Mon. April 2, 2018 – some thoughts on preparedness, and life

70F and 97%RH, sure to dry up as the sun warms the day…..

I read this article and was struck by how many of the things match my own ideas (although not put the same way) and by how different it is from most “prepper” articles. I usually just skim his articles as they are long and have a different focus than I do. This one is worth the read, I think, particularly in light of RBT’s experience.

I too liked to read Greer’s Archdruid Report, with the same caveats. I think there is a middle ground that he ignores or misses entirely, but there are lots of things to think about in the article.

Craftsmanship in Preparedness

“…when it comes down to brass tacks, “survival” is an impossible task. The incontrovertible truth is, “no one here gets out alive.” It doesn’t matter how much food you have stored, how many guns you have, or rounds of ammunition, or how many Israeli Battle Dressings you have stockpiled. Stuff doesn’t have nearly the effect on fate that decisions and good decision making do.

My interest isn’t in magically prolonging my personal physical existence. My interest is in passing down the values that have made my life worth living and enjoying, to my children and grandchildren-to-be, so they can pass it down in their turn.

The PROCESS, the planning, the ‘thinking through’, is the important part.

n

Fri. Mar. 16, 2018 – what did you do to prep for LIFE?

71F, 94%RH and yep, back in Houston…

Still, it looks like a nice day outside.– EDIT — started raining 🙁

This week, instead of what you did to prep specifically, what made you what you are today? What changed you path or set you on the right path? Whether guidance, a person who helped, habits, tips and tricks, or ‘words to live by’, what do you tell a promising kid who needs just a bit of guidance?

For me it was a couple of things, and some minor things helped.

I was deep in credit card and student loan debt. I’d just realized that I’d made it thru my youth and probably WASN’T gonna die young. Suddenly I decided I’d better get myself and life in order for the long haul.

So.

I had a steady job I was good at that paid pretty well, but lots of debt. My roommate (R.N.-a great guy) told me that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to save 10% of every dollar I made. Just deposit my check, and make a 10% transfer every time. Kick start the savings by trying to get thru one pay period without cashing my check, then deposit that in savings. That way, you see yourself making progress.

The rest was simple but hard. Get rid of credit card debt. I did this legally, but the laws have changed to make it harder. If you do the math and see where you will be in ten years if you continue on, or if you take drastic action, you’ll be convinced to just do it.

Get rid of consumer and school debt. You are ruining your credit anyway (it’s probably already ruined by all your credit cards) so do it all. If you don’t pay your student loans they will eventually settle for whatever they can get. Save your cash, make them an offer. Pay them off one at a time IN FULL and at reduced totals.

Get right with the IRS. They will work with you, but you’ve gotta do it and stick to it.

The KEY to this was saving cash. Without that initial 10% saved, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of the rest.

That was the point my life turned around. I went from living in the moment, and changed my focus to longer term. I started saving money so I had options and flexibility.

A while later, in a different city, and a different life (made possible by having money in the bank) a good friend told me to make a 10 year plan. What did I want in ten years? How could I get it? Making the list (home of my own, debt free, money in the bank, start a family) lets you decide if you are making progress or not. It lets you judge choices. It took me FIFTEEN years, but I got there.

Finally, two minor things have helped more recently.

Break your addiction to the “Snooze” button. If you are hitting it more than once, you aren’t getting any more good sleep, and you aren’t getting up. Set it for your final awake time. GET UP and just get started on the day. Set a backup if you don’t trust the alarm or yourself. In a while, you will both start to wake up, and trust the alarm. This has made a big difference in my mornings.

The second is something I read, that was very hard to internalize but helped me a lot in my work and relationships with people in general. Indra Noori (CEO of Pepsico) said the best advice she ever got was to “assume positive intent”. In other words, assume people aren’t trying to screw you no matter what it looks like initially. Most people are not villains. Most are doing the best they can with what they have and what they know. It may screw you anyway, but that’s not usually their goal, they just want to get thru the day and go home. Changing your default assumption will change the ‘color’ of every interaction and opens up a wider range of solutions to any problems that come up. Seriously, this helped a lot.

So, what or who helped you prep for life?

n

Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 – What did you do to prep this week?

Friday again.  If time was passing any faster, it would be going backwards….

I’ve added an OFD Project page.  It’s link is in the black bar at the top of this page.  I’ll copy relevant comments or updates there as a record of what’s going on with that.  (Edited by RickH: that page now has comments enabled, so you can post comments here to be moved, or on that page to be shown on that page. All comments, no matter what page posted, are shown in the Recent Comments list over on the right [or below this post on smaller screens].)

And I’m bringing back Bob’s “What did you do to prep this week.”   It’s always the “quiet before the storm”, well, when the storm isn’t  “on the horizon”.  With that as a given, I’ll just say, “what can’t continue, won’t.”   We’ve seen examples elsewhere, and historically even here of how quickly things can change and how bad things can get.  This is a good time to take inventory, rotate some stuff, try some stuff out, get some more stuff, connect with new people, and learn a new skill.

No one knows the future, but in the last couple of years talking about it, we’ve seen Venezuela go from “man they have trouble coming” to “mmmm, tasty zebra.”

We’ve already GOT ‘Hoovervilles’ only with more drugs and crime.  We’ve already got social influencers touting “tiny homes” and normalizing reduced expectations.  Youtube “van life” to get a window to a whole culture of nomadic homelessness and reduced expectations. We’ve got a whole generation conditioned to socialism, envy, selfishness/narcissism, casual sex and violence, and most of them have really poor prospects.  They are gonna be REALLY ANGRY and ready to lash out when they figure it all out.

So what did I get done this week?   I got the first coat of cold galvanizing on my new HF antenna mast.  The rain came back so getting that done and the antenna back up is on hold.

I cleaned up my raised beds.  I need to add manure and soil, and get my spring garden planted.   I did move some onion starts to a window box, but I don’t know if they’ll prosper.  They are pretty lame looking.   I planted some herb seeds along with the onion, but it looks like I was just feeding the squirrels.  I’ll be doing more garden stuff this week.

I bought a used metal gate from Habitat and will adapt it to close off my driveway.  Another project that needs some dry days.  For now, I’m just mounting it simply.  Eventually I’ll add a better post and an electric opener for convenience.  It will control access to my driveway and garage, and visually hide all that stuff from the street.

My work on my ‘hurricane room’ continues slowly, but progress gets made.

I’ve got a rental house as a retirement plan and income stream, and I’ve got repairs and painting to do there after the last tenants moved out.  I made some progress on cleaning and paint prep.  Wife hired a painter, which just leaves the repairs for me.  Still more fair weather tasks though.

My battle with the rats continues.  I’ll have a whole ‘lessons learned’ but the short version is- they are extremely destructive and will literally eat you out of house and home.  Jump on them hard and quickly at the first sign.   Stock up on the supplies NOW.  If, like me, you have an environmental change that ends with a rat infestation, your neighbors are likely to have one too.  Rat traps and poisons are in short supply in local stores at the moment.  Rats are smart, social, and seem to pass on their learning.  They are not trapped more than once or twice with the same technique.  They will avoid peanut butter like death itself once they know it is bait.

Ebay selling is slow for big items and ok for smaller stuff.  I’ve sold a mix of industrial controls, collectibles, housewares, and public safety gear this month.  I’ve sold old crap and new old stock to police and fire departments and to individual cops.  They are looking for bargains on ebay, so I know budgets must be tight.  Even though my sales are slow, I’m encouraging everyone to get selling on ebay or amazon.  You’ve got crap you can get rid of as a starter, and it is a decent part time income from part time work.  You WILL need the income stream at some point.

 

With that, I’ve got another day of paying work today, so will be away from the pc for a while.

What did YOU do to prep this week?

 

nick

 

Fri. Feb. 16, 2018 -Pandemic flu preparedness

NB- after seeing how big this comment was, and recalling RBT’s instructions to me, I am promoting this comment to a Post.

On an entirely separate subject, pandemic preparedness….

https://asprtracie.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/aspr-tracie-hcc-pandemic-checklist-508.pdf

I’m looking thru the CDC’s Flu Pandemic readiness checklist for health care providers and I see a whole bunch of stuff that’s worth thinking about.  So I’m highlighting some here:

3.11 Pre-identify strategies and resources to ensure behavioral health support for staff to mitigate adverse stress and grief and loss reactions.

[translation- EMS is gonna have family and friends that die from the pandemic- try to keep them working]

3.12 Determine virtual coordination mechanisms that will enable remote engagement of senior staff to prevent exposures and maximize ability to engage in both daily and incident operations”

[translation- senior staff need to be kept out of the treatment areas to keep them alive while everyone else risks dying.]

“3.21 Develop criteria for on-scene denial of transport by EMS personnel for influenza-like illness and other patients – with or without on-line medical control – ideally regional rather than agency-based criteria and process.

[trans- figure out at what point do you stop bringing flu cases into the hospital and effectively quarantine them at home, and when you let EMS make that decision on their own.]

3.22 Develop/provide patient information sheets on homecare for influenza-like illness
including usual clinical symptoms and course, infection prevention, treatment, and when to seek additional medical care.

[trans- people are on their own at some point, figure out what point, and give them some info about what to do]

3.23 Develop/provide patient information sheets for other conditions that may be left without transport if the service volume suggests a relevant need (e.g., minor injuries).

[trans- again, you’re gonna be on your own, with minimal guidance]

3.24 Determine alternate transport resources and triggers to utilize them, e.g., private
ambulance, wheelchair, contract/courier, for hire vehicles, military assets, buses

[trans- martial law at some point, and how many NG or regular Army units will want to deploy into a Flu zone? How many will be ABLE?]

Here’s a nice one:

4.5 Determine actions that the state emergency management or public health agency is likely to take that affect health care including:

• Suspension or modification of requirements for hospitals or clinics

[when will you be able to use tents, parking lots, warehouses]

• Specific emergency orders or actions that may limit liability or expand scope of
operations (for facilities and providers, including volunteers)

• Requests for 1135 waivers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

• Crisis standards of care activation

[when will you drop normal operations and just do whatever you can without liability- ie at what point does S really HTF?]

• Issuance of clinical guidelines for care and resource allocation

[when do you start rationing and triage?]

‘Taking powers’ of the state relative to medical materials and staff (i.e., does the state have ability to commandeer resources under their emergency powers and does this include medical materials?)

[trans- when will they come for YOUR stuff, and do you need to give it to them. side question- where would ‘the state’ be TAKING the siezed materials????]

• Promulgation or enforcement of legal obligations of medical staff to provide care

[trans- when will they come for YOU, and what if anything can you do about it?? this is where preppers worry about ‘being on a list’ of EMS or First Aid trained, or CERT, etc, can they force you to provide medical aid? what if you are licensed?]

And these are grim:

4.38 Develop a plan for implementing a supplemental facility security/controlled access plan (which may be phased) particularly during the peak pandemic weeks to assure controlled campus ingress and egress and monitoring.

4.39 Provide patients and staff with information about stress responses, resilience, and available professional mental health resources. Develop staff monitoring for those exposed to high levels of cumulative stress or specific severe stressors (death of coworker, etc.).

4.40 Consider ways to maintain staff resilience and morale when congregate gatherings and close physical contact are discouraged. This may need to include memorial services for staff members.

4.41 Determine if the fatality management plan is sufficient for an increased volume of decedents at the facility

 

 

There’s lots more and it’s worth looking at. After all, this is what CDC thinks your local health care providers need to consider and plan for WRT flu pandemic.

-EMS not transporting sick people
-facilities and services shut down or reaching capacity and rationing of other treatment
-local authorities SEIZING medical supplies
-local authorities FORCING med staff to work
-deaths among EMS, facility staff, and care providers
-physically securing the treatment areas
-giving priority to staff family and pets
-using the military to provide transportation, reserve medical services, and security
-too many dead people to deal with normally

nick

(the link came to me in the weekly newsletter I get for EM and first responders)

Fri. Feb. 16, 2019 Friday, again. Wow.

I’m tellin’ ya, time is flyin’ by….

70F and 99%RH. Moisture condensing on concrete deck and floor, and anything metal or solid in the garage. Can anyone say “less than ideal storage conditions?”

I did make a great dessert last night from “middle” term storage. I’ve found that the fruit cups from costco will discolor and the fruit gets mushy after the expiration date. This is pretty typical, “color and texture might change but contents remain healthy and safe” is true for cans as well. I’ve mentioned here before that when I notice that a case is aging out, I make fruit cobbler.

So last night, a delicious mango cobbler was made, and half was consumed after dinner. The mango tastes pretty much like peaches after canning. I used prepackaged cobbler mix. It couldn’t be much easier- melt butter, pour in mix with milk, dump in 4 fruit cups. Bake. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Kids asked for seconds. Success!

Managing your stores probably deserves a whole post, but the short story is — use what you have too much of. In other words, if we’ve eaten fewer eggs than normal, I will make something to eat that requires more eggs, like French Toast (Freedom Toast!). That’s a good way to use up some bread too. Or fruit desserts to use aging fruit cups that don’t LOOK attractive, but are still delicious. Think about baking, or pre-cooking meat and freezing. Pies are a way to make fruit last a few more days. Juice fruits and freeze the juice…

Anyway, I’m toying with the idea of a “use less week.” The idea is that you probably use more than needed during these times of prosperity, and would use less if times were tough, so why not try it now??

Some easy examples: toothpaste. Most people probably learned to put a stripe of toothpaste the whole length of the toothbrush. I find that less than half of that is sufficient to fill my mouth with foamy cleaning action. I’ve completely internalized this change.

Shampoo. The bottle usually says how much to use, but do you just pour some in your hand? Bigger than a ‘quarter’? I’ll bet half will give the same sudsing action. If not, just “lather rinse repeat” like the bottle says. Nothing to lose.

Hand soap, hand sanitizer. The dispensers kick out way more than needed.

Eggs. I love eggs. I now only buy the Large size though. Simple change from the Extra Large I grew up with and just kept buying. They are cheaper too. And I’m finding that one is enough for breakfast when I habitually ate two.

Toilet paper. I’d bet that most of us just use this the way we learned as kids. I did. Having kids to teach, and someone else’s butt to wipe, made me rethink both technique and amount. Not something to skimp on, but if you knew the supply was limited, would you be more careful and use less? TP is a very bulky item to store as preps, and not something you want to run out of.

Laundry and dish soap. Do you just dump some in? When was the last time you read the bottle or looked at the different marks on the measuring cup?

Ketchup or dipping condiments. Just dump a big squirt on the plate? Why not put half as much and then squirt more if needed?

Hmm, this is turning into a coupon clipping, make your own soap kind of post, so I’ll end it here, but I challenge you to look at your habits, and see if you are being a ‘good steward’ of the resources you have.

nick

Fri. Feb. 9, 2018 finally …

Well, not exactly ‘finally Friday’ as this week blazed by.

Currently 56F and overcast, with T-storms in the area forecast.

I’ve been thinking.  (smell the smoke?)

Most of the immigration rationalizing has to do with bringing in workers and ‘vigorous breeders’ to support the current populations as they age.   This is based on a crucial and WRONG idea that those imported populations WILL IN FACT support the current one.   WHY WOULD THEY?  They have little in common.  They most certainly have their OWN interests and desires.  They are from tribal and low trust societies where they feel no obligation to help anyone outside their clan.  Further, the desire to import large numbers is based on another flawed set of assumptions.  The idea that the country MUST REMAIN an IMPORTER instead of an EXPORTER and  a consumer based economy instead of a maker based economy.  The Powers that Be KNOW that the current setup is a Ponzi scheme.  The only way to keep a ponzi going is to continually bring in new <s>participants</s> suckers.  But the new suckers have NO intention of participating in the ponzi or any belief in the usefulness or desirability of the  ponzi.

Thus we know it will not work.  So…

There is no problem with a declining population if standard of living doesn’t also decline.  A smaller family can better afford nice things, vacations, education, etc. than a large family.  So too, a nation that concentrates on quality over quantity can prosper even with an overall decline in numbers.

The ponzi WILL collapse.

If you bake that into your assumptions, you should DIS-courage mass immigration.  You should focus on doing more with fewer people (which we already do with robotic factories, and machines instead of laborers.)  As (if) population declines, there will be more to go around, and standards of living will rise.  Focus on enabling technologies.  Focus on exporting.  Focus on doing well at things the unwashed masses can’t do.  There will always be unwashed masses.  They’re vigorous breeders with large families (and by the way, how is that attitude NOT racist in today’s environment?)  Focus on shifting from BEING the unwashed masses to providing goods and services TO THEM.

Then, as your population enjoys the fruits of their labor, they can start raising kids again, and slow or reverse your population decline.

 

TBTB are trapped in their mindset.  They have always seen themselves as a small exclusive elite at the top of a pyramid of lesser masses.  They think it will continue, and if the current masses are refusing to cooperate and not breeding at replacement levels, they’ll just replace them with masses that WILL.  They miss the fact that the imported masses are NOT the same as the domestic masses (who only devolved into masses relatively recently historically.)  The imported masses will have no trouble or qualms about throwing out the existing PTB, and replacing them with their OWN elites.

And while there is a certain amount of schadenfreude in the elites getting their comeuppance, unfortunately, that will wreck the place for the rest of us. We need to fight against their plan, show that it’s wrong, and based on false assumptions, and strengthen our own positions at the same time.

 

nick

Fri. Jan. 26th, 2018 Finally Friday

It has been a long week. Busy weekend of work and family ahead too, but at least the weather should be a bit better.

53F and mostly clear in Houston today. I took a look at my citrus trees and they don’t look good. Between the cold and being covered, all the leaves are pretty much shrunken and dried. I guess I’ll see if they recover in a few more weeks. I certainly hope so. The grapefruit I got this year is delicious.

It feels like we’re wrapping up winter, and getting ready for spring. I got the last of the Christmas stuff down and put away (didn’t want to do it wet). It’s unlikely we’ll have more sub-freezing temperatures. The yard and garden are brown and a mess, but we’ll soon see what we can get started on. I might just throw down some native wildflowers in the front yard flower beds.

This definitely feels like a time of transition… both in the natural world, in society, and personally. Transitional times are tricky. They are a time when the smallest influences can lead to big changes. I think they call for conservatism, balance, a ‘centeredness’, and being prepared to move in any direction either defensively or to take advantage of opportunity.

This is a good time to take a step back from daily strife, and re-evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and your plan for getting there. If there ever was a time to position yourself to move freely in any direction, this is certainly it.

nick

Tues. Jan. 23, 2018 – Visitation today, if you are in the area

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Family

115 Crossfield Ridge Ct
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27127

There will be no formal services.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to

Alleghany County Public Library

115 Atwood Street

Sparta, NC 28675.

 

Robert’s obituary can be found here:

http://www.hayworth-miller.com/obituaries/Robert-Bruce-Thompson?obId=2906724#/obituaryInfo

nick

Sun. Jan 21, 2018 A sad day for all of us

12:40pm. Bob passed away last night at the rehab center around 9pm. I had spent the afternoon with him. He was talking fairly clearly but coughing up a lot of junk from his lungs. I was at home when the rehab center called me last night. The nurse had just been in to check on him to settle him for the night. She went back in a few minutes later and he had stopped breathing. EMS got tried for everything but he was just too weak. His heart just could not take the strain of all the fluid. He had been battling that lung issue for about six weeks and it was not getting any better. The rehab facility was taking good care of him especially the respiratory folks. Frances and Al were at the rehab center when I arrived. Once the funeral home came to take him we left for their house. Al drove up about 1:15am this morning. I am doing a few things here then heading back down to WS. There will be no funeral service. My friends are mostly in Winston. His are all over the world. I will be seeing friends at Frances and Al’s on Tuesday afternoon. I will not be back up here until later this week.
Hayworth Miller Funeral Home in Winston-Salem will post his obituary sometime later today or tomorrow.

Nick, I pass the baton to you.
====================================================================

EDITED

My sincere and heartfelt condolences to you Barbara and to your friends and family.  Bob’s death is a shocking loss.

Our continued best wishes to OFD and his family, and anyone else in our extended circle…

 

nick

Thur. 11, 2018- Nick here….

Good morning all, the polar snowmaggedon freezing hell on earth end days – otherwise known as “a bad winter storm”  seems to be over for  a while.  It’s 60F and dreary here in Energy City.

Our continued best wishes to RBT, Barbara, and OFD.

Some interesting things going on in the world-

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-10/swedish-government-warning-citizens-be-prepared-least-week-without-help

Only a week, seems short to me.  FEMA says 72 hours, but after the Cascadia rising exercise, they increased that locally to 2 weeks.  Ebola (or similar) could take 45 or more days to burn thru an area…  do you really want to be standing in line with a bunch of other people if SHTF, even locally and temporarily?

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-10/second-developer-wikileaks-inspired-securedrop-commits-suicide-36

Don’t know the two guys’ histories.  Often creative people have other issues. Could all just be coincidence.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-10/replacing-cashiers-robots-just-makes-sense-jack-box-ceo

 

  • “”With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” then Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO Andy Puzder told Business Insider in 2016. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.””

“Elections have consequences.”  Hah.  What does society look like when there is no entry path to the world of work for indigenous people?  What are the long term implications of that?  And what happens when you continue to allow the influx of low skill, low education laborers into an economy that has fewer and fewer low skill jobs?

Weeelllll, one possible answer is an increase in crime….

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-10/brinks-reports-theft-mysterious-11-million-international-gold-shipment

That’s a lot of shiny.

 

nick