Saturday, 1 November 2014

11:30 – November is coming in like a panda. That is, not the cute, furry pandas that women and children love, but like a real panda with fangs, claws, and a really nasty disposition. Today it’s raining, in the low 40’s (~ 5C), and with wind gusts to 30+ mph (48+ kph).

I keep getting emails from people that begin “I’m not a prepper, but …”. As in, “… I’ve stored a few months’ supply of food for my family” or “… we are in the process of relocating to a small town because I’m concerned about civil unrest in the cities” or (my personal favorite) “… my wife and have bought a riot shotgun and AR-15 rifle for each of us, along with a thousand rounds per gun”.

My usual response starts “Yeah, you are a prepper by any reasonable definition.” In fact, using a strict definition, nearly everyone is a prepper. If you store extra batteries for your flashlight in case of a power outage, you’re a prepper. If you keep a few cans of food on your pantry shelf and a small woodpile for your fireplace in case you’re snowed in, you’re a prepper. If you buy a disused missile silo and stock it with enough supplies to last a hundred people for a decade, you’re a prepper. It’s all a matter of degree.

I’m not sure how or when it happened, but somehow in many people’s minds the idea of being prepared for emergencies has become something to be embarrassed about. This is a new phenomenon. For tens of thousands of years, people were no more aware of the concept of prepping than fish are of water. It was just something everyone did as a matter of routine. If you didn’t store food in the summer and autumn, you and your family would starve to death that winter. If you didn’t lay in a supply of firewood, you’d freeze. And so on.

I think the root of the problem is that since WWII life has become too easy and that, despite history and all of the evidence to the contrary, most people believe “it can’t happen here”. This phenomenon is limited to the Baby Boomers and later generations, all of whom grew up safe, protected, and amidst plenty. Earlier generations, those who reached adulthood before, say, 1950, knew hardship: war, rationing, economic depression, soup kitchens, fearsome plagues like the Spanish flu and polio, and so on. They were perfectly aware that real emergencies were commonplace and that it could happen here. And essentially all of them prepared to the best of their abilities for such events.

Even as late as the 60’s, preparedness was the norm, probably because the adults who were making the decisions had lived through the Great Depression and WWII. Many families built and stocked basement fallout shelters, some minimal but many extensive. When I was growing up, I knew of at least half a dozen families in our immediate neighborhood who had done so. Even those who hadn’t built a formal shelter often stocked considerable amounts of shelf-stable foods, commercial or home-canned.

All schools had stocked shelters, and students participated regularly in drills. Not just for nuclear attack, but for other emergencies like tornadoes and severe winter storms. As a second-grader in 1962, Barbara spent a night in a fallout shelter with other students, eating shelter biscuits and drinking canned shelter water. Even young elementary school students knew where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. Nowadays, even most adults are completely clueless. This is not a good thing.

22 thoughts on “Saturday, 1 November 2014”

  1. the adults who were making the decisions had lived through the Great Depression and WWII

    The adults making the decisions now are boomers.

    This phenomenon is limited to the Baby Boomers and later generations, all of whom grew up safe, protected, and amidst plenty.

    And I’d question whether a lot of them “grew up”, as I’d define the term. Learning that actions have consequences, learning that lack of action has consequences, learning that wishing doesn’t make it so, learning that you aren’t a special snowflake and that the world doesn’t automatically give you everything you want.

  2. “This is not a good thing.”

    Depends on one’s point of view; I’m guessing that many of our global elites think it’s a good thing, actually, because it will tend to lead toward more mass die-offs. It’s pretty clear, is it not, that in the event of a major nationwide catastrophe, most people are not gonna make it nowadays. We have the example of Katrina, for one thing; multiply that by a thousand or ten-thousand.

    “And I’d question whether a lot of them “grew up”, as I’d define the term.”

    Indeed. From my vantage point, just looking at how most of them choose to dress themselves and what they do for entertainment is a big clue. No, they haven’t grown up and have no intention of doing so. Their kids and grandkids likewise. We’ve got three generations of special snowflakes, and while most of us on this board are boomers, I do not include most of us in this category, however.

    If the shit ever really hits the fan badly here, we are mos def lookin’ at mass die-off. Most of the population is concentrated in large metropoles on the coasts and is utterly dependent on the existing infrastructures, systems and three-day goods inventories. I don’t care much for their chances, and frankly, I’d get outta the Houston and Lost Wages areas, among others, ASAP, and you know who you are. I’m also, frankly, concerned somewhat about our proximity to the interstate here and just over an hour to Montreal now that they’ve completed half of the new highway connector up there. So it may be a good thing that we’ve got a new lease on life with the cottage up in northern Nouveau Brunswick and I may seriously consider making regular trips up there and stocking it accordingly. The locals know Mrs. OFD and MIL pretty well and like them, plus Mrs. OFD speaks Francais and I can do a bare minimum myself. They’re good folks up there, too.

    Overcast fall day here and Mrs. OFD is off to Phoenix, AZ.

  3. In a way, I can see why disposal companies and landfills do not want to deal with this stuff.

    We are, after all, one Nation under God, of the Lawyers and for the Lawyers…

    Imagine the board meeting at Ambulance Chasers, Inc.:

    Lawyer #1: “I’m bored. Suing drug companies is so…yesterday…”

    Lawyer #2: “I know! Our next TV ad campaign can be: ‘Have you gotten a case of the sniffles or run a fever at any time in your life? Have ashes from medical incinerators traveled anywhere within a hundred miles of your town? Call Ambulance Chasers, Inc. RIGHT NOW for a free and confidential consultation! YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A CASH AWARD!'”

  4. Steve, medical waste is really tightly controlled and damn expensive to dispose of. It’s one reason why if you go to the pediatrician and change you baby’s diaper, they won’t throw it away for you. Since it was in a doctor’s office, it’s medical waste. At home, or in the building restroom down the hall, it’s not. They have to pay by the pound andd through the nose to dispose of it. And if the company doesn’t dispose of it properly, the doctor is also liable.

  5. I’m aware of all that. It’s the point I was trying to make. As I said, I can see why these companies don’t want to get involved in handling hot topic materials that are not already specifically listed in their contracts.

    Follow all the rules and then still have to defend yourself against a baseless lawsuit by a firm that specializes in baseless or near baseless law suits.

    Especially if the rules change at a later time.

    Sue the still existing companies for using asbestos in the 1940s, even though those companies followed the rules as they existed at the time.

    A half dozen over-weight people with heart trouble figure if 1 Dietac twice a day is good, surely 6 eight times a day is better. Sue Johnson & Johnson because they didn’t have a company rep handy to snatch those extra pills away from the people ignoring the prescribed dose.

    The vast majority of the “call us now” law suits are on very shaky ground and the firms are depending on scaring Big Pharma or whoever their target is into settling instead of going to court because there’s no telling how the modern barely educated jury will vote.

    It’s become the American Way.

  6. “… US gun dealers are overstocked. Maybe there will be some Christmas sales.”

    Probably with actual firearms but still, not so much with certain ammo. I remain kinda amazed and amused by the plethora of AR manufacturers and associated third-party gear. Wish I’d bought stock or sumthin back when. And now I’m seeing ads in the gun rags for that cutting-edge rifle that shoots around corners and remains locked on targets, not to mention lotsa suppressors. Add in the 3D printing stuff and things should get mighty interesting in this country at some point.

  7. My experience over the last 40+ years is that shooting is a lot like golf or most other hobbies. It’s about the gear.

    Barbara was on the golf teams of her high school and college, and was good enough that she seriously considered turning pro. (As in, shooting par or sub-par on difficult courses while driving off the men’s or championship tees.) Back then she embarrassed a lot of 30-, 40-, and 50-something guys, with her playing with her basic set of clubs from Sears and them playing with their premium clubs. Some of them had as much money invested in their golf bags as they would have paid for a good used car.

    Same deal on the range. I remember one day shooting on a 500-yard range with several attorneys and doctors who had expensive customized rifles with Zeiss or other high-end scopes and all the accessories. There I was with my $100 used Remington 788 in .308 and an inexpensive scope, and there was another guy who had a beat-up looking .30-06 Springfield ’03 with what looked like a WWII military issue scope. At least I shot better than the doctors and lawyers, but this guy embarrassed us all.

    It’s not about the equipment. It’s never about the equipment, but it’s a lot easier to buy expensive gear to impress people than it is to learn to use what you have.

  8. Agreed. A lot of the dopes buying up the wacky third-party gear and putting all kinds of junk on the AR’s and semi-auto pistols have nearly zero experience at sustained shooting/training, let alone being in actual combat situations. For the latter, some of the advanced tactics training available now and taught by experienced combat vets is worth taking but again, only to a point. Eventually a person may have to make a split-second decision to, as the title of the late Col. Rex Applegate’s book says, “Kill or Get Killed.”

    Speaking of which, the current Guns & Ammo mag has a couple of pro and con letters concerning the magazine including quotes from the old-school pioneers like Col. Cooper and Elmer Keith. I come down hard and solidly on their inclusion, and would add the late Bill Jordan (“No Second Place Winner), Applegate, Fairbairn, Townshend and others, and will be emailing them a letter of my own accordingly. Punk-ass mofos nowadays think that their spiffy and expensive AR with all the doodads and geegaws on it will save their asses, but they need to listen up to those dead white males.

    The current issue also has a spread on the newest air rifles, in case anyone’s interested.

  9. At least Obola hasn’t claimed he freed our Marine, yet.

    Another Dumbocrat Bill Richardson, however, claims he was “instrumental” in our Marines release. Talk about tooting your own horn. He could have been silent and let Tahmooressi praise who needs to be praised.

  10. One of the continuing problems/issues with typical Dumbocraps and RINOs and libtards and progs is they just love to toot their own horns every chance they get. So we have the spectacle of Larry Klinton and his lovely wife Bruno out on the speech hustings and raking in the dough, shortly to be followed by Barry Soetero, the Indonesian/Hawaiian/Kenyan hadji/commie and *his* lovely wife, Moochelle. Like him or not, we’ve heard pretty much zip from Shrub and the former First Lady, Laura, since they’ve been gone from Mordor. Richardson has been involved in other such “rescues” of Murkans dumb enough to get caught up in foreign shit-holes and thus he’s probably got a book in the works and/or the talk-show circuit.

    Gee, one wonders if the Marine will also be invited to the White House with his parents…

    Oh wait–he’s not a hadji symp.

  11. [snip] It’s not about the equipment. It’s never about the equipment, [snip]

    The golfer Lee Trevino used to say that it’s the indian, not the arrow. But the pros on the PGA Tour all have equipment which is as well suited to their game as is possible, and which is built to the tightest tolerances available. I’m willing to bet that the old guy w/ a Springfield could really do great things with a custom rifle & Zeiss scope.

    And relative to yesterday’s travel bag comments, my backpack / laptop carrier had a second power supply, mouse, pad, patch cords, etc. I only have to move the actual computer.

  12. Thanks, pcb_duffer; that is what I am going to set up for Mrs. OFD; a pooter bag that has all that duplicate stuff in it, so she only has to pop the laptop in there and go. Preferably have everything she’s taking packed in the trunk of the car the night before so all she has to do is get up and drive to the airport.

    But married life has taught me a few lessons, one of which is that attempting to inculcate and apply common sense is a task of Sisyphus. Or Hercules.

  13. “I’m willing to bet that the old guy w/ a Springfield could really do great things with a custom rifle & Zeiss scope.”

    I am reminded of the Finn, Simo Häyhä, whom the Russians nick-named “Белая смерть” or “White Death” during the Winter War in 1939-1940. Using a Finnish variant of the Mosin-Nagant M/28 chambered in 7.62x53R and only iron sights he is credited with 505 confirmed kills of Soviet soldiers in just under 100 days. He disdained scopes as they would fog in the cold, and glare from the sun would reveal his position. He was eventually shot in the face just before peace was declared and Finland switched sides to join the Allies, but Simo survived and eventually died in 2002 at the ripe old age of 96.

    When asked how he became such a good shooter, he tersely replied “practice”.

  14. I’m willing to bet that the old guy w/ a Springfield could really do great things with a custom rifle & Zeiss scope.

    Well, the 1903 was a NM star barrel model…

  15. When I was an AF “counter-sniper” out in Kalifornia waiting for my chance to nail SLA perps, or the Zodiac Killer, or the Death Angels, or for that matter, Hell’s Angels, or any VC attempting to slip through the wire at the mountaintop radar site, I did not use a scope. For the same reasons the Finn guy had; mountain air fogged my glasses sometimes, let alone a scope, and of course the glare from sunlight giving away my position nicely. They sent me to all that training and then back to SEA where I was issued an M60 (again) and spent six months on air base defense and six months aloft as enlisted air crew.

    Given the choice now I’d use the scope, though, and I’ll be modding an M-N at some point for long-distance experiments.

  16. Hope I can stay awake until 2:00am, so I can go around the house and set all the clocks back to 1:00am. Every year I replace more stuff with radio-controlled clocks, but the thermostat, stove, and microwave still require manual setting.

    Oh — almost forgot about the car. Hope nobody thinks I am stealing it by being out there at 2:00am.

  17. Ditto here on thermostat, stove and microwave.

    I’m only up this late so I could take the call from Mrs. OFD in regard to her safe arrival in Phoenix. I’ll check on the cah clock tomorrow.

    Happy All Souls Day to all.

  18. Dang! Those congress critters are faster than Santa Claus.

    I sat up all night with a meat cleaver hoping to gather some new finger bones for my necklace while teaching them to keep their hands off my clocks, and I didn’t even see them when they changed my clocks!

    Heck, unlike RBT and Santa, I didn’t even get a glimpse of them as they ran away. When they want to be, they’re slicker’n runny snot on a water slide.

    If only they could hold their congressional hearings at the same speed…

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