Sunday, 2 October 2016

09:44 – Last month was really slow for kit sales. The first half of the month was normal for September, or a bit better. Around the 15th, sales fell off a cliff and we ended up doing only about two-thirds the revenue of September 2015. On the other hand, this month is starting out well. We’ve already done a third of the revenue that we did in October 2015.

According to one of my correspondents who wishes to remain anonymous, we may be in for an exciting next three months or so. Apparently, the federal government has warned federal and state LE agencies that there’s a significantly increased probability of widespread violent civil unrest associated with the election, only about five weeks from now, and we can expect an increase in so-called lone wolf terrorist attacks, particularly from Thanksgiving and Black Friday though the New Year celebrations. Intuitively, that makes sense to me. As always, it will be a very good idea to avoid central cities, shopping malls, sporting events, and any other venues that draw large crowds. And, if has been speculated, hackers attack and disable the EBT servers immediately before the election, all bets are off. It’d be a very good idea to have made at least minimal water, food, and defensive preparations, just in case.


55 thoughts on “Sunday, 2 October 2016”

  1. Apparently, the federal government has warned federal and state LE agencies that there’s a significantly increased probability of widespread violent civil unrest associated with the election, only about five weeks from now, and we can expect an increase in so-called lone wolf terrorist attacks, particularly from Thanksgiving and Black Friday though the New Year celebrations.

    I don’t dispute a word of that, and in fact I’m concerned that might be accurate prediction for the next three months. Thanks to you, I now have some idea what to prepare for and how to do it. The issue we now face is convincing those around us with a severe case of normalcy bias that there is a problem and preparations should be made.

  2. As I’ve been saying for years, it’s often a losing battle to convince family and friends that prepping is a wise decision. The only realistic alternative is to prep FOR them.

  3. I know the German government has made the recommendation that citizens should stockpile ten days of food and five days of water. I’m wondering if there are any similar reports that have made it into the mainstream press that I have missed.

    The German recommendations seem to be something of a joke since they are recommending two liters of water per person per day. I’d think that doubling that would be an absolute minimum.

  4. two liters of water per person per day

    I bet they assume all infrastructure will continue to work.

  5. I think the German warning to prepare (the Czech government has issued the same type of warning) was in anticipation of Merkel finally admitting that Germany had done more than enough in terms of importing muslim scum and announcing plans to shut that flow down. Some have speculated that it’s because Germany is worried about Putin and a Russian invasion, but I think that’s ridiculous. I think the German government has finally realized that they’ve imported a shitload of terrorists and they can expect violent civil unrest as they take steps to remedy the situation. I think it’s already far too late to remedy a million plus muslim scum barbarians already inside their gates.

  6. tRump has gone full tRump on the Klinton’s. I hope he wins more voters over that hate Cankles, but want to vote for her anyway. His foot may be shot.

  7. Yes, I’m sure the German government expects municipal water to continue uninterrupted, and probably everything else for that matter. I think the ten days’ food recommendation has to do with the situation getting bad enough that people will not want to leave their homes.

  8. @dave, one gallon/person/day is the minimum recommended here.

    It is WAY inadequate in real life.

    The problem I have with ‘minimum’ recommendations is that they are a STARTING point but so many people naturally act as if they were the ending point. [added- Every minimum recommendation should be worded “XXX is the MINIMUM required to sustain life while awaiting rescue, your ACTUAL requirements will be MUCH HIGHER.”]

    WRT water, there is no way to store too much (ok if you do it to the exclusion of other preps or if it impacts your non-prepping life, but those apply to all preps).

    You need a minimum of half gallon for DRINKING, and if you will be exerting yourself, 1 gallon. You need water to boil your rice and pasta. You need water for hygeine, you need water for kitchen use.

    I’m beginning to work towards a rant.

    Lately I’ve been giving a lot of consideration to ‘recommendations’. I believe that FAR TOO MANY of the reccos that are accepted wisdom in prepping are based on a “lifeboat scenario.” Survivial is defined as huddling up, and using the minimum resources to stay alive until rescue.

    Even our gracious host fell prey to this thinking the other day with a concern for trace elements in diet. If you are on a space ship, in a lifeboat, or otherwise sealed away in your bunker, that sort of thinking makes sense. It makes no sense (TO ME) in any reasonable scenario on land. (better stock the D vitamins you won’t be getting from sunlight too.) If you are concerned, throw a case of multivitamins on the shelf and move on!

    The problem is “survival” vs “surviving.” For me, “surviving” implies a continuing effort. Daily life. Surely dramatically changed from pre-SHTF, but recognizable as ‘living.’ “Survival” is not. Eating one freeze-dried/day huddled in the basement while the zombies ravage the countryside is “survival”- a temporary state. NOT the “new normal” of post-SHTF life “surviving.” No one who’s worked a whole day in the garden would consider 1/2 gallon of water adequate. No one who’s cleared downed trees all day would consider 700cal/day adequate.

    Most disasters are limited in area, and limited in length. If you can count on outside help arriving even though things are so bad you need to ‘lifeboat up’, or the duration of the even is self limiting, then plan around the recommended minimums. If, on the other hand, you are actually preparing for a collapse, massive event, or a ‘reset’, you better be planning for a LOT of hard work during the first year, at hugely increased levels of exertion, so that you have a chance of getting thru the SECOND year, and into the third. ‘Cuz in that case, you’re Jamestown. Tough the first year, brutal the second, deadly the third…

    nick

  9. ” more than enough in terms of importing muslim scum and announcing plans to shut that flow down”

    IF the invasion of Europe is actually being coordinated (and the evidence says it is) then it makes sense to get as many in as possible before the door is shut. Hold down the violence while continuing to pack them in. As soon as you are absolutely sure the door is closed, then the gloves will come off.

    Yes, look for an explosion of violence (possibly the Tet Offensive strategy) as soon as the borders are credibly closed.

    nick

  10. I recommend everyone gain a *minimum* of 40 pounds of fat for prepping. That should give you at least a month of survival time on minimum food intake. Keep that fat on for the rest of your life. Some of you already have. You know who you are.

  11. Experience, opinions? Thanks.

    Well, it makes my cheap ass Harbor Freight system look cheap ass. The panels are low wattage, but foldable?

  12. That Goal Zero isn’t much of a deal. Not much battery capacity and a small inverter for the price. You still need to buy panels, and you end up with a pretty low capacity system.

  13. “…a significantly increased probability of widespread violent civil unrest associated with the election, only about five weeks from now, and we can expect an increase in so-called lone wolf terrorist attacks, particularly from Thanksgiving and Black Friday though the New Year celebrations.”

    Same as I’ve seen and heard in other venues over just this past few days. Told wife I’m just as glad to have her home for the first three weeks of November. And we may be looking carefully at any Northeast gigs she has after that until January.

    As always, avoid cities, crowds and “events.”

    Failures of EBT cards and ATM machines, delays in SS payments, things like that, and any Grid downtime, will of course exacerbate all this chit.

    Tool up accordingly.

  14. “Even our gracious host fell prey to this thinking the other day with a concern for trace elements in diet.”

    Uh, no. In terms of *personal prepping*, we already have iodized salt, multivitamins, etc. out the wazoo. I’m talking about *community prepping*. What might the community need lots of that’s cheap now and few people will be stocking? If my stock of KI isn’t needed for radiation prophylaxis, it can be used for millions of daily MDR doses of iodine, which I suspect is lacking in the soil here. Same with selenium. I’m thinking long term for lots of people, in addition to short- and long-term for my close group.

  15. yeah, ok, and I might have stretched/simplified to make the point….

    It’s small in volume, low in cost (both opportunity and $) and aligns well with your skillset and knowledge base. A lot of individual preppers will have things like that that are a good fit for them and make their prepping unique and interesting to them.

    My larger point was that people in the ‘community’ talk about the basics all the time, and minimum recommendations for this and for that, but often don’t consider what was the GOAL of those recommendations. If the goal was maintaining life, while awaiting rescue, it’s not gonna help if rescue isn’t coming. Without defining your own goals, it’s very difficult to even ask the question “Is this a good recommendation for ME?” And I think too few people determine their goals, or ask the question, particularly when presented with expert recommendations (or reiteration of the conventional wisdom.) RBT, your stated goal is to become a valuable resource to your community, a ‘wizard in residence’, and leverage your brain and knowledge. I don’t have the same goal, so stocking mega doses of KI doesn’t make much sense. Better that I stock bleach for treating water.

    An example of recommendations that I know you have used- wheat berries vs flour. You stock flour because it lasts “long enough”, is cheap enough to replace if unused, is readily available, and takes less energy and infrastructure to use. (iirc) Site after site though, just repeats the cw that wheat berries store better than flour and so you should stock wheat berries. SOME even mention that you then need a mill but most just leave it at “berries are better.” If you look at the goal, “What is the goal of storing wheat?” and the answer is ‘feeding my family during the long term collapse’ then you have to ask “does this contribute to my goal?” Does my family EAT WHEAT? Do you know how to turn berries into flour? Do you know how to turn flour into food? Do you have the infrastructure to do so??? One of my personal problems with storing flour for bread is how does one BAKE post-shtf? That’s why I keep bringing up tortilla and flat bread as they are both low time and fuel cost vs baking risen bread. If you also have the infrastructure for baking, cool, you’re all set.

    Minimums, with or without hidden assumptions, can provide useful checkpoints along the way. But when used without consideration of the built in goals, and how those goals align with your OWN goals, they can leave you woefully underprepared.

    nick

  16. Agreed.

    My focus has always been on prepping on a budget and Good Enough. That’s been true for me since the 60’s. That’s why, for example, why I had a Ruger Mini-14 until I lost it in the lake recently. At the time I bought it, in the mid- to late-70’s, it was Good Enough and a whole lot less expensive than the equivalent AR-pattern rifle. Same deal even on more minor items like FLASHLIGHTS. I still maintain than I’m better off having twenty $3.50 LED flashlights than one $70 one.

    I frequently talk with preppers who have $300 worth of wheat berries from the LDS store in #10 cans, which is 100 cans or 550 pounds worth. To use that wheat other than as cream of wheat cereal, they need a $400 mill, which means it’s costing them $400 and a whole lot of time to get 400 pound of wheat flour, at a total cost of about $1.27/lb. They could instead buy flour from the LDS store in #10 cans for $0.75/lb. Or, another way of looking at it, for that same $700, they could buy 933 pounds of flour and not have to grind it.

  17. RE: Loss of ATMs
    I run a bunch of my own ATMs and I look at them as my private bank. Have about a hundred thousand circulating at any one time. If SHTF, I can simply empty them myself and have a nice hoard of cash to use, till it becomes worthless. The machines pay for themselves in about 4 months so anything after that is easy money. I do worry when I hear of people wanting to eliminate cash but cash is still the best anonymous form of payment. I put machines in college dorms so daddy can’t see what son is spending his hard earned $$ on.

  18. Oh, as to baking, a solar oven. Even on a winter day, it’ll get hot enough to bake bread.

  19. Make sure you read the article on In-N-Out Burger. Devastating.

    SHAK is a Wall Street favorite … for now. They are not under pressure to earn legitimate return on capital (80:1 PE) so they spend more on product than the other companies, even privately held chains like Chick-fil-A and In-n-Out.

    Looking at the stock chart in strictly technical terms, it appears that someone tried to engineer a run up in the share price this summer, but the attempt failed. Enjoy the tasty burgers while they last.

    In-n-Out hasn’t changed in … well … ever. Stories like the one on Thrillist make me suspicious about the money trail.

  20. In-n-Out was specifically run by the founders as ANTI- franchise. I’d have bought one if it was available. Like all things, time passes and so do the founders. The kids might not be as anti-franchise and might be under pressure to expand at some point.

    I don’t think you could do In-n-out as mass market. Simply finding enough good staff has got to be hard.

    n

  21. @HCombs, how do you place them? Way back when, I had a business placing Pepsi soda vending machines. It was hard to convince people to have one in their business, even if it made them money and they did no work.

    Does the business run itself, or does it take lots of your personal involvement?

    With all the illegals down here, cash is KING. Few of them use banks though, so I wonder if ATMs make sense for that market…..

    nick

  22. That Goal Zero isn’t much of a deal. Not much battery capacity and a small inverter for the price. You still need to buy panels, and you end up with a pretty low capacity system.

    It’s basically a charge controller, 100 Amp Hour Battery and a 1500 Watt Pure Sine wave inverter in a box. The Goal Zero panels seem expensive on Amazon. It seems like kind of a mismatch to me. Running the inverter at full load for an hour would probably take all of the battery charge. Unless you have lots of panels, it would take days to recharge the battery. Given perfect efficiency it would take three 0f the 90 Watt panels to recharge the battery on a summer day here.

    I’d be inclined to build a system from Renogy parts on Amazon and some batteries purchased from a local store sized to my specific load. Although if you have an unlimited budget and need portability, the Goal Zero would work.

  23. Sure, choose a cause, any cause and spend lavishly on yourself and your friends. Give everyone big tax deductions for giving to the cause. Give a small amount to the cause. (See Clinton Foundation).

  24. There’s a reason I don’t give money to foundations or charities or any not-for-profits. I’ve seen the books of too many NFPs*, and they all have much higher overhead than they claim, and their bosses all make really good money, even in the tiny, struggling lobbying orgs.

    In fact, I’ve stopped doing anything for the benefit of any NFP. A couple times I had a line on snagging up a pile of computers being disposed of by some corp. Usually good computers, high-end PCs and once in a while a minicomputer. I arranged it so I’d put in the sweat to remove the hard drives (which was all the corp cared about) and transport them to the NFP, then install new hard drives and Windows. The NFP had to pay for the hard drives, but for a total cost of a hundred dollars or so they’d have a computer worth several thousand. The result: flat refusal from every NFP I spoke to. They’d accept only new computers, and they weren’t going to spend a cent to obtain them. Well, to hell with them all. And the next time they came to me for help with their computers, I told them not to call me again.**

    * I used to do a lot of work on accounting databases, anything from fixing screwups to porting the DB over to a different accounting package to writing custom reports the org needed. Among other things, I’ve been asked to come up with a custom quarterly statement, usually just before a board meeting, because the standard quarterly statement “doesn’t show the true picture of our expenses and accomplishments”.

    ** On one of the blogs I read, possibly this one, someone wrote up a similar tale. This is my own tale, or rather tales as it happened several times before I stopped trying, and not a theft of someone else’s story.

  25. Speaking of local, I’m thinking of talking to the county Sheriff Department about the requirements for becoming a reserve deputy. Any thoughts?

  26. Look into the obligations imposed on you, and changes in legal status.

    ISTR reports over the years of reserve cops being required to take periodic training, being required to turn up for certain classes of emergency (or official declarations of state of emergency, even if that declaration is mainly to qualify for federal relief dollars), and something about being held to a higher standard in civil disputes. Varies by state, for sure, but definitely check into it before signing on the dotted line.

  27. Any thoughts?

    Dang it, I should have picked up on just those two words, too.

    Any thoughts? Nope, not me, man. I’m so tired I’m hallucinating again. Not big hallucinations, just little, momentary ones. But any notional thoughts (that’s a pun, son, beloved of the hyperliterati) would have to push their way up through six inches of molasses just to make it to my non-existent brain-mouth filter.

    Grandma had to be hauled to the emergency room again last night, with attendant tumult and confusion for everyone else. The only good thing is that this has become common enough that the 9-y-o no longer cries because she’s worried about her.

    Raspberry Pi development kit arrived today. This is the base Pi and case, plus a small breadboard and a handful of wires and LEDs and buttons and such. Sunday delivery, which seems odd for lowest-cost shipment, but maybe it was misdelivered to a neighbor yesterday and they put it on our doorstep today. Anyway, as is usual with such purchases, it’s intended as an educational tool for my 9-y-o, and to a lesser extent the other girls we seem to be accumulating.* However, she already has plans for subverting my plans; in particular, she wants to run this as a 24/7 Minecraft server. Because, really, what else would you do with a dedicated computer? Not a real problem. They’re cheap enough that I can get a couple, three more and set them up as various kinds of servers including a blasted Minecraft server.

    * We haven’t taken any in, exactly, but a number of our acquaintances have girls somewhere near my daughter’s age, and the family is split up or both parents work menial jobs and having someone willing to take the kid on a weekend afternoon means they can get a few more hours’ work in. There’s also the girl I mentioned sometime last year, the one with the nutcase mother. I help some of them with homework or piano (which is impressive, as I don’t play piano and am self-taught in music theory and piano technique), and frequently do some kind of science or programming or tech project with them, or help them set up a “studio” for making LPS videos. Almost all of them enjoy helping me cook, especially when the result is cookies. And, of course, there’s lots of playing and running around and shrieking.

  28. Oh, yeah, LOTS of shrieking!

    WRT reserve deputy- there seem to be 2 kinds. Kind one- rural area, friends of the sheriff and generally ‘good ol boys’ get a badge and some kind of “reserve deputy” designation.

    The other kind, you have to complete the same school as the active guys, pass the same test and background check, and get hired by an agency. Then you have a minimum number of hours per week/month/year depending on the agency, that you must work to maintain your status. Continuing ed requirements too. Or anyway that’s what our constables here told me when I asked. They didn’t mention kind number 1…

    I put that idea on hold for the time being.

    nick

  29. @ofd, that graphic was esp. interesting with the FBI stuff. That I didn’t know.

    n

  30. What was the gun that was said to be useful only if you intended to have a shootout in a phonebox?

  31. In re: deputy sheriff or reserve deputy gigs; I’d wanna be in really good shape and not run the risk of running outta breath or just falling down during a chase or climbing multiple flights of stairs with the usual thirty pounds of gear and toolz and gimcracks on my belt. I’d also want refresher training in several areas, but they can forget about me learning any PC bullshit, so that’s that, I reckon, no chance.

  32. Just scored canned beans (organic for what that matters) of a wide variety at $0.50 / can. That’s 770 calories for a buck. That’s super cheap up here.
    Very excited.
    Fred Meyers house brand.

  33. @nick re: ATM placement
    Good placement is the key to success. I started out in cash-only bars. Developed connections, now I have contract with an upscale hotel chain in my state and am pushing on campus machines at university. Those kids have a credit card from daddy and they really don’t want him seeing where they spend his money. Plus a couple of strip clubs. My rule is if the machine isn’t making it’s numbers in 90 days I pull it and put it elsewhere. I developed a sales spiel that takes care of most location owner objections. I have found that I can’t p!ace anywhere owned by middle Eastern men. They always want far more than I can give in commission. Many locations don’t demand any commission. As to how much work it is. I spend two days a week filling the machines and a little more time looking for new and better locations. Not quite passive income but a lot less work than my self storage facility.

  34. My final thoughts on the Goal Zero box. The manual says it can handle up to 8 of the 30 watt panels. In my area we typically get five hours of sun in summer and 2.5 hours of sun in winter. So that’s 1200 watts of power in summer or 600 watts in winter. Also even though the AGM battery has a 100 amp hour capacity, you only want to use 80 percent of that capacity at most, so the Goal Zero 1000 would seem to be a better name for it.

  35. @SteveF,

    The Raspberry Pi is the coolest thing to hit the computer world in a long time. However, the Arduino is also cool and may be more what you are looking for. The Arduino is a microcontroller not a computer. It is clearly less powerful as a computer than a Raspberry Pi, but it has better I/O capabilities. An Arduino only runs one program not a whole operating system. An Arduino based kit will force your daughter to build something other than a Minecraft server.

  36. @Jenny

    Congratulations on a good score. $0.50/can is a good deal even down here in the lower 48. I think the last time I bought Bush’s Best Baked Beans at Costco or Sam’s Club they were about $1.20/can.

  37. “WRT reserve deputy- there seem to be 2 kinds. Kind one- rural area, friends of the sheriff and generally ‘good ol boys’ get a badge and some kind of “reserve deputy” designation. ”

    Yeah, your Type One is what I was thinking about, mainly to free up a real deputy if things go to shit. Perhaps “civilian volunteer” would better describe what I’m talking about than “reserve deputy”. And I think it’d be a good idea to get to know the local LEOs. All of them we’ve encountered so far have been very professional and yet very friendly. They seem like a nice bunch of people.

    I’m not really interested in being a sworn LEO, even if I were physically capable.

  38. I guess the real question is what you would like to accomplish. Are you just looking to become familiar to and with local LE? If so, there are probably community outreach programs even in your rural AO, like COPS, PIP, or some sort of ride along program. Ham radio like ARES and RACES will get you in front of them, and familiar with them too. Cops tend to be wary of anyone who would seek to get close to them without joining them.

    If you are looking to increase your privileges, armed security or personal protective officer training and certification might be an alternative.

    As I’ve looked at these things, there are some caveats. With the additional training can come some liability or ethical questions. For example, even with CERT there is a question of whether (in Harris County, TX) being a CERT member increases/imposes a “duty to act” within the limits of that training. Even though ‘activation’ as a CERT member is voluntary, does the ID card and official status as a first responder come with the “duty” in non-CERT situations? This was a matter of some discussion with at least one county official saying “yes.”

    Security guard licensing imposes some additional confusion to the ‘when and where you can carry and how’ here in TX. The PPO license even more so.

    And when do you change from one role to the other legally in the course of your response to an incident? Suppose you render aid to an accident victim. Are you acting as a private citizen? Under the limits of your CERT training? Or your Red Cross first aid training? As a volunteer with the local police agency? Or some other limit?

    Unfortunately helping someone comes with as many issues as shooting them in today’s America.

    nick

  39. However, the Arduino is also cool and may be more what you are looking for.

    We have one of them, too, specifically a DuinoKit. Little Miss Eight-year-old (8 at the time) worked out several circuits (with reference to sample circuits and some assistance from me) and wrote the programs to go with them (again, by putting together pieces of sample programs and with a bit of assistance). She presented what was basically a voting machine to her 3rd grade class early this year, then presented again to the 4th graders and then to the principal and some of the high schoolers (small, private school, all in one building). The principal knows a bit about electronics and programming, so he grilled her on parts of the circuit, the program, and interrupt handling, and was surprised and impressed that she actually understood it all and hadn’t simply memorized a presentation that I’d prepared. She was very proud of herself that day.

  40. Unfortunately helping someone comes with as many issues as shooting them in today’s America.

    Yep. Between a cop pulling a pistol on me after I stopped a rape, people thinking that me getting them a bag of groceries when they’re down on their luck meaning that they can hold their hand out forever more, and a couple of legal threats after I helped other people, I’m pretty well down on helping anyone but kin anymore. And not all of my kin, either.

    I’m overstating the case. I probably will continue to offer narrowly targeted aid to people having trouble through no fault of their own. I’ll continue to pick up people walking along the highway. I’ll continue to help children with lousy parents. And in all cases I reserve the right to ram heads into solid objects if I deem it appropriate.

  41. Same here; besides kin and immediate neighbors, I’d help out strangers messed up through no fault of their own and be on my merry way. Still capable of picking people up and tossing them or simply….well…ramming their heads into solid objects. Thoughts of the latter have occurred to me more frequently lately, and also every time I see a neck-up picture of either Klinton, when I fantasize about the damage various calibers could do. Why oh why are they both still breathing air above ground???

  42. Man, are the MSM and Libturdians in general trashing tRump. He must be The Devil incarnate. If he wins the Presidency, our two party system may implode.

    I wonder what Assange is releasing tomorrow? How damaging to Cankles could it be? It’s just paper. The rumor is she proposed a drone strike on Assange. That would be great if Obola was cc’s on it!

  43. “If he wins the Presidency, our two party system may implode.”

    Like Pat Buchanan says, the MSM will be on him a thousand times worse than they were on Nixon. They’re totally and exclusively in the bag for the Clinton Crime Family.

    “I wonder what Assange is releasing tomorrow?”

    Roger Stone and others are saying her goose will be cooked; but after the last episode with the Feebies, I doubt it.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-03/fbi-allowed-2-hillary-aides-destroy-their-laptops-newly-exposed-side-agreements

    They just do whatever the fuck they want and their wholly owned subsidiary “law enforcement” organizations back them up.

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