Doom! as personal as a punch in the nose.

July 28, 2011

       I don’t know what will happen with the world or the economy. I do know the PTB’s are saying it won’t be to bad or it could be worse. Needless to say that doesn’t fill me with a lot of optimism. As many folks say plan for the worst and hope for the best. But I think the “worst” I’ve planned for just scratches the surface on how bad it may get.
        As I’m on SSD, I do worry about austerity and cuts to my benefits. I could take a cut and I planned for it. but what about other folks having to deal with cuts and didn’t plan, and believed the lies that everything is fine. They believed the Govt and they saw all the taxes taken out of their paychecks for 40 years. But what if the Feds cut all entitlements in half?, stop paying pensions? how about the Agriculture subsidies or food stamps.This is happening Europe right now and Turbo Timmy has already raided the Federal workers pensions.
      One of the worse things about this is that all of this starts a feedback loop.

  1. I’m afraid I won’t get my SSD, it could be your pension, paycheck or unemployment. So you cut way back on your spending. You have stopped taking on more debt, or things are so bad you are using you credit cards to get just the basics.Which put’s you more in debt and starts to kill you an inch at a time because of higher interest. Perhaps you have a 401k and you take out some money or a loan for this emergency. Less money in the market, lower prices and lower profits mean less taxes taken in.  
  2. Now local businesses don’t have any customers, and the are on the edge of making it because of higher costs. A guy just set up a little kiosk in the local mall, lots of local artists metal work at a very good price. I wanted to spend about $50.00-$100.00 to finish up buying Birthday and Xmas gifts for the year. Now I can’t because the idiots in DC say they “might not” pay SSD. 
  3. I’m okay, as it’s not really costing me money not to buy. But it’s crushing this guy and his business, the state gets no sales tax and the US Gov. can’t tax non-existent income from his business.
  4. Now I’m only one person but let’s say 10-20 million folks are thinking like me and are just getting the basics. That’s a hell of a lot of money just sitting doing nothing. So that means less revenue, lower GDP, fewer jobs etc.

That is why it is so reckless to play these games in DC. “Wining the Game” has becomes more important than serving the “People” or saving the Country. 


DC needs to have a coming to reality meeting.

July 26, 2011

In any budget you must identify needs and wants.  What works as you planned and what has failed.

  1. Dept. of Energy is a fail, When it was created we were dependent on 55% for fossil fuels now it’s 77% and it has not created any new energy. It’s not working kill it.
  2. Dept. of Education is a fail: I’m fairly bright and work at a library and the internet. I can pass basic CLEP tests in history in flying colors. But I’d have a very difficult time just getting to higher learning in a pre- 20th century university, Hell even a 17th century of knowing some of what was considered then basics of higher learning.  Send it back to the states
  3. Kill the US postal service. All that is required is a postal service. Nothing is said that they must be government employees.
  4. Kill treaties: As Thomas Jefferson said friends to all and allies to none. Kick off the UN hell  off our land . They speak french send them back to Paris or Quebec. 
  5. Stop all government supported research. If companies want a leg up on monies see the banks or stock market.
  6. NEA:  If you like museums and art galleries and Opera pay for it. I love history and support history museums. I hate Opera, well I don’t hate Opera I just  don’t care enough to support it.
  7. NPR: How socialist is this outfit? I’m sure the good shows will be picked up by the cable channels.

I’m sure others would have a different bent. But why should anyone be forced to support anything you do not care about. I would leave it up to you to support what you care about and not be force to support what I care about. It’s your money do what you will.  I think Weird Al is very entertaining, you may love Wagner and Mozart. I think they all have value but I don’t think you should support what I like or vice a verse a.


Time to count blessings again…

July 26, 2011

Most everything I need is taken care of, I have food, water, shelter, sanitation and security. I have backups and medical supplies. I have bit of cash on hand and an “Emergency Fund”. I can survive a cut in power, water and sewer for weeks if needed. I have the choice of bugging in or bugging out, depending on the situation. I’ve helped those that will listen and ignore those that won’t listen. I’ve starved the beast and placated it when needed. I’ve been learning what battles need to be fought and when to keep your head down.

I am not the problem. I am part of the solution.

That’s kind of a bold statement, but I believe it’s true


Had a gentleman thank me for my service today.

July 26, 2011

       I told him I had nothing better to do with my time, but that’s not true. I loved the Army and I loved serving my country. I belived there was no higher honor than to place yourself between War’s wasteland to protect folks. I worked with heros, not that they wearn’t scared. Most were terrified and still did the job.
  I spent 13 years in the Army plus a couple years in the Nat. Guard. I did not serve in a war zone. Closest I came was providing comms and feeding a Sat. uplink from Germany back to DC. Perhaps guarding civilians after 9/11 overseas. No firefights, just lots of training and sending my kids to fight those wars.
The most decorated man in USA history (Audie Murphy) said a hero is nothing more than a coward that got cornered. I’ve met MOH and folks with the DSC and they are some of the most unassuming folks. They say they did nothing special, they just did what they had to do. Most don’t survive.
     So if you meet a person bragging up medals won. Especially the Purple Heart as it takes no effort to simply get shot with lotsa lead flying around. If they claim to be SEAL, SF or Delta and all their records are classified, if records are classified they should not be claiming to members of those units. I think most folks in the military are honest about what they have done.  I’ve also known some that are PX rangers and look to get chicks with a bit of shiny stuff to pin on.
    I did my job as well as I could and I worked very hard at it. I sent my kids off to war and 1 died and I hate that I wasn’t there. I did my best and that’s all anyone can ask. But I don’t think I’m special. I did my job and maybe did a bit above average by a little. But I’m no hero by any stretch of the imagination.


Looks like a few more days of posturing in DC…Then the debt ceiling will be raised

July 24, 2011

     I’m not to heart broken. Oh, I know the system will crash eventually, but I am as ready as I can be. I didn’t really need more stupidity from DC to convince me I’m doing the right thing in preparing. Hopefully a few other folks “woke up” got a little scare and will prepare a bit. Though I’m not holding my breathe.
    Plus there are some really good buys I want to take advantage of. Lee has a complete reloading set up for $82.00 50th aniversary Factory sale. My local Big Lots has canning jars $7.25 for a case of 12 and all sizes from 1/2 pints to quarts. I prefer wide mouth lids but its hard to go wrong at that price.
     Yes my emergency fund and cash would have carried me for 3 months easily. When you live cheap and have few or no debts it’s easy to do. It’s just a lot of work to get there. I’m working on 6 month Emergency fund of bills and then I’ll start working on the mortgage next year. I know I can’t do it all at once, it takes time to build just like getting your preps. Hopefully I have plenty of time, if not I’ll do the best I can in the time given. Not perfect but it’s the best use of my resourses given what I know at this time.


Ran the cycle of EZ make beer recipes

July 24, 2011

      I just tried the Dark ale and it’s good. I’m still trying to decide what ale I like best. I think it will depend on weather and how I feel. I think I like the Pale ale the least, a bit to mild tasting, but I think it will be good for adding additional flavors that don’t have to fight a heavy ale. Also the pale ale would be good for folks that like a lighter taste. Had my first little catastrophe as my wheat beer fermenter blew my airlock right off the bucket. Cleaned it up and reset it and in a weird way I’m greatful. This beer making was going to well and I was getting a bit nervous. Also had  a couple of bottles that didn’t have the caps on tight enough. Hopefully everything can be saved and I have a couple of mistakes to fix and learn from for the future.
    Took the neighbor to the beer shop and she said she had thought beer brewing was a lot more complicated. But if you are using extracts and not whole grains it’s easy and doesn’t take up much space. So I’m hoping she will look to brewing in the near future. They gave me a bunch of “Tall Boy” bottles and bought the fixings for an Amber ale which should be ready to bottle in a couple of days.

I love to teach and it’s gratifing to have someone eager to learn. Plus I get a lot from them as well.

Some more lessons learned:

  1. Having 2 fermenting buckets to rotate gives you a lot of flexability. I’ve averaged about a week for fermentation on the easy beer recipes. 
  2. Have plenty of bottles on hand. Better to have to many than not enough. 
  3. Fliptop cap bottles are great and much easier than using a bottle capper. For me it’s worth the up front cost and will pay for themselves eventually by not having to buy bottle caps.
  4. Keep some 12-16 oz bottles on hand for sharing, gifts and taste testing.  You won’t be out much money if they don’t get returned.
  5. I like the larger bottles for bottling. It seems to make bottling faster and easier. 
  6. Have a couple of plastic bottles (I use Mr.Beer) for the carbonation stage. If the bottle can’t be squeezed you are good to go on carbonation, and you can work on conditioning and or drinking your beer. I put the bottles big tupperware crate for the carbonation stage. If the bottles explode I want it contained and easy to clean up.

If at all possible don’t go shopping the 1st week of August!

July 24, 2011

    I think I’m fairly well prepared, I hope you are as well. It’s awesome the first time when you go to the pantry and not to the store to get what you need. But no matter if you have 3 weeks or 3 years of all you need I’d stear clear of any shopping for the 1st week of August if possible. If you can get your fuel and other basics in the last week of July. Think of it as a practice run of shopping before a disaster. Use cash and barter, see what merchants locally might take some junk silver/ pre 1964 coins, always good info to know.
    I do think that all checks will go out from the Gov. in August, but folks are always a bit nutty and if scared you don’t want to be around them. I know I’m feeling a few butterflies myself and I’m well prepared. I can just imagine how someone with no preps/backups in place would feel some panic. Plus with the heat, rolling blackouts can make folks a bit more short-tempered than usual. So keep aware and if you get a bad feeling, trust it and get out of the way.
   


Please congress critters don’t play games with me.

July 22, 2011

     You want to freeze, SS and vet benefits. Please come out and say so instead of accounting gimmicks of the chained CPI. We have ate 2 years worth of inflation and no COLA with no increase in payments except we must pay more into medicare. I can eat a 10% cut, most can’t and would be thrown onto welfare roles of one sort or another. Theese are not folks that live high on the hog. They got no TARP bailout. Some actually invested in bonds and got screwed by your bail outs of GM and Chrysler. But you saved the unions, Dems and you Repubs are saving the banks. That $200,000.00 that the citizens a bit low to scrape by on? (Base pay of $175,000.00 and benies Congress critters ) President makes about $380,000.00  Plus you don’t have to follow the laws you enact.
    Let see you live on what I make of $18,000.00 per year and I live on your pay rate Mr. Obama? I ‘ll pay my Mortgage and won’t use Air force one or need secret service protection,  I’ll protect myself. So do this for a few folks that don’t have so much money they can’t spend. A few $20, 000.oo shouldn’t hurt you much. You got free housing and Michelle is growing a garden. It’ll be good You don’t need that money!
Or perhaps what an military mid-grade officer/enlisted makes per year in retirement? Mr. Obama if you have a couple of hundred grand you don’t know what to do with I can make some suggestions. We must be paying our government workers to much as they have so much money they don’t know what to do with it. Let’s cut 25% across the board for all Federal employees.
    Yes that does sound dumb. I don’t care if you are rich or poor. I do want all I paid in in taxes and sacrificed in body and bone. VA health care and $18 grand a year I don’t think is much to expect. I don’t get food stamps, or anything else. I do get a bit peeved when some asshole pulling down almost $400,000. 00 per year and living rent free asks me to sacrifice.


Don’t screw with heat, be proactive

July 22, 2011

    Some of you are doing a lot already and trying to stay cool. No cooking inside with a stove, drinking lot’s of water, using fans and water to create a cooling effect: mini-fountans or ice buckets and burlap/behind fans.My Dad set up misters of PVC pipe and a garden hose that cools quickly. Another person in Texas put a soaker hose on his roof that seems to cool well.
If you have a basement or storm cellar think about sleeping below ground. Not perfect it’s a start and you need to get a good rest and sleep time.  If you get a headache drink more water, a pinch of skin and it doesn’t spring back in less than a half second, drink more water. Works for kids, adults and pets. Heat injuries can kill, don’t screw around with them. Watch urine output, and it should be a light yellow in healthy folks. If not make them drink more water until they pee.If they can’t drink water call 911 and get them to a hospital.


Folks are getting a bit scared

July 20, 2011

     Some of this is based on my local observations and comments I’ve heard. So take it for what it’s worth as a data point and not a research paper or scientific study. Today I got my check from the gov.  for my disability. So shopping is always more busy on Wed. But I saw a bit more buying and a few more comments from clerks about how folks were buying up stuff. I think the SS, military, VA benefits checks not going out was a bluff, but some folks are reacting like it may happen and are stocking up a bit  (I Hope), or planning to get drunk and forget about their problems and hope it’s a bluff.
    I think most folks are starting to see at least that FRN’s (Federal Reserve Notes) are getting ate via inflation. No matter what the official rate of inflation is 2.7%. Folks know they have a lot of month left after the paycheck is spent. Basic foods like bacon, coffee, butter, milk, pasta and bread prices are rising monthly if not weekly. Energy prices and mad weather has made things harder and more costly. Amtrak trains are getting held up by the flooding in the Mid-West. Well you can bet freight cars are having a devil of a time as well. Between flooding and the drought America’s bread basket has been devastated Yet the USDA is saying things are fine, highest amount of “plantings” in years. Perhaps as fields die from drought and flooding farmers are replanting the same fields again trying to get some kind of harvest.
      This isn’t a dose of Doom so much as a dose of letting you know you are not crazy!  Basics are getting more expensive! The Media, Elites and government are lying to you. Things are bad and will get worse. But you still have time to get the basics and get a few good prices on items to see you through this. Beef should see a price drop the next few weeks. Time to make room in the freezer and buy some canning jars so you can take advantage of it. Grains, Cotton and Dairy, I think will keep going up in price, but there is always a bit of lag time built in. So while prices are not great.  I think they will be higher in a couple of months. Energy: if you can your heater oil/gas, and few gas cans filled with fuel. Insulate your home will give a huge bang for your buck if you can afford it.
     Financials: Get as debt free as quickly as possible. Cut out all that is not a need, and live on 70% of your income. It can be done, but only if you get out of debt. That other 30% must go toward 10% savings/ debt reduction, 10% Emergency Fund and 10% charity (this can begin at home).  Have 1 month of cash for month of bills at home (in 20’s) not in a bank. Build an “Emergency Fund” of 5 months total income in a money market or savings account. Something you can write a check and pay a big unexpected bill.  I’m a big physical PM (Precious Metals) fan as opposed to any of the other markets. While you can’t eat gold or silver, paper stocks, bonds, T-bills and FRN’s are not very nutritious either.
    I have done all of the above, 1 person making about $18,000 a year. No other assistance though I did qualify to get my house insulated. It’s not that hard living on less than $1200.00 per month in Idaho, I have Sat. TV, an Internet connection, a 2003 Kia mini-van, I buy silver and my home I’ve saved a bit of cash, got a bit of fuel, food and water. I started earlier than most folks and got a bit better price. But anyone can do it! I’m not special, except I think out of the “Box” on how to get things done.