveat, when you do join the club, they put you on auto renewal and it's very difficult to opt out of that on the site.

They have some other practices I don't care for like putting your credit card on auto save unless you notice it and uncheck the box. They also try to push a .99 cents package protection fee on you at the checkout. Seems like a scam, they're obligated to deliver your package intact anyway so this protection is meaningless.

Another thing, they sell some items as genuine military surplus but they're actually cheap repros from China. A perfect example of this would be the US Military wool blankets they're selling right now. The're actually cheap repros imported from who knows where. A genuine surplus item from any country will have a tag, label or stamp marking of some sort. In fact, I believe it's illegal to sell a new textile without a label.

One last gripe, and this might ruffle some feathers.
When you buy anything from them, Sportsman's Guide gives your name and personal information to the NRA.

Yes, you will begin to receive regular mailings from the NRA, all begging for donations. I've got news for Sportsman's Guide, not everyone who buys guns or surplus wants their name given to the NRA. I can see a retailer selling your name to another retailer, I don't like that either but it happens.
But giving your personal info out to some quasi-political group is disturbing and very unprofessional.

On that note, Sportsman's Guide is a great source for redneck 'Larry The Cable Guy' style shirts.
Who wears this stuff?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Why Zoloft is a Terrible Drug for Anxiety

Yeah, so I've had issues with anxiety for a long time, a long time as in my whole life. It didn't start having a negative impact on my health until I was a young adult (early 20s). I believe it is what's known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. I also believe it runs in my family. My mother had very similar symptoms. We never discussed these types of things in my family though.

So I've experienced just about every symptom there is for GAD. I get both physical symptoms as well as the mental anxiety. Some of the physical symptoms will change over time, the general mental anxiety stays the same.

Some of the more pronounced symptoms I've had or still have include:

- Extreme difficulty falling asleep
- Large itchy skin rashes
- Painful lumps, like hives or cysts, especially on the fingers, eyes and armpit areas
- Unexplained severe joint or muscle pains
- Panic attacks
- Unable to swallow, especially while speaking

Early on, I went to quite a few doctors for the physical symptoms. I had no idea what was causing it then. The doctors had no explanation, they would just make a guess and give you something for it which didn't help. Eventually, much later on, I figured it out myself that everything stemmed from anxiety and got much worse under stress.

So, let's cut to the chase here.
Eventually I went to a doctor and sought out help for anxiety. I was prescribed Xanax.
It worked like a miracle. For the first time in years, I was able to sleep like a normal human being. The rashes cleared up, the lumps went away, the body aches vanished. My income went up, my social life improved, I got laid more, everything.

I had the same prescription for Xanax (Alprazolam) for 5 years. I took it on an 'as needed' basis. I mostly took it at night before bed. I had periods of days, sometimes weeks where I didn't take any at all. I'm not saying it was a perfect drug, it didn't cure everything but it certainly worked well for me.

So after 5 years my regular doctor gets replaced by a different doctor at the practice I went to.
New doctor asks me the usual questions, how's it going..etc.. I tell him the Xanax is still working out fine and explain how it's improved my life.....

New doctor says "Well, Xanax is a dangerous drug so we'll have to stop that immediately"....
I'm just in utter disbelief as he goes into a sales pitch for Zoloft.  I bluntly declined the prescription for Zoloft and left with nothing. That was the end of the Xanax.

So I'm back to the same crap, not sleeping and breaking out in hives. I went like that for a while then tried a new doctor. He gives me the same spiel about drug addiction and tries to give me Zoloft. I again decline. At this point, I'm starting to feel hopeless so, against my better judgement, I go to a psychiatrist...

And you can guess what happens at the psychiatrist.....yes, he only offers me Zoloft.
Yes, Zoloft (Sertraline)....That's apparently the only present day option available to treat anxiety. Anything else is out of the question, don't even ask. If you even mention another drug option, the guy looks like I asked him for a bag of crack. So, completely out of options, I finally took it.....

It takes 4-6 weeks just to start working. The first month I took it, I was sick as hell. This stuff has many side effects.
The first side effect was nausea and vomiting....yay! After the daily vomiting subsided, the extreme acid reflux kicks in, another wonderful side effect. I was spending most of my day standing over a sink drooling non-stop for a month.

After 6 weeks the vomiting and drooling subsided. Now the real fun begins.....After the junk kicks in, I have no energy or motivation. I start sleeping like over 18 hours a day, I am not exaggerating. I can only stay up for a few hours then I go take another nap. I had the dosage adjusted 4 times and there was no difference. The psychiatrist will not give me anything but Zoloft. After staying on it for one year, I just stopped taking it and stopped going to the psychiatrist.

From my one year experience, Zoloft was a horrible drug. I have never taken anything in my life with so many bad side effects. Did it ease my anxiety? Yeah, it did. But I spent 6 weeks throwing up and drooling, then another 10 months almost comatose, sleeping all day. I didn't care about anything when I was on it. I also gained over 20 pounds from lack of exercise.

The one and only side effect from Xanax was short term drowsiness, that's it. I never had any addiction to it whatsoever. I think this whole dangerous drug hysteria about benzodiazepines is a bunch of BS. If you hear these horror stories of benzo addiction, the idiots are taking ridiculous massive doses of it. They're taking more in one day than my whole prescription for 30 days.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Blog Update 2017

Some people asked for an update so yeah, so it's 2017 now. Donald Trump and legal marijuana.....well, at least we had one good change. I haven't looked at this blog since 2012. It actually took me 2 weeks to figure out how to log onto it, I forgot the password and account info.

I have one follower of the blog after 10 years. I'm assuming this person either died or doesn't use the account anymore. I think the most followers it ever had at once was 3.

I'm not proud of this blog at all. Looking back now, I went way overboard with it and I feel bad about much of what I posted. It's one thing to post a few pics and stories but this was way beyond that. I have my own problems with anxiety disorders which played a big role in it, I might get into that more another time.

If anyone is crazy enough to read through the whole thing, you might notice some stuff that doesn't make sense. I went through the blog and deleted a bunch of old posts back in 2012 and more of them recently. That's why some references won't make sense now. Some of the stuff was just plain dumb, overly mean or inappropriate in some manner. Heck, the whole thing was inappropriate... 

I will say, I still find some of it to be quite funny, that's sort of what I was going for but much of it is just being nasty and mean and I regret that.

One thing I should make clear now is Bob was not a bad person. He was actually very nice if you could get him to speak. He was also very intelligent, like book smart intelligence. He was a slob of the highest order however and he had some mental issues. I know nothing about him now, haven't seen or heard anything since.

This blog has 210,000 views now, not sure how that happened. I have another unrelated internet site that I make a little money off of with google ads so I threw them on here. The ads are not doing well here. I earned a whopping 85 cents in the first 2 weeks. The click cost pay rate is very low for this blog. I think the inverted crosses, satanism and subject matter might have something to do with it.....

Anyway, I might post some random nonsense once in a while. I'm not really sure if anyone reads blogs much anymore. I don't even get the spam comments anymore and I have the comments wide open, there used to be lots of spam comments.