Wed. Nov. 18, 2020 – my how time flies

Cooler.  Still damp.  Still sunny.    44F and 99%RH at 6am.

It was a very pleasant day yesterday, with some light wind, and not a drop of rain.  Humid, yes.  But with the help of the industrial floor dryer, I got the pool liner dried out and rolled up.

Did some minimal leaf blowing and raking then realized I’d have all day at home today to do that.  So I stopped.  Did an auction pickup.  Dropped off a few smalls for my other local auction.

Ate my orange from my very own tree for breakfast.  It was good.  Not as sweet yet as store bought, but still good. Did I already mention that?  Can’t remember.

Not feeling particularly well.  Coughing, stuffed up head, sore eyes, mild headache coming and going.  Feeling ‘half a bubble off’ all day.  Bumping into  things with my legs, stumbling.   Bit of sharpness in my upper lungs.  Sore throat.  No fever and I can still smell and taste.   So I tried to find a quick test place yesterday.  There used to be at least three in the area I was in.   Not any more.  Big upswing in cases, EVERYONE saying “get tested” and at least 3 local test sites are shut down.  Bugger me.  I need a rapid result too, because I’m supposed to leave for Florida on Friday.  And that’s a whole ‘nuther ball o wax…

I’ll try again today.   I might have to try researching first.

I’m definitely trying the “more sleep” approach, if even for just an extra hour.  So I’m going to hit “save” on this post and hit the hay.

The ‘prudent’ buying is sweeping the nation again.  Maybe ‘prudent’ isn’t quite right,  ‘understandable’ or ‘sensible’ might be better.  In any case, if you are going into a lock down of unknown length it makes perfect sense to buy a bit more than you normally do, when you can pop down to the store at any time.  Doesn’t take too many ‘bit more’ s to strip the shelves.  It’s not like they stack the stuff to the ceilings, and it’s still delivered ‘just in time’.  Or more likely, ‘too little too late’.

Which is why we prep -so we don’t have to worry about wiping our nethers with the cleaning paper of choice, or with some pages from Green Eggs and Ham…

TP isn’t the only thing that will be in short supply soon.  Stack it high.





Wed. Sept. 2, 2020 – jeez, Wednesday? already?

Hot and humid.  Yep.  Again.

Didn’t see the high yesterday, but it was hot.  High 90s in the shade for sure.

I took a few minutes and got a coat of Thompsons colored water seal on the teak table.  I was sweating by the time I was done, despite being in the shade, and hardly exerting myself wiping the oil on…

After that I did a couple of pickups.  Talked to my auctioneer and he put me off until Friday.  He’s busy.  Picked up a hundred 12ga rounds at one auction, and some dental tools.  I intend to use the tools for working with clay not teeth 🙂   I also swung by my secondary location, and picked up some stuff.  Both kids want second monitors for their school laptops.  The teacher sends links to content during the video call, and there isn’t room onscreen for everything.   I’ve got lots of monitors, so it was no biggie, but I’m betting most of the other kids don’t have a <s>hoarder</s> prepper for a dad.   I grabbed #1 daughter a keyboard too.  I didn’t have a USB port replicator or dock, since their lappys are all USB C.  That’s too new for me.  Once again though, backups for the win!

I also picked up a black and white laser printer for me.   My HP P1005 finally stopped working.  I had a pallet of old laser printers I paid $5 for some years ago.   My intention was to swap printers instead of toner.  I liked my P1005 though, and bought one $10 toner for it.  I’ve got 2 HP lasers left.  I hope the one I brought home works still.  I’ll find out later today.  I must have scrapped out the rest of the pile at some point.  I don’t remember.  I probably kept the toner carts though…

Yeah, there is a cost to keeping all the cr– ,  er… stuff.  I get that.  But it’s immensely satisfying to just grab something that will get the job done, without any drama or time used.  If we were further down the slope of the collapse, I can imagine situations where what you’ve got is all you can safely get…  a big chunk of the world works that way now.  Thank Gnu we’re not there yet.  It’s Wednesday and already I’ve pulled a couple monitors, cables, a monitor stand, a printer, keyboard, can of spray sticky, some decorative fabric, and a variety of other stuff off the pile and put them to use.  That’s cool.

Speaking of cool, I received the fridge monitor someone recommended, I’ll be installing that today.  Thanks for the tip.  So far, touch wood, everything has  been fine in the fridge zone… trust, but verify.

I also got most of my gennie parts, so that’s on the list today too.

I’ve got a vet appointment for my little guy this AM.  He’s due for heartworm and some other shots, and we want to talk to the Dr about his fairly sudden hearing loss.  It seems like it happened in a matter of weeks that we noticed something, and now he’s almost entirely deaf.  Maybe there’s some reason besides old age, and we can help.

Grid’s up, and bodies aren’t stacked in the street.  USE the time you have, and stack it high.



Thur. Aug. 27, 2020 – wave as it goes by…

Hot and humid.  Probably.

Yesterday was both, although the humidity was the bigger issue.  No cooling off with sweat if your sweat won’t evaporate.

I spent the day in the garage, driveway, and back yard.  I moved, grouped, covered, and put away a bunch of stuff.  And it looks like Laura will completely miss me.  I’ll have to undo some of the work to get to stuff after today.

But, for the moment, I’ve got momentum going and I’m going to stay with it.   I’ll keep working in the garage and on prepping the gennies.  That should keep me busy.

I have no idea what the aftermath of Laura looks like as I write this.  The storm just made landfall, and I’m headed to bed.  I’m so beat from being in the sun and working all day that I intend to sleep in.   I’m sure it’s bad, and I’ll update anything when I get caught up.

They arrested the shooter from the rioting in Kenosha.  He’s 17 according to reports.  Blogs are trumpeting that it was a righteous self defense shooting, based on video from the scene.  The other media, and the prosecutor- not so much.  I guess time will tell, but Ol Remus’ advice should be taken to heart- Avoid Crowds.

And keep stacking.


Mon. Aug. 17, 2020 – starting to recycle titles, can’t have that…

More hot and humid, for at least the next 30 days, probably 60.  So there’s that.

Was doing pretty much nothing outside yesterday, given the ‘boil your brains in saline’ temperatures outside and in the garage, but I did eventually go out and do some small things.

And while I was doing those small things I was keeping an eye on the fridge temps.   So I noticed when it got to 50F inside.  Which isn’t good.  Rolls of biscuits pop when they’re at 50 for any length of time.  It’s actually a pretty good warning that the fridge got hot…

Long story short, I replaced the fridge with the new (to me) one that can be a fridge or freezer that I picked up cheap a couple of weeks ago.  The little voice in my head told me not to sell it.  Since it wasn’t telling me to kill anyone or burn things, I listened.  That paid off.   There was still a lot of monkey+fornication+football to get the fridge unloaded into working fridges, doors off of both, and squeeze one out and on in…  A bit of lube wouldn’t have gone amiss for the narrowest spot in the path.  Then put it back together and watch the temps drop, while putting some stuff in the fridge that didn’t quite fit in anywhere else.  I’ll get stuff organized today at some point.  So, prepping success!  Go me!  And now I’ve got a probably broken fridge to get rid of.

We’ll see if the A/C in the garage caught up overnight, and if there’s anything I can do to help it (like install the powered ventilator I bought last year) or something similar.  Since that would involve roof work, I probably won’t.  Too danged hot.

Now, I’m not saying you should have a fridge sitting idle in case your’s fails, but it was very nice to avert a crisis once again through /start echo-y voice/ the power of preparednessssssssss….. /end voice/

Keep stacking, you know you want to…




Fri. Sept. 20, 2019 – so I learned some things…

77F and wet.  Probably.

Boy did we get some rain yesterday.  And I got stuck at the kids’ school, where I was able to help out, and everything worked out ok, but…

Turns out there are some holes in my vehicular preps, and in aspects of my current habits and lifestyle.  NB-I don’t typically carry a BOB or GHB or any other specific bag in my truck.  I’ve got a couple of totes in the back with extra stuff, and my EDC.  I thought that was pretty good, and it is.

I usually have some additional supplements like energy bars tucked away, but I ate them.  Day before yesterday and I didn’t replace them.  I usually refill my gas tank whenever there is a storm coming, and whenever it gets low.  I didn’t notice the level on Wednesday, and it beeped at me on the way to school- 50 miles to empty.  No problem, I’ll fill up on the way home.  Except what if I get stuck in the water on the way and need to wait out the flooding?  Not enough gas to do that.  My friend took 3 hours to get home with his kids.   I certainly didn’t have 3 hours worth of gas, to go less than 5 miles.

I have shirts, sweatshirts, pullover windbreakers, and long pants in the truck.  I’ve got hat and mittens when it’s cold.  I’ve got yellow plastic rain gear, ponchos, and even a set of FroggToggs.  No socks.  No dry shoes.  That’s a big oversight.

I don’t carry my ‘daddy bag’ anymore, so I don’t have a change of clothes for the kids.  It’s been a long time since one had an ‘accident’.

A couple of days ago, I had a case of Mountain House in the truck.  Yesterday I had only two expired MREs (the date doesn’t bother me) and USCG approved lifeboat survival bars.  Plenty of water, soda, and cans of flavored water… and I’d even added instant iced tea to put in the plain water.  I did so and drank that during the afternoon.  Had we been stranded at school overnight (and we have school friends in walking distance, so that was EXTREMELY unlikely) the kids and I would have eaten MREs in the truck while everyone else dined on microwave popcorn.  I did share a big Costco bag of candy that I was taking to my gunstore buddy.  Daughter used it to earn points with her friends.

The biggest problem is that there are only two real driveable ways into the school’s neighborhood, and BOTH are subject to flooding.  If we were desperate, I would have taken the chance on the deeper intersection.   I could see vehicles making it through and had a good idea of depth, but I also couldn’t get good info about the next step in my route.  I retreated to safety and comfort, deciding that the unknown and risk was not worth it to sit at home for the afternoon.

The situation might have been different if I was trying to GET to school and pick them up in an emergency.  This was not an emergency.  No one should have wrecked a car in an attempt to pick up the kids from a fully functional school, in the middle of the day.

It’s amazing the speed and reckless regard with which some people entered the high water.  They didn’t even wait to see how the guy in front of them made out.  Some pulled out around me, while I was watching the other guy go, and sped on ahead.  No way could they have seen the other guys success or failure before entering.  Dumb doesn’t even begin to cover it.

This being Houston, one of the items in my tote is a professional personal flotation device, designed for people who work on the water.  It will auto inflate, but most of the time stays out of your way.  It’s the first item in the tote.  If there ever came a day when I felt compelled to enter high water, I can at least gear up first.  I have a short rescue rope on top too.

My Expy is currently full of cr@p to the point I couldn’t have taken 2 extra kids with me, only one.  I’ve got a lot of auction stuff piled in the back and on the back seat.  That stuff needs to get out of my truck.

I need to add some Mountain House, durable snacks, and kid clothes to the tote.  I need to move a pair of sturdy shoes and a good pair of socks to the tote.   I may even set up a 3 gallon bucket as a toilet for the truck, and leave it in there.   (the 5 gallon with the seat only goes with us when I think or know we’ll want it.  Like 4 hours in a parking lot, watching fireworks,  It’s too big to live in my truck 24/7.)

The kids have grown, and I haven’t changed my truck pack much.

Meanwhile, my wife was stuck at her work.  I reminded her that there were at least a couple of powerbars in the ‘resource kit’ in her minivan.  She decided to stay at work, where they had food, light, AC, and work to do, rather than move through flooded streets.  Maybe I’ll be able to stash a bit more in her vehicle, ‘for the children’ now.  (FWIW, the thing we’ve used most often from her kit is fire starter and matches.)  She waited for clear streets and drove home without incident.

We’re supposed to get more rain.  I hope not, but I guess we’ll see.  This was a good opportunity to find holes in my preps without any resulting drama…and I’m going to use the gift to get better.


Wed. September 11th, 2019 – Never forget. Never forgive.

Eighteen years ago I was 8 miles from Ground Zero, and 2000 miles from home. I still tear up when I think about that day and the following days. When I think about sitting in a hotel room, with the tv on, but most channels nothing but static. CNN on a local PBS station that was too poor to have antenna space on the World Trade Center, and pretty much nothing else. Wondering if there were more attacks coming. Buying a flag for our truck as we left to start the drive home. Barely made it out of the store without crying. Seeing trucks loaded with generators and temp power, fire engines and rescue, headed inbound while we were headed out…

I still tear up. I still find it very difficult to talk about it out loud.

My good friend from Cali, who used to think I was a kook for having preps, who moved to The City, later confided in me that she can’t sleep unless she checks her go bag next to the door. Her husband got off the train to mail a letter, and then got back on just before the towers fell. Not his day to die I guess- missed him by that much.

You can relive it moment by moment, in excruciating detail and slow motion by reading through the text message paging from the day. Someone hoovered up all the messages, and wikileaks published them.

Machines go offline, people become more desperate to hear from loved ones, official responses start to organize, and confusion reigns. Around 10:30 the second tower fell, and there are lots of texts about a car bomb outside the State Dept offices in DC. I have no recollection of that news at all. My communication with friends and family is in that archive as well. I carried a Skytel Nationwide pager and email device, and it was the only thing that stayed up all day. I can’t read more than a few minutes of historical time at any one sitting, so I haven’t found my messages yet. You can see agencies and companies stand up their emergency plans as it happened.


“2001-09-11 10:30:59 Metrocall [1545812] B ALPHA
Frm: Luster, Diana Sub: Crisis Room Txt: Joe/Tony, Per Mitch, go to the Crisis Room. Diana Luster Company Security 30/JF00/W9 (310) 332-7922 FAX: (310) 414-9747” — that’s NorthrupGrummanAerospace

“2001-09-11 10:30:50 Skytel [005060012] D ALPHA
Mike Please call Inman ASAP 404-697-9918. Have you already notified K-9 Team? IB[10:30]”

“2001-09-11 10:30:46 Skytel [003262470] B ALPHA
To FB&RS Recovery Management Team. Please meet in the Cape Conference room on the 10th floor at 245 Summer St. By 10:30AM. Boston buildings are being evacuated and we need to have a coordinated message and plan that includes tomorrow. JM”

“2001-09-11 10:31:06 Arch [0949787] C ALPHA
All SWAT team members are to report to the airport. ”

“2001-09-11 10:31:08 Arch [0867607] B ALPHA
cteasley|The entire World Trade Center is gone. Both towers have collapsed!”

“2001-09-11 10:31:16 Skytel [005344008] C ALPHA

“2001-09-11 10:31:34 Arch [0987882] C ALPHA
“Kelley Scott” <|per yr brother Cal get out north|I love you so much, please come home to me safe”

“2001-09-11 10:31:35 Skytel [002820520] C ALPHA

“2001-09-11 10:31:39 Metrocall [1401159] B ALPHA

It hurts to read.

I’m still filled with anger when I think about it.

Never forget. Never forgive.


Tues. Sept. 3, 2019 – hurricanes are no joke

Slightly cooler, but humid. [76F and 83%RH at 6am]

Spent yesterday at the beach, which was surreal considering what was going on east of us.  The beaches were mostly empty too, to my surprise.

The pictures and video that are coming out of the Bahamas are shocking.   It’s been a while since we had good video of such a devastating storm.  Waves washing the second story windows should convince anyone that evacuation is the better part of valor, if that’s what you might be facing.

There are reports of “price gouging” coming out of Fla.  I’m of the opinion that laws prohibiting charging more than the usual rate when un-usual events are happening are un-American and counter productive.   Let the business earn the opprobrium if that’s what people decide is fair.  Otherwise, let those without the ability to plan pay those who have the ability for the privilege of their ignorance and lack of self control.

Complaining about expensive bottled water WHEN IT’S COMING OUT OF YOUR TAP is about as stupid as stupid gets.  Gas is a <i>bit</i> different, as it can be difficult to store safely, but if you are motivated you can do so.  I did, and do.  If it’s a priority, you will find a way to do it.  If it’s not, then you will pay the tax.

If there are any new readers, let me point out that I live in a hurricane zone, have been through several, and THAT’S WHY I PREP.

Read through anything tagged with prepping related tags.  Read the comments.  Learn it for next time, as there will surely be a next time.

Also, accept that there are some things that are out of your control and you will just have to deal with them as best you can.  That’s another good reason to have resources set aside, so you can adapt.

Speaking of which… my mom decided that the best thing to do was fly into Florida EARLY this year.  She’s in Sarasota as of YESTERDAY, so should be ok unless things go very wrong with the storm track.   However, I’m reaching out to MY resources, with a ‘heads up’ that I might need some sort of help in that regard if things go pear shaped.  She doesn’t “believe” in preparedness of any sort and so I find myself in the (not completely unusual) position of having a loved one firmly in my darwin column, and yet I can’t actually leave her there if push comes to shove.  I hope to convince her to do her shopping today, and to pick up some extra, if it’s even available.  (FWIW, I was under the impression that her flight would be canceled and she’d stay safely in Chicago, I was shocked to get her text that she had landed in Sarasota.  No idea what she was thinking.)

If you are in the threatened area, please take what time you have and do what is needed to ensure you have the best chance at safety.  If you are not directly threatened by this storm, take it as a warning- there will be other storms, quakes, floods, tornadoes, riots, pipeline explosions, derailments, plagues, and pestilence.   Get prepped.



added-  looks like Dorian has started to turn north.  That is good news for Florida but it’s still gonna be a mess up the coast and central regions.  Freaking thing sat for 40 hours on the Bahamas.  That is nuts.

Wed. Sept. 12, 2018 – big storm coming

75F and damp in Houston

It’s about to get very windy and wet in a day or two.

In all seriousness, there is a truly massive storm headed for a good percentage of our population. A population that hasn’t had a big storm in a while. A population that is much more accessible to the NYC based news orgs than the hicks and racists along the Gulf Coast….(-endsarc) so expect to see more coverage. Which is a good thing, because it is likely to be very bad.

If you are anywhere to the left of where Florence is expected to come ashore, or anywhere north or south of it, you ARE going to be affected, if only because your neighbors are.

Remember that the effects of the storm have a much wider area of impact than the ‘cone of uncertainty’ shown on TV. The cone shows where it might land, not how wide the storm’s area is, nor does it show WHEN the first effects will get there. That will be much earlier than landfall itself.

Let us all hope that it gets pushed out to sea, and that it grazes the coast rather than hits it straight on.

Knock-on effects will be widespread too. Air travel is likely to be messed up for days. What joy that I’m traveling with my family on Thur, and Sunday. EVERYTHING is going to be disrupted- gasoline delivery, food delivery, air travel, shipping…

Make what arrangements you can at this late date. Hopefully everyone reading this is well prepared.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

10:21 – Yesterday we got 80 pounds (36+ kilos) of pinto beans repackaged into 21 two-liter soft drink bottles, at just under 4 pounds per bottle. That’s sufficient to fill out the amino acid profile for about 500 pounds of rice/pasta/oats, in combination yielding complete protein.

Barbara volunteers with the Friends of the Library. They had a Quiz Bowl event last night, and Barbara had volunteered to be one of the judges. When the lady from the library called Barbara yesterday afternoon to verify that she’d be there, I asked Barbara what it involved. She said there’d be teams of high school kids competing against teams of adults. I told Barbara I’d be happy to help out if they needed more adults. She checked with the librarian, who said they could always use more people.

So we had an early dinner and headed over to the library about 6:00. I ended up sitting at the back of the room with several of the other other adult volunteers. I was between Tom Smith, who’s the Chairman of the County Commissioners, and Bryan Edwards, who’s the Sparta Town Manager. We got along great, making whispered remarks about what was going on up on stage. Tom’s a funny guy, and at one point I remarked to him, “You know, that’s the fourth time that you said something just as I was thinking it.” He replied that the two of us were going to get along fine. Bryan is also a funny guy, and between the two of them they made me feel like part of their group instead of a newcomer to the area.

Few or none of the adults had ever done a Quiz Bowl event before, so they started with two teams of the high school students facing off so that we could see how it was done. The winner of that round then faced another team of students to determine which team of students would face the adult team in the final. We had two teams of adults, so we had another round to determine which adult team would be in the final round with the winning student team. The adults, of course, crushed the student team in the final round.

Barbara commented on our drive home that experience had won the day, and that 20 or 30 years from now those kids would have experience and would probably beat a student team handily. I told her that I didn’t think that was true. The adults are from a generation when the public schools still actually taught. These kids are unfortunately in public school at a time when teaching is no longer the priority. They’re in at least the second full generation of people who’ve grown up attending school but not being educated. Still, I take comfort in the fact that there were a lot of bright kids there, and bright kids learn despite all attempts to keep them from doing so.

I just wish there had been a team of home-schooled kids there. They’d have probably kicked adult ass. Which is why Barbara and I do what we do. Home schooled kids are the future of this country, now that the public schools have been destroyed.

Uncle Remus, as usual, has a post worth reading up on Woodpile Report. FTA

After action report. This is where I disagree with Trump. He asks us to put ill will behind us and work together for the good of the country. He says we’re all in this together. No, we’re not. Sure they’re our fellow Americans, but so are Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson. We’re all in this together in the sense we coexist with termites.

Ayup. I, in common with most Normals, used to tolerate progs, if only grudgingly. No more. In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “You realize, this means war.”

The leftists aren’t merely wrong, they’re dishonest and malevolent. They still hold us, our values and our heritage in contempt. They still mean to destroy the reputations and careers of dissenters. They still adore illegal aliens, jihadists, dindu thugs and the perverts du jour. They still insult and demean us and teach our kids to despise America, us and themselves. They still mean to trash what remains of the Constitution.

The progs don’t understand that we Normals are by nature polite and conciliatory, but when our anger is aroused it’s a truly fearsome thing. We are the children and grandchildren of those Normals who bombed Germany into rubble and nuked Japan. Like those warriors, we can be pushed only so far before we respond devastatingly. And I’m afraid we’ve reached that point already. And we’ll be opposed by a bunch of effete, unarmed, tofu-eating metrosexuals, very few of whom have even been in a schoolyard fight.

And finally the bottom line:

Gambling with the tipping point, Market Ticker – Urban centers consume roughly 90% of the energy and food in this country yet they comprise 5-10% of the land mass. What if the people who peacefully conceded the result of two elections over the last eight years despite vehemently opposing the outcome decide that if the “blue” folks can riot, loot, beat people who vote the “wrong way” and similar they will not accept any further election result that doesn’t go their way, and instead of rioting or burning things they will simply shut off the flow of food and energy to said “blue” areas? After all, you don’t value them at all—you consider them subhuman, racist, xenophobic, deplorable and irredeemable—all at once. If you keep it up, that at some point, given that you’re utterly reliant on those you’re abusing for the basics of life—the loaf of bread, the gallon of gasoline, the electricity that powers your lights—they decide they’ve had enough. That day your supply of cellophane-wrapped meat and plastic bag full of bread disappears.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

11:07 – Our next-door neighbor Bonnie called Barbara last night and offered her a dozen fresh eggs. Barbara is going up there this morning to spend some time with Bonnie and bring back the eggs. I’m going to run one of my interminable experiments. In Olden Days, people preserved eggs by coating them in sodium silicate (waterglass) solution, which sealed them against air. They could then be stored at room temperature for weeks to months without going bad. But vegetable or mineral oil works just as well for sealing eggs, so I’m going to try sealing two or three of them and setting them aside in individual containers at room temperature. I’ll pull one out at the one, two, and three month points and test it. Not that there’s any scientific testing needed. A rotten egg makes itself known immediately with an intense odor of hydrogen sulfide gas. Once you’ve smelled that, you’ll never forget it. Interestingly, hydrogen sulfide gas is actually lethal in lower concentrations than hydrogen cyanide gas is.

The other day, Lew Rockwell linked to an interesting post by Gaye Levy at, 15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse. Gaye makes the same point I’ve been making here and elsewhere for a couple of decades now. FTA:

Will There Really Be a Catastrophic Collapse?

I first wrote about the coming “rogue wave of collapse” in 2011. What I write today is a very different article. Back then, I was almost sure that a global collapse, economic or otherwise, would happen within months. Clearly, what I envisioned did not happen, or at least did not happen in the manner expected.

My current opinion is that these past six years have brought an insidious and sometimes imperceptible decline in life as we knew it before the crash of 2008/2009. I believe there is a high degree of complacency and most folks figure “this is just the way it is”. My guess is that many have conveniently forgotten what it was like to get regular raises, purchase health care insurance at a reasonable price, and look forward to retiring at age 65.

As I’ve been saying, I don’t really expect an imminent catastrophic world-changing event. Could it happen? Sure. There are any number of threats that could occur at any moment, from a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection to a large cyber attack that takes down the power grid to a lethal pandemic to a massive earthquake on the NMSZ that cuts the country in two, separating the food producers west of the Mississippi from the eaters east of the Mississippi. Worse yet, most of these events are inevitable. We know with a very high degree of certainty that we WILL be hit by a massive CME, that a large earthquake WILL occur in the New Madrid area, that a lethal pandemic WILL occur. But probably none of those will occur this year or next year. Probably. I’ve made a SWAG that the chance of a catastrophic event occurring within the next year is about 0.03. Three percent. So while occurrence is unlikely, at least in the short term, the consequences of any of these would be catastrophic, with potentially tens of millions of people dead in the US. That kind of threat is obviously worth paying some attention to.

I read one time that the most successful way of forecasting the weather for tomorrow is to predict that it’ll be pretty much the same as today. And that’s pretty much the way I predict the future in other ways. In other words, we’re going to see a continuing slow slide into dystopia, until one day that slide turns into a precipitous fall off a cliff. That day may come tomorrow or it may not come for many years or even decades, but that day will arrive. When it does, I want to have water to drink, food to eat, fuel to heat our home, guns to defend ourselves, and so on. That’s the main reason why I prep.

But there are other, less catastrophic reasons to prepare. The price of everything keeps going up, as I see in both business and personal life. An item that cost $5 the last time I bought it now costs $5.50. And this goes on, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. Of course, it’s not the value of the items I’m buying that increase constantly, it’s the value of the dollar that decreases constantly. So, given the choice between holding dollars that are constantly losing value and hard assets, I want to put at least some of our dollar assets into things that hold their value. Inflation is simply a hidden tax on assets, and it’s not going away anytime soon, barring a complete collapse of the dollar (which I’m also not expecting anytime soon).

Prepping also insulates preppers against personal problems like a job loss or unexpected major expense. If something like that happens, I want to be prepared to live from our pantry for months or longer. Certainly, there are unavoidable expenses that must be paid for with dollars, but being able to minimize outgo in dollars is certainly a worthwhile goal. And then there’s the simple peace of mind that comes with a deep pantry, knowing that if there’s a disruption in deliveries we can do without any outside supplies for quite a while.