Friday, 17 April 2015

07:41 – Most of the news in the local paper is unpleasant, but every once in a great while I see an article that actually cheers me up. There was one of those this morning, about a Wake Forest student volunteering with local middle-school girls to help them get started doing real science. I love seeing young people getting involved in science, but what really made me happy was reading that this Wake Forest student is doing a double major in Biology and Physics with a minor in Chemistry. The world needs more students like this young woman.

Here’s what I did to prep this week:

  • I ordered a dozen more #10 cans of Augason Farms dehydrated foods, including two more cans each of Egg Powder, Butter Powder, Honey-Coated Banana Slices, Brown Sugar, and Lentils, and one can each of Cheese Blend Powder and Granola.
  • I read half a dozen PA novels, including the rest of Steve Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse series, and a couple of non-fiction prepping books, including Joseph Alton’s Survival Medicine Handbook. I also used Kindle Unlimited to check out another dozen or so books. None of those were worth taking the time to read in full. In general, books of this class range from mediocre to abysmal, but there are a few bright spots. What’s interesting is the sheer volume of books available. Prepping has obviously become a serious concern for a lot of people and has become a big business. Sam’s Club and Costco both feature emergency food on their web sites and in their monthly promo flyers, which they wouldn’t be doing if they weren’t making lots of money at it.
  • I put in another couple days’ work on the non-fiction prepping book.

So, what precisely did you do to prepare this week? Tell me about it in the comments.

12:20 – I got email from Jen, the woman who contacted me a month or so ago about how to get started prepping. Her list this week is about ten times the size of mine. Talk about a Whirling Dervish. She’s gone from basically unprepared a month ago to being better prepared now than literally 99.99% of the population. She and her husband have also started to socialize with the prepper couple next door, who were formerly just friendly neighbors. Both couples are pleased, not least because their critical skillsets don’t overlap much.

But Jen has run into the same problem that nearly all couples do at some point when it comes to prepping. She’s reasonably comfortable at this point, but thinks they still need to do a lot more. Her husband is completely comfortable with their level of preparation as it is. He’s not yet voiced strong opposition to doing more, but as I told Jen, that day will probably come. Her brother’s family is similarly split, but this time it’s he who wants to do more and his wife who thinks they’ve done enough.

I’m in the same situation with Barbara, who believes in being well prepared but thinks we’ve already done enough. Except, of course, that she really wants to relocate to a small town away from the city. I’m reasonably comfortable with where we stand, and we have all of the major purchases out of the way. But I would like to extend our food supply further by purchasing more cheap bulk staples for dry packing as well as additional stuff like fruits and vegetables in #10 cans. At this point, I don’t think it’s the cost that concerns Barbara as much as the space and clutter. I’m going to try to do something about those over the coming weekends.

Incidentally, I suggested to Jen that she should start posting here herself, because I think she could make some useful contributions, but she wants to remain as low-profile as possible, so she’ll just keep emailing me when she has something to say. I asked her about quoting her emails anonymously, but she prefers not.