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.