Good news, in strange sort of way

August 30, 2012

It’s very to easy to be scared and a bit of a doomer when you look at the world today.  Things are probably going to get tougher for a lot of people.  You can’t live in fear and panic all the time, your body and mind just won’t let you.  You can and will adapt if you just move ahead  and take one day at a time.

We are watching this drought and it will cause almost everything to rise in cost.  But we still have time to buy long term items right now and for a couple of months at a low cost.  For example Cash & Carry has a 50 pound bag of flour for $12.95, 25 pounds of black beans for $15.00, 50 pound bag of Calrose rice for $20.00 and a 25 pound bag of grits/polenta for $13.45.  That’s a start for breakfast, lunch and dinner for one person for at least six months for about $60.00. Kind of  boring meals but it is super easy to start adding in other canned goods, spices and meats you can get darn creative on meals for under $100.00 feed a family of 4 for at least one month .

I think the reason we are seeing a mini-spike in food prices is the drought is giving some cover for the food makers and grocery stores to recover from the US Fed’s cheap money policy and planned  inflation.  I don’t blame them most profit margins on food are very small in the 4% on real food a bit higher on the packaged stuff.  I may complain but I did not think they would be able to hold down prices this long.

Now we have a little lag time before food price start to spike a lot higher that we must take advantage of and get what we need for next year.  White flour is good for five years so if you want some for baking get keep buying for 2013.  Emergency Essentials has a Whole Wheat starter kit for $49.99 that includes a small grinder, Cooking with Wheat DVD, 1 pound of yeast and a dough enhancer. This a low cost way to get the items that I’ve been needing to add to my preps for the price of a grinder.  September is “Preparedness Month” so you should be seeing some sales for prep items after Labor day or even some prepping fairs. Be ready to take advantage of those sales.

Disclaimer:  I don’t get anything from Emergency Essentials for recommending them.  I think the food they sell is good quality but usually costs more than I want to spend. I have bought some of the prepping equipment and shipping costs are reasonable and the service is fast and reliable.

So don’t freak out,  panic or go into debt to prep.  Keep your priorities in mind, work your plan and if you can afford it, keep $20.00-$40.00 on hand to grab  any sale items that you can get. Start thinking about shopping for 2013.  If you celebrate any holidays coming up start looking at getting some of those basics now. I know I’m looking for cheap turkeys, hams and Rib eye roasts and they will last 4 months in a freezer. Clothes and computer goods will go on clearance sale after school starts. Camping and sales of summer items are staring to happen. I think Sept. and Oct. are two of the best months to get great buys for a prepper.

The whole point of being a prepper is you are ready for everything from Holidays to the Zombie Apocalypse. Sometimes that seems like the same thing!


Shopping likes

August 29, 2012

Sometimes for a prepper it’s best to buy in bulk and build up a little reserve and hope for the best on hard goods. But after you are feeling a little more confident in yourself as well as trying out some of the cheap stuff.  Getting good quality at a reasonable price is the way to go. I have no fast and easy solutions on how you can tell but to read the reviews and then try it out for yourself.  I bought a couple of new brands of coffee and I want to drink and store coffee I like. For my update the S&W brand was okay but reminds me of Folgers in taste. I’m not a big fan of Folgers coffee. I just opened a can of the “Nice” brand coffee I got from Walgreen’s and it taste a bit more like Maxwell House if not quite as robust.  I tend to like a strong coffee without it getting bitter. My favorite (price point and taste) still tends to be Fred Meyer’s French or Colombian roast or for the expensive stuff the Dunkin’ Donuts brand coffee. That should give you all a good  idea of my tastes for coffee.

I like the Xtra brand laundry detergent as hits a sweet spot on being good detergent at a great price. Family Dollar’s dishwasher detergent is as good as Cascade for half the price.  Sun brand cleaners are cheap but it’s a bit hit or miss on how well they work.  Dawn dish soap is awesome and a great multi-tasker and I will pay extra to get it but it’s a lot cheaper at Family Dollar than at Target.  I tend to buy basic cleaners if I can, there is not a lot of difference between a name brand pine oil or the generic and the same for Ajax/Comet or something like bleach.   Don’t be afraid to try stuff out once you get your basics.   If you don’t care for it add it to your barter box or stuff for charity or handing out.  Just because you don’t like it does not mean everyone feels the same way.  It’s not wasted unless you just toss it in the trash.  Don’t think you will just use any product because there is an “Emergency/Disaster”.  Sure it’s better than nothing but the reason you are prepping is to make life the best not just getting by day to day.

You got to test and trust your preps, I bought a few off brand undies from Big Lots and within a month most had disintegrated  now I only buy Hanes or undies not in a package so I can judge the quality, same for socks.  I trusted Hanes for 100% cotton socks and the weight of material is so thin now that the word “mesh” better describes the material than weave.  But the Stanley socks I found at Big Lots are a good thick weave and material.  That’s the great thing about the barter box even if you don’t care for a product you can toss it in the box and trade or give it away so you have not lost anything on the purchase in the long run.

No you can’t eat gold,silver,  stocks, bonds or paper dollars.  I believe there are some folks that have stocked up on those items and will be willing to trade for stuff they need when times get tough.  Get yourself and your family good and strong on the stuff you need to live and then some.  If the worse happens and you have have a little extra for trade in you barter box then you can see if you you can add a little gold and silver to your stash.


Biglots is having a good sale.

August 28, 2012

I ‘m going to focus on hard goods and food in bulk this month.  I also want to try making some all grain beer.

Big Lots back toschool sale has what looks like real wind up alarm clocks!  At $8.00 each I’ll get at least 1 but I’d like to swing 3 if  the budget allows.  They are having a sale on both TP and paper towels and some 8 GB jump drives.   I like the jump drives because you can keep copies of your important paperwork and Internet library on on them and then carry it on a key chain.  You might be surprised how much data you can store on a $8.00/8GB USB jump drive.

I’m picking up 25 pounds of of Grits/polenta for about $13.50.   You get over 15 servings per pound of grits and you can cook them so many ways for breakfast, lunch and dinner just by adding spices or cooking in different liquids.  So that 25 pounds will have about 375 servings and I want to add some different side dishes made with corn before the price really spikes up do to drought.  Having beans and rice is a good start but you want to mix up your meals to avoid food fatigue. If you like corn tortillas or cooking with Masa Harina I would recommend getting as much as you can afford and store in the next month.

While corn is in the news because of the drought almost all grains will take a hit on quality and go up in costs.  I’m already seeing rising prices for beer making grains and that is primarily Barley and most commercial beers use corn sugar in recipes,  so beer in the grocery store will be going up in price. Flour, breads and pastas will also be going up. These items that are on a lot of shopping lists and while we might see a drop in meat prices in the short term, I would not be surprised to see a huge jump in price of all meats, eggs and dairy very soon!

I know this sounds a lot like buy everything right now and few of us can afford to buy all we would like to have on hand. But hopefully we can save a little money on beef and put those savings towards buying up grains or dairy if you are a little  low on those items for the pantry.  I have been watching the sales circulars and we are seeing some great buys coming up in camping gear so if you are good on your pantry items this is the time of the year to grab a few of those items to finish up you backups and things for BOV as well as making a great “tailgaiting” setup.

I’m  getting the 9mm ammo  stocked up quickly and I figure I should be able to buy about 5 boxes this week. That will be my “metal” buy for this check.  I would like to have bought a little bit of silver but security comes before wealth preservation.  I’m thinking the PTBs will try and hammer silver and gold down again before it can take off,  because folks in metals are expecting it to go up.  We will see a rise on margins like when silver hit the $40.00 + mark.

I  think the PTBs are running out of “fixes” because if gas spikes because of hurricane Issac, higher electricity cost due to the EPA shutting down coal fired plants.  We have even  faster rising food costs due to drought and the Fed is talking about QE3 it won’t matter what the stockmarket looks like because Joe Six Pack is out of money.  Joe won’t worry about buying an Ipad, Iphone or anything but keeping food on the table,  heat in the house and gas to get to work, if still has a job.

Remember for all prepping, get your basic needs filled first.  Food, water, 1st aid/ sanitation, health, shelter(clothing, energy) and security are the critical items. You won’t need to barter if you already have those  items on hand.  Having skills and being able to make or fix stuff via tools is next to build on. Anything like silver and gold should be the last on your list of things buy if you don’t already have the basics.

Look at any local disaster and how quickly there are shortages of just basic goods to survive.  Or how much a generator costs or you can’t buy one at any price, or gasoline or water and food. All the gold and silver in the world may not buy the basics if no one will sell.  Don’t think you can use your guns and bullets will get you what you want as most preppers are well armed and will shoot back.  Darn easy to die from an infection or shock from a gunshot wound if you don’t have some basic supplies and knowledge.  It’s so much cheaper and less risky to get the basics now rather than possibly get shot looking to get your next meal after SHTF.  That’s if you know how to turn what most preppers store in to food!  Grains, rice and beans all take time to prepare, dehydrated food takes water and time as well.  You might get lucky and find a house with all MRE meals but even those are bulky and have a lot of weight and bulk.  Every gallon of water weights about 8 pounds, a case of soup over 12 pounds counting the weight of packaging. Sure you might play brigand and do a smash and grab and carry off at best 9 meals or about 3 days of food if you are in good shape and are lucky.

But why would you do it when you can trade green peices of paper and store what you need now? Especially when most preppers see what they have stored as life itself and they will be more than willing to shoot, shovel and shut up. The cops ain’t going to be around to read you your rights or give you 3 hots and a cot when you rob someone.


Everything is based on Logitics

August 24, 2012

I’m ex military so I tend to use Military terminology so I’ll give you my definitions and how I think about prepping as it relates to the terminology.

Strategy: It’s your end goal, what you want to accomplish.  It might be as simple as having a 72 hour BOB or 10 years of food. But it’s still the primary goal you have set.

Tactics: Now this is how you will reach that goal you set in your strategy.  For a BOB it might be getting 10 packages of ramen noodles and instant oatmeal.

Logistics: is how you get and maintain the resources to meet both your tactics and your strategic goal.  For example if you decide that 10 packages of ramen noodles and oatmeal is your food plan for your BOB you must dedicate your resources to purchasing those items  also the water required to cook those meal, a stove and fuel to heat the water, an easy carry bag to contain the water, stove fuel and food as well as eating utensils and a way to safely clean your plate or dispose of the trash.  You have to consider the weight of the water and would a filter be a good choice, do you have a water source?  If the zombies smell food how will you protect it? It’s a dark cold rainy night and all you have is your BOB do you have a flashlight, rain gear, a shelter and dry clothes to change into? How will you light the fire and keep the fuel burning?

As you can see the logistical challenges expand as you try to meet just a simple goal of a 72 hour bag and it just preparing something simple like ramen noodles or instant oatmeal. The making of a simple meal from your BOB can give you great insight on what you will need for the long haul. All you need to is keep adding more days and more comforts and using your resourses wisely.

This is why great generals always study logistics and bad/arm chair generals study only tactics. Remember each goal can be broken down this way.

For instance My Water needs for my area.

  1. I live in High desert so summers will have very little rain water to harvest but we have months in both fall and the spring that I could store over 6000 gallons based on average rainfall via a 100sq. foot  roof and a big enough storage tank.  So  I need at least 1 gallon a day for one person for at least 3 months and that’s 90 gallons.  I know from my water test that after 3 days I need 3-5 gallons to stay clean, keep the house somewhat clean, wash clothes and water plants. So for 90 days in the dry season  I need 450 gallons of water to get me through the dry season at 5 gallons per day,  and that is only for 1 person.  I can’t afford a 6000 gallons storage tank nor do I think the city would be happy code wise. But I can easily get 4 or more rain barrels in the 50-60 gallon range and use that water for flushing, and sanitation needs after running it through a filter and boiling it I could use it for everything.  I keep over 260 gallons of water that is good for drinking. With the four rain barrels, three sixty gallon potable  water barrels, as well as smaller camp jugs, tarps and buckets I could stay home never venture out for water and I should be okay. So my logistics for water is great if I can stay home and protect my water supply. Even if city water is cut off.   Please look at your kids and or your spouse before you decide you don’t have room to store it and ask your self if really want to watch someone die of dehydration as it’s not pretty. Store it under the bed, get rid of some shoes and stuff and store it in a closet.  Put it in your garage as three sixty gallon barrels of water will fit on a simple 4 foot by four foot pallet with room to spare for an additional 3-4 camp jugs.
  2. You probably stored some dehydrated food, milk and other items so you need water to make that powdered milk good or any freeze dried meal. Add in some kool-aid, Tang or powder drink mix. A glass gallon jar, tea bags and you got sun tea. While you may not be able to go the store for Coke, Pepsi or soda. You can have coffee on hand to take care of any caffeine addiction symptoms.  If you are a coffee drinker get a “French Press” coffee maker. They are simple to use and don’t need to be monitored like a percolator on a stove.

I hope I have given you a different way of thinking about your goals and how to meet them.  I’ve only covered a bit about water and there is more as far as sanitation and cooking.  Tap water is super cheap as well as bleach. You can buy Brita water pitchers for about $15.00 and 3- 5 of the filters on sale that will let you have not only clean water when sanitized but good tasting water.  You have time to buy some powder drink mix that can break the monotony but give you good stuff like vitamin C from Tang or great herbal stuff from green tea to your herb garden.

You must have clean safe drinking water no mater what or you will be dead in 13 days,  either from dehydration 1-3 days or from nasty bugs like Dysentery, Typhus or diarrhea in 2 weeks as you lose fluids.  Have a few gallons of safe water to start for each person, have a filter and a way to boil/sanitize next and then have a way to collect more water.


Feeling agitated Update

August 21, 2012

I don’t know why  I’m feeling agitated and jumpy. It could be the weather as we have thunder storms moving through  the area, the smoke from all the fires  or this Brandom Raub case struck me kinda hard.  Perhaps  it’s because the whole world has decided to get all Higley-Pigley and feels like we are rushing into a disaster, but I’m feeling as nervous as a cat in a rocking chair factory.

Brandon Raub’s story so far:

This is starting to get very scary

Brandon was Detained for some Facebook posts that were supposedly private. He was questioned by both the Secret Service and FBI before being taking by the county cops to a Psych Hospital for evaluation then ordered held another 30 days by a judge

Original story/links

http://washington.cbslocal.com…..ook-posts/

http://dont-tread-on.me/?p=21770

The Rutherford Institute’s information on Raub’s case is available at http://www.rutherford.org.

Latest updates

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/rutherford_institute_defends_marine_arrested_incarcerated_in_psych_ward_det

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/district_court_refuses_to_stop_transfer_of_marine_brandon_raub_to_salem_psy

I was figuring this was just a quick nudge but it is starting to look like the PTBs are going to test the indefinite detention of  the NDAA.

I feel this is something that everyone should be concerned about because this is tyranny!  It doesn’t matter your politics as we have seen both Republicans and Democrats have used the “Patriot act” to do as they wish to protect their power and to hell with the American people and the Constitution.

Get off facebook, get out of the system as much as you can and be self reliant as possible. Whoever controls your or your familie’s food and water will eventually control you.  With what has happened in MF Global and especially the Sentinel fund your money is not safe in any institution from a Credit Union to the big hedge funds, 401 k or IRAs.  Sorry to say this, but Anne Barnhardt is right, ” if you can’t touch it, hold it in your hand or stand in front of it and protect it”. “It’s not yours!”  Get those little green bits of paper turned into something real you can use today or you will need in the future.

Never speak to the police without a lawyer and never consent to a search, make them produce a warrant and read it carefully.  I’m no legal expert but the internet has many sites to educate you about your rights.

I’m  probably on many lists because I scored perfectly on the “Classified Mo. Police/DHS Report” on domestic extremist  back in 2009. that was accidentally released.  What’s ironic with several congress critters and Obama wanting to give aid to syrian rebels they are actually in direct violation of NDAA and the support of Al Qaeda fighting with the rebels.

Update  Brandon has been released

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/attorney-of-former-marine-detained-for-facebook-posts-to-beck-psychiatrist-threatened-to-brainwash-my-client-with-meds/


Busy Sunday

August 19, 2012

As you all know because of my whining my good days have been a little hit and miss.  Saturday was bad for most of the day but towards evening I could get a few things going like boiling up some wort for some ale and doing some laundry.  Lots of breaks and aspirin but I managed to get my bedding replaced and clean.  Rotated my German mattresses (Queen size bed but made with two twin size type mattresses).  I think the mattress may have got a little saggy and was contributing to my aches, pains and lack of sleep. While I’m not back on a normal schedule the sleep I got better sleep and I didn’t wake with back pain.  Getting good rest seems to be a big factor in both my CIDP and my Mom’s Fybro.  I bought extra mattresses while in Germany so rotating them is easy to do and doesn’t cost anything but a little effort.

So I got most of the laundry done Saturday night (yes  I live a such a “party animal” life style) and brewed the ale. I got up Sunday and the house was feeling kind of disgusting and I felt the need to clean.  Not to over do I’m washing down the walls a room and a half at a time with just some pine oil cleaner, a soft bristle push broom and a couple of big sponges. If you are a smoker you will see your walls and windows take on a brown tinge from the smoke and the pine oil soap and brush tends to make short work of it. The sponges just are a followup behind the brush to grab all the dirt.

Cleaned up one small bathroom including walls, the big bathroom about 1/2  of the walls in my bedroom and the kitchen floor which was disgusting and I hadn’t noticed how bad it was until I got it clean.  Got a real good vacuuming done on half of the house.  When I got out of the Army I wanted a really good vacuum and splurged on a Dyson back in 2003 that cost about $300.00 for the basic model. If you keep the beater bar clear, rinse the filters occasionally it is a great vacuum and I’ve had mine for over 9 years and I still love it and it still gets the job done for picking up pet hair and everything else.  I’ve replace only 1 belt in all that time.  Sometimes spending a bit more for quality saves you quite a lot over the long term.  I tend to be  cheap but you have to be careful and cost over the effective lifespan of a product.  Even a t-shirt from Hanes used to be good quality, but now you feel the weight of the cotton, the weave and how tight it is, check out the seams you start looking for a higher quality and pay extra for it.  I got another few yards of fabric.  Another 3 yards of a nice cotton in a almost sage color. I’m well above 20 yards of fabric and quite a lot of thread and I hope to do something with it this winter.  But I’m not going to get crazy, I got the material and if someone want’s to trade great and I can do some simple stuff sewing.  It’s a win/win.


Lessons learned or Murphy’s law of preparing

August 17, 2012
  1. No budget survive contact with the Federal Reserve’s ideas about inflation.
  2. If you have money in the bank at the end of the month. You have missed a payment on a bill.
  3. Whatever you need to live will go up in price.
  4. Whatever you have as an investment will go down in price.
  5. 36 rolls of toilet paper is a critical low for you  and you scan all the sales in an almost panic to have TP on hand.
  6. You like getting phone books and store them as backup Toilet paper or excited that it is a free  “brown” for the compost pile.
  7. When buying a radio the first things you ask:  Does it run on solar,  have a crank generator and will it receive SW bands?
  8. Buying 50 pounds of anything is considered an average shopping item.
  9. Dryer lint is not trash but a fire starter and you feel guilty if you throw it away.
  10. You  go to any government entity and must divest yourself of guns, pepper spray, knives, lighters, matches and all your Everyday carry gear to make the everyone feel safe.  It also takes some time to do it. You never feel safer!
  11. Fifty pound bags  of sand is a multi-tasker, from absorbing bullets, a building material to making a water filter.
  12. You consider 1000 rounds of ammo per gun a good start!
  13. You buy stripper clips and anyone without three magazines per weapon is called a noob.
  14. You know the difference between clips and magazines.
  15. You buy ammo for guns you don’t own.
  16. You get giddy when Bic lighters go on sale.
  17. You have more flashlights than regular lights in your home and placed flashlights in every room.
  18. You are trying to buy an old fashioned wind up watch and you are pissed that all are battery powered.  Same for Wind up clocks.
  19. You know were all the real gas(no ethanol added) stores/pumps are located.
  20. You have heirloom seeds and yet you are learning how to store seeds as you garden.

Pleas feel free to add to the list. I know what we are trying to do is awfully serious. But we must try to see some of the lighter side and humor so we don’t get stressed out.  It’s just life, you come into this world kicking and screaming and to hell with dignity,  I hope you all go out the same way.  But that does not mean we can’t have a sense of humor about it!