Thursday, 16 October 2014

09:12 – One of the first things I do when I start a book is scope out the competition. I find the best book and the best-selling book on the topic–often not the same book–and scan through it/them to make sure I can write a better book. Ideally, of course, I want to crush the market leader, to make the author slink home whimpering with his tail between his legs. (This doesn’t always work out; there have been several books I’ve considered doing, but I found that an existing book would be hard to beat. If I can’t beat it, it’s pointless for me to write a new book.)

So, when I was stubbing out The Ultimate Family Prepping Guide, I did some looking around. Apparently, both the best general prepping book and the best-selling one is The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster by Tess Pennington. I ordered a copy on the 11th, which arrived yesterday. (Oddly, Amazon Prime charged me only $19 on 10/11, but the price is now showing as $27.) This book really is a best-seller. Its current Amazon rank is #245, which means it’s probably selling several thousand copies per month.

The book arrived yesterday, and I spent an hour or so flipping through it. It’s not a bad book, but she’s obviously trying to write in detail on many topics that she has little or no actual experience of. I can write a better book. Interestingly, her book is pretty much a collection of the articles from her web site, so you don’t really need to buy the book if you’re willing to scroll through 50+ separate articles.

My book may not sell as well as hers because I have neither the time nor the inclination to market the book as heavily as she does hers. Still, word of mouth has worked pretty well for our science kits and I suspect it will for this book as well.


38 thoughts on “Thursday, 16 October 2014”

  1. You can broaden your target demographic by adding a few additional chapters:

    “How to keep the romance alive while living in your basement eating canned food.”

  2. Have you seen The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando Aguirre? I have been thinking about picking up a copy. The biggest disadvantage seems to be that the author’s first language is not English. The biggest advantage of the book over all the others seems to be all the others are about how to survive if the economy collapses, but this one is written by someone who has already been through all that.

  3. Today is Boss’s Day. So, those of you with a boss be sure to suck up and those of you without a boss be sure to get yourself something nice.

  4. We were posting earlier about medical waste disposal and government regulation of said poopy waste. Here’s your government regulators in action.

    The ‘clipboard man’ became an overnight sensation after he was spotted helping to load Ms Vinson on the plane wearing nothing but a dress shirt and slacks – while the four other medical workers around him were in full hazmat gear

  5. Hi Bob, are you going to address the needs of older people, like me, who are drug dependent?

    I guess that in case of an apocalypse, other than rapture, I need to run to my Walgreens and grab all the metaprolol and rythmol that they have in stock. I can probably take aspirin for warfarin.

    Actually, I suspect that most drug dependent people will die off quickly in an apocalypse.

    Of course, I am beginning to wonder if we are in a slow apocalypse right now.

  6. I’d look into alternative antiarrhythmics and beta-blockers that are easier to source or synthesize (e.g., propranolol and digoxin). Of course, that book I mentioned this morning has an interesting if unrealistic section on how to loot, so you might want to check that out.

    As I’ve said to OFD and others, I plan to be a wizard, which is a good thing to be if the SHTF. I figure there’s a good chance that Paul and Mary will end up taking refuge with us if things turn rotten after we relocate, and there are sure a lot of very useful things that two organic chemists and a wannabe can synthesize, given reasonable resources (which I plan to have). Especially if we just happen to have a copy of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Encyclopedia, all 3600 pages of it.

  7. Hi Bob, are you going to address the needs of older people, like me, who are drug dependent?

    Get your doctor and insurance company to approve 90 day supplies of each. Then “lose” them and get them replaced. Do this a few times until you have a good 12 month supply vacuum-sealed and in the freezer.

  8. Did I just see on network news that the CDC didn’t put a travel ban in place because it was worried it would hurt the African economy?! Since when in the fuck is the economy of African nations the responsibility of the CDC?! This has Obama and/or State Dept written all over it. No way any sane person of science at the CDC would decide that without serious political pressure to do so.

  9. Yep, that’s what you saw. As I said, Obama doesn’t consider himself a citizen of the US. He’s a citizen of the world. And he dislikes the US and our “privilege” and wants to do everything he can to help the third world even at (or especially) at the cost of the US. The SOB is a traitor.

  10. The metric I use all the time is “what would be different?”

    Suppose Obola were a stealth Muslim who hated the US and everything it stands for. What would he be doing differently?

  11. BTW, got my replacement Shell Mastercard today for the card that was killed by Home Depot. The new Mastercard has both a magnetic strip and a computer chip. I wonder how long it will take for the chip to used here in the USA?

  12. The new Mastercard has both a magnetic strip and a computer chip. I wonder how long it will take for the chip to used here in the USA?

    The new Sam’s Mastercard is chipped and already used at Sam’s. There’s a slot at the bottom of the reader where you stick it in during the transaction.

  13. To clarify, Mr Atoz, “the reader” is an electronic device and “it” is the card or the chip on the card, correct? ’Cause, you know, a reader can be a person and, you know, your statement could be misinterpreted and lead to arrests.

  14. “I guess that in case of an apocalypse, other than rapture…”

    Blasphemy!

    I had a rapture earlier here when the new modem picked up the town’s wireless access across the street, which is why I’m here now. The hardwired setup still ain’t working, thanks to the wizards at Fairpoint, who shut us off last Friday, for what reason I still can’t figure out. Our switchover to the biz account from residential was supposed to have been done by 5 PM yesterday, presumably without us losing internet for a whole week. And then still not getting done; now I’m told one order was cancelled, again, I dunno why, and a new order is out for the switch for NEXT Thursday. The woman I spoke with last was very apologetic; I want our net restored ASAP, as in Right Now, and the loss of service reflected accordingly in our next billing statement. Meanwhile we have the town’s WAP about fifty yahds away and right now it’s working pretty well, but previously it was weak and slow. So whatever. If the regular net ain’t back by mid-afternoon tomorrow I’m calling up my new honey at Fairpoint about it.

    “Suppose Obola were a stealth Muslim who hated the US and everything it stands for. What would he be doing differently?”

    Contractor guy who was here last night to look at and measure our windows, etc., bent my ear for two hours and he brought this exact point up. Sez most of the peeps he runs into during his biz (100-job sites per year) and otherwise say the same thing now. Some of us may recall that Mrs. Mooch was more vocal in her distaste for and loathing of the country and its people; the previous Dems, Larry Klinton and his lovely wife Bruno also hate this country and made that clear on many occasions, with especial and specific loathing for its military and police.

    “There’s a slot at the bottom of the reader where you stick it in during the transaction.”

    MrAtoz needs to cleanse his mind ASAP. Too much time under them rotor blades…

  15. “I guess that in case of an apocalypse, other than rapture…”

    Blasphemy!

    Nah, the only blasphemy was assuming that I would be caught up in the rapture. I highly suspect that I will be one of the Left Behind to experience the 1,000 years (or is it 7 years?) of war with the anti-Christ.

  16. Mrs. Mooch gobbles down super-sized fries and burgers when she/it feels like it and yet has the effrontery, the outright brass, the goldurn nerve, to dictate what our children should eat, and by extension, the rest of us. In the fine old tradition of totalitarian rulers everywhere, not least the fat piggies who ran the old Soviet Union and the ones now running Red Chiner and North Korea. And no way is that menu gonna be my lunch, now or in the future; I gotta have 5k calories per day just to get up and down the stairs here and stack firewood. My lunch gon be a Kaiser roll stacked high with ham, turkey, cheese, bacon, maybe some lettuce, tomato and onion, pickles on the side. Followed by a big bowl of Maine-style clam chowdah. Big slice of spiced apple pie with cheddar crust. Breakfast would normally be even larger.

    “…the 1,000 years (or is it 7 years?) of war with the anti-Christ.”

    I could never get all that straight, either, or have since forgot it; there was gonna be some years of battle and struggle while the Prince of Darkness rules the earth, after the actual Rapture. And then he gets his ass kicked (again) by You-Know-Who. We may see a replay of that icon/meme of St. Michael the Archangel slaying the Dragon again, with his foot on the dragon’s head and about to run a sword through him. Hope it takes, this time…

  17. To clarify, Mr Atoz, “the reader” is an electronic device and “it” is the card or the chip on the card, correct? ’Cause, you know, a reader can be a person and, you know, your statement could be misinterpreted and lead to arrests.

    I am a flatdick if that helps.

  18. Hmmm….conflicting definitions…

    Urban Dictionary: flat dick
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term...
    Urban Dictionary
    n. 1 a bitter miserable person who must act in such a way as to make those around him miserable also. 2 a person who can not bear to see others in…
    Urban Dictionary: Flat Dick Syndrome
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Flat...
    Urban Dictionary
    A rare condition where one’s penis is as flat as a piece of plywood. There are approximately 15 individuals who are known to suffer from this condi…

  19. “There’s a slot at the bottom of the reader where you stick it in during the transaction.”

    MrAtoz needs to cleanse his mind ASAP. Too much time under them rotor blades…

    Reminds me of the time a new tax was being proposed here. A radio jock suggested a tax on sex:

    “Before you put it in the slot you’ll have to put it in the slot.”

    I didn’t and still don’t understand, but I suspect it’s rude.

  20. Lynn wrote:

    ” I highly suspect that I will be one of the Left Behind to experience the 1,000 years (or is it 7 years?) of war with the anti-Christ.”

    Seven years. Well, actually, 3.5 years. The first 3.5 years won’t be so bad, the second half will be hell on earth.

  21. I could never get all that straight, either, or have since forgot it; there was gonna be some years of battle and struggle while the Prince of Darkness rules the earth, after the actual Rapture. And then he gets his ass kicked (again) by You-Know-Who. We may see a replay of that icon/meme of St. Michael the Archangel slaying the Dragon again, with his foot on the dragon’s head and about to run a sword through him.

    I would check my Marvel collection for you, but my mom threw them all away while I was off at university. Can’t help this time.

  22. I’d check my J.T.C. collection for you but I lost them some time in the Eighties… 🙁

  23. A regional quarantine is the obvious answer, to anyone with common sense – i.e., not a politician. Europe also has not stopped air flights. It just wouldn’t be PC. Beyond stupid, if you ask me (which, for some reason, they don’t).

    It’s also time to seriously and cold-bloodedly close the open border across the Mediterranean, because we’re otherwise going to be hit with a huge wave of Ebola refugees. Some of who will, in fact, be sick – thereby exposing hundreds more over several days on those overcrowded boats. If Italy and Spain can’t handle the number of refuguees now, just wait a month…

    Failing some political intelligence, the only hope is that this virus isn’t really as dangerous as it currently seems, and that the local outbreaks in Africa can actually be controlled. Apparently Firestone has actually managed this on one of their big plantations – their treatment facilities are just helping the surrounding area now. Ah, the evils of capitalism…

  24. Seven years. Well, actually, 3.5 years. The first 3.5 years won’t be so bad, the second half will be hell on earth.

    Miles, it sounds like running off to Vegas to get married…

    On the school lunch front: RAW cauliflower? I admit I’m not a big fan of cauliflower to begin with, but serving school lunches with raw vegetables is almost guaranteed to make an e. coli outbreak in the public schools the next health crisis .

    After all, one can’t expect Obola’s undocumented illegal migrant farm workers to actually wash their hands between taking a dump and harvesting the produce. That might be discrimination. (Too bad my palate is so discriminating.)

    Oh, to be the chef at the next White House State dinner in Washington! “If Mrs. O says it’s good enough for our kids, it’s good enough for you diplomats!”

  25. Heretic! Cauliflower is wonderful, and I have a great recipe for Cauliflower soup. Broccoli is great too.

    Which reminds me…

    Q. What’s the difference between snot and broccoli?

    A. Kids won’t eat broccoli.

  26. “I’d check my J.T.C. collection for you…”

    Thou shalt be cast into the Lake of Fire! Jack T. Chick, amirite? That dude really hates Catholics, but hell, join the club, Jackie! Have a death cookie!

    “…we’re otherwise going to be hit with a huge wave of Ebola refugees. Some of who will, in fact, be sick – thereby exposing hundreds more over several days on those overcrowded boats. If Italy and Spain can’t handle the number of refugees now, just wait a month…”

    Camp of the Saints.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Camp_of_the_Saints

  27. Miles, I have a kale smoothie recipe you can have cheap!

    WARNING: once you have tasted this smoothie, it cannot be untasted and the memory will remain with you the rest of your life.

  28. I had kale coleslaw a few months back. I wish that could remain untasted also. Cleaned me out though.

  29. I wonder how long it will take for the chip to used here in the USA?

    Not long. The transition is underway. All new cards have the chip. Some issuers are going chip and PIN (used in Europe and most of the world). Most are going chip and signature.

  30. Cauliflower needs to be prepared properly. Microwaving works OK. Be sure to add salt, pepper, and some grated nutmeg. Roasting is really good. Cut into smaller chunks with flat edges, toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Put on a cookie sheet into a hot oven for a while. Yum.

    And kale is good if cooked to remove some of the bitter taste. I make a black bean, sausage, and greens soup in the slow cooker that can use kale, spinach, or the like.

  31. I wonder how long it will take for the chip to used here in the USA?

    Not long. The transition is underway. All new cards have the chip. Some issuers are going chip and PIN (used in Europe and most of the world). Most are going chip and signature.

    A Chevron friend reported that several of his mates put PINs on their credit cards recently for their bimonthly trip to Australia to work at the new LNG plant. Instead of credit purchases, they were charged the debit cash charge for each transaction when prompted for their PINs. Chevron is unhappy to say the least.

  32. A soup I make, Cauliflower Gruel, is really popular with my family. It has plenty of chicken stock, bacon, chicken, beaten egg, etc, to go with the cauliflower.

    It’s unusual for people *not* to ask for a second serve… 🙂

  33. OFD will happily gobble kale and cauliflower so long as it’s mixed up with much larger amounts of other stuff. Ditto broccoli.

    I also make Brussels sprouts by soaking them in salt wottuh for a few hours, then draining and drying them out well, followed by some sea salt, fresh ground peppuh, and either lemon juice or grated Italian cheese on top under the broiler for a few minutes.

    Still on the wireless here; no wired yet, despite their promise of 5 PM today at the latest; I am really peeved now. The town’s wireless was mostly down all day and just came on a few minutes ago here.

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