A Lot of Preps are Like Fire Insurance

You may never need them – you hope you’ll never need them – but you buy them anyway just in case; because the outcome if you should need them and don’t have them is just so bleak.

I just finished watching “end Day” on Netflix. It made me think not so much about teotwawki, but the preps I have in place “just in case”. Now that I have been working toward resilience for quite some time now, the initial overreaction has passed. Point in case, I am more prepared for a pandemic than I am for an extended job loss. Which do you suppose is more likely?

Having said that, I do realize that, even though the former is far less likely, it is easier to prepare for because there are so many “one and done” things you can do to prepare for them; and unlike the latter, once the former strikes it may be too late to do anything more than what you have already done to mitigate the risk.

Back to my point, I did realize there are some things which may be necessary that I have not yet added to my preps. Two come to mind immediately: two wind up time keeping devices (don’t think it really matters whether they are watches or clocks), and goggles to accompany my air filter masks. The first we need so that we can coordinate with our peeps (family members, tribe, band, whatever) and know that someone either is where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there, or they’re not. The second is because some bugs could get in if someone sneezes and we catch it in the face. In the movie, one of the scenarios was a pandemic, and the rescue workers were wearing the hazmat suits and had eye protection.  That’s when I asked myself “shouldn’t I have some eye protection as well as my filter masks”?

I wear glasses so I am going to get some prescription sports goggles to fit that bill.  I suppose my eye protection that I use with the table saw over my glasses would work, but that is so cumbersome and inefficient, and since I can get a pair of sports goggles for $30…

In another scenario a husband and wife are not together when news of a catastrophe hits, one is at home and she starts loading up the minivan with water, food, etc, and the husband is out and about with their kid.  I thought, “How will she know whether know whether to keep waiting or cut and run?  Do they have a rendezvous point?”  What if you do link up – or start out together – and then have to split up, how would we know when to worry, or bug out alone?

The wind up watches won’t really be necessary as long as there is electricity, since we can charge and use our phones. Even if we can no longer sync to a network so our time of day is accurate, we can still use the timer or stopwatch function (app) on our phones. The only two times I can think of where this would be undoable is an EMF or we are away from any way to recharge for a few days. Still, something to consider.

Resilience efforts de jour, 3/30/15. Sometimes you have to do it exhausted.

After working 10 hours at work on a Monday – the start of a week where corporate politics has crapped all over everyone’s good mood and job security – I came home, cooked dinner, and kicked up my feet to watch a documentary (Farmageddon)  with my first born before heading off to an early bedtime.  I knew she only had about 30 minutes of watching before she had to take off to go exercise with some friends, but that was cool because I figured she wouldn’t be that into it anyway.  She was digging it and as she was leaving she said she was going to finish watching it this week.  I settled in to watch the rest before going to bed, but after about 10 more minutes I was so disgusted with the way of things in this society, and the drive to free myself from my shackles was so great, that I got up and went outside to dig and plant even though it was getting dark.  I planted another tomato plant and some snap peas.  It wasn’t much but it was something.

If I’m not going to do it tired, then it might not get done at all.  I am so over being dependent on the way things are.  It’s exit strategy time.

Overwhelmed

So I was talking to my mom when she asked me if I’d gotten in contact with a lead I was given about a new job. I told her I hadn’t and that it was because I have been struggling trying to find time to work on my resume. Work is insane, and the traffic is getting worse so the commute is getting longer. By the time I get home I am spent. To kick my brain into high gear again once I’ve gotten home, cooked dinner, helped with homework, listened to problems, and taken a shower is more than I am able to do. On top of that I have to get my sleep because I’m no spring chicken and my bills are more than my paycheck without overtime, so overtime is a must. I go in early rather than stay late because the kids don’t miss me when they’re asleep.

She made the comment that she worries that I am trying to do too much. Well I am, no doubt, but some of it is required (laundry, dishes, yard work), and some of it is important (garden). So I gave her the rundown on why doing the garden and some of the other things are important.

Thing is, even though all of my points are valid, she too may have a point – perhaps even a stronger point. Maybe what I am doing is unsustainable. I mean, I know it is, but how do you decide what to give up? Not only do I have a garden, but there are some plants inside the house that require maintenance as well. Do those things need to go? It’s not that watering them takes so long per se, but there is the monitoring to see if they need watering, remembering to monitor them, pruning, making sure they are getting enough sun, etc. There are other things that could be lumped into this category as well I’m sure.

It has become obvious this year that sustainability and resilience requires more than one person, unless you are in a very minimalist situation. When you are a single dad being that minimalist isn’t really an option; there is a lot that is required just to be a decent father. But I have always been a great father, and want to continue as such. The relationship and trust I have with my kids is priceless.

So what do I do? Stop gardening? My health and the health of my kids are at stake and that is something that is with us for as long as we inhabit this earth. Am I paranoid, thinking that the food I get from the store is really that bad? Maybe only time will tell. But what about the increasing cost in food, and the exponential cost that is looming because of the severe drought conditions we are experiencing that no one is talking about? What happens when the unavoidable increase in taxation teams up with rising food costs? Not try to find ways to increase the efficiencies in my household and make a smaller eco-footprint ala: reuse, repurpose, recycle? Should I not plant trees in my yard that will provide shade, wind protection, and yearly fruit production (I haven’t yet but it is on the ‘really, really need to do’ list)? Should I stop trying to better insulate and shade my house to lower my electric bills? That saves me money (as well as keeps us more comfortable because the a/c alone is not sufficient for our house), and as inflation keeps grinding away at a rate far higher than what the “official” numbers are, that seems to be more and more important as time goes on. Should I just say “screw it “, join the zombie sheeple status quo, and ignore the state of our environment and what is contributing to its change, as well as to what kind of future that leaves for my kids?

I am a firm believer that at times we must dramatically lower our standards in order to keep our head above water, I get that. At the same time, you must make sure that you don’t fall into the trap that so many people do who get a raise, in that an expense always seems to be taken on that absorbs the extra money (now coming in). If I drop my garden or (shudder) get rid of my 2 surviving bonsai trees, will I still find myself facing the same shortage of time? My bonsai make my eyes happy when I look at them. If I give them up and don’t experience relief, then I am actually worse off because I have given up a desire of my heart (beauty) and gotten nothing in return. I’ll really need to ponder this.

I have been told “have the kids help more. When I was a kid…blah blah blah”. Yeah, me too. But that was a different time, and maybe 15 years ago you did make your kids do more too. But that was then, and it was a different time. I bet you didn’t make them do as much as you did when you were a kid, or even as much as you think you remember making them do. It is extremely difficult – on many levels – to make a kid that is already doing chores do more, when the entire society around them is doing no chores at all. When their peers are required to do nothing while your kid is taking an extremely heavy course load in order to graduate a year early, and working part time so that they can not only buy their own gas, but their own shampoo, make up and feminine products, more should be demanded?? Not only is it an uphill battle which takes more of the sacred, precious time than just doing it yourself, you (I) feel like a crummy father because they have to pick up the slack financially. “It’s good for them, they’ll be better off because of it”. Maybe, and maybe that’s bulls***. Don’t misunderstand, I do believe that doing chores and being responsible are very important in building character and preparing young people to become contributing members of the community. But they are also missing out on the experiences their friends are having which is making them different, and in the case of the teenager robbing them of the opportunity to form strong social/community/networking bonds which are going to vital as the future draws near. They are already struggling to deal with the emotional trauma they are experiencing because of the divorce. The death of an innocence, something that they never in a million years gave a second thought about not being as solid as the rock of Gibraltar suddenly crumbles right out from under them with no warning. “That’s right darling, you can’t count on anything being safe, and as an added bonus you get to do more work, carry a heavier burden than all of your peers, and do without more things and experiences than them.”

Oops, sorry. Is my cynicism showing? Better be careful, I want to progress, not digress.

Man going it alone is hard.

OPT OUT

02/01/13

Secede as an individual. Quit supporting the corporate mindset that you so despise and which is stealing your wealth, free time, family time, and quality of life. Disempower the systems that are oppressing you. Empower yourself. Be resilient, not dependant. Without even realizing it we support and enforce our own slavery/oppression. We actively participate in keeping the systems that make us miserable going. We are miserable and we facilitate it. Lead your own life! Don’t get me wrong, I think you should absolutely support those advancing the causes you believe in, but don’t stop there. Use some of that support to make a difference yourself. Think about the kind of person it took to shape and tame this country. You are born of that stock, those were your ancestors. You have that same blood in you.

We need to support things that matter. We need to support things that add value to our lives on the individual (personal) level. We need to support things that will support us.

02/01/13 ACTION

– Bought 5 ounces of silver from the TSPMint which just came online. I didn’t really need more silver at this point, but they are working in conjunction with AOCS and I wanted to show my support for both TSP and AOCS. I want to enable them to keep getting the message out.

OT and Prepping

I’ll tell you what, I may be extremely overworked but that OT pay sure does come in handy. I took a little of my extra pay today and spent $11 on a box of 00 buck shot for my 12 gauge and $15 on a box of ammo for my 30-06. I have had them both for 6 months and had no ammo for them. They are no longer clubs, they are now guns! Woohoo!

Why didn’t I buy ammo when I bought the guns you ask? Well, two reason: first is because I bought them at the same time at a pawn shop on my lunch break and didn’t have the time to go somewhere else to buy more; and second because I spent a little more than I had budgeted for the guns and couldn’t afford any ammo. Like my tag line says, no time and no money. That’s more than a catch phrase, that’s the reality I live.

I wish I could have bought more because I have a serious concern about ammo “becoming” scarce in the not too distant future. I think that would be a very good – albeit shady – way to sneak in gun control when so many are opposed to it. Plus, you never know if and when the economy is going to implode, and it would be nice to have plenty of ammo for protection as well as barter should the need arise. After seeing last week’s news about Spain outlawing transaction in cash that exceed 2500 euros, it makes me think that kind of action is getting closer and closer to home. I can see what is happening in Greece (if I look somewhere other than our major news outlets), and have read what Ferfal has said about the collapse in Argentina (in fact they just nationalized a foreign owned company last week). I already have enough invested in silver, so I won’t be buying more until I get more of my cash invested in ammo, medicine and food. Vman has told me that during the UN sanctions on Yugoslavia, gold and silver were almost useless, but if you had gas or ammo you could buy just about anything. The flip side to that is, if it takes another 10 years (or whatever) to end up in that scenario, silver could double in value and you could simply sell some of it and pocket the 100% return or purchase more resilience preps with it while still maintaining some of your silver investment. Just some food for thought.

Actions taken toward resilience 4/25/12:

  • Sent resume to Heather (a contact with our onsite staffing company) yesterday [prepping for personal crisis resilience – the most likely kind according to the threat probability matrix]
  • Bought ammo for 30-06 and 12 gauge today [obvious how this is prepping]
  • Bought 60 quart igloo cooler with high efficiency rating for a great price – excellent for bug out; keep in trunk in case the store by work has a sale on meat. [cutting grocery costs means more money for preps; investing in food – a commodity]